‘The Bachelor Live’ brings the TV experience to the stage
The interactive adaptation brings the television hit to life in front of a live audience as one eligible bachelor woos a dozen local women through “a series of games, challenges, onstage dates and other getting to know you scenarios.”
Some Chicago-area women will have the chance to accept the final rose, participate in hometown dates and even get the iconic limo entrances as the interactive edition of “The Bachelor Live On Stage” comes to Cadillac Palace March 14.
“All those main moments that make up the show are going to be on our stage in two hours,” promises Becca Kufrin of the interactive adaptation that brings the television hit to life in front of a live audience as one eligible bachelor woos 10-12 local women, through “a series of games, challenges, onstage dates and other getting to know you scenarios.”
After the final choice is made, the couple is then given an ultimate date package. Kufrin, a fan favorite from very dramatic back-to-back seasons on “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette,” plays co-host for the festivities along with another familiar face, former “Bachelor” Ben Higgins, and calls the show “the ultimate watch party.”
THE BACHELOR LIVE ON STAGE
When: 3 and 8 p.m. March 14
Where: Cadillac Palace, 151 W. Randolph
“It’s the first time where Bachelor Nation has a say in the voting process,” she says, noting that audience members get to ask questions and make suggestions. “The audience involvement and interaction when we are onstage is something you can’t experience through the actual show — you can actually feel the tension in the room when we have rose ceremonies.”
The incredibly successful reality TV franchise is now in its 24th season and still regularly pulling in around 6 million viewers per week, according to The Wrap. Demand for “The Bachelor Live On Stage” tour has been equally impressive, hitting 66 cities across America with enthusiastic crowds. After practically selling out the 8 p.m. show in Chicago, producers added a 3 p.m. option as well and have announced the two leading men—“Bachelor” alums and Chicago locals Diggy Moreland for the 8 p.m. edition and Dustin Kendrick for the 3 p.m. matinee.
“Chicago is a bit different from how other cities have run,” says Kufrin. “Usually we have local bachelors who have not been on the show, but because these two guys are fan favorites, we thought why not see if they want to be our bachelors? Both faces will be well-known to most of the audience.”
Moreland, the dapper bow tie-wearing inventory analyst originally from Naperville appeared on Rachel Lindsay’s season and says when producers approached him about the live idea, “I thought it would be an amazing experience.”
He also admits being inspired as “regular dating hasn’t panned out” since appearing on the TV show.
“It’s hard to navigate whether somebody is interested in you because you’re a good guy or if they’re like, oh it’s Diggy from ‘The Bachelorette’ and ‘Bachelor in Paradise,’” he says, noting he gets recognized quite often when out in public.
“So I like that the show provides the opportunity to meet people in a different way; I’m all about meeting and trying unorthodox methods and giving them a chance.”
Though he’s not totally sure who his 10 ladies will be (hopefuls can fill out applications at www.bachelorliveonstage.com), Moreland did give producers a blueprint by providing his 10 celebrity crushes — among them Demi Lovato, Meghan Markle, Anne Hathaway, Kate Beckinsale and Alicia Keys. When it comes down to it though, he is looking for somebody “who doesn’t take themselves too seriously, goes with the flow and last but not least calls me out on my bull****.”
Kufrin admits that many of the couples that have met through “The Bachelor Live On Stage” are still going strong.
“I was just talking to our San Diego couple that we had a few shows back. I’m from San Diego and we were joking about double dating [with fiancé Garrett Yrigoyen, who proposed to her on her season of “The Bachelorette”]. And in every city, the girl has said yes and accepted the final rose, so I feel like Ben and I are doing our jobs well,” she jokes, hoping that the live edition continues and eventually role reverses with women picking their suitors.
For Moreland, he looks forward to finding his one and only, and says if all goes well, the perfect Chicago date would be “getting to know each other through coffee, then if the conversation is going well we go grab some lunch at a restaurant neither one of us has been to, and then we go for a walk downtown and really get to know each other. Weather permitting, of course.”
Selena Fragassi is a local freelance writer.