ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar
PORCHLIGHT MUSIC THEATRE CONTINUES ITS NINTH SEASON OF THE PORCHLIGHT REVISITS SERIES WITH JOHN VAN DRUTEN’S
I AM A CAMERA
AT RUTH PAGE CENTER FOR THE ARTS,
FEBRUARY 8 AND 9
This Limited Engagement Complements Porchlight’s Mainstage Production of Cabaret, presented January 14 - February 12, that was Adapted from Van Druten’s I am a Camera
Porchlight Music Theatre continues its 2022 - 2023 season with Porchlight Revisits I am a Camera, book by John Van Druten, directed by Nate Cohen+. I'll be out to review at the 2nd performance, so check back for my full review. In the meantime, don't sleep on this short run of the show . Get your tickets today. Porchlight Revisits I am a Camera is presented for two performances only Wednesday, Feb. 8 at 7:30 p.m. and Thursday, Feb. 9 at 1:30 p.m. at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn Street. Single tickets to Porchlight Revisits I am a Camera are $52 at PorchlightMusicTheatre.org or by calling the Porchlight Music Theatre box office at 773.777.9884.
The ninth Porchlight Revisits season continues with I am a Camera, a 1951 Broadway play that was adapted from Christopher Isherwood’s 1939 novel “Goodbye to Berlin.” This special event production is a rare opportunity to experience the remarkable play that became the inspiration for the musical Cabaret, which Porchlight is presenting January 14 - February 12 also at the Ruth Page Center.
Never revived on Broadway and not seen in Chicago for decades, the title is a quotation taken from “Goodbye to Berlin’s” first page: “I am a camera with its shutter open, quite passive, recording, not thinking.” The original production was a critically acclaimed success with Julie Harris winning her first of five Tony Awards in the role of “Sally Bowles,” Marian Winters winning both the Theatre World Award and the Tony for her role as “Natalia Landauer” and Van Druten winning the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best American Play in 1952.
The cast of Porchlight Revisits I am a Camera includes, in alphabetical order, Caron Buinis* (Fraulein Schneider); Ramón Camín+(Clive Mortimer); Justin Kuhn+(Fritz Wendel); Gabi Leibowitz* (Natalia Landauer); Mary Margaret McCormick* (Sally Bowles); Zachary Owen+ (Christopher Isherwood) and Carrie Lee Patterson* (Mrs. Watson-Courtneidge).
The Porchlight Revisits I am a Camera creative team includes Nate Cohen+ (director); Matthew R. Chase+ (sound designer); Kristi Martens* (production stage manager); Mia Maccarella* (assistant stage manager), Jake Snell+ (assistant stage manager); Frankie Leo Bennett+ (producing artistic associate); Majel Cuza* (production manager) and Michael Weber+ (artistic director).
Pronoun Key: + (he/him/his); * (she/her/hers); ^ (they, them, theirs). = (any with respect)
Now in its ninth season, Porchlight Revisits celebrates the rarely seen gems of Broadway, off-Broadway and beyond and is the ticket to go behind the scenes with an introduction to the luminaries who created these plays and musicals and an opportunity to discover a new ‘old’ favorite all in one big show. Chicago’s finest talents dust off these treasures and escort audiences into the world of the art of theatre’s past for a limited run. In addition to productions from days gone by, each Porchlight Revisits includes the Behind the Show Backstory, an entertaining and informative multimedia presentation, created and hosted by Artistic Director Michael Weber+, introducing the evening’s production including the show’s creative history, juicy backstage stories and much more.
The final Porchlight Revisits of the 2023 - 2023 season is Porchlight Revisits Two by Two, Wednesday, May 24 at 7:30 p.m. and Thursday, May 25 at 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., with music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Martin Charnin and book by Peter Stone based The Flowering Peach by Clifford Odets. Porchlight Revisits Two by Two tells the story of Noah, the flood and its aftermath with touches of modern themes including the environment and the differences from generation to generation.
ABOUT PORCHLIGHT REVISITS
Continuing to forge its role as “Chicago’s Music Theatre,” Porchlight launched the exciting new series Porchlight Revisits in 2013; especially created for the die-hard music theatre aficionado. Each season, Porchlight Music Theatre shares with audiences the rare opportunity to visit musicals and non-musicals that opened on the Great White Way but have since gone “unsung.” Previous Porchlight Revisits productions include:
(2022/23) The Apple Tree, I am a Camera, Two by Two;
(2021/22) Passing Strange, Nunsense;
(2019/20) Call Me Madam;
(2018/19) 1776, Can-Can, Minnie’s Boys;
(2017/18) Do Re Mi, They’re Playing Our Song, Woman of the Year;
(2016/17) The Rink, Little Me, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever;
(2015/16) Chess, Applause, Babes in Arms;
(2014/15) Bells Are Ringing, City of Angels, Mack & Mabel;
(2013/14) Anyone Can Whistle, Golden Boy, Fade Out-Fade In.
Porchlight Music Theatre presents
January 14 - February 12, 2023
Music by John Kander
Lyrics by Fred Ebb
Book by Joe Masteroff
Based on the 1951 play I am a Camera by John Van Druten adapted from the 1939 novella “Goodbye to Berlin” by Christopher Isherwood
Directed by Artistic Director Michael Weber+
Music Directed by Linda Madonia*
Associate Directed & Choreographed by Brenda Didier*
Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn St.
Press Opening: Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023 at 7 p.m.
Bold and provocative, this winner of seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical, shines a spotlight on Berlin in the late 1920s and the colorful, gritty and hedonistic lives found there. Filled with iconic songs and electrifying dance, Cabaret tells the story of the American writer Clifford Bradshaw and his relationship with English cabaret performer Sally Bowles on the eve of the Nazi party’s rise to power. Overseen by an ominous Emcee at the fabled Kit Kat Club, Cabaret is a cautionary tale that has renewed resonance in today’s political climate.
ABOUT NATE COHEN+, director
Nate Cohen makes his Porchlight debut with Porchlight Revisits I am a Camera. He is an associate member of the SDC and holds an MFA in directing from Northwestern University, where he also teaches. Notable directing credits include Peter and the Starcatcher, Winnie-the-Pooh, The Angry Brigade and Midsummer: A Play with Songs at the Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts, A Maze (Theatre Vertigo), Middle Names (DownBoat Arts), All's Faire (Action/Adventure Theatre) Manspread Madness (Collaboraction) and assisting on Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime (Steppenwolf), Linda Vista (Steppenwolf), Mr. Dickens’ Hat (Northlight), The Beauty Queen Lenanne (Northlight), Book of Will (Northlight), Grand Concourse (Artists Repertory Theatre) and American Hero (Artists Repertory Theatre).
ABOUT PORCHLIGHT MUSIC THEATRE AS RUTH PAGE IN-RESIDENCE ORGANIZATION
Porchlight Music Theatre is proud to be a member of the vibrant Ruth Page Center for the Arts community and an In-Residence Organization. Central to the Ruth Page Center for the Arts’ programming is this 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.
ABOUT PORCHLIGHT MUSIC THEATRE
Porchlight Music Theatre, now in its 28th season, is the award-winning center for music theatre in Chicago. Through live performance, youth education and community outreach, we impact thousands of lives each season, bringing the magic of musicals to our theatre home at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts in the Gold Coast and to neighborhoods across the city. Porchlight has built a national reputation for boldly reimagining classic musicals, supporting new works and young performers, and showcasing Chicago’s most notable music theatre artists, all through the intimate and powerful theatrical lens of the “Chicago Style.”
Porchlight's history over the last 27 years includes more than 70 mainstage works with 15 Chicago premieres and five world premieres. Porchlight’s commitment to the past, present and future of music theatre led the company to develop the Porchlight Revisits and New Faces Sing Broadway program series, both quickly becoming audience favorites.
Porchlight's education and outreach programs serve schools, youth of all ages and skill levels and community organizations, most notably the ongoing collaboration with Chicago Youth Centers. Porchlight annually awards dozens of full scholarships and hundreds of free tickets to ensure accessibility and real engagement with this uniquely American art form.
The company’s many honors include 178 Joseph Jefferson Award (Jeff) nominations and 49 Jeff awards, as well as 44 Black Theatre Alliance (BTA) nominations and 15 BTA awards. In 2019, Porchlight graduated to the Large Theatre tier of the Equity Jeff Awards and has been honored with seven awards in this tier to date including Best Ensemble for Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies (2019) and Best Production-Revue for Blues in the Night (2022).
Through the global pandemic, Porchlight emerged as one of Chicago’s leaders in virtual programming, quickly launching a host of free offerings like Sondheim @ 90 Roundtables, Movie Musical Mondays, Porchlight by Request: Command Performances and WPMT: Classic Musicals from the Golden Age of Radio. In 2021, Porchlight launched its annual summer series, Broadway in your Backyard, performing at parks and venues throughout the city.
Porchlight Music Theatre is partially supported by generous contributions from Allstate; Michael Best & Friedrich LLP; Abe and Ida Cooper Foundation; Elegant Event Lighting; Glimpse Vision; James P. and Brenda S. Grusecki Family Foundation; Hearty Boys; A.L. and Jennie L. Luria Foundation; The MacArthur Fund for Culture, Equity and the Arts at Prince; the Pritzker Traubert Foundation; Ryan and Spaeth, Inc.; Daniel and Genevieve Ratner Foundation; The Saints and Dr. Scholl Foundation.
The season program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, a state agency, and by a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events.
Porchlight Music Theatre wishes to thank members of the Matching Gift Corporate Program including Abbvie; Allstate; Lloyd A. Fry Foundation; Peoples Gas; Pepsico; Polk Bros Foundation and The Saints.