franklyHANK: Big theater news

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franklyHANK: Theater news (WLS)

There is so much amazing theater happening in Chicago right now.


That lovable sponge who lives in a pineapple under the sea now has a theatrical show that is making its pre-Broadway world premiere run in Chicago. "The SpongeBob Musical" from Broadway in Chicago runs through July 10 at the Oriental Theatre and is one of the best family shows I have seen in years. Children will love it because it is so much fun. Adults who grew up with SpongeBob will fall in love all over again. Director Tina Landau has outdone herself with that amazing set. Ethan Slater stars as the sponge himself and does an incredible job of embodying the Nickelodeon character. However, Gavin Lee's performance as Squidward is truly Tony worthy and you relish every second he is on stage. Do see this show before it heads to New York and Broadway. I promise the finale is absolutely one of the best you will ever see and you'll leave the show smiling.

The other show in Chicago that is said to have Broadway in its sights is "War Paint" from Goodman Theatre. The hugely in-demand show just added another week, extending its run through August 21. The show began previews Tuesday night. Its world premiere is July 18. Broadway veterans Patti Lupone and Christine Ebersol star as make-up titans Helena Rubenstein and Elizabeth Arden, respectively, at a time when women did not call the shots. Get your tickets now before they are gone and the show heads to the Great White Way.

Those fantastic Mormon boys on a Mission are back. "The Book of Mormon" returns to The PrivateBank Theatre starting Wednesday. The show runs through August 29 and Broadway in Chicago just announced a daily ticket lottery! Show up at the box office, fill out an entry form, come back 2 hours before the show for the drawing. You must be present to win.

If you are chosen, you get one (or two) tickets for $25 each! Cash only! Hello! That's a deal.

WARNING: this show is not for children. In fact, some of the language may be harsh for your teen, so be warned.

We all know by now that "Hamilton" is coming to Chicago this September at The PrivateBank Theatre. If you didn't buy tickets, you can still win them from Windy City LIVE. However, the big story is that at Tuesday night's "Hamilton" performance in New York, show creator Lin-Manuel Miranda had it filmed with the original cast.

The big question is why? Rumors were that is was going to air on PBS in October. That is absolutely false. A documentary airs in October. We'll just have to wait and see what Miranda has up his sleeve.
Singer/actress/Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson has signed an epic record deal with EPIC records. What's really epic about it all is who her executive producers will be on the new album: LA Reid and Clive Davis. The last time the legendary producers worked together was for the top-selling soundtrack to "The Bodyguard" featuring the much-missed Whitney Houston. Hudson is in the studio now. Hurry!

Kelly Clarkson loves her fans and knows how to treat them right. She just launched Each month she is uploading live cover songs fans requested that she has performed in concerts and fans will be allowed to download those covers for FREE!

Clarkson said she loves singing covers, but when fans asked for an album of them she said it didn't feel right to her to make money off of other people's music. So you get it for FREE! She'll upload new content once a month.

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