Porchlight Music Theatre News

BWW Review: Porchlight Music Theater's FAR FROM HEAVEN Presents A Woman's Melodic Journey Towards Self-Discovery In 1950s AmericaBWW Review: Porchlight Music Theater's FAR FROM HEAVEN Presents A Woman's Melodic Journey Towards Self-Discovery In 1950s America
by Rachel Weinberg - Feb 12, 2016

Porchlight Music Theatre's production of FAR FROM HEAVEN marks the musical's Chicago premiere--the show debuted Off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons in 2013 and takes the titular 2002 Todd Haynes-directed film as its source material. And while this musical from composer-lyricist team Scott Frankel and Michael Korie was written three years ago, FAR FROM HEAVEN touches on issues of gender, sexuality, and race in 1957 suburban Connecticut that poignantly resonant with the present moment. At the center of the musical is Cathy Whittaker (the superb and stunning Summer Naomi Smart), a 1950s housewife and mother--decked out in Bill Morey's outstanding period-authentic dresses and residing in Grant Sabin's charming set. At the top of the show, she catches her husband, Frank (Brandon Springman) cheating on her--with a man. Stunned by this secret, Cathy is forced to confront the reality of what happens when her life cannot conform to the societal pressures and ideals coming at her from both the media and friends--a matter which is further complicated when she strikes up an unexpected friendship with her black gardener, Raymond Deagan (Evan Tyrone Martin). (more...)

Broadway, Chicago Stars Round Out Principal Cast of Lyric Opera's THE KING AND IBroadway, Chicago Stars Round Out Principal Cast of Lyric Opera's THE KING AND I
by BWW News Desk - Feb 11, 2016

Lyric Opera of Chicago announced today casting for the remaining principal roles in its grand-scale production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's The King and I, featuring Broadway stars Kate Baldwin and Paolo Montalban as Anna Leonowens and the King of Siam. Additional Broadway artists Ali Ewoldt (Tuptim), Alan Ariano (The Kralahome) and Rona Figueroa (Lady Thiang) join the cast, along with Sam Simahk (Lun Tha) and Chicagoland artists Charlie Babbo (Louis Leonowens), Jomar Ferreras (Interpreter), John Lister (Captain Orton), David Parkes (Sir Edward Ramsay), Peter Sipla (Phra Alack) and Matthew Uzarraga (Prince Chulalongkorn). All but Lister make their Lyric debuts with The King and I. (more...)

Photo Flash: Inside Opening Night of Porchlight Music Theatre's FAR FROM HEAVENPhoto Flash: Inside Opening Night of Porchlight Music Theatre's FAR FROM HEAVEN
by BWW News Desk - Feb 10, 2016

Porchlight presents the critically acclaimed new musical based on the 2002 film hit starringJulianne Moore. In 1957 suburban Connecticut, Cathy Whitaker seems to be the picture-perfect wife and mother. But boiling beneath the surface, secret longings and forbidden desires cause her world to unravel, with incendiary consequences. Featuring a lush score from Tony Award-nominated (Grey Gardens and Finding Neverland) songwriters Frankel and Korie and a book by Tony Award-winner Greenberg (Take Me Out) that is both jazz-inflected and hauntingly lyrical, FAR FROM HEAVEN is a powerful story of romance, betrayal and intolerance, as a woman grapples with her identity in a society on the verge of upheaval. (more...)

Photo Flash: First Look at Porchlight Music Theatre's Chicago Premiere of FAR FROM HEAVENPhoto Flash: First Look at Porchlight Music Theatre's Chicago Premiere of FAR FROM HEAVEN
by BWW News Desk - Feb 9, 2016

Porchlight presents the critically acclaimed new musical based on the 2002 film hit starring Julianne Moore. In 1957 suburban Connecticut, Cathy Whitaker seems to be the picture-perfect wife and mother. But boiling beneath the surface, secret longings and forbidden desires cause her world to unravel, with incendiary consequences. Featuring a lush score from Tony Award-nominated (Grey GardensandFinding Neverland) songwriters Frankel and Korie and a book by Tony Award-winner Greenberg (Take Me Out) that is both jazz-inflected and hauntingly lyrical,FAR FROM HEAVEN is a powerful story of romance, betrayal and intolerance, as a woman grapples with her identity in a society on the verge of upheaval. (more...)

A Red Orchid Theatre Extends THE MUTILATEDA Red Orchid Theatre Extends THE MUTILATED
by BWW News Desk - Feb 8, 2016

?Due to popular demand, A Red Orchid Theatre has extended its critically-acclaimed production of Tennessee Williams' The Mutilated, directed by Ensemble Member Dado. The Mutilated will now run through March 13, 2016. The Mutilated features Ensemble Members Lance Baker, Jennifer Engstrom, Mierka Girten, Steve Haggard, Shade Murray, Doug Vickers and Natalie West with Ciera Dawn, Jennifer Glasse, Roy Gonzalez, Mario Hernandez, Morgan Maher, Lauren Vogel and Dominque Worsley. A Red Orchid Theatre is located at 1531 N Wells. (more...)

Photo Flash: Inside Opening Night of JEEVES AT SEA at First Folio TheatrePhoto Flash: Inside Opening Night of JEEVES AT SEA at First Folio Theatre
by BWW News Desk - Feb 2, 2016

First Folio Theatre (Mayslake Peabody Estate, 31stSt. & Rt. 83) presentsthe Chicago premiere of the witty comedyJEEVES AT SEA, opening Saturday, January 30, 2016 at 8:00 p.m., and running through February 28,2016 with previews January 27- 29. Directed by Jeff Award nominee Alison C. Vesely(First Folio'sWinter's TaleandThe Madness of Edgar Allan Poe), the stars of First Folio's productions ofJeeves in BloomandJeeves Takes a Bow, will reprise their roles inJEEVES AT SEA, withJim McCance as "Jeeves" and Christian Gray (The Madness of Edgar Allan PoeandWinter's Taleat First Folio Theatre,The Glass Menagerieat Oak Park Festival Theatre) as "Bertie." (more...)

First Folio Theatre to Present FOOLING BUDDHA, 3/23-4/24First Folio Theatre to Present FOOLING BUDDHA, 3/23-4/24
by BWW News Desk - Feb 2, 2016

? First Folio Theatre (Mayslake Peabody Estate, 31st St. & Rt. 83) presents the witty comedy FOOLING BUDDHA, opening Saturday, March 26, 2016 at 8:00 p.m., and running through Sunday, April 24, 2016 with previews March 23- 25. Director Patrick New (The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Three Musketeers, and Around the World in Eighty Days), along with creator and star David Kovac (regional productions of Lost in Yonkers, Triple Espresso, and Design for Living at First Folio Theatre) put on a one-of-a-kind show of storytelling. (more...)

Photo Flash: First Look at JEEVES AT SEA at First Folio TheatrePhoto Flash: First Look at JEEVES AT SEA at First Folio Theatre
by BWW News Desk - Jan 27, 2016

First Folio Theatre (Mayslake Peabody Estate, 31stSt. & Rt. 83) presentsthe Chicago premiere of the witty comedy JEEVES AT SEA, opening Saturday, January 30, 2016 at 8:00 p.m., and running through February 28,2016 with previews January 27- 29. Directed by Jeff Award nominee Alison C. Vesely(First Folio'sWinter's TaleandThe Madness of Edgar Allan Poe), the stars of First Folio's productions ofJeeves in BloomandJeeves Takes a Bow, will reprise their roles inJEEVES AT SEA, withJim McCance as "Jeeves" and Christian Gray (The Madness of Edgar Allan PoeandWinter's Taleat First Folio Theatre,The Glass Menagerieat Oak Park Festival Theatre) as "Bertie." (more...)

Photo Flash: BYE BYE BIRDIE Opening Night at Drury Lane TheatrePhoto Flash: BYE BYE BIRDIE Opening Night at Drury Lane Theatre
by BWW News Desk - Jan 26, 2016

On January 21, guests gathered at Drury Lane Theatre for the Opening Night of their newest production, Bye Bye Birdie, directed and choreographed by Tammy Mader. With a cast led by Michelle Aravena as Rosie, Matt Crowle as Conrad's agent, Albert, and Jason Michael Evans as Conrad Birdie, audiences were treated to a throwback of the classic 1950's musical, brought to life again by this energetic and lively ensemble of 31. Check out photos from opening night, below! (more...)

Porchlight Music Theatre's ICONS Gala to Honor E. Faye ButlerPorchlight Music Theatre's ICONS Gala to Honor E. Faye Butler
by BWW News Desk - Jan 26, 2016

? Porchlight Music Theatre and Artistic Director Michael Weber are proud to announce the 2016 ICONS Gala celebrating the legendary woman whose name is synonymous with Broadway, Ethel Merman, Sunday, May 1, 2016 11:00 a.m. - 2 p.m., at the Grand Ballroom, InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile, 505 N. Michigan Ave. The Gala includes performances from Chicago's leading talents celebrating the rich career of Merman, the presentation of the 2016 Guy AdkinsAward for Excellence in the Advancement of Music Theatre in Chicago to E. Faye Butler and silent and live auctions. Proceeds from the event and its accompanying auction benefit Porchlight's educational programs and productions. Tickets are on sale now and require advance purchase, $125 before April 15, $150 after April 15, $50 for children ages 18 years old and younger are available at 773.777.9884 or at PorchlightMusicTheatre.org. (more...)

League of Chicago Theatres to Host Free Engagement Events for Chicago Theatre WeekLeague of Chicago Theatres to Host Free Engagement Events for Chicago Theatre Week
by BWW News Desk - Jan 25, 2016

Chicago Theatre Week, an annual celebration of the rich tradition of theatre-going in Chicago, will take place February 11 - 21, 2016, spanning a week and two full weekends. (more...)

Strawdog Theatre Company Presents Lauren Yee's IN A WORD This WinterStrawdog Theatre Company Presents Lauren Yee's IN A WORD This Winter
by BWW News Desk - Jan 19, 2016

Strawdog Theatre Companyand Artistic DirectorHank Bolandare proud to announce the third main stage production in its 2015 - 2016 season, Lauren Yee'sIn A Word,February 5 - March 19,directed byJess McLeod,at Strawdog Theatre Company, 3829 N. Broadway St. Previews areFriday, Feb. 5 and 12,Saturday, Feb. 6 and 13at 8 p.m.,Sunday, Feb. 7 and 14at4 p.m.and Thursday, Feb. 11 at 8 p.m.Opening night isMonday, Feb. 15 at 8 p.m.The regular performance schedule is Thursdays - Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at4 p.m.An industry performance isMonday, Feb. 22 at 8 p.m. anda fully accessible performance in conjunction with the Access Project at Victory Gardens isThursday, March 3 at 8 p.m.* Preview tickets are $15, regular run tickets are $28 and on sale now. Subscriptions, group, rush, senior and student discounts are also available. Tickets may be ordered online atstrawdog.orgor by calling OvationTix toll-free:866-811-4111. (more...)

Tickets to Writers Theatre's ARCADIA Now on SaleTickets to Writers Theatre's ARCADIA Now on Sale
by BWW News Desk - Jan 12, 2016

Writers Theatre, under the leadership of Artistic Director Michael Halberstam and Executive Director Kathryn M. Lipuma, presents the first production in the Theatre's new home, Arcadia by Tom Stoppard, directed by Michael Halberstam. The show runs March 16 - April 24, 2016 at the Alexandra C. and John D. Nichols Theatre in Writer Theatre's new theater center at 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe. The Press Opening is Wednesday, March 23 at 7:30 p.m. (more...)

Heidi Kettenring to Make Porchlight Music Theatre Debut in 'APPLAUSE'Heidi Kettenring to Make Porchlight Music Theatre Debut in 'APPLAUSE'
by BWW News Desk - Jan 11, 2016

Porchlight Music Theatreand Artistic DirectorMichael Weber have announcedthe second production in the third smash season of Chicago's "lost"musicals in staged concert series,PORCHLIGHT REVISTS...APPLAUSE, featuring book byBetty Comden and Adolph Green,music byCharles Strouseand lyrics byLee Adams,with direction and choreography by Porchlight Artistic AssociateChristopher Pazdernik, music direction byNick Sula. (more...)

2015 BroadwayWorld Chicago Awards: AMERICAN IDIOT, BOY FROM OZ, Drury Lane Theatre Head the Winners List; Paparelli Posthumously Honored2015 BroadwayWorld Chicago Awards: AMERICAN IDIOT, BOY FROM OZ, Drury Lane Theatre Head the Winners List; Paparelli Posthumously Honored
by Paul W. Thompson - Jan 11, 2016

The Chicagoland theater world showed its strength last night, when the musical productions "American Idiot," "Billy Elliot" and "Les Miserables," and plays like "Direct from Death Row the Scottsboro Boys" and "The Glass Protege," took home top honors at the sixth annual BroadwayWorld Chicago Awards Celebration, held from 7-10 pm at The Call nightclub in the Andersonville neighborhood. (more...)

Cast Announced for Jamil Khoury's MOSQUE ALERT at Silk Road RisingCast Announced for Jamil Khoury's MOSQUE ALERT at Silk Road Rising
by BWW News Desk - Jan 8, 2016

Silk Road Rising proudly presents the World Premiere of Jamil Khoury's Mosque Alert. All performances will be presented in the company's venue in Pierce Hall at The Historic Chicago Temple Building at 77 W. Washington St. in Chicago. (more...)

'The Showtune Mosh Pit' for December 30th, 2015'The Showtune Mosh Pit' for December 30th, 2015
by Paul W. Thompson - Dec 30, 2015

The latest in unauthorized gossip and buzz from the heart of Chicago's showtune video bars, and musical theater news from Chicago to Broadway. It's the TOP TEN HOT TOPIX for the last half of 2015! What are the shows and stories we've been most excited about? Here they are! I hope you have a happy new year. And I'll see you at The Call on January 10, 2016 for the BroadwayWorld Chicago Awards Celebration! (more...)

2015 BroadwayWorld Chicago Awards - Last Week to Vote!2015 BroadwayWorld Chicago Awards - Last Week to Vote!
by BWW Special Coverage - Dec 24, 2015

Happy Holidays! It's the last week to vote for the 2015 BroadwayWorld Chicago Regional Awards! Check out the latest live stats as of December 18. Nominations were reader-submitted and after the nomination period ended, BroadwayWorld's local editors proofed the list for eligibility and errors. Voting runs through December 31! (more...)

BYE BYE BIRDIE Begins Performances in January at Drury Lane TheatreBYE BYE BIRDIE Begins Performances in January at Drury Lane Theatre
by BWW News Desk - Dec 18, 2015

Bye Bye Birdie, the four-time Tony Award-winning musical, begins performances at Drury Lane on January 14 to conclude the 2015 - 2016 Season. The funny, irreverent musical takes audiences back to 1959 in quiet Sweet Apple, OH, where rock star Conrad Birdie shakes things up when he arrives to give one lucky teenage girl a special goodbye kiss. With a cast led by 2015 Jeff Award Best Supporting Actor winners Michelle Aravena as Rosie and Matt Crowle as Conrad's agent, Albert, Bye Bye Birdie is directed and choreographed by multiple Jeff Award winner Tammy Mader. Featuring musical theater classics such as "Kids," "Put on a Happy Face," and "A Lot of Livin' to Do," the inspired cast and creative team promise to bring a decidedly fresh touch to the timeless story. (more...)

2015 BroadwayWorld Chicago Awards Update - Nicholas Dantes in Lead!2015 BroadwayWorld Chicago Awards Update - Nicholas Dantes in Lead!
by BWW Special Coverage - Dec 18, 2015

Time is running out to vote for the 2015 BroadwayWorld Chicago Regional Awards! Check out the latest live stats as of December 18. Nominations were reader-submitted and after the nomination period ended, BroadwayWorld's local editors proofed the list for eligibility and errors. Voting runs through December 31! (more...)

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