David Pittsinger wows the crowd at Gibson’s Steakhouse

Big talent represents “South Pacific” at Gibson’s

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By: Timothy McGuire

I recently had the opportunity to attend a media luncheon for the upcoming touring performance of Lincoln Center Theater’s production of South Pacific. Broadway’s successful tony award winning musical will be playing at the Rosemont Theatre for a limited one-week engagement November 24 – 29, 2009. (ticket info)

The passion and excitement for this specific production was evident in the enthusiasm expressed by the people involved in bringing this production from New York to Chicago. They sincerely believe that this is an extraordinary show offering the audience the rare opportunity to experience a performance done in the spectacular old Broadway fashion, featuring a huge full orchestra unlike anything seen in current Broadway productions today. The touring show of South Pacific promises to be a near replica of the prize-winning musical that started in New York.

The most impressive endorsement for this production was the opportunity to hear the astonishingly powerful and elegant voice of David Pittsinger, who will be playing Emile. The impact of Pittsinger’s romantically forceful bass-baritone voice just a few feet away brought the small audience at Gibson’s Steakhouse to emotional heights, and one can only imagine the magnificence of hearing the full production of his songs produced on Rosemont Theatre’s spacious stage.

southpacific_iconDavid Pittsinger also was a terrific speaker, appearing genuine in his belief in the significance and relevance of South Pacific to today’s audience. Pittsinger is the living embodiment of his character Emile. His wife is born of minority decent and he has interracial children (who he is bursting with pride to talk about.) His belief in love, unification and racial equality is evident in his actions and his loved ones around him.

The original role of Emile de Becque was written for an opera singer, and David Pittsinger is a talented, internationally acclaimed opera performer working with the Metropolitan Opera in New York City (most recently portrayed Angelotti in “Tosca”at the Metropolitan Opera) and living and working most of the year in France. The advantage that Pittsinger is also a world-class actor increases the quality of his role and greatly supports the well-written book that goes along with the classically entertaining music in South Pacific. With themes of war and racial conflict, along with the joyous uplifting story and cleverly catchy songs, this year is a fantastic time to enjoy Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific.

Johnny Depp gives $4,000 tip to Gibsons Steakhouse waiter

Money not key to happiness, Johnny Depp says.

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Although, to Depp, money is not the be-all-end-all, he certainly has made a difference in one waiter’s life via his money.  Johnny Depp, along with his "Public Enemies" co-star Marion Cotillard, director Michael Mann, and others — who were in Chicago last week for the premiere of the Chicago-filmed “Public Enemies” — made a stop at Gibsons Steakhouse around 11:30 PM, according to the Chicago Sun Times.

depp-thumb Once the bill came around 2:30 AM – totaling up to a reported $4,400 – Depp made sure the man who waited on the group into the late hours was well compensated for his time, as Mohammaed Sekhani reportedly received a $4,000 tip from the star.

"He had visited our restaurant several times before while he was filming ‘Public Enemies’ and he promised me that he would return after the premiere," Sekhani told Radar Online.

According to the longtime Gibsons waiter, Depp and his friends ordered items including shrimp cocktails, Clams Casino, as well as a few expensive bottles of wine.

Marion Cotillard"He also ordered some $500 bottles of Italian wine and he was in good spirits throughout the evening chatting with Mr. Mann and Miss Cotillard," Sekhani added.

Generous tip aside, Sekhani said he always enjoys waiting on the "Pirates of the Caribbean" star each time he visits Gibsons.

"Because he had visited us before he calls me ‘Mo’ and I know exactly the way he likes to be treated. He may be one of the most famous actors in the world but he is a very ‘humble guy’ and a really cool dude," the waiter continued. "I have worked with a lot of stars like Sean Connery and Robert De Niro but Johnny Depp is my favorite He is a very soft spoken guy who is very charming and sweet – when I wait for him he doesn’t like to be too fussed over and is not in any way demanding."

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