Photo Flash: Porchlight Revisits Celebrates Opening Night of DO RE MI
Porchlight Music Theatre concludes its fifth season of Chicago's "lost" musicals in staged concert series with Porchlight Revisits Do Re Mi, starring Porchlight Music Theatre's Artistic Director Michael Weber and Nancy Voigts, music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green and book by Garson Kanin, with direction and choreography by Christopher Pazdernik and musical direction by David Fiorello. Porchlight Revisits Do Re Mi is presented for three-nights-only Tuesday, May 22 through Thursday, May 24 at 7:15 p.m. and is performed on the set of Porchlight's Memphis (previews begin April 19) at Porchlight's new home, The Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn Street.
Tickets for Do Re Mi are $35. All tickets include access to the popular pre-performance event, "Behind the Show Backstory," a multimedia presentation, created and hosted by Porchlight Music Theatre Artistic Director Michael Weber that discusses the evening's production including the show's creative history, juicy backstage gossip and the state of the art on Broadway that season. Single tickets to Do Re Mi are available at porchlightmusictheatre.org or by calling the Porchlight Music Theatre box office at 773.777.9884.
Originally created for the comic style of the great Phil Silvers and Nancy Walker, Do Re Mi is the story of "Hubie Cram," a minor-league con man endlessly scheming to win big who, at the urging of his long-suffering wife, "Kay," decides to go (somewhat) straight by moving into the jukebox and music promotion business as he concocts his biggest score ever. Featuring the hits: "Make Someone Happy," "Fireworks" and "I Know About Love."
The cast of Porchlight Revisits Do Re Mi includes: Michael Weber, (Hubie Cram); Nancy Voigts, (Kay Cram); Anastasia Arnold, (ensemble); Tommy Bullington, (Brains Berman); William Dwyer, (John Henry Wheeler); Gabriel Fries, (Skin Demopoulos); Desiree Gonzalez, (ensemble); Steve Kimbrough, (Wolfie / Moe Shtarker); Molly Kral, (Tilda Mullen), Maria Montero, (ensemble); Tommy Novak, (Fatso O'Rear) and Jenna Schoppe, (ensemble). Continuing its support of emerging Chicago artists, Porchlight Music Theatre's Do Re Mi company includes Performance Intern Artists, students from Roosevelt University's Chicago College for the Performing Arts: Maeve Cosgriffe, Chase Heinemann, Jenna Napolitano, Emma Parssi, Seavor Roach and T.J. Tapp.
The production team includes Christopher Pazdernik, director and choreographer; David Fiorello, music director; Jenna Schoppe, assistant choreographer; Bill Walters, stage manager; Joaquin Gomez, assistant stage manager and Samantha Treible, wardrobe supervisor.
ABOUT Christopher Pazdernik, director/choreographer
Christopher Pazdernik is a director/choreographer with "a near encyclopedic knowledge of musicals" (Newcity). At Porchlight Music Theatre, Pazdernik is a proud artistic associate, and serves as company manager and casting associate. He has also directed and choreographed many Porchlight Revisits productions including The Rink, Anyone Can Whistle, City of Angels and Applause and has co-curated the Porchlight New Faces Sing Broadway series. Most recently, he served as associate director for Porchlight's Merrily We Roll Along, currently running through March 17. He is best known for the critically acclaimed production of High Fidelity (Jeff Awards for Best Director and Best Production of a Musical) at Refuge Theatre Project, where he also serves as artistic director. Recent credits include Carrie (Ohio Northern University), Wicked City (Chicago Theatre Workshop), Planted (Chicago Musical Theatre Festival), Make Me a Song (Eclectic Theatre Co.) and Story of A Story (The Untold Story) (Underscore Theater Co.). He is also a frequent cabaret director and curator including Broadway's Cult Classics at Davenport's Piano Bar and the His & His series at Pride Films & Plays. An openly HIV+ artist, Pazdernik was a 2016 Windy City Times 30-Under-30 honoree for his contributions to Chicago's LGBTQ community. He currently serves on the Ambassador Committee for the AIDS Run/Walk Chicago and as chairperson on the Community Advisory Board for Howard Brown Health, one of the nation's largest LGBTQ organizations.
ABOUT David Fiorello, music director
David Fiorello returns to Porchlight, where he has music directed many productions and special events including Porchlight Revisits Woman of the Year, Chicago Sings: Sinatra & The Rat Pack and the 2017 - 2018 and 2016 - 2018 New Faces Sing Broadway seasons. He recently appeared in Porchlight's Merrily We Roll Along as "Joe Josephson." Fiorello has been in Chicago since 2010, when he moved from the East Coast to music direct and vocal coach at Northwestern University's Music Theatre Certificate Program. He served as music director for the Off-Broadway hit Danny & Sylvia: The Danny Kaye Musical, and has toured nationally and internationally with several productions, including John Doyle's re-imagining of Sweeney Todd, as music director. Fiorello has worked in Chicago with Chicago Shakespeare, The Marriott Theatre and many others. A director, music director, performer, writer, arranger and show doctor, he has helped guide new works to development and world premieres in Chicago, at New York Musical Festival and several premieres in the United Kingdom. He has written and collaborated on several original pieces, including the musical The Language or the Kiss, a musical featuring the music of The Indigo Girls, that he conceived, wrote the book and starred in for many Off-Broadway industry readings.
ABOUT Michael Weber, "Hubie Cram"
Michael Weber is the artistic director of Porchlight Music Theatre where, under his leadership, the company has received the Best Production Equity Jeff Award for the past five consecutive years. He previously served as artistic director for the inaugural season of Drury Lane Theatre Water Tower Place (now The Broadway Playhouse) and at Theatre at the Center (1998 - 2004). His productions of End of the Rainbow, Sweeney Todd, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Pal Joey, Assassins and Side Show at Porchlight Music Theatre, Grand Hotel at Drury Lane Theatre Water Tower Place and She Loves Me at Theatre at the Center were each nominated for the Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Production. Directing credits include Living the History-125 Years of The Auditorium Theatre starring Patti LuPone and John Mahoney, 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 The Mercury Theater, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum at Pheasant Run Theatre and Cirque du Symphony at Sears Center Arena. The recipient of two Joseph Jefferson Awards, he has written and directed the past twelve Joseph Jefferson Awards ceremonies. Weber's regional acting credits include 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 Theatre, It Had To Be You (starring Cindy Williams and Eddie Mekka) at Little Theatre on the Square, Angel Street at First Folio Shakespeare and The Gifts of the Magi at Indiana Repertory. Weber is proud to serve as a pledge host on WTTW, Channel 11.
ABOUT Nancy Voigts, "Kay Cram"
Nancy Voigts returns to the Porchlight stage having previously been seen in two of its "Off The Porch" readings. Chicago roles include "Leona Bloom" in Beaches and "Carmen Bernstein" in Curtains at Drury Lane; "Stella Deems" in Follies at Chicago Shakespeare; "Maggie Jones" in 42nd Street at both the Marriott and Paramount Theaters and six seasons of A Christmas Carol at the Goodman. A two-time Jeff Award recipient and graduate of Northwestern University, her greatest claim to fame is being mom to Lucy and Gaby Godinez.
ABOUT PORCHLIGHT REVISITS
Continuing to forge its role as "Chicago's Music Theatre," Porchlight launched the exciting new series Porchlight Revisits in 2013; especially created for the die-hard music theatre aficionado. Each season, Porchlight Music Theatre shares with audiences the rare opportunity to visit three musicals that opened on the Great White Way but have since gone "unsung." The finest music theatre artists in Chicago dust off these neglected treasures and, with script in hand and minimal staging, escort audiences to a world of Broadway long past. Previous Porchlight Revisits productions include: (2016/17) The Rink, Little Me, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever; (2015/16) Chess, Applause, Babes in Arms; (2014/15) Bells Are Ringing, City of Angels, Mack & Mabel and (2013/14) Anyone Can Whistle, Golden Boy, Fade Out-Fade In.
Porchlight Music Theatre is proud to be a member of the vibrant Ruth Page Center for the Arts community and an Artist In-Residence. Central to the Ruth Page Center for the Arts' programming is the Artists In-Residence 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
As the home for music theatre in Chicago now in its 23rd season, Porchlight Music Theatre is nationally recognized for reimagining classic productions, developing new works and showcasing musical theatre's noted Chicago veterans and rising stars. Porchlight elevates the genre by providing intimate and powerful theatrical experiences of music theatre through the lens of the "Chicago Style." The 2017-2018 year marks a milestone for Porchlight as the company becomes an Artist In-Residence at the historic Ruth Page Center for the Arts in Chicago's Gold Coast. Porchlight's rich history includes the staging of more than 60 productions with 15 Chicago premieres and five world premieres. Through Porchlight's "Off the Porch" new works program, the musicals of the next generation are developed and given a first audience. The School at Porchlight is Chicago's center for music theatre training in the areas of performance, writing and appreciation including the launch of a youth summer "Make Your Own Musical" Camp in 2017. The company's many accolades include 22 Black Theatre Alliance nominations and seven awards, as well as a total of 139 Joseph Jefferson Award nominations resulting in 42 Jeff Awards including five consecutive Best Production awards for The Scottsboro Boys (2017), Dreamgirls (2016),Sondheim on Sondheim (2015), Ain't Misbehavin' (2014) and A Class Act (2013).
Porchlight Music Theatre continues its fifth season of Chicago's "lost" musicals in staged concert series with Porchlight Revisits Do Re Mi, starring Michael Weber and Nancy Voigts, music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green and book by Garson Kanin, with direction and choreography by Christopher Pazdernik and musical direction by David Fiorello. Porchlight Revisits Do Re Mi is presented for three-nights-only Tuesday, May 22 through Thursday, May 24 at 7:15 p.m. and is performed on the set of Porchlight's Memphis (previews begin April 19) at Porchlight's new home, The Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn Street. Tickets for Do Re Mi are $35. All tickets include access to the popular pre-performance event, "Behind the Show Backstory," a multimedia presentation, created and hosted by Porchlight Music Theatre Artistic Director Michael Weber that discusses the evening's production including the show's creative history, juicy backstage gossip and the state of the art on Broadway that season. Single tickets to Do Re Mi are available at porchlightmusictheatre.org or by calling the Porchlight Music Theatre box office at 773.777.9884.
Molly Kral and William Dwyer
Director Christopher Pazdernik (center) with Roosevelt University acting/ensemble apprentices (L to R) Emma Parssi, Seavor Roach, Jenna Napolitano, TJ Tapp, Maeve Cosgriffe and Chase Heinemann