Production History and Awards

2015/16 Season


Dreamgirls

Music by Harry Krieger
Book and Lyrics by Tom Eyen
Direction and Choreography by Porchlight Artistic Associate Brenda Didier
Music Direction by Porchlight Artistic Associate Doug Peck

4/8 - 5/15

Jeff Awards - AEA

Production - Musical

Dreamgirls

Actress in a Principal Role - Musical 

Donica Lynn

Actor in a Supporting Role - Musical

Eric Lewis

Costume Design

Bill Morey

Jeff Award Nominations - AEA

Director - Musical

Brenda Didier

Actor in a Supporting Role - Musicak

Evan Tyrone Martin

 

Black Theatre Alliance Award

Actress in a Musical

Donica Lynn

Black Theatre Alliance Award Nominations

Actor in a Musical

Eric Lewis

Evan Tyrone Martin

Actress in a Musical

Candace C. Edwards

 


Far From Heaven

Book by Richard Greenberg
Music by Scott Frankel
Lyrics by Michael Korie
Direction by Rob Lindley
Music Direction by Chuck Larkin
Choreography by William Carlos Angulo

2/5 - 3/13

Jeff Award Nominations - AEA

Actor in a Supporting Role - Musical

Evan Tyrone Martin

Costume Design

Bill Morey


Ain't Misbehavin'

Music by Thomas ‘Fats’ Waller
Book by Murray Horwitz and Richard Matlby, Jr
Direction and Choreography by Brenda Didier
Music Direction by Austin Cook

11/14 - 12/20


Side Show

Book and Lyrics by Bill Russell
Music by Harry Krieger
Direction by Artistic Director Michael Weber
Music Direction by Aaron Benham
Choreography by Andrew Waters

9/11 - 10/18

Jeff Award Nominations - AEA

Production - Musical

Sideshow

Actor in a Supporting Role - Musical

Evan Tyrone Martin

Costume Design

Bill Morey


2014/15 Season


A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
Book by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Direction by Artistic Director Michael Weber
Music Direction by Linda Madonia
Choreography by Brenda Didier

4/17 - 5/24

Jeff Award-AEA
Actor in a Supporting Role - Musical
Matthew Crowle

Jeff Award Nomination-AEA

Production - Musical

Actor in a principal Role - Musical
Bill Larkin

Sondheim on Sondheim
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Conceived by James Lapine
Direction by Nick Bowling
Music Direction by Austin Cook
Choreography by Emily Rogers 

2/6- 3/15

Chicago Premiere
Jeff Award-AEA
Production - Revue
Director
Nick Bowling
Music Director
Austin Cook 

Jeff Award Nomination-AEA

Actor or Actress in a Revue
James Earl Jones II 

Projection/Video Design
Mike Tutaj 

 

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by Hugh Wheeler
Direction by Artistic Director Michael Weber
Music Direction by Doug Peck
Choreography by Dina DiCostanzo 

10/3 - 11/9

Jeff Award Nomination-AEA

Production - Musical

Actress in a Supporting Role - Musical
Rebecca Finnegan 

Costume Design
Bill Morey

 

 


2013/14 Season 


How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying
Book by Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock and Willie Gilbert
Music and Lyrics by Frank Loesser
Direction by Rob Lindley
Music Direction by Kory Danielson
Choreography by Brenda Didier

4/13 - 6/1

Jeff Award-AEA
Costume Design
Bill Morey 

Jeff Award Nomination-AEA


Production - Musical

Actor in a Supporting Role - Musical
John Keating 

Choreography 
Brenda Didier 


Ain't Misbehavin’
Music by Thomas ‘Fats’ Waller
Book by Murray Horwitz and Richard Matlby, Jr
Direction and Choreography by Brenda Didier
Music Direction by Jaret Landon

2/1- 3/9

Jeff Award-AEA

Production - Revue

Direction
Brenda Didier

Artistic Specialization 
Austin Cook

Jeff Award Nomination-AEA


Ensemble 

Actor in a Revue
Donterrio Johnson
Lorenzo Rush, Jr. 

Actress in a Revue
Sharriese Hamilton  

7 Black Theater Alliance Award Nominations

Best Ensemble

Actor in a Revue
Donterrio Johnson
Lorenzo Rush, Jr
.

Actress in Revue
Robin K. DaSilva
Sharriese Hamilton
Lina Wass

Best Musical Direction
Jaret Landon

Double Trouble
Book, Music and Lyrics by Bob Walton and Jim Walton
Direction and Choreography by Matthew Crowle
Music Direction by Linda Madonia

8/31 - 10/6

Chicago Premiere

Jeff Award Nomination-AEA


Costume Design
Alexia Rutherford 

 


2012/13 Season 


Pal Joey
Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Lorenz Hart
Book by John O'Hara
Directed by Michael Weber
Musical Direction by Doug Peck
Choreography by Brenda Didier 

4/13-5/13

Jeff Award-AEA

Cameo Performance 
Callie Johnson

Jeff Award Nomination-AEA

 

Production - Musical

Direction
Michael Weber 

Choreography 
Brenda Didier 

Costume Design
Bill Morey 

Actress in a Principal Role - Musical
Susie McMonagle

 


Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill
by Lanie Robertson
Directed by Rob Lindley
Musical Direction by Jaret Landon

2/12-3/13

Jeff Award-AEA

Solo Performance
Alexis J. Rogers

Jeff Award Nomination-AEA

Production - Musical

Music Direction
Jaret Landon

Black Theater Alliance Award

Actress in a Revue
Alexis J. Rogers

Black Theater Alliance Award Nominations 

Music Direction
Jaret Landon


The Gifts of the Magi
Music by Mark St. Germain
Lyrics by Randy Courts
Direction by Marc Lococco
Musical Direction by Elizabeth Doran
Choreography by Brenda Didier 

11/12-12/12

Chicago Premiere

A Class Act
Music and Lyrics by Edward Kleban
Book by Linda Kline
Direction and Choreography by Stacey Flaster
Musical Direction by Beckie Menzie

09/12-10/12

Chicago Premiere

Jeff Award-AEA

Production - Musical

Actor in a Principal Role - Musical
Bill Larkin

Jeff Award Nomination-AEA

Supporting Actress - Musical
Dana Tretta


2011/12 Season 


tick, tick... BOOM!
Music and Lyrics by Jonathan Larson
Book by Jonathan Larson and David Auburn
Directed by Adam Pelty
Musical Direction by Diana Lawrence

4/12-6/12

Jeff Award Nomination-AEA

Actor in a Principal Role - Musical
Adrian Aguilar


A Catered Affair
Music and Lyrics by John Bucchino
Book by Harvey Fierstein
Directed by Nick Bowling
Musical Direction by Doug Peck

2/12-4/12

Jeff Award Nomination-AEA

Production - Musical

Actress in a Principal Role - Musical 
Rebecca Finnegan

Chicago Premiere


Putting it Together
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Direction and Muscial Staging by Brenda Didier
Musical Direction by Austin Cook

9/11-10/11

Jeff Award Nomination-AEA

Production - Revue

Actor or Actress in a Revue
Adam Pelty

Actor or Actress in a Revue
McKinley Carter

Director - Revue
Brenda Didier

Music Direction
Austin Cook

2010/11 Season  

The King and I
Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics & Book by Oscar Hammerstein II
Based on Anna and the King by Margaret Landon
Directed by L. Walter Stearns
Musical Direction by Eugene Dizon

4/11-6/11

Jeff Award-AEA

Costume Design
Bill Morey

Jeff Award Nomination-AEA

Production - Musical

Actress in a Principal Role - Musical
Brianna Borger

Actress in a Supporting Role - Musical
Kate Garassino


Meet John Doe

Based on the Frank Capra film
Music, co-writer, orchestrations by Andrew Gerle
Co-writer, lyrics by Eddie Sugarman
Direction and Choreography by James Beaudry
Musical Direction by Eugene Dizon

3/11-4/11

Jeff Award Nomination-AEA

Actress in a Principal Role - Musical
Elizabeth Lanza

Chicago Premiere


Miracle on 34th Street
Adapted by Patricia DiBenedetto Snyder, Will Severin and John Vreeke
Story by Valentine Davies
Sreenplay by George Seaton 
Directed by Christopher Pazdernik
Musical Direction by Eugene Dizon

11/10-1/11


Sunday in the Park with George
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by James Lapine
Directed by L. Walter Stearns
Musical Direction by Eugene Dizon

9/10-10/10

Jeff Award Nomination-AEA

Costume Design
Mina Hyun-Ok Hong

 2009/10 Season  

Into the Woods
Book by James Lapine
Music & Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Directed by L. Walter Stearns
Musical Direction by Eugene Dizon

4/10-6/10 

Jeff Award Nomination-AEA

Costume Design
William J. Morey


Miracle on 34th Street
Adapted by Patricia DiBenedetto Snyder, Will Severin and John Vreeke
Story by Valentine Davies
Sreenplay by George Seaton 
Directed by L. Walter Stearns
Musical Direction by Eugene Dizon

11/09-1/10


The Fantasticks
Book and Lyrics by Tom Jones
Music by Harvey Schmit
Based on Les Romanesques by Edmond Rostand 
Directed by Sean Kelly
Musical Direction by Eugene Dizon

9/09-11/09


Macabaret
Music by Rob Hartmann
Lyrics by Scott Keys 
Directed by L. Walter Stearns
Musical Direction by Eugene Dizon

10/09-11/09

2008/09 Season


Once on this Island
Book and Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens 
Music by Stephen Flaherty 
Based on My Love, My Love by Rosa Guy 
Directed by Mark Lococo 
Musical Direction by Eugene Dizon


5/09-6/09

Jeff Award Nomination-AEA

Production - Musical

Choreography
Brenda Didier

Black Theater Alliance Award

Best Leading Actress In A Play (Musical or Revue)
Melanie Brezill

2 Black Theater Alliance Award Nominations

Best Leading Actress - Musical
Melanie Brezill

Best Featured Actor - Musical
Sean Waltom  


Pacific Overtures
Book by John Weidman
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim 
Additional Material by Hugh Wheeler
Directed by L. Walter Stearns
Musical Direction by Eugene Dizon

3/09-5/09


Candide
Book by Hugh Wheeler
Lyrics by John Latouche, Richard Wilbur and Stephen Sondheim 
Music by Leonard Bernstein
Based on the book by Voltaire 
Directed by L. Walter Stearns
Musical Direction by Eugene Dizon

9/08-11/08

Jeff Award Nomination-AEA

Music Direction
Eugene Dizon

Costume Design
Bill Morey

   
2007/08 Season


 

Nine
Book by Arthur Kopit 
Music & Lyrics by Maury Yeston
Adaptation from the Italian by Mario Fratti 
Directed by L. Walter Stearns
Musical Direction by Eugene Dizon

4/08-5/08

Jeff Award-AEA

Costume Design
Bill Morey

Jeff Award Nomination-AEA

Production - Musical

Ensemble

Actor in a Principal Role - Musical
Jeff Parker

Music Direction
Eugene Dizon


A Wonderful Life 
Book and Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick
Music by Joe Raposo
Adapted from the Frank Capra film "It’s A Wonderful Life"
Directed by Rob Lindley
Coreoragraphy by Laura Scheinbaum
Musical Direction by Benjamin Bentler

11/07-12/07


Phantom
Book by Arthur Kopit
Music and Lyrics by Maury Yeston
Directed by L. Walter Stearns
Musical Direction by Eugene Dizon
Based on the novel The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux

9/07-11/07

  
2006/07 Season

 

 

Ragtime
Book by Terrence McNally
Lyrics by Lynn Aherns
Music by Stephen Flaherty
Directed by L. Walter Stearns
Musical Direction by Eugene Dizon

4/07–6/07 
6/07–8/07 (Extension and transfer to the Apollo Theater, Chicago )

Jeff Award-AEA

Production - Musical

Director - Musical
L. Walter Stearns

Actor in a Supporting Role - Musical
Aaron Graham

Music Direction
Eugene Dizon

Jeff Award Nomination-AEA

Actor in a Principal Role - Musical
Jayson Brooks

Actress in a Principal Role - Musical
Charissa Armon

Choreography
Brenda Didier

2 Black Theater Alliance Award Nominations

Best Leading Actor - Musical
Jayson Brooks

Best Featured Actress - Musical
Karla Brooks

Assassins
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by John Weidman
Directed by Michael Weber
Musical Direction by Doug Peck
Choreography by Tammy Mader

1/07-3/07

Jeff Award-AEA

Actress in a Supporting Role - Musical
Sara R. Sevigny

Jeff Award Nomination-AEA

Production - Musical

Director - Musical
Michael Weber


The Teapot Scandals 
World Premiere of Off the Porch new work
Book, Music and Lyrics by Jon Steinhagen
Directed by Steve Scott
Musical Direction by Nick Sula

1/07-3/07

Jeff Award Nomination-AEA

New Work - Musical
Jon Steinhagen

World Premiere



A Wonderful Life 
Book and Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick
Music by Joe Raposo
Adapted from the Frank Capra film "It’s A Wonderful Life"
Directed by L. Walter Stearns
Musical Direction by Eugene Dizon

11/06-12/06


   
 2005/06 Season


The Secret Garden
Book & Lyrics by Marsha Norman
Music by Lucy Simon
Directed by L. Walter Stearns
Musical Direction by Eugene Dizon

3/06-6/06
8/06 (Theatre at the Lake)

Jeff Award Nomination-AEA

Actor in a Principal Role - Musical
Michael Aaron Lindner

Actress in a Supporting Role - Musical
Angela Ingersoll


Macabaret
Music & Lyrics by Rob Hartmann & Scott Keys
Direction by Matthew Gunnels
Musical Direction by Steve Sivak
Choreography by Brenda Didier

9/05-10/05

 

"It's a very savvy blend, full of catchy melodies and comic invention."
-Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune


"Run for your life to this late-night extravaganza of morbidly marvelous musical mayhem."
-Venus Zarris, Gay Chicago


Gypsy
Book by Arthur Laurents
Music by Jule Styne
Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Directed by L. Walter Stearns
Musical Direction by Eugene Dizon

9/05-11/05

Jeff Award Nomination-AEA

Actress in a Principal Role - Musical
Rebecca Finnegan

"A dynamic little show, chock-full of invention and imagination and guts."
-Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune

"Highly Recommended"
-Chicago Sun-Times

   
2004/05 Season


Finn Fest

In Trousers
Book, Music, Lyrics by William Finn
Directed by Matthew Gunnels
Musical Direction by Jon Steinhagen

Falsettos
Music and Lyrics by William Finn
Book by William Finn & James Lapine
Directed by Steve Scott
Musical Direction by Eugene Dizon

A New Brain
Music and Lyrics by William Finn
Book by William Finn & James Lapine
Directed by L. Walter Stearns
Musical Direction by Jim Collins

Elegies: A Song Cycle
Music and Lyrics by William Finn
Directed by L. Walter Stearns
Musical Direction by Eugene Dizon
3/05-5/05

Chicago Premiere

 

"World Class Theatre Music"
"Who could resist a score of such vibrancy and charm."
-Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

"The timing of this honor couldn't be more perfect to attract visitors to Porchlight, whose first two productions in the festival are highly worthy of the responsibility to the writer such a series carries."
-John Olson, Talkinbroadway.com

"Porchlight has gone all out to polish and present Finn's shows at their best."
-Betty Mohr, Daily Southtown


Closer Than Ever
Music by David Shire
Lyrics by Richard Maltby Jr.
Directed by Nick Bowling
Musical Direction by Eugene Dizon

1/05-3/05

Jeff Award-AEA

Actress in a Revue
Rebecca Finnegan

Jeff Award Nomination-AEA

Director - Musical
Nick Bowling

Ensemble

Music Direction
Eugene Dizon

 

"A thoroughly arresting show that manages to tiptoe around the clichés and sock it to an audience right in the gut."

"Very savvy production."
-Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune

"Porchlight Music Theatre's current production (is) an overwhelming triumph."

"Throughout, the cast, collectively and individually shine, with moments of such beauty and power that are, at times, nearly overwhelming."

"Closer Than Ever is, quite simply, a miraculous marvel."

"4 out of 4 stars "
- Jeff Rossen, Gay Chicago


Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Music & Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by Hugh Wheeler
Directed by L. Walter Stearns
Musical Direction by Eugene Dizon

9/04-11/04

Jeff Award-AEA

Actor in a Principal Role - Musical
Aaron Lindner

Actress in a Principal Role - Musical
Rebecca Finnegan

Actor in a Supporting Role - Musical
Peter Pohlhammer

Music Direction
Eugene Dizon

Jeff Award Nomination-AEA

Production - Musical

Director - Musical
L. Walter Streans

 

"Every aspect of the production is ideal, from the soaring voices of the soloists and ensemble, to the live orchestra and surprisingly grand design."
- Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times

"I took a chance on Porchlight Music Theatre's Sweeney Todd and was generously rewarded by a lively, tough-minded production of Stephen Sondheim's masterpiece."
- Terry Teachout, Wall Street Journal

"Porchlight deserves national attention."
- Chris Jones, Variety Magazine


   
2003/04 Season


Cabaret
by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb
Book by Joe Masteroff
Directed by L. Walter Stearns
Musical Direction by Eugene Dizon
10/03-12/03

 

"With an intimacy you don't see in larger presentations of the show, this production features superb vocalizations and performances from a very winsome and talented ensemble...One of Porchlight Theatre's most moving and riveting productions."
- Betty Mohr, Daily Southtown

"Porchlight is a hugely ambitious operation...the chorus moves well...plenty of flashy dancing and lingerie galore...its important underlying message is delivered with impressive clarity."
- Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times


Amadeus
by Peter Shaffer
Directed by L. Walter Stearns
Musical Direction by Eugene Dizon

3/04-5/04

Jeff Award-non-union

Music Direction
Eugene Dizon

Costume Design
Carol J. Blanchard

Jeff Award Nomination-non-union

Actor in a Principal Role - Play
Brendan DeMay

"beautifully designed...fine live musicians...elegant, classy staging...impressively sized, full-throated chorus"
Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune

"Mozart's music takes on life as a character-and quite a scene-stealing one at that."
- Misha Davenport, Chicago Sun-Times


   
2002/03 Season


Promises, Promises
Music by Burt Bacharach
Lyrics by Hal David
Book by Neil Simon
Directed by L. Walter Stearns
Musical Direction by Eugene Dizon

8/02 Theatre on the Lake preview
9/02-11/02 Regular run
11/02-12/02 Metropolis Centre for the Performing Arts, Arlington Heights

 

"A lot of the credit for this lovely production goes to director L. Walter Stearns for his well-paced staging...A delightful and warm-hearted musical, this revival succeeds in keeping its entertaining promise." 

- Betty Mohr, Daily Southtown

"Director L. Walter Stearns has cast this Porchlight Music Theatre production well...utterly enjoyable." 
- Emily Lee, Gay Chicago Magazine


Company
by Stephen Sondheim and George Furth 
Directed by L. Walter Stearns
Musical Direction by Eugene Dizon
3/03-5/03
6/03 at Theatre on the Lake

Jeff Award-non-union

Actor in a Principal Role - Musical or Revue
Charlie Clark

Actress in a Supporting Role - Musical or Revue
Rebecca Finnegan

Choreography
Katrina Williams Brunner

Music Direction
Eugene Dizon

Jeff Award Nominations-non-union

Production-Musical

Director - Musical
L. Walter Stearns

 

"Actors in the Porchlight production do a mightily impressive job of limning this pleasure-pain balance (of marriage) in both their scenes and their songs. A top-notch band gives them strong musical support." 
- Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times

   
2001/02 Season


A Little Night Music 
Music & Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by Hugh Wheeler
Directed by L. Walter Stearns
Musical Direction by Eugene Dizon

10/01-12/01

Jeff Award Nomination-non-union

Music Direction
Eugene Dizon

"A solid evening of musical theatre...Porchilght clearly now has made the transition to a midsize professional company capable of producing complex works of musical theatre in an intimate and competent fashion." 
- Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune

"With A Little Night Music, Porchlight has created a feast for the eyes and ears." 
- Rick Reed, Windy City Times


Children of Eden 
(Chicago Premiere) 
Music & Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz
Book by John Caird 
Directed by Wm. Eric Bramlett 
Musical Direction by Eugene Dizon
3/02-5/02

 

"Among fans of musicals in this city, Porchlight has a growing reputation for doing very solid, imaginative, and well-sung...musical fare." 
- Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune

"Masters of the musical with a mid-sized budget, Porchlight Theatre's latest venture is a calculated risk...that has delivered." 
- Web Behrens, Chicago Free Press

A New Brain 
(Chicago Premiere) 
Music & Lyrics by William Finn
Book by William Finn and James Lapine 
Directed by L. Walter Stearns 
Musical Direction by Eugene Dizon
5/02-6/02

Jeff Award-non-union

Actress in a Supporting Role - Musical or Revue
Suzanne Genz

Jeff Award Nomination-non-union

Production-Musical

Director - Musical
L. Walter Stearns

Actor in a Supporting Role - Musical
Todd Yearton

Actress in a Supporting Role - Musical
Megan Van De Hey

Choreography
Kevin Bellie

 

"This is a highly polished, exuberantly staged and terrifically performed production, at once joyful, funny and moving." 
- Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times

"Artistic Director L. Walter Stearns consistently manages to outclass the competition both non-union and often union, in finding gifted singing actors. A New Brain boasts 11 excellent voices, put through the challenging paces...by always-on-the-money musical director Eugene Dizon."
- Jonathan Abarbanel, Windy City Times

"A superbly cast group of singing actors who, under the meticulous and flawless musical direction of Eugene Dizon, bring an exciting and passionate life to Finn's sung-though score...L. Walter Stearns' direction shapes an inventively staged production."
- Jeff Rossen, Gay Chicago

"It's good to see the very capable Porchlight downtown. L. Walter Stearns' typically well-polished production has a great deal of charm."
- Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune

   
2000/01 Season


Into the Woods
Music & Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by James Lapine 
Directed by L. Walter Stearns 
Musical Direction by Eugene Dizon

11/00-1/01
8/01 Revival at Theatre on the Lake 

Jeff Award-non-union

Music Direction
Eugene Dizon

Jeff Award Nominations-non-union

Production-Musical

Director - Musical
L. Walter Stearns

Ensemble

"An intelligent, tuneful and passionate version of a moving musical."
- Chicago Tribune


Passion
Music & Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by James Lapine 
Directed by L. Walter Stearns 
Musical Direction by Eugene Dizon
3/01-5/01

Jeff Award-non-union

Actress in a Principal Role - Musical or Revue
Marlene Flood

Jeff Award Nomination-non-union

Music Direction
Eugene Dizon

 

"It was good to see a new take on this piece...director L. Walter Stearns offered an interpretation that made more sense to me, and, in its ambivalence toward the characters, even more of a Sondheim piece than the show Lapine directed." 
- John Olson, The Sondheim Review

"Porchlight Theatre, the little non-Equity company that could, is unafraid to tackle Sondheim. Porchlight continues its stretch with the demanding Passion." 
- Web Behrens, NewCity

   
   
1999/00 Season


Colette Collage
(Chicago Premiere)
Music by Harvey Schmidt
Lyrics by Tom Jones 
Book by Elinor Jones
Musical Direction by Eugene Dizon

10/99-11/99

Jeff Award Nomination-non-union

Actress in a Principal Role - Play
Suzanne Genz

Music Direction
Eugene Dizon

"A delicate and tidy Chicago premiere by Porchlight Theatre... beautifully sung performances and passionate renderings...an absolute joy. ***1/2"
- Jeff Rossen,Gay Chicago Magazine

"A very charming, engaging and highly professional production of challenging material. This pleasing show is well worth seeing."
- Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune


Merrily We Roll Along
Music & Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by George Furth
Directed by L. Walter Stearns 
Musical Direction by Eugene Dizon

3/00-6/00

Jeff Award-non-union

Choreography
Samantha Fitschen

Music Direction
Eugene Dizon

Jeff Award Nominations-non-union

Production-Musical

Director - Musical
L. Walter Stearns

Actor in a Principal Role - Musical
Stephen Rader

Actress in a Principal Role - Musical
Charlie Clark

"Porchlight...delivers a creation that is, in its own right, a stunning victory. Following the successes of Falsettos and Colette Collage, Porchlight now stands as the premier musical non-Equity company in Chicago. Period."
****
 - Jeff Rossen, Gay Chicago Magazine


"The striking success of Porchlight's Merrily is principally due, I think, to its creative team and performers who have brought as much personal investment to the work as Sondheim and Furth. Highly Recommended/Critics Choice."
- Albert Williams, Chicago Reader

 
 
1998/99 Season


Ruthless!
Book & Lyrics by Joel Paley
Music by Marvin Laird 
(coproduced with Effective Theatre) 
Directed by L. Walter Stearns 
Musical Direction by Eugene Dizon
11/98-1/99

 

"(A) tuneful laughfest...(the actors) attack the marvelous material with energy and attitude."
- Albert Williams, Chicago Reader


Falsettos 
(Chicago Premiere)
Music & Lyrics by William Finn
Book by James Lapine & William Finn
(coproduced with the Athenaeum Theatre) 
Directed by L. Walter Stearns 
Musical Direction by Eugene Dizon
4/99-10/99

 

Jeff Award Nomination-non-union

Music Direction
Eugene Dizon

"The terrific cast assembled by director L. Walter Stearns and musical director Eugene Dizon have the necessary full hearts as well as rich voices...powerfully delivered...superb."

- Albert Williams, Chicago Reader

"Porchlight Theatre, which has given us fine productions of Ruthless! and The Vanishing Point...delivers both its most effective work yet and the best local production of Falsettos. 
- Jeff Rossen, Gay Chicago Magazine


1997/98 Season


Macabaret 
(revised version) 
by Robert Hartmann and Scott Keys 
Directed by Tesha Buss and Jeff Stephens 
Musical Direction by Christopher Staton
9/97-10/97

 

"Macabaret is a delightful little musical." 
– Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune

"Polished, with tight-harmony vocal arrangements in a variety of Broadway styles…the strong-voiced cast is showcased in…a pleasant hour." 
– Jonathan Abarbanel, Windy City Times


The Vanishing Point 
(World Premiere) 
by Robert Hartmann and Scott Keys 
Directed by Wm. Eric Bramlett 
Musical Direction by Eugene Dizon
6/98-8/98

 

"Empowering...a tantalizing musical mix...intriguing emotional and intellectual territory. Recommended!"
- Lucia Mauro, Chicago Sun-Times

"A quirky musical fantasy...clever comedy and surprising emotional impact. Remarkable!"
- Carol Burbank, Chicago Reader


1996/97 Season


The Still Time 
(World Premiere) 
by K.R. Cahill 
Directed by Wm. Eric Bramlett
8/96-9/96


Macabaret
by Robert Hartmann and Scott Keys 
Directed by Jeannette LeGault 
Musical Direction by Steven Sivak
10/96

 

"...a quite enjoyable nocturnal hour of original songs...the twenty fast-paced revue-style numbers make for surprisingly sophisticated entertainment...a pleasant change from the clichéd Halloween fare." 
- Chris Jones, New City


Hereafter 
(World Premiere) 
by Robert Hartmann and Scott Keys 
Directed by Richard Israel 
Musical Direction by Cyndi Stevens
11/96-12/96

 

"Hereafter is the best new musical I've seen here since last season's alternately jokey and affecting Macabaret...this refreshingly whimsical musical sheds light on the struggles of people who probably wouldn't be cool enough to inhabit the bohemian haunts of Rent."
- Adam Langer, Chicago Reader

"Porchlight has created a sharp, poignantly entertaining world-premiere musical comedy...Hereafter is a rare theatrical gem that illuminates many emotions without resorting to sentimentality."
- Lucia Mauro, Chicago Sun-Times

  
 1995/96 Season


Women Who Love Science Too Much 
(World Premiere) 
by K.R. Cahill 
Directed by Wm. Eric Bramlett
9/95

 

"Playwright K.R. Cahill covers a lot of amorous territory, with each amorous revelation inventively detailed by director Wm. Eric Bramlett...it may prove the perfect date show."
- Lawrence Bommer, Chicago Tribune



Macabaret 
(Chicago Premiere) 
by Robert Hartmann and Scott Keys 
Directed by Robert Hartmann 
Musical Direction by Steven Sivak
10/95


 

Family Album 
(Chicago Premiere) 
by Jenny Noa 
Directed by Christopher Gurr
1/96

 

"An engaging piece of untraditional theatre...Noa's performance is provocative, mature even humorous. Deeply personal, her show captures what it means to contend with a family history."
- Gabrielle S. Kaplan, Chicago Reader


Three Sisters 
by Anton Chekhov 
Directed by Wm. Eric Bramlett
5/96-6/96