Chicago’s Oriental Theatre: A Standout in a City of Theaters

First Wives Club was a smash hit novel in 1992, taking up semi-permanent residence on every bestseller list. The 1996 movie adaptation starring Goldie Hawn, Bette Midler, and Diane Keaton, dominated the box-office for weeks and is still one of the highest-grossing live-action comedies of all time. Needless to say, when adapting it for the stage, we needed a venue that would do justice to such a story.

And in the Ford Center for Performing Arts at the Oriental Theatre, we found one. Located in the heart of the vibrant, exciting theatre district in Chicago’s famous Loop, the beautiful Art Deco masterpiece, which has its own home on the National Register of Historic Places, is the perfect home for First Wives Club.

Oriental Theater - First Wives Club Musical
The incredibly beautiful Oriental, a combination of Art Deco, Late Gothic, and Eastern Architecture.

Home to the stars

The Theatre opened in 1926, and was immediately one of Chicago’s premier movie palaces. Gothic columns intermingled with swept-back stadium seating and luxury boxes to make a night at the pictures an experience to remember. In addition to movies, the Oriental was home to vaudeville and other live performances, including some of the most famous names in the history of American entertainment.

Think that’s hyperbole? Check out some of the people who graced the famous stage: Bob Hope, Ella Fitzgerald, Cab Calloway, Sarah Vaughn, the Marx Brothers, Billie Holliday, Burns and Allen, Bing Crosby, and the Chairman of the Board himself, Frank Sinatra. Imagine hearing Ol’ Blue Eyes crooning “My Kind of Town” while the downtown bustle swept along outside the theater.

Our new home

We are overjoyed to make that same stage our new home. Coming in 2015, First Wives Club: The Musical is going to bring the hilarious and heart-warming message about women taking control of their lives to the theater-goers of one of America’s great towns, Chicago. We’re thrilled to add our own little part to the illustrious and beautiful history of this gorgeous theater.