Meeting Peter Breck and Sharon's Review of STOMP ! (Chicago 10/10/98)

When the Teen Idol Tour in Aurora, IL was cancelled I was crushed. We had front row seats for BOTH shows! Missing an opportunity to see Bobby Sherman was quite disappointing to say the least. We had non- refundable airfare to Chicago. We decided to make alternate plans and find something else to do there instead. Diane found that STOMP had been held over till 10/18 and we could still get tickets to that. I had wanted to see them for a couple of years anyway. Having seen them on TV a few times, their performance art intriged me.

So on Saturday morning, we left home for the BWI airport at 5:15 am and headed to Chicago O'Hare. We arrived in Chicago at 8:45am. We got a rental car and tried to check in to the hotel, but it was just too early for that. So we went to the Ramada Inn where there was a Celebrity Autograph and Memoribilia Show being held. I found a few great photos of Bobby Sherman that I hope to have signed one day.

There were some Playboy bunnies there signing autographs. Clint Walker was there signing 8x10's of himself. We got one and he graciously let us take a snapshot. Remember him, the star of Cheyene and many other great westerns? He was always my mother's favorite Movie Star.

Cory Feldman was there signing autographs too. So was Superboy. But the biggie for me was Peter Breck. You know who he is right? He played Nick Barkley on "The Big Valley." Linda Evans played Audra, Richard Long was Jarrod the lawyer, Charles Briles played the young Eugene and Lee Majors was Heath. Barbara Stanwyck was the matriarch of the family, Victoria Barkley. Nick was the big strong brother that ran the ranch. His horse was named Cocoa. He was my favorite Barkley, tough, burly, kick-butt-kind-of-guy. Most other girls I knew liked Heath, but I thought he was sort of a whiney baby. I liked Nick the best.

Peter Breck is a wonderful singer. He has a new CD out. I walked up to the table to get a photo and he asked if I wouldn't rather have the CD, we talked a bit and he turned on the CD and started to sing along with it. There was a microphone attached to the CD player and everyone started to watch him sing. Then the second song started and he took my hand and started singing to me. He held my hand up to his chest smiling at me and singing right to me! It was a love song called "She's My Woman." He has a very strong sexy deep voice. At one point he kissed the back of my hand. Wow, I have never been sung to before. For the big finish of the song he leaned his forehead against mine. Wow! Peter Breck actually face to face. Singing right to me! Wow! His new easy listening CD features some really cute songs some are love songs and some tell a story. Well, after Peter Breck sings the song right to you how can you not buy a CD instead of a photograph. I am so glad I did, I just love it. We played it all weekend. I have most of the words memorized. I understand that the CD is out of production and very hard to find now. I have talked to Warren James, a friend of Peter's and he said he couldn't find one and even Peter can't get more. Warren maintains the the most complete list of Big Valley links.

When the Bobby Sherman concert was canceled I never imagined I would be serenaded by Peter Breck instead! I know people won't believe this but here is the picture to prove it!

After I stopped giggling and was able to drive, we went for some lunch and checked into our hotel. We dumped the luggage and decided to go to the Lincoln Park Zoo. We got a little lost and wasted about an hour, but we did get to see some of Chicago that way. We finally found the zoo which is right beside Lake Michigan. It is very nice, quite a bit smaller than our own National Zoo in DC, but they had the cutest baby gorilla there. They also had 3 baby tigers we really enjoyed. The zoo closed at 5:00 so it was time to move on. Here's a pic of Diane in front of the zoo and me in the back, Lake Michigan is behind me.

We decided to go to Planet Hollywood for dinner. We got a little lost again, but Diane learned a few more map reading skills and we finally found the place. Valet parking was $6.00. Outside the place were handprints in cement tiles on the walls. I can remember seeing: Sylvester Stalone, Bruce Willis, Demi Moore, Bob Hope, Jack Nicholson, Jim Bulishi, Patrick Stewart, Patrick Swayze and there was one with the name plaque pulled off that was signed Peter Something that looked like it ended with "one". Does anyone know if it could be Peter Noone? It didn't really look like his signature, but I'm no expert.

Our table was right between the costume displays of "Batman" and "Robin". We were just across from the "Darth Vader" costume too. There are some fabulous pieces of Hollywood memoribilia there. Marilyn Monroe's red dress. Kate Winslets lavender gown from Titanic. Arnold Swartenegger's T2 costume, an original Star Trek Tribble, a Star Trek hand phaser, the Short Circuit 2 robot, a jet ski from Water World, Tatoo's little car from Fantasy Island, Dan Ackroyd and John Bulushi's Blues Brothers suits, Darryl Hannah's mermaid tail from Splash, a Klingon's uniform, the dress from King Kong were hung and displayed amoung many other artifacts. There was even a camel saddle from "Lawrence of Arabia" hung very near the motor bike used in a movie by Paulie Shore! It is quite a show just going there. They even have an autographed pair of chaps from John Wayne!

After dinner, it was time to make our way to the Shubert Theater for the 9:00 show of STOMP! We didn't even get lost this time. Valet parking right across from the theater was $7.00.

We had seats in the 4th row mezzanine. They were actually quite good. We wanted a full view of all the action at the same time and we had it.

The show is amazing. It is very funny, which is something I didn't expect. I was also afraid it would be very loud, but it really wasn't. In fact the audience has to be very quiet to hear some of the subtle noises made by the performers.

The performers are just incredible. I don't know how they do it. They clap, snap, flick, pat, slap, tap, and STOMP like you can't believe. They make music from brooms, sticks, matchboxes, trash bags, paper cups, toilet seats, bowling pins, road signs, oil drums, newspaper, buckets, trash cans, trashcan lids, wooden boxes, cigarette lighters, paper bags, even kitchen sinks! It goes on for an hour and 50 minutes and it is just fantastic. The comedy is surprising and catches you off guard. It is like nothing you've ever seen before. It is truly an art form and very entertaining. If they come to the DC area we will definitely go again.

When you watch the show you can appreciate the many, many hundreds of hours they must have spent practicing. The creativity is remarkable. To be able to make music from basically garbage and junk is really poetic in my mind. Remember the Bobby Sherman tune "Make Your Own Kind of Music," that is a most appropriate attitude for STOMP!

I highly recommend going to see STOMP! It is definitely worth making plans to see and definitley worth the money.

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