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Cast and Creative Team Announced for CABARET at Porchlight Music Theatre

Overseen by an ominous Emcee at the fabled Kit Kat Club, Cabaret is a cautionary tale that has renewed resonance in today’s political climate. 

Cast and Creative Team Announced for CABARET at Porchlight Music Theatre

Porchlight Music Theatre will present the Tony Award-winning landmark musical Cabaret, at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn St., January 14 - February 12, 2023. Based on the 1951 play I Am a Camera by John Van Druten and the novel "Goodbye to Berlin'' by Christopher Isherwood, Porchlight's production is directed by Artistic Director Michael Weber, associate directed and choreographed by Brenda Didier and music directed by Linda Madonia.

Previews are Saturday, Jan. 14 at 3:30 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 15 at 2 p.m. and 6:00 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 18 at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 19 at 1:30p.m. with the press opening Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023 at 7:30 p.m. The regular performance schedule is Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 3:30 and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. with a weekday matinee Thursday, Feb. 2 at 1:30 p.m. Post-Show Discussions are scheduled Friday, Jan. 27 at 8 p.m and Thursday, Feb. 2 at 1:30 p.m. and open caption performances Saturday Jan. 28 at 3:30 p.m. and Saturday Feb. 4 at 3:30p.m. Tickets for Cabaret are now on sale starting at $25 and may be purchased through the Box Office by calling 773.777.9884 or by visiting PorchlightMusicTheatre.org.

Bold and provocative, this winner of seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical, shines a spotlight on Berlin in the late 1920s and the colorful, gritty and hedonistic lives found there. Filled with iconic songs and electrifying dance, Cabaret tells the story of the American writer Clifford Bradshaw and his relationship with English cabaret performer Sally Bowles on the eve of the Nazi party's rise to power. Overseen by an ominous Emcee at the fabled Kit Kat Club, Cabaret is a cautionary tale that has renewed resonance in today's political climate.

The cast for Cabaret, in alphabetical order, includes Neala Barron* (Fraulein "Fritzie" Kost); Frankie Leo Bennett+ (standby The Emcee and Max); Jordan Beyeler* (swing). Morgan DiFonzo* (Texas/ensemble); Julia Fleckenstein* (Helga/ensemble); Tim Foszcz+ (Herman/ensemble); Haley Gustafson*/^ (Frenchie/ensemble); Josiah Haugen+ (Ernst Ludwig); Natalie Henry* (Rosie/ensemble); Samuel B. Jackson+ (Clifford Bradshaw); Mark David Kaplan+ (Herr Schultz); Shane Roberie+ (Max/ensemble); Mary Robin Roth* (Fraulein Schneider); Lance Spencer+ (Victor/ensemble); Erica Stephan* (Sally Bowles); TJ Tapp* (Lulu/ensemble); Cam Turner+ (swing/Dance Captain); Josh Walker+ (The Emcee); Shaun White+ (Bobby/ensemble) and Evan Wilhelm+(Hans/ensemble).

The Cabaret production team includes Michael Weber+ (director); Brenda Didier* (associate director/choreographer); Linda Madonia* (music director); Angela Weber Miller* (scenic design); Bill Morey+ (costume design); Patrick Chan+ (lighting design); Matthew R. Chase+ (sound design), Johnnie Schleyer+ (scenic supervisor); Rachel West* (lighting supervisor); Madeline M. Scott* (production stage manager), Kathy Logelin* (dialect coach), Sheryl Williams* (intimacy Choreographer), Nate Cohen+ (dramaturg/cultural consultant) and Frankie Leo Bennett+ (producing artistic associate.)

Pronoun Key: + (he/him/his); * (she/her/hers); ^ (they, them, theirs). = (any with respect)

ABOUT Michael Weber, director

Michael Weber is the artistic director at Porchlight Music Theatre and most recently directed Sunset Boulevard and Gypsy for Porchlight Music Theatre as well as the Porchlight Revisits production of 1776 and Broadway by the Decade for PorchlightOnline. His productions of Gypsy, End of the Rainbow, Side Show, ...Forum, Sweeney Todd, Pal Joey and Assassins at Porchlight, Grand Hotel at Drury Lane Theatre Water Tower Place and She Loves Me at Theatre at the Center were each nominated for the Equity Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Production- Musical. Other directing credits include "Living the History-125 Years of the Auditorium Theatre" (starring Patti LuPone, John Mahoney and stars of Lyric Opera of Chicago, The Joffrey Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and others), Fifth of July and Talley's Folly at the Oak Park Festival Theatre, The Petrified Forest at Theatre at the Center, Beauty and the Beast at Marriott Theatre, Over the River and Through the Woods at Mercury Theater and Cirque du Symphony at Sears Center Arena. The recipient of two Joseph Jefferson Awards, Weber's regional acting credits include The Merry Widow and The Sound of Music at Lyric Opera, 42nd Street at Paramount, Annie Get Your Gun and Gypsy (both starring Patti LuPone) at Ravinia, Disney's My Son Pinocchio at First Stage Milwaukee, Around the World in 80 Days at Cleveland Playhouse, The Winter's Tale and Henry V at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Angel Street at First Folio Shakespeare and The Gifts of the Magi at Indiana Repertory. He previously served as artistic director of Drury Lane Theatre Water Tower Place (now The Broadway Playhouse) and Theatre at the Center. Weber is proud to serve as a pledge host with WTTW, Channel 11.

ABOUT Linda Madonia, music director/conductor

Linda Madonia has been musical directing in the Chicago area for more than 25 years including Porchlight's recent New Faces Sing Broadway 1979 as well as Chicago Sings Rock & Roll Broadway and the 2019 critically-acclaimed production of A Chorus Line. Other credits include Pirates of Penzance and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat for Music Theater Works and Forbidden Broadway: SVU at The Royal George Theater. Other credits include Grand Hotel and Nunsensations at Drury Lane Water Tower Place and Gigi, She Loves Me and Me and My Girl at Theater at the Center. Madonia has also been the music director for Chicago's Equity and non-union Joseph Jefferson Awards numerous times. She owns American Eagle Productions, an educational theatre that has presented 300 shows and workshops a year in Chicago area schools for the past 28 years.

ABOUT Brenda Didier, associate director/choreographer

Brenda Didier returns to Porchlight where she recently directed the spring 2022 production of Spring Awakening. She also co-directed and co-choreographed Porchlight's award-winning Duke Ellington's Sophisticated Ladies with Florence Walker Harris, directed A Chorus Line and directed and choreographed Billy Elliot, The Musical, In The Heights and Dreamgirls among others. Didier is a multiple Jeff Award recipient in both direction and choreography, and the recipient of After Dark Awards, BroadwayWorld awards and the National Youth Theatre award. She is the proud owner and artistic director of the Lincolnshire Academy of Dance, celebrating its 24th season. Other credits include work at the Goodman, Chicago Shakespeare, Second City, Marriott Theatre, The Paramount, Theatre at the Center, BoHo, Mercury Theatre Chicago, Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre, the Studebaker Theatre, Stage Left, Six Flags Great America, Busch Gardens Virginia, Cirque Shanghai at Navy Pier, T-Mobile's national commercial "Home for the Holidays," The Kenny Rogers Christmas Tour and the University of Illinois, University of Wisconsin and Carthage College.

ABOUT PORCHLIGHT MUSIC THEATRE AS Ruth Page IN-RESIDENCE ORGANIZATION

Porchlight Music Theatre is proud to be a member of the vibrant Ruth Page Center for the Arts community and an In-Residence Organization. Central to the Ruth Page Center for the Arts' programming is this program, which is designed to serve organizations looking for a home base while they grow or expand their artistic and organizational capabilities. The Center is committed to nurturing and assisting dance and other performing artists, allowing for exchange and collaborative relationships to develop within the artistic community. The Ruth Page Center for the Arts is a destination for quality performing arts, accessible to a wide community regardless of race, gender, age, education or disability. An incubator of artistic energy and excellence, the Ruth Page Center for the Arts carries forward the vision of its founder, legendary dance icon Ruth Page, to be a platform for developing great artists and connecting them with audiences and community.

ABOUT PORCHLIGHT MUSIC THEATRE

Porchlight Music Theatre is the award-winning center for music theatre in Chicago. Through live performance, youth education and community outreach, we impact thousands of lives each season, bringing the magic of musicals to our theatre home at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts in the Gold Coast and to neighborhoods across the city. Porchlight has built a national reputation for boldly reimagining classic musicals, supporting new works and young performers, and showcasing Chicago's most notable music theatre artists, all through the intimate and powerful theatrical lens of the "Chicago Style."

Porchlight's history, over the last 27 years, includes more than 70 mainstage works with 15 Chicago premieres and five world premieres. Porchlight's commitment to the past, present and future of music theatre led the company to develop the Porchlight Revisits and New Faces Sing Broadway program series, both quickly becoming audience favorites.

Porchlight's education and outreach programs serve schools, youth of all ages and skill levels and community organizations, most notably the ongoing collaboration with Chicago Youth Centers. Porchlight annually awards dozens of full scholarships and hundreds of free tickets to ensure accessibility and real engagement with this uniquely American art form.

The company's many honors include 184 Joseph Jefferson Award (Jeff) nominations and 45 Jeff awards, as well as 44 Black Theatre Alliance (BTA) nominations and 12 BTA awards. In 2019, Porchlight graduated to the Large Theatre tier of the Equity Jeff Awards, and was honored with eight nominations in both technical and artistic categories and won three awards in its inaugural year in this tier, most notably Best Ensemble for Duke Ellington's Sophisticated Ladies.

Through the global pandemic, Porchlight emerged as one of Chicago's leaders in virtual programming, quickly launching a host of free offerings like Sondheim @ 90 Roundtables, Movie Musical Mondays, Porchlight by Request: Command Performances and WPMT: Classic Musicals from the Golden Age of Radio. Porchlight launched its annual summer series in 2021, Broadway in your Backyard, performing at parks and venues throughout the city.

Porchlight Music Theatre presents the Tony Award-winning landmark musical Cabaret, at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn St., January 14 - February 12, 2023. Based on the 1951 play I Am a Camera by John Van Druten and the novel "Goodbye to Berlin'' by Christopher Isherwood, Porchlight's production is directed by Artistic Director Michael Weber+, music directed by Linda Madonia* and associate directed and choreographed by Brenda Didier*. Previews are Saturday, Jan. 14 at 3:30 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 15 at 2 p.m. and 6:00 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 18 at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 19 at 1:30p.m. with the press opening Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023 at 7:30 p.m. The regular performance schedule is Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 3:30 and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. with a weekday matinee Thursday, Feb. 2 at 1:30 p.m. Post-Show Discussions are scheduled Friday, Jan. 27 at 8 p.m and Thursday, Feb. 2 at 1:30 p.m. and open caption performances Saturday Jan. 28 at 3:30 p.m. and Saturday Feb. 4 at 3:30p.m. Tickets for Cabaret are now on sale starting at $25 and may be purchased through the Box Office by calling 773.777.9884 or by visiting PorchlightMusicTheatre.org.


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