Porchlight Music Theatre to Continue Series with NEW FACES SING BROADWAY 1939
Porchlight Music Theatre and Artistic Director Michael Weber have announced the first production in its 2017 - 2018 season of Chicago's hit musical revue series, New Faces Sing Broadway 1939, hosted by Rob Lindley, directed by Keely Vasquez with music direction by David Fiorello, is Monday, Oct. 23 at Skokie Theatre, 7924 Lincoln Ave in Skokie and Tuesday, Oct. 24 at the Uptown Underground, 4707 N. Broadway at 7:30 p.m.
In tribute to the original New Faces series that ran on Broadway and on film from 1934 - 1968, Porchlight Music Theatre created the Chicago musical revue series, New Faces Sing Broadway as a showcase for the best emerging music talent now performing on Chicago stages. Each edition is a "time-machine" journey from the start to the finish of an entire musical season from the classic days of Broadway, peppered with photos and films of the era in an exciting multimedia presentation with a favorite Chicago theatre veteran hosting and introducing the next generation of music theatre artists while acting as your guide through a vintage year on the Great White Way.
In addition to the performances on stage, the host engages the audience to sing along as the "Broadway chorus" of some of the best-known production numbers from that classic musical season and challenges them to "Name that Showtune," a fun and fast-moving music theatre trivia game where participants win Porchlight prizes.
Performances in this new edition include songs from productions that were part of the 1939 season on Broadway including: Knickerbocker Holiday, "September Song;" Leave it to Me, "My Heart Belongs to Daddy;" The Boys from Syracuse, "Falling in Love with Love;" You Never Know, "At Long Last Love;" Du Barry Was a Lady, "Friendship;" Set to Music, "Mad About the Boy;" Too Many Girls, "I Didn't Know What Time It Was;" Very Warm for May, "All the Things You Are" and others.
The original New Faces series via Broadway and movies was instrumental in introducing the public to emerging talent such as June Carroll, Robert Clary, Imogene Coca, Jane Connell, "Professor" Irwin Corey, Henry Fonda, Alice Ghostley, Ronny Graham, Tiger Haynes, Van Johnson, Madeline Kahn, Eartha Kitt, RoBert Klein, Carol Lawrence, Paul Lynde, Virginia Martin, John Reardon, Maggie Smith, Inga Swenson and many, many others.
The cast of New Faces Sing Broadway 1939 includes: Andres Enriquez, last seen in In The Heights at Porchlight Music Theatre; Carisa Gonzalez, recently seen in Hairspray at Windy City Music Theatre; Christian Lane Green, appeared in the national tour of In the Mood; Fredrick Harris, played the title role in The Wiz at Kokandy Productions; Nik Kmiecik, soon to be seen in Once at The Paramount Theatre; Anne Lorentzen, appeared in Ragtime with Griffin Theatre; Charlie Mann, seen in Blood Brothers at Theo Ubique; Laura Sportiello, recently seen in The Most Happy Fella with Theo Ubique; Sally Staats seen in Passing By at the New York Music Theatre Festival and Cherise Thomas, recently seen in Hair at The Mercury Theatre.
ABOUT Keely Vasquez, director
Keely Vasquez is a Chicago based actor, singer, voice over artist and teacher. She recently directed Porchlight Music Theatre's annual fundraiser Chicago Sings: Sinatra & The Rat Pack. Also at Porchlight, Vasquez starred in In The Heights and hosted New Faces Sing Broadway 2001 in January 2017. Other credits include Drury Lane Oakbrook Theatre, The Paramount Theatre, The Goodman Theatre, The Marriott Lincolnshire Theatre, and The Broadway Playhouse. She toured with Barry Manilow for nearly a decade and was featured on more than 20 television shows as well as 6 DVD specials.
ABOUT David Fiorello, music director
David Fiorello returns to Porchlight, where he was most recently the music director and arranger for this year's Chicago Sings: Sinatra & The Rat Pack. He also music directed The New Faces Sing Broadway season last year and returns to music direct the current season as well as music directing Porchlight Revisits Woman of the Year, November 14 - 16 and Do Re Mi, May 22 - 24, 2018. 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 Rob Lindley, host
Rob Lindley is a Porchlight Artistic Associate and is currently making his Victory Gardens Theater debut in its production of Fun Home. Lindley has been seen on stage at About Face Theatre (The Tempermentals), Northlight (Funnyman), Goodman (Candide), Asolo Rep (My Fair Lady), Court Theatre (Carousel, James Joyce's The Dead, Caroline or Change, Secret Garden, and Angels and America: Part 1 & 2), Writers Theatre (Bach at Leipzig and Oh Coward! -Jeff Award for Best Actor in a Revue). Lindley directed the Off-Broadway and National Tours of 50 Shades: The Musical! and many productions for Porchlight Music Theatre including Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill, Far From Heaven, and How to Succeed in Business... He also directs star-studded gala concerts for many organizations including the annual Chicago Sings!, concerts for Porchlight and the Flory concert for the Chicago Humanities Festival. His vocal trio Foiled Again has two recordings available on iTunes and other online outlets, "Foiled Again: Live" and "Blanket of Winter."
Future New Faces Sings Broadway Performances:
New Faces Sing Broadway 1959
February 26 and 27, 2018
featuring songs from Flower Drum Song, Gypsy, The Sound of Music and others
New Faces Sing Broadway 1975
June 4 and 5, 2018
featuring songs from A Chorus Line, Chicago, Mack & Mabel and others
*Performers, productions and songs are subject to change.
Porchlight Music Theatre, now in its 23rd season, is nationally recognized for developing innovative new works, reimagining classic productions and showcasing musical theatre's noted veterans and rising stars. Porchlight is now an Artist In-Residence at the historic Ruth Page Center for the Arts in Chicago's Gold Coast neighborhood. Porchlight elevates the genre in Chicago by providing intimate and powerful theatrical experiences for its growing and diverse audiences. With the vision of Artistic Director Michael Weber, Porchlight builds on its role as Chicago's only Equity not-for-profit company exclusively specializing in music theatre. Porchlight's rich history includes the staging of more than 70 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 Camp in 2017. The company's many accolades include 22 Black Theatre Alliance nominations and three awards, as well as a total of 139 Joseph Jefferson Award nominations resulting in 39 Jeff Awards including four consecutive Best Production awards for Dreamgirls (2016), Sondheim on Sondheim (2015), Ain't Misbehavin' (2014) and A Class Act (2013).