Showing posts with label 2018-19 season announced. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2018-19 season announced. Show all posts

Monday, July 23, 2018

SAVE THE DATES: 2018/19 Season Announced Interrobang Theatre Project

Chi IL Live Shows On Our Radar:

Interrobang Theatre Project 
Announces Ninth Season: Identity/Crisis

Now in Residence at Rivendell Theatre!

By Edward Albee 
Directed by Co-Artistic Director James Yost 

Chicago Premiere!
By Jonas Hassen Khemiri 
Translated by Rachel Willson-Broyles
Directed by Abhi Shrestha 

Midwest Premiere!
By Emily Schwend
Directed by Co-Artistic Director Georgette Verdin 

Chicago Premiere!
By Nassim Soleimanpour

Interrobang Theatre Project is pleased to announce its ninth season, featuring three knockout dramas presented at its new resident home, Rivendell Theatre, 5779 N. Ridge Ave. in Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood. This season, Interrobang explores “identity/crisis,” with three plays featuring characters on the edge of something new, battling old demons and making room for fresh starts.

Interrobang’s 2018/19 season kicks off this fall with THE GOAT, OR WHO IS SYLVIA?, Edward Albee’s provocative portrait of a marriage in flux, directed by Co-Artistic Director James Yost. In winter 2019, guest director Abhi Shrestha stages the Chicago premiere of Jonas Hassen Khemiri's I CALL MY BROTHERS, a day in the life of an Arab-Swedish man who must dodge suspicion after a car bomb rattles Stockholm. ITP’s ninth season concludes in spring 2019 with Co-Artistic Director Georgette Verdin helming the Midwest premiere of Emily Schwend's UTILITY, an intimate look at an East Texas woman's struggle to make ends meet. Season subscriptions are currently on sale at  

Also this fall, join Interrobang for a one-of-a-kind theatrical experience. One actor. No rehearsal. A different show every week. The Chicago premiere of Nassim Soleimanpour's acclaimed solo show WHITE RABBIT RED RABBIT challenges the notion of performance with an experimental tour de force you have to see to believe. Join Interrobang at The Den Theatre (1331 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago) on Monday nights for this unforgettable artistic experiment.

“This season we landed on the unifying theme of ‘identity/crisis,’” comments Co-Artistic Director Georgette Verdin. “Across three plays and one special event we will tackle the elusive nature of self-definition. The characters in these dramas are desperately trying to discover who they are in a world that has already decided who they ought to be. What happens when this conflict is pushed to the breaking point, and how do we return to sanity once the dust settles?” 

Interrobang is also pleased to welcome Joe Lino as its newest Artistic Associate. Lino recently appeared in ITP’s production of Grace. In Chicago, he has worked with Steppenwolf, Goodman, Victory Gardens, Teatro Vista, Drury Lane, The New Colony, The Cuckoos Theater Project and The Agency Theatre Collective, where he can be seen next in the world premiere of Tres Bandidos. Regionally, he has credits with Actors Theatre of Louisville in shows such as Dracula, A Christmas Carol and That High Lonesome Sound, which premiered at the Humana Festival. He has also performed Off-Broadway at the BAM Harvey Theatre in Charles Mee’s world premiere of The Glory of the World. He is a proud alumni of Ball State University where he received a BFA in Acting. 

Finally, ITP announces THE PLAYWRITING INITIATIVE, in association with DePaul University. Each season, local playwrights will be invited to participate in an immersive and supportive partnership, including one graduate selected from DePaul's prestigious BFA Playwriting program. Each collaboration will be tailored to meet the needs of the individual playwright as the Interrobang Artistic staff aids in the development of the artist’s dramatic vocabulary and theatrical voice, culminating in a public reading of each playwright’s work.

Interrobang Theatre Project’s 2018/19 Season includes:

September 7 – October 7, 2018
By Edward Albee 
Directed by Co-Artistic Director James Yost
Press opening: Tuesday, September 11, 2018 at 8 pm

Martin is an accomplished architect living the American dream. He has a loving wife, a devoted son and an acclaimed career. But an explosive revelation threatens to destroy everything he has built, and forces Martin to reconcile the man the world has come to know with the man he has always been inside. Shocking theatregoers when it first premiered, The Goat deftly lambastes liberal acceptance, fidelity and family as one man painfully traverses the ultimate taboo.

January 5 – February 2, 2019
I CALL MY BROTHERS – Chicago Premiere!
By Jonas Hassen Khemiri
Translated by Rachel Willson-Broyles
Directed by Abhi Shrestha 
Press opening: Monday, January 7, 2019 at 8 pm

Stockholm, Sweden. An explosion rocks the peaceful city and the authorities need someone to blame. Amor is scared and confused, but he’s got places to be. Knowing that he could be targeted at any moment, he must cautiously navigate the city he calls home if he’s going to make it through the day in one piece. Balancing paranoia, humor and 21st century woes, Khemiri's nuanced account dares us to question our own perceptions and prejudices, while offering a singular and harrowing take on the Labyrinth of global identity politics.

April 5 – May 4, 2019
UTILITY – Midwest Premiere!
By Emily Schwend 
Directed by Co-Artistic Director Georgette Verdin
Press opening: Monday, April 8, 2019 at 8 pm

Amber is doing everything she can to keep her head above water, but no matter how hard she tries, it never seems to be enough. Money is tight, her marriage is in turmoil and she’s juggling two jobs just to make ends meet. As she struggles to plan her eight-year-old daughter’s birthday party, Amber begins to unravel in the face of tragic uncertainty. Meticulous and heartbreaking, Utility offers a glimpse into the American working class through empathic realism.   

Special Event:

September 24 – November 12, 2018
by Nassim Soleimanpour
Mondays at 8 pm at The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago

What happens when you put one artist on a stage and hand them a script they’ve never read before? Pure theatrical magic. This acclaimed solo show creates an intimate exchange between actor and audience in a one-of-a-kind dramatic experience. No rehearsal. A new performer every night. An artistic experiment like you've never seen, and won’t soon forget.

About the Playwrights

Edward Albee (The Goat, Or Who is Sylvia?) was born on March 12, 1928 and began writing plays thirty years later. His plays include The Zoo Story (1958), The American Dream (1960), Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1961-1962, Tony Award), Tiny Alice (1964), A Delicate Balance (1966, Pulitzer Prize; 1996, Tony Award), All Over (1971), Seascape (1974, Pulitzer Prize), The Lady From Dubuque (1977-1978), The Man Who Had Three Arms (1981), Finding the Sun (1982), Marriage Play (1986-1987), Three Tall Women (1991, Pulitzer Prize), Fragments (1993), The Play About the Baby (1997), The Goat, Or Who is Sylvia? (2000, 2002 Tony Award) and Occupant (2001). He was a member of the Dramatists Guild Council and president of The Edward F. Albee Foundation. Mr. Albee was awarded the Gold Medal in Drama from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters in 1980, and in 1996 received the Kennedy Center Honors and the National Medal of Arts. Mr. Albee died September 16, 2016.

Jonas Hassen Khemiri (I Call My Brothers) is a celebrated author and playwright based in Stockholm. His novels have been translated into over 20 languages and his plays have been performed by over a hundred international companies on stages from Stockholm to Berlin to New York to London. Khemiri was awarded a Village Voice Obie Award for his first play Invasion!, which premiered in New York in 2011. His second play God Times Five toured Sweden and his third play The Hundred We Are received the Hedda Award for best play in Norway. Khemiri’s play ≈ [Almost Equal To] premiered at Dramaten in Stockholm in October 2014 to rave reviews and has been performed in Germany, Norway, Iceland and the U.S. His play I Call My Brothers began as an essay published in Dagens Nyheter in December 2010, one week after a suicide bombing in central Stockholm that shook the nation. The book was published to great acclaim and later became a lauded play that toured Sweden with Riksteatern in 2013 (directed by Farnaz Arbabi) and premiered in New York in January 2014. It has also been performed in Norway, Denmark, Germany (multiple theatres), Australia, San Francisco, France, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland, Finland and at the Gate Theatre in London, UK.

Emily Schwend (Utility) Emily Schwend's plays include Utility (The Amoralists in New York City, Orange Tree Theatre in London, 2016 Yale Drama Series Award, 2017 IT Award for Outstanding Premiere Production of a Play), The Other Thing (Second Stage Theatre Uptown), Take Me Back (Walkerspace), South of Settling (Steppenwolf's Next Up Rep) and Splinters (CUDC Source Festival). She was a 2016-2017 Radcliffe Institute Fellow at Harvard University and the inaugural 2014 Tow Foundation playwright-in-residence at Second Stage Theatre. Her work has been developed at The New Group, Roundabout Theatre Company, ACT Theatre, Marin Theatre Company, Partial Comfort Productions, Ars Nova, the Alliance Theatre, PlayPenn and the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, among others. She is a frequent contributor to Christine Jones’s Theatre for One booth. She is the recipient of a Bogliasco Fellowship, a MacDowell Fellowship, the ACT New Play Award, the David Calicchio Emerging American Playwrights Prize, the Lecomte du Nouy Prize, and the Heideman Prize. Her work has been commissioned by the Studio Theatre in D.C., the Ensemble Studio Theatre through the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the Old Vic in London. She is a proud alumna of the playwriting programs at Juilliard and Tisch.

Nassim Soleimanpour (White Rabbit Red Rabbit) is an independent multidisciplinary theatre maker from Tehran, Iran. His plays have been translated into more than 20 languages. Best known for his play White Rabbit Red Rabbit, written to travel the world when he couldn’t, his work has been awarded the Dublin Fringe Festival Best New Performance, Summerworks Outstanding New Performance Text Award and The Arches Brick Award (Edinburgh Fringe), as well as picking up nominations for a Total Theatre and Brighton Fringe Pick of Edinburgh Award. By the time Nassim was permitted to travel for the first time in early 2013, his play White Rabbit Red Rabbit had been performed over 200 times in 15 languages. Since then, Nassim has facilitated workshops and panels in different countries including World Theatre Festival (Brisbane), Tolhuistuin (Amsterdam), SESC Vila Mariana (Sao Paulo), Schauspielhaus (Vienna), DPAC (Kuala Lampur), Theatretreffen (Berlin), British Council (London), Asia House (London) and University of Bremen (Germany). Nassim’s second play Blind Hamlet for the London based Actors Touring Company premiered at the 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe and has since toured extensively around the UK and was received well in Bucharest and Copenhagen. Blank, his third play, recently premiered in Amsterdam and has been performed in Utrecht, Edinburgh and London. Nassim now lives in Berlin with his wife Shirin.

About the Directors

James Yost (The Goat, Or Who Is Sylvia?) is a Joseph Jefferson Award-nominated director and the Co-Artistic Director of Interrobang Theatre Project. He previously served as the producing Artistic Director for BareBones Theatre Group, a company he co-founded in 1998. Selected credits include: Mr. Marmalade, Psycho Beach Party, Debbie Does Dallas: The Musical, Skylight, The Graduate, The Play About the Baby, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Drift, bash; the latter-day plays, Squirrels, The Wizard of Oz, Lend Me A Tenor, Orson's Shadow, Glengarry Glen Ross, The Pitchfork Disney and Noises Off. For ITP, credits include Orange Flower Water (Jeff nomination for Best Supporting Actor, Joseph Wiens), Ibsen is Dead, The North Pool (Jeff nominated for Best Production and Best Director), Falling (Jeff nominated actors Justin Tsatsa and Amy Johnson) and the critically acclaimed REALLY REALLY (named one of the best shows of 2015 by the Chicago Tribune). Other credits include True West by Sam Shepard for Shattered Globe. This summer, he will direct Boeing Boeing for Davidson College. He teaches acting, directing, production design and film at the high school and collegiate level. He is published in Teaching Theatre Journal, a publication of Dramatics Magazine.

Abhi Shrestha (I Call My Brothers) Abhi Shrestha is a Chicago based director, movement dramaturge and educator originally from Kathmandu, Nepal. Working at the intersections of decolonization and queer brown narratives, they are the Literary Manager and Director of Public Programming for Haven Theatre, the Resident Dramaturg and Community Organizer for the Chicago Inclusion Project and a content curator for Rescripted. They are currently working on exploring a personal history of the world as told by brown grandmas, in a performance installation called The Brown Grandma Project (working title). 

Georgette Verdin (Utility) has been working with ITP since 2014 and has served as Co-Artistic Director since 2015. She is also a freelance director, theater and speech educator and arts integration specialist. She was the founding theater teacher at Polaris Charter Academy, an Expeditionary Learning School in West Humboldt Park, where she taught full-time for eight years. For Interrobang, Georgette directed last season's Jeff Recommended production of Grace by Craig Wright, season seven's production of the 2013 Yale Drama Series Winner Still by Jen Silverman, as well as season six’s Katrina: Mother-In-Law of ‘Em All by Rob Florence and the Jeff Recommended Recent Tragic Events, also by Craig Wright. Other recent directing credits include Jeff Recommended 20,000 Leagues Under The Seas (Assistant Director, Lookingglass Theatre Company) Time Stands Still (AstonRep), a staged reading of Launch Day by Michael J. Higgins (Chicago Dramatists) and Tennessee Williams’ Talk To Me Like the Rain and Let Me Listen as part of AstonRep’s FOUR BY TENN festival. Georgette holds a Bachelor of Arts in theatre performance from McNeese State University in Lake Charles, LA and a Master in Directing from the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University.

About Interrobang Theatre Project

Now in its ninth season, Interrobang Theatre Project, under the artistic leadership of Georgette Verdin and James Yost, has been hailed by the Chicago Tribune as a “company to watch” and by Time Out Chicago as “one of Chicago’s most promising young theatre companies.” Chris Jones called Foxfinder, which kicked off Interrobang’s 2017-18 season, “...a ripping good yarn,” earning it 3.5 stars from the Chicago Tribune. Foxfinder also garnered seven non-Equity Jeff Awards nominations including Best Director and Production of a Play, and took home two awards for Best Original Music and Set Design. The company also earned seven non-Equity Jeff Nominations for their seventh season, including Best Director, Production of a Play, Solo Performance and acting nominations for Lead Actor, Actress (win) and Actor in a Supporting Role (win). Productions have included the world premiere of Calamity West’s Ibsen is Dead (Jeff Recommended), the Jeff Recommended The Pitchfork Disney, Orange Flower Water, Recent Tragic Events, The North Pool, The Amish Project, Falling and Grace. Director James Yost’s critically-acclaimed Really Really was one of six shows chosen for Chicago Tribune’s “Best of 2015 in Chicago Fringe Theater.”

What’s an interrobang?
An interrobang is the combination of a question mark and an exclamation point, joining the Latin for “question” (interro) with a proofreading term for “exclamation” (bang). Through the plays we produce, Interrobang Theatre Project aims to pose worthwhile and exciting questions which challenge our understanding and assumptions of who we are and the world in which we live. 

For more information, please visit

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

SAVE THE DATES: Firebrand Partners With TimeLine Theatre Company To Launch 2018-19 Season

Firebrand Theatre Announces 2018-19 Season: 

Music by Jeanine Tesori
Book & Lyrics by Tony Kushner
Directed by Lili-Anne Brown
Featuring Rashada Dawan
Presented in Partnership with TimeLine Theatre Company

Chicago Premiere!
Book, Music & Lyrics by Michael John LaChiusa
Directed by Elizabeth Margolius

Firebrand Theatre, the first musical theatre company committed to employing and empowering women by expanding opportunities on and off the stage, is pleased to announce its second season, featuring two fully-produced musicals, including a Chicago premiere. 

This fall, Firebrand partners with TimeLine Theatre Company for a revival of the Tony Award-nominated Best Musical CAROLINE, OR CHANGE, featuring music by Jeanine Tesori (Fun Home, Violet), book and lyrics by Tony Kushner (Angels in America) and direction by Lili-Anne Brown. Rashada Dawan stars in the title role as Caroline.

 Pictured: Rashada Dawan

The season concludes in spring 2019 with the Chicago premiere of QUEEN OF THE MIST, featuring book, music and lyrics by Michael John LaChiusa (The Wild Party, Marie Christine) and direction by Elizabeth Margolius.

Firebrand’s 2017-18 Season will be presented at its resident home, The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood. Season subscriptions are currently available at

Firebrand Theatre’s current season continues with 9 TO 5 THE MUSICAL, playing through May 20, 2018 at the Den Theatre’s Janet Bookspan Theatre. Tickets are available at

Firebrand Theatre’s 2018-19 Season:

September 2018
CAROLINE, OR CHANGE – Presented in partnership with TimeLine Theatre Company
Music by Jeanine Tesori
Book and Lyrics by Tony Kushner
Directed by Lili-Anne Brown
Featuring Rashada Dawan as Caroline 
The Den Theatre’s Heath Main Stage, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago

CAROLINE, OR CHANGE is set in Lake Charles, Louisiana: the end of 1963. America is changing. Caroline Thibodeaux is a mother of four and a maid, working for the southern Jewish Gellman family. Caroline struggles with changes monumental and mundane, and her relationship with the young, grieving boy who lives in the house she cleans. Riveting, moving and awe-inspiring, CAROLINE, OR CHANGE features a virtuosic score by Jeanine Tesori (Fun Home, Violet) and a breathtaking book and lyrics by Pulitzer Prize winner Tony Kushner (Angels in America), the music ranges from Motown to Klezmer, the storytelling from political to magical.

May 2019
Book, Music and Lyrics by Michael John LaChiusa
Directed by Elizabeth Margolius
at The Den Theatre’s Janet Bookspan Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago

QUEEN OF THE MIST is based on the astounding and outrageous true story of Anna Edson Taylor, who in 1901 set out to be the first woman to shoot Niagara Falls in a barrel of her own design. Navigating both the treacherous Falls and a fickle public with a ravenous appetite for sensationalism, this unconventional heroine vies for her legacy in a world clamoring with swindling managers, assassins, revolutionaries, moralizing family, anarchists and activists. With a soaring score that incorporates turn of the century themes with LaChiusa’s signature complexity and insight, QUEEN OF THE MIST is the story of a single great fall, and how one woman risked death so that she could live.

About the Artists
Lili-Anne Brown (Director – Caroline, Or Change) is a native Chicagoan, who works as a director, actor and educator, both locally and regionally. She is the former artistic director of Bailiwick Chicago, where she directed Dessa Rose (Jeff Award), Passing Strange (BTA Award and Jeff nomination for Best Director of a Musical), See What I Wanna See (Steppenwolf Theatre Garage Rep) and the world premiere of Princess Mary Demands Your Attention by Aaron Holland. Other directing credits include Ike Holter's The Wolf at the End of the Block (16th Street Theatre), Lottery Day (Goodman Theatre New Stages Festival), Marie Christine (BoHo Theatre), Peter and the Starcatcher (Metropolis Performing Arts), The Wiz (Kokandy Productions), Xanadu (American Theatre Company), Jabari Dreams of Freedom by Nambi E. Kelley (world premiere, Chicago Children’s Theatre), American Idiot (Northwestern University); the national tour of Jesus Snatched My Edges; and Little Shop of Horrors, Hairspray, Unnecessary Farce, Cabaret, Sweet Charity, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story at Timber Lake Playhouse. She is a member of SDC, SAG-AFTRA, and a graduate of Northwestern University.

Rashada Dawan’s (Caroline – Caroline, Or Change) previous works include Dreamgirls (Charles Winter Wood Theatre), Once On This Island (Yellow Alligator), Dynamite Divas (Black Ensemble Theatre), Black White Love Play (Black Ensemble Theatre), Nutcracker (Lincolnshire Marriott), Madagascar (Lincolnshire Marriott), Elf (Paramount Theatre), Aida (Bailiwick Chicago), Winner of Our Discontent (Second City), A Red Line Runs Through It (Second City). National productions include: Disney’s The Lion King (Las Vegas Company and Gazelle Tour). TV/Commercial credits include Employee Woman (ComEd).

Elizabeth Margolius (Director – Queen of the Mist) is a Chicago-based stage and movement director with a primary focus in developing and directing new and rarely produced musical theatre, operetta and opera. Stage/movement directorial credits include: James and the Giant Peach (Viterbo University, WI), Machinal (Greenhouse Theater Center), The Bridges of Madison County (Peninsula Players, WI), Uncle Philip’s Coat (Greenhouse Theater – Jeff nomination for Best Solo Performance), Haymarket: The Anarchist’s Songbook (Underscore Theatre – 3 Jeff nominations, including Best New Musical), Sitayana (Gift Theatre’s TEN Festival), The Girl in the Train (Chicago Folks Operetta), Goldstar, Ohio (ATC), The Merry Wives of Windsor (Chicago Shakespeare Theater, asst. director to Barbara Gaines), The Mikado (the Savoyaires), The Last Cyclist (Genesis Theatrical), The Land of Smiles and The Cousin from Nowhere (Chicago Folks Operetta), Opus 1861 (City Lit Theater – 3 Jeff nominations, including Best Adaptation), Violet (Bailiwick Chicago –5 Jeff nominations, including Best Musical and Best Director), Bernarda Alba and Songs for a New World (BoHo Theatre). Elizabeth is an alumna of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab in New York, a recipient of a full directorial scholarship at the Wesley Balk Opera-Music Theater Institute in Minneapolis, a respondent and workshop artist for the Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival and a finalist for the Charles Abbott Fellowship. She is the Co-Founder and Artistic Director Emeritus of DirectorsLabChicago; a forum for emerging nationally and internationally based stage directors. Elizabeth is a proud member of the American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA) and the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC).

About the Companies
Firebrand Theatre is a musical theatre company committed to employing and empowering women by expanding their opportunities on and off the stage. Firebrand is a 501(c)(3) Equity theatre.

Company members: Artistic Director: Harmony France, Advisory Board: Lili-Anne Brown, Emjoy Gavino, Kate Garassino, Amber Mak, Danni Smith, Company Members: Kasey Alfonso, Sydney Charles, Heather Clark, Adelina Feldman-Schultz, Amanda Horvath, Jon Martinez, Eric Martin, Amelia Jo Parish and Andra Velis-Simon.

TimeLine Theatre Company was founded in April 1997 with a mission to present stories inspired by history that connect with today's social and political issues. To date over 21 seasons, TimeLine has presented 75 productions, including 10 world premieres and 33 Chicago premieres, and launched the Living History Education Program working with Chicago Public Schools. TimeLine is led by Artistic Director PJ Powers, Managing Director Elizabeth K. Auman and Board President Eileen LaCario. Company members are Nick Bowling, Janet Ulrich Brooks, Behzad Dabu, Lara Goetsch, Juliet Hart, Mildred Marie Langford, Mechelle Moe, David Parkes, Ron OJ Parson, PJ Powers, Maren Robinson and Benjamin Thiem. More information at

Lili-Anne Brown will direct Firebrand Theatre’s production of CAROLINE, OR CHANGE
Rashada Dawan will star as Caroline in Firebrand Theatre’s production of CAROLINE, OR CHANGE

Elizabeth Margolius will direct Firebrand Theatre’s Chicago premiere of QUEEN OF THE MIST.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

SAVE THE DATES: Brown Paper Box Co.'s 2018/2019 Season Kicks Off This Weekend 5/4 & 5/518

Chi IL Live Shows On Our Radar:
Brown Paper Box Co. 2018/2019 Season

Brown Paper Box Co.’s 2018/2019 season poster designs by Artistic Associate Charlie Sheets.

Following their Jeff Recommended run of They’re Playing Our Song and the Chicago Reader Recommended Speech & Debate, Brown Paper Box Co. is proud to announce its 2018/2019 season. With an exciting regional premiere fresh out of New York - cast by lottery each night live on stage, a Chicago storefront chamber musical premiere, a new cabaret at Mary’s Attic in Andersonville, and a Spring 2019 Special Event to be announced soon, BPBCo.’s upcoming season has a little bit of something for everyone & everybody.

"Our staff got about 6 pages into reading Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ EVERYBODY and immediately knew it was the perfect play for our new season,” says Artistic Director Kristi Szczepanek. “And when William & Stephanie brought us their bare-bones concept for Little Women the Musical, it seemed like a great compliment. Thematically, the shows are very different, but we hope to tie them together aesthetically, as we focus this year on our ‘theatre, plain and simple’ roots."

Additional information regarding tickets, casting, outreach, becoming a season donor, and auditions for Brown Paper Box Co.’s 2018/2019 season can be found by visiting

Brown Paper Box Co. presents An Existential Cabaret
Host: Kristi Szczepanek, Accompanist: Emilie Modaff
May 4 and 5, 2018 
Mary’s Attic above Hamburger Mary’s

Inspired by life’s great mysteries presented in our first play in our 2018/2019 season, EVERYBODY, An Existential Cabaret will be a little different from our previous cabarets! As we begin to explore life, love, and morality through Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ modern morality play, guests at Mary’s Attic can expect to hear the musical stylings of Love, Death, Stuff, Friendship, Understanding, and even God — just to name a few. Join us on May 4th and 5th at Mary’s Attic to celebrate our season with the Brown Paper Box Co. family - and a few special guests!

Regional Premiere
Playwright: Branden Jacobs-Jenkins
Director: Erin Shea Brady
July 13 - August 12, 2018
Pride Films & Plays’ The Buena 

This modern riff on the 15th-century morality play Everyman follows Everybody (chosen from the cast by lottery at each performance) as they travel down a road toward life’s greatest mystery. Making its regional premiere in Chicago following its 2017 world premiere off-Broadway, playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (Gloria, An Octoroon) bases his new play on a medieval morality play that instructs sinners on how to repent and seek redemption.

“EVERYBODY harnesses theatricality to drop these conversations into our laps in a way that is hopeful, engaging, and unique,” says director Erin Shea Brady. “The actors literally get to try on different roles. They literally get to step into different points of view, giving us a new opportunity to explore bias and conditioning. There will be some permutations of this piece that have never happened before, that an audience is seeing for the very first time. It’s a huge, exciting experiment and it is electric. EVERYBODY is in on the rarity, taking ‘different every night’ to a whole new level.”

Erin Shea Brady (Director) joined the BPBCo. team this year as Production Director. She is the founder of No Stakes Theater Project, an organization dedicated to supporting the creative risks of emerging artists, where she has produced several productions, staged readings, and initiatives since 2014. Directing credits include: Kander & Ebb's Cabaret, Sharr White’s Annapurna (staged reading) and Jim Cartwright’s The Rise and Fall of Little Voice (No Stakes Theater Project); Stands (Spartan Theater, staged reading) and Anna Schutz's Prodigy: A Modern Family Portrait (staged reading). In assistant direction and dramaturgy roles, Erin has worked on productions at the Goodman, TimeLine, A Red Orchid, Jackalope, Northlight, and Remy Bumppo. A graduate from the directing program at Columbia College Chicago, her training also includes internships at Steppenwolf (Casting Department), American Blues (Performance Intern, Waiting for Lefty), Northlight and A Red Orchid.  Erin is also a contributing critic at Newcity Stage and Perform.Ink and is hard at work on her new play, Revival.

Music: Jason Howland, Lyrics: Mindi Dickstein Book: Allan Knee
Musical Direction: T.J. Anderson
Co-Directors: M. William Panek and Stephanie Rohr
Opening January 2019

This timeless, captivating story is brought to life in this Broadway chamber musical filled with personal discovery, heartache, hope and everlasting love. Based on Louisa May Alcott’s life, Little Women follows the adventures of sisters Jo, Meg, Beth, and Amy March. Jo is trying to sell her stories for publication, but the publishers are not interested. Her friend, Professor Bhaer, tells her that she has to do better and write more from herself. Begrudgingly taking this advice, Jo weaves the story of herself and her sisters and their experience growing up in Civil War America.

Under the co-direction of company members M. William Panek and Stephanie Rohr and musical direction of artistic associate T.J. Anderson, Brown Paper Box Co.’s production will focus on the season's mantra of "theatre, plain and simple." The "back to the basics" approach will re-orchestrate the Broadway score for single piano to transport Jo's memories and the events of the musical into her childhood attic. The bare-bones reimagining will elevate the March sisters’ relationships as important focal points rather than simple plot points. 

M. William Panek (Co-Director) is a proud graduate of the University of Illinois' Theatre Department. Most recent he collaborated with Zach Zimmerman on Luke Babylon: Christian Magician and Spell: An Interactive Solo Performance at iO Chicago, iO New York, The Duplex New York, and the Annoyance Theatre. Previously directing: Now. Here. This., [title of show] (Jeff Award Nominated), A New Brain, Aloha, Say the Pretty Girls, Godspell, To Tree (world premiere), Reefer Madness! The Musical in 2010, 2011, and 2012. Casting Associate: EVERYBODY, The Baltimore Waltz, Julius Caesar, Spike Heels. Cabaret: "Positively Present," "Mary'z With a Z," "Proud at Mary's" at Mary's Attic, "Spring Forward Fail Back" at Uncommon Ground, and "BPB Yearbook" "Character Breakdown" at Davenport's. William served as an artistic associate with The Orchard Project in Hunter, NY, production assistant for the 24-Hour Musicals at Joe's Pub, and the business management assistant at the Williamstown Theatre Festival.

Stephanie Rohr (Co-Director) has worked with BPBCo. as director of Spike Heels, assistant director of A New Brain, and coordinator for Spring Forward Fail Back cabaret. She has performed with BPBCo. in Godspell, Aloha Say the Pretty Girls, and [title of show]. Stephanie holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from Drake University and an MA in Classical Acting from Drama Centre London. She made her West End debut in Opera Up Close's Olivier Award winning production of La Boheme, and also performed at the Roundhouse Theatre and the Barbican Centre in London. Chicago credits include: High Fidelity (Refuge Theatre), Macbeth, Reservoir Dogs, and Predator: The Musical (Roundhouse Productions), Two Gentlemen of Verona (Spectralia Theatre), Jesus Camp (Cornservatory), Perfect Wedding and Secrets of a Soccer Mom (Towle Theater), and No Sex Please, We're British (JPAC). Stephanie also works as a private vocal coach, sings with The Moxie Sisters and The Bangers, and is a fiber artist and cross-stitch designer. (

Saturday, March 17, 2018




For the first time in its history, Aurora’s Paramount Theatre will present a brand new musical.

August Rush, a world premiere co-production with Arlington Virginia's Signature Theatre, was announced today as the thrilling finale of Paramount’s 2018-19 Broadway series.

Internationally acclaimed director John Doyle, who earned a Tony Award for Sweeney Todd and also staged the Broadway revival of The Color Purple starring Jennifer Hudson, will direct this new live stage adaption of the Oscar-nominated Warner Brothers film about a musically gifted orphan and his search for his birth parents. The movie August Rush starred Robin Williams, Keri Russell and Freddie Highmore and earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song.

August Rush, debuting April 24-June 2, 2019 at the Paramount, press opening Saturday, April 27 at 8 p.m., will be preceded in the theater’s 2018-19 Broadway series by three more blockbuster productions: Legally Blonde (September 5-October 21, 2018), The Wizard of Oz (November 14, 2018-January 6, 2019) and The Producers (February 6-March 17, 2019).

Just as it has since it launched its first Broadway Musical Series in 2011, Paramount will offer the same “Buy Two Shows, Get Two Shows Free” subscription offer, with 2018-19 four-play packages starting as low as $72.

Renewals begin today, Monday, February 5 at 10 a.m., with current subscribers given first chance to secure their seats for all four shows.

During the renewal process, new subscribers can pre-order before the general public to get in line for seats. Pre-order reservations can be made online only at for the first week. Starting Monday, February 12 at 10 a.m., new subscribers can pre-order over the phone or in person as well.

Single tickets go on sale in June.

For information, visit, call (630) 896-6666, or visit the Paramount Theatre box office, 23 E. Galena Blvd. in downtown Aurora.

More about Paramount’s first world premiere musical 
August Rush

“When our Broadway Series began in 2011, we had big dreams for what it could become. Over the years, those dreams have been brought to life again and again. And now, one of our biggest dreams is finally becoming a reality,” said Jim Corti, Artistic Director, Paramount Theatre. “August Rush, the first major project from our New Works Development Program guided by my colleague Amber Mak, represents the next step in Paramount’s evolution into one of the nation’s preeminent regional theaters. What does this mean to our subscribers? It means they could be the first ever to see this production before it goes anywhere else, perhaps even to Broadway!”

“I’m excited about the development of this new and unique musical,” said director John Doyle. “August Rush centers on the emotional and musical journey of a young boy – a lost boy. Through music he reunites with the parents he otherwise may never have found. The ‘hope’ that the story highlights is powerful. That, more than anything, is what attracted me to the material, and I’m honored to be a part of its journey.”

August Rush is the story of Evan Taylor, an 11-year-old orphan who believes in music like some believe in fairytales. In a cruel twist of fate, Evan’s mother, an accomplished classical cellist, and his father, the lead singer of a rock band, don’t even know of his existence. From one foster home to the next, Evan refuses to give up hope in finding his parents. On this relentless search, he surrenders himself to the symphony of sounds in the city and follows the music, discovering his own genius along the way. In this inspiring love story, music is everywhere, but will it lead Evan home?

Working closely with Paramount and Signature is Mark Mancina, the celebrated composer of the film’s platinum selling soundtrack, who continues as composer and co-lyricist for the new stage version of August Rush. Mancina arranged and produced many songs for The Lion King and contributed music to Pixar’s hit film Moana.

The creative team includes Emmy Award-winning bookwriter and co-lyricist Glen Berger, who co-wrote the book for Broadway’s SPIDER-MAN Turn Off The Dark.

Orchestrations and additional music are by Dave Metzger, who orchestrated the films August Rush, Training Day and Tarzan and received a Tony nomination for his work on Disney’s The Lion King.

The film August Rush was written by Paul Castro and Nick Castle.

Like Paramount’s Million Dollar Quartet earlier this season and Once still to come, the actors in August Rush will replace the orchestra and play all instruments live on stage, creating the beautiful symphony of this moving, inherently musical story.

The cast, TBA, will be shared by both productions, first at Signature, February 5-March 3, 2019, and then at Paramount, April 24-June 2, 2019. Paramount’s press opening is Saturday, April 27 at 8 p.m. August Rush is rated PG for some adult themes and language.

Paramount Theatre’s 2018-19 Broadway series also includes:

Legally Blonde
September 5-October 21, 2018  
Press opening: Saturday, September 8 at 8 p.m.
Directed by Trent Stork
Music and Lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin
Book by Heather Hach
Based on the novel by Amanda Brown and the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer motion picture

OH MY GOD. Oh my God, you guys! Paramount is kicking off its 2018-19 Broadway season in high fashion with the one and only Elle Woods.

A member of UCLA’s Delta Nu sorority, Elle has a seemingly perfect life and perfect future. All she needs is her boyfriend Warner to cement it with a proposal. But her dream life turns into a nightmare when Warner decides to break it off because she’s not serious enough for him. As if! Heartbroken and in despair, Elle hatches a near-impossible plan to win him back: get into Harvard Law School. What? Like it’s hard? A story of rising to a challenge and defying expectations, all while looking fabulous, Legally Blonde is the perfect way to push Paramount’s eighth season into high gear and never let up.

Trent Stork, a veteran of 16 productions and casting director at the Paramount, will make his Aurora directorial debut with Legally Blonde. A big heart, bigger dance numbers, comedy, devastating ballads and more are all in store for Stork’s fresh take on the 2007 film starring Reese Witherspoon, bringing Blonde into 2018 and exploring what it’s like for a young woman to defy expectations and achieve her dreams. Legally Blonde is rated
PG-13 for some profanity and sexual references.

The Wizard of Oz
November 14, 2018 – January 6, 2019
Press opening: Saturday, November 17 at 8 p.m.
Directed by Amber Mak
By L. Frank Baum
With Music and Lyrics by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg
Adapted by John Kane for the Royal Shakespeare Company
Based upon the classic motion picture owned by Turner Entertainment Co. and distributed in all media by Warner Bros.

You may have been to Oz before, but never like this.

Stuck on a Kansas farm with her aunt, uncle and dog Toto, Dorothy Gale wishes for a better and more exciting life. When a twister hits, Dorothy is whisked away to the wonderful world of Oz, a fantastical place full of munchkins, a cowardly lion, a tin man without a heart, a living scarecrow…and a wicked witch who will do whatever it takes to stop Dorothy.

Director Amber Mak absolutely dazzled audiences with Disney’s The Little Mermaid. She made kids of all ages believe in Santa again with Elf The Musical. Next she’s taking audiences over the rainbow in what is sure to be one of Paramount’s most talked about musicals yet.

Thousands of families come through the Paramount’s doors each holiday season, and with its two-story Christmas tree and fully-decorated lobby, everyone can celebrate the season by reliving their cherished memories of this classic movie, live on stage at the beautiful Paramount Theatre. Just remember, my pretties, The Wizard of Oz is rated PG for some scary moments.

The Producers
February 6 – March 17, 2019
Press opening Saturday, February 9 at 8 p.m.
Directed by Jim Corti
Music and Lyrics by Mel Brooks
Book by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan
A New Mel Brooks Musical

Under the right circumstances, a producer could make more money with a flop than he could with a hit. And so begins one of the most hilarious cons in musical theater history.

Max Bialystock used to be the king of Broadway, but after producing one too many flops, he’s now just a has-been forced into seducing little old ladies for money. After an off the cuff comment from his accountant Leo Bloom, dollar signs go off over his head (as well as “beautiful girls wearing nothing but pearls.”) With reluctant help from Bloom, Max goes in search of the worst musical ever. Will it be a flop? It better, or they might find themselves in prison.

Who doesn’t adore the original, uproariously funny 1967 film starring Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder? Or the 2001 live stage version starring Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, which got its start in Chicago and went on to win a record 12 Tony Awards? Or the 2005 major motion picture that had audiences laughing out loud? All three were the true definition of farce: “a comic dramatic work using buffoonery and horseplay and typically including crude characterization and ludicrously improbable situations.”

Of course, nobody does comedy like Mel Brooks. And nobody does shows like the Paramount, particularly when helmed by Artistic Director Jim Corti, director of Chicago’s past three consecutive Jeff Award winners for Best Production-Musical-Large (Les Misérables, West Side Story and Sweeney Todd-The Demon Barber of Fleet Street), and Best Director of two (Les Misérables and Sweeney Todd.)

“Who doesn’t love a backstage musical comedy, and nowadays we all sure could use a laugh,” said Corti. “The Producers is outrageous and over the top. No stereotype is spared!”

Audiences can expect a really big show that looks spectacular, moving from the office, to the street, to the theater, and brings the hustle and bustle of Broadway New York right to the Paramount stage. Reminder to little old ladies: The Producers is rated PG-13 for strong language, sexual humor and adult content.

Subscribe now to Paramount’s 2018-19 Broadway Series for as little as $18 per ticket

The rewards of subscribing to Paramount’s 2018-19 Broadway Series are ample – four amazing, Broadway-quality musicals at one of the most glamorous Art Deco theaters in the Midwest, all for less than the price and hassle of seeing just one show downtown.

In addition to the lowest major theater subscription prices in Illinois, exclusive benefits for Paramount Broadway subscribers are first choice of the same seats for all four shows, free ticket exchange privileges and first notice of added shows and special events, all delivered with a smile by Paramount’s Subscriber Services Staff. Broadway subscribers also receive first notice and exclusive pre-sale discounts of 10% off single tickets for Broadway performances and other select shows at the Paramount, including concerts by internationally acclaimed music artists, comedy, dance, holiday shows, movies and family presentations.

Look for an announcement of the balance of the Paramount’s 2018-19 season in the summer.

About The Paramount Theatre
The Paramount Theatre (, 23 E. Galena Blvd. in downtown Aurora, is the center for performing arts, entertainment and arts education in the second largest city in Illinois.

The Paramount opened on September 3, 1931. It was designed by renowned theater architects C.W. and George L. Rapp, and is graced with a beautiful Venetian decor with a strong 1930s Art Deco influence. It also was the first air-conditioned building outside of Chicago. From silent films to the first “Talkies,” from Vaudeville to Bobby Vinton, from Dionne to Donny and Marie, the Paramount Theatre has provided Aurora and the Fox Valley the best of entertainment for generations.

In 1976, the Aurora Civic Center Authority (ACCA) restored the Paramount to its original grandeur. The Paramount Arts Centre reopened in 1978, offering a variety of touring theatrical, musical, comedy, dance and family programming. In 2006, a 12,000-square-foot, two-story Grand Gallery lobby was added including a Grand Staircase, new box office, café and art gallery.

In 2010, ACCA hired Tim Rater as President and CEO of the Paramount Theatre. Rater’s mission was to boost the theater’s programming and audience base by transforming the Paramount into one of Chicago’s top self-producing, professional Equity musical theaters. Rater hired award-winning Chicago director Jim Corti as the Paramount’s first-ever artistic director. In 2011, the Paramount introduced its inaugural four-play Broadway Musical Series with Corti’s critically acclaimed production of My Fair Lady.

In just six blockbuster seasons since, Paramount has leapt to the top of Chicago’s musical theater scene, winning unanimous audience and critical acclaim, and an unprecedented number of Joseph Jefferson nominations and awards, including Best Musical-Large for the past three seasons.

Today, the 1,888-seat Paramount Theatre remains nationally renowned for the quality and caliber of its presentations, historic beauty and superb acoustics. More than 36,000 subscribers from throughout the city and suburbs enjoy Paramount’s Broadway-quality productions at highly affordable prices, making Paramount the third largest subscription house in the nation.

In addition to its Broadway series, Paramount continues to present an eclectic array of internationally known comedians, music stars, dance events and family shows, and on most Mondays, screens a classic movie for just $1.

The Paramount Theatre is one of three live performance venues programmed and managed by the ACCA, which also oversees the Paramount’s “sister” stage, the intimate, 173-seat Copley Theatre located directly across the street from the Paramount at
8 E. Galena Blvd., as well as RiverEdge Park, downtown Aurora’s summer outdoor concert venue at 360 N. Broadway.

Additionally, Rater and his team are preparing to open the new Paramount School of Performing Arts in the John C. Dunham Aurora Arts Center, now under construction directly adjacent to the Paramount. Registration opens in the fall for a full roster of classes, private lessons and camps in acting, music and dance to launch in early 2019. Courses for children as young as six months will be offered with opportunities for adults and seniors, as well. Paramount’s new school will encourage and train young actors, dancers and musicians for a culture-filled life, nurture the arts in Chicago’s western suburbs and add to the excitement, cultural and economic activity in downtown Aurora.

The Paramount Theatre continues to expand its artistic and institutional boundaries under the guidance of Tim Rater, President and CEO, Aurora Civic Center Authority; Jim Corti, Artistic Director, Paramount Theatre; a dedicated Board of Trustees and a devoted staff of live theater and music professionals.

For more, visit or call (630) 896-6666.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

SAVE THE DATES: Remy Bumppo Theatre Company’s 2018-2019 Season

Chi IL Live Shows On Our Radar:

Remy Bumppo Theatre Company, in its 22nd Season, will present three stories that explore the fears preventing us from reaching out, the infinite mystery of the mind, and the heartbreaking love that spans space and time. 

Producing Artistic Director Nick Sandys speaks to the exciting and diverse lineup of the upcoming season: “This season we are thrilled to present three Chicago premieres that travel the length and breadth of style and substance, yet all examine the divisions and dualities within us in uniquely theatrical ways—a chilling science- fiction classic told from a startlingly new viewpoint, an award-winning mystery that takes you inside a crumbling mind, and a charming Irish-American literary romance that plays with time.” 

From October 11 to November 11, 2018, Remy Bumppo will be celebrating the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s famous novel, Frankenstein, in a fresh, new adaptation by Nick Dear directed by Remy Bumppo Artistic Assistant Ian Frank. As in the Royal National Theatre’s premiere, the duality of human nature will be embodied by two actors who will alternate the roles of the creator and his creature every other performance. Producing Artistic Director Nick Sandys and Core Ensemble Member Greg Matthew Anderson will tackle this thrilling feat this fall, alongside Core Ensemble Member Eliza Stoughton. 

The Father, a multi-award-winning hit from Paris, London, and New York, comes to Chicago for the first time from January 31 – March 3, 2019. Directed by Kay Martinovich and featuring Core Ensemble Members David Darlow and Linda Gillum, Florian Zeller’s tragi-comic mystery is a deeply poignant, unsentimental look at the cruelties of love, the limits of patience and the unsettling process of mental decay. 

Remy Bumppo’s 22nd season will conclude with the heartfelt, wistful (and might we add, very Irish) Bloomsday, directed by J.R. Sullivan and starring Remy Bumppo Core Ensemble Members Annabel Armour and Shawn Douglass, from May 16 and closing on Bloomsday itself, June 16, 2019. Steven Dietz’s lyrical new love story, set against the backdrop of Joyce’s groundbreaking Ulysses, transports us into a compassionate world of history, humor, and heartache, in a magical celebration of the present and nostalgic acceptance of the past. 
“As our world becomes more polarized, it is crucial for each of us to examine the faultlines within our own characters and the fears that prevent us from reaching out to each other,” explains Sandys, “The collaborative crucible of theatre, dares us to take an imaginative journey towards greater empathy. These three stories will thrill, chill and cheer our hearts through the intrepid questioning of these amazing characters, and help us to understand the dualities that all of us battle every day.” 

All productions in Remy Bumppo Theatre Company’s 2018-2019 season will be performed at the Greenhouse Theater Center at 2257 N. Lincoln Ave in Chicago. Visit for more information on subscription and single ticket sales. 


Frankenstein adapted by Nick Dear based on the novel by Mary Shelley October 11 – November 11, 2018 

The Father by Florian Zeller January 31 – March 3, 2019 

Bloomsday by Steven Dietz May 16 – June 16, 2019 

Remy Bumppo Theatre Company is an ensemble based theatre company that believes in the power and beauty of language, and we know that conversation is an agent of change. As our motto think theatre suggests, the plays we produce will make you think - actively - about the complex issues we face as people, as a community, and as humankind. 

Since its inception in 1996, the Company has been in residence at the Greenhouse Theater Center in Lincoln Park (formerly Victory Gardens Theater). Remy Bumppo currently serves 1,200 subscribers, plus thousands of single ticket buyers, who come to the theatre from all over Chicago and its suburbs. 

Thursday, March 8, 2018


Chi IL Live Shows On Our Radar:


Michael Weber, artistic director of Porchlight Music Theatre, is proud to announce Porchlight Music Theatre’s 24th season that includes the 2018 – 2019 Mainstage, Porchlight Revisits and New Faces Sing Broadway seasons. Porchlight’s Mainstage and Porchlight Revisits return to the Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn Street.  

A variety of subscriptions for the Mainstage and Porchlight Revisits are on sale to the general public beginning Friday, March 9 at 10 a.m. at or by phone at 773.777.9884. Single tickets for all performances go on sale Friday, June 1 at 10 a.m.

The 2018 – 2019 Mainstage Season

Gypsy, starring E. Faye Butler as “Rose,” is the legendary musical telling the heart wrenching story of a mother who raises her daughters to assume the heights, whether they want to or not, and featuring one of the gold-standard musical scores, October 12 – November 25;

A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, starring Matt Crowle as “The D’Ysquith Family” and winner of the 2014 Best Musical Tony Award, is the uproarious story of Monty Navarro, an heir to a family fortune who sets out to jump the line of succession by eliminating the eight pesky relatives who stand in his way, January 25 – March 10, 2019 and

A Chorus Line, directed and choreographed by Brenda Didier, is the winner of nine Tony Awards and the Pulitzer Prize, is the story of Broadway dancers who put their lives on the line for the opportunity to do what they have always dreamed of doing, April 10 – May 26, 2019. 

The 2018 – 2019 Porchlight Revisits Season

Porchlight Music Theatre continues Porchlight Revisits in its 2018 – 2019 season. This hugely popular “lost musicals” in fully staged concert series offers classic productions that have been rarely seen in Chicago and includes a fun, fact-filled multmedia “Behind the Scenes Backstory” presentation before each performance created and hosted by Weber.

The sixth season of Porchlight Revisits includes: 

1776 (1969) 
Music and Lyrics by Sherman Edwards, Book by Peter Stone 
Wednesday, Nov. 14 and Thursday, Nov. 15
This 50th Anniversary production of the story of America’s birth includes Benjamin Franklin, Abigail Adams, Thomas Jefferson and others brought to life with their eternal challenges, impassioned arguments and world-changing vision fought over in Philadelphia in those sweltering days of summer nearly 250 years ago.

Can-Can (1953)
Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter, Book by Abe Burrows 
Wednesday, March 6 and Thursday, March 7, 2019 
Set in Paris in 1893, it’s the story of La Môme Pistache, a café owner who decides to feature the then-scandalous and illicit dance, the Can-Can, on the stage of her establishment. Such an action in defiance of the law could result in disaster for both her business and her love life 

Minnie’s Boys (1970)
Book by Arthur Marx and Robert Fisher, Music by Larry Grossman and Lyrics by Hal Hackady
Wednesday, May 22 and Thursday, May 23, 2019
A joyful and loving look at the young Marx Brothers as they chart their journey from vaudeville toward Hollywood and their invention of the greasepaint mustache, the honking horn and the tickling of those famous piano keys.
The 2018 – 2019 New Faces Sing Broadway Season

New Faces Sings Broadway takes you in a musical time machine from the start to the finish of one full season on Broadway. A celebrity host introduces audiences to the next generation of music theatre artists while serving as guide to the stars, songs and stories of that season. Peppered with photos and films of the era in an exciting multimedia presentation, trivia games with prizes, sing-alongs and more, the 2018 – 2019 season will be performed at locations to be announced and features:

New Faces Sing Broadway 1964, hosted by WGN’s Paul Lisnek
Monday, Oct. 29 and Tuesday, Oct. 30
Songs from Funny Girl, Hello, Dolly!, Fiddler on the Roof and other productions from 1964 are included in this New Faces Sing Broadway.

New Faces Sing Broadway 1941 
Monday, Feb. 25 – Wednesday, Feb 27, 2019
Songs from Lady in the Dark, Pal Joey, Cabin in the Sky and other productions from 1941 are included in this New Faces Sing Broadway.

New Faces Sing Broadway NOW 
Monday, June 3 – Wednesday, June 5, 2019
Songs from Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen, The Band’s Visit and other productions from Broadway’s current season. 
New Faces Sing Broadway is generously sponsored by Elaine Cohen and Arlen Rubin.

Full production artistic leadership, actors, and location will be released at a future date.

Porchlight Music Theatre’s 2018 – 2019 season includes, in chronological order:

Starring E. Faye Butler
October 12 – November 25
Music by Jule Styne
Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by Arthur Laurents
Previews: Friday, Oct. 12 at 8 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 13 at 8 p.m.; Sunday, Oct. 14 at 
2 p.m. and Monday, Oct. 15 at 7:30 p.m.
Opening Night: Tuesday, Oct. 16 at 7:30 p.m.
Regular Run: Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 4 and 8 p.m.
and Sundays at 4 p.m. 
Weekday Matinee: Thursday, Nov. 8 at 1:30 p.m.
Chicago’s E. Faye Butler adopts the mantle of Broadway’s legendary “stage mother” in this heart wrenching story of a woman who raises her daughters to assume the heights, whether they want to or not, and featuring one of the gold-standard musical scores including “Let Me Entertain You,” “Together (Wherever We Go),” “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” and others.

Ms. Butler’s performance is sponsored by Michael and Mona Heath.

New Faces Sings Broadway – 1964
Monday, Oct. 29 and Tuesday, Oct. 30 
Hosted by WGN’s Paul Lisnek, featuring songs from the shows Funny Girl, Hello, Dolly!, Fiddler on the Roof and others.
New Faces Sings Broadway takes you in a musical time machine from the start to the finish of the 1964 Broadway season. Peppered with photos and films of the era in an exciting multimedia presentation, trivia games with prizes, sing-alongs and more, a celebrity host introduces you to the next generation of music theatre artists while serving as your guide to the stars, songs and stories of a season past on the Great White Way. Location TBA. 

Porchlight Revisits
1776 (1969)
Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 7:30 and Thursday, Nov. 15 at 1:30 and 7:30
Music and Lyrics by Sherman Edwards
Book by Peter Stone 

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Tony Award-winner, Porchlight Music Theatre brings to Chicago the impassioned arguments and world-changing visions that were fought over in those sweltering summer days in Philadelphia nearly 250 years ago. The historic players will be present in the characterizations of Benjamin Franklin, Abigail Adams, Thomas Jefferson and others, showcasing the compelling debate of what are we willing to compromise to build a new country will ring out louder than the toll of the Liberty Bell.

A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder
Starring Matt Crowle
January 25 – March 10, 2019
Music by Steven Lutvak
Lyrics by Robert L. Freedman and Steven Lutvak
Book by Robert L. Freedman
Previews: Friday, Jan. 25 at 8 p.m.; Saturday, Jan. 26 at 8 p.m.; Sunday, Jan. 27 at
2 p.m.; Monday, Jan. 28 at 7:30 p.m. 
Opening Night: Tuesday, Jan. 29 at 7:30 p.m.
Regular Run: Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 4 p.m. 
Weekday Matinee: Thursday, Feb. 28 at 1:30 p.m.

Winner of the 2014 Tony Award as BEST MUSICAL, it’s the uproarious story of Monty Navarro, an heir to a family fortune who sets out to jump the line of succession by—you guessed it—eliminating the eight pesky relatives who stand in his way. All the while, Monty has to juggle his mistress (she’s after more than just love), his fiancée (she’s his cousin but who’s keeping track?), and the constant threat of landing behind bars! Of course, it will all be worth it if he can slay his way to his inheritance…and be done in time for tea. Here’s a show that will have you dying with laughter which the The New York Times called “Among the most inspired and entertaining new musicals."

New Faces Sing Broadway – 1941
Monday, Feb. 25 – Wednesday, Feb.  27, 2019 
Featuring songs from the shows Funny Girl, Hello, Dolly!, Fiddler on the Roof and others.
New Faces Sings Broadway takes you in a musical time machine from the start to the finish of the 1941 Broadway season. Peppered with photos and films of the era in an exciting multimedia presentation, trivia games with prizes, sing-alongs and more, a celebrity host introduces you to the next generation of music theatre artists while serving as your guide to the stars, songs and stories of a season past on the Great White Way. Location TBA.

Porchlight Revisits 
Can-Can (1953)
Wednesday, March 6 at 7:30 p.m. and Thursday, March 7 at 1:30 p.m. and 
7:30 p.m., 
Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter
Book by Abe Burrows                  
Set in Paris in 1893, it’s the story of Pistache, a café owner who decides to feature the then-scandalous and illicit dance, the Can-Can, on the stage of her establishment. Meanwhile, Aristide Forestier, a young, newly-appointed and over-zealous magistrate, decides to undertake a reform movement and sets his sights to clean up the city, starting with a prohibition of the titillating dance. Will Pistache’s defiance of the law end her business—and her love life? Featuring the hit Cole Porter songs “I Love Paris,” “C’est Magnifique” and “It’s All Right with Me,” Can-Can is a romantic, dancing, musical classic.

A Chorus Line
Directed and Choreographed by Brenda Didier
April 10 – May 26, 2019
Music by Marvin Hamlisch
Lyrics by Edward Kleban
Book by James Kirkwood, Jr. and Nicholas Dante
Previews: Wednesday April 10 at 7 p.m.; Thursday April 11 at 7:30 p.m.; Friday April 12 at 8 p.m.; Saturday, April 13 at 8 p.m.
Opening Night: Sunday, April 14 at 6 p.m.
Regular Run: Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 4 p.m. 
Weekday Matinee: Thursday, May 16 at 1:30 p.m.
Winner of nine Tony Awards and the Pulitzer Prize, this landmark work has electrified audiences around the world. In an empty theatre, on a bare stage, casting for a new Broadway musical is almost complete. For seventeen dancers, this audition is the chance of a lifetime. It's what they've worked for with every drop of sweat and every hour of training, putting their lives on the line for the opportunity to do what they've always dreamed of doing: to dance. Featuring an incomparable score including “What I Did for Love,” “One” and “Dance Ten, Looks Three,” you won't want to miss this singular sensation!

Porchlight Revisits
Minnie’s Boys (1970)
Wednesday, May 22 at 7:30 p.m. and Thursday, May 23 at 1:30 p.m. and 
7:30 p.m.
Book by Arthur Marx and Robert Fisher
Music by Larry Grossman
Lyrics by Hal Hackady
Before they became Groucho, Chico, Harpo, Zeppo and Gummo, they were simply Julius, Leonard, Adolph, Herbert and Milton—The Marx Brothers of 110th Street in New York City. Their rise to stardom became legendary and their famous stage mother, Minnie Marx, was driving them every step of the way. Originally a starring vehicle for the great Shelley Winters, Minnie’s Boys is a joyful and loving look at one of the craziest families in American show business as they chart their journey from vaudeville toward Hollywood and their invention of the greasepaint mustache, the honking horn and the tickling of those famous piano keys.

New Faces Sing Broadway NOW
Monday, June 3 – Wednesday, June 5, 2019
Featuring songs from the shows Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen, The Band’s Visit and others.
New Faces Sings Broadway takes you in a musical time machine from the start to the finish of this year’s Broadway season. Peppered with photos and films of today in an exciting multimedia presentation, trivia games with prizes, sing-alongs and more, a favorite Chicago theatre host introduces you to the next generation of music theatre artists while serving as your guide to the stars, songs and stories of the current season on the Great White Way. Location TBA.

Porchlight Music Theatre is proud to be a member of the vibrant Ruth Page Center for the Arts community and an Artist In-Residence. Central to the Ruth Page Center for the Arts’ programming is the Artists In-Residence program, which is designed to serve organizations looking for a home base while they grow or expand their artistic and organizational capabilities. The Center is committed to nurturing and assisting dance and other performing artists, allowing for exchange and collaborative relationships to develop within the artistic community. The Ruth Page Center for the Arts is a destination for quality performing arts, accessible to a wide community regardless of race, gender, age, education or disability. An incubator of artistic energy and excellence, the Ruth Page Center for the Arts carries forward the vision of its founder, legendary dance icon Ruth Page, to be a platform for developing great artists and connecting them with audiences and community. 

As the home for music theatre in Chicago entering its 24th season, Porchlight Music Theatre is nationally recognized for reimagining classic productions, developing new works and showcasing musical theatre’s noted Chicago veterans and rising stars. Porchlight elevates the genre by providing intimate and powerful theatrical experiences of music theatre through the lens of the “Chicago Style.” The 2017–2018 year marked a milestone for Porchlight as the company became an Artist In-Residence at the historic Ruth Page Center for the Arts in Chicago’s Gold Coast. Porchlight’s rich history includes the staging of more than 60 productions with 15 Chicago premieres and five world premieres. Through Porchlight’s “Off the Porch” new works program, the musicals of the next generation are developed and given a first audience. The School at Porchlight is Chicago’s center for music theatre training in the areas of performance, writing and appreciation including the launch of a youth “Write Your Own Musical” Summer Camp in 2017. The company’s many accolades include 22 Black Theatre Alliance nominations and seven awards, as well as a total of 139 Joseph Jefferson Awards.

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