Third Annual Navy Pier Pride Celebrates LGBTQ+ Community and Culture

Navy Pier Pride Presented by American Airlines is coming through with flying colors this year! Kicking off Monday, June 18, the third annual free event will consist of a full week of family-friendly festivities in honor of the LGBTQ+ community, culminating in a daylong grand celebration on Saturday, June 23 from 11 a.m. to midnight. As part of its Pride Month tribute, the Pier will also be decked out with Pride flags all month and feature the symbolic rainbow colors in the center digital screen of the iconic Centennial Wheel in celebration of diversity and inclusion, two essential tenants of Navy Pier’s mission and values. Read more


One of Chicago’s finest young actors, JOHNNY RABE discusses his lead role in The Chicago Academy of Dramatic Art’s production of MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG for which he is nominated for an Illinois High School Musical Theatre Award as Best Actor in A Musical. Johnny also talks about some of his favorite directors who have shaped his career, including the starring role in the hit Broadway musical A CHRISTMAS STORY. The 7th Annual Broadway in Chicago Illinois High School Musical Theatre Awards Sponsored by NBC5will be held at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place (175 E. Chestnut) on Monday, June 4, 2018, hosted by NBC 5’s entertainment reporter LeeAnn Trotter, and will feature a workshop led by HAMILTON cast member Gabriella Sorrentino. Read more

SHOWBIZ CHICAGO: Interview IHSMTA Best Actress Nominee JOY WOODS

JOY WOODS, Best Actress Nominee, discusses her performance as “Deloris Van Cartier” in Homewood-Flossmoor High School’s Sister Act.

For more information on both awards and complete rules and regulations, visit For more information on National High School Musical Theatre Awards, also known as The Jimmy Awards, visit

SHOWBIZ CHICAGO: Interview IHSMTA Best Actress Nominee JOY WOODS from Showbiz Chicago on Vimeo.

Broadway In Chicago is delighted to announce the twenty-four students nominated for Best Actor and Best Actress, and nominees for Best Production presented by Guardian Music Travel, Best Direction and Best Scenic Design presented by SPL for the seventh annual Illinois High School Musical Theatre Awards. The nominees (12 young actors and 12 young actresses), selected after evaluating 80 productions across the state of Illinois, have been invited to participate in the Awards program, which will be held at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place (175 E. Chestnut) on Monday, June 4, 2018 at 6:30PM and hosted by NBC 5 entertainment reporter LeeAnn Trotter. Sponsored by NBC 5, the Illinois chapter of The Jimmy Awards (National High School Musical Theatre Awards) serves as an annual national celebration of outstanding achievement in musical theater performance by high school students.

Broadway In Chicago has crafted a workshop led by HAMILTON Chicago cast member Gabriella Sorrentino (Dance Captain/Swing) whose previous theatrical credits include ON YOUR FEET! The Story of Emilio and Gloria Estefan on Broadway as well as regional productions of A CHORUS LINEIN THE HEIGHTS and WEST SIDE STORYHAMILTON currently plays at Broadway In Chicago’s CIBC Theatre (18 W. Monroe).

The workshop for these twenty-four nominees will culminate in a performance onstage at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place. During the day, nominees will audition for a panel of casting agents and theatre professionals who will choose the recipients of performance awards. A Best Actress and Best Actor winner from Illinois will be sent to New York City, on an all-expense paid trip, for a week-long theatre intensive of coaching and rehearsals with industry professionals in preparation for a one-night-only showcase, where they will represent the state of Illinois at The Jimmy Awards on Broadway. 

In addition to the workshop, nominees will receive tickets to a Broadway In Chicago show.

An award for Best Production presented by Guardian Music Travel, Best Direction, and Best Scenic Design presented by SPL will be presented to participating schools.

The 2017 Illinois High School Musical Theatre Award recipients were Justin Smusz of Benet Academy in Bolingbrook, IL (Best Actor), Carly Meyer of Glenbrook North High School in Northbrook, IL (Best Actress), York Community High School for their production of WEST SIDE STORY (Best Production), Cary-Grove High School for their production of EVITA (Best Scenic Design) and Lauren Condon and Brian Wand of Benet Academy for their production of ALL SHOOK UP (Best Direction).

For more information on both awards and complete rules and regulations, visit For more information on National High School Musical Theatre Awards, also known as The Jimmy Awards, visit


  • Audrey Hare as “Mrs. Irene Molloy” in Benet Academy’s Hello, Dolly!
  • Alicia O’Reilly  as “Eponine” in Carl Sandburg High School’s Les Miserables
  • Alyssa DiRaimondo as “Gertrude McFuzz” in Cary-Grove High School’s Seussical
  • Natalie Doppelt as “Sister Mary Robert” in Deerfield High School’s Sister Act
  • Carly Meyer as “Ariel” in Glenbrook North and Glenbrook South High School’s The Little Mermaid
  • Joy Woods as “Deloris Van Cartier” in Homewood-Flossmoor High School’s Sister Act
  • Alexandria Hibbard-Brown as “Anna Leonowens” in Libertyville High School’s The King and I
  • Emma Samuelson as “Jo March” in Loyola Academy’s Little Women
  • Maura Pawleko as “Velma Von Tussle” in Oak Park-River Forest High School’s Hairspray
  • Annie Yamamoto as “Sister Mary Robert” in William Fremd High School’s Sister Act
  • Carina Kanzler as “Mae Tuck” in York Community High School’s Tuck Everlasting
  • Erin Lee as “Winnie Foster” in York Community High School’s Tuck Everlasting


  • Connor White as “Don Lockwood” in Addison Trail High School’s Singin’ In The Rain
  • A.J. DePew as “Tevye” in Adlai E. Stevenson High School’s Fiddler On The Roof
  • Patrick Vivoda as “Cornelius Hackl” in Benet Academy’s Hello, Dolly!
  • Spencer Avery as “Prince Eric” in Bolingbrook High School’s The Little Mermaid
  • Jake Mickel as “J. Pierpont Finch” in Burlington Central High School’s How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying
  • Justin O’Brien as “The Cat In The Hat” in Cary-Grove High School’s Seussical
  • Johnny Rabe as “Charley Kringas” in The Chicago Academy for the Arts’ Merrily We Roll Along
  • Darian Goulding as “The Beast” in Hampshire High School’s Beauty & The Beast
  • Dominic Cappuccilli as “Jean Valjean” in Mundelein High School’s Les Miserables
  • Aiden Lenehan as “Edna Turnblad” in Oak Park-River Forest High School’s Hairspray
  • Andrew Tufano as “Bobby Child” in St. Ignatius College Prep’s Crazy For You
  • David Larsen as “Quasimodo” in South Elgin High School’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame

NOMINEES FOR BEST PRODUCTION presented by Guardian Music Travel

  • Adlai E. Stevenson High School’s production of Fiddler On The Roof
  • Benet Academy’s production of Hello, Dolly!
  • Cary Grove High School’s production of Seussical
  • Libertyville High School’s production of The King & I
  • York Community High School’s production of Tuck Everlasting 


  • Jack Micetich, Coal City High School- Les Miserables
  • Danny Yuska, Hinsdale South High School- Legally Blonde
  • Christopher Thomas, Libertyville High School – The King & I
  • Michelle Bayer, Oak Park-River Forest High School- Hairspray
  • Rebecca Marianetti, York Community High School- Tuck Everlasting 


  • Coal City High School’s production of Les Miserables
  • Crystal Lake South High School’s production of Peter Pan
  • Hinsdale South High School’s production of Legally Blonde
  • Lincoln-Way East High School’s production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • Prairie Ridge High School’s production of In the Heights

The Jimmy® Awards/The National High School Musical Theatre Awards™ (NHSMTA) impacts more than 100,000 students who participate in high school musical theatre competitions sponsored by presenters of Touring Broadway productions throughout the United States.  A Best Actress and Best Actor winner from each of these competitions is sent to New York for a week-long theatre intensive of coaching and rehearsals with industry professionals in preparation for a one-night-only showcase on Broadway, where a panel of judges crowns the nation’s top performers. Named for Broadway impresario James M. Nederlander, the program has been the catalyst for more than $2,000,000 in educational scholarships.

In 2012, the program inspired preeminent broadcaster WGBH Boston to produce a 3-part documentary series called “Broadway or Bust,” which follows students on a journey from their hometown competitions to their debut on Broadway. The series remains popular viewing at For more information, please visit

NBC 5 (WMAQ-TV) is the owned NBC station in Chicago. Originally WNBQ, the station’s current call letters, WMAQ-TV, were established in 1964. During NBC 5 Chicago’s rich history, the station pioneered a number of television “firsts.” On April 15, 1956, NBC 5 became the world’s first all-color TV station. In September of 1986, NBC 5 became the first Chicago commercial station to broadcast in stereo. In 1989, NBC 5 was the first Chicago station to present closed captioning of all local newscasts. Currently, NBC 5 airs over 37 hours of local news per week in HD on its core channel and the latest news, weather and streamed original content on NBCCHICAGO.COM and the NBC Chicago Mobile App.

Guardian Music Travel is a company that specializes in student group travel across the United States and abroad. This educator founded and operated company provides the finest service in the industry at the best price.  The company has thrived using its model of teachers working with the Guardian staff of educators to create custom itineraries and wonderful educational experiences.  Guardian’s theatre groups have loved the New York City packages including Broadway shows and workshops with professional and teachers. For more information, visit

Sound, Production & Lighting (SPL) is a full-service event production and system installation company.  We provide production services for corporate meetings, galas and fundraising parties, marketing activations, and anything between – we’re always up for a challenge. We offer permanent installation services for a variety of venues in fields such as live performance, education, worship, and hospitality. Our goal for any project is to provide an unparalleled experience and service.

Broadway In Chicago was created in July 2000 and over the past 18 years has grown to be one of the largest commercial touring homes in the country.  A Nederlander Presentation, Broadway In Chicago lights up the Chicago Theater District entertaining more than 1.7 million people annually in five theatres. Broadway In Chicago presents a full range of entertainment, including musicals and plays, on the stages of five of the finest theatres in Chicago’s Loop including the Cadillac Palace Theatre, CIBC Theatre, Oriental Theatre, and just off the Magnificent Mile, the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place and presenting Broadway shows at The Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University.

Facebook @BroadwayInChicago ● Twitter @broadwaychicago ● Instagram @broadwayinchicago ● #broadwayinchicago

Sing and Dance Along to Movies with Music at Navy Pier’s 2nd Annual Water Flicks

Navy Pier, Chicago’s iconic year-round destination, has teamed up with Chicago International Film Festival and Broadway in Chicago to present the 2nd annual Water Flicks, a free, 10-week movie series offered at the Lake Stage in Polk Bros Park, against the backdrop of serene Lake Michigan at sunset. Every Monday from June 18 through August 20, the Pier will show a different music-themed movie, starting at 7 p.m. As part of this year’s “sing-along summer” theme, guests are encouraged to belt out and bust a move to the famous tunes featured within the flicks. Free popcorn will be available to guests on a first-come-first-served basis, courtesy of Navy Pier IMAX at AMC. Read more


  On Tuesday, June 5th, all 160 Renaissance Hotels around the world will unite to encourage guests and locals to uncover the soul of their neighborhoods and experience the people, sights, sounds, tastes and art of their city’s rich culture for the 7th Annual Global Day of Discovery. As part of the once-a-year global celebration, Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel, 1 West Wacker, presents R.E.D. Fest, a homage to Chicago’s booming summer festival scene that continues to embrace and enrich the city’s local culture year after year. R.E.D. Fest, which stands for Renaissance Encourages Discovery, will feature live entertainment and activations from an array of local vendors, musicians, artists and distillers at the hotel’s main lobby bar, Staytion Market & Bar, and popular rooftop destination, Raised, An Urban Rooftop Bar. Read more


The sophisticated, AAA Four-Diamond Eaglewood Resort & Spa, 1401 Nordic Road, Itasca, is pleased to present its newly renovated resort, including a new restaurant and outdoor patio, now open to the public. The next phase of the renovation is slated for completion this fall and will feature luxurious upgrades to the resort’s bedding and provides updates to the resorts popular event pavilion with the addition of floor-to-ceiling windows for unmatched views of the golf course. Eaglewood Resort & Spa is a unique 104-acre property that includes 295 guestrooms and suites, four dining venues, an 18-hole golf course, fitness center, full service spa, bowling alley and 37,000 square feet of conference and event space. Read more

Calling All Young Ladies Celebrating a Quinceañera!

Photo Credit: James Richards IV Photography / Navy Pier

For the second consecutive year, Navy Pier is celebrating the quinceañeras of young ladies across Chicagoland with free professional group photos on the 15 of June, July and August this summer. Chicago’s popular year-round destination has teamed up with the National Museum of Mexican Art to host a photoshoot for 15-year-old birthday girls at the Wave Wall on the South Dock, against the stunning backdrop of the iconicCentennial Wheel and beautiful Lake Michigan. Young ladies are invited to gather at the Pier in their finest quinceañera dresses for a “class photo” along the lakefront with others celebrating the special milestone. Read more

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