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Applause at Players Guild of Leonia

Dates: (6/1/2024 - 6/23/2024 )

Theatre:

Players Guild of Leonia


130 Grand Avenue
Leonia,New Jersey

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CHICAGO – Porchlight Music Theatre and Artistic Director Michael Weber are proud to announce the second production in the third smash season of Chicago’s “lost” musicals in staged concert series, Porchlight Revisits…Applause, featuring book by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Lee Adams, with direction and choreography by Porchlight Artistic Associate Christopher Pazdernik, music direction by Nick Sula and starring Heidi Kettenring as “Margo Channing,” the role created by Bette Davis on film and Lauren Bacall on stage, Applause is presented for three-nights-only Tuesday, March 1 through Thursday, March 3 at 7:15 p.m. and is performed on the set of Porchlight’s Chicago premiere of Far From Heaven (February 5 – March 13) on nights when there are no performances at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave. Tickets for Applause are $30 and include access to the popular pre-performance event, Behind the Show Backstory, a multi-media presentation, hosted by Artistic Director Michael Weber, that discusses that evening’s production including the show’s creative history, juicy backstage gossip and more. Single tickets to Applause are available at porchlightmusictheatre.org or by calling the Stage 773 box office, 773.327.5252. Two-show season subscriptions to Porchlight Revisits… include Applause and Chess are also available at porchlightmusictheatre.org.

Based on the Academy Award winning film All About Eve starring Bette Davis, and the short story The Wisdom of Eve on which it is based, Applause tells the iconic story of Broadway legend “Margo Channing” (Kettenring) and her overzealous “fan” “Eve Harrington” (Lauren Roesner, a new Porchlight discovery making her Chicago debut). Harrington insinuates herself into the company of Channing and her circle of theater friends, playing the ingénue while plotting to steal Channing’s career and her man, “Bill Sampson” (David Schlumpf, also making his Porchlight debut.) Applause, opened on Broadway in 1970 and won two Tony’s including Best Musical and Best Actress for star, Lauren Bacall. It features the hits songs “Backstage Babble,” “But Alive,” “Fasten Your Seat Belts ” and “Welcome to the Theatre.”

The cast of Applause also includes: Michael Kingston (Howard Benedict), Jason Richards (Buzz Richards), Ryan Lanning (Duane Fox), Khaki Pixley (Karen Richards), Kyrie Courter (Bonnie), Elya Bottiger (Gypsy Girl), James Nedrud (Danny), Jacob Gilchrist (The Bartender) Janelle Villas (Carol) and Jake Ganzer (The Piano Player).

The production team includes: Keegan Bradac (sound design/board operator) and Aaron Shapiro (production manager).

ABOUT HEIDI KETTENRING (Margo Channing)

Heidi Kettenring, one of Chicago’s most popular leading ladies, makes her Porchlight Music Theatre debut with this production having recently received the Jeff Award for her performance in The King and I at Marriott Theatre. Recent credits include Elf (Emily Hobbs) at The Fulton Theatre, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (Milly) at Maine State Music Theatre, The Merry Wives Of Windsor (Mistress Ford) at Chicago Shakespeare, To Master The Art (Jane) at The Broadway Playhouse and Oliver (Nancy--Jeff Nomination) at Drury Lane Oakbrook, Kettenring originated the role of “Nessa Rose” in Chicago’s sit down production of Wicked and has also appeared at Northlight Theatre, Court Theatre, Writers’ Theatre, Drury Lane Evergreen Park, Theatre at the Center, American Theatre Company, Peninsula Players, Goodspeed Opera, Ravinia and has toured with Disney’s Beauty And The Beast. She is the recipient of The Sarah Siddons’ Leading Lady Award, an After Dark Award and 6 Jeff Nominations. Kettenring can be heard singing on a Disney Princess book, can be seen in the film Man of Steel and is a proud member of AEA. She is married to Porchlight Artistic Associate David Girolmo.

ABOUT Lauren Roesner (Eve Harrington)

Lauren Roesner, making her Chicago debut, was recently seen at Sierra Repertory Theatre in Northern California in The Music Man and Mary Poppins, STAGES St. Louis in My Fair Lady, How to Succeed... and Fiddler on the Roof and Wagon Wheel Center for the Arts in Warsaw, IN in The Sound of Music, 9 to 5, Hello, Dolly! and Lend Me A Tenor.

ABOUT David Schlumpf (Bill Sampson)

David Schlumpf was last seen at Chicago Shakespeare Theater in Sense and Sensibility where his previous credits include Timon of Athens and As You Like It. Other Chicago credits include: The Who’s Tommy (Paramount Theatre); Days Like Today (Writers Theatre); Dartmoor Prison (Goodman Theatre); Sweet Smell of Success (Jeff Award - Best Actor, Kokandy Productions); Dessa Rose (Jeff Award nomination - Best Supporting Actor, Bailiwick Chicago); Cabaret, Gershwin’s Greatest Hits (Light Opera Works); A Christmas Carol, Sleeping Beauty (Drury Lane Theatre). Regional credits include: Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Christmas Memory (Theatre at the Center). Schlumpf received his MFA in acting from Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University.

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: (2015/16) Babes in Arms, (2014/15) Bells Are Ringing, City of Angels, Mack & Mabel, (2013/14) Anyone Can Whistle, Golden Boy, Fade Out-Fade In.


ABOUT PORCHLIGHT MUSIC THEATRE

Porchlight Music Theatre, now in its 21st season, is nationally recognized for developing innovative new works, reimagining classic productions and showcasing musical theatre’s noted veterans and rising stars. 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 60 productions with 13 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 new center for music theatre training in the areas of performance, writing and appreciation. The company’s many accolades include 11 Black Theatre Alliance nominations and two awards, as well as a total of 115 Joseph Jefferson Award nominations resulting in 31 Jeff Awards, garnering three consecutive Best Production awards for 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 second production in the third season of Chicago’s smash “lost” musicals in staged concert series, Porchlight Revisits… Applause, featuring book by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Lee Adams, with direction by Chris Pazdernik, music direction by Linda Madonia and starring Heidi Kettenring* as “Margo Channing.” Applause is presented for three-nights-only Tuesday, March 1 through Thursday, March 3 at 7:15 p.m. and is performed on the set of Porchlight’s Far From Heaven (February 5 – March 13) on nights when there are no performances at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave. Tickets for Applause are $30 and include access to the popular pre-performance event, Behind the Show Backstory, a multi-media presentation, hosted by Artistic Director Michael Weber, that discusses that evening’s production including the show’s creative history, juicy backstage gossip and more. Single tickets to Applause are available at porchlightmusictheatre.org or by calling the Stage 773 box office, 773.327.5252. Season subscriptions to Porchlight Revisits… include Applause and Chess are also available at porchlightmusictheatre.org.

# # #

Porchlight Music Theatre is partially supported by generous contributions from the Actors’ Equity Foundation, the Arts Work Fund at the Chicago Community Trust, the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, the MacArthur Fund for Arts & Culture at the Prince Foundation, the National Association of Realtors, the Bloomberg Philanthropies, James P. and Brenda S. Grusecki Family Foundation, Cooper’s: A Neighborhood Eatery and The Saints. The season program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency and by a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events.

Tony Awards and Nominations for Applause

Year Category
1970 Best Musical Winner



Players Guild of Leonia Frequently Asked Questions FAQ

Players Guild of Leonia is at 130 Grand Avenue, Leonia, New Jersey.

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