franklyHANK: Idol Auditions, The Color Purple, Waitress and Meryl Streep

American Idol is headed to Chicago this summer and looking for new talent for the return of the ABC series. September 11, 2017 casting producers will be in town. No time or location has been announced yet. Those interested can sign up for updates at You must be at least 15-years-old to audition. You can also submit a video to audition. Complete details at The series will premiere sometime in 2018 on ABC7.

Broadway's hit show, "The Color Purple" is coming to Chicago to the Oriental Theatre July 19-29, 2018. Chicago's own Jennifer Hudson originated the role of Shug Avery in the Broadway revival. The revival also won two Tonys in 2016 including Best Revival of a Musical. Tickets will go on sale at a later date at

The Broadway musical from singer/songwriter Sarah Barellis, "Waitress," is headed to Chicago next summer. The Tony-nominated show will play the Cadillac Palace Theatre from July 3-22, 2018, according to Broadway In Chicago. "Waitress" opened on Broadway in 2016 at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre and is based on the 2007 film which follows the life of a waitress and pie make who longs to leave her sleep southern life and horrible marriage. Evanston native Jesse Mueller originated the lead role on Broadway. "Waitress" earned four 2016 Tony nominations, including Best Musical, Best Score and nominations for Mueller and her co-star, Christopher Fitzgerald.

"The Color Purple" and "Waitress" will be among the shows performing at Broadway In Chicago's free summer concert at Pritzger Pavilion in Millennium Park on August 14. Among the other shows performing, Disney's ALADDIN, BEAUTIFUL - THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL, the Pre-Broadway Engagement of ESCAPE TO MARGARITAVILLE, LES MISÉRABLES, LOVE NEVER DIES, MOTOWN THE MUSICAL, Andrew Lloyd Webber's SCHOOL OF ROCK and WICKED. ABC 7 Chicago is the sponsor of the concert hosted by Janet Davies.

Actress Meryl Streep is the latest to join the new Mary Poppins sequel, "Mary Poppins Returns." This will be her third time working with Poppins star Emily Blunt. They previously worked together in "The Devil Wears Prada" and "Into The Woods." Streep will play Topsy, a cousin of Mary Poppins. Streep also gets her own song, penned by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. Also part of the cast, Angela Lansbury and "Hamilton" creator Lin-Manuel Miranda.