Marie is an actor, writer, and carbohydrate enthusiast. She's passionate about streaming t.v. shows online, coffee, Diane Keaton, true crime stories, and Kansas City sports. In her spare time, you can find her hanging out in Lincoln Square, not causing much trouble.
Veronica Garza, Allison Sill, Michael Kingston, Gene Weygandt, Amaris Sanchez,Brandon Dahlquist, Jonathan Butler-Duplessis | Photo by Michael Brosilow
by Marie Warner
“MIRACLE: A Musical 108 Years in the Making” is a new commercial attraction at the Royal George which follows one Northside family through the 2016 Chicago Cubs season — the one the ended the World Series drought for the loveable losers.
The Delaney family has fallen on tough times. The Wrigleyville family bar that Charlie, a former minor league pitcher runs, is not doing well. His wife Sofia is facing a layoff from her job as a teacher. Charlie’s father Pops is still grieving the loss of his wife. In these challenging times, the Cubs are a ray of hope for the family and their neighbors. But Charlie fears that his die-hard Cubs fan daughter, Dani will be crushed by the Cubs inevitable downfall, and thinks it is time to finally give up on the Cubs and Chicago.
The actors are all talented, particularly vocally. Brandon Dahlquist does the bulk of the lifting as Charlie. Amaris Sanchez is an incredibly charismatic and talented young person and brings great energy to the role of Dani. Gene Weygandt is very funny and also grounds the show emotionally as Pops. Jason Brett’s book is passable.
It’s a heartwarming family story but paints everything in broad strokes. Allison Sill does her best with Sofia’s layoff storyline, but it doesn’t spur much resonance. The constant use of baseball metaphors also gets old quickly. Michael Mahler’s music is primarily pop-flavored, and he provides some solid numbers for Veronica Garza to belt. However, lyrically “Miracle” struggles. There are a number of weak rhymes and a line that goes roughly “Fermé your bouche, we’ll find a ‘solush,” so don’t be a douche” was simply too much for me.
Collette Pollard’s scenic design beautifully recreates your local Chicago bar. I was surprised by the versatility of the set and director Damon Kiely uses it effectively.
It’s a nice story of a family uniting through the love of baseball. If you’re a Cubs fan, it will take you back to a very exciting time. But ultimately, “Miracle” is gimmicky. And although the cast is talented, it cannot overcome the weaknesses of its book and lyrics.