Listen To Your Mother Chicago 2014: Wow, That Was Quick!

It’s been a full week (eight days, actually!) since the show, and I can’t even believe THAT, let alone the fact that the 2014 season, our THIRD season in Chicago, flew by faster than a…what is one of those cute southern sayings?

These last two weeks, in fact, have flown by faster than a…never mind. I can’t think of anything.

QUICKLY. They went by QUICKLY.

In the last two weeks Tracey and I drove to Milwaukee to see that show, we put on our own show, we drove to Valparaiso to see the NWIndiana show, and yesterday I drove up to Madison, where it all began five years ago, to see Ann Imig on her own turf, emceeing and reading in her own show.

No wonder time has flown.


I was waiting for the pictures to come back from our extremely gifted photographer, Brandi of Balee Images before writing my post. Now that I have them and I’m in my post-season-collapsed-on-the-couch mode I just want to copy Tracey’s 2014 recap style of blurbing instead of writing an actual post with a beginning, middle, and end made up of cohesive paragraphs. (I’m sure I don’t need to mention that every single other post that she and I publish is masterfully written and of the highest quality.) (Okay, maybe not every single one.)

My favorite things about LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER CHICAGO 2014:

1. Momofali and Alison (ahem, Ali, DaughterOfMomo) made the six and a half hour drive (each way) from Columbus to see the show. They were in town for less than 48 hours. I can’t express how much it meant to me that they made the trip.

2. On my solo drive to the city, 2 Unlimited’s “Get Ready For This” came on the radio and I thought I would lose my mind from excitement.

3. After letting 2 Unlimited get me pumped up, I played the soundtrack Tracey and I created for the audience to hear while waiting for the show to start, and I cried when Sara Bareilles’ song “Brave” came on. It’s a song that’s been used in a commercial or two and I’ve didn’t really like it at first, but once I listened to the lyrics I discovered it was perfect for LTYM. And now it makes me cry.

4. Arriving at the theater and receiving hugs from Jeff and Allan, who are part of the management team there. I adore those guys.

5. Bringing the cast upstairs to the stage from the dressing rooms and watching them marvel at how beautiful and intimate the theater was, and seeing some of their nerves fade away because “It’s not as intimidating as I thought it would be!”

6. Taking an Oscar selfie. This is the only picture in this post that was NOT taken by Brandi at Balee Images. I probably didn’t even have to offer that information to you because it’s going to be fairly obvious once you scroll further but in the interest of full disclosure AND in an attempt to not lose business for Brandi, I thought I’d mention it.

Oscar selfie

7. I loved that Oscar selfie but what I loved more was Brandi’s picture of us doing the Oscar selfie. I had no idea she was shooting that. In other words, what you see is unposed. Well, it’s posed, I guess, for the Oscar selfie but NOT posed for Brandi. Get it?

Oscar Selfie

8. The run-through at the podium.

LTYM Chicago 2014

9. Posing for a cast picture. Each Chicago cast so far has had an “iconic” picture that is so special. In 2012 we sat in the theater seats and turned around to face our photographer. Last year we had our “roar” picture. This year? I can’t even describe this. There’s so much to say but I don’t know where to start.

LTYM Chicago 2014

10. When, right before the show, cast member Meggan told all of us that her essay, “Waiting For My Kids To Wish Me a Happy Mother’s Day” was now out of date because her kids indeed wished her a Happy Mother’s Day for the very first time, the night before show day. Reading that and seeing the picture isn’t going to impact you very much if you weren’t at the show, but put it in your back pocket until the videos come out. It was an amazing and emotional moment and I’m so happy for Meggan!


11. Hearing the audience excitedly enter the theater to find their seats. I love hearing the hum of a busy theater!

Athenaeum Theatre

12. Walking out onto the stage for the first time with Tracey and hearing the applause. The energy that came from the audience that day was incredible and I don’t think I’ll ever forget how good it felt to receive that.

Melisa and Tracey LTYM Chicago 2014

13. Reading my essay. I read a humorous piece this year and I wasn’t sure people were going to laugh very much, but they did. So thanks, audience! I had a great time reading it and I can’t wait to share the YouTube video of my reading as well as the other fourteen later this summer!

14. Watching our cast triumph at the microphone. Everyone took their already incredible abilities to a level higher than the eye can see to deliver HUGE readings for our audience. I was blown away by every single person, truly. I am so proud of all of them.

15. Having Ann in the audience. I’m SO grateful she made the trip, as did Jenny (Milwaukee co-producer), Colleen (MKE cast member and one of my very first blog friends and *high five, lady!*), and Lovelyn (NWI producer) and a few of her cast members. The support we had on Sunday was awesome.

Melisa, Tracey, and Ann

16. Speaking of support, we had A BUNCH of alumni from our 2012 and 2013 casts there. One of the biggest moments of the day was after the audience started to leave the building and all three of our casts went back into the theater and onto the stage so Brandi could take an alumni picture. Seeing most of the people who took the LTYM Chicago journey with Tracey and me in our first three years all in one place was emotionally overwhelming. It was a proud moment I will not forget anytime soon, especially since I have this amazing picture. Thank you so much, Brandi!

LTYM Chicago Alumni

17. The biggest moment of course, wasn’t even a moment; it was the whole day in one big, beautiful package. For the third consecutive year it was better than I could have imagined. It took a lot of work to get there (SO MUCH WORK), but it mostly didn’t feel like work because of my partner in crime, Tracey. Tracey, I can’t imagine doing this show with anyone else and I just appreciate you so much! And the cast, of course, the newest members of the LTYM Chicago family: Lea, Andrea, Sarah, Paulette, Julie, Kim, Kristen, Saya, Keely, Meggan, Hyacynth (well, she’s a renewed family member since she’s a 2012 alumni!), Kari, and Crystal: I adore you all. Thank you for your commitment, your bravery, and your love.

If you sponsored the show, THANK YOU. If you were in the audience, THANK YOU. If you helped us behind the scenes before and/or during the show, THANK YOU. If you supported us from far away by sending a text, email, or Facebook message (and even an “old-school” phone call!), THANK YOU. Tracey and I don’t take any of that for granted.

I can’t believe it’s over. Time to start making my to-do list for 2015, I guess!
(Okay, I lied. I started that list weeks ago.)

Hot off the presses: Check out a summary of how Tracey and I went to #FindNewRoads to the NWI and Madison shows HERE, and if you missed my post about the road trip to the Milwaukee show, it’s HERE.


  • Shannon

    I love that the LTYM family just keeps growing. I was just telling someone today that she should audition. I just can’t get enough.
    Congrats and much thanks to you and Tracey for helping to make something beautiful.

  • Marianne

    I loved loved LOVED the show and I will be the ridiculously loud snorkeling person laughing her butt off at your scrap book piece on the video. Just so you know.

  • Jen

    Going to see another LTYM show was just amazing! Colleen and I had a fantastic road trip.

    I’m tearing up about Meggan’s news. Such wonderful news!

    Great minds think alike. Milwaukee’s playlist also included Brave.

    Of course you already started prepping for 2015 before 2014 wrapped up. That’s how you roll. xoxo