Light Opera Works to Present COLE PORTER'S GREATEST HITS, 10/3-12

Light Opera Works to Present COLE PORTER'S GREATEST HITS, 10/3-12

Light Opera Works will present COLE PORTER'S GREATEST HITS October 3 through 12 at the Nichols Concert Hall in Evanston.

The concert performance of songs by Cole Porter includes "I Get a Kick Out of You," "Let's Do It," "'Night and Day," "I Love Paris" and other classics.

COLE PORTER'S GREATEST HITS is directed by Rudy Hogenmiller, with music direction by Roger L. Bingaman. The cast is James Harms, James Rank, Mary Robin Roth, and Katelin Spencer.

COLE PORTER'S GREATEST HITS is Light Opera Works' third show of 2014. The season concludes with THE MERRY WIDOW, December 19-31. Discounted ticket packages are still available.

Tickets for COLE PORTER'S GREATEST HITS are $30, $40, $50 and $60. Ages 21 and younger are half-price. To order tickets, or for more information, call the Light Opera Works box office at (847) 920-5360, or order online 24 hours a day at

Rudy Hogenmiller (Director), artistic director of Light Opera Works, was seen on stage in June as Mr. Applegate in DAMN YANKEES and the Emcee in CABARET last August. Hogenmiller has directed and choreographed many productions for the company including FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, ANNIE GET YOUR GUN, H.M.S. PINAFORE, OLIVER!, MAN OF LA MANCHA, CAMELOT, BRIGADOON, HELLO, DOLLY!, MY FAIR LADY, THE YEOMEN OF THE GUARD, A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC, THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE, KISS ME, KATE, SOUTH PACIFIC, THE MIKADO and THE SOUND OF MUSIC. He has been recognized with six Joseph Jefferson Awards and 17 nominations for best direction and choreography in Chicago. Hogenmiller has been a member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers for more than 25 years.

Roger L. Bingaman (Music Director) has conducted FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, DAMN YANKEES, ANNIE GET YOUR GUN, H.M.S. PINAFORE, OLIVER!, CAMELOT, THE SECRET GARDEN, THE STUDENT PRINCE, BRIGADOON, HELLO, DOLLY!, I DO! I DO!, CAROUSEL, THE YEOMEN OF THE GUARD, THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE, MY FAIR LADY and A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC at Light Opera Works, where he has held many positions, including conductor, chorus master, assistant conductor and pianist. He was named the company's music director in 2005. Since 1999, "Bing" has been the director of the apprentice program and chorus master for the Sarasota Opera, where he began his tenure in 1998 as an assistant conductor. He is music director of Irving Park Lutheran Church and artistic director of the Irving Park Fine Arts Series; also choir director and organist at Ezra Habonim, the Niles Township Jewish congregation in Skokie. He has worked with Lyric Opera's Opera-in-the-Neighborhoods program, Michigan Opera Theatre, the Savoyaires, Milwaukee Opera Theatre, Dayton Opera, Opera Lenawee and Opera Lafayette, among other companies.

James Harms played Sir Joseph Porter in H.M.S. PINAFORE, Fagin in OLIVER!, Don Quixote in MAN OF LA MANCHA, the Major General in THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE and the Lord Chancellor in IOLANTHE for Light Opera Works, where he also directed BITTER SWEET. Most recently, he was Jedd Clampett in THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES, THE MUSICAL at Theatre at the Center, and Justice Shallow in THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR at Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Harms was seen at the Goodman Theatre in THE ICEMAN COMETH; he will again appear with Nathan Lane and Brian Dennehy when the production is revived in New York in the spring of 2015. Other Goodman appearances include Kander and Ebb's musical THE VISIT with Chita Rivera, and THE HAPPIEST SONG PLAYS LAST. A member of Actors' Equity Association since 1963, Harms has appeared at most of the major theaters in Chicago including Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Marriott Theatre and Drury Lane Oakbrook. He toured nationally and internationally in EVITA, THE FANTASTICKS and JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT and is the recipient of eight Joseph Jefferson Awards.

James Rank has appeared in many Light Opera Works productions, including ANNIE GET YOUR GUN (Frank Butler), CANDIDE (Voltaire/Pangloss), THE FANTASTICKS (El Gallo), 110 IN THE SHADE (File), and OPERETTA'S GREATEST HITS. He was recently seen as Commandant Rahm in SIGNS OF LIFE at Victory Gardens Theatre, Fredrik in A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC at Indiana Repertory Theatre, and in the title role of THE CHRISTMAS MIRACLE OF JONATHAN TOOMEY at Provision Theatre. He has appeared at Lyric Opera of Chicago (Kromow in THE MERRY WIDOW, Cord Elam in OKLAHOMA!), Writers' Theatre (SHE LOVES ME, THE MINISTER'S WIFE), Peninsula Players (Jules in SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE), Next Theater (THE AMERICAN DREAMS SONGBOOK, Jeff Award winner, Best Actor in a Revue), Drury Lane Water Tower (GRAND HOTEL, Jeff Award nominee, Best Actor in a Musical), Chicago Shakespeare Theater (A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC, PASSION), Candlelight Dinner Playhouse (Billy in CAROUSEL and the title role in PHANTOM), Drury Lane Oakbrook (CURTAINS, SOUTH PACIFIC, IT'S A BIRD, IT'S A PLANE...IT'S SUPERMAN) and the Goodman Theatre (TURN OF THE CENTURY). Rank has performed with Santa Fe Opera, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Central City Opera, Pamiro Opera, the Elgin Symphony Orchestra, and the Chicago Sinfonietta.

Mary Robin Roth returns to Light Opera Works after appearing as Dolly Levi in HELLO, DOLLY! and as five different characters in NO WAY TO TREAT A LADY. She was seen at Lyric Opera of Chicago as the Nurse in A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE starring Renee Fleming. Her regional theater credits include Helga in DEATH TRAP, Mama Morton in CHICAGO, Jeanette in THE FULL MONTY and Fraulein Schneider in CABARET (Mason Street Warehouse; Saugatuck, Michigan); Ida in 70, GIRLS, 70, Angie in SPREADING IT AROUND, Esther in BREAKING UP IS HARD TO DO and Sr. Robert Anne in NUNSENSE starring Cindy Williams (Michigan's Meadow Brook Theatre); Rose in GYPSY and Miss Hannigan in ANNIE (Arkansas Repertory Theatre); and Fanny Brice in FUNNY GIRL (Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre of Indianapolis). Other Chicago favorite roles include Mame in MAME, and Carlotta in FOLLIES (for which she was honored with a Jeff Award and an After Dark Award) and SHEAR MADNESS (Mrs. Shubert). Broadway credits include THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD and SENATOR JOE. Her touring credits include the national and international companies of EVITA and the Toronto company of SUNSET BOULEVARD.

Katelin Spencer returns to Light Opera Works after appearing as Hodel in FIDDLER ON THE ROOF. She completed her Bachelor of Music degree in voice performance from University of Michigan and her Master's degree in Opera Performance and Literature at Northwestern University, where she performed Pamina in Mozart's THE MAGIC FLUTE, Rose in Kurt Weill's STREET SCENE, and Florestine in THE GHOSTS OF VERSAILLES. She has been a featured soloist in Handel's MESSIAH, Mozart's Requiem, Vivaldi's Gloria, Bach's Magnificat and Schubert's Mass in G. She is a frequent soloist with the Kalamazoo Bach Festival and her musical theatre appearances include Farmers Alley Theatre productions of THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA, MY WAY: A TRIBUTE TO FRANK SINATRA and PINKALICIOUS.

Light Opera Works is a resident professional not-for-profit theater in Evanston, founded in 1980. The company's mission is to produce and present musical theater from a variety of world traditions. All productions are presented in English, with foreign works done in carefully edited modern translations. Maximum scholarship is employed to preserve the original vocal and orchestral material as well as the spirit of the original text whenever possible. Audiences have come to know that at Light Opera Works they will experience repertoire often unavailable on the stages of commercial theaters and opera houses, in modern productions with professional artists and full orchestra.

Light Opera Works' mission is to produce musical theater from a variety of world traditions, to engage the community through educational and outreach programs, and to train artists in musical theater.

Photo Credit: Rich Foreman

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