If you thought Chicago had explored every avenue in celebrating the Cubs winning the World Series, think again. Coming soon to a theater in the Windy City is a musical about the team's long-awaited victory in the Fall Classic: "Miracles Do Happen."
The show is the pet project of Billy Marovitz, a lawyer, former member of the Illinois House of Representatives and die-hard baseball fan who claims that his project predates the team's championship season. He says he came up with the concept last spring, a month before the first pitch was thrown out.
"The Cubs were picked to win it all and I thought what a great story this would be, what a great show," Marovitz said. "I know politics, and I also know sports."
As a legislator, he was involved in getting the new ballpark for the White Sox in 1991 and mediating between the Cubs and nearby residents to allow nighttime games at Wrigley Field.
Though there is a very short list of successful musicals based on baseball — can you name another beside "Damn Yankees"? — Marovitz was determined and also understandably emboldened by a previous baseball-musical experience from 2003. That is the year he persuaded Dennis DeYoung, the former lead singer of Styx, to record a Marovitz-inspired song called "The Voice Above the Crowd." It was about baseball announcers.
"There is a generation of us who, when we came home from school, didn't hear the voices of our mothers," said Marovitz. "We listened to the voices of great baseball announcers."
So he went to see another of his friends, Jerry Reinsdorf, chairman of the White Sox and the host of that summer's All-Star Game.
"I said, 'Jerry, I think this song would be a tremendous hit at the game, a way to honor the great voices that turned us on to baseball.' "
Reinsdorf listened to the song and agreed. And so, the crowd in the ballpark and millions of others watching on TV in more than 200 countries heard the song as the Jumbotron flashed a montage of photos of the two dozen baseball announcers in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
"The Voice Above the Crowd" is set to be one of about 20 songs in "Miracles Do Happen."
Not to give too much away, but the show, which is based on a Marovitz narrative, focuses on a family of Cubs fans: a grandfather born in 1945 (the year of the Billy Goat curse), his son born in 1969 (the black cat incident), his wife, a Sox fan, and their son born in 2008 (the 100th anniversary of the Cubs' last World Series win). The play is set mostly in the Wrigley bleachers.
"It's a love story about family and baseball and that bond through generations," said Marovitz.
The show has yet to be cast but Marovitz has talked about having various high-profile performers with Chicago connections revolve through as narrators, "such people as Joe Mantegna, Billy Corgan, Eddie Vedder, John Mahoney, Jeff Tweedy, Jim Belushi."
Marovitz worked on the show throughout the summer.
"And then the end was written for us on the field in Cleveland on Nov. 2," he said, referring to the Cubs victory in Game 7of the World Series.
He has met with Cubs owner Tom Ricketts.
"I didn't ask him for anything. I just wanted him to hear from me that we were doing a Cubs play," Marovitz said.
Marovitz also is talking to possible investors.
"When I am in bed, this is all I think about," he said. "I am really jazzed."