Miracle is the theatrical equivalent of a no-stakes late-season game | Theater Review | Chicago Reader

Miracle is the theatrical equivalent of a no-stakes late-season game 

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If you love the Cubs and don't see many musicals, then Miracle is the show for you. Like watching a mediocre baseball game, it's predictable and uninspiring with long stretches of little action interspersed with occasional cheers. Containing every possible baseball metaphor, it covers all the bases without ever hitting a home run. The opening Cubbie Bear blues number with wonderful video screens makes one hope for so much more.

Instead the predictable story by Jason Brett, with music and lyrics by Michael Mahler, follows the blue- collar Delaney family who own a Wrigleyville bar that's in danger of closing as the 2016 season begins. Charlie, a former pitcher turned pourer, sings "I'm out," ready to give up rooting for losers. Sofia, a teacher, is about to lose her job. Charlie's dad, Pops, mourns his late wife, and daughter Dani still believes in miracles. The fantasy isn't the Cubs winning but (unsurprising spoiler) a family bar surviving the transformation of Wrigleyville.

The cast is outstanding, despite the material. Pops (Gene Weygandt) has a fabulous voice and some beautiful moments, Charlie's best bud Larry (Jonathan Butler- Duplessis) delivers a couple great songs, and young Elise Wolf (who shares the role with Amaris Sanchez) shines as Dani. But Brandon Dahlquist and Allison Sill as Charlie and Sofia have the chemistry of siblings and their songs, with lyrics like "we make a damn good team" or "what's the pitch," are cringeworthy. In the end, Chicago won, but Wrigleyville lost, and less than a week later, after the election, so did the rest of the country. But holy cow, we broke the curse!   v


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