WEATHER UPDATE: Transformation Through Rhythm

UPDATE: The power has been restored to the Egyptian Theatre. Transformation Through Rhythm will have an adjusted start time of 2:10. Thank you for you patience.

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WEATHER ANNOUNCEMENT – Transformation Through Rhythm

Due to the wind, the Egyptian Theatre has lost power. We have decided to delay the Transformation Through Rhythm concert today until 2:30 PM. We will post further updates if power is not restored soon. Thank you for your patience!

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Backstage at the Egyptian with Kiley Fitzgerald of The Second City

Interview with Kiley Fitzgerald from The Second City: It’s Not You, It’s Me

Conducted by Michaela Alcantar

Michaela: What got you into improv?

Kiley: I got into improve after seeing “The Kids in the Hall” while growing up. They are a group out of Toronto and I got to see them perform live once. After the show, I was so moved by what they did and so interested that I came home; and it was so long ago, that I had to Ask Jeeves and Dogpile info about them because Google wasn’t invented yet. And it turns out that they started by taking classes at Second City and they started out as performers there. So as I was living in Boston at the time, which is where I’m from, and I dogpiled how to get involved with improve. I think signed up for my first improve class four days after seeing that show and that is how it all started.

Michaela: Did you always wanted to be in theatre?

Kiley: I’ve always wanted to be a comedian since I was about 2 or 3 years old. I was doing small routines for my parents, for my parents’ friends; and the theatre part of comedy is something I came to later on when I was probably in my 20’s. It’s great, it’s really hard work and it’s great. I give it up to straight ahead actors, they are masters at what they do. I’m always in awe when I’m on stage with an actor because they really are amazing and I learn so much from working with them. So the theatre part came along later but now that I’m here, I don’t know how I am going to transition to the next part of this occupation when it goes to things like T.V. and not performing live because performing for a live audience in a theatre, a small theatre, there’s nothing like it and it’s my favorite thing about performing. It’s great and unbelievable; and I wish everyone can have a chance to try it.

Michaela: Who were your inspirations going into this career?

Kiley: My biggest inspiration I would have to say was Mike Myers. I saw Wayne’s World when I was in probably 7th or 8th grade. I thought to myself; not only is this what I want to do but, the way that he used language and the things he said like “this is what I can do”. He’s just, I don’t know, he really tapped into my 7th grade brain which I don’t know if I’m too far away from it still at this point in my years but he tapped into that. I just honestly fell in love with everything that he was doing when I was younger and vowed to sort of follow in his footsteps which he’s also a Second City alum so I loved, loved, loved him. I also really loved George Carlin growing up so those are my two biggest inspirations.

Michaela: What is it about being in an improv troupe that you enjoy most?

Kiley: So we are improv and sketch at Second City and I’m a part of other improv troupes and have been since 2001. An improv troupe is different than a sketch because you get one word from the audience and you make up an entire scene right there on the spot with your scene partner. You have no prior knowledge to what you’re gonna be talking about or where the scene is going to go. And with sketches, which we are doing a lot at the Egyptian, it’s written and rehearsed. A lot of the sketches that we do are written by a lot of alums that you will know the names of like Steve Carell and Stephen Colbert to name a few. Most of them are rehearsed but for improv, we know nothing going in and we have to rely on a basic set of rules that sort of help guide us to make good choices while we are on stage. The best thing about that is that not only do you have an enormous sense of trust for the people you’re on stage with but you know that they trust you just as much as you trust them. It’s because of that you really become close and become good close friends very quickly with people you improvise with. And the other part of it is because we get these suggestions from the audience, the chances are we are able to tailor a scene just for them; we are getting the idea from them so we are doing exactly what the audience wants us to do in that moment and enjoy it with us as a big group. No two shows will be the same.

Michaela: Where else have you performed at?

Kiley: I’ve perform at a few different theatres. I’ve been with Second City since 2009 and have performed with them when they used to do performances on the Norwegian Cruise line cruise ships. So I can say I’ve performed all over the world through Second City. I’ve perform at many in Chicago and when I was in Boston I was with a theatre called Improv Asylum.

Michaela: If you can improv with anyone on stage, who would it be and what topic would you want to act out?

Kiley: I would probably want to try to do an improv scene with Steve Carell from The Office. The Office is a show I can watch over and over again. He is also a Second City alum so I know we sort of speak the same language and I would want to see and feel what it would be like to do an improv with him. I think he is probably the funniest human to have exist. I don’t know, if I had to say it would be something like the improv class scene from The Office where Steve’s character would always bring in a gun to the scene and that is actually an improv tactic learned in improv classes. I know for a fact that he was probably told that in class to never do and that this is the only thing that this character wants to do I’m like, “I wanna be in that scene”.

Michaela: Is there anything that you would like the audience to know about the show?

Kiley: I want them to know that number one, we are super excited to perform, go outside the city of Chicago, and for us to see how our material hits in different places. It’s good for us, for our careers, just to see what people find, how they find it funny in different places, and what reads for people. We’re thrilled to be inside this historic, beautiful little theatre. It’s incredible, the outside of the Egyptian is incredible and we’re just excited to see how we get along as a cast and audience together in that space for that night. Everybody on these casts, it has been our longtime dream to come and perform with the Second City so they’re a part of it, they’re a part of our childhood dreams coming true. You remember every show you do, especially on the road and we are so excited to perform in this space.

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The Church Basement Ladies coming this April!

Don’t miss the national touring show that millions of American’s have fallen in love with!  Let’s hear it for the boys! Fans of the musical comedy series Church Basement Ladies will finally get to know more about the men of East Cornucopia Lutheran Church, in the new production Rise Up O Men.  This sidesplitting, uplifting peek into the lives of the rural Norwegian Lutherans who audiences first fell in love with in 2005 is the sixth chapter of the story begun in the original Church Basement Ladies

Rise Up O Men features familiar faces: Mrs. Mavis Gilmerson, Mrs. Vivian Snustad, and Mrs. Karin Engleson who would never leave the basement kitchen unattended, of course (who would make bars for the youth group meeting?). But as they busy themselves with preparations for their churches participation in the town’s 1964 Centennial Celebration, we get to see their coming and goings from the eyes of the menfolk, who have their own problems to solve. Karin’s husband Elroy, farmer Carl and Great War vet Arlo are joined in brotherhood by series staple Pastor E.L. Gunderson. Their camaraderie unites them as they deal with furnace salesmen, looming retirement, rival Protestant denominations, the Pastor’s bad jokes, and Arlene’s even-worse cooking.  The series of Church Basement Ladies productions are inspired by the bestselling book Growing Up Lutheran by Janet Letnes Martin and Suzann Nelson. 

Tickets go on sale to Friends of the Egyptian Theatre on Tuesday, February 19 at 10 AM. Tickets go on sale to the public on Friday, February 22 at 10 AM!

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Backstage at the Egyptian with Jon Secada

Interview with Jon Secada

Conducted by Michaela Alcantar

Michaela: Who were the people that influenced you to go into a music career?

Jon: My first inclination to want to be a musician started with my high school music teacher. She inspired me at the time to want to study music at a University level.

Michaela: What was your first major concert like?

Jon: My first major concert experience was working with Gloria Estefan as a background vocalist, where I had the opportunity to also be featured as a soloist.

Michaela: What gave you the idea to fuse together pop, soul, and Latin percussion?

Jon: My fusion influences came from being raised in South Florida. The diverse ethnic and pop culture nature of Miami was the platform of my music.

Michaela: How was it working with so many talented performers throughout your career?

Jon: One of the highlights throughout my career has been the opportunity to collaborate with so many Artist. The great things have been that each experience has been unique in and of itself.

Michaela: What got you into your humanitarian work with children, education, AIDS research, other causes, and finally creating your very own “Jon Secada Charities”?

Jon: I always felt that being a successful public figure carried an inherited responsibility to give back and try to be an example, especially for a younger generation.

Michaela: Is there a project, performance, or collaboration that, still to this day, stands out to you personally?

Jon: I think that of all the collaborations I’ve been a part of, singing in a live concert performance with Pavarotti in his home town in Italy will always stay in the forefront of my mind.

Michaela: What kind of performance should the audience be looking forward to?

Jon: My concerts at this stage of my career are a journey of just about everything that’s been a featured part of what I’ve done. My song writing experience, my recording career, collaborations and theatrical shows. The audience should walk away with a pretty good sense of almost 30 years of my musical history.

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