Porchlight Music Theatre Presents A CATERED AFFAIR, Previews 2/18


Porchlight Music Theatre, American Musicals. Chicago Style, presents 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 begin Saturday, February 18, 2012 at 8 p.m. with opening/press night Tuesday, February 21, 2012 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.

Previously announced lead Rebecca Finnegan will be joined by Chicago favorite Craig Spidle as "Tom Hurley", Kelly Davis Wilson as "Janey Hurley" and Jerry O'Boyle as "Uncle Winston". Rounding out the A Catered Affair cast are Jim DeSelm (Ralph Halloran), Brittani Arlandis Green (Alice/Army Sergeant), Larry Baldacci (Sam/Mr. Halloran), Caron Buinis (Pasha/Caterer), Anne Sheridan Smith (Dolores/Mrs. Halloran/US Aggie Hurley) and Lauren Villegas (Myra/Wedding Dress Saleswoman).

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 company 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 joy and heartbreak are shared in one moment.

The design team includes Brian Sidney Bembridge, scenic design; William J. Morey, costume design; Nic Jones, lighting design; Victoria Delorio, sound design; Julia Eberhardt, properties design and Kelli Marino, dramaturg. The production stage manager is Meghan Teal.

Rebecca Finnegan (Aggie Hurley) returns to Porchlight Music Theatre where she has been seen in Company (Jeff Award), Sweeney Todd (Jeff Award, After Dark Award ) Closer Then Ever (Jeff Award, After Dark Award) and Gypsy (Jeff Nomination, After Dark Award). Credits include Ben Bagley's Cole Porter (Light Opera Works -Jeff Nomination) A Kurt Weill Review (Theo Ubique - Jeff Award) Fiorello! (Timeline - Jeff Award Nomination) Cabaret (Drury Lane - Jeff Nomination) Suessical and The Three Musketeers (Chicago Shakespeare), Turn Of The Century and Candide (Goodman) Little Women and Fiddler On The Roof (Marriott) and Working (Broadway Playhouse).

Craig Spidle (Tom Hurley) makes his Porchlight Music Theatre debut in A Catered Affair. Spidle has performed in The Tempest, As I Lay Dying and Libra (Steppenwolf); Passion Play, Oedipus Complex, Pericles. Black Star Line and As You Like It (Goodman), Life's A Dream, Little Foxes, Nora. Desire Under The Elms, The Cherry Orchard (Court), The Immigrant, Over The Tavern, Experiment With an Air Pump (Northlight), Brothers Karamazov, Manuscript Found In Saragossa (Lookingglass) And Ten Little Indians, Fiddler of the Roof, The Man Who Came to Dinner, The Sound of Music (Drury Lane).

Kelly Davis Wilson (Janey Hurley) makes her Porchlight Music Theatre debut in this production. Her previous credits include Bonhoeffer's Cost (Provision Theater), The Original Grease (American Theater Company) and Romeo and Juliet (Glass Onion Theatre). She is a recent graduate of The Theatre School at DePaul University.

Jerry O'Boyle (Uncle Winston) is making his Porchlight Music Theatre debut in A Catered Affair. Jerry spent four years playing "Edna Turnblad" in the second National and International tour of Hairspray performing the role more than 1,000 times including two trips to Japan. O'Boyle has also appeared in numerous productions at Apple Tree Theatre, Into the Woods (Marriott); Theda Bara and the Frontier Rabbi (Fox Theatricals) and Dealing (Northlight).

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 Desk Award, New York Magazine Award 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.

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.

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.

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.

This year, 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.

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

John Bucchino and Harvey Fierstien's A Catered Affair, at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave. Preview performances begin Saturday, February 18, 2012 at 8 p.m. with opening/press night Tuesday, February 21, 2012 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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