2020/2021 Season, News

Porchlight Music Theatre is committed to the health and safety of our entire family – audiences, artists, and staff. With the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 and changing recommendations from government and public health officials, our 2020-2021 productions, performances and dates are subject to change. Thank you for your support and understanding as we navigate through this uncertain time together.


The 2020 – 2021 Mainstage Season

Legally Blonde

October 10 – November 29

Music and Lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin

Book by Heather Hach

Based on the novel by Amanda Brown and the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Motion Picture

Direction by Stephen Schellhardt

Music Direction by Michael McBride

Choreography by Shanna Vanderwerker

Inspired by the hit movie starring Reese Witherspoon, college sweetheart and sorority star “Elle Woods” doesn’t take no for an answer. When Elle’s boyfriend dumps her for someone more serious, she puts down the credit card, grabs her beloved pup and sets out to go where no Delta Nu has gone before: Harvard Law School. Along the way, she tackles stereotypes, inspires scandal, struggles with peers and professors and, after hitting the books, proves that being true to yourself never goes out of style. From Rodeo Drive to the Halls of Justice, this all-singing, all-dancing feel-good Tony-nominated musical comedy smash will land the verdict that this much fun should not be legal!


January 30 – March 12, 2021 

Music and Lyrics by Maury Yeston

Book by Peter Stone

Orchestrations by Ian Weinberger

Co-Direction & Musical Staging by Michael Weber & Brenda Didier

Music Direction by Jeremy Ramey

Commemorating the 110th anniversary of the legendary, unsinkable ship’s launch, this winner of the Tony Award for Best Musical, Book of a Musical and Original Score tells the unforgettable tale of the storied ship of dreams and its fateful journey from Southampton to its arrival as 20th century legend. Following the lives and fates of the passengers and crew, you’ll plunge into the middle of all the glamour, chaos, heroism and, ultimately, right into the heart and spirit of the most infamous voyage of all time. With a lush, unforgettable score and a cast, orchestra and crew of more than 50 artists, Titanic will be the Chicago theatrical event of the new year.

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

April 17 – May 28, 2021

Music and Lyrics By William Finn

Book by Rachel Sheinkin

Direction by Christopher Pazdernik

Music Direction by Linda Madonia

Choreography by Rueben Echoles

Six awkward tweens vie for the coveted spelling championship in this fast-face, Tony Award-winning musical comedy. As they struggle to stay in the contest, the studentseach with their own quirky and engaging personalityshare hilarious and touching stories from their home lives while spelling their way through a series of (potentially made-up) words, hoping never to hear the soul-crushing, pout-inducing “ding” from the bell that signals a spelling mistake. Six spellers will enter; five spellers will leave (always with a juice box in hand and the life lesson that winning isn’t everything) and, by show’s end, one lucky speller will win the gameand your heart. 

Porchlight Revisits 2020 – 2021

By popular demand – Porchlight Revisits returns with a three-production season! This popular “lost musicals” series offers classic productions that have been rarely seen in Chicago and includes a fun, fact-filled multimedia “Behind the Scenes Backstory” presentation before each performance created and hosted by Artistic Director Michael Weber.

The Porchlight Revisits eighth season features:


Wednesday, Oct. 28 and Thursday, Oct. 29

Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim 

Book by John Weidman

A Sondheim 90th Birthday Celebration Production!

Premiering Off-Broadway before receiving a Tony Award-winning Broadway run, this Sondheim musical fantasia explores the American peculiarity of the various men and women who have throughout the years attempted to, or succeeded in, assassinating United States presidents.

Songs include The Ballad of Booth,” “How I Saved Roosevelt,” “Unworthy of Your Love,” “Another National Anthem” and more.

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Wednesday, Feb. 24 and Monday, March 1, 2021

Music by Jule Styne

Lyrics by Leo Robin

Book by Joseph Fields and Anita Loos 

Adapted from the 1925 novel by Anita Loos

It is the Roaring 20s AGAIN with the madcap adventures of the original “gold digger,” Lorelei Lee, as she sets sail for Europe with her best friend Dorothy Shaw in search of millionaires. Crossing the Atlantic, the gals meet a shipload of colorful characters in this old-fashioned laugh-fest jammed with real honest-to-goodness showtune hits.

Songs includeDiamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend,” “Bye, Bye, Baby,” “A Little Girl from Little Rock,” “I Love What I’m Doing (When I’m Doing it for Love)” and more. 

Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?

Wednesday, May 12 and Monday, May 17, 2021

Music and Lyrics by James Quinn and Alaric Jans

Book by John R. Powers, based on his 1975 novel

One of the longest-running musicals in Chicago Theatre history, this coming-of-age story involves the 1950s Catholic education of eight Chicago kids, following them from the start of elementary school through senior prom and beyond as they navigate first confessions, puppy love, patron saints, sex education and the importance of not wearing black patent leather shoes with your plaid, school-uniform skirt. 

Songs include “Get Ready, Eddie,” “How Far is Too Far?,” “The Best of Friends, ”Thank God”  and more. 

The 2020 – 2021 New Faces Sing Broadway Season

New Faces Sing Broadway has been a sold-out sensation, taking audiences in 90 minutes through one Broadway season. A local-celebrity host introduces audiences to the next generation of music theatre artists while serving as guide to the stars, songs and stories of that particular season. Peppered with photos and films of the era in an exciting multimedia presentation, trivia games with prizes, sing-alongs and more, the 2020 – 2021 season will be performed at locations to be announced and features:

New Faces Sing Broadway 1961

Fall 2020
Featuring hit songs from the 1961 Broadway season including Bye Bye Birdie, Camelot, Carnival, Irma La Douce and more.

New Faces Sing Broadway NOW

Winter 2021
Featuring hit songs from Broadway shows debuting this season including Diana, Mrs. Doubtfire, MJ, Flying Over Sunset and more.

New Faces Sing Broadway 1979

Spring 2021
Featuring hit songs from the 1979 Broadway season including Evita, Sweeney Todd, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, They’re Playing Our Song and more.

Full production artistic leadership, actors and location will be released at a future date. Production titles presented at New Faces are subject to change without notice.

Elaine Cohen and Arlen D. Rubin generously sponsor the New Faces Sing Broadway series.


The Bayless Family Foundation is a 2020 – 2021 26th Anniversary Season Sponsor.

The New Faces Sing Broadway series is generously sponsored by Elaine Cohen and Arlen D. Rubin.

Porchlight Music Theatre is partially supported by generous contributions from the Abe and Ida Cooper Foundation, Actors’ Equity Foundation, Allstate, Bayless Family Foundation, Michael Best & Friedrich LLP, Chapman | Spingola, Attorneys at Law, the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, Elegant Event Lighting, Elevate Energy, James P. and Brenda S. Grusecki Family Foundation, Hearty Boys, Hopsmith, the MacArthur Fund for Arts & Culture at Prince, the Pritzker Traubert Foundation, Daniel and Genevieve Ratner Foundation, The Saints, Dr. Scholl Foundation, the Stuart Family Foundation,  the Topfer Family Foundation and Walton Street Kitchen. The season program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, a state agency.