Peter Gallagher Theatre Review: Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered!

Eighty-Eight Entertainment presents

Peter Gallagher: Don’t Give Up On Me

Songs and Stories from An Actor’s Life

At Drury Lane Theatre

Musical direction and piano by Mark Stephens

Six performances November 22nd, 23rd, 29th, 30th

and December 13th, 14th

Coma guy, eyebrows, O.C. dad, yesterday I associated Peter Gallagher with sporadic memorable entertainment moments. Today, I know him as a handsome multi-faceted entertainer. Peter Gallagher performs his one man show, Don’t Give Up On Me at Drury Lane Theatre at Water Tower Place. Through songs and stories, Gallagher showcases his life on the stage. The biggest surprise of the evening, by his own admission, is that he’s not just a pretty face with big eyebrows and lips. Gallagher has had a long acting career on stage starring with legends like Jack Lemmon, James Cagney and Peter O’Toole. Gallagher recounts human interest snippets of these masters of the stage through his imitations.

Accompanied by a four piece band, Gallagher starts his thirteen song performance standing in the middle of the audience. In most shows, our intimate seats would have been considered ideal. Two reasons for this performance they aren’t. One, we are initially craning our necks to watch the performance behind us. Two, we are close enough to observe Gallagher struggling with not so charming belching. (I know Chicago pizza is the best but treat yourself post show.) These are but blips in the enchanting spell of a tall, dark and handsome man serenading with a range of classics through the ages, including; “Fly Me To The Moon,” What’s New Pussycat?” and “She’s No Lady.” The array of songs mixed with mimicked narrated stories of Lemon, Cagney and O’Toole are delightfully entertaining. Of course, you wonder about the songs and stories of working with divas like Patti LuPone, Bernadette Peters and Sandra Bullock. Although Gallagher’s show is not a Kathy Griffin cabaret version of celebrities, I am not giving up on him. Maybe his next show! Gallagher ends this show by powerfully belting out “Danny Boy.” After initial applause, the audience scurries to the exits. Future ticket holders, don’t give up on him by leaving. There is probably an encore prepared for more courteous audiences. Bring your lighter!

A charming evening of songs and stories is Peter Gallagher: Don’t Give Up On Me. I’m so glad I didn’t give up on you, Peter! I’m smitten with a handsome crooner that I’ve spent only one night with. “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered” am I.

Waiting for the encore, my seat mates had this to say, James: makes critics swoon, Dick: Peter Gallagher SINGS! and Jill: “It was real!”

WAITING FOR THE SHOW

Post show, we decided to grab a drink at the 95th Bar of the Signature Lounge (875 N. Michigan Avenue) to observe Chicago’s festive lights. Arriving on the 95th floor at the John Hancock Building, we are greeted by fried fish smells and a host directing us to the least desirable nook of the bar. We are scads away from the windows and any type of ambiance. Giving up on the 95th, we exit quickly and head over to NoMI (800 N. Michigan) at the Park Hyatt. NoMI offers the same expensive drinks and no view that the 95th had sans the fried fish smell. Plus, there are almonds and a classy vibe! The service is a little slow-paced and quiet… much like the ambiance. Since glasses of wine are poured directly from the bottles at the table, we are offered preliminary tastes. Nice touch! Once again, we would like an encore. Because it’s a Monday night, it’s time to give up on me and go home.

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