Hi everyone! I’m back for another day in the life post! My sister said I’m supposed to share a “typical” day but honestly all I do is go to work, go home, eat, shower, read blogs, and then go to bed. That doesn’t sound like fun. But if you want to see that I can do that! Let me know.
Shout out to Cheila who requested a day in the life post a while ago and then I forgot about her. I’m a great friend. (Sorry Cheila, you know I love you!)
I’m going to share my Saturday from this past weekend with you. If you follow my Twitter or Instagram or Snapchat (really all of them because I put some stuff on Snapchat, then some on Instagram stories, then some on Twitter, then I’ll post a photo on Instagram, omg I’m all over the place), you’ll have seen that I was in downtown Chicago for a musical and then ended up seeing two. More on that later!
Let me start at the very beginning. I love seeing musicals. I can’t explain it, but it makes me very happy so I keep going. It’s expensive, time consuming, and takes a bit of planning but I know it’s worth it in the end. So a few months ago I got a Broadway in Chicago subscription, which meant I paid one big amount for a guaranteed seat to the 5 musicals in the season. I take the train into the city when I see a musical so I chose the Saturday matinee series. The season runs from June to November, so I was excited!
Friday night I was already feeling stressed because I felt like I was running late with planning everything. That day had been my office summer outing and so I’d gotten home later than normal. But I’d already planned my schedule a bit (at least got the trains figured out), put my ticket in my wallet (it’d already been mailed out to me), and looked up the closest Starbucks to the theatre (it was supposed to rain and storm all day so I didn’t think I’d be able to walk around much and am not in the mood to spend money). All this kept me up quite late, which then made me worry more.
Saturday morning I got up early and got ready. I was awake at 7am and up by 7:45 (I read a few blogs, checked social media, etc.). It occurs to me I should have taken photos of how I looked. Fail! You’ll kinda see it later.
Anyway, when I was ready my mom was up and offered to make some food for me! I ate a bit and then started to head out. I was going to drive to the next town’s station and pay to park my car there while I was gone. My town’s station is free but the trains don’t always go that far and it’s not as patrolled. It’s kinda out past downtown and towards the beach so I always feel like it’s not as safe. The next town is bigger, and there’s always police and people there. But as I was heading out my dad was driving back from the post office (he had to pick up something) and offered to drop me off! Score! Saved $5 for parking. Which works out great because I owe him $5 actually.
I mentioned this in my Father’s Day post yesterday, but we had a lovely chat on the way to the station. He laughed when I told him that I had been kept up with worry about what could go wrong and told me he does the same thing. We both agreed at how silly it is. That’s who we are! I bought my train ticket in the car ride and when he dropped me off I headed to the platform and waited for the train.
Eventually I got on the train and pulled out my notebook. I try to not use my phone too much because the train is an hour and a half ride to the city and I get panicked if I use too much of my battery too early in the day. I had my three portable chargers, but I didn’t want to rely on them so early. I wrote yesterday’s blog post and tomorrow’s as well as rewrote the main points of my statement of purpose for my grad school application. At this point I’m just putting it off for fear that I’ll be rejected because I keep going back to the same points and wording. I’m finally going to send it in and whatever happens, happens.
I finished writing the last of those items when we pulled into the station. It was 11:30am as we pulled in and the musical started at 2pm so I had quite some time to go. There was a later train but I would only have had half an hour from when the train pulled in to when I had to be in my seat, and that was too tight a window for me. I decided to do a big circle around downtown. I headed down to the PrivateBank Theatre where Hamilton is playing because I like to look at it. I thought about heading to the museum campus where three major museums are located (Field Museum with the t-rex skeleton, Shedd Aquarium which I love but is expensive, and Adler Planetarium which is cool but really for children) but I ended up heading into Millennium Park. Although it was supposed to storm the entire day it was actually hot at mostly clear.
I passed by the fountains and then hung out at the Bean for a bit. You can see my makeup a bit and my outfit as well. I was super impressed by the makeup, it was pretty much all still in tact at the end of the day except for the eye shadow. The lipstick was a little faded but held up really well. I can do a separate post on what I used if you want. My dress is from Loft, bag is Steve Madden, and shoes are Madden Girl! Oh and the sunglasses are from Loft as well.
By that time I still had an hour before the theatre even opened so I saw a pretty building and went towards it. Turns out it’s the Chicago Cultural Center! I’ve passed this building countless times and never went in until that day. Turns out they have various free art exhibits so I went through those. It turns out that NPR’s Story Corps episodes are recorded there so that was super interesting! One was being recorded when I passed by so I hope it’s a good one! Once I saw all the exhibits (there were only a few) I headed out.
Since I still had about 45 minutes to go until the house opened I stopped at a Starbucks in the Macy’s on State Street for about half an hour and at that point I was down the street from the theatre. I headed down when I finished my drink and went to the theatre. I also passed by the Picasso sculpture as well. I know Picasso isn’t everyone’s favorite but I really love his work when I see it, and love that he lived in Barcelona too.
My subscription seats were described as lower balcony, so I knew I’d be at the front but I was actually in the first row of the balcony! My seat was really good actually, and I’m glad for it because I will be seeing three more performances from that seat (the other one is at a different theatre). There was a flyer telling me about the upcoming season since I haven’t renewed my subscription and a lady came by to chat with me about being a subscriber. She didn’t try hard to convince me to renew, and I’m pretty sure it’s because I’m young and went on my own. I did get a magnet though!
It was my first time in the Oriental Theatre and I was impressed! It’s a beautiful venue. The people around me are also subscribers so I’m assuming I’ll see them again. They were older women mostly, although the conversations I overheard were funny enough. Oh and my stage/playbill photos are pretty blurry because of the low lighting but you get the idea of where I was.
I was there to see The King and I for the Saturday Matinee. I know I’ve seen the movie in school for band but I didn’t really remember it at all. I actually wasn’t really interested in this one. I got the subscription because I wanted to see 3 of the 5 musicals, was mildly interested in this one, and then the last one is a new musical in it’s pre-Broadway engagement so I thought that’d be interesting to see.
I did end up loving this musical, I thought the voices were great and the actors were all great. I also loved how strong the female characters were and how simple but elegant the sets were. This is a Rodgers and Hammerstein production so the music was amazing! Let me know if you want a full review!
After the musical I headed back to the train station. It seemed like it had just rained so I barely missed it. Normally what I do is rush back to try to catch the next train but I snooped a bit at the theatre for too long so I missed the train by like 5 minutes. I ordered at McDonalds and then got a brilliant idea, that I should stay downtown for the evening and try to see Aladdin! I missed it the weekend I had tickets because I went to Houston so I called my dad and texted my sister to make sure someone would be up to get me from the train late if I did do it. They both said that one of them would be up (likely my sister) so I scarfed down my food and went all the way back towards the theatre. The Cadillac Palace Theatre, where Aladdin is playing, is down the street from the Oriental Theatre.
I rushed in and asked the young woman at the sales counter if there were still tickets available. This is how the conversation went:
Me: “Do you have tickets available to see Aladdin tonight?”
Woman: “We do! Ummm, do you know how much you want to spend?”
Me: “Well this is a spur of the moment decision so not really, but not too much.”
Woman: “Hmm well we sell discounted last minute tickets. I can put you in center orchestra for $45.”
Me: “I’ll take it!”
So I bought my ticket (woo for avoiding Ticketmaster fees!) and then headed out again since it was around 5pm and the performance started at 7:30pm. I called my dad to confirm I was staying downtown and that I’d let him and my sister know what train I’d be taking after I got out. I started walking towards the Macy’s again since everything was starting to close but then turned around and headed to another Starbucks two doors down from the theatre. This was when I realized the lady hadn’t told me what row my seat was on and I was suddenly worried I was all the way in the back. Nope! I was in row F! My sister and I were texting and she was so excited that I had gotten a great seat.
I finally tried the s’mores drink and then charged my phone a bit at the Starbucks with a wall outlet I found. I also used their bathroom as the theatre bathrooms tend to be tiny and take forever and I didn’t want to have to run out during the performance. I answered some comments, read a few blogs, and hung out there until the doors were about to open at the theatre.
At around 6:30 I headed out and waited in the little area in front of the doors for the theatre to open at 6:45. I headed down to the entrance I would use later and listened as the other attendees chatted and the ushers talked about meeting the Hamilton cast about 5 times at the stage doors. Those lucky ducks. Finally the doors opened at 7:00 and I headed in.
The theatre actually didn’t fill up like I expected. I think it might be because it is a musical geared for families with children and it was late. Still, I was excited and my sister and I texted a bit before I turned my phone off. This was the first time I was in orchestra for any Chicago musical, so being so close to the front in center orchestra was so exciting for me. During intermission we confirmed I would not make the earlier train and would be on the 11pm train.
Now about the musical. Ah, it was magical! The costumes were so bedazzled and the lights and staging were astounding. This was definitely more flashy than The King and I, and the dancing was incredible. The actors were really, really am amazing as well (running out of adjectives). The sound group for this musical was probably the worst that I’ve experienced, there were a handful of times when I couldn’t hear the lines. It was usually just one tiny line but it even happened with Aladdin, who is the main character! I still heard them because I was so close but the rest of the house further away surely couldn’t. Overall it didn’t impact too much of the performance but that was strange to see in such a production. Let me know if you want a full review of this one as well!
After the performance ended I decided to hang out at the stage door for the cast. It was raining very lightly but they still came out and hung out a bit since I had an hour to go until the train. I got to meet a lot of them, including Genie, Aladdin, and Jasmine. only my photo with Jasmine turned out decent so here you go! They were all incredibly sweet it was amazing that they stopped to sign the playbills. Unfortunately it did get a bit wet and smeared one of the signatures but it’s mostly okay!
After that I finally headed to the station. When they finally let us board I actually got a seat with an outlet! So I read on my phone and texted my sister about the performance until she left to get me. The train was running about 10 minutes late so we texted until I pulled into the station and went to find her. Then she drove us home and we chatted about Aladdin and I told her a bit about The King and I and my day overall as well.
After that I got ready for bed and by that time it was about 1:30am. It was a long day but so worth it!
So let me know, have you seen either of these musicals? If so, what did you think? If not, do you want to?
Also, how crazy am I to see two musicals in one day! I had so much fun and loved that there was such a good seat at an amazing discount! I think I might try that again if there’s ever another musical I want to see later that day!
Thanks for reading!