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Porchlight Music Theatre Announces Dates for Free Summer 2022 Concert Series BROADWAY IN YOUR BACKYARD

This 60-minute concert includes Chicago performers singing favorite songs and hidden gems from the Broadway canon.

Porchlight Music Theatre Announces Dates for Free Summer 2022 Concert Series BROADWAY IN YOUR BACKYARD

Porchlight Music Theatre has announced the return of its free concert series Broadway in Your Backyard, July 19 - September 6, as part of Chicago Park District's Night Out in the Parks series. Broadway in your Backyard is directed by Michael Weber+ and music directed by Justin Akira Kono+. This 60-minute concert includes Chicago performers singing favorite songs and hidden gems from the Broadway canon. Broadway in your Backyard is suitable for all ages and audiences are encouraged to bring chairs or blankets to enjoy the outdoor concerts. For more information go to PorchlightMusicTheatre.org.

The Broadway in your Backyard 2022 dates as part of Night Out in the Parks include:

Wicker Park, 1425 N. Damen Ave.

Tuesday, July 19 at 6 p.m.

Unity Park, 2636 N. Kimball Ave.

FREE and open to the public

Tuesday, July 26 at 6 p.m.

Portage Park, 4100 N. Long Ave.

FREE and open to the public

Tuesday, Aug. 2 at 6 p.m.

Munroe Park, 2617 W. 105th St.

FREE and open to the public

Tuesday, Aug. 9 at 6 p.m.

Washington Square Park, 901 N. Clark St.

FREE and open to the public

Tuesday, Aug. 16 at 6 p.m.

Park No. 534, 1300 S. St. Louis Ave.

FREE and open to the public

Tuesday, Aug. 23 at 6 p.m.

Gill Park, 825 W. Sheridan Rd.

FREE and open to the public

Tuesday, Aug. 30 at 6 p.m.

Ellis Park, 3520 S. Cottage Grove Ave.

FREE and open to the public

Tuesday, Sept. 6 at 6 p.m.

Note: All performances are FREE, performers and dates subject to change.

ABOUT NIGHT OUT IN THE PARKS

Porchlight Music Theatre's Broadway in your Backyard is presented as part of the Chicago Park District's Night Out in the Parks series, supported by the Mayor's Office and Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. Celebrating 10 years, the 2022 Night Out in the Parks program presents cultural events year-round in neighborhood parks throughout the city. The Chicago Park District in partnership with over 100 local artists and organizations, present engaging events and performances that enhance quality of life across Chicago and amplify the artistic and cultural vibrancy in every neighborhood. Through multiple disciplines, which include theater, music, movies, dance, site-specific work, nature programs, and community festivals, the series aims to support Chicago-based artists, facilitate community-based partnerships and programs, cultivate civic engagement and ensure equity in access to the arts for all Chicagoans.

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, he has written and directed 15 Joseph Jefferson Awards ceremonies. 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 served previously 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 JUSTIN AKIRA KONO+, music director

Justin Akira Kono returns to Porchlight's Broadway in your Backyard, where he was the music director during its inaugural season in 2021. He is also the current music director of Porchlight's Spring Awakening, now playing through June 3 at The Ruth Page Center for the Arts. And has worked with Porchlight for Duke Ellington's Sophisticated Ladies, Chicago Sings: Rock and Roll Broadway, Billy Elliot the Musical and Porchlight Revisits Do Re Mi. In Chicagoland, he has worked with All Shook Up and Freaky Friday (Williams Street Rep), Legends of the 50s & 60s (Chicago Music Theater Works) and Kiss Me Kate (Marriott Lincolnshire). A drummer, percussionist, keyboardist and orchestrator of a musically wide range, he is currently the music director at First Congregational United Church of Christ in Downers Grove. He also plays with several Chicago-area bands including Piano Man: a Tribute to Billy Joel and Elton John, Blue Sky: a Tribute to ELO, Prairie Station and his very own J-Pop project: Kitsune Kono.

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."

Now in its 27th season, Porchlight's quarter-century production history 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 178 Joseph Jefferson Award (Jeff) nominations and 45 Jeff awards, as well as 33 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 first summer performance schedule in 2021 that included a sold-out performance of New Faces Sing Broadway 1979 at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, the premiere of its outdoor music series Broadway in your Backyard, performed throughout Chicagoland and special appearances at Sundays on State and Navy Pier's Chicago Live Again.

# # #

Broadway in your Backyard is part of Chicago Park District's Night Out in the Parks series, supported by the Mayor's Office and Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and is partially sponsored by Byline Bank.

Porchlight Music Theatre is partially supported by generous contributions from Actors' Equity Foundation; Allstate; Michael Best & Friedrich LLP; Chapman | Spingola, LLP; Abe and Ida Cooper Foundation; Gen Ops Plus; Elegant Event Lighting; Glimpse Vision; James P. and Brenda S. Grusecki Family Foundation; Hearty Boys; A.L. and Jennie L. Luria Foundation; The MacArthur Fund for Culture, Equity and the Arts at Prince; the Pritzker Traubert Foundation; Ryan and Spaeth, Inc.; Daniel and Genevieve Ratner Foundation; The Saints and Dr. Scholl Foundation.

The season program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, a state agency, and by a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events.

Porchlight Music Theatre wishes to thank members of the Matching Gift Corporate Program including Abbvie; Allstate; Lloyd A. Fry Foundation; Peoples Gas; Pepsico; Polk Bros Foundation and The Saints.




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