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Porchlight Music Theatre Announces 2021 - 22 Season

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Productions include Pump Boys & Dinettes, Blues in the Night, Spring Awakening and more.

Porchlight Music Theatre Announces 2021 - 22 Season

Porchlight Music Theatre has announced its return to live performance with its 27th season that includes the 2021 - 2022 Mainstage, Porchlight Revisits and New Faces Sing Broadway seasons. Single tickets and a variety of subscription options for the Mainstage and Porchlight Revisits are on sale beginning Monday, Aug. 23 at 12 p.m. at PorchlightMusicTheatre.org or by phone at 773.777.9884.

"Being raised in Waynesboro, Virginia (a small town off of highway 81), I relate to Pump Boys and Dinettes in a whole different way. The connection of community and values really strikes a chord with me. Today, times have changed and people have changed, but not the sense of community," said Pump Boys & Dinettes Director Daryl Brooks+. "When Porchlight asked me to direct Pump Boys, I realized that it was time to show off the diversity not just in the people, but the music! At every turn, this show will be a slice of comfort and excitement, just like a piece of my grandma's lemon meringue pie!"

Blues in the Night Director/Choreographer Kenny Ingram+ spoke about the 2022 production, saying, "I am grateful to work with Porchlight Music Theatre as the director/choreographer of Blues in the Night. We approach this production with realism and look forward to taking audiences on a joyful ride that includes two parts of the 'Night.' There is that 11 p.m. side when you want to throw your hands up, give a shout and learn a lesson and then that 4 a.m. side when the truth hits you so bad in your guts you almost cannot move and you may only want to cry. We want audiences to feel all of these emotions and let them figure out 'Which side of the night are they on?'"

"It's always a joy to be back at my artistic home, Porchlight Music Theatre," said Spring Awakening director Brenda Didier*. "I especially love that Spring Awakening will premiere in spring, a time of rebirth and discovery. Spring Awakening has been an important work since its 19th century debut and received its own rebirth as a brilliant piece of music theatre. I can't wait for the show's many fans and new audiences to experience our take on its powerful music and themes."

The following is a recap of all three series with detailed information in chronological order, including run and opening dates, etc., located below.

The 2021 - 2022 Mainstage Season

Pump Boys & Dinettes

One of the longest running shows in Chicago theatre history, is a country fried phenomenon filled with toe-tapping music on guitar, piano, bass and a kitchen utensil or two, October 30 - December 12.

Blues in the Night

Starring Tony Award-nominee Felicia P. Fields*, shares the story of three women's highs and lows of romance through the iconic songs of some of the greatest Blues artists ever including Bessie Smith, Ida Cox, Harold Arlen and others, January 15 - February 27, 2022.

Spring Awakening

The winner of eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Porchlight's production of this haunting and provocative coming of age tale over 130 years in the making will thrill you, April 23 - May 29, 2022.

The 2021 - 2022 Porchlight Revisits Season

Porchlight Revisits celebrates the lost musical gems of Broadway and Off-Broadway and is your ticket to go behind the scenes with an introduction to the luminaries who created the greatest musicals of all time and an opportunity to discover a new 'old' favorite all in one big show. Chicago's finest music theatre talent dust off these treasures and escort audiences to the world of Broadway's past for a limited run. In addition to productions from days gone by, each Porchlight Revisits includes the Behind the Show Backstory, an entertaining and informative multimedia presentation, created and hosted by Artistic Director Michael Weber+, introducing the evening's production including the show's creative history, juicy backstage stories and much more.

The eighth season of Porchlight Revisits includes:

Nunsense (1985)

Join the Little Sisters of Hoboken for this heaven-sent musical that has blessed theatregoers worldwide for more than 30 years and has had six sequels, three spin-offs and a TV special starring "Golden Girl" Rue McClanahan as "Mother Superior," November 17 and 18.

Passing Strange (2008)

From L.A. to Amsterdam to Berlin, a young musician chases youthful dreams in this 2008 Tony and Drama Desk Awards-winning rock musical, loaded with soulful lyrics and passion, February 16 and 17, 2022.

The Apple Tree (1966)

From the songwriting team behind Fiddler on the Roof and She Loves Me, this witty, tuneful and charming musical is made up of three musical miniatures and was Tony nominated for Best Musical, May 18 and 19, 2022.

The 2021 - 2022 New Faces Sing Broadway Season

New Faces Sings Broadway was launched in 2016 and quickly became one of Porchlight's most popular offerings. This tuneful, audience-interactive evening is hosted by a popular Chicago music theatre star and features a company of up-and-coming local talents. The show is a journey from the start to the finish of one specific musical season on Broadway, peppered with visuals of the era in a multimedia presentation, trivia games (with prizes!), sing-alongs and more. Do not miss this year's season to be treated to the best music of the "hit and miss" productions that made up a musical season on Broadway presented in an intimate and elegant cabaret environment.

New Faces Sing Broadway 1947

Winter 2022

Featuring songs from Broadway shows including Brigadoon, Finian's Rainbow, High Button Shoes and more.

New Faces Sing Broadway 1971

Spring 2022

Featuring hit songs from Broadway shows including Follies, Jesus Christ Superstar, 70, Girls, 70 and more.

New Faces Sing Broadway NOW (2022)

Summer 2022

Featuring songs from shows playing on Broadway right NOW.

Elaine Cohen and Arlen Rubin generously sponsor New Faces Sing Broadway.

Full production artistic leadership, actors and location will be released at a future date.

Porchlight Music Theatre's 2021 - 2022 season includes, in chronological order:

MAINSTAGE

Pump Boys & Dinettes

October 30 - December 12

Press Night: Thursday, Nov. 4 at 7 p.m.

Created by Pump Boys and Dinettes (John Foley, Mark Hardwick, Tony winner Debra Monk, Cass Morgan, John Schimmel, and Jim Wann)

Directed by Daryl Brooks+

Music Directed by Robert Reddrick+

Choreographed by Rueben D. Echoles+

Porchlight's 27th season kicks off with a stop at the Double Cupp Diner for Pump Boys & Dinettes, one of the longest running shows in Chicago Theatre history and a country fried phenomenon filled with toe-tapping music on guitar, piano, bass and a kitchen utensil or two! This North Carolina dinette is your home off the highway and located just across the street from the filling station. Run by Prudie and Rhetta Cupp, beloved sisters who are always ready with a cup of Joe, a slice of pie, a homespun song and a "Welcome back!" The New York Times said, "It doesn't merely celebrate the value of friendship and life's simple pleasures, it embodies them."

Porchlight Revisits Nunsense

November 17 and 18

Book, Music, and Lyrics by Dan Goggin+

Directed by Michelle Lauto*

Music Directed by Kailey Rockwell*

Choreographed by Jenna Schoppe*

Porchlight Revisits launches its 2021-2022 season with this heaven-sent musical. Join the Little Sisters of Hoboken for a wholesome variety show to raise emergency funds for the convent. After 52 of the nuns met an untimely end from Sister Julia - Child of God's vichyssoise, the surviving sisters need to throw the fundraiser to pay for their burials. This funny foray has blessed theatregoers worldwide for more than 30 years and has had six sequels, three spin-offs and a TV special starring "Golden Girl" Rue McClanahan as "Mother Superior!"

MAINSTAGE

Blues in the Night

January 15 - February 27, 2022

Press Night: Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022 at 7 p.m.

Conceived by Sheldon Epps

With the music of Bessie Smith, Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen, Vernon Duke, Gordon Jenkins, Alberta Hunter and others

Directed and Choreographed by Kenny Ingram+

Assistant choreographed by Ariel Dorsey*

Starring Tony Award-nominee Felicia P. Fields*

The Blues is one of America's original art forms and Chicago was the home to some of the greatest Blues performers ever. Set in a history-filled hotel on Chicago's South side one fateful night in the late 1930s, this Tony Award-nominated celebration interweaves the stories of three women who share their highs and lows of romance through the iconic songs of Bessie Smith, Duke Ellington, Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen, Alberta Hunter, Jimmy Cox, Ida Cox and others.

New Faces Sing Broadway 1947

Winter 2021

Directed by Tommy Novak^

Featuring songs from Brigadoon, Finian's Rainbow, High Button Shoes and more.

Porchlight Revisits: Passing Strange

February 16 and 17, 2022

Lyrics and Book by Stew+

Music by Heidi Rodewald* and Stew+

Directed by Donterrio Johnson+

Choreographed by Terri K Woodall

From L.A. to Amsterdam to Berlin, a young musician chases youthful dreams and spiritual clarity against a shifting backdrop of locales and acquaintances as he rebels against his conservative upbringing. This hit rock musical, loaded with soulful lyrics and passion, debuted to critical acclaim on Broadway in 2008, winning both the Tony and Drama Desk Awards.

MAINSTAGE

Spring Awakening

April 23 - May 29, 2022

Press Night: Thursday, April 28, 2022 at 7 p.m.

Music by Duncan Sheik+

Book and lyrics by Steven Sater+

Based on the 1891 German play Spring Awakening by Frank Wedekind

Directed and Choreographed by Brenda Didier*

Music Directed by Justin Akira Kono+

The winner of eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Porchlight's production will thrill you with a story over 130 years in the making! Set against the backdrop of a repressive and provincial late 19th-century Germany, and based on Frank Wedekind's 1891 play that was immediately banned due to its subject matter, Spring Awakening tells the timeless story of youthful self-discovery and budding sexuality as seen through the eyes of three teenagers. Haunting and provocative, this landmark American musical celebrates a journey from adolescence to adulthood with a power, a poignancy and a passion you will never forget.

Porchlight Revisits: The Apple Tree

May 18 and 19, 2022

Music by Jerry Bock

Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick

Book by Bock and Harnick with contributions from Jerome Coopersmith.

Directed by Keely Vasquez*, Sawyer Smith^ and Bethany Thomas*

Music Directed by Linda Madonia*

The songwriting team behind Fiddler on the Roof and She Loves Me created this witty, tuneful and charming musical that was Tony nominated for Best Musical. Made up of three musical miniatures: "The Diary of Adam and Eve," a quirky, touching spin on the tale of the world's first couple, adapted from Mark Twain's short stories; "The Lady or the Tiger?," a 1960s rock and roll fable set in a mythical kingdom, which explores the fickleness of love; and "Passionella," based on Jules Feiffer's offbeat Cinderella-story about a chimney sweep who dreams of being a "glamorous movie star." The Apple Tree is the perfect finale to our "lost musicals" season.

New Faces Sing Broadway 1971

Spring 2022

Directed by Frankie Leo Bennett+

Featuring songs from Follies, Jesus Christ Superstar, 70, Girls, 70 and more.

New Faces Sing Broadway NOW (2022)

Summer 2022

Featuring songs from shows playing on Broadway right NOW.

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

ABOUT PORCHLIGHT MUSIC THEATRE AS Ruth Page ARTIST IN-RESIDENCE

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.


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