The Road Show hits downtown Chicago for a perfectly wild Windy City weekend: "Wicked," the musical, a Lakefront tour on a Segway, childhood regression at Cereality breakfast bar, and family friendly lodging in the Loop for cheap!
There's a new group of immigrants in town and they've set up shop in the Ford Center for the Performing Arts, Oriental Theatre - the people of Oz! Ben gets a tour backstage with the Wizard himself for a very inside look at the hottest musical to hit Chicago in years, "Wicked." Then, over by the Adler Planetarium, we hop on board one of those funny two-wheeled pogo sticks - also know as Segways - for an unorthodox ride around the Museum Campus. And where are you going to stay without breaking the bank? The Harris Family Hostel, a block from Millennium Park. Finally, it's breakfast at Cereality, where they serve up your favorite childhood cereals in creative ways you can't imagine. Sweet!
"Wicked" the Musical
That's Gene Weygandt as the Wizard taking Ben around behind the scenes, and Rondi Reed showing us the incredibly ornate lobby. Both Gene and Rondi are long time Chicago actors having the times of their lives with this show based on what was happening in Oz before Dorothy showed up. And did you know that the original author of The Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum, was a Chicagoan too? Oh yeah. Look for the monkey sculptures in the lobby when you come.
City Segway Tours
If you can stand on your two feet without falling you can learn to ride a segway - in about five minutes. These gravity-defying marvels are a blast. As one instructor said, "Just think about going forward and you'll start going forward." Talk about the power of positive thinking. We are now visualizing another 15 year run for Wild Chicago Illinois Road Trip with record-breaking ratings. And you will win the Lotto.
Hostelling International Chicago
24 East Congress Parkway
Chicago, IL 60605
Folks, for what you save on lodging by staying here, you can splurge on great restaurants, nightlife and museums. A sound strategy, if you ask us. And how could you be any more centrally located? Ben tells us he's slept in plenty of hostels before and none comes close to this one for atmosphere, cleanliness, friendliness and location. Come with an open mind and be ready to make new friends from all over the world - or volunteer to show international visitors around town yourself. For example, those guys playing ping-pong in the lobby - we really did take them out to breakfast. (See below.) They were Doctors Shamsel-Deen of Egypt, Mohammed Bello of Nigeria and Ashok K. Sharma of India, all in town for an international conference of radiologists. Three out of three doctors can't be wrong about where to stay in downtown Chicago.
100 S. Wacker (enter on Monroe)
We know what you must be thinking - why didn't I think of this first?! Yeah, we too. What a wonderfully simple concept. You can mix and match your own batch too, and take it home for midnight snacks or breakfast tomorrow. Looks like our buddies from the Hostel enjoyed the experience too. Funny thing you didn't see in the segment: a very serious guy in a suit waving his hand up in front of the camera like he was leaving the court house and didn't want to be seen. Perhaps some high-powered business people or attorneys might damage their reputations being seen behind a bowl of Fruit Loops or Cap'n Crunch. But for the rest of us - pour on the Quisp! Yeah, right there, in the pith helmet, please.