Grab your Aqua Net, spandex and your wanna-be rockstar boyfriend and get to ROCK OF AGES. The 80s are brought back to life with the Broadway musical that will have you hair whipping , singing along and rocking out at the Bank of America Theatre. I loved this show, but if you are not a fan of the 80s, sex, drugs and rock n’roll you might be offended for it’s not your typical Broadway show. With that disclaimer; it was truly AWESOME, clever and witty! All of my favorite 80’s songs were incorporated to tell the tale of a love story. The short denim skirt wearing Sherrie; Rebecca Faulkenberry, ventures off to the Sunset strip to follow her dreams as an actress. While taking a job at a local bar she meets Drew; American Idol’s Constantine Maroulis, who wants to be the next big rock star. They soon realize they veered off course of their dreams, but perhaps they were meant to be together. It was comedic genius how popular 80’s music would tell a story with artists such as Journey, STYX, White Snake, Foreigner and Bon Jovi to name a few. Their rendition of the songs will pump through your blood like an incredible rock concert and make you wish you had ten of your friends to party with. Therefore, I’d suggest this show not only for a date but a large group. It’s a rad way to kick off your evening and they even have cocktail waitresses serving beer for the first act. With incredible voices, actors, nostalgic 80s costumes and provocative booty shaking you will forget it’s 2010. You have to move fast because this show is touring across the country. Rock of Ages closes in Chicago on October 3, 2010 and it’s next stop is Boston. I need to dig up my leg warmers and pop my collar because this is one show I’d consider becoming a groupie for.
The flight to bring me back to the States was coming out of Madrid, and I was envisioning a couple of chill nights being spent there to wind the journey down, knowing that I’d be jumping right back into the madness of life upon getting home. Oh, but I was mistaken..
It began when my good friend at Delilah’s on Lincoln enthusiastically put me in touch with his “boy Francisco in Madrid”. Turns out Francisco is a well-connected music industry guy who is in tune with anything you’d ever need in Madrid. Sure, he knows which direction to point you in for famous sites, but I’m talking about real tangible stuff: where to go drinking, where the best rock clubs/bars are, where the good record stores are, where to eat, where the red light district is, and even hooked me with a cheap price on a place to stay. Upon arriving and meeting Francisco, he informs me that he’s involved with a music festival happening the very two nights that I’d be in town…um, yeah..could I have even scripted this any better?
The real kicker was the moment I was shown the band lineup, and there I found Chicago’s own JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound. Honing their blend of indie rock and classic Chicago soul for three years now, there really isn’t anyone else in town (Chicago, that is) doing what they’re doing.
Amongst a two-night bill full of rock acts, these guys brought the hip shaking. It took a few songs for the Spaniards to warm up to them and their style (I’m not aware of any soul/rock/R&B groups in Madrid), but by the end of the band’s set the crowd was all-in and nobody was standing still. I think they successfully left their mark, and I hope that the remaining shows that they’re playing in Spain over the next week are as much of a hit.
Once they return home, you’ll have a chance to catch them on Oct. 28th at Otto’s in Dekalb if you’re reading from the far west burbs, and then in the city at an event called “Spooktacular” on Oct. 30th at Impala Studios.
But my Chicago connection for the night wasn’t yet over.
Not only was I put in touch with my new friend Francisco in Madrid, but Mike from Delilah’s also implored me to check out his favorite bar in that city. Now, if a film director whose work you love told you about a film that he/she enjoys, you’d rush right out to see it, wouldn’t you? Similarly, when the owner of Chicago’s finest bar (and globally ranked whiskey bar) tells me to check out a place called Templo Del Gato, you can bet I’ll be there.
Upon walking in, I immediately knew why Mike loves it so much. Like Delilah’s, music is top priority and it looked and felt like a ‘sister bar’ to Delilah’s. The dj was killing it with old school 60’s garage like the Kinks and Easybeats, plus post punk like Joy Division and The Cure. And it was on the little window of the dj booth where I found the sticker in the photo that you see here. Righteous.
The clientele was fun and friendly, and the bartender–who could barely speak English but understood that I was sent there from the Chicago bar on the sticker–was happy that I was there and my second round of cerveza was on the house.
All in all, it was a nice little buffer to return home from a long trip by practically feeling like I was already back in Chicago 48 hours before arriving!
Have you ever had an experience that just knocked you right off your feet? I had the good fortune to have that happen to me. I went to see Rock of Ages at the Bank of America Theatre. The only word that comes to mind is WOW!!!! I have seen many musicals, but none of them had me reminiscing like this one. For anyone who grew up in the eighties this musical is for you. From the opening number I was transported back in time. It’s as if I was living my teenage years all over again. Every number had a special place in my heart. It took me back to a time where things were much simpler. A time where my biggest concern was where to spend my White Castle paycheck. It took me back to riding in my buddies jeep, where we would blast Bon Jovi. To the times I made out with my girlfriend to Poison. All great memories; relived through two and a half hours of non-stop fun. Even if you are not a theater goer, I believe you would enjoy the music and energy with which the cast performs. The songs stand the test of time. All your 80’s favorites are here. “We’re not gonna take it“, “Cum on feel the noize“, “Anyway you want it“, “Hit me with your best shot“, and “Don’t stop believing” just to name a few. Rock of Ages does what any good musical should do. Take you on a ride and leave you wanting more. That’s what it did for me. So if you have the time go and see Rock of Ages. You owe to yourself. ROCK ON!!!!
Now that fall is here, our days of laying out in the sun are officially over. However, you don’t have to lose your tan. I am going to share one of my most treasured secrets…ORTANIC. It’s one of the most fabulous customized spray tans on the planet. I use it summer, fall and winter without the bat of an eye. So here’s how it works- you head to the spa at Equinox in Lincoln Park. (Be sure to book your appointment far in advance because, they are quite popular.) Now, for the tricky part- you need to bare all except your panties. (It’s extra motivation to put that extra cookie down.) However, be not afraid, for the staff are very professional, warm and will put you at ease. They are all trained Aestethetic Skin Consultants and create a special recipie for your skin type. They know just the right color and realize you don’t want too dark in the colder months- but need a healthy looking glow. Ater about 10-15 minutes of being personally airbrushed you are finished. No orange streaky tan, no gross smells and best of all no skin cancer. I’d suggest wearing something black and loose fitting afterwards, but you dry literally in a few minutes. My Ortanic tans usually last around 5 to 6 days depending how long I spend in the shower. It’s $45.00 per tan, but definitely worth it for a special occasion or if you just want to feel your best. And of course, you cannot put a price on staying cancer free. Speaking of price, be sure to visit their website for a $10.00 off coupon. When you go in tell the staff “Hi” and that Ashley Lobo sent you.
We checked out a really cool new roof top and a fun approach to dating. I headed to Epic Sky to enjoy the breath taking view of the city and learned what a selectively single girl is suppose to do! Selective Search held one of its frequent “Meet the Matchmaker” events. Single women of all ages flocked to the rooftop to enjoy free drinks, appetizers, goodie bags and to talk to their potential matchmaker. Now, these matchmakers could possibly hold your destiny in the palm of their hand. However, it is up to you to take a leap of faith and register your criteria or “wish list” so to speak. And no need to hold back because your info is only seen internally and it’s totally private and confidential. The best news yet, is that it’s FREE for women. Therefore, you have nothing to lose except for about 20 minutes of your precious time to fill out the online questionnaire. But think about it…this could lead to your prince charming. To me, that’s totally worth it and grab a glass of wine and make it a fun event with your girlfriends. After all, who doesn’t like gossiping and writing about your “Mr. Big.” ?! If you missed the event you can still join online and keep a look out for the next fun girls night out with Selective Search.
The segway “Glide at Night” tour is an unexpected treasure in your own backyard. It’s literally in mine! I run by the lake quite frequently and always see groups of people on segway tours. I never quite understood all the hype until I recently tried it out. I actually had the best time, EVEN while wearing a helmet. Yes, I had to wear a neon green helmet…”safety first.” You can literally zip, glide and cruise around by the lake to discover the city in a whole new way.
The night tour would be my top recommendation and it’s actually quite romantic-bring a date! If you can stand the dorkiness of your your significant other wearing a helmet and looking awkward- he/she is a keeper! The best part of the “Glide at Night” tour is that you can enjoy the city lights, calmness of the lake and hear some tunes from Northerly Island. The entire tour lasts around 2 or 2-and-a half hours. Luckily since you are on a segway the 7.2 mile route is effortless. And in case you were wondering, I never fell off or crashed into the lake.
Prior to taking to the streets you have a lesson and practice indoors. I was nervous at first, but quickly got the hang of it and had an excellent guide named Jordan. If I can do it, so can you!
Check out their website for more info.
WHAT: Chicago Segway Tours
WHERE: 505 N. Lakeshore Drive.
WHEN: Daily- visit website for specific times.
Seeing as how days seem to be flying by, I thought I would take this opportunity to talk a little baseball before it all ends. This season has once again proved disappointing for our two ball clubs. First, let’s talk about the Cubs, who for whatever reason just looked uninterested in baseball this year. Here was a club that should have been a contender in the weak division that is the National League Central. Instead, you got bad fundamental baseball, another Carlos Zambrano meltdown, a manger who after a while just seemed to give up, and of course the trading off of some of your best players. This was supposed to be Year One of the new regime. You were on your way, this wasn’t supposed to be a rebuilding year. Yet with just 2 weeks left in the season with nothing on the line you have the call-ups playing and now you are winning some ball games. I would say overall a D for this year. Now, on to the White Sox. This team was picked to finish third in their division and for a while it seemed like that’s were they ‘d end up. They started out awful. Then interleague play started and they caught fire. They couldn’t lose. Then it happened they had to face their dreaded rival the Twins who beat them this year 13 times. You can look at this as the reason the sox will finish second about 9 or 10 games out. They simply can’t beat Minnesota. As you can see both teams battled different issues this year, but the end result is the same. No postseason in Chicago. Thank God it’s football season and the bears are 2-0, otherwise I’d be pulling my hair out right now.
Whenever I heard about Comic Con, I would immediately think of kids who don’t really play outside much and who are really into Dungeons & Dragons. Now is that a completely fair assessment? No. So what better way to break a stereotype than to educate and go check it out for oneself…and I’m so glad that I did! The variety of people & celebrities was fantastic; and the costumes….The COSTUMES! So much fun; people watching galore!
I found out that Comic Con isn’t just for comic books, it’s the largest pop culture festival that celebrates the best in comics, collectibles, movies, celebrities, toys, video games, tv and more! Check out some of the characters and celebrities that I bumped into along the way during my self-education of this 3 day exhibition!
Hey this is Gina Ferraro! I’m so thrilled because I got chat with actor Robert Downey Jr., and director Todd Phillips. You’ve probably see some of Phillip’s films: The Hangover, and Old School to mention a few.
The boys were in town because The Gene Siskel Film Center paid tribute to actor Robert Downey Jr., presenting him with the Gene Siskel Film Center Renaissance Award.
You never know what you’re going to get when you meet a new celebrity– let alone TWO coming down the Red Carpet together like Robert and Todd did. BUT! I’m happy to say to they were both a lot of fun. I still haven’t seen Iron Man, but after meeting Downey I’ve gotta check it out.
As for Phillip’s films, they are some of my favs. If you haven’t seen them I totally suggest watching them if you want a good laugh.
Look out for the Downey’s new film directed by Phillips called, “Due Date.” It should be out this fall/winter and also stars the hilarious Zach Galifianakis.
The Gene Siskel Film Center
164 N. State St
Chicago, IL 60601-3505
Website: Click on The Gene Siskel Film Center