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Porchlight Music Theatre Artistic Director Michael Weber announced today the company’s 24th season, held at their new home, the Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn.
GYPSY, starring E. Faye Butler as “Rose,” kicks off the mainstage season October 12 – November 25; A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER follow, starring Matt Crowle in the tour-de-force lead role, playing members of The D’Ysquith Family. A CHORUS LINE, directed and choreographed by Brenda Didier, plays April 10 – May 26, 2019.
This marks the first Chicago outing for the 2014 Best Musical Tony-winning GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE, a big get for Porchlight.
The Porchlight Revisits series, which features musicals in fully-staged concert readings, offers classic productions that have been rarely seen in Chicago and includes a multimedia “Behind the Scenes Backstory” presentation before each performance created and hosted by Weber. The sixth season of Porchlight Revisits includes 1776, CAN-CAN, and MINNIE’S BOYS. The company will also host their popular New Faces Sing Broadway series again next season.
Porchlight Music Theatre’s 2018 – 2019 season (from the press release):
Starring E. Faye Butler
October 12 – November 25
Music by Jule Styne
Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by Arthur Laurents
Chicago’s E. Faye Butler adopts the mantle of Broadway’s legendary “stage mother” in this heart wrenching story of a woman who raises her daughters to assume the heights, whether they want to or not, and featuring one of the gold-standard musical scores including “Let Me Entertain You,” “Together (Wherever We Go),” “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” and others.Ms. Butler’s performance is sponsored by Michael and Mona Heath.
New Faces Sings Broadway – 1964
Monday, Oct. 29 and Tuesday, Oct. 30
Hosted by WGN’s Paul Lisnek, featuring songs from the shows FUNNY GIRL, HELLO, DOLLY!, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF and others.
New Faces Sings Broadway takes you in a musical time machine from the start to the finish of the 1964 Broadway season. Peppered with photos and films of the era in an exciting multimedia presentation, trivia games with prizes, sing-alongs and more, a celebrity host introduces you to the next generation of music theatre artists while serving as your guide to the stars, songs and stories of a season past on the Great White Way. Location TBA.
Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 7:30 and Thursday, Nov. 15 at 1:30 and 7:30
Music and Lyrics by Sherman Edwards
Book by Peter Stone
Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Tony Award-winner, Porchlight Music Theatre brings to Chicago the impassioned arguments and world-changing visions that were fought over in those sweltering summer days in Philadelphia nearly 250 years ago. The historic players will be present in the characterizations of Benjamin Franklin, Abigail Adams, Thomas Jefferson and others, showcasing the compelling debate of what are we willing to compromise to build a new country will ring out louder than the toll of the Liberty Bell.
A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER
Starring Matt Crowle
January 25 – March 10, 2019
Music by Steven Lutvak
Lyrics by Robert L. Freedman and Steven Lutvak
Book by Robert L. Freedman
Winner of the 2014 Tony Award as BEST MUSICAL, it’s the uproarious story of Monty Navarro, an heir to a family fortune who sets out to jump the line of succession by—you guessed it—eliminating the eight pesky relatives who stand in his way. All the while, Monty has to juggle his mistress (she’s after more than just love), his fiancée (she’s his cousin but who’s keeping track?), and the constant threat of landing behind bars! Of course, it will all be worth it if he can slay his way to his inheritance…and be done in time for tea. Here’s a show that will have you dying with laughter which The New York Times called “Among the most inspired and entertaining new musicals.”
New Faces Sing Broadway – 1941
Monday, Feb. 25 – Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019
New Faces Sings Broadway takes you in a musical time machine from the start to the finish of the 1941 Broadway season. Peppered with photos and films of the era in an exciting multimedia presentation, trivia games with prizes, sing-alongs and more, a celebrity host introduces you to the next generation of music theatre artists while serving as your guide to the stars, songs and stories of a season past on the Great White Way. Location TBA.
Wednesday, March 6 at 7:30 p.m. and Thursday, March 7 at 1:30 p.m. and
Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter
Book by Abe Burrows
Set in Paris in 1893, it’s the story of Pistache, a café owner who decides to feature the then-scandalous and illicit dance, the Can-Can, on the stage of her establishment. Meanwhile, Aristide Forestier, a young, newly-appointed and over-zealous magistrate, decides to undertake a reform movement and sets his sights to clean up the city, starting with a prohibition of the titillating dance. Will Pistache’s defiance of the law end her business—and her love life? Featuring the hit Cole Porter songs “I Love Paris,” “C’est Magnifique” and “It’s All Right with Me,” CAN-CAN is a romantic, dancing, musical classic.
A CHORUS LINE
Directed and Choreographed by Brenda Didier
April 10 – May 26, 2019
Music by Marvin Hamlisch
Lyrics by Edward Kleban
Book by James Kirkwood, Jr. and Nicholas Dante
Winner of nine Tony Awards and the Pulitzer Prize, this landmark work has electrified audiences around the world. In an empty theatre, on a bare stage, casting for a new Broadway musical is almost complete. For seventeen dancers, this audition is the chance of a lifetime. It’s what they’ve worked for with every drop of sweat and every hour of training, putting their lives on the line for the opportunity to do what they’ve always dreamed of doing: to dance. Featuring an incomparable score including “What I Did for Love,” “One” and “Dance Ten, Looks Three,” you won’t want to miss this singular sensation!
MINNIE’S BOYS (1970)
Wednesday, May 22 at 7:30 p.m. and Thursday, May 23 at 1:30 p.m. and
Book by Arthur Marx and Robert Fisher
Music by Larry Grossman
Lyrics by Hal Hackady
Before they became Groucho, Chico, Harpo, Zeppo and Gummo, they were simply Julius, Leonard, Adolph, Herbert and Milton—The Marx Brothers of 110th Street in New York City. Their rise to stardom became legendary and their famous stage mother, Minnie Marx, was driving them every step of the way. Originally a starring vehicle for the great Shelley Winters, Minnie’s Boys is a joyful and loving look at one of the craziest families in American show business as they chart their journey from vaudeville toward Hollywood and their invention of the greasepaint mustache, the honking horn and the tickling of those famous piano keys.
New Faces Sing Broadway NOW
Monday, June 3 – Wednesday, June 5, 2019
Featuring songs from the shows HAMILTON, DEAR EVAN HANSEN, THE BAND’S VISIT and others.
New Faces Sings Broadway takes you in a musical time machine from the start to the finish of this year’s Broadway season. Peppered with photos and films of today in an exciting multimedia presentation, trivia games with prizes, sing-alongs and more, a favorite Chicago theatre host introduces you to the next generation of music theatre artists while serving as your guide to the stars, songs and stories of the current season on the Great White Way. Location TBA.