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Elizabeth Telford, David Schlumpf, Alex Goodrich

Elizabeth Telford, David Schlumpf, Alex Goodrich Photo: Liz Lauren

It is next to impossible to walk around downtown Chicago without passing a half-dozen bakeries, or food trucks, selling the individual treat known simply as the cupcake. Currently proving trendy to serve to guests at weddings, baby showers and birthday parties, this singular sweet sensation is a self-contained, mini-treat, enough for a snack but ultimately proving not entirely filling. I draw the comparison of that dainty dessert to the latest restaging at the Marriott Theatre, She Loves Me, the musical. Originally debuting with less than stellar results, closing after only 10 months of performances on Broadway in 1963, She Loves Me had a resurgence a few years back, thanks in large part to New York City’s Roundabout Theatre Company reviving this forgotten “little show that could” and casting Chuck’s Zachary Levi, and Tony Award-winning actresses Laura Benanti and Jane Krakowski in the leading roles. This production eventually received eight Tony nominations and was awarded one, Best Scenic Design of a Musical for David Rockwell. Continuing the cupcake comparison, She Loves Mehad the distinction of opening on Broadway the same year as Hamilton, the mongo-huge, multiple tiered wedding cake of show. Obviously this remount must have caught someone’s attention at the Marriott Theatre and they aptly thought this romantic tale of mistaken-identity and star crossed lovers would play perfectly to their faithful subscriber base. Director and choreographer Aaron Thielen’s tale is quickly paced and painted in wide storytelling strokes, just in time for spring. You could almost hear bird’s chirp as the main couple eventually fell in love. The book by Joe Masteroff, music by Jerry Bock and lyrics by Sheldon Harnick may play a little saccharine sweet for today’s contemporary audiences, but like a cupcake, the occasional sweet fix is good for the soul, if not the waistline.

She Loves Me

Photo: Liz Lauren

Set in Maraczek’s Parfumerie, this in-the-round performance space was transformed into an endearing boutique store. The rom-com, Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks-esque type characters here are Marriott’s perineal favorites, Alex Goodrich as Georg Nowack and Elizabeth Telford as Amalia Balash, who each began the show as competing retail sales clerks. Their verbal ping-pong conversational stylings reminiscent of the classic Bogie and Bacall films. Their highly stylized bickering, think Cybill Shephard & Bruce Willis from ABC’s Moonlighting, hides a shared secret. Bubbling under their constant quarrelling exteriors, they each have fallen in love with their romantic pen pals, not realizing they are actually writing to each another. This may sound far-fetched on paper, but consider all the “reunited high school sweetheart” stories, reconnecting after years apart on Facebook, or another similar social media platform, that populate most women’s magazines and Hallmark Television movies. Compared to those, the plot twists of She Loves Me fall into the category of legitimately plausible. Their “dear friend” letters fill the holes in their lives when they are not at work. Of course the object of their shared affection would turn out to be their work nemesis.

Jessica Naimy, James Earl Jones ll

Jessica Naimy, James Earl Jones ll Photo: Liz Lauren

Supporting this lively duo’s story, an array of colorful and quirky co-workers, including lusty Ilona Ritter (Jessica Naimy) attentive Ladislav Sipos (James Earl Jones ll) and the showroom Lothario, Steven Kodaly (David Schlumpf). Each in fine voice and affable comic timing.  As the oppressive boss, Mr. Maraczek, Terry Hamilton made the most of a curmudgeon supporting character with a secret or two of his own up his sleeve. The shop owner done in by his own unfounded suspicions, or is he?  You have to buy a ticket to find out for yourself. Good thing the delivery boy, Arpad Laszlo (Grant Kilian and Johnny Rabe alternating the role) was so attentive to Mr. Maraczek, particularly in early act two. The undisputed comedic standout of the troupe, Steven Strafford’s Café Imperiale Headwaiter, who put all the slap into slapstick. His tightly woven maître d rapidly unravelling all but stole the show’s lively first act.

She Loves Me, Elizabeth Telford, Alex Goodrich

Jessica Naimy, David Schlumpf Photo: Liz Lauren

Like a bakery display case filled with the most decadent of desserts, Jeffrey D. Kmiec’s retail shop counter set pieces were pure artistry. The bold pinks, purples, blues and yellows impressed far more than was required. It was refreshing to see the Marriott’s eye for important detailing won out over budget trimming, a philosophy that must remain firmly intact. Jesse Klug’s lighting design also played an important part, highlighting both the store’s display cases as well as the principles in action. Sally Dolembo’s costume design followed suit, in an array of sherbet hued shades, covering the seven principal actors with period appropriate attire, as well as the dozen members of the supporting cast, all portraying various shoppers and restaurant patrons. Music Director Matt Deitchman and his orchestra filling the performance space with wonderful music, much like a bakery fills their space with the scent of nearby cooking delicacies.

Elizabeth Telford, Alex Goodrich

Elizabeth Telford, Alex Goodrich Photo: Liz Lauren

A romance set in a retail shop, She Loves Me is a cute and jovial musical. Originally based on Miklos Laszlo’z play, Parfumerie, but enhanced with silly and song, this breezy and good-humored show will satisfy the sweet-tooth of any musical theater fan. Preferring style over substance, this sugary spring show is a romp of a rom-com, whipped light like a patisserie’s fluffy meringue and just as filling.

She Loves Me

David Schlumpf, Alex Goodrich, James Earl Jones ll Photo: Liz Lauren

The Marriott Theatre’s She Loves Me is now playing through June 18, 2017

Stephen S. Best is currently a freelance writer for the Times Square Chronicles, covering the performing arts scene in the greater Chicagoland area. He has been a theater aficionado for years, attending his first live production, Annie, at the tender age of six. After graduating from Purdue University, Stephen honed his skills attending live theater, concerts and art installations in New York and Chicago. Stephen's keen eye and thorough appreciation for both theater patrons' time and entertainment dollar makes him a valuable asset and his recommendations key. Stephen currently lives in downtown Chicago.


How to Find the Best Certified Document Translation Services Near You




If you’re looking for certified document translation services near you, it can be overwhelming. With so many options out there, how do you know which company to choose? We’ve put together a guide to help you find the best certified document translation services in your area.

What are Certified Document Translation Services?

Certified document translation services refer to the act of translating official documents into another language while guaranteeing their accuracy and authenticity. The guarantee of accuracy comes in the form of a certification statement from the translator or providing company stating that the work was performed accurately and with accreditation.

Do Your Research:

The first step when seeking certified document translations should always involve research, as doing otherwise might lead to entrusting your essential documents to incompetent hands resulting in consequential loss of time, litigation, or resources.

To get started with researching potential companies’ expertise and reliability:

  • Check online review websites like Yelp or Google Reviews – these reviews often come from past clients who are satisfied (or dissatisfied) with their experiences.
  • Look into industry associations, such as ATA (American Translators Association), NCIHC (National Council on Interpreting Health Care), and IAPTI (International Association of Professional Translators). These kinds of memberships show they belong to a wider community committed to upholding quality service delivery.
  • Search forums: Online forums provide excellent platforms where people seek tested people’s opinions relative to service delivery or other products.

Ask for Recommendations:

It’s not uncommon to have loved ones recommend places that provide certified translations around them- especially if they’ve undergone this process themselves before! Strive towards gathering recommendations from reputable sources who have used these said companies’ services prior to you, saving yourself both time and nerves.

Check Certifications & Accreditations:

Ensure that whoever handles your critical documentation is by going through their company or individual credentials. While certifications and accreditation demonstrate that a firm has earned credibility, there are several different kinds of accreditations to look out for when seeking certified document translation services, the most widely recognized being ISO17100:2015 certification. Obtainable from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), ISO17100 demonstrates proof of expertise in providing quality language services.

While checking certifications is vital, it’s not enough. Predominantly, evaluations done on translators vary relative to the region; thus, accredited establishments might prove less knowledgeable relative to what you’d expect them to handle relative to where you reside.

Get Quotes:

A great way to ensure that you’re getting value for your money involves conducting prior research concerning prevailing charges so no one ends up scamming or ripping you off. When requesting quotations, ensure companies list all the following details;

  • Service fees – As stated earlier, rates differ depending on location, industry focus, and languages
  • Turnover time – Obtaining accurate investments takes patience and effort.
  • Specific offerings– It’s helpful if firms listed precisely which files can be translated by them as some turn down specific formats of documents.
  • Quality assurance- Nothing is worse than receiving error-filled translations that risk legal work or any other work’s authenticity.

When gathering quotes, lead towards professionalism with service providers exhibiting empathy while answering questions about attaining a translator suitable for your immediate project/s.

In conclusion: Always prioritize selecting established practitioners with reputations guaranteeing quality service delivery and assurances such as indemnity insurance indicating cross-border protection relative to lawsuits originating elsewhere. Remember the four steps when searching for certified document translation services near you. Researching, asking for recommendations, checking certifications and accreditations, and getting quotes from multiple companies can help you confidently choose the best service for your needs.

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Janet Jackson’s 2003 Aston Martin V-12 Vanquish Coupe Sold for $92,075, Scream & Alright Costumes Top Sellers at Julien’s Auctions



Julien’s Auctions presented today, “A Special Collection Of Global Icon Janet Jackson,” the grand finale to the auction house to the stars’ three-day auction blockbuster Music Icons that took place May 19, May 20th and May 21st live in Hard Rock Cafe® New York and online at

Thousands of bidders, collectors and ardent Janet fans across the globe, participated in person, on the phone and online to vie for a piece of music history owned by one of the most influential cultural figures of all time (photo: auctioneer Kody Frederick of Julien’s Auctions).

A dazzling collection featuring over 800 illustrious items owned by one of the biggest-selling musical artists in history; five- time Grammy’s® Award winner; Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted singer, songwriter and producer; Academy Award / Golden Globe / Emmy nominated actor, Janet Jackson, including her famous costumes worn in her iconic music videos, record-breaking world tours and acclaimed live television performances, select custom-made pieces from her personal wardrobe, red carpet ensembles worn to prestigious events such as the BET Awards, the Billboard Music Awards, and gala movie premieres, and beloved home furnishings and personal items were sold with a portion of the proceeds to benefit the child advocacy group Compassion International

In addition, fans and collectors were in for a special treat on May 21st at the auction when the pop diva herself made a surprise virtual visit to relay her gratitude to everyone watching and bidding in the auction.

The top selling item of the auction was Janet Jackson’s stunning 2003 Aston Martin V12 Vanquish that sold for $92,075. The luxury vehicle personally owned and driven by Jackson features in the interior premium black leather seating with charcoal gray perforated leather inserts and is equipped with a DOHC 48-valve 6.0 liter 12-cylinder engine that is mated to a six-speed sequential gearbox, producing 460 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft of torque. The Vanquish was capable of reaching speeds of up to 200 miles per hour, and reached 60 miles per hour in 4.9 seconds.

Another top highlight of the event was the appearance of Jackson’s iconic Dexter Wong white long-sleeve puckered shirt and an off-white faux-leather bikini top worn by the Queen of Pop in the 1995 “Scream” music video with her brother Michael Jackson. The iconic costume sold for $31,750, more than thirty times its original estimate of $1,000. Costing $7 million at the time, the music video was listed in the Guinness World Records as the most expensive music video ever made and received 11 MTV Video Music Award nominations that year.

Her signature black and white pinstripe suit jacket and hat worn by Jackson throughout her famous 1989 “Alright” music video sold for $25,400, well over its original estimate of $3,000. The iconic 1930s and 1950s musical style video featured Jackson’s famed choreography and appearances of Hollywood dance legends Cab Calloway, the Nicholas Brothers and Cyd Charisse.

Leading up to her auction and celebration of Jackson’s birthday week, exclusive exhibitions of her collection were presented in conjunction with Jackson’s acclaimed “Together Again” tour of North America and her performances at Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida and Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Julien’s Auctions is the auction house to the stars. Collaborating with the famous and the exclusive, Julien’s Auctions produces high profile auctions in the film, music, sports and art markets. Julien’s Auctions has received international recognition for its unique and innovative auction events, which attract thousands of collectors, investors, fans and enthusiasts from around the world. Julien’s Auctions specializes in sales of iconic artifacts and notable collections including Marilyn Monroe, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Lady Gaga, Banksy, Cher, Michael Jackson, U2, Barbra Streisand, Les Paul, Neil Young, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Jimi Hendrix, Hugh Hefner and many more.

In 2016, Julien’s Auctions received its second placement in the Guinness Book of World Records for the sale of the world’s most expensive dress ever sold at auction, The Marilyn Monroe “Happy Birthday Mr. President” dress which sold for $4.8 million. Julien’s Auctions achieved placement in the Guinness Book of World Records in 2009 for the sale of Michael Jackson’s white glove, which sold for $480,000 making it the most expensive glove ever sold at auction and two years later, sold Michael Jackson’s jacket from “Thriller” for $1.8 million. In 2020, Julien’s Auctions received its third Guinness Book of World Record placement for the sale of Kurt Cobain’s “MTV Unplugged” 1959 Martin D-18E acoustic-electric guitar, which sold for $6 million making it the world’s most expensive guitar ever sold at auction. In 2022, Julien’s Auctions sold the world’s second most expensive guitar ever sold at auction in the sale of Kurt Cobain’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” music video 1969 Fender Mustang electric guitar, which sold for $4.5 million. Based in Los Angeles, Julien’s Auctions has a global presence bringing their auctions and exhibitions to targeted destinations worldwide including London, New York, Las Vegas, Japan and China. Live auctions are presented for bidders on-site and online via live streaming video and mobile technology. For more information on Julien’s Auctions, go to . Connect with Julien’s Auctions at or or .

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Amtrak, Audience Rewards and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child



Amtrak is the official rail transportation partner for the Broadway show Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, now playing at the Lyric Theatre in New York City. As part of the collaboration with the show and Audience Rewards, the official rewards program for Broadway, Amtrak Guest Rewards members, Broadway enthusiasts and Wizarding World fans can earn and redeem Amtrak Guest Rewards points on tickets to the show. It’s free for Amtrak Guest Rewards members to register with Audience Rewards.

In addition, four specially wrapped Amtrak locomotives will power Northeast Regional service operating on the Northeast Corridor (NEC) between Washington, D.C., and Boston between April 28 and June 25. The eye-catching train wrap features the show’s iconic logo along with Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Draco Malfoy and the next generation of wizards: Albus Potter, Scorpius Malfoy and Rose Granger-Weasley. The swirling clock will give you visions of time travel as you ride through the illustrious landscapes of the NEC. While this train won’t be stopping at Platform 9 ¾, you’ll be sure to have a magical journey on the NEC.

In Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Harry’s head-strong son Albus befriends the son of his fiercest rival, Draco Malfoy, which sparks an unbelievable new journey for them all – with the power to change the past and future forever. The audience will experience a mind-blowing race through time, spectacular spells, and an epic battle, all brought to life with the most astonishing theatrical magic ever seen on stage. The entire theatre has also been transformed with hidden surprises to discover around every corner.

With Amtrak Guest Rewards, members enjoy exclusive benefits and an overall enhanced travel experience, both on and off the train. Members can earn points towards Amtrak reward travel, hotels, car rentals, upgrades, gift cards and more. Reward travel begins at just 800 points. In addition, Amtrak also has two credit cards, Amtrak Guest Rewards® Preferred Mastercard® and Amtrak Guest Rewards® Mastercard® for added benefits and greater loyalty program.

Customers are encouraged to save via Amtrak Saver Fares, which offer low prices on

the Northeast Regional, and other NEC service trains, Amtrak’s See NY and Savediscount when booking travel online within the Empire State at least five days in advance of travel or via everyday discounts for kids, seniors, military groups and more. Amtrak trains offer free Wi-Fi, Business Class seats, the freedom to use phones and electronic devices at all times (no “airplane mode”), a café car, ample leg room and large spacious seats.

For 50 years, Amtrak has connected America and transformed transportation by modernizing train travel and building for thefuture. Amtrak willcontinue to play animportant role in thenational transportationnetwork for the next 50years and beyond by operating a safe, environmentally efficient and fiscally responsible business by providing travelers with an experience that sets a new  standard.  Book  travel, check  train status, access  your eTicket and more through the Amtrak app .Learn more at and connect with us on Twitter,Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Audience Rewards is theOfficial RewardsProgram of Broadway,providing membershipbenefits and rewards fornearly 3 million members and representing more than a quarter of all Broadway tickets purchased through Ticketmaster and Telecharge. Free and easy to join, Audience Rewards allows buyers to earn ShowPoints on every ticket purchase, to be redeemed for freetickets, theatercollectibles, uniqueexperiences, and more.Founded in 2008 by aunique coalition of prominent theater  owners,  including  Nederlander,  Shubert,  and  Jujamcyn,  major  national  presenters,  and  key performing arts centers from across the country, Audience Rewards has offered members first access presales to more than 100 Broadway shows and 200 VIP experiences and events, which have included a walk-on role in Rock of Ages, a meet-and-greet with Jake Gyllenhaal, celebrity Q&As, backstage tours and much more.

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The Queen’s Ball: A Bridgerton Experience




The Queen’s Ball: A Bridgerton Experience is now in New York City.

This is a lovely immersive Bridgerton party with period costumes and stunning decor. Enjoy music inspired by the Bridgerton soundtrack and be captivated by the performances around you in this interactive experience!

Event takes place at Mediapro Manhattan Studio at 508 West 37th Street.

April – Sold out
May – Limited availibility
June – Good availibility
July – Good availibility

Tickets for The Queen’s Ball: A Bridgerton Experience in NYC

General Admission: includes standard entry to the experience

The Queen’s Court: includes early entry with a glass of Archer Roose Sparkling Wine** or any other drink (signature cocktail, mocktail or others to choose from) + an exclusive VIP collectible and tote bag valued over $25

Group Bundle (General or Queen’s Court): 6+ tickets at a reduced price

Finishing Touches Package (admission not included): includes a The Queen’s Ball fan and tiara at an exclusive price

American Express® Card Members can receive a 20% discount on select merchandise, food, and drink. Expedited entry is available for the Card Member and up to 3 guests.*

For personalized packages and private sessions for full buyouts, please visit our website

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Ken Fallin’s Broadway: We Say Good-Bye To The Phantom of The Opera



Yesterday the iconic Phantom of The Opera pulled its curtains down for the last time. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s iconic show was the longest-running show in Broadway history, closing April 16 after 13,981 performances over a 35-year run.

The popular musical opened in January 1988.

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