It sure wasn't your average industry party when PartySlate, the go-to website for party planners, hosted an intimate gathering at the hot, new private concert venue in Bucktown, In Studio Live, on February 13.
The by-invite-only dinner party featured one very special guest, Miguel Cervantes, the star of Broadway's smash hit "Hamilton," who performed a private concert, along with fellow castmate Colby Lewis, for the lucky invitees! The evening celebrated the success of PartySlate and also introduced In Studio Live to an appreciative group of Chicago notables that included Art Norman, Linda Johnson Rice, Ji Suk Yi, Susanna Homan, Shia Kapos, Debi Lilly, Monika Dixon, D.C. Crenshaw and so many more!
Cervantes charmed the audience with a set list of songs that held personal meanings for him. He performed “One Angry Dwarf” from Ben Folds Five, and “Hey Kid” from If/Then, a song that he first performed when his wife, Kelly, was pregnant with their son (which left partygoers with misty eyes).
The crowd went wild when he performed a rendition of “Wait for It” (a song that he actually doesn’t sing in Hamilton but wanted to) and “Bust a Move” from Young MC. Cervantes is a big believer that a playlist can make or break a dinner experience and he certainly made this night a special one for those in attendance.
Cervantes, who moved to Chicago from New Jersey with his family last summer, said that the role of Hamilton has changed his life. After a string of roles in Broadway shows from American Idiot and If/Then, Cervantes declared that he was done with Broadway. “I saw Hamilton in New York, it was great, as great as everyone said that it was,” Cervantes said. “But I was done with theater. Unless Lin (Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator of Hamilton) called.” And he DID call! Five weeks later Cervantes was taking over the role of Hamilton as the lead in Chicago.
And as Miguel wholeheartedly acknowledges that the role has been “an unbelievable upgrade for our lives,” he maintains a humble disposition and credits the power of music influencing so many moments of his life. “I remember listening to the radio as a kid with my dad and thinking about the melodies and how the music made me think and how it made you feel a certain way,” he said. “When you stop and turn your head and think — wait what was that, it changes the way you think.”
The evening included decor by Kehoe Designs and a gourmet menu created by the Entertaining Company (Wendy Pashman) that was inspired by the event's Hamilton theme. Waiters greeted guests with "Painkiller" cocktails and passed hors d’oeuvres including pulled jerk chicken, tuna tartar and shredded short rib popovers. Dinner began with a “West Indies Salad” — inspired by Nevis, the birthplace of Alexander Hamilton--followed by spice-encrusted baby lamb chops, parsnip puree and roasted vegetables.
(To see video from this memorable night, click here) (Photos by Bob & Dawn Davis Photography & Design).
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