Photo Flash: Meet the Cast of Porchlight Music Theatre's PAL JOEY
Pal Joey, the O'Hara, Rodgers & Hart masterpiece introduced the world to the first anti-hero to propel a musical and features one of the greatest American musical scores including "I Could Write a Book," "You Mustn't Kick it Around," "Zip" and "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered." The plot, based on the short stories by The New Yorker columnist John O'Hara, focuses on the dirty deeds done by the charming cad Joey Evans (Adrian Aguilar) newly arrived in the Windy City having just been run out of St. Louis. Starting a new job at a seedy south side Chicago nightclub, Joey is soon juggling the affections of a naive shop girl (Laura Savage) and a married, wealthy society dame (Susie McMonagle), as well as sparring with an unscrupulous chorus girl (Sharriese Hamilton) who proves to be a worthy adversary to Joey. Once he has charmed the socialite into setting him up in his own joint, Chez Joey, Joey ditches the shop girl and is riding high, playing the big-time operator. However, life for Joey is never easy and when he is threatened by a small time punk (Matt Orlando) with his affair being leaked to the socialite's husband, his glamorous world is turned upside down.
This production will be like no other previously performed Pal Joey. Porchlight Music Theatre has been granted the exclusive rights by the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization to the original 1940 Broadway version of the musical play, not seen in Chicago in decades. Audiences will get a rare opportunity to discover the complete compiliation of songs that were originally introduced on the New York stage by June Havoc, Van Johnson, Vivienne Segal, Stanley Donan in the production that launched young Gene Kelly, as "Joey Evans," to Hollywood stardom. Other noted actors who have assumed the role include Harold Lang, Frank Sinatra, Bob Fosse, Steve Lawrence, Clifton Davis, Joel Grey, Kevin Anderson and Peter Gallagher. Additionally, Porchlight has been given permission to restore the long-lost musical number "I'm Talking to My Pal," cut on the road prior to the original opening night.
Additional company members of Porchlight Music Theatre's Pal Joey includes Ben Chang, Clare Dolan, Darrin French, Ryan Michael Hamman, Callie Johnson, Lexi Lyric, Rachel Osting, Steven Pringle, Kory Pullam, Jenna Schoppe, Daniel Spagnuolo and Jordan Yentz.
The production team for Pal Joey also includes Bill Morey, costume design; William Boles, scenic design, Nick Belley & Greg Hofmann, co-lighting design; Victoria DeIorio, sound design; Scott Sowinski, wig and makeup Design; Dina DiCostanzo, assistant choreographer; Deborah Blumenthal, assistant director/dramaturg and Thom Van Ermen, stage manager.
ABOUT Adrian Aguilar, actor, "Joey Evans": Adrian Aguilar last starred with Porchlight Music Theatre as "Jon" in the critically acclaimed tick, tick...BOOM! for which he was nominated for the Joseph Jefferson Award as Best Actor in a Principal Role-Musical. Aguilar is currently appearing as "Artie" in Sunset Boulevard at Drury Lane Oakbrook. Other credits include "Kenickie" in Grease and "Berger" in Hair at The Paramount Theatre, "Young Ben" in Follies at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater and "Danny Zuko" in The Original Grease at American Theatre Company. Prior to that he had various roles in Drowsy Chaperone, A Chorus Line, The Music Man, and Guys and Dolls at the Marriott Theatre.
ABOUT Susie McMonagle, actor, "Vera Simpson": Susie McMonagle makes her Porchlight Music Theatre debut with this production. She was most recently seen at Northlight Theatre in Black Pearl Sings! and Snapshots and on Broadway as "Fantine" in Les Miserables. McMonagle also has performed with first national tours of Billy Elliot (Mrs. Wilkinson and Mum), Mamma Mia (Donna), Les Miserables (Fantine), The Secret Garden and The Sound of Music. Her Chicago credits include At Wits End (Jane Grant) and Sideshow (Daisy) at Northlight, Rock n Roll (Candida) at the Goodman, and Man of La Mancha (M. Bane) at Court. She is the recipient of After Dark Awards, Critic's Circle Award and nine Joseph Jefferson nominations.
ABOUT Laura Savage actor, "Linda English": Laura Savage makes her Porchlight Music Theatre debut with this production. Her Chicago credits include "Zaneeta Shinn"/Associate Choreographer in The Music Man at the Paramount Theater; Disney's Beauty & the Beast, Follies with Chicago Shakespeare Theater; "Kathy Seldon" u/s performed in Singin in the Rain, Wizard of Oz, A Christmas Carol at Drury Lane; Legally Blonde, Guys and Dolls at the Marriott Theatre. And was nominated for Broadway World Awards Best Actress both "Percy" in The Spitfire Grill at BoHo Theatre and "Hope" in Urinetown for Circle Theatre.
ABOUT Matt Orlando actor, "Ludlow Lowell": Matt Orlando makes his Porchlight Music Theatre debut with this production. Orlando's credits include Once Upon a Time in New Jersey at the Marriott Theatre, Over the River and Through the Woods at The Mercury Theatre, The Visit for The Goodman Theatre, Eleven Rooms of Proust with Lookingglass/About Face Theatres, the inaugural production at Drury Lane Water Tower, Grand Hotel, Proposals and Do I Hear a Waltz? at Theatre at the Center. His national and international credits include The Rink at Music Theatre Works and Galileo Galilei at BAM and also staged at London's Barbican Center.
ABOUT SHARRIESE HAMILTON, actor, "Gladys Bumps": Sharriese Hamilton was last seen on the Porchlight stage as "Felicia" in the Chicago premiere of A Class Act. Other credits include "Kesa/Medium/Actress" in See What I Wanna See (at the Steppenwolf Garage) and "Mariana,Sudabey" in Passing Strange at Bailiwick Chicago and "Donna" in We Three Liza's at About Face Theatre-Steppenwolf Garage this past December.
Porchlight Music Theatre nationally recognized for developing innovative new works, reimagining classic productions and showcasing musical theatre's rising stars, is in its 18th season as Chicago's leader of music theatre productions. Porchlight elevates music theatre in Chicago within an intimate, close-up environment and provides a thoroughly modern and passionate experience, serving both audiences and artists alike. With the vision of Managing Artistic Director Michael Weber and a 2012-2013 season that included the critically acclaimed Chicago premiere of A Class Act, the Chicago premiere of O. Henry's The Gifts of the Magi, the Billie Holiday musical biography Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill (now running through March 10 at Stage 773,) Porchlight continues to be Chicago's leading presenter of music theatre. Porchlight's rich history includes the staging of more than 50 productions with ten Chicago premieres and five world premieres. BEST MUSICAL! A Completely Improvised Musical Comedy! running again Wednesdays at 7:30 at Stage 773, was developed through "Off the Porch," Porchlight's new works program. The company has received a total of 73 Joseph Jefferson Award nominations resulting in 22 Jeff Awards.
Previews are Saturday, April 20, 2013 at 8 p.m., Sunday, April 21, 2013 at 2 and 6 p.m. and Monday, April 22, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. Opening/Press Night is Tuesday, April 23 at 7:30 p.m. The regular run schedule is Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 4 and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $30 for previews and $39 for all other performances. Single tickets for Pal Joey are on sale now and may be purchased at stage773.com or by phone at 773.327.5252.Photo Credit: Brandon Dahlquist
Adrian Aguilar as 'Joey Evans'