In 1928, Vicky Baum wrote Menchen im Hotel (People in a Hotel). In 1932, it was turned into a feature film. Then, many years later, in 1989, it premiered on Broadway and won five Tonys. And now, in 2018, it premieres at the Theatre Wit in Chicago.
The year is 1928 and the stock market is booming. “Grand Hotel, music constantly playing” they sing in the opening number. And this is true, as the band plays for the entire show on a white grand piano, violin, and drums. In fact, they are already playing as the audience enters the theatre. This hotel is at the center of a full ensemble of characters played by an excellent cast.
Michelle Jasso is great as the famous ballerina on her second farewell tour. She expertly plays her lack of motivation to perform until she meets the Baron Feliz Von Gaigern, played by Erik Dohner, whose youth gives her refreshed energy. Dohner plays his role smoothly displaying his reluctance to be a thief. After all, “There is nothing more useless on this planet than a nobleman without any money!”
Leryn Turlington is excellent as Flaemmchen, the typist who is looking to be much more than that in life. She is willing to do almost anything to get to Hollywood, which she is told is “just a train ride away from Boston”. Jonathan Schwart is hilarious as Otto, the bookman looking for life and adventure before his illness kills him. He is able to display his fascination with the luxury of the hotel with his acting. It’s just like this production, which is both classy and funny!
Get tickets now for Grand Hotel through May 27!