News

Porchlight Music Theatre’s Mainstage 2018 – 2019 season continues with 2014 Tony Award-winning Best Musical A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, January 25 – March 10, 2019 at The Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn Street. A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, stars Matt Crowle and features book by Robert L. Freedman, lyrics by Robert L. Freedman and Steven Lutvak, is directed and choreographed by Stephen Schellhardt and music directed by Andra Velis Simon.


Winner of the 2014 Tony Award for best musical and The New York Times says A Gentleman’s Guide is “Among the most inspired and entertaining new musicals.” This new musical tells the uproarious story of Monty Navarro, an heir to a family fortune who sets out to jump the line of succession by 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.

The cast of Porchlight Music Theatre’s A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder includes: Matt Crowle, The D’Ysquith Family; Andrés Enriquez, Monty Navarro; Caron Buinis, Miss Shingle; Emily Goldberg, Sibella Hallward; Ann Delaney, Phoebe D’Ysquith; Sharriese Hamilton, Eugenia; Ryan Dooley, Magistrate; Billy Dawson, Copley; Megan Elk, Tour Guide; Rachel Klippel, Barley; Phoebe Moore, Female Swing; Adam Ross Brody, Male Swing.

The A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder production team includes Stephen Schellhardt, director and choreographer; Andra Velis Simon, music director, Aubrey Adams, Assistant Director/Choreographer; Noah Watkins, Assistant to the Director; Linda Madonia, Musician Contractor; Robert Hornbostel, sound designer; Jeff Hendry, costume designer; Denise Karczewski, lighting designer; Anthony Churchill, Projection Designer; Angie Miller, scenic designers; Kevin Barthel, Wig Designer; Mealah Heidenreich, props designer; Mary Zanger, stage manager; and Cody Westgaard, production manager.


ABOUT STEPHEN SCHELLHARDT, director and choreographer
Stephen Schellhardt has been acting, directing, choreographing, producing, casting and teaching professionally for over a decade. He has acted in numerous Equity productions in Chicago-area and regional theatres, receiving three Equity Jeff Award nominations and a Barrymore Award for acting, as well as a Non-Equity Jeff Award nomination for his directorial work on Urinetown, and his choreographic work on Dogfight at BoHo Theatre, where he was recently appointed artistic director.

In Chicago, Schellenhardt has worked with the Marriott Theater, Writers Theatre, Drury Lane Theatre, Mercury Theater Chicago, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, About Face Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Chicago’s Lyric Opera, The Goodman Theatre, Porchlight Music Theatre, BoHo Theatre and the Ravinia Festival. National Tours include Altar Boyz. International credits include Jane Austen’s Persuasion at The Royal Winchester Theatre in England and the Shanklin Theatre on The Isle of Wight (Chamber Opera Chicago). He has directed/choreographed at About Face Theatre, Writers Theatre, Timberlake Playhouse, The Summer Theatre of New Canaan, Ars Nova in New York City, The Casino Club, Northwestern University, and BoHo Theatre.

He is a founding member of the Chicago Artists Chorale, co-director for The Children’s Theatre of Winnetka, casting associate at About Face Theatre and most recently served as the associate producer and casting director for Writers Theatre in Glencoe.

Currently, Schellenhardt spends most of his time in Evanston where he is a full-time lecturer of musical theatre at Northwestern University and director of the annual Waa Mu Show. He is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University’s Drama School and a proud member of the Actors Equity Association.


ABOUT ANDRA VELIS SIMON, music director
Andra Velis Simon is thrilled to return to Porchlight Music Theatre, where she music directed its Revisits productions of They’re Playing Our Song and On a Clear Day. She is the resident music director for Firebrand Theatre, where she just completed their run of Caroline, or Change.  She also music directed Firebrand’s inaugural production of LIZZIE, as well as 9 to 5 The Musical.  Currently, Velis Simon is serving as vocal director for Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s La Ruta by Isaac Gomez.  Her work as a music director, adapter, arranger, pianist and vocal coach has been seen regionally at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, A.R.T. in Cambridge, Brooklyn Academy of Music, NYU’s Skirball Center, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Pasadena Playhouse and Berkeley Rep. In Chicago, she has worked with The Goodman Theatre, The Hypocrites, Theater Wit, Chicago Children’s Theatre, and many others. From 2008-2016, Velis Simon served as the staff music director for the Theatre Department at Columbia College Chicago, where she continues to teach musical theatre performance.


ABOUT MATT CROWLE, “The D’Ysquith Family”
Matt Crowle a proud Porchlight Music Theatre artistic associate. Crowle gratefully returns to Porchlight where his credits include his recent Jeff-nominated turn as “Charley Kringas” in Merrily We Role Along and ”Hysterium” (Jeff Award) in A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum. Other Chicago theatre highlights include The Santaland Diaries at Goodman Theatre; The Producers (Leo Bloom) at Mercury Theater Chicago; Mary Poppins (Bert) at Paramount; Singin’ In The Rain (Cosmo Brown), Spamalot (Patsy), Bye Bye, Birdie (Albert Peterson), and South Pacific (Luther Billis, Jeff Award) at Drury Lane Oakbrook. Broadway/National Tour: Monty Python’s Spamalot, and Doctor Dolittle starring Tommy Tune. He earned his BFA in Music Theatre under the guidance and mentorship of the late great Dr. Bruce Kirle.


Mr. Crowle’s performance is sponsored by Anne and Greg Taubeneck

Porchlight Music Theatre is supported by generous contributions from the Actors’ Equity Foundation, Bayless Family Foundation, Abe and Ida Cooper Foundation, Chapman | Spingola, Attorneys at Law, the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, Elegant Events Lighting, James P. and Brenda S. Grusecki Family Foundation, the MacArthur Fund for Arts & Culture at the Prince Foundation, the Morgan Stanley Foundation, Q Chicago, The Saints and the Topfer Family Foundation.

The season program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, a state agency, and by a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events.