Thursday, March 2, 2017

SAVE THE DATES: 23rd Season Announced For Chicago's Porchlight Music Theatre

PORCHLIGHT MUSIC THEATRE
ANNOUNCES ITS 2017 – 2018 MAINSTAGE, PORCHLIGHT REVISITS AND NEW FACES SEASONS 
Porchlight’s 23rd Season includes performances at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts, as Artist In-Residence, Skokie Theatre and Uptown Underground



Michael Weber, artistic director of Porchlight Music Theatre, is proud to announce Porchlight Music Theatre’s 2017 – 2018 mainstage season which includes:
Billy Elliot, winner of both the Tony and the Olivier Awards for Best Musical with music by Elton John, tells the story of the boy who exchanges boxing gloves for ballet shoes, October 6 – November 19

Merrily We Roll Along, the landmark Stephen Sondheim musical charts the highs and lows of the turbulent relationship between three very close friends, January 26 – March 11, 2018

Memphis, the Tony Award winner for Best Musical bursts off the stage with explosive dancing, irresistible songs and a thrilling tale of fame and forbidden love, April 19 – June 3, 2018.

All 2017 – 2018 Porchlight Mainstage and Porchlight Revisits productions take place at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn Street. New Faces Sings Broadway is performed at the Skokie Theatre, 7924 Lincoln Ave in Skokie, and Uptown Underground, 4707 N. Broadway St. A variety of discounted subscriptions go on sale for the Mainstage, Porchlight Revisits and New Faces Sing Broadway series on March 1 at PorchlightMusicTheatre.org or by phone at 773.777.9884. Single tickets for all performances go on sale this July. 

Porchlight Music Theatre will also continue Porchlight Revisits in 2017 – 2018. This popular “lost musicals” in staged concert series celebrates classic productions that have been rarely seen in Chicago and includes a fun fact-filled “Behind the Scenes Backstory” before each performance. The fifth season of Porchlight Revisits includes: 

Woman of the Year (1981), this John Kander and Fred Ebb musical with book by Peter Stone was inspired by the 1942 film starring Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy and originally starred Lauren Bacall on Broadway, November 14 - 16, They’re Playing Our Song (1979), Neil SimonMarvin Hamlisch and Carole Bayer Sager’s romantic musical comedy about the affair of a wisecracking composer and an aspiring, offbeat lyricist, March 6 – 9, 2018 and Do Re Mi (1960), originally created for the comic greats Phil Silvers and Nancy Walker, this Jule StyneBetty Comden and Adolph Green musical comedy about a con man trying to go straight by working in the juke box and music promotion industry,  May 22 – 24, 2018.

The third season of New Faces Sings Broadway, at the Skokie Theatre and Uptown Underground, celebrates the start to the finish of an entire musical season on Broadway, peppered with photos and films of the era in an exciting multimedia presentation with a favorite Chicago theatre veteran hosting and introducing the next generation of music theatre artists and acting as your guide through a past season on the Great White Way. The 2017 – 2018 season features:

New Faces Sing Broadway 1939 Includes The Boys from Syracuse, The Swing Mikado, Hellzapoppin and other, winter 2017 
New Faces Sing Broadway 1959 Includes Destry Rides Again, Flower Drum Song, Gypsy, The Sound of Music, Once Upon a Mattress and others, spring 2018
 New Faces Sing Broadway 1975 Includes A Chorus Line, Chicago, Doctor Jazz, The Wiz, Mack & Mabel and others, summer 2018
Full production artistic leadership and actors will be released at a future date. Productions are subject to change.

Porchlight Music Theatre’s 2017 – 2018 season includes:
MAINSTAGE
Billy Elliot
October 6 – November 19
Music by Elton John
Book and Lyrics by Lee Hall

Winner of both the Tony Award and Olivier Award for Best Musical, Billy Elliot is the inspirational story of a young boy’s fight to make his dream come true as he journeys from the boxing ring to a ballet class where he discovers a passion for dance that unites his family, inspires his community and changes his life forever.

Previews: Friday, Oct. 6 and Oct. 13 at 8 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 7 and Oct. 14 at 8 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 8 at 2 p.m., Monday, Oct. 9 at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 12 at 7:30 p.m.
Opening Night: Sunday, Oct. 15 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 2 p.m.
Weekday Matinee: Thursday, Nov. 16 at 1:30 p.m.
There is no 7:30 p.m. performance Thursday, Nov. 16.

PORCHLIGHT REVISITS
Woman of the Year (1981)
November 14 – 16 at 7:15 p.m.          
Book by Peter Stone
Music by John Kander
Lyrics by Fred Ebb       

Based on the classic film starring Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, a television interviewer and a newspaper cartoonist get into a public battle over their respective professions, and, of course, fall in love, marry and experience more career conflicts. This Tony Award-winning musical starred Lauren Bacall in its original Broadway run.

Featuring the hits: One of the Boys, Sometimes a Day Goes By and The Grass is Always Greener.

All Porchlight Revisits, performances include “Behind the Show Backstory,” a multimedia presentation, hosted by Artistic Director Michael Weber, setting the stage on the creation of the featured Porchlight Revisits production, sharing all the juicy backstage stories and the state of the art on Broadway that season. 

New Faces Sing Broadway – 1939
WINTER, 2017 (Date TBA)  

Featuring The Boys from Syracuse, DuBarry was a Lady, The Girl from Wyoming, Helzapoppin, The Hot Mikado, Knickerbocker Holiday, Leave It to Me!, Stars in Your Eyes, The Swing Mikado, Swingin’ The Dream, Too Many Girls, Very Warm for May, Yokel Boy, You Never Know and others. 

New Faces Sings Broadway’s winter edition celebrates the start to the finish of the year 1939 on Broadway, peppered with photos and films of the era in an exciting multimedia presentation with a favorite Chicago theatre veteran hosting and introducing the next generation of music theatre artists and acting as your guide through a past season on the Great White Way.

MAINSTAGE
Merrily We Roll Along
January 26 – March 11, 2018
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by George Furth
Based on the play by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart

Set over three decades of friendship and business, the landmark musical Merrily We Roll Along charts the highs and lows of the turbulent relationship between three very close friends. Travelling backwards in time from the stark reality of knowing adulthood to the idealistic intentions of inexperienced youth, this powerful and emotionally moving story of looking at your life from the vantage point of having lived it features some of Stephen Sondheim’s most beautiful songs including Good Thing Going, Not a Day Goes By and Old Friends.

Previews: Friday, Jan. 26 at 8 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 27 at 8 p.m., Sunday, Jan 28 at 2 p.m., Monday, Jan. 29 at 7:30 p.m.
Opening Night: Tuesday, Jan. 30 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 2 p.m. (March 4 and March 11) or 6 p.m. (February 4, February 11, February 18 and February 25)
Weekday Matinee: Thursday, March 8 at 1:30 p.m.
There is no 7:30 p.m. performance Thursday, March 8.

PORCHLIGHT REVISITS
They’re Playing Our Song (1979)
March 6 – 8, 2018 at 7:15 p.m.
Book by Neil Simon
Music by Marvin Hamlisch 
Lyrics by Carole Bayer Sager  

A romantic musical comedy about the affair (both professional and romantic) of a wisecracking composer and an aspiring, offbeat lyricist. Creatively, their relationship works great, but personal trials and tribulations lead them toward finding a new way to make harmonious music together in this laugh-a-minute romantic charmer.

Featuring the hits: Fallin’, If He Really Knew Me and Just For Tonight

All Porchlight Revisits, performances include “Behind the Show Backstory,” a multimedia presentation, hosted by Artistic Director Michael Weber, setting the stage on the creation of the featured Porchlight Revisits production, sharing all the juicy backstage stories and the state of the art on Broadway that season. 

New Faces Sing Broadway – 1959
SPRING, 2018 (Date TBA)

Featuring Destry Rides Again, Fiorello!, First Impressions, Flower Drum Song, Goldilocks, Gypsy, Happy Town, Juno, The Nervous Set, Once Upon a Mattress, Redhead, Saratoga, The Sound of Music, Take Me Along, Whoop Up and others.

New Faces Sings Broadway’s spring edition celebrates the start to the finish of the year 1959 on Broadway, peppered with photos and films of the era in an exciting multimedia presentation with a favorite Chicago theatre veteran hosting and introducing the next generation of music theatre artists and acting as your guide through a past season on the Great White Way.

MAINSTAGE
Memphis
April 19 – June 3, 2018
Music and Lyrics by David Bryan
Book and Lyrics by Joe DiPietro

From the underground dance clubs of 1950s Memphis, Tennessee, comes the Tony Award winning Best Musical that bursts off the stage with explosive dancing, irresistible songs and a thrilling tale of fame and forbidden love. Inspired by actual events, Memphis is the story of a white radio DJ who wants to change the world and a black club singer who is ready for her big break. Their incredible journey to the ends of the airwaves is filled with laughter, soaring emotion and a roof-raising musical score by David Bryan of the band Bon Jovi.

Previews: Thursday, April 19 at 7:30 p.m., Friday, April 20 at 8 p.m., Saturday, April 21 at 8 p.m., Sunday, April 22 at 6 p.m., Tuesday, April 24 at 7:30 p.m.
Opening Night: Wednesday, April 25 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 2 p.m. (May 13, May 20 and May 27) or 6 p.m. (April 29 and May 6)
Weekday Matinee: Thursday, May 24 at 1:30 p.m.
There is no 7:30 p.m. performance Thursday, April 26 and May 24
There is no 4 p.m. performance Saturday, April 28

PORCHLIGHT REVISITS 
Do Re Mi (1960)
May 22 – 24, 2018 at 7:15 p.m.
Book by Jule Styne
Music by Garson Kanin 
Lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green     

Originally created for the comic style of the great Phil Silvers and Nancy Walker, it’s the story of “Hubie Cram,” a minor-league con man endlessly scheming to win big who, at the urging of his long-suffering wife, “Kay,” decides to go (somewhat) straight by moving into the juke box and music promotion business as he concocts his biggest score ever. 

Featuring the hits: Make Someone Happy, Fireworks and I Know About Love

All Porchlight Revisits, performances include “Behind the Show Backstory,” a multimedia presentation, hosted by Artistic Director Michael Weber, setting the stage on the creation of the featured Porchlight Revisits production, sharing all the juicy backstage stories and the state of the art on Broadway that season. 

New Faces Sing Broadway – 1975
SUMMER, 2018 (Date TBA)

Featuring 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, A Chorus Line, Chicago, Doctor Jazz, Goodtime Charley, The Lieutenant, Mack & Mabel, Man on the Moon, Shenandoah, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Wiz and others.

New Faces Sings Broadway season concludes with the start to the finish of the year 1975 on Broadway, peppered with photos and films of the era in an exciting multimedia presentation with a favorite Chicago theatre veteran hosting and introducing the next generation of music theatre artists and acting as your guide through a past season on the Great White Way.


ABOUT PORCHLIGHT MUSIC THEATRE
Porchlight Music Theatre, now in its 22nd season, is nationally recognized for developing innovative new works, reimagining classic productions and showcasing musical theatre’s noted veterans and rising stars. Porchlight elevates the genre in Chicago by providing intimate and powerful theatrical experiences for its growing and diverse audiences. With the vision of Artistic Director Michael Weber, Porchlight builds on its role as Chicago’s only Equity not-for-profit company exclusively specializing in music theatre. 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 new center for music theatre training in the areas of performance, writing and appreciation. The company’s many accolades include 17 Black Theatre Alliance nominations and three awards, as well as a total of 126 Joseph Jefferson Award nominations resulting in 39 Jeff Awards including four consecutive Best Production awards for Dreamgirls (2016),  Sondheim on Sondheim (2015), Ain’t Misbehavin’ (2014) and A Class Act (2013).


Porchlight Music Theatre is partially supported by generous contributions from the Actors’ Equity Foundation, the Arts Work Fund at the Chicago Community Trust, the Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, Cooper’s: A Neighborhood Eatery, the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, James P. and Brenda S. Grusecki Family Foundation, the MacArthur Fund for Arts & Culture at the Prince Foundation, the National Association of Realtors, The Saints and the Service Club of Chicago. The season program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, a state agency.

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