Manny P. here… (reporting fr0m Hoffman Estates, Illinois)
Crime and punishment in Chicagoland is today’s topic. Thanks to the Hop On-and-Hop Off Tour and the Untouchables Tour, Laurie and I took today, we were able to enjoy cinematic and very real historical sites with gangster-themes. As usual, my wife was the expert photographer providing vivid reminders of our trip.
We drove down the shopping area known as the Magnificent Mile in the early afternoon, when we passed by a marquee used in the Academy Award-winning musical, Chicago. We were informed the production that starred Renée Zellweger, Richard Gere, John C. Reilly, Queen Latifah, and Catherine Zeta-Jones was actually filmed on location in Toronto. The film is based on the 1975 Kander and Ebb Broadway musical. It was to have been the next project for legendary stage and film choreographer and director Bob Fosse, who developed the original play. Though he died before this motion picture was made, his distinctive jazz choreography style is evident throughout. He’s thanked in the End Credits. The screenplay explores the themes of celebrity, scandal, murder, and corruption in Jazz Age Chicago. It was critically lauded, and was the first musical to win Best Picture since Oliver!
The Untouchables Tour was a lively look at Chi-Town during Prohibition, and centered on locales where gangsters were snuffed out. The names that popped up most frequently were, of course, Al Capone and John Dillinger. The bus traveled through the West Side and the South Side of Chicago, famous for Chinatown, Little Italy, and curiously, Harpo Productions. We stopped by historic locations as the garage where the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre took place, and the Biograph Theatre, where Dillinger was killed in 1934 by G-Man Melvin Purvis, after the famed bank robber enjoyed Manhattan Melodrama, the MGM classic starring William Powell, Clark Gable, and Myrna Loy. The guides were giddy in their presentation, which made the two hours very entertaining. I endorse this particular tour if you decide to visit the area.
Here’s a link to their website:
Now, will someone please bail me out… I had nuttin’ to do with da crime… I was framed!
Until next time> “never forget”