Porchlight Music Theatre, Chicago’s home for music theatre, is proud to announce its 28th season!

“Our 28th Mainstage season speaks to moments of courage, endurance and humanity in the face of life’s greatest challenges,” said Porchlight Artistic Director Michael Weber. “This series of astonishing productions: a Pulitzer Prize winner; two that are ‘Best Musical’ Tony Award winners and the Chicago premiere of one of the most incredible new musicals seen recently off-Broadway, remind us there is no subject that is beyond the realm of the art of music theatre and that there is no story that cannot be enhanced when told through the forms of music, drama and dance.”

Using the tabs to the left, explore all we have to offer in the 2022-2023 Season including Mainstage, Porchlight Revisits and New Faces Sing Broadway series.

 

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RENT

October 29 – November 27, 2022

Music, Lyrics & Book by Jonathan Larson+

Based loosely on Giacomo Puccini’s+ 1896 opera La Bohème

Directed by Adrian Abel Azevedo+

Music Directed by Michael McBride+

Choreographed by Laura Savage*

Over the last 25 years, this Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical has become a cultural phenomenon with millions of fans around the world. Porchlight’s production celebrates this legacy and adds a new page to the story of a year in the life of a diverse group of artists struggling to survive and create in Lower Manhattan’s East Village under the shadow of HIV/AIDS. In the thriving days of bohemian Alphabet City at the end of the millennium, these friends are determined to follow their dreams without selling out.


Cabaret

 

January 14 – February 12, 2023

Music by John Kander+

Lyrics by Fred Ebb+

Book by Joe Masteroff+

Based on the 1951 play I Am a Camera by John Van Druten+ adapted from the 1939 novella Goodbye to Berlin by Christopher Isherwood+

Directed by Artistic Director Michael Weber+

Music Directed by Linda Madonia*

Associate Directed & Choreographed by Brenda Didier*

Bold and provocative, this landmark musical  shines a spotlight on Berlin in the late 1920s and the colorful, gritty and hedonistic lives found there. Filled with iconic songs and electrifying dance the story of American writer “Clifford Bradshaw’s” relationship with English cabaret performer “Sally Bowles” as the Nazi party is rising to power is one you’ll never forget. Overseen by an ominous “Emcee” at the fabled Kit Kat Club, Cabaret is a cautionary tale that has renewed resonance in today’s political climate. “Your table’s waiting” for this winner of seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical.


CHICAGO PREMIERE!

Ernest Shackleton Loves Me

In association with Skylight Music Theatre

May 6 – June 1, 2023

Music by Brendan Milburn+

Lyrics by Val Vigoda*

Orchestrations and Additional Music by Ryan O’Connell+

Book by Joe DiPietro+

Directed by Michael Unger+

Music Directed by Eric Svejcar+

Ernest Shackleton Loves Me is the critically acclaimed new musical with a tongue-in-cheek script by Tony Award-winner Joe DiPietro+ (Memphis). In this wildly inventive adventure, a sleep-deprived single mom and video game music composer is contacted across time by the famous polar explorer Ernest Shackleton+. Inspired by her music, he shares his epic Antarctic journey with her in video and song. Together, they conquer the odds in a timeless love affair for the ages. Awarded 2017 Best New Musical by the Off Broadway Alliance.


Pronoun Key: + (he/him/his); * (she/her/hers); ^ (they, them, theirs);  = (any with respect)

Now in its ninth season, Porchlight Revisits shares Broadway and off-Broadway hits and misses, as well as cult classics, performed live in a limited run with the pre-show “Behind the Show Backstory” historical multimedia presentation by Artistic Director Michael Weber+, introducing the evening’s production including the show’s creative history, juicy backstage stories and much more. Chicago’s finest music theatre talents dust off these treasures and escort audiences to the world of Broadway’s past.


Porchlight Revisits The Apple Tree

Wednesday, December 7 at 7:30 PM and Thursday, December 8 at 1:30 PM & 7:30 PM

Music by Jerry Bock+

Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick+

Book by Bock & Harnick with contributions from Jerome Coopersmith+

Directed by Frankie Leo Bennet+ & Tommy Novak^

Directed & Choreographed by Dina DiCostanzo*

Music Directed by Linda Madonia*

The songwriting team behind Fiddler on the Roof and She Loves Me created this witty, tuneful and charming piece that was Tony nominated for Best Musical. Made up of three musical miniatures, each directed by a different person, Porchlight Revisits The Apple Tree includes “The Diary of Adam and Eve,” a quirky, touching spin on the tale of the world’s first couple, adapted from Mark Twain’s short stories; “The Lady or the Tiger?,” a 1960s rock and roll fable set in a mythical kingdom, which explores the fickleness of love and “Passionella,” based on Jules Feiffer’s offbeat Cinderella-story about a chimney sweep who dreams of being a “glamorous movie star.” 

(L to R) Frankie Leo Bennett+, director; Dina DiCostanzo*, director & choreographer; Linda Madonia*, music director;  Tommy Novak^, director.


Porchlight Revisits I Am A Camera

Wednesday, February 8, 2023 at 7:30 PM and Thursday, February 9 at 1:30 PM

Written by John Van Druten

Premiering in 1951 starring Julie Harris as “Sally Bowles,” this special event staged reading is a rare opportunity to experience the remarkable play that became the inspiration for the musical Cabaret. Never revived on Broadway and not seen in Chicago in decades, the title is a quotation taken from Christopher Isherwood’s “Goodbye to Berlin’s” first page: “I am a camera with its shutter open, quite passive, recording, not thinking.” Before Kander and Ebb. Before Bob Fosse. Before Liza Minnelli. Come see the play that started it all!


Porchlight Revisits Two by Two

Wednesday, May 24, 2023 at 7:30 PM and Thursday, May 25, 2023 at 1:30 PM & 7:30 PM

Music by Richard Rodgers

Lyrics by Martin Charnin

Book by Peter Stone

Based on the play The Flowering Peach by Clifford Odets

The legendary comedian Danny Kaye starred in the original 1970 Broadway run of Two by Two, the musical comedy based on Clifford Odets’ play The Flowering Peach, that tells the story of Noah, the flood and its aftermath with touches of modern themes including the environment and the differences from generation to generation. The first of two collaborations with Martin Charnin (the other being I Remember Mama,) this late career production by the legendary Richard Rodgers is, by turns, tuneful and hilarious and a perfect Porchlight Revisits production.  


Pronoun Key: + (he/him/his); * (she/her/hers); ^ (they, them, theirs);  = (any with respect)

The New Faces Sing Broadway revue series continues! Each edition is hosted by a Chicago celebrity with a cast of up-and-coming talent performing songs from one specific year on Broadway. In addition to the songs, the nights include a sing-along, trivia and more!


New Faces Sing Broadway 1951

Fall 2022

The season kicks off with music and fun from the golden age of Broadway including songs from Guys and Dolls, The King & I, Paint Your Wagon, Where’s Charley and others.


New Faces Sing Broadway 1984

Winter 2023

A celebration of one of the seminal seasons on Broadway highlighting songs from La Cage Aux Folles, Sunday in the Park with George, Baby, The Rink and others.


New Faces Sing Broadway NOW (2023)

Spring 2023

The season concludes with a show dedicated to the hottest shows in Broadway’s current season.