Comcast in association with Broadway In Chicago will now let Chicago theater audiences get a backstage look at the shows coming or playing in town. At this point, three shows are scheduled for the year, the current one, Broadway In Chicago Backstage:Shrek The Musical!” being recorded at DePaul University’s College of Communications with a live audience.They will work with other institutions as well so that students and viewers will all get an inside look at what makes live theater so special. The half hour show will be broadcast on channel 100 , exclusively on Comcast and can be watched anytime in the “Video on Demand” section ( for subscribers to this feature).
The show is hosted by Paul Lisnek, anchor of Newsmakers and theater correspondent for “prime Time Chicago”, who has a smooth and natural interviewing style- making for an easy to watch show. The first show features interviews with Eric Peterson ( Shrek), Haven Burton ( Fiona), Alan Mingo,Jr.( Donkey) and the very charming Jeanine Tesori ( who wrote the Music for this comic delight). The show features some in-depth looks at how actors take on their roles, some highlights from the show and some very personal stories on how each panel member views the show and their part in it. The last part of the show is questions from the live audience.
Last April, “Billy Elliot: The Musical” was done at Northwestern University and I am in hopes that Comcast will bring that one to the air for us as well. As shows come in and go, some new, some old, it is my hopes that they will do even more of these shows and take us even further “backstage”. Part of what Broadway in Chicago wants to do is educate people on “Live Theater”, and make them realize that while theater is more costly than a movie, it is a life cycle event and a memory that will stay with a family forever rather than just a “night out”. By seeing the actors talk about their experiences, seeing sets being built, actors becoming their characters ( Shrek takes hours to become an Ogre), people will develop a greater appreciation for the “art” that “live theater” is! Chicago is a great town for THEATER! and now, with this new program from Comcast and Broadway In Chicago, more people will be exposed to what Chicago has to offer.
Check your Comcast listings for times, but with “On Demand”, you can watch as often as you would like.