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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.
Thursday, Dec. 2 at 1:30 p.m.
Ticket Price: $45 – 74
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.