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Showing posts with label Porchlight Music Theatre. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Porchlight Music Theatre. Show all posts

Thursday, April 14, 2022

CHICAGO SINGS STEPHEN SONDHEIM, MONDAY, MAY 23, AT THE MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART

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PORCHLIGHT MUSIC THEATRE ANNOUNCES TALENT PERFORMING IN ITS ANNUAL CONCERT FUNDRAISER, CHICAGO SINGS STEPHEN SONDHEIM, MONDAY, MAY 23,AT THE MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART

The 2022 Chicago Sings Concert’s “It’s a Hit” Live Experience is SOLD OUT with tickets to the “Color & Light” Lounge Experience Still Available 

Porchlight Music Theatre is proud to announce the current roster of music theatre and cabaret talent performing in this year’s annual Chicago Sings fundraising concert, Chicago Sings Stephen Sondheim, Monday, May 23, at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), 220 E. Chicago Ave. This year’s Chicago Sings concert offered two opportunities to experience Chicago’s music theatre and cabaret performers saluting Stephen Sondheim. The first, which is now sold out, is the “It’s a Hit” Live Experience.Tickets for the “Color & Light” Lounge Experience, hosted by the Porchlight Young Professionals, are still available for $50 per ticket, and includes a live stream of the performance in a lounge created on the second floor of the MCA. Tickets may be purchased now at PorchlightMusicTheatre.org.

Chicago Sings Stephen Sondheim will be a fundraising celebration of the life and art of the great composer and lyricist who changed the world of American music theatre with performances co-directed by Porchlight Artistic Director Michael Weber+ and Producing Artistic Associate Frankie Leo Bennett+, music direction by David Fiorello+, choreography by Alejandro Fonseca+ and Laura Savage* and the presentation of the Guy Adkins Award for Excellence in the Advancement of Music Theatre in Chicago.

The Chicago Sings Stephen Sondheim performers presenting songs featuring both music and lyrics by Sondheim currently scheduled to perform include Larry Adams+, Neala Barron*, Brianna Borger*, Justin Brill+, Christine Bunuan*, Lydia Burke*, Billy Dwyer+, Andres Enriquez+, Nancy Godinez*, Cecilia Iole*, Paul-Jordan Jansen+, Mark David Kaplan+, Parker Guidry^, Clare Kennedy*, Becky Keeshin*, Nik Kmiecik+, Evan Tyrone Martin+, Beckie Menzie*, Juwon Tyrel Perry+, Nolan Robinson+, Lorenzo Rush Jr+, Laura Savage*, Kelan M. Smith+ and Genevieve Thiers*.

Pronoun Key: + (he/him/his); * (she/her/hers); ^ (they, them, theirs); = (any with respect)

In addition to the performances, a Chicago Sings tradition continues with the presentation of the Guy Adkins Award for exceptional and lasting contributions to the state of the art of Chicago music theatre to Paramount Theatre Artistic Director Jim Corti.

Past Guy Adkins Award recipients include Felicia P. Fields, who recently starred in Porchlight’s Blues in the Night, director/choreographers Brenda Didier, currently at the helm in Porchlight’s Spring Awakening as well as Rachel Rockwell, actors E. Faye Butler, Paula Scrofano and Hollis Resnik, music director/conductor Doug Peck and directors Gary Griffin, Dominic Missimi and L. Walter Stearns. The committee that chooses the annual award winner is composed of past recipients and other leaders in Chicago’s music theatre industry. 

ABOUT CHICAGO SINGS STEPHEN SONDHEIM
 “It’s a Hit!” Live Experience is now SOLD OUT and included
  • Reserved seat in the Edlis Neeson Theater to see this special concert live and in person
  • An exclusive pre-concert reception on the MCA’s second-floor tented terrace overlooking the sculpture garden with complimentary food and wine
  • Elegant piano entertainment during the reception
  • Viewing of the Nick Cave exhibit showcasing Cave’s unique fabric sculptures 

“Color & Light” Lounge Experience includes
  • An exclusive viewing party of the streamed Chicago Sings concert, hosted by the Porchlight Young Professionals, in the MCA’s second-floor lounge space
  • Viewing of the new Nick Cave exhibit showcasing his unique fabric sculptures only one week after its opening at the museum
  • Mingling with young art enthusiasts and have fun with our Lounge hosts and interactive piano accompanist
  • Complimentary wine and snacks

ABOUT STEPHEN SONDHEIM
Stephen Sondheim wrote the music and lyrics for Saturday Night (1954), A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum (1962), Anyone Can Whistle (1964), Follies (1972), A Little Night Music (1973), The Frogs (1974), Pacific Overtures (1976), Sweeney Todd(1979), Merrily We Roll Along (1981), Sunday in the Park with George (1984), Into The Woods (1987), Assassins (1991), Passion (1994) and Road Show (2008), as well as lyrics for West Side Story (1957), Gypsy (1959), Do I Hear A Waltz? (1965) and additional lyrics for Candide (1973). Side By Side By Sondheim (1976), Marry Me A Little (1981), You’re Gonna Love Tomorrow (1983), Putting It Together (1993/99), Moving On (2001), and Sondheim On Sondheim (2010) are anthologies of his work as composer and lyricist. For film, he composed the score of “Stavisky” (1974), co-composed the score for “Reds” (1981), and wrote songs for “Dick Tracy” (1990). He wrote songs for the television production “Evening Primrose” (1966), co-authored the film The Last of Sheila (1973), and the play Getting Away With Murder (1996), and provided incidental music for the plays The Girls Of Summer (1956), Invitation To A March (1961), Twigs (1971), and The Enclave (1973). His collected lyrics with attendant essays have been published in two volumes: “Finishing the Hat” (2010) and “Look, I Made A Hat” (2011). In 2010, the Broadway theater formerly known as Henry Miller’s Theatre was renamed The Stephen Sondheim Theatre in his honor. Stephen Sondheim died November 21, 2021. 

ABOUT PORCHLIGHT MUSIC THEATRE
Porchlight Music Theatre 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.” 

Now in its 27th season, Porchlight's quarter-century production history 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 45 Jeff awards, as well as 33 Black Theatre Alliance (BTA) nominations and 12 BTA awards. In 2019, Porchlight graduated to the Large Theatre tier of the Equity Jeff Awards, and was honored with eight nominations in both technical and artistic categories and won three awards in its inaugural year in this tier, most notably Best Ensemble for Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies

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. For the 2020-2021 season, Porchlight’s fall schedule included all-new ticketed virtual programs including Broadway by the DecadeNew Faces Sing Broadway 1987Chicago Sings Rock & Roll BroadwayNew Faces Sing Broadway 1961 and the return of The Ruffians’ Burning Bluebeard as well as collaborations with Hershey Felder and L.A. Theatre Works. Porchlight recently launched its first summer performance schedule in 2021 that included a sold-out performance of New Faces Sing Broadway 1979 at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, the premiere of its outdoor music series Broadway in your Backyard, performed throughout Chicagoland this summer and special appearances at Sundays on State and Navy Pier’s Chicago Live Again. 

Porchlight Music Theatre is partially supported by generous contributions from Actors’ Equity Foundation; Allstate; Bayless Family Foundation; Michael Best & Friedrich LLP; Chapman | Spingola, Attorneys at Law; Abe and Ida Cooper Foundation; Gen Ops Plus; Elegant Event Lighting; 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; Dr. Scholl Foundation and the Topfer Family 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. 
Pronoun Key: + (he/him/his); * (she/her/hers); ^ (they, them, theirs); = (any with respect)
JIM CORTI, 2022 GUY ADKINS AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN THE ADVANCEMENT OF MUSIC THEATRE IN CHICAGO RECIPIENT

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

EXTENDED: Porchlight Music Theatre's Acclaimed Blues in the Night Now Playing March 20, 2022

 PORCHLIGHT MUSIC THEATRE PRESENTS 

BLUES IN THE NIGHT

DIRECTED AND CHOREOGRAPHED BY KENNY INGRAM+ 

AND MUSIC DIRECTED BY DAVID FIORELLO+

AT THE RUTH PAGE CENTER FOR THE ARTS 

Now Extended Through March 20, 2022

 Felicia P. Fields* All Photos by Anthony Robert La Penna

REVIEW:

By Bonnie Kenaz-Mara

Every time I see a Porchlight Music Theatre I am stunned by the incredible performers we have here in Chicago. I'm convinced the second city is second to none when it comes to powerhouse vocals, snazzy choreography, and sheer talent. Blues in the night brings an award winning cast together for a sultry, stunning production that's truly a treat. The top notch musicians play on stage and are a joy to see in action, as are the actors. The stage chemistry is palpable and this show is sure to warm your winter weary heart. Highly recommended. Don't miss this!

Bonnie is a Chicago based writer, theater critic, photographer, videographer, actress, artist and Mama. She owns two websites where she publishes frequently: ChiILLiveShows.com (adult) & ChiILMama.com (family friendly). 

Donica Lynn* 

Terrell Armstrong+ in BLUES IN THE NIGHT from Porchlight Music Theatre, Feb. 9 - March 20 at The Ruth Page Center for the Arts. Photo by Anthony Robert La Penna


(L to R) Evan Tyrone Martin+ and Clare Kennedy* in BLUES IN THE NIGHT from Porchlight Music Theatre, Feb. 9 - March 20 at The Ruth Page Center for the Arts. Photo by Anthony Robert La Penna
Blues in the Night featuring Tony-Nominated Actor Felicia P. Fields*, Jeff Award-Winner Donica Lynn*, Jeff Award-Nominated Evan Tyrone Martin+, Clare Kennedy* and Terrell Armstrong+

 Pronoun Key: + (he/him/his); * (she/her/hers); ^ (they, them, theirs). = (any with respect)



New dates for Porchlight Music Theatre productions:

Blues in the Night

Conceived by Sheldon Epps

Directed and Choreographed by Kenny Ingram+

Music Directed by David Fiorello+

Associate Music Director and Conductor Maulty Jewell IV+

Assistant Choreographer Ariel Dorsey*

NEW DATES: February 9 - March 20

The Blues is one of America’s original art forms and Chicago was the home to some of the greatest Blues performers ever. Set in a history-filled hotel on Chicago’s south side one fateful night in the late 1930s, this Tony Award-nominated celebration interweaves the stories of three women who share their highs and lows of romance through the iconic songs of Bessie Smith, Duke Ellington, Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen, Alberta Hunter, Jimmy Cox, Ida Cox and others.

Ticket Price: $25 – $74

Website: PorchlightMusicTheatre.org

Terrell Armstrong+

MORE ABOUT BLUES IN THE NIGHT

The Blues in the Night cast includes Felicia P. Fields* ("The Lady from the Road”) in her Porchlight Mainstage debut;  Donica Lynn* ("The Woman of the World") last seen by Porchlight audiences in her Jeff-Award nominated role in Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies,  Clare Kennedy* ("The Girl with a Date”) a follow up to her performance in Porchlight’s New Faces Sing Broadway 1961;  Evan Tyrone Martin+ ("The Man in the Saloon) last seen in Porchlight’s Jeff Award-winning  Dreamgirls and Terrell Armstrong+ ("The Dancing Man”) last seen in Porchlight’s  A Chorus Line.

Blues in the Night’s production team includes: Kenny Ingram+, (director & choreographer); David Fiorello+, (music director);  Ariel M Dorsey*, (assistant choreographer) and Maulty Jewell IV+ (associate music director/conductor), Alden Vasquez+ (production stage manager); Ruben Echoles+ (costume and wig designer), Brandon Wardell+ (lighting designer), Eric Backus+ (sound designer), Angela Weber Miller* (scenic designer), Caitlin McCarthy* (properties designer), Matthew Chase+ (audio engineer), Rachel West* (lighting supervisor), Jennifer Aparicio* (production manager), Henry Wilkinson+ (technical director), Rashaad A. Bond+, (producing artistic associate); Alex Rhyan+, (production and operations director) and Michael Weber+, (artistic director).




Information about Porchlight Music Theatre’s COVID-19 Guidelines a its events may be found at: https://porchlightmusictheatre.org/visit/#covid-19-health-safety-guidelines.


ABOUT KENNY INGRAM +, director and choreographer

Kenny Ingram last directed and choreographed Triple Threat, a play that moves and sings starring James T. Lane ahh The Zeiders American Dream Theatre in Virginia Beach. He received the White Nights Film Festival Diploma for his direction and choreography for Chicago Performing Theatrical production of The Moment in Russia. Ingram directed and choreographed for Chicago Shakespeare’s first summer musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Navy Pier. He choreographed The New York Times Critics Pick re -mount of Emojiland, Off Broadway at The Duke on 42nd, and Till, The Musical based on the story of Emmett Till Off Broadway at Signature Theatre for the New York Musical Festival. Ingram won outstanding Choreography for his moves in Emojiland in 2018 at NYMF. Although he lives in Harlem, he is excited to return home to Chicago where he began his career at Lou Conte Dance Studio on Scholarship, taught jazz dance here at The Ruth Page Center and choreographed at many Chicago Legendary Theatre’s including Goodman, Steppenwolf, Court Theatre, Organic Theatre, Hasted Street Theatre and now to cap it off Porchlight. 

ABOUT DAVID FIORELLO+, music director

David Fiorello is a music director, performer, director, composer and arranger who’s no stranger to Porchlight. He has served as music director for Porchlight’s Gypsy, Porchlight Revisits Do Re Mi, Porchlight Revisits Woman of the Year, several seasons of the New Faces Sing Broadway series, as well as several Chicago Sings and ICONS GALA benefits. He also appeared onstage as Joe in Porchlight's mainstage production of Merrily We Roll Along. David currently serves as founder and artistic director of The Beautiful City Project, a theatre company committed to raising funds for local Chicago charities and nonprofits, using some of the city’s finest musical theatre talents. He’s music directed national and international tours, including John Doyle’s re-imagining of Sweeney Todd. He also served as music director for the Off-Broadway hit Danny & Sylvia: The Danny Kaye Musical. His orchestrations and arrangements have been heard across the nation, and on several albums. He’s taught and directed/music directed as part of the International Lyric Academy in Italy and is adjunct faculty at Columbia College Chicago. An in-demand vocal coach, Fiorello Studios has also provided unique cabaret programming featuring the music of The Indigo Girls, Jason Mraz, Kelly Clarkson, Eva Cassidy, Sara Bareilles and Colbie Caillat. 

Evan Tyrone Martin+ 


ABOUT PORCHLIGHT MUSIC THEATRE AS RUTH PAGE ARTIST IN-RESIDENCE

Porchlight Music Theatre is proud to be a member of the vibrant Ruth Page Center for the Arts community and an In-Resident 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 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.” 

Now in its 27th season, Porchlight's quarter-century production history 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 45 Jeff awards, as well as 33 Black Theatre Alliance (BTA) nominations and 12 BTA awards. In 2019, Porchlight graduated to the Large Theatre tier of the Equity Jeff Awards, and was honored with eight nominations in both technical and artistic categories and won three awards in its inaugural year in this tier, most notably Best Ensemble for Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies. 

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. For the 2020-2021 season, Porchlight’s fall schedule included all-new ticketed virtual programs including Broadway by the Decade, New Faces Sing Broadway 1987, Chicago Sings Rock & Roll Broadway, New Faces Sing Broadway 1961 and the return of The Ruffians’ Burning Bluebeard as well as collaborations with Hershey Felder and L.A. Theatre Works. Porchlight recently launched its first summer performance schedule in 2021 that included a sold-out performance of New Faces Sing Broadway 1979 at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, the premiere of its outdoor music series Broadway in your Backyard, performed throughout Chicagoland this summer and special appearances at Sundays on State and Navy Pier’s Chicago Live Again. 

Award-winning Porchlight Music Theatre announces the cast for Blues in the Night, conceived by Sheldon Epps+, with the music of Bessie Smith, Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen, Vernon Duke, Gordon Jenkins, Alberta Hunter and others., January 15, 2022 - February 27, 2022 at The Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn St. The first mainstage production of 2022 is directed and choreographed by Kenny Ingram+, music directed by David Fiorello+, assistant choreographed by Ariel M. Dorsey and associate music director and conductor Maulty Jewell IV+.  Blues in The Night’s previews are Saturday, Jan, 15 at 3 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 16  at 2 and 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 19  at 7 p.m. and Thursday, Jan. 20 at 1:30 p.m. with the press opening Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022 at 7 p.m. The regular run performance schedule is Thursdays at 7:00 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 3:00 and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. with  weekday matinees Thursday,  Jan. 27 and Feb. 3 at 1:30 p.m. Single tickets are $25 - $74 and subscriptions to the entire 2021 - 2022 season are available at PorchlightMusicTheatre.org or by calling the Porchlight Music Theatre box office, 773.777.9884. (Please note: complete performance schedule is available at the end of this release.) 

Porchlight Music Theatre is partially supported by generous contributions from  Actors’ Equity Foundation; Allstate; Michael Best & Friedrich LLP; Chapman | Spingola, LLP; Abe and Ida Cooper Foundation; Gen Ops Plus; 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. 

From L.A. to Amsterdam to Berlin, a young musician chases youthful dreams and spiritual clarity against a shifting backdrop of locales and acquaintances as he rebels against his conservative upbringing. This hit rock musical, loaded with soulful lyrics and passion, debuted to critical acclaim on Broadway in 2008, winning both the Tony and Drama Desk Awards and went on to be a critically acclaimed motion picture filmed by Spike Lee+ in 2009. The New York Times said about its Broadway debut, “Call it a rock concert with a story to tell … Or call it a sprawling work of performance art … I’ll just call it wonderful.”

All performances take place at The Ruth Page Center for the Arts at 1016 N. Dearborn Street. 


Updated performance schedule:

CHICAGO THEATRE WEEK  FEBRUARY 17 - 27

Thursday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 25 at 8 p.m. 

Saturday, Feb. 26 at 3 p.m.

Sunday, Feb. 27 at  2 p.m.

 

Thursday, March 3 at  7 p.m.

Friday, March 4 at  8 p.m.

Saturday, March 5 at 3 p.m. (Open Caption Performance)

Sunday, March 6 at  2 p.m.

 

Thursday, March 10 at 7p.m.

Friday, March 11 at 8 p.m.

Saturday, March 12 at 3 p.m. (Open Caption Performance)

Sunday, March 13 at 2 p.m.

 

Thursday, March 17 at 7p.m.

Friday, March 18 at 8 p.m.

Saturday, March 19 at 3 p.m. 

Sunday, March 20 at 2 p.m.


Ticket Price: $25 – 74

Website  PorchlightMusicTheatre.org


(L to R) Clare Kennedy* and Terrell Armstrong+ in BLUES IN THE NIGHT from Porchlight Music Theatre, Feb. 9 - March 20 at The Ruth Page Center for the Arts. Photo by Anthony Robert La Penna


Friday, November 26, 2021

HERSHEY FELDER PRESENTS – “DANTE AND BEATRICE IN FLORENCE,” Streaming Through Sunday, Dec. 5

Help Out:

ChiIL Streaming Shows on our radar

PORCHLIGHT MUSIC THEATRE PRESENTS THE LATEST 



HERSHEY FELDER PRESENTS – LIVE FROM FLORENCE PRODUCTION, “DANTE AND BEATRICE IN FLORENCE,” PREMIERING SUNDAY, NOV. 28 AT 7 P.M. CST

 This production benefits national US theatres and arts organizations including Porchlight Music Theatre

The New Musical Film from Hershey Felder shares the Story of What Happens when Time, Art and Love Collide and is Available for Streaming Through Sunday, Dec. 5

Porchlight Music Theatre is proud to partner with Hershey Felder Presents - Live from Florence and its second season of productions. The launch of this new season from Hershey Felder is the new musical film, “Dante and Beatrice in Florence,” premiering Sunday, Nov. 28 at 7 p.m. CST and available through Sunday, Dec. 5.  Tickets are $55 per household and are available for purchase at PorchlightMusicTheatre.org. Tickets are now on sale at PorchlightMusicTheatre.org and include the premiere and a week of extended “on-demand” viewing access to the world premiere film. Viewing and access for all ends Sunday, Dec. 5 at 11:59 p.m. CST. 

“Dante and Beatrice in Florence” is a love story with an original musical score by Hershey Felder inspired by one of the most famous love stories in history and set in Florence, Italy. Florence is a city of spirits and ghosts and a magical city of love.

Florence is also the city where the piano was invented, and when a modern pianist in the city encounters the ghost of the 700 year old poet of love, Dante - mystical things happen. This is the musical story of what can happen when time, art and love collide! 

The cast of “Dante and Beatrice in Florence” includes Hershey Felder, Hila Plitmann, Debi Mazar, Theo DiFlorio, Olivia Merchant, Gabriele Giaffreda, ISF Cantabile Chorus, Members of Maggio Opera Academy, Mascarade Opera Academy, I Musicisti Fiorentini, Ensemble Symphony Orchestra of Tuscany and more! 

Ticket holders will receive their live stream link Friday, Nov. 26 via the email used to register for the event. The performance may be streamed from a smart TV, computer, smartphone or tablet.

ABOUT HERSHEY FELDER (Writer and Performer)

Named to “Time Magazine’s” 2016 Top 10 Plays and Musicals, Felder has played over 6,000 performances of his self-created solo productions at some of the world’s most prestigious theatres and has broken box office records consistently. “American Theatre Magazine” has said, “Hershey Felder is in a category all his own.” His shows include: George Gershwin Alone (Broadway’s Helen Hayes Theatre, West End’s Duchess Theatre); Monsieur Chopin; Beethoven; Maestro (Leonard Bernstein); Franz Liszt in Musik, Lincoln: An American Story, Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin, Our Great Tchaikovsky, and A Paris Love Story. His compositions and recordings include Aliyah, Concerto for Piano and Orchestra; Fairytale, a musical; Les Anges de Paris, Suite for Violin and Piano; Song Settings; Saltimbanques for Piano and Orchestra; Etudes Thematiques for Piano; and An American Story for Actor and Orchestra. Hershey is the adaptor, director and designer for the internationally performed play-with-music The Pianist of Willesden Lane with Steinway artist Mona Golabek; producer and designer for the musical Louis and Keely: ‘Live’ at the Sahara, directed by Taylor Hackford; and writer and director for Flying Solo, featuring opera legend Nathan Gunn. Hershey has operated a full-service production company since 2001, and in 2020 created a new brand LIVE FROM FLORENCE, that operates a “theatre at home broadcast company,” based in Florence, Italy. Early broadcasts included; Hershey Felder as IRVING BERLIN; Hershey Felder, BEETHOVEN; Hershey Felder as GEORGE GERSHWIN ALONE; Hershey Felder, BACKSTORY – The Story Behind the Creation of Berlin, Gershwin & Bernstein; Cooking French in Florence with Jeffrey Thickman & Hershey Felder; and Cooking Russian with Hershey Felder and Jeffrey Thickman. The Hershey Felder Presents - Live from Florence 2020-21 Season of broadcasts included: Hershey Felder as Claude Debussy in A PARIS LOVE STORY; Hershey Felder, TCHAIKOVSKY; Hershey Felder as Sholem Aleichem in BEFORE FIDDLER; Hershey Felder, PUCCINI; and Hershey Felder as Sergei Rachmaninoff in NICHOLAS, ANNA & SERGEI. Hershey has been a scholar-in-residence at Harvard University’s Department of Music and is married to Kim Campbell, the first female Prime Minister of Canada.


ABOUT PORCHLIGHT MUSIC THEATRE

Porchlight Music Theatre 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.” 

Now in its 27th season, Porchlight's quarter-century production history 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 45 Jeff awards, as well as 33 Black Theatre Alliance (BTA) nominations and 12 BTA awards. In 2019, Porchlight graduated to the Large Theatre tier of the Equity Jeff Awards, and was honored with eight nominations in both technical and artistic categories and won three awards in its inaugural year in this tier, most notably Best Ensemble for Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies. 

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. For the 2020-2021 season, Porchlight’s fall schedule included all-new ticketed virtual programs including Broadway by the Decade, New Faces Sing Broadway 1987, Chicago Sings Rock & Roll Broadway, New Faces Sing Broadway 1961 and the return of The Ruffians’ Burning Bluebeard as well as collaborations with Hershey Felder and L.A. Theatre Works. Porchlight recently launched its first summer performance schedule in 2021 that included a sold-out performance of New Faces Sing Broadway 1979 at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, the premiere of its outdoor music series Broadway in your Backyard, performed throughout Chicagoland this summer and special appearances at Sundays on State and Navy Pier’s Chicago Live Again. 

Porchlight Music Theatre is partially supported by generous contributions from  Actors’ Equity Foundation; Allstate; Michael Best & Friedrich LLP; Chapman | Spingola, LLP; Abe and Ida Cooper Foundation; Gen Ops Plus; 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. 


PORCHLIGHT MUSIC THEATRE ANNOUNCES CAST AND CREATIVE TEAM FOR BLUES IN THE NIGHT JANUARY 15 - FEBRUARY 27, 2022

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PORCHLIGHT MUSIC THEATRE ANNOUNCES CAST AND CREATIVE TEAM FOR BLUES IN THE NIGHT, DIRECTED AND CHOREOGRAPHED BY KENNY INGRAM+ AND MUSIC DIRECTED BY DAVID FIORELLO+, 

AT THE RUTH PAGE CENTER FOR THE ARTS, 

JANUARY 15 - FEBRUARY 27, 2022


Tickets are Now on Sale for Blues in the Night featuring Tony-Nominated Actor Felicia P. Fields*, Jeff Award-Winner Donica Lynn*, Jeff Award-Nominated Evan Tyrone Martin+, Clare Kennedy* and Terrell Armstrong+ 

     Pronoun Key: + (he/him/his); * (she/her/hers); ^ (they, them, theirs). = (any with respect)

Award-winning Porchlight Music Theatre announces the cast for the “Best Musical” Tony Award-nominated Blues in the Night, conceived by Sheldon Epps+, with the music of Bessie Smith, Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen, Vernon Duke, Gordon Jenkins, Alberta Hunter and others, January 15, 2022 - February 27, 2022 at The Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn St. 

The first Mainstage production of 2022 is directed and choreographed by Kenny Ingram+, music directed by David Fiorello+, assistant choreography by Ariel M. Dorsey* and associate music director and conductor Maulty Jewell IV+. Blues in The Night’s previews are Saturday, Jan, 15 at 3 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 16 at 2 and 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. and Thursday, Jan. 20 at 1:30 p.m. with the press opening Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022 at 7 p.m. 

The regular run performance schedule is Thursdays at 7:00 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 3:00 and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. with weekday matinees Thursday, Jan. 27 and Feb. 3 at 1:30 p.m. Single tickets are $25 - $74 and subscriptions to the entire 2021 - 2022 season are available at PorchlightMusicTheatre.org or by calling the Porchlight Music Theatre box office, 773.777.9884. 

(First Row, from L to R): Kenny Ingram+, director and choreographer; David Fiorello+, music director; Maulty Jewell IV+, associate music director and conductor and Ariel Dorsey*, assistant choreographer

(Second Row, from L to R): Terrell Armstrong+, Felicia P. Fields*, Clare Kennedy*, Donica Lynn*, Evan Tyrone Martin+

The Blues is one of America’s original art forms and Chicago was the home to some of the greatest Blues performers ever. Set in a history-filled hotel on Chicago’s south side one fateful night in the late 1930s, this Tony Award-nominated celebration interweaves the stories of three women who share their highs and lows of romance through the iconic songs of Bessie Smith, Duke Ellington, Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen, Alberta Hunter, Jimmy Cox, Ida Cox and others.

The Blues in the Night cast includes Felicia P. Fields* ("The Lady from the Road”) in her Porchlight Mainstage debut; Donica Lynn* ("The Woman of the World") last seen by Porchlight audiences in her Jeff-Award nominated role in Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies, Clare Kennedy* ("The Girl with a Date”) a follow up to her performance in Porchlight’s New Faces Sing Broadway 1961; Evan Tyrone Martin+ ("The Man in the Saloon) last seen in Porchlight’s Jeff Award-winning Dreamgirls and Terrell Armstrong+ ("The Dancing Man”) last seen in Porchlight’s A Chorus Line.

Blues in the Night’s production team includes: Kenny Ingram+, (director & choreographer); David Fiorello+, (music director); Ariel M Dorsey*, (assistant choreographer) and Maulty Jewell IV+ (associate music director/conductor), Alden Vasquez+ (production stage manager); Ruben Echoles+ (costume and wig designer), Brandon Wardell+ (lighting designer), Eric Backus+ (sound designer), Angela Weber Miller* (scenic designer), Caitlin McCarthy* (properties designer), Matthew Chase+ (audio engineer), Rachel West* (lighting supervisor), Jennifer Aparicio* (production manager), Henry Wilkinson+ (technical director), Rashaad A. Bond+, (producing artistic associate); Alex Rhyan+, (production and operations director) and Michael Weber+, (artistic director).

Information about Porchlight Music Theatre’s COVID-19 Guidelines a its events may be found at: https://porchlightmusictheatre.org/visit/#covid-19-health-safety-guidelines.


ABOUT KENNY INGRAM +, director and choreographer

Kenny Ingram last directed and choreographed Triple Threat, a play that moves and sings starring James T. Lane ahh The Zeiders American Dream Theatre in Virginia Beach. He received the White Nights Film Festival Diploma for his direction and choreography for Chicago Performing Theatrical production of The Moment in Russia. Ingram directed and choreographed for Chicago Shakespeare’s first summer musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Navy Pier. He choreographed The New York Times Critics Pick re -mount of Emojiland, Off Broadway at The Duke on 42nd, and Till, The Musical based on the story of Emmett Till Off Broadway at Signature Theatre for the New York Musical Festival. Ingram won outstanding Choreography for his moves in Emojiland in 2018 at NYMF. Although he lives in Harlem, he is excited to return home to Chicago where he began his career at Lou Conte Dance Studio on Scholarship, taught jazz dance here at The Ruth Page Center and choreographed at many Chicago Legendary Theatre’s including Goodman, Steppenwolf, Court Theatre, Organic Theatre, Hasted Street Theatre and now to cap it off Porchlight. 


ABOUT DAVID FIORELLO+, music director

David Fiorello is a music director, performer, director, composer and arranger who’s no stranger to Porchlight. He has served as music director for Porchlight’s Gypsy, Porchlight Revisits Do Re Mi, Porchlight Revisits Woman of the Year, several seasons of the New Faces Sing Broadway series, as well as several Chicago Sings and ICONS Gala benefits. He also appeared onstage as Joe in Porchlight's mainstage production of Merrily We Roll Along. David currently serves as founder and artistic director of The Beautiful City Project, a theatre company committed to raising funds for local Chicago charities and nonprofits, using some of the city’s finest musical theatre talents. He’s music directed national and international tours, including John Doyle’s re-imagining of Sweeney Todd. He also served as music director for the Off-Broadway hit Danny & Sylvia: The Danny Kaye Musical. His orchestrations and arrangements have been heard across the nation, and on several albums. He’s taught and directed/music directed as part of the International Lyric Academy in Italy and is adjunct faculty at Columbia College Chicago. An in-demand vocal coach, Fiorello Studios has also provided unique cabaret programming featuring the music of The Indigo Girls, Jason Mraz, Kelly Clarkson, Eva Cassidy, Sara Bareilles and Colbie Caillat. 

ABOUT PORCHLIGHT MUSIC THEATRE AS RUTH PAGE ARTIST IN-RESIDENCE

Porchlight Music Theatre is proud to be a member of the vibrant Ruth Page Center for the Arts community and an In-Resident 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 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.” 

Now in its 27th season, Porchlight's quarter-century production history 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 45 Jeff awards, as well as 33 Black Theatre Alliance (BTA) nominations and 12 BTA awards. In 2019, Porchlight graduated to the Large Theatre tier of the Equity Jeff Awards, and was honored with eight nominations in both technical and artistic categories and won three awards in its inaugural year in this tier, most notably Best Ensemble for Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies. 

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. For the 2020-2021 season, Porchlight’s fall schedule included all-new ticketed virtual programs including Broadway by the Decade, New Faces Sing Broadway 1987, Chicago Sings Rock & Roll Broadway, New Faces Sing Broadway 1961 and the return of The Ruffians’ Burning Bluebeard as well as collaborations with Hershey Felder and L.A. Theatre Works. Porchlight recently launched its first summer performance schedule in 2021 that included a sold-out performance of New Faces Sing Broadway 1979 at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, the premiere of its outdoor music series Broadway in your Backyard, performed throughout Chicagoland this summer and special appearances at Sundays on State and Navy Pier’s Chicago Live Again. 

Porchlight Music Theatre is partially supported by generous contributions from Actors’ Equity Foundation; Allstate; Michael Best & Friedrich LLP; Chapman | Spingola, LLP; Abe and Ida Cooper Foundation; Gen Ops Plus; 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. 

January 15 - February 28, 2022

The Ruth Page Center for the Arts

1016 N. Dearborn Street, Chicago

Previews: Saturday, Jan, 15 at 3 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 16 at 2 and 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. (Industry Night) and Thursday, Jan. 20 at 1:30 p.m. 

Press opening Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022 at 7 p.m. 

The regular run performance schedule is: 

Thursdays at 7:00 p.m.

Fridays at 8 p.m.

Saturdays at 3:00 and 8 p.m. and 

Sundays at 2 p.m. 

Weekday matinees:

Thursday, Jan. 27 and Feb. 3 at 1:30 p.m. (there is no evening performance this day - only a matinee)

Ticket Price: $25 – 74

Website: PorchlightMusicTheatre.org


Pronoun Key: + (he/him/his); * (she/her/hers); ^ (they, them, theirs). = (any with respect)



Thursday, October 28, 2021

OPENING: PUMP BOYS & DINETTES VIA PORCHLIGHT MUSIC THEATRE AT THE RUTH PAGE CENTER FOR THE ARTS, OCTOBER 30 - DECEMBER 12

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PORCHLIGHT MUSIC THEATRE 

ANNOUNCES CAST AND CREATIVE TEAM FOR 

PUMP BOYS & DINETTES 

ITS RETURN TO LIVE PERFORMANCES AT THE RUTH PAGE CENTER FOR THE ARTS, OCTOBER 30 - DECEMBER 12

 

Tickets are now on Sale for Pump Boys & Dinettes, Directed by Daryl Brooks+, Music Directed by Robert Reddrick+ and Choreographed by Rueben D. Echoles+

 

Award-winning Porchlight Music Theatre returns to live performances and the launch of its 27th Mainstage season with Pump Boys & Dinettes, October 30 - December 12 at The Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn St. 

Created by John Foley, Mark Hardwick, Tony winner Debra Monk, Cass Morgan, John Schimmel, and Jim Wann

Pronoun Key: + (he/him/his); * (she/her/hers); ^ (they, them, theirs). = (any with respect)

Directed by Daryl Brooks+

Music Directed by Robert Reddrick+

Choreographed by Rueben D. Echoles+

October 30 - December 12

The Ruth Page Center for the Arts

1016 N. Dearborn Street, Chicago

Previews: Saturday, Oct, 30 at 3 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 31 at 2 and 6:30 p.m.,  Wednesday, Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. (Industry Night), Thursday, Nov. 4 at 1:30 p.m.

Press opening is Thursday, Nov. 4 at 7 p.m.

The regular run performance schedule is: 

Thursdays at 7:00 p.m.

Fridays at 8 p.m.

Saturdays at 3:00 and 8 p.m. and 

Sundays at 2 p.m. 

Weekday matinees:

Thursday, Dec. 2 at 1:30 p.m.

Ticket Price: $45 – 74

Website: PorchlightMusicTheatre.org

Created by John Foley+, Mark Hardwick+, Tony winner Debra Monk*, Cass Morgan*, John Schimmel+ and Jim Wann+, directed by Daryl Brooks+, music directed by Robert Reddrick+ and choreographed by Rueben D. Echoles+, Pump Boys & Dinettes’ previews are Saturday, Oct. 30 at 3 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 31 at 2 and 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. and Thursday, Nov. 4 at 1:30 p.m. with the press opening Thursday, Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. 

I'll be out to catch the show Sunday, November 21, so check back soon for my full review. The regular run performance schedule is Thursdays at 7:00 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 3:00 and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. with weekday matinee Thursday, Dec. 2 at 1:30 p.m. Single tickets are $45 - $74 and subscriptions to the entire 2021 - 2022 season are available at PorchlightMusicTheatre.org or by calling the Porchlight Music Theatre box office, 773.777.9884.

One of the longest running shows in Chicago Theatre history, Pump Boys & Dinettes is a music theatre phenomenon filled with toe-tapping music on guitar, piano, bass and a kitchen utensil or two! This North Carolina dinette is your home off the highway and located just across the street from the filling station. Run by Prudie and Rhetta Cupp, beloved sisters who are always ready with a cup of Joe, a slice of pie, a homespun song and a “Welcome back!” The New York Times said “It doesn’t merely celebrate the value of friendship and life’s simple pleasures, it embodies them.”

“Being raised in Waynesboro, Virginia (a small town off of Highway 81), I relate to Pump Boys & Dinettes in a whole different way. The connection of community and values really strikes a chord with me. Today, times have changed and people have changed, but not the sense of community,” said Pump Boys & Dinettes Director Brooks+. “When Porchlight asked me to direct Pump Boys, I realized that it was time to show off the diversity not just in the people, but the music! At every turn, this show will be a slice of comfort and excitement, just like a piece of my grandma’s lemon meringue pie!” 

The cast of Porchlight Music Theatre’s Pump Boys & Dinettes includes: Rafe Bradford+ (Eddie - Bass); Shantel Cribbs* (Prudie Cupp); Ian Paul Custer+(Jim - Rhythm Guitar & U/S L.M); Frederick “Ricky” Harris= (L.M - Piano); Melanie Loren* (Rhetta Cupp) and Billy Rude+ (Jackson - Lead Guitar) with Caitlin Dobbins* (Standy by Rhetta and Prudie Cupp); J.J. Smith+ (Stand by Jim and Jackson); Kelan Smith+ (Stand by Jim and Eddie)

Pump Boys & Dinettes’ production team includes: Daryl Brooks+, (director); Robert Reddrick+, (music director), Rueben D. Echoles+, (choreographer/costume designer); Jennifer Aparicio*, (production manager/SM swing); Eric Backus+, (co-sound designer) Gianni Carcagno*/=, (assistant stage manager/assistant audio engineer); Matthew R. Chase+, (audio engineer); Andrea Enger=, (assistant stage manager/wardrobe manager); Deya Friedman*, (production stage manager, AEA); Denise Karczewski*, (lighting designer); Sydney Lynne*, (scenic designer); Caitlin McCarthy*, (properties designer); Johnnie Schleyer+, (technical director); Stefanie M. Senior*, (co-sound designer); Rachel West*, (lighting supervisor), Rashaad A. Bond+, (producing artistic associate); Alex Rhyan+, (production and operations director) and Michael Weber+, (artistic director).

ABOUT DARYL D. BROOKS+, director 

Daryl D. Brooks is a Chicago  based director, writer and actor who was born and raised in Waynesboro, Virginia. He is currently the producing managing director of the Black Ensemble Theater. His musical revue, You Can’t Fake the Funk: A Journey Through Funk Music, premiered at Black Ensemble Theater and earned him an African American Arts Award, Black Theater Alliance Award and the Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Musical/Revue. His production Men of Soul also received multiple awards and nominations including the Chicago BroadwayWorld nomination for Best Director for a Musical/Revue, a Jeff Award Nomination for Best Director of a Review, and was selected for production at The National Black Theater Festival. He has directed over fifty productions and some credits include; Black Pearl: A Tribute to Josephine Baker, Women of Soul(Black Ensemble Theatre), Memphis (Porchlight Musical Theatre), Million Dollar Quartet(Theatre At the Center), Akeelah and the Bee and Fast Food Chain (Adventure Stage and Northwestern Settlement). In 2019 Brooks received the Chicago Defender’s “Men of Excellence Award” for building diversity and equity within the Chicago theater community. 

ABOUT ROBERT REDDRICK+, music director 

Robert Reddrick is the music director and drummer for Chicago’s Black Ensemble Theater. He is a seven-time recipient of the Black Theater Alliance award and five-time nominee for the Joseph Jefferson award for best music director.  Additionally, he has been music director for projects at Steppenwolf Theatre (Traffic series), University of Illinois, Free Street Theater, as well as drummer for many other productions throughout Chicago.  In the late 1990’s he toured with “The Platters featuring the Legendary Monroe Powell” and travelled worldwide with them.  He also has his own band, “The R2Project featuring Bonnie Phillips” with CD’s available online. Reddrick has performed, produced and engineered many recordings for local Chicago artists. 

ABOUT REUBEN D. ECHOLES+, choreographer/costume designer

Rueben D. Echoles is an accomplished playwright, director, choreographer and designer. He is an associate artistic director for Black Ensemble Theater and has been since 2005. Echoles has had the pleasure of working with many theater companies across the country and in the Chicagoland area such as ETA creative Arts Foundation (director/choreographer/costume designer, Showfolk TYA, Co playwright with Euseni Eugene Perkins Voices of HIV) Congo Square, Refuge, Porchlight Music Theater (costume designer), Paramount (asst. wig designer) and Studio One Dance Theater (playwright, director creative consultant 2003 – present), just to name a few. His most recent projects include Call Me Madam (costume design PMT), A New Attitude, In Tribute to Patti Labelle, My Brothers Keeper: The Story of the Nicholas Brothers and The Last Dancer Standing.


ABOUT PORCHLIGHT MUSIC THEATRE AS RUTH PAGE ARTIST IN-RESIDENCE

Porchlight Music Theatre is proud to be a member of the vibrant Ruth Page Center for the Arts community and an In-Resident 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 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.” 

Now in its 27th season, Porchlight's quarter-century production history 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 45 Jeff awards, as well as 33 Black Theatre Alliance (BTA) nominations and 12 BTA awards. In 2019, Porchlight graduated to the Large Theatre tier of the Equity Jeff Awards, and was honored with eight nominations in both technical and artistic categories and won three awards in its inaugural year in this tier, most notably Best Ensemble for Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies. 

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. For the 2020-2021 season, Porchlight’s fall schedule included all-new ticketed virtual programs including Broadway by the Decade, New Faces Sing Broadway 1987, Chicago Sings Rock & Roll Broadway, New Faces Sing Broadway 1961 and the return of The Ruffians’ Burning Bluebeard as well as collaborations with Hershey Felder and L.A. Theatre Works. Porchlight recently launched its first summer performance schedule including a sold-out performance of New Faces Sing Broadway 1979 at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, the premiere of its outdoor music series Broadway in your Backyard, performed throughout Chicagoland this summer and special appearances at Sundays on State and Navy Pier’s Chicago Live Again.

Award-winning Porchlight Music Theatre returns to live performances and the launch of its 27th Mainstage season with Pump Boys & Dinettes, October 30 - December 12 at The Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn St. Created by John Foley+, Mark Hardwick+, Tony winner Debra Monk*, Cass Morgan*, John Schimmel+ and Jim Wann+, directed by Daryl Brooks+, music directed by Robert Reddrick+ and choreographed by Rueben D. Echoles+, Pump Boys & Dinettes’ previews are Saturday, Oct. 30 at 3 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 31 at 2 and 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. and Thursday, Nov. 4 at 1:30 p.m. with the press opening Thursday, Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. The regular run performance schedule is Thursdays at 7:00 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 3:00 and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. with weekday matinee Thursday, Dec. 2  at 1:30 p.m. Single tickets are $45 - $74 and subscriptions to theentire 2021 - 2022 season are available at PorchlightMusicTheatre.org or by calling the Porchlight Music Theatre box office, 773.777.9884. (Please note: complete performance schedule is available at the end of this release.) 

Porchlight Music Theatre is partially supported by generous contributions from ; Allstate; Michael Best & Friedrich LLP; Chapman | Spingola, LLP; Abe and Ida Cooper Foundation; Glimpse Vision; James P. and Brenda S. Grusecki Family Foundation; Hearty Boys; 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 with funds provided by the National Endowment for the Arts as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.. 

Porchlight Music Theatre wishes to thank members of the Matching Gift Corporate Program including abbvie; Allstate; CDW, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation; Peoples Gas; Pepsico; Polk Bros Foundation,The Saints, State Farm, U.S. Cellular and We Energies. 


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