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  AT this year’s annual Broadway in Chicago Summer Concert at Millennium Park, theater fans had the chance to get a sample of 12 ongoing and coming shows that will be a part of the 2018-19 theater season.  
   The event’s longtime hostess, ABC7 Chicago’s Janet Davies, shared hosting duties with actor and Tony Award-nominee Santino Fontana, giving him an opportunity to talk about his upcoming role in the pre-Broadway production of Tootsie, running from September 11 through October 14 at the Cadillac Palace Theatre.
   At the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, an overflow crowd viewed snippets from a variety of productions scheduled to arrive in the near future, including Miss SaigonFiddler on the RoofFalsettosCats, Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate FactoryBetty Buckley Hello, DollyThe Book of MormonCome From AwayAnastasiaA Bronx Tale and the Tony Award-winning Dear Evan Hansen, described as “one of the most remarkable shows in musical theater history.” The audience also was treated to performances from the popular musical Heartbreak Hotel, which tells the story of Elvis Presley’s early career and recently has been extended through October 28 at Broadway Playhouse.
   In an effort to introduce the musicals included each year in the Broadway in Chicago schedule, the highly anticipated concert series began in 2002 and has continued to grow exponentially, attracting more and more fans each year. “This is the highlight of the summer for Broadway [in Chicago] fans. It’s like ‘Broadwaypalooza’,” says Eileen LaCario, vice president of Broadway in Chicago.
   The new comedy musical, Tootsie, inspired by the movie starring Academy Award-winner Dustin Hoffman, kicks off the new season in Chicago before the show moves on and makes its debut on Broadway next spring.
Photograph by Dot Ward
Photograph by Dot Ward
Broadway In Chicago's Summer Concert 2018
Thousands of excited theatergoers get a taste of the shows that will be on stage during the new season
For more information, go to
Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, October 2-21, Oriental Theatre
Betty Buckley Hello, Dolly, October 23-November 17, Oriental Theatre
Miss Saigon, November 13-December 8, Cadillac Palace Theatre
The Book of Mormon, November 20-December 2, Oriental Theatre
Fiddler on the Roof, December 18-January 6, Cadillac Palace Theatre
Dear Evan Hansen, February 12-March 10, Oriental Theatre
A Bronx Tale, March 12-24, Oriental Theatre
Anastasia, March 26-April 7, Oriental Theatre
Falsettos, May 28-June 9, Oriental Theatre
Cats, July 16-August 4, Oriental Theatre
Come From Away, July 30-August 18, Cadillac Palace Theatre

*Shows featured in the Broadway in Chicago Summer Concert. (The pre-Broadway run of Tootsie at the Cadillac Palace Theatre begins September 11 through October 14.) For additional shows and dates, go to
–– Walter Leavy
At the annual Broadway in Chicago Summer Concert, Eddie Clendening (as Elvis) and members of the cast from Heartbreak Hotel kicked off the show at Millennium Park. The event, which enjoys widespread popularity, highlighted 12 productions that will be featured during the 2018-2019 season.
John Gardiner sings a tune from A Bronx Tale.
Lila Coogan will star in the national tour of Anastasia, and Kevin Clay and Conner Peirson are among the cast in The Book of Mormon's return to Chicago.
Various performances during the concert included those from the cast of Betty Buckley Hello, Dolly (above), and (below, left to right) Cats (Caroline Bowman)Miss Saigon (Emily Bautista) and Come From Away (Julie Reiber).  
In one of the special moments during the event, Ben Levi Ross (Dear Evan Hansen) was joined by Broadway in Chicago's Illinois High School Musical Theatre Awards nominees. Janet Davies shared hosting duties with co-host/actor Santino Fontana, who will star in the upcoming Tootsie, and (below, left) a song from Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was featured. 
Jesse Weil sings a song from the longtime favorite Fiddler on the Roof, and Tommy Sessions and Nick Adams highlight a tune from Falsettos.