Porchlight Presents the Chicago Premiere of A Catered Affair, Previews 2/18

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Porchlight-Presents-the-Chicago-Premiere-of-A-Catered-Affair-20010101

Porchlight Music Theatre will present the Chicago premiere of John Bucchino and Harvey Fierstein's A Catered Affair, directed by Nick Bowling with music direction by Doug Peck, at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave.

Preview performances are Saturday, Feb. 18 at 8 p.m., Sunday Feb. 19 at 2 and 6 p.m. and a President's Day preview performance, Monday, Feb. 20 at 7:30 p.m. Opening/press night is Tuesday, Feb 21 at 7:30 p.m. The regular performance schedule is Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Single tickets are $38 with group and student discounts available. All tickets are available at stage773.com, porchlightmusictheatre.org or by phone at 773.327.5252.

About the show: "Based on the beloved Bette Davis film and featuring a melodious, 1950s inspired score; A Catered Affair is an exploration of the resilience of love. A couple (Rebecca Finnegan and Craig Spidle) must decide whether to spend their life savings on the family taxicab business or to celebrate their only daughter's (Kelly Davis Wilson) marriage with a lavish catered affair, providing her with the extravagant wedding they never had for themselves. This bittersweet reflection on the complexities of relationships between husbands and wives and parents and children is an emotional ride where feelings of heartbreak and joy are shared in one moment."

The cast is Rebecca Finnegan* (Aggie Hurley), Craig Spidle* (Tom Hurley), Jerry O'Boyle (Uncle Winston), Kelly Davis Wilson (Janey Hurley), Jim DeSelm (Ralph Halloran), Brittani Green (Alice), Larry Baldacci (Sam/Mr. Halloran), Caron Buinis (Pasha/Caterer), Anne Sheridan Smith (Dolores/Mrs. Halloran/US Aggie Hurley), Lauren Villegas (Myra/Wedding Dress Saleswoman), Nate Lewellyn (Ralph Understudy), Brittany Bookbinder (Janey/Alice Understudy), Matt McNabb (Winston Understudy), Jill Sesso (Female Ensemble Understudy) and Noah Sullivan (Tom/Sam/Mr. Halloran Understudy).

The design team includes Brian Sidney Bembridge, scenic design; Bill Morey, costume design; Nic Jones, lighting design; Victoria (toy) Delorio, sound design; Julie Eberhardt, properties design. Additionally Kelli Marino, dramaturg and Christopher Pazdernik, assistant director and Meghan Teal*, production stage manager.

*Denotes members of Actors' Equity Association, the union of professional Actors and Stage Managers in America.

ABOUT John Bucchino, MUSIC AND LYRICS
John Bucchino's (Music & Lyrics) songs have been performed and recorded by artists including Liza Minnelli, Barbara Cook, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Judy Collins, Yo Yo Ma, Art Garfunkel, Patti LuPone, Michael Feinstein, Audra McDonald, The Boston Pops, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in venues including Carnegie Hall, The Metropolitan Opera, The Hollywood Bowl, and The White House.

He has also written scores for the musicals Urban Myths, Lavender Girl, It's Only Life and the Dreamworks animated film Joseph, King of Dreams and lyrics for the children's musical Simeon's Gift (with a book by Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton and music by Ian Fraser).

ABOUT Harvey Fierstein, BOOK
Harvey Fierstein (Book) is the first person in history to win Tonys as an actor as well as a writer on both the dramatic and musical sides of the theater world. He made his professional acting debut at La Mama ETC in 1971 in Andy Warhol's only play, Pork. He followed that with appearances in more than 60 off off Broadway productions before he began his playwriting career. Early plays like Flatbush Tosca and Cobra Jewels led to his underground hit, Torch Song Trilogy. Fierstein won his third Tony for the libretto of the musical La Cage aux Folles. His other plays include Safe Sex, Spookhouse, A Catered Affair and Legs Diamond. His television work includes Nurse Jackie, How I Met Your Mother, Family Guy and The Simpsons. Fierstein's starring role as "Edna" in the musical Hairspray won him his fourth Tony Award as well as another Drama DeskAward, and the Drama League Award for Outstanding Performance of the Year. In 2005 Fierstein spent a year on Broadway as "Tevye" in a critically acclaimed production of Fiddler on the Roof, and then reprised the role in 2009 and 2010 on tour across America. Fierstein was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame in 2008. Most recently he wrote the book for the new stage adaptation of Disney's Newsies.

ABOUT NICK BOWLING, DIRECTOR
Nick Bowling returns to Porchlight Music Theatre where he received a Jeff Nomination for his direction of Closer Than Ever in 2005. He was the founding artistic director of TimeLine Theatre where is now associate artistic director. Bowling is the recipient of five Jeff Awards for Outstanding Direction (The History Boys, Fiorello!, This Happy Breed and The Crucible at TimeLine and Another Part of the Forest at Eclipse Theatre). He also received Jeff Award nominations for The Farnsworth Invention, The Lion in Winter and Haupmann. Bowling is a graduate of The Theatre School at DePaul University.

ABOUT Doug Peck, MUSIC DIRECTOR
Doug Peck is a Porchlight Music Theatre artistic associate and returns to Porchlight Music Theatre for the first time since Assassins. Peck's favorite credits include Porgy and Bess, Candide, My Fair Lady, Carousel, Man of La Mancha, Caroline, or Change, Animal Crackers, Fiorello!, Oh Coward!, Cabaret, Fiddler on the Roof, Grey Gardens, Shenandoah and Into The Woods; at such theatres as Court Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Timeline Theatre, Marriott Lincolnshire, Drury Lane Oakbrook, Apple Tree, Chicago Shakespeare, Northlight, Peninsula Players and the Ravinia Festival. He can be heard on the recordings Bright Young People: The Songs of Noël Coward, Foiled Again: Live, and Frank Galati and Stephen Flaherty's Loving Repeating: A Musical of Gertrude Stein. Peck is the recipient of four Joseph Jefferson Awards for Best Musical Direction.

ABOUT PORCHLIGHT THEATRE
Porchlight Music Theatre, American Musicals. Chicago Style., nationally recognized for developing innovative new works, reimagining classic productions and showcasing musical theater's rising stars, begins its 17th Season as Chicago's leader of music theatre productions. Porchlight elevates music theatre in Chicago within an intimate, close-up environment. Porchlight provides a thoroughly modern and passionate experience, serving both audiences and artists alike. With the recent addition of new Artistic Director Michael Weber and a 2011-2012 season that includes Sondheim, a Chicago premiere and an international sensation, Porchlight's status as Chicago's music theatre will continue and grow. Porchlight's rich history includes the staging of 50 shows with five world premieres, among them, The Teapot Scandals, its first work developed through "Off the Porch," Porchlight's new works program, as well as seven Chicago premieres. The company has received a total of 40 Joseph Jefferson Award nominations resulting in 12 Jeff Awards.

In 2011, Porchlight introduced the first annual Guy Adkins Award for Excellence in the Advancement of Music Theatre, named in honor of the beloved actor, and presented it to L. Walter Stearns in recognition of his 14 years as artistic director of the company.

A CATERED AFFAIR SPECIAL EVENTS

Porchlight Music Theatre has created special events in conjunction with its production of A Catered Affair. More information is available at their website, porchlightmusictheatre.org/acateredaffair-events.

John Bucchino Master Class
Saturday, Feb. 25, 3 – 6 p.m.
Stage 773, 1225 West Belmont Ave.
Tickets: Master class – SOLD OUT
Auditing class, Adults $25, Students with valid ID, $15
A one-of-a-kind special event master class offered by composer/lyricist of A Catered Affair John Bucchino with Chicago favorite Beckie Menzie.

The Music of John Bucchino Cabaret hosted by John Bucchino
Saturday, Feb. 25, 10:15 p.m.
Stage 773, 1225 West Belmont Ave.
Tickets: $15, no drink minimum
John Bucchino and his master class students perform in the cabaret on stage following the Saturday, Feb. 25 evening performance of A Catered Affair.

Porchlight Scholars Series
Sunday, Feb. 26, immediately following the 2 p.m. performance of A Catered Affair
Stage 773, 1225 West Belmont Ave.
Tickets: Free
These popular free events immediately follow the performance and give audiences an opportunity to discuss Porchlight Music Theatre productions with experts in the field who nationally practice the art of music theatre. The special guest will be the composer/lyricist of A Catered Affair, John Bucchino.

John Bucchino at Davenport's
Monday, Feb 27, 8 p.m.
Davenport's, 1383 North Milwaukee Ave.
Tickets: $25, 2 drink minimum
A rare Chicago solo appearance, Bucchino will be performing new and old songs and sharing stories of their creation, insights into his life and his creative process.
LGBT Night
March 2, 6:30 p.m.
Stage 773, 1225 West Belmont
Join the LGBT series and start a great night at the theatre with delicious refreshments and fantastic company. Please email info@porchlightmusictheatre.org to RSVP that you will be attending this complimentary event to receive special benefits.

A Catered Affair, Post-show discussions
Sunday, March 4 and March 11, immediately following the 2 p.m. performance of A Catered Affair
Stage 773, 1225 West Belmont Ave.
Tickets: Free
These candid discussions invite audiences to connect with the production's actors, director, music director and other artists in a discussion of the themes and artistic choices in the work that created A Catered Affair. Hosted by Porchlight Dramaturg, Kelli Marino.

For A Moment: Foiled Again Sings John Bucchino
Thursday, March 8, 8 p.m.
Davenport's, 1383 North Milwaukee Ave.
Tickets: $25, 2 drink minimum
Porchlight Artistic Associate Rob Lindley, Allison Bazarko and A Catered Affair cast member Anna Sheridan Smith, otherwise known as Foiled Again, put their signature spin on the songs of John Bucchino.
FUTURE PORCHLIGHT PRODUCTIONS

tick, tick...BOOM!
Music, Lyrics and Book by Jonathan Larson
April 27 - June 10, 2012
Adam Pelty, director
Diana Lawrence, music director
Press Opening: Tuesday, May 1 at 7:30 p.m.
Stage773, 1225 W Belmont Ave

A Catered Affair preview performances are Saturday, Feb. 18 at 8 p.m., Sunday Feb. 19 at 2 and 6 p.m. and a President's Day preview performance, Monday, Feb. 20 at 7:30 p.m. Opening/press night is Tuesday, Feb 21 at 7:30 p.m. The regular performance schedule is Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Single tickets are $38 with group and student discounts available. All tickets are available at stage773.com, porchlightmusictheatre.org or by phone at 773.327.5252.

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