For several months now, I have been excited for January to get here, but couldn’t divulge why. A rare confluence of my personal and professional life prevented me from shouting from the rooftops. But now that the event has concluded, I can finally reveal the reason for my joy…
Chicago the Musical came to OKC, and they stayed at my hotel!
I of course couldn’t say so before for reasons of confidentiality. In this day and age of social media, there’s no telling what would have been shared with or seen by whom, and we can’t have crazed fans stalking them outside their hotel rooms. Better safe than sorry.
And as thrilled as I was to have them select my property for their week-long stay in Oklahoma City, I was even happier because it meant getting to see people I’ve been honored to call my friends, but haven’t seen in 4 years.
In February of 2009, I had tickets to see the musical in Chicago, IL. Michelle DeJean, with whom I had been in touch since I first saw her in the role of Roxie Hart back in 2008, emailed me to let me know she had just retired, and would not be in the show. However, she told Terra, her long-time co-star as Velma Kelly, that I would be coming to see the show in Chi Town. Shortly thereafter, I got an email from Terra inviting me to meet her after the show.
It was at that stage door meeting that she and another cast member talked me into joining them at their opening night after party. (They really had to twist my arm hard) Every single member of the cast I met that night was nothing short of kind and gracious. From leading man, John O’Hurley, and his charming wife, to Michelle’s replacement whose name, I’m ashamed to say, I can not remember. I sat at chatted with Corey (with whom I am still in touch to this day) and several other members of the cast for quite some time. In fact, if memory serves, I didn’t leave Chicago to drive home until about 2am, which meant I didn’t get into Kalamazoo until about 6am. (a picture of Terra and me from that night is among the photos in my “Frame of Smiles,” referred to in a previous post.)
I saw the musical again in December of that same year while I was visiting friends in Cincinnati, and got to visit Terra briefly that night as well. And now, 4 years later, here they were. In my city. In my hotel. The week flew by far too quickly, but just getting to see Terra and Corey again – to exchange hugs – made those 4 years disappear. I sincerely hope it’s not another 4 years before our paths cross again. But, until that day comes, I’m sending best wishes along with them as they criss-cross the globe.