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"Live! with Regis & Kelly" taped their show from the Ravinia Festival pavilion back in 2003. Below Amy Schrage recalls the scenes from backstage.
"Live! with Regis & Kelly" from the Ravinia Festival pavilion 2003
It was a crisp October morning in 2003, the trees were a gorgeous sight filled with fall colors. Normally on a day like this, Ravinia would be calm, serene and very quiet, since the summer season would have wrapped for the year a few weeks before. But not today. Today Regis and Kelly were taking over the pavilion, bringing their New York based television show to our festival, filming two episodes of their famed talk show in front of crowd of excited Chicago fans.
I remember it like it was last week. The filming went smoothly as the crew moved guest after guest on stage to chat with the talk show hosts including ex-Chicago Bulls player Scottie Pippen, actress Jessica Biel and the late Bernie Mac.
One of the last guests, actor and Chicago-born Gary Sinise, shared his stories of growing up in Ravinia’s hometown of Highland Park while he worked for our festival in the summers. During these college years, Sinise was also starting his acting company, Steppenwolf Theatre, in the basement of a church in Highland Park. Since these actors were college kids with a lack of funds, Sinise would “borrow” supplies from Ravinia such as toilet paper and paper towels for their start-up theater. The crowd roared as Sinise left the pavilion stage during his interview with Regis and Kelly and rolled out a cart full of supplies to pay Ravinia back for what he took in the 1970s. The show ended that day with an energizing performance of “Where is the Love?” by chart-topping group the Black Eyed Peas.
The Ravinia staff had an amazing time that day, it was fun to produce a television show from our stage and we were so happy that the Ravinia-concert goers and Chicago fans were able to be a part of this experience. To see more photos from the day, check out the Ravinia photo gallery.
Associate Director of Communications