Tony award-winning director, choreographer launches 'BOOP! The Betty Boop Musical' at CIBC Theatre

ByHosea Sanders and Marsha Jordan WLS logo
Friday, December 1, 2023
'BOOP! The Betty Boop Musical' launches at Chicago's CIBC Theatre
Tony award-winning director Jerry Mitchell has brought 'BOOP! The Betty Boop Musical' to the CIBC Theatre in downtown Chicago.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Jerry Mitchell is a Tony Award winner launching "BOOP! The Betty Boop Musical" in Chicago at the CIBC Theatre through December.

The Broadway director and choreographer, who grew up in the Midwest, joined ABC7 to talk about how he loves giving Chicago city a first look at his shows.

"It's not my first time in this town," Mitchell said. "There's 'Kinky Boots,' 'On Your Feet,' 'Pretty Woman.'"

The CIBC Theatre is special to Mitchell.

"I've been coming to this theater since I was a 17-year-old kid growing up in Paw Paw, Michigan," Mitchell said. "I would come here to see the touring productions of Broadway shows. This is the first theater I ever saw a show in.

Mitchell said Chicago is a great place to be able to share his craft and launch his theatre shows.

"I love being in this city to open musicals, because I feel like the city embraces them," Mitchell said. "I feel like the people who work in these theaters are professionals, top of the line."

Mitchell also shared some details about the brand-new hit show.

"Betty Boop, in our story, she travels to find what's missing, and she finds it," Mitchell said. "She has to go back to her real world, and her real world is in black and white. This is a story about love, and love finds her and when it does her life turns to color."

The story offers a great escape from real life.

"I wanted to tell this story because I think the world is full of so much cynicism right now, and this is a story about the only thing that matters in life ,and that's love," Mitchell said. "In Betty Boop's black-and-white world, we tap dance, but when she comes to New York City and hits Times Square, there's a little tap, but there's also hip hop and there's jazz, so the three styles of dance converge in Times Square where everything is a melting pot."

Mitchell talked about the process of creating a unique story from scratch for such an iconic character.

"I love coming here, I love getting the response from the audience and the critics, and then we keep working to hone the show to take it back to New York and open it on Broadway," Mitchell said. "So it's an import crucial step in creating a new musical. The audiences see a lot of theater in this town... they're wise, they're smart, you can't fool them. They come in and they know when they're seeing, something that's well done."

"BOOP! The Betty Boop Musical" is now playing at the CIBC Theatre through December 24th, and then it's on to Broadway in New York City.

"There's a really beautiful story here, and a beautiful show and I hope people embrace it," Mitchell said.