For our recent 39th anniversary, the wife and I grabbed our best buddies and headed to Chicago for a matinee play and dinner at Maestro's. Technically, I went mostly for dinner at Maestro's - if you've never been, it's highly recommended. (The butter cake is nothing short of decadent.) And if you've ever saw me, you should realize I'm pretty knowledgeable of good eateries.
Anyway, this review is about the musical we attended, not my gastronomical prowess.
We made our way to the Royal George Theater on Halstead to see "Miracle, A Musical 108 Years in the Making." If you haven't heard about it, it's a spoof on the Chicago Cubs and the anxiety of the 2016 season in which the Cubs won the World Series. I don't think I've spoiled anything with that last comment - it's a matter of historical record the Cubs won the world series in 2016. Plus, I just like writing the words, "the Cubs won the world series."
The day before, I was lucky enough to hear a radio interview of William A. Marovitz, the man who conceived and brought the musical to Chicago, along with Jam Productions co-founder, Arny Granat. Mr. Marovitz is a former Illinois State Senator and was married to Christie Hefner of Playboy fame for a time.
He must have been a long-time suffering Cubs fan like the rest of Cub's nation, as the concept was of generations of family members life-long passion of seeing the Cubs win a world series before they died. Ironically, Mr. Marovitz claimed he had a hunch the Cubs would win it all in 2016 and started the concept of the story-line in February that year...months before "the Cubs won the world series."
The music was written by Michael Mahler, whom Mr. Marovitz called a musical genius. Sorry, but I disagree. For a musical, the musical score was just alright, certainly not of Andrew Lloyd Webber fame (alas - no relation). Sorry Mr. Mahler, but it was too "show-tuney" for my tastes, so maybe it's me that's wrong. I will point out though that my buddy agreed with me - the music was just fair. The cast did a good job with what they had to work with for music, especially the enchanting stand-in, Jenny Sophia.
Note - when reading this critique to my wife before sending it in, she suggested I might be mistaken, and the music was fun and comical. You figure it out.
The first act dealt mostly with the travails of the family struggling to be a Cubs fan, just like the rest of us fans have been all our lives, before of course, "the Cubs won the world series." Charlie, the lead protagonist played by Brandon Dahlquist was so put out by the Cubs, and so afraid of the failure we had all become all too familiar with, that he was even considering a life-altering decision that naturally nobody else in the family agreed. And no, he was not considering anything as drastic as becoming a White Sox fan.
My favorite character was Charlie's dad, Pops, played splendidly by Gene Weygandt. His credits include being a part-time bank robber by the way. Anyway, the relationship between he and his Cub's-Schwarz-obsessed granddaughter, Dani, played wonderfully by Amaris Sanchez, was special. Ironically, Ms. Sanchez looks remarkably like my future daughter-in-law. Of that, my wife and I do agree.
The second act is when the play really kicks in and becomes special for long-time Cubs fans. Using some actual footage of the season, it gives the audience a chance to relive that exciting season, especially when Kris Bryant, giggling like a schoolgirl, fields that weak grounder to throw to Anthony Rizzo to beat out Michael Martinez of the Indians when" the Cub won the world series." Cubs catcher, Wilson Contreras was said to have cried when he saw it.
If you are a Cubs fan, you will enjoy this show...and get a chance to run over to Maestro's.
Laughably, if one were to believe current pollsters, the election is over and Trump has already lost. Might pollsters have an agenda? Didn’t those same pollsters publish similar numbers in the 2016 election? I think in one poll Trump was losing to a dogcatcher from Cleveland. Me, I usually don’t need to be fooled twice, so I won’t put too much stock in pollsters this time around.
Have the Democrats unleashed so many reprobates running for the 2020 presidential race that Joe Biden is now considered the “safe harbor” mainstream Democrats are parking their dinghies? The elitists are certainly parking their yachts there.
Do you realize the Dems march toward socialism is dragging Uncle Joe with them, as he reverses previous opinions regularly? You do understand he’s not going to keep those opinions if elected? If history is a guide, he really doesn’t believe much of what he is currently saying.
If elected, Biden will be 78-years-old the first day in office. If he survives the term, he will be 82. And given the pick of miscreants he will be forced by the Democratic party to select for vice president, we can only pray he would live through the entire term. Otherwise, we might end up with the likes of “Pocahontas” Warren or worse, Kirsten Gillibrand as president.
Have any of you considering voting for Biden looked into his background? Assuming not, allow me to bring you up to date.
Biden became a lawyer in 1969. (That might be your first clue!) In 1972 he became a US Senator and stayed there for thirty-seven-years. Then Obama invited him to be vice president. That gave Uncle Joe another eight more years in government – an incredible forty-six years on the government dole. His pension will be around $248,000 per year.
In thirty-seven years in the US Senate, can anyone name one thing the man accomplished? If you care to look it up, the list is pretty short, although his home state of Delaware did get some pork pulled their way. You should consider his short accomplishment list when Crazy Joe is on the campaign circuit criticizing everything President Trump has failed to do in three years. Ask yourself, “what did Joe do during all those decades.
Lest we forget, Biden ran for president himself in 1988 and 2008. He was running strong in 1988 until it was uncovered, he was plagiarizing other people’s material, an act he also committed in law school. Biden did this quite often from a variety of different people. It torpedoed his campaign, causing him to wait another twenty years to run.
Crazy Joe is a gaffe machine that might give you some insight as how the man really thinks. One example is his initial description of Obama – “…the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy…”? If a Republican had made a similar comment, he/she would have been tarred, feathered and deported to Mongolia, never to be heard from again. There are more.
What is most troubling about Biden, besides being a collaborator in Obama’s efforts of destroying our country, is his possible connection to China and how it might unravel all of Trump’s efforts with the world’s biggest thief.
According to author Peter Schweitzer, in 2013, Biden took his son, Hunter, on Air Force Two to China. Two weeks later Hunter’s company, Rosemont Seneca Partners (John Kerry’s stepson is a partner), received a $1.5 billion deal with the Bank of China. (I flew coach for business and didn’t have the Vice President holding my hand.)
The Biden’s made a similar trip to the Ukraine for Hunter’s benefit, resulting with Hunter gaining a board seat on a Ukrainian natural-gas company. This came about after Biden allegedly made a threat to withhold a billion dollars in foreign aid to the country.
Of course, the Biden’s deny any wrong-doing and the schemes are much thicker and longer than what can be said in one commentary. It is now being investigated.
Assuming this matter to be true, and Biden isn’t talking about it, a Biden presidency would more than likely relax or overturn all of Trumps efforts at reigning in trade with China. Trumps measures to level the playing field with China have been a needed, but costly experience for some American businesses. To relax or repeal those measures due to personal indebtedness would be unethical to American businesses and their employees, as well as our country, setting back trade relations possibly for decades.
If you are considering voting for Biden, it would be to your benefit to research deeper into these matters. It speaks volumes about Joe Biden’s credibility.
When will the state of Georgia succumb to righteous Hollywood pressure and name the delusional loser of the Georgia governors’ race, Stacey Abrams, as co- governor of the state?
Speaking of Hollywood, how’s the sex strike going for Alyssa Milano? Moreover, how’s it going for the beleaguered David Bugliari, who is Mr. Alyssa Milano?
Is the seventy-seven -year old Speaker of the Illinois House, Mike Madigan ever going to retire and take his loafer off the collective throat of the people of Illinois?
Why are Congressman, both state and federal level, allowed to vote on their own pay increases? Since they work for us, shouldn’t that be our job to decide? Hey, Mr. Small, I’ll take a dollar per word increase…and a new Jaguar, if you don’t mind. You pick the color.
When reporting on Obama’s Presidential Center lawsuit and subsequent ruling, why wasn’t it mentioned that U.S. District Judge John Robert Blakey is an Obama appointee? Was it really a surprise he made the ruling in Obama’s favor?
Speaking of the Obama Presidential Center (of Kenyan Studies?), why will it not contain any Obama presidential transcripts? Could it be they are still in the George Soros vault? Or destroyed with Hillary’s hard drive? If it’s not a true presidential library, complete with Obama transcripts, why do we taxpayers have to pay millions for the access roads and future upkeep of the building?
Does anyone have a clue as to why former disbarred Nixon lawyer, John Dean was called before Congress to testify on the Mueller Report, forty-five-years after Watergate? What possibly could the eighty-year-old convicted felon have to offer, other than the anti-Trump rants he is paid to regularly vent on CNN?
Who’s still watching CNN?
What’s the over/under bet for the re-election of Minnesota Representative Ilhan Abdullahi Omar?
Can anybody state rationally why President Trump should be impeached? Sadly, letters-to-the-editor and email requests have not been forthcoming. The impeachment word is thrown about casually, as if one were stating Trump has a red tie, but nobody seems to ever follow up with an explanation of the reason for impeachment, regardless of how much digging under rocks Jerry Nadler does.
Where did Chuck Schumer go? Never mind, it’s been rather pleasant without his mug on television.
Did the people that voted for billionaire JB Pritzker for governor know - before they voted - that he had removed toilets from an adjacent mansion, in order to reduce property taxes on a home he wasn’t living in? And they still voted for him?
Having failed with other claims, how long will it be until the Democratic party announces Trump has been a member of a cult that boils puppies alive? Will Nadler lead this investigation too?
Exactly when does Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s clock start on the twelve-year end of the earth sentence? Be handy to know for clicking items off that bucket list, don’t ya think?
Are we really going to allow abortions up till birth in America? Has our society degraded to that level?
How many illegal aliens is enough? Evidently, the number is not twenty million, so can someone tell us what that number should be so we know when to turn off the spigot?
If the Democratic party is all about diversity, how come the two leading Democratic presidential candidates at this time are old white guys? Isn’t that what got us into this mess in the first place?
Why did the new Illinois budget, which doesn’t balance by a billion dollars or so, include a five percent increase in funding for public universities that have incredibly large endowments? What sense does it make for one nearby large university, for example, to get state money (our taxes) when they are sitting on over a three-billion-dollar endowment, and most of our kids can’t go there because of the large foreign student population? Wouldn’t that money be better spent on our local schools, trade schools, and junior colleges? Shouldn’t Illinois kids get the preferential treatment since they or their parents’ taxes and tuition money fund the schools?
Shouldn’t Kim Fox be awarded a cell next to Jussie Smollett? Know anybody else, except for OJ, that would have gotten away with this travesty of justice?
How is Hillary still not in prison? Actually, I was being facetious, as the answer is obvious. That woman has so much dirt on the rest of the Swamp they would all go to jail with her.
For the record, again, I am not contemplating suicide at this time.
Thanks to the people of Cook County, including the collar counties, as well as the fine folks in the Peoria counties, we schmucks from Illinois are going to get besieged with increased taxes and fees, on top of the incredibly high taxes and fees we already pay for the “privilege” to live in this state. You can thank those particular individuals because they are the people that elected JB Pritzker governor.
For the record, there are 102 counties in Illinois. Governor Pritzker won a whopping 16 of them, less than 16%, demonstrating how perhaps Illinois' needs its own electoral college. Kudos to my old stomping grounds, Iroquois County, leading the state with 4 out of 5 residents voting for someone not named Pritzker.
Now our billionaire governor, who was caught removing toilets from a mansion to avoid paying real estate taxes, is poised to hurl higher taxes and fees at us. Had those voters stayed home, or kept their hands in their own pockets, Pritzker would not be governor and someone else in the governor’s mansion would be trying to rein in Madigan's Minions in Springfield from their quest to make us the “California” of the Midwest.
The 54-year-old JB Pritzker was born into immense wealth. He and his family own the Hyatt Hotel chain. Worth $3.2 billion, he is wealthier than any other governor in the history of the country. He is also the richest politician ever to hold office other than New York's Michael Bloomberg. And I don't begrudge him for one dime of his wealth. However, none of these higher taxes Mr. Pritzker has pulled through Springfield (pushed on the other end by Madigan) will have any effect on the man's life...ever. We however, will be stuck with these taxes and fees perpetually.
Calling it taxation, our Illinois government, headed by Pritzker, intends to “appropriate” somewhere around another $6.9 billion dollars from the pocketbooks of those people that are left in Illinois. Among all the other negative statistics that Illinois leads the nation in when taking advantage of its residents, it also leads in people exiting. (Incidentally, there is no truth to the rumor that U-Haul voted Pritzker its Salesman of the Year award.) But, if the new progressive tax measure is voted in, even more people, those with money, will exit the state...and take their money with them.
The gas tax will double from $0.19 to $0.38, which will collect an addition $1.2 billion, for the privilege of driving on roads full of potholes. Diesel users, which is predominately business entities, will see the tax increased even more to $0.45.5. One silly reporter from Crain's Chicago Business naively gushed that "Truckers are happy the fuel tax is being doubled." Yeah, lady, businesses are always happy about more tax. And you write for a business newspaper?Additionally, license plates will triple in cost to $151. Electric car fees will go up almost 1500%, to $248 per year. And you smokers will pay an extra $1 per pack in taxes, giving you more reason to quit. Imagine all the other items legislators considered taxing or increasing that didn't make it to the final bill. I wonder if air was on that list?
Not surprisingly, all the new casinos will go to those counties that just happened to vote for Pritzker. Will the new pot licenses follow suit?
Very little will truly get fixed with the new money, folks. By the time politicians have divvied the new money (pork) up between their various personal interests, (who in turn vote them back in to office); pay for the mistakes of past governments with the pension mess; pay for all the extra abortions and illegal aliens to be allowed in the state on our dime; and thrown more money into the hole that is the Chicago educational system (including the obligatory teachers strikes), there will be little left for the rest of us schmucks in the state. (Interestingly, nothing has been mentioned about reforming the pension system in the future, with a grandfather clause, so we don't wind up in this same financial mess in years to come.) But we won’t be so upset about higher costs this time around because we’ll all be gambling and smoking pot and not care anymore. Yes, they believe we are that foolish.
After all that hard work of increasing our taxes, Illinois law makers then passed themselves a nice $1,600 raise to pay their portion of the taxes.
I guess we Illinois schmucks are that foolish.