Friday evening marked the opening night of the American Bus
Association Marketplace in Chicago, Chicago is a City committed to tourism and
the restaurant, hospitality and retail industry has learned the importance of
bus and travel coach visitors to Chicago. On Friday night, the Greater North
Michigan Avenue Association hosted a dine around for 180 key travel
professionals, who were first treated to a trolley ride up Michigan Avenue where
they stopped at a number of key businesees. Then it was on to NBC Tower for a
“Taste of Michigan Avenue”, followed by the incredible Ron Hawking performing in
the beautiful “His Way” Theatre right in the NBC Studio ( a story about the
Our thanks to Art Norm of NBC 5 for representing NBC at the event.
Art is a great Eli’s fan and a consummate Chicagoan. His segment “Art Norman’s
Chicago” is a great way to get a behind the scenes view of the City.
A THEATER INSIDE OF A TV STUDIO
Welcome to the beautiful HIS WAY
Theater at NBC Tower, home to Ron Hawking in His Way – A Tribute
to the Man and His Music. The theater is most likely a very new experience –
part musical theater, part behind-the-scenes tour of a real working TV Studio,
and part old-fashioned fun! We hope to dazzle your senses and make your evening
one of Chicago’s favorite entertainment experiences. In reality, a live theater
inside of a TV studio is – we believe… the first of a kind. Anywhere. We refer
to the theater as our home because it truly is home for a show that has
journeyed in search of the perfect venue to call its very own.
The realization of the HIS WAY
Theater in the spectacular confines of the NBC Tower began on a humorous note in
the summer of 2002 during our five-month-long SRO engagement in suburban
Arlington Heights, IL. Amid all the rave reviews, we really knew we had one of
the hottest tickets in town when one evening local police asked us “what are you
going to do about the people scalping tickets outside the theater?”
Our immediate reaction?
“Alert the media!!” (Trust us when we
say the officer didn’t find this tongue-in-cheek response all that
This was a good problem to have! It
just reinforced what we already knew: the show was a hit – the most unique and
exciting evening of entertainment anywhere in the city, a show that could enjoy
a very, very long run in Chicago. However, since the venue was already committed
to a full schedule of other productions, we needed to take the show elsewhere.
If only we had our own home
During this same time, we considered
a serious opportunity to “take the show on the road – to Broadway – to the big
time.” Similar offers had been presented before, and this particular offer
nearly became a reality.
But something just didn’t feel
If only we had our own home
We then conceded what we had known
for so long in our hearts – that Chicago IS the big time, an entertainment
capital and world-class city second to none. More importantly, it’s the city we
proudly call home. There simply was no city that could give the show more heart,
more excitement, more integrity than sweet home Chicago.
And Chicago was also of course, Frank
Sinatra’s kind of town.
The answer became clear – we needed
to find our own theatre once and for all! Our own home where night after night
Ron could be “the musical messenger”, singing and swinging the amazing Sinatra
songbook with all of his God-given talent while helping fans escape and leave
their worries behind for a few hours.
Our ultimate goal – in reality –
became pretty clear: to help people feel good.
Be Happy. Feel
We then set off in search of the
perfect location, where we could create the ultimate entertainment experience,
an evening that would not only be a favorite of Chicagoans, but also a powerful
attraction and destination point for out-of-towners and visitors who wanted a
taste of what sophisticated Chicago nightlife truly is.
We were determined that our show find
a home in downtown Chicago, in the heart of the glamour and the glitz
that gives the city its soul. Downtown Chicago, Michigan Avenue – destination
points that we knew we had to be a part of. We wanted a theater that was close
to restaurants, parking, hotels and transportation so that Chicagoans as well as
visitors to our great city could easily enjoy a complete night out on the
After considering various locations
and visiting dozens of commercial spaces, we still had not identified the ideal
setting. We were certain that this show deserved the best, and we kept ALL of
our options open and through grandiose creative thoughts.
Then, a very “out-of-the-box” idea
struck like lightning.
Why not approach some of the local TV
station in town about renting some of their studio space? While not a
traditional commercial theatre space, they had everything we needed: location,
square footage, lighting, sound reinforcement, talented set designers, an
extremely unique place to visit, etc. And we had something they needed; a great
show they could be proud to be affiliated with and live audiences in search of
somewhere to visit during weekend evenings – when the studios were not being
used! Perhaps some forward thinking TV executive might realize they could turn
their studio into a seven day-a-week operation and welcome visitors into “their
home”. Ultimately, we could create and design our dream home theatre… without
all the bricks and mortar!
We approached NBC, and the rest, as
they say…is history. Immediately, NBC executives embraced the idea and welcomed
us with open arms.
We’re confident we’ve found our ideal
location in this 5,000-square-foot TV studio. With just over 300 seats, we had a
strong vision of what the showroom needed to be: a throwback to the legendary
Copa Room at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas. We wanted to capture the
sophistication and elegance of that era of entertainment. Featuring ringside
cabaret table seating, romantic love seats (our own lover’s lane!), VIP boxes,
dramatic on-stage table seating, high-back, tufted leather VIP booths and 190
beautiful, crushed red velvet theatre seats that once graced the Kennedy Center
in Washington, D.C. (it is believed Jacqueline Kennedy was involved in the
selection of these chairs), we offer plenty of unique choices and something for
With an elegant nod to Art Deco and a
distinctive throwback to the style of a glamorous era, the room became all that
we envisioned and more. The wonderfully versatile theatre proudly boasts
state-of-the-art sound and video systems as well as complete video capability
for television broadcasts and tapings. We have the capability for unlimited
creativity and the ability to host world-renowned entertainers, live broadcasts,
special events and ceremonies and private parties. Musically and technically the
theatre knows no bounds.
It is, truly,
Best of all… we have our OWN home
We wanted to share the story of our
new home with you, our audience, because we want you to feel at home when you
are here. We want you to feel that our intimate showroom, like a warm and cozy
home, is a place you want to visit time and time again. Sit back, enjoy a
cocktail or two and let the music take you away to a time not so long ago when
music was big and brassy, and the fabulous, tuxedo-clad crooner in the spotlight
made all your cares disappear.
Be Happy. Feel