Porchlight's Final New Faces Sing Broadway Of The 2017 - 2018 Season
Porchlight Music Theatre and Artistic Director Michael Weber are proud to announce the final production in its 2017 - 2018 season of Chicago's hit musical revue series, New Faces Sing Broadway. New Faces Sing Broadway 1975, hosted by Donica Lynn with direction by Christopher Pazdernik and music direction by David Fiorello, is Tuesday, June 5 at The Skokie Theatre, 7924 Lincoln Ave., Skokie at 7:30 p.m. and Wednesday, June 6 at The Arts Club of Chicago, 201 E. Ontario Street, at 6:30 p.m. (The Arts Club presentation also includes a pre-show reception at 6:30 p.m. with performance 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 like Donica Lynn hosting and introducing the next generation of music theatre artists while acting as your guide through a vintage year on the Great White Way. General admission tickets at Skokie Theatre are $22 and at The Arts Club of Chicago are $35 and are available at porchlightmusictheatre.org or at the Porchlight Music Theatre box office, 773.777.9884.
In addition to the performances on stage, the host engages the audience in a sing along as they become a "Broadway chorus" of some of the best-known production numbers from that musical season and Weber joins the show for "Name that Showtune," a fun and fast-moving music theatre trivia game where participants win Porchlight prizes.
Lynn and a company of Chicago's hottest up-and-coming talent take the audience on a journey from the start to the finish of the 1975 musical season on Broadway. New Faces Sing 1975 features hit songs from the 1975 Broadway productions A Chorus Line, Chicago, Mack & Mabel 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.
Joining Lynn on stage, the cast of New Faces Sing Broadway 1975* includes: Alex Christ, William Dwyer, Gina Francesca, Desiree Gonzalez, Molly Kral, De'Jah Perkins, Emily Senkowsky, Koray Tarhan, Marco Tzunux and Kaleb Van Rijswijck. Joaquin Gomez again serves as stage manager for the production.
*Cast and song titles subject to change.
ABOUT Donica Lynn, host
Donica Lynn was named Chicago Tribune's 2016 "Chicagoan of the Year in Theatre." Her previous work with Porchlight Music Theatre includes Dreamgirls (winner Jeff Award, Time Out Chicago and BTA "Best Actress") and participation in many of its annual Chicago Sings fundraisers, as well as the "Off the Porch' series. When not performing live theatre you'll find Lynn paying homage to the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin in her tribute concert show, produced by Michael and Angela Ingersoll's Artists Lounge Live. She appeared opposite Tony-nominee Andre De Shields in Confessions of a P.I.M.P. and in the world premiere of A Wonder In My Soul (Victory Gardens) Recent credits include 42nd Street, Rock of Ages, Smokey Joe's Cafe (Jeff Nomination) Hairspray, Aida, Thoroughly Modern Millie and James and the Giant Peach (Drury Lane Oakbrook). She has also appeared in The Color Purple and Barnum (Mercury Theatre); Caroline or Change (Court Theater); Lady In Denmark (Goodman Theatre); Fiorello and Step Into Time (Timeline Theatre) Once On This Island and Suessical (Marriott); When Last We Flew (About Face); Black Nativity and Sanctified (Congo Square); Runaway Home (African American Arts Alliance nomination "Best Actress"), Good Black and This Far By Faith (Eta Creative Arts); Queenie Pie (Chicago Opera Theatre); Hair (The Barn); Hair and Broadway Holidays (Paramount Theatre). She's been seen on TV in "Chicago Fire" and has done voice-over work for radio. Lynn has been a back up/studio singer for artists ranging from Mariah Carey to Natalie Cole. She is an alumna of Walt Whitman and Soul Children of Chicago, and All-City Youth Choir, and for the last two years has devoted her time to Chicago Lyric Opera's Chicago Voices program bringing multifaceted styles of music to the Lyrics audiences and Chicago public school students. Lynn is a mother of three, wife, cancer survivor, proud Actors Equity member and represented by Stewart Talent Agency.
ABOUT Christopher Pazdernik, director
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 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 and 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 recently appeared in Porchlight's Merrily We Roll Along. He returns to Porchlight, where he was the music director and arranger for this year's Chicago Sings: Sinatra & The Rat Pack, Porchlight Revisits Woman of the Year, the 2016-2017 New Faces Sing Broadway season and this current season. He will music direct Porchlight Revisits Do Re Mi, May 22 - 24, 2018 at The Ruth Page Center. 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.
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 entering its 24th 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 marked a milestone for Porchlight as the company became 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 "Write Your Own Musical" Summer 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 and Artistic Director Michael Weber are proud to announce the final production in its 2017 - 2018 season of Chicago's hit musical revue series, New Faces Sing Broadway. New Faces Sing Broadway 1975, hosted by Donica Lynn with direction by Christopher Pazdernik and music direction by David Fiorello, is Tuesday, June 5 at Skokie Theatre, 7924 Lincoln Ave., Skokie, and Wednesday, June 6 at The Arts Club of Chicago, 201 E. Ontario Street, 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 like Donica Lynn hosting and introducing the next generation of music theatre artists while acting as your guide through a vintage year on the Great White Way.
General admission tickets at Skokie Theatre are $22 and at The Arts Club of Chicago are $35 (The Arts Club also includes a pre-show reception for guests) and are available at porchlightmusictheatre.org or at the Porchlight Music Theatre box office, 773.777.9884.