Who Doesn’t Love John Hughes?
March 15, 2015
This week I was unexpectedly offered a ticket to the For The Record production of Dear John Hughes at the Broadway Playhouse in Chicago. When I received the offer via text message from a friend of mine, I was thinking, “You had me at John Hughes.” Oh how I loved the teen cult movies that Hughes produced during my angst ridden teen years! Who didn’t want Jake Ryan to be their boyfriend?
So….even though it was St. Patty’s Day weekend (a weekend that I love to celebrate), I made the trek last night down to the city. I am so glad that I did!
First of all, I absolutely love the Broadway Playhouse Theater. It is a much smaller theater venue that draws far more interactive shows than other theaters. There are no crazy long waits to get a drink at the bar or to visit the restrooms. It doesn’t have all of the beautiful historical architecture of the classics like the Cadillac Palace or the Oriental Theater, but I still love to go there.
As for the show, if you loved John Hughes movies, then you will have fun! It’s not that this is some unique concept, but you relive so many classic lines and songs from movies like Pretty in Pink, Weird Science, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Sixteen Candles, and The Breakfast Club. If you have a great crowd, then you will find yourself suddenly singing and shouting out movie lines as well!
The set and costumes are pretty basic….again this is all about reliving those magical movie moments that you know so well. The set essentially consisted of some risers and lighted backdrops – nothing elaborate at all. I do feel like a little more could have been done with the costumes to draw you into the 80’s spirit, but they in no means detracted from the show.
I thought the cast did a great job – they appreciated audience participation, and they were able to roll with whatever was thrown at them. They moved throughout the theater during the show, engaging the crowd, and making the experience even more fun. Patrick Mulvey (of Billy Elliott on Broadway fame) did an excellent job at moving the audience through the show and building lots of enthusiasm from the audience.
If you still have a soft spot in your heart for Molly Ringwald or dream of spending a Saturday in detention, then this is the show for you! You will have a fun time, and if you are like me, you will be longing for an 80’s movie marathon soon!
Has anyone else seen this gem? What other theater productions would you recommend right now?