Porchlight’s rich history includes the staging of more than 70 Mainstage productions, 18 Porchlight Revisits productions and 12 editions of New Faces Sing Broadway. The company’s many accolades include a total of 167 Joseph Jefferson Award nominations resulting in 44 Jeff Awards (including five consecutive Best Production awards for The Scottsboro Boys-2017, Dreamgirls-2016, Sondheim on Sondheim-2015, Ain’t Misbehavin’-2014 and A Class Act-2013), 30 Black Theatre Alliance nominations and 12 awards, and 28 After Dark Awards. Porchlight is known for its bold, edgy and intimate works, with some 30,000 people each year witnessing the drama, the song and the dance “up close” from Chicago’s finest music theatre talent.

Browse the detailed season-by-season production history using the menu on the left, and be sure to check out the 25-Year Timeline for insights on how the company developed over its quarter-century history.


Porchlight Music Theatre’s Chicago & World Premieres

12 Chicago Premieres

2019 – A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder

2017 – The Scottsboro Boys

2016 – End of the Rainbow

2015 – Sondheim on Sondheim

2013 – Double Trouble

2012 – The Gifts of the Magi

2012 – A Class Act

2012 – A Catered Affair

2011 – Meet John Doe

2005 – Elegies

1996 – Family Album

1995 – Macabaret

5 World Premieres

2007 – The Teapot Scandals

1998 – The Vanishing Point

1996 – The Still Time

1996 – Hereafter

1995 – Women Who Love Science Too Much

1994

Founding Artistic Director Jill Moore approaches her boss and mentor at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), Kim Shambrook, to say that she wants to start a theatre company. With Chicago’s storefront scene booming, Moore and some fellow University of Arizona grads begin creating an artistic ensemble. Planning gets real as Moore and Shambrook work to form a board of directors and a volunteer staff. They tap several NAR employees to serve, including current Executive Director Jeannie Lukow who joins the board and serves as Marketing Director. Ensemble member Wm. Eric Bramlett is named Managing Director.

 

1995

The board works to create the organization’s mission and structure, and Porchlight Theatre Ensemble is incorporated as a not-for-profit on March 20, 1995. The first season is planned, and the first fundraising events are held, including “A Porchlight Summer Night” cabaret evening held at The Theatre Building (now Stage 773).

More than a year after Moore’s dream was hatched, Porchlight mounts its first season, starting with the world premiere of Kathleen “K.R.” Cahill’s play Women Who Love Science Too Much at The Red Bones Theatre at 4147 N. Broadway, directed by Eric Bramlett. Tickets are $15 (two-for-one on Sundays) and the production runs September 2-30 with three performances a week. Critic Lawrence Bommer (Chicago Tribune) calls it “the perfect date show.” The company immediately contracts another Cahill show for season two.

The first season continues with the company’s first musical, the Chicago premiere of Macabaret, by Rob Hartmann and Scott Keyes, a talented writing team from New York. A fellow University of Arizona grad, Hartmann is also part of the founding artistic ensemble. The show is produced in the Organic Theater Greenhouse/Lab Theater (3319 N. Clark St.) with Hartmann directing. Critic Chris Jones, in NewCity Chicago, calls it “tuneful, funny” and the show regularly sells out the roughly 30-person house and starts a 25-year commitment to music theatre. 

While the company planned to do more musicals in season two, not all in the ensemble were happy with that choice. The first year continued with the Chicago premiere of ensemble member Jenny Noa’s one-woman biography, Family Album, running at StageLeft, followed by Chekov’s Three Sisters at Footsteps Theater in Andersonville. As the company began a strategic course to focus exclusively on music theatre, the ensemble disbands. Moore, Bramlett and Lukow run the artistic and operational side of the company, aided by a small but committed board of directors, under a mission to “create and sustain an artistic home for Chicago audiences and emerging artists where, through the power of the shared experience of life’s conflicts and joys, we inspire our community to learn, to build hope, and to transform their lives and the world around them.”

 

1996

The second season begins with the world premiere of Kathleen Cahill’s The Still Time, the last play the company produces during these formative years, as it fully turns its producing sights on music theatre. It is followed by the return of the fall musical favorite, Macabaret, this time in the basement of The O Bar at 3730 N. Clark St. in Wrigleyville.

The season culminates with the company’s first world premiere musical, Hereafter, by Rob Hartmann and Scott Keyes, playing at StageLeft. Ticket prices have increased to $15, and there’s a special preview performance benefiting Season of Concern. Adam Langer of the Chicago Reader says the new musical is “witty, diverting and heartrending.”  Founding Artistic Director Jill Moore gives Porchlight the news that she and her husband will be moving to Los Angeles. Eric Bramlett is named interim Artistic Director; Jeannie Lukow is named Managing Director. The company goes on producing hiatus for nearly a year.

 

1997

With a slight rebranding to Porchlight Theatre, the company spends the first part of the year on organizational planning and launching the Artistic Director search. In the summer of 1997, Eric Bramlett finds the ideal AD prospect. His brother, Elic, is appearing in a production of Sweeney Todd at the Athenaeum Theatre, produced by a young up-and-comer, L. Walter Stearns. Stearns has been directing and producing musicals for a couple of years under the banner Effective Theatre with creative/life partner Eugene Dizon, but hasn’t formed a nonprofit nor recruited a board. Porchlight has everything Stearns needs, and vice versa. It proves to be a great match. In the fall of 1997, Porchlight brings back Macabaret, this time at Victory Gardens, the final production before Stearns agrees to assume the artistic leadership position.

 

1998-1999

The season, planned collaboratively between Bramlett and Stearns, starts with the world premiere musical, The Vanishing Point, also by Hartmann & Keys and directed by Bramlett, and with Moore getting Artistic Advisor credit. On opening night, board members carry dozens of bags of sand up the stairs at the pre-elevator Athenaeum to complete the set, which depicts a fictitious desert island where Agatha Christie, Amelia Earhardt and Aimee Semple McPherson. The production budget is just over $10,000. The season continues with Porchlight’s first artistic collaboration with the new artistic leadership, the musical comedy Ruthless, directed by Stearns and music directed by Dizon. 

On Friday, April 20, board member Ron Kowalski hosts a pre-show fundraiser at Zum Deutschen Eck, 2924 N. Southport, supporting the new production of William Finn’s Falsettos. Produced in collaboration with Fred Solari, this city of Chicago premiere production plays an extended summer run at The Athenaeum (where Porchlight is now calling home), and collects nearly $7500 for Season of Concern. It is remounted in summer 2000 at Theatre on the Lake. The season is Porchlight’s first for the Jeff Citations (non-Equity Jeff Awards) eligibility, and music director Eugene Dizon is nominated for The Vanishing Point

 

1999-2000

Colette Collage opens the fifth season at Porchlight, under the theme “real-life passions set to music” which offers the company’s first subscription series. Next up in the season of biographical musicals is the company’s best-received show to date, Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along, which garners the company its first Best Production nomination at the Citations, one of six nominations that results in the company’s first Citation wins — Samantha Fitschen (Choreography) and Eugene Dizon (Music Direction).

 

2000-2001

The new “Sensational Sondheim” season opens with Into the Woods on Sunday, November 26, hailed by Chris Jones, special critic to the Chicago Tribune, as “a marvel of Porchlight ingenuity.” The production, which boasts a budget of just over $25,000, is revived that summer at Theatre on the Lake. Passion follows, opening March 18, 2001. Both are directed by Stearns and music directed by Dizon. It’s clear that Porchlight is starting to outgrow the 90-seat studios at The Athenaeum.

 

 

2001-2002

Porchlight Theatre, now using the tagline “Chicago’s premier music theatre,” moves to The Theater Building at 1225 W. Belmont. Two-show season subscriptions are $40, three-show packages are $55. Becoming known for its Sondheim productions, Porchlight begins the season with A Little Night Music which grosses nearly $50,000 and is followed by the Chicago premiere of Children of Eden, which sees the return of director Eric Bramlett to Porchlight and also the local premiere of new college graduate Bethany Thomas.

The company holds its first Gala, themed “Support the Vision,” on February 22 at the Chicago Cultural Center. With sponsor Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Illinois and Cultural Affairs Commissioner Lois Weisberg serving as Honorary Chair, the evening features a multi-course meal with wine, cabaret performances, and live and silent auctions. The season ends with another Chicago premiere, William Finn’s A New Brain, at Chicago’s downtown Storefront Theatre.

 

2002-2003

The season begins with Burt Bacharach’s Promises, Promises which has runs planned for three Chicagoland venues. In August, Theatre on the Lake breaks from tradition and bring in Porchlight’s the show for a preview run, rather than a revival. The main run opens at The Theatre Building in September, and transfers to the Metropolis Centre for the Performing Arts in Arlington Heights for a pre-holiday engagement. 

On February 20, the annual gala “Brighten the Light”, coordinated by supporter Michelle Guzik, is held at the Drake Hotel’s Gold Coast Room. Tickets are $80 each, and Maggie Daley (Chair, Chicago Cultural Foundation) and Lois Weisberg are Honorary Chairs. The season closes with another Sondheim, Company (which is revived in summer 2003 at Theatre on the Lake), and the year is honored with 12 Jeff Citation nominations. 

 

2003-2004

With a name change to Porchlight Music Theatre and a new logo, the ninth season opens in October at Theatre Building Chicago with Kander & Ebb’s Cabaret. “On the Town: A Celebration of Leonard Bernstein” is the theme of the 2004 gala held on February 26 at The Drake Hotel. The season closes with Amadeus, featuring artistic associate Bil Ingraham as Salieri.

 

 

2004-2005

An ambitious year is planned for the 10th anniversary season, with the company entering into its first union contract with Actors’ Equity Association and producing the nation’s first-ever festival of the works of William Finn. Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, starring Rebecca Finnegan and Aaron Michael Lindner, kicks things off, followed by Maltby & Shire’s Closer Than Ever, directed by Nick Bowling and revived at Theatre on the Lake. The 2005 gala, “DecaDence,” celebrates the milestone year with an evening of lavish fun at The Drake Hotel. The season ends with Finn Fest, featuring four of Finn’s works in rotating rep: In Trousers, Falsettos, A New Brain and the Chicago premiere of Elegies: A Song Cycle. Porchlight brings in Finn for the celebration which includes a meet-and-greet on April 16 and a discussion of In Trousers the following day. Finn Fest culminates with a cabaret-style tribute, “aFINNity: Chicago Salutes William Finn” directed by Rob Lindley, and produced by Porchlight’s newly formed Artistic Associates. The budget for the entire festival is just over $110,000. The cabaret goes on to be an annual event we now know as “Chicago Sings.” The season’s productions – now eligible for the Equity Joseph Jefferson Awards – sweeps the Jeffs, nabbing 10 noms and 5 awards, and Porchlight is moved to the new Midsize category.

 

2005-2006

Sondheim’s Gypsy kicks off the new season, followed by a long-anticipated return of Macabaret, this time directed by artistic associate Matthew Gunnels, music directed by Steve Sivak and choreographed by Brenda Didier — her first in a long line of artistic work with Porchlight.

“A Scandalous Affair” gala benefit is held on March 1 at The Drake Hotel. The annual cabaret is “After Sondheim: Broadway’s New School of Composers,” directed by Rob Lindley and music directed by Doug Peck — the duo would go on to helm the concert for nearly a dozen more years though its evolution to one of Porchlight’s most successful events, the annual “Chicago Sings.”

The season closes with The Secret Garden, which is revived in August at Theatre on the Lake. Rhoda Reeling steps down as chair of the Porchlight Board after holding the post for 10 years, the longest serving chair in the company’s history. The Artistic Associates launch “Off the Porch,” to pursue and present new musical works in development. The company moves its business office to a storefront at 2814 N. Lincoln Ave. that also accommodates storage and a rehearsal space.

 

2006-2007

“The American Experience, Set to Music” season sees Porchlight mounting its first holiday show, A Wonderful Life, and welcoming writer/lyricist Sheldon Harnick attending the show on December 9. and follows that up with another world premiere musical, The Teapot Scandals, written and composed by artistic associate Jon Steinhagen which runs in rep with Sondheim’s Assassins, directed by Michael Weber, music directed by artistic associate Doug Peck and choreographed by Tammy Mader.

The annual concert, “Hit Factory: Songs of the Brill Building,” is presented by the Artistic Associates on February 20th at the Mercury Theatre, and the annual gala becomes a brunch affair on Sunday, March 4th at The Drake Hotel. The season ends with Ragtime, far and away Porchlight’s most successful production to date. After a spring run at Theatre Building Chicago, the show transfers to Chicago’s Apollo Theater through August. Ragtime nabs seven Jeff nominations and four Jeff Awards, including the company’s first Best Production award and Best Director for L. Walter Stearns.

The Artistic Associates/Off the Porch present “First Look: Readings and Sections from Musicals Under Development”including Matt Raftery’s Lead the Way and Brendan Kelly’s A Maid Without the Means or the Times. Don Sprague is hired as part-time Operations Manager.

 

 

 

2007-2008

Maury Yeston joins Porchlight for the opening of his Phantom on September 16, including an exclusive pre-show donor reception and a post-show discussion with the audience. Yeston is added to the recently formed Advisory Board, along with William Finn. The season continues with a return of A Wonderful Life directed by artistic associate Rob Lindley, and welcoming writer/lyricist Sheldon Harnick attending the show on December 9, and closes with Yeston’s Nine, starring Jeff Parker.

 

2008-2009

“A Year of Musical Destinations” season opens with Candide, directed/music directed by Stearns and Dizon. It is followed by the ambitious Sondheim piece Pacific Overtures. The season ends with the uplifting Once On This Island, directed by by Mark Lococo and choreographed by artistic associate Brenda Didier. The annual concert, now branded as Chicago Sings, is presented on Monday, June 15, with “A Place for Us: Chicago Sings Bernstein” at the Greenhouse Theatre Center. Proceeds benefit the 15th anniversary season. Founding board member Jeannie Lukow is elected to board president, a position she holds for six years. Jonathan Heuring is hired as Managing Director, the company’s first paid full-time position.

 

2009-2010

Young director Sean Kelly helms the 15th anniversary season opener, The Fantasticks, which is followed by a return of Macabaret and a new holiday favorite, Miracle on 34th Street, with veteran actor Jim Sherman as Santa Claus. The season closes with Into The Woods, which features artistic associate Bethany Thomas as The Witch. Three-show subscriptions are $100 each.

An anniversary fundraising concert, “Porchlight Celebrates Fabulous Fifteen,” is held on November 16 at Theatre Building Chicago and the Chicago Sings benefit concert is held on June 7th at Mayne Stage. “Chicago Sings: Sondheim” is the first of many helmed by Rob Lindley and recent Northwestern grad Doug Peck, and starts the tradition of a“star-studded lineup, featuring such names as Ross Lehman, Jeff Parker, McKinley Carter and Jessie Mueller.

 

2010-2011

Sondheims’ A Sunday in the Park with George kicks off the final season under Stearns and Dizon, who plan to take over The Mercury Theater on Southport. As a national search for a new Artistic Director begins in the fall of 2011, the remainder of the season features a revival of Miracle on 34th Street, directed by artistic associate Christopher Pazdernik, the regional premiere of Meet John Doe, directed and choreographed by James Beaudry, and closes with The King and I, starring Briana Borger as Anna. The Artistic Director search leads Porchlight to veteran actor/director Michael Weber whose arrival in June 2011 begins a new phase of artistic and organizational expansion. 

 

2011-2012

In fall 2011 Porchlight moves its office, rehearsal and storage to the former Hammond Organ Factory at 4200 W. Diversey where it expands to three rehearsal studios and a scenic shop. The season, planned prior to Weber’s arrival by artistic associates Bil Ingraham and Rob Lindley, begins with Sondheim’s Putting it Together at Theater Wit, starring veterans Adam Pelty and McKinley Carter. The show, directed by Brenda Didier and music directed by Austin Cook, is incredibly well received.

Back at its home theater, now called Stage 773, the season continues with A Catered Affair directed by Nick Bowling and music directed by Doug Peck, and closes the season with Jonathan Larson’s tick, tick…BOOM! starring Adrian Aguilar with direction by Adam Pelty and music director Diana Lawrence. Lawrence’s band, Diana and the Dishes, perform an after-hours concert in the lobby. The annual fundraiser, rebranded as the ICONS Gala, honoring Michael Bennett, is held in July at The University Club and sees the launch of Guy Adkins Award for Excellence in the Advancement of Music Theatre in Chicago. The inaugural award is bestowed to L. Walter Stearns.

 

2012-2013

The School at Porchlight is launched, providing music theatre training for professionals, immersion programming for enthusiasts, and the first steps toward education and outreach to Chicago youth. The Chicago premiere of Lonny Price’s A Class Act opens the season, directed by Stacey Flaster and music directed by artistic associate Beckie Menzie. It is followed by The Gifts of the Magi, the O. Henry tale, directed by Mark Lococo, music directed by Elizabeth Doran and choreographed by Brenda Didier.

The season continues with two hits for Porchlight: Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, directed by Rob Lindley and music directed by Jaret Landon, and Pal Joey, with Michael Weber in his first directing gig since taking the helm at Porchlight. Lady Day transfers to the Beverly Arts Center for a three-performance run on March 22-24. The season receives 12 Jeff nominations and three awards, including Best Production-Midsize Musical for A Class Act, as well as its first showing at the Black Theatre Alliance Awards with two nominations and one win for Lady Day star Alexis Rogers. Porchlight presents Best Musical! A Completely Improves Musical Comedy, in collaboration with creator Matthew Loren Cohen, at Stage 773 for three installments including a special Holiday Edition.

 

2013-2014

Brothers Adrian and Alex Aguilar team up for Double Trouble, directed by Matt Crowle and music directed by artistic associate Linda Madonia. In winter 2014, the wildly popular Ain’t Misbehavin’ opens, directed and choreographed by Didier and music directed by Jaret Landon. Favorite Lorenzo Rush Jr makes his Porchlight debut. How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, directed by Rob Lindley and music directed by Kory Danielson, closes the season. Ain’t Misbehavin’ wins the Jeff Award for Best Production-Midsize Musical was well as seven BTAA nominations.

Best Musical! A Completely Improves Musical Comedy returns, this time at Second City’s UP Comedy Club from October 2 through November 6 for a final run. The company decides instead to focus resources on creating a new program, Porchlight Revisits, a series of lost musicals in staged concert which launches at Stage 773 on October 25 with Anyone Can Whistle directed by Christopher Pazdernik, and is followed by Golden Boy on February 26 and Fade Out-Fade In on May 24.

 

2014-2015

As Jeannie Lukow joins the staff as the company’s first Executive Director, Chicago Sings, still at Mayne Stage,  breaks with the composer-focused approach of previous editions and celebrates the music of the Disney musicals and breaks fundraising records for the event. The 20th anniversary season’s salute to Stephen Sondheim opens with Sweeney Todd, directed by Michael Weber and music directed by Doug Peck, and starring David Giorolmo and Rebecca Finnegan. The Porchlight Revisits series expands to two nights and features Bells Are Ringing, City of Angels, and Mack & Mabel. 

The Chicago premiere of Sondheim on Sondheim plays in the winter, directed by Nick Bowling and music directed by Austin Cook who also stars in the show, along with his fiancee Adrienne Walker, as well as Porchlight favorites Stephen Rader, James Earl Jones II, and Rebecca Finnegan. The season ends with A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, and for 11 Jeff Awards and wins four, including Best Production-Midize Musical for Sondheim on Sondheim.  

 

2015-2016

“Chicago Sings: Motown” — with 300 guests — kicks off the season on August 17 at City Winery. The season expands to four productions including Side Show, a winter return of Ain’t Misbehavin’, the Chicago premiere of Far From Heaven starring Summer Naomi Smart and the hit Dreamgirls starring Donica Lynn. One of the season’s four Jeff awards, among 11 nominations, is Best Production-Midsize Musical for Dreamgirls, which also nominated for four Black Theatre Alliance Awards and sees star Donica Lynn winning a BTAA for for Best Actress in a Musical. The New Faces Sing Broadway revue series highlighting the hits and misses from one season on the Great White Way debuts at Chicago’s Uptown Underground.  New Faces Sing Broadway: 1991 features 10 up-and-comers and celebrity host Meghan Murphy. 

 

2016-2017

City Winery is the venue for the season kick-off, “Chicago Sings: The Beatles” on August 22. Porchlight’s mainstage season opener, In The Heights, attracts record attendance, critical acclaim and four extensions for an all-time high of 78 performances, despite receiving only 2-½ stars from Chris Jones. The hit End of the Rainbow starring Angela Ingersol ends up running simultaneously (in the Pro space) with In The Heights (in the Thrust space) at Stage 773, marking the first time Porchlight has two sold-out shows running at the same time. The season continues with the Chicago Premiere of the Scottsboro Boys and concludes with the final Porchlight production in its 15-year run at Stage 773 — Sondheim’s Marry Me a Little starring Austin Cook and Bethany Thomas. The season is honored with 13 Jeff nominations and three Jeff awards including the Best Production-Midsize Musical prize for The Scottsboro Boys, which also wins four Black Theatre Alliance Awards including Ensemble, Choreography, Costume Design and posthumously awarded Best Director-Musical for Samuel G. Roberson.

In June, the “Make Your Own Musical” summer camps for ages 7-12 are successfully launched with two full sessions at DePaul University, and with more than 50% of the students receiving full or partial scholarships. Thanks to the generosity of Porchlight donors, this program is in its third year and is expanding to more camp sessions as well as youth intensives in 2020.

 

2017-2018

Porchlight makes a bold move, becoming a multi-year Artist In-Residence at The Ruth Page Center for the Arts in Chicago’s Gold Coast. After kicking off the season with “Chicago Sings: The Rat Pack,” now at UP Comedy Club, the mainstage season at Ruth Page opens with Billy Elliot the Musical, running for 13 weeks. It is followed by Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along which features a special one-night-only Porchlight Revisits presentation of the play Merrily We Roll Along, and the Chicago premiere of Memphis. The spring ICONS Gala moves to the Ritz-Carlton and celebrates Fred Astaire on April 15. Porchlight offers its first program for Chicago youth with the “Make Your Own Musical” summer camps, held at DePaul University. At the season’s Jeff Awards, the company is honored with 12 nominations including Best Production-Midsize Musical for Memphis, which also nabs five Black Theatre Alliance Awards.

 

2018-2019

Before beginning the season, the company celebrated at UP Comedy Club with “Chicago: Sings the MGM Musicals” and at the annual concert bestowed the inaugural Luminary Award for Exemplary Leadership and Support of Music Theatre in Chicago to board member and long-time local producer Jim Jensen. The Luminary Award recognizes an outstanding individual, family or family foundation with a history of philanthropic and volunteer leadership on behalf of Porchlight Music Theatre and music theatre in Chicago, and whose generosity inspires others to philanthropic action. 

With Porchlight’s fan base growing, the company opens its second season at The Ruth Page Center with E. Faye Butler starring in Gypsy followed by the Chicago Premiere of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder. Porchlight breaks is Ruth Page box office record with a stunning production of A Chorus Line directed by Brenda Didier and choreographed by Christopher Chase Carter, to close the season. 

The season is nominated for a stunning 17 Jeff Awards including all Best Production-Midsize Musical for all of the three mainstage productions and the coveted Ensemble for A Chorus Line.

MAINSTAGE

 

Gypsy

October 12 – December 29, 2018 at Ruth Page Center for the Arts

Music by Jule Styne

Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

Book by Arthur Laurents

Direction by Michael Weber

Associate Direction and Choreography by Christopher Chase Carter

Music Direction by David Fiorello

Assistant Direction by Robin DaSilva

“One of those rare Chicago theatre moments truly to savor.” Four out of four stars. -Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune

Jeff Awards & Nominations (Equity)
Best Production-Midsize Musical
Direction-Midsize Musical / Michael Weber
Performer in a Principal Role-Musical / E. Faye Butler (award winner)
Performer in a Supporting Role-Musical / Jose Antonio Garcia
Scenic Design-Midsize / Jeffrey D. Kmiec
Costume Design-Midsize / Bill Morey

Black Theater Alliance Award Nominations
Actress in a Musical / E. Faye Butler
Most Promising Actress / Daryn Whitney Harrell


Chicago Premiere

A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder

January 25 – March 16, 2019 at Ruth Page Center for the Arts

Music by Steven Lutvak

Lyrics by Robert L. Freedman and Steven Lutvak

Book by Robert L. Freedman

Direction and Choreography by Stephen Schellhardt

Music Direction by Andra Velis Simon

“Fabulous! A smartly funny lark, produced by a Porchlight at the top of its game.” Four out of four stars. -Kris Vire, Chicago Sun-Times

Jeff Awards & Nominations (Equity)
Best Production-Midsize Musical
Direction-Midsize Musical / Stephen Schellhardt
Performer in a Principal Role-Musical / Matt Crowle
Performer in a Principal Role-Musical / Andres Enriquez
Performer in a Supporting Role-Musical / Emily Goldberg
Costume Design-Midsize / Jeff Hendry (award winner)


A Chorus Line

April 10 – May 31, 2019 at Ruth Page Center for the Arts

Music by Marvin Hamlisch

Lyrics by Edward Kleban

Book by James Kirkwood, Jr. and Nicholas Dante

Direction by Brenda Didier

Choreography by Christopher Chase Carter

Music Direction by Linda Madonia

“This production really is quite beautiful.” 3.5 out of 4 stars. -Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune

Jeff Award Nominations (Equity)
Best Production-Midsize Musical
Ensemble
Direction-Midsize Musical / Brenda Didier
Choreography / Christopher Chase Carter
Lighting Design-Midsize / Denise Karczewski


PORCHLIGHT REVISITS

1776

November 14 – 15, 2018 at Ruth Page Center for the Arts

Music and Lyrics by Sherman Edwards

Book by Peter Stone

Direction by Michael Weber

Music Direction by Jeremy Ramey

Musical Staging by Michelle Lauto

 

Can-Can

March 6 – 7, 2019 at Ruth Page Center for the Arts

Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter

Book by Abe Burrows

Direction by Adrian Abel Azevedo

Music Direction by Linda Madonia

Choreography by Shanna VanDerwerker

 

Minnie’s Boys

May 22 – 23, 2019 at Ruth Page Center for the Arts

Book by Arthur Marx and Robert Fisher

Music by Larry Grossman

Lyrics by Hal Hackady

Direction and Choreography by Christopher Pazdernik

Music Direction by Christie Chile Twillie


NEW FACES SING BROADWAY

 

New Faces Sing Broadway: 1964

November 19, 2018 at Skokie Theatre
November 20, 2018 at Arts Club of Chicago

Direction by Keely Vasquez
Music Direction by David Fiorello
Hosted by Paul Lisnek

 

New Faces Sing Broadway: 1941

February 26, 2019 at Evanston SPACE
February 27, 2019 at Arts Club of Chicago

Direction by Johanna McKenzie Miller
Music Direction by David Fiorello
Hosted by Matt Crowle

 

New Faces Sing Broadway: NOW

April 29, 2019 at Evanston SPACE
April 30, 2019 at Arts Club of Chicago

Direction by Christopher Pazdernik
Music Direction by David Fiorello
Hosted by Lorenzo Rush Jr.

MAINSTAGE

Billy Elliot the Musical

October 6 – December 31, 2017 at Ruth Page Center for the Arts

Music by Elton John

Originally Directed by Stephen Daldry

Book and Lyrics by Lee Hall

Direction and Choreography by Brenda Didier

Associate Choreography by Craig V. Miller

Music Direction by Linda Madonia

“The Porchlight Music Theatre production of “Billy Elliot,” through which I sat Sunday night with misty eyes, is to a great extent what I always hoped this piece would become in Chicago: not some massively budgeted musical with dazzling performances but kind, honest, authentically working-class, affordable, of the community. And real…I’m sure I’ll see ‘Billy Elliot’ again, although my long journey with this show feels complete now. Here it is, one more time, affordably priced but soul intact, ideal for families, bursting with veracity and heart, open for business in the city for which it was made.” -Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune

Jeff Award Nominations (Equity)
Performer in a Supporting Role-Musical / Shanesia Davis
Performer in a Supporting Role-Musical / Sean Fortunato
Lighting Design-Midsize / Denise Karczewski


Merrily We Roll Along

January 26 – March 17, 2018 at Ruth Page Center for the Arts

Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

Book by George Furth

Based on the play by George S. Kaufman

Direction by Michael Weber

Music Direction by Aaron Benham

Associate Direction and Musical Staging by Christopher Pazdernik

“If you plan to see just one musical this winter – ‘Merrily We Roll Along’ is the one to choose.” -Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times

Jeff Award Nominations (Equity)
Performer in a Principal Role-Musical / Matt Crowle
Projection Design-Midsize / Anthony Churchill
Costume Design-Midsize / Bill Morey


Memphis

April 19 – June 16, 2018 at Ruth Page Center for the Arts

Music and Lyrics by David Bryan

Book and Lyrics by Joe DiPietro

Direction by Daryl Brooks

Co-Choreography and Assistant Direction by Chris Carter

Music Direction by Jermaine Hill

Assistant Choreography by Reneisha Jenkins

“The new Porchlight production of the show… is nothing short of phenomenal and gives it a whole new life. A transformative evening in the theater, it features…a large, fiercely talented cast that brings an electric energy to the storytelling, which also includes a mixed-race love affair.” -Hedy Weiss, WTTW

Jeff Award Nominations (Equity)
Best Production-Midsize Musical
Direction-Midsize Musical / Daryl Brooks
Musical Direction-Midize / Jermaine Hill
Choreography / Christopher Chase Carter
Performer in a Principal Role-Musical / Liam Quealy
Costume Design-Midsize / Bill Morey

Black Theater Alliance Awards & Nominations
Direction / Daryl Brooks (award winner)
Musical Direction / Jermaine Hill (award winner)
Choreography / Christopher Chase Carter (award winner)
Featured Actor in a Musical / James Earl Jones II
Featured Actor in a Musical / Lorenzo Rush, Jr. (award winner)
Featured Actress in a Musical / Aeriel Williams (award winner)


PORCHLIGHT REVISITS

 

Woman Of The Year

November 14 – 16, 2017 at Ruth Page Center for the Arts

Book by Peter Stone 

Music & Lyrics by John Kander and Fred Ebb

Direction by Michael Weber

Music Direction by David Fiorello

Choreography by Florence Walker-Harris

 

They’re Playing Our Song

March 6 – 8, 2018 at Ruth Page Center for the Arts

Lyrics by ‎Carole Bayer Sager

Music by ‎Marvin Hamlisch

Book by ‎Neil Simon

Direction and Choreography by Christopher Chase Carter

Music Direction by Andra Velis Simon

Assistant Direction by Adrian Abel Azevedo

 

Do Re Mi

May 22 – 24, 2018 at Ruth Page Center for the Arts

Music by ‎Jule Styne

Book by ‎Garson Kanin

Lyrics‎ by‎ Betty Comden‎ and ‎Adolph Green

Direction and Choreography by Christopher Pazdernik

Music Direction by David Fiorello

Associate Choreography by Jenna Schoppe


NEW FACES SING BROADWAY

 

New Faces Sing Broadway: 1939

October 23, 2017 at Skokie Theatre
October 24, 2017 at Uptown Underground

Direction by Keely Vasquez
Music Direction by David Fiorello
Hosted by Rob Lindley

 

New Faces Sing Broadway: 1959

February 26, 2018 at Skokie Theatre
February 27, 2018 at Arts Club of Chicago

Direction by Adrian Abel Azevedo
Music Direction by David Fiorello
Hosted by Gene Weygandt

 

New Faces Sing Broadway: 1975

June 5, 2018 at Skokie Theatre
June 6, 2018 at Arts Club of Chicago

Direction by Christopher Pazdernik
Music Direction by David Fiorello
Hosted by Donica Lynn

MAINSTAGE

In The Heights

September 9 – December 31, 2016 at Stage 773

Music and Lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda

Book by Quiara Alegría Hudes

Direction and Co-Choreography by Brenda Didier

Co-Choreography by Christopher Chase Carter

Music Direction by Diana Lawrence

“Porchlight Music Theatre’s production of “In the Heights” is such an overwhelming experience on every level — in the brilliance and endearing warmth of its cast, the passion behind its storytelling, the piercing truth and mastery of its direction, the thrill of its explosive dancing, the magic of its mix of voices, the detail of its design and the instant connection it forges with its audience — that it is difficult to know where to begin.” Highly recommended. -Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times

Jeff Award Nominations (Equity)
Best Production-Midsize Musical
Costume Design-Midsize / Kate Setzer Kamphausen
Scenic Design-Midsize / Greg Pinsoneault


Chicago Premiere

End of The Rainbow

November 4 – December 9, 2016 at Stage 773

Written by Peter Quilter

Direction by Michael Weber

Music Direction by Jon Steinhagen

“Garland is here performed by Angela Ingersoll. It is a simply magnificent portrayal, especially vocally, which is really what matters the most. It will, I think, be enough to make this show a huge hit as we go into the holiday season and, by rights, it should transform Ingersoll’s career in this town.” 3.5 out of 4 stars. -Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune

Jeff Awards & Nominations (Equity)
Best Production-Play
Actress in a Principal Role-Play / Angela Ingersoll (award winner)
Scenic Design-Midsize / Christopher Rhoton
Costume Design-Midsize / Bill Morey


Chicago Premiere

The Scottsboro Boys

February 3 – March 12, 2017 at Stage 773

Music & Lyrics by John Kander & Fred Ebb

Book by David Thompson

Direction by Samuel G. Roberson, Jr.

Choreography by Florence Walker-Harris

Associate Choreography by Breon Arzell

Music Direction by Doug Peck

“… it would not be an exaggeration to say that the entire cast of “The Scottsboro Boys” is brilliant, and together with the vivid direction of Samuel G. Roberson Jr., galvanic choreography by Florence Walker-Harris, fine music direction by Doug Peck, and splendid design (by Andrei Onegin, Richard Norwood and Samantha Jones), this show easily could hold its own alongside ‘Hamilton.’” Highly Recommended. -Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times

Jeff Awards & Nominations (Equity)
Best Production-Midsize Musical (award winner)
Ensemble

Black Theater Alliance Awards & Nominations
Ensemble (award winner)
Director of a Musical / Samuel G. Roberson ((award winner; posthumously)
Featured Actor in a Musical / James Earl Jones
Choreography / Breon Arzell and Florence Walker-Harris (award winners)
Costume Design / Samantha Jones (award winner)


Marry Me a Little

April 14 – May 21, 2017 at Stage 773

Music & Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

Conceived by Craig Lucas and Norman René

Direction by Jess McLeod

Music Direction by Austin Cook

“Cook has a splendid voice, can play (the) piano with an ebullient flare and he even looks like his man, in his younger years, of course…A big personality in her own right, and an actress who has developed a whole new complexity, Thomas more than holds her own in her little apartment…You won’t regret securing a place on the expedition.” 3.5 out of 4 stars. -Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune

Jeff Awards & Nominations (Equity)
Best Production-Revue
Music Direction / Austin Cook
Actor-Revue / Austin Cook (award winner)
Actress-Revue / Bethany Thomas


PORCHLIGHT REVISITS

 

Image result for porchlight the rinkThe Rink

October 4 – 6, 2016 at Stage 773

Music‎ by‎ John Kander

Book‎ by ‎Terrence McNally

Lyrics‎ by ‎Fred Ebb

Direction and Choreography by Christopher Pazdernik

Music Direction by Ryan Brewster

 

 

Image result for porchlight little meLittle Me

February 28 – March 2, 2017 at Stage 773

Music‎ by ‎Cy Coleman

Book‎ by ‎Neil Simon

Lyrics‎ by ‎Carolyn Leigh

Direction by Michael Weber

Music Direction by Linda Madonia

Choreography by Craig V. Miller

 

On A Clear Day You Can See Forever

May 9 – 11, 2017 at Stage 773

Book and Lyrics‎ by ‎Alan Jay Lerner

Music by ‎Burton Lane

Direction by Lili-Anne Brown

Music Direction by Andra Velis Simon


NEW FACES SING BROADWAY

 

New Faces Sing Broadway: 1985

November 28, 2016 at Skokie Theatre
November 29, 2016 at Uptown Underground

Direction by Christopher Pazdernik
Music Direction by David Fiorello
Hosted by Mark David Kaplan

 

 

New Faces Sing Broadway: 2001

January 23, 2017 at Skokie Theatre
January 24, 2017  at Uptown Underground

Direction by Adrian Abel Azevedo and Michael Weber
Music Direction by David Fiorello
Hosted by Keely Vasquez

 

 

New Faces Sing Broadway: 1969

March 14, 2017 at Skokie Theatre
March 15, 2017  at Uptown Underground

Direction by Adrian Abel Azevedo and Michael Weber
Music Direction by David Fiorello
Hosted by E. Faye Butler

MAINSTAGE

Side Show

September 11 – October 18, 2015 at Stage 773

Book and Lyrics by Bill Russell

Music by Harry Krieger

Direction by Michael Weber

Music Direction by Aaron Benham

Choreography by Andrew Waters

“Michael Weber’s new Chicago production for the Porchlight Music Theatre is more successful than the show I saw on Broadway.” 3 out of 4 stars. -Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune

Jeff Award Nominations (Equity)
Best Production-Musical
Costume Design / Bill Morey
Actor in a Supporting Role-Musical / Evan Tyrone Martin


Ain’t Misbehavin’

November 14 – December 20, 2015

Music by Thomas ‘Fats’ Waller

Book by Murray Horwitz and Richard Matlby, Jr

Direction and Choreography by Brenda Didier

Music Direction by Austin Cook

“…Thanks to a group of actors willing to sell it, flaunt it, shake it, jiggle it or whatever is required to offer up a good time, those moments are deliciously entertaining here.” -Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune


Far From Heaven

February 5 – March 13, 2016 at Stage 773

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

“The story is retold in a sparkling, uncompromisingly fresh way. Director Rob Lindley’s cast is naked and honest in their joy, confusion, discovery and pain.” -NewCity

Jeff Award Nominations (Equity)
Costume Design / Bill Morey
Actor in a Supporting Role-Musical / Evan Tyrone Martin


Dreamgirls

April 8 – May 15, 2016 at Stage 773

Music by Harry Krieger

Book and Lyrics by Tom Eyen

Direction and Choreography by Brenda Didier

Music Direction by Doug Peck

“The combination of rocket-force voices, eye-popping acrobatic dance moves, full-force storytelling and feverish emotional chemistry — from first beat to last — is thrilling. And at Tuesday’s opening it all generated a sustained (and richly deserved) standing ovation the likes of which I haven’t seen in a Chicago theater in a very long time.” -Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times

Jeff Awards & Nominations (Equity)
Best Production-Musical (award winner)
Direction-Musical / Brenda Didier
Costume Design / Bill Morey (award winner)
Actor in a Supporting Role / Evan Tyrone Martin
Actress in a Principal Role-Musical / Donica Lynn (award winner)
Actor in a Supporting Role-Musical / Eric Lewis (award winner)

Black Theatre Alliance Awards & Nominations
Actress in a Musical / Donica Lynn (award winner)
Actor in a Musical / Eric Lewis
Actor in a Musical / Evan Tyrone Martin
Actress in a Musical / Candace C. Edwards


PORCHLIGHT REVISITS

 

Image result for porchlight babes in armsBabes in Arms

October 6-8 at Stage 773

Music by Richard Rodgers

Lyrics by Lorenz Hart 

Book by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart

Direction by Jess McLeod

Music Direction by Alex Newkirk

Musical Staging by James Beaudry

 

Image result for porchlight applauseApplause

March 1-3 at Stage 773

Music‎ by ‎Charles Strouse

Book‎ by ‎Betty Comden‎ and ‎Adolph Green

Lyrics by ‎Lee Adams

Direction and Choreography by Christopher Pazdernik

Music Direction by Nick Sula

 

 

 

Image result for porchlight chessChess

May 3-5 at Stage 773

Music‎ by Benny Andersson‎ and ‎Björn Ulvaeus

Book‎ by ‎Tim Rice‎

Lyrics‎ by ‎Tim Rice and ‎Björn Ulvaeus

Direction by Michael Weber

Music Direction by Jimmy Morehead

Choreography by Brenda Didier

 


NEW FACES SING BROADWAY

 (Debut Season)

 

New Faces Sing Broadway: 1991

November 3, 2015 at Uptown Underground

Direction by Christopher Pazdernik
Music Direction by Korey Danielson
Hosted by Meghan Murphy

 

New Faces Sing Broadway: 1972

March 22, 2016 at Uptown Underground

Direction by Christopher Pazdernik and Michael Weber
Music Direction by Nick Sula
Hosted by Heidi Kettenring

 

 

New Faces Sing Broadway: 1949

March 22, 2016 at Uptown Underground

Direction by Christopher Chase Carter and Michael Weber
Music Direction by Nick Sula
Hosted by James Earl Jones II

 

MAINSTAGE

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

October 3 – November 9, 2014 at Stage 773

Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

Book by Hugh Wheeler

Direction by Michael Weber

Music Direction by Doug Peck

Choreography by Dina DiCostanzo

“Sondheim probably cannot even imagine just how beautifully and insightfully this company deals with his work…A tale you will most certainly want to “attend.” Highly recommended. -Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times

Jeff Award Nominations (Equity)
Best Production-Musical
Costume Design / Bill Morey
Actress in a Supporting Role-Musical / Rebecca Finnegan


Chicago Premiere

Sondheim on Sondheim

February 6 – March 15, 2015 at Stage 773

Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

Conceived by James Lapine

Direction by Nick Bowling

Music Direction by Austin Cook

Choreography by Emily Rogers

“The best show in the history of Porchlight…It blew me away…I loved the show.” Four out of four stars. -Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune

Jeff Awards & Nominations (Equity)
Best Production-Revue (award winner)
Direction / Nick Bowling (award winner)
Music Direction / Austin Cook (award winner)
Projection/Video Design / Mike Tutaj
Actor or Actress in a Revue / James Earl Jones II


A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

April 17 – May 24, 2015 at Stage 773

Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

Book by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart

Direction by Michael Weber

Music Direction by Linda Madonia

Choreography by Brenda Didier

“Bill Larkin (who still lingers in memory for his Jeff Award-winning performance in “A Class Act”), is an ideal Pseudolus…And he gets plenty of competition from his fellow slave, Hysterium (Matt Crowle, whose “winsome” drag sequence is perfection)…the show’s casting is perfection from start to finish.” Highly recommended. –Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times

Jeff Awards & Nominations (Equity)
Best Production-Musical
Actor in a Supporting Role-Musical / Matthew Crowle (award winner)
Actor in a principal Role-Musical / Bill Larkin


PORCHLIGHT REVISITS

 

Image result for porchlight BELLS ARE RINGINGBells Are Ringing

October 28-29 at Stage 773

Music‎ by ‎Jule Styne

Book‎ & Lyrics by ‎Betty Comden‎ and ‎Adolph Green

Co-Direction by Michael Weber and Dina DiCostanzo

Music Direction by Linda Madonia

 

Image result for porchlight CITY OF ANGELSCity of Angels

March 3-4 at Stage 773

Lyrics by ‎David Zippel

Book by ‎Larry Gelbart

Music by ‎Cy Coleman

Direction by Christopher Pazdernik

Music Direction by Aaron Benham

 

Image result for porchlight MACK AND MABELMack and Mabel

May 12-13 at Stage 773

Music & Lyrics by ‎Jerry Herman

Book‎ by ‎Michael Stewart

Direction by Michael Weber

Music Direction by Beckie Menzie

Musical Staging by Tammy Mader

MAINSTAGE

Chicago Premiere

Double Trouble

August 31 – October 6, 2013 at Stage 773

Book, Music and Lyrics by Bob Walton and Jim Walton

Direction and Choreography by Matthew Crowle

Music Direction by Linda Madonia

“The action is paced leisurely enough for us to enjoy the Walton brothers’ screwball plot, involving-whattaya know?-a pair of likewise songwriting brothers seeking their fortunes in Hollywood, portrayed by – you guessed it! – actual singing-dancing brothers Adrian and Alexander Aguilar.” -Windy City Times

Jeff Award Nominations (Equity)
Costume Design / Alexia Rutherford


Ain’t Misbehavin’

February 1- March 9, 2014 at Stage 773

Music by Thomas ‘Fats’ Waller

Book by Murray Horwitz and Richard Matlby, Jr

Direction and Choreography by Brenda Didier

Music Direction by Jaret Landon

“There is something about this production that captures the exuberant, unstinting spirit of Waller and his era better than any other “Ain’t Misbehavin'” I’ve seen…A tad wild, wholly unpredictable, fully immersed, constantly in motion…the stakes fly high. Deliciously entertaining.” -Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune

Jeff Awards & Nominations (Equity)
Best Production-Revue (award winner)
Direction / Brenda Didier (award winner)
Artistic Specialization / Austin Cook (award winner)
Ensemble
Actor in a Revue / Donterrio Johnson
Actor in a Revue / Lorenzo Rush Jr.
Actress in a Revue / Sharriese Hamilton

Black Theater Alliance Award Nominations
Best Ensemble
Best Musical Direction / Jaret Landon
Actor in a Revue / Donterrio Johnson
Actor in a Revue / Lorenzo Rush, Jr.
Actress in Revue / Robin K. DaSilva
Actress in Revue / Sharriese Hamilton
Actress in Revue / Lina Wass


How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying

April 13 –  June 1, 2014 at Stage 773

Music and Lyrics by Frank Loesser

Book by Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock and Willie Gilbert

Direction by Rob Lindley

Music Direction by Kory Danielson

Choreography by Brenda Didier

“…Porchlight Music Theatre’s rip-roaring revival of the show is great, goofy fun, with direction by Rob Lindley that is a fully committed blend of cartoonish campiness and heart.” -Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times

Jeff Awards & Nominations (Equity)
Best Production-Musical
Choreography / Brenda Didier
Costume Design / Bill Morey (award winner)
Actor in a Supporting Role-Musical / John Keating


PORCHLIGHT REVISITS

 (Debut Season)

 

Image result for porchlight FADE OUTFade Out-Fade In

May 24th at Stage 773

Music‎ by ‎Jule Styne

Book‎ and Lyrics by ‎Betty Comden‎ and ‎Adolph Green

Direction by Michael Weber

Music Direction by Jon Steinhagen

Choreography by Dina DiCostanzo

 

 

Image result for porchlight GOLDEN BOYGolden Boy

February 26th at Stage 773

Lyrics‎ by ‎Lee Adams

Music‎ by ‎Charles Strouse

Book‎ by ‎Clifford Odets‎ and ‎William Gibson

Direction by Chuck Smith

Music Direction by Austin Cook

Choreography by Dina DiCostanzo

 

 

Image result for porchlight ANYONE CAN WHISTLEAnyone Can Whistle

September 25th at Stage 773

Book by Arthur Laurents 

Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

Direction by Christopher Pazdernik

Chicago Premiere

A Class Act

September 1 – October 7, 2012 at Theatre Wit

Music and Lyrics by Edward Kleban

Book by Linda Kline

Direction and Choreography by Stacey Flaster

Music Direction by Beckie Menzie

“…The Porchlight production is the work of many such collaborating talents, but it is Bill Larkin, the actor who plays Kleban, who makes the whole thing explode with life. Larkin gives an unforgettable performance.” -Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times

Jeff Awards & Nominations (Equity)
Best Production-Musical (award winner)
Actor in a Principal Role-Musical / Bill Larkin (award winner)
Supporting Actress-Musical / Dana Tretta


Chicago Premiere

The Gifts of the Magi

November 17 – December 23, 2012 at Stage 773

Music by Mark St. Germain

Lyrics by Randy Courts

Direction by Marc Lococco

Music Direction by Elizabeth Doran

Choreography by Brenda Didier

“…the show, directed by Mark E. Lococo and choreographed by Brenda Didier, has a lovely, character-defining score that is being beautifully sung here. Elizabeth Doran’s musical direction is impeccable, as is her lush piano accompaniment, with Christina Foster and Brent Roman on percussion.” -Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times


Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill

February 2 – March 10, 2013 at Stage 773

By Lanie Robertson

Direction by Rob Lindley

Music Direction by Jaret Landon

“…It takes barely a bar or two before the spell has been cast. The unique timbre, intonation, phrasing, color and, most crucially, the abiding anguish that marked Holiday’s singing are all there. Yet Rogers is no mimic. Rather, she has somehow managed to crawl right into Holiday’s psyche and reactivate the voice in a way that should dazzle even the most fervent devotees.” -Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times

Jeff Awards & Nominations (Equity)
Best Production-Musical
Music Direction / Jaret Landon
Solo Performance / Alexis J. Rogers (award winner)

Black Theater Alliance Awards & Nominations
Music Direction / Jaret Landon
Actress in a Revue / Alexis J. Rogers (award winner)


Pal Joey

April 20 – May 26, 2013  at Stage 773
Music by Richard Rodgers

Lyrics by Lorenz Hart

Book by John O’Hara

Direction by Michael Weber

Music Direction by Doug Peck

Choreography by Brenda Didier

“…Vera Simpson falls in love with the titular Joey Evans, a handsome if somewhat callow singer-dancer-lover, here played by the young, vocally adroit and nicely eroticized Adrian Aguilar…And McMonagle offers up a take at once blousy, bluesy and blistering.” -Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune

Jeff Awards & Nominations (Equity)
Best Production-Musical
Direction / Michael Weber
Choreography / Brenda Didier
Costume Design / Bill Morey
Actress in a Principal Role-Musical / Susie McMonagle
Cameo Performance / Callie Johnson (award winner)

Putting it Together

September 2 – October 16, 2011 at Theatre Wit

Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

Direction and Musical Staging by Brenda Didier

Music Direction by Austin Cook

“…Putting It Together, the searing Stephen Sondheim revue, is the first show shot out of the post-Labor Day cannon, and it is a total triumph. With its sophisticated, emotionally charged content, its display of superb all-around musicianship, its ideal cast, its exceptional conceptual clarity, and its elegant design, this production instantly sets the bar for the 2011-2012 theater season at a high level.” Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times

Jeff Award Nominations (Equity)
Best Production-Revue
Director-Revue / Brenda Didier
Music Direction / Austin Cook
Actor or Actress in a Revue / Adam Pelty
Actor or Actress in a Revue / McKinley Carter


Chicago Premiere

A Catered Affair

February 17- April 1, 2012 at Stage 773

Music and Lyrics by John Bucchino

Book by Harvey Fierstein

Direction by Nick Bowling

Music Direction by Doug Peck

“…Delicate instrumental textures emphasize the emotional fragility of people who conceal their feelings beneath tough exteriors. Audiences seeking an unusual, well-crafted musical drama performed by actors who disappear into their roles rather than dominate them will find much to appreciate here.”Chicago Reader

Jeff Award Nominations (Equity)
Best Production-Musical
Actress in a Principal Role-Musical / Rebecca Finnegan


tick, tick…BOOM!
April 27 – June 10, 2012 at Stage 773

Music and Lyrics by Jonathan Larson

Book by Jonathan Larson and David Auburn

Direction by Adam Pelty

Music Direction by Diana Lawrence

“…Originally performed by Larson as a solo work, it was revised after his death by playwright David Auburn as a 90-minute work for three actors. It is now receiving an altogether bravura revival by Chicago’s Porchlight Music Theatre, with turbo-charged direction and choreography by Adam Pelty (an accomplished Chicago-bred performer with Broadway credits), terrific pit band-meets-rock band musical direction by Diana Lawrence, and a stellar cast.” –Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times

Jeff Award Nominations (Equity)
Actor in a Principal Role-Musical / Adrian Aguilar

Sunday in the Park with George

September 10 – October 31, 2010 at Stage 773

Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

Book by James Lapine

Direction by L. Walter Stearns

Music Direction by Eugene Dizon

“The cast bring forthright simplicity to their portrayals and strong voices to Sondheim’s swirling, complex score.” -Albert Williams, Chicago Reader

Jeff Award Nominations (Equity)
Costume Design / Mina Hyun-Ok Hong


Miracle on 34th Street

November 19 – January 2 at Stage 773

Adapted by Patricia DiBenedetto Snyder, Will Severin and John Vreeke

Story by Valentine Davies

Screenplay by George Seaton

Direction by Christopher Pazdernik

Music Direction by Eugene Dizon

“Porchlight Music Theatre has created a big show with a big cast and lots of good cheer.  I defy anyone outside of the biggest Scrooges not to leave the theater feeling the holiday spirit.” -Carole Kuhrt Brewer, Show Me Chicago


Chicago/Midwest Premiere

Meet John Doe

March 4 – April 17 at Stage 773

Based on the film by Frank Capra

Music, Co-Writing and Orchestrations by Andrew Gerle

Co-Writing and Lyrics by Eddie Sugarman

Direction and Choreography by James Beaudry

Music Direction by Eugene Dizon

The score is crafty, affecting, and the best thing about this 2006 musical based on Frank Capra’s 1941 film…They’re cleverly, sometimes unconventionally structured, yet instantly familiar. And, combined with Eddie Sugarman’s taut, dramatically astute lyrics, they help advance the story as effectively as anything ever written for the American musical stage.” -Justin Hayford, Chicago Reader

Jeff Award Nominations (Equity)
Actress in a Principal Role-Musical / Elizabeth Lanza


The King and I

April 22 – June 5 at Stage 773

Music by Richard Rodgers

Lyrics and Book by Oscar Hammerstein II

Based on “Anna and the King” by Margaret Landon

Direction by L. Walter Stearns

Music Direction by Eugene Dizon

L. Walter Stearns’ farewell production for  Porchlight Music Theatre as artistic director is a wonderful and innovative production of the Tony winning 1951 musical.” -Tom Williams, Chicago Critic

Jeff Awards & Nominations (Equity)
Best Production-Musical
Costume Design / Bill Morey (award winner)
Actress in a Principal Role-Musical / Brianna Borger
Actress in a Supporting Role-Musical / Kate Garassino

The Fantasticks

September 11 – November 15, 2009 at Theatre Building Chicago

Book and Lyrics by Tom Jones

Music by Harvey Schmidt

Based on “Les Romanesques” by Edmond Rostand

Direction by Sean Kelly

Music Direction by Eugene Dizon

Choreography by Andrew Waters

“In Porchlight Music Theatre’s superb rendition, director Sean Kelly and choreographer Andrew Waters (emphasize) the show’s quirky humor, wry wisdom, and melancholy undertones. The fine cast includes Sean Effinger-Dean and Emma Rosenthal as the foolish lovers and Ryan Lanning and Dan Ferretti as their fathers, who feign a feud in order to bring the couple together. As the enigmatic narrator called El Gallo, Jeff Parker deftly balances shy compassion and detached candor, and William Raffeld and Rus Rainear are hilarious as a team of traveling Shakespearean hams. Under Eugene Dizon’s musical direction, the beautifully crafted light-jazz score is by turns delicate and driving. -Albert Williams, Chicago Reader


Macabaret

October 22 – November 1, 2009 at Theatre Building Chicago

Music by Rob Hartmann

Lyrics by Scott Keys

Direction by L. Walter Stearns

Music Direction by Eugene Dizon

“…Rob Hartmann and Scott Keys have written a selection of mostly humorous, always clever spooky show tunes. The three or four more serious numbers truly are haunting. This is songwriting at its tightest and most clever.” Highly Recommended. -J. Scott Hill, Chicago Stage Review


Miracle on 34th Street

November 20, 2009 – January 3, 2010 at Theatre Building Chicago

Adapted by Patricia DiBenedetto Snyder, Will Severin and John Vreeke

Story by Valentine Davies

Screenplay by George Seaton

Direction by L. Walter Stearns

Music Direction by Eugene Dizon

“The way that director L. Walter Stearns has staged this new production means that the audience remains actively involved from beginning to end. We are the parade audience, and we are excited when Santa comes out to us. Some of the kids that sit on Santa’s lap and chat with him are children from the audience mixed in with actors, and it’s a tribute to both that there is so little difference. But perhaps the best touch of all is the way that Santa, out of costume, disappears after his court “miracle”—it’s Christmas Eve, after all—and is not seen at all in subsequent scenes, a great touch. This gives his curtain call in full costume greater impact and the show spills over into real life by having Santa take his throne and audience members leave greeting him, many—including adults—actually sitting on his lap and chatting away or having a picture taken.” -Dennis Polkow, NewCity 


Into the Woods

April 9 – May 30, 2010 at Theatre Building Chicago

Book by James Lapine

Music & Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

Direction by L. Walter Stearns

Music Direction by Eugene Dizon

Porchlight has a long history with “Woods,” having staged it in 2001 and its success being a key factor in its decision to switch to an Equity theater after having already made the switch to concentrating on musicals…The stage has been effectively transformed to a woods-like ambience complete with carefully lit trees that really are reminiscent of a dense forest complete with a large moon center stage that alternates as a lunar backdrop and also for cleverly projected effects…Down to the smallest role, the cast is magnificent; each authentically inhabits this fantastic world and is not afraid to show us what they are thinking and feeling while allowing us—not them—to find their observations funny.” -Dennis Polkow, NewCity 

Jeff Award Nominations (Equity)
Costume Design / William J. Morey

Candide

September 13 – November 2, 2008 at Theatre Building Chicago

Book by Hugh Wheeler

Lyrics by John Latouche, Richard Wilbur and Stephen Sondheim

Music by Leonard Bernstein

Based on the book by Voltaire

Direction by L. Walter Stearns

Music Direction by Eugene Dizon

“…Kristen Freilich (hilarious as the “easily assimilated” Old Lady), Sarah Hayes (as Paquette, the naughty maid) and Jeremy Rill (as Cunegonde’s narcissistic brother) are standouts. But the entire ensemble is superb, and when their voices join in Bernstein’s glorious, eclectic, supremely challenging score, they give you hope.” Highly Recommended. -Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times

Jeff Award Nominations (Equity)
Music Direction / Eugene Dizon
Costume Design / Bill Morey


Pacific Overtures

March 14 – May 3, 2009 at Theatre Building Chicago

Book by John Weidman

Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

Additional Material by Hugh Wheeler

Direction by L. Walter Stearns

Music Direction by Eugene Dizon

“…this director does approach this piece with copious amounts of heart and enthusiasm (not to mention the services of a lively and chirpy five-piece orchestra under the very capable Eugene Dizon). The result is a show that injects some arresting passion into a typically cool piece, often in places those who’ve seen this piece a few times don’t expect. Chicago’s many Sondheim fans should roll along, in a gentle mood.” -Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune


Once On This Island

May 9 – June 28, 2009 at Theatre Building Chicago

Book and Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens

Music by Stephen Flaherty

Based on “My Love, My Love” by Rosa Guy

Direction by Mark Lococo

Music Direction by Eugene Dizon

Kudos to Porchlight Music Theatre for re-imagining Aherns & Flaherty’s chamber reggae/calypso operetta moving it from an island to an immigrant community in a major US city…Bethany Thomas, Jayson Brooks,  Luis herrera and Austin Moore led the outstanding ensemble with their rich harmonies and spirited dancing. Once On This Island is a gem of a musical–so charming and so lovely to watch and listen to. You’ll be captivated by this wonderful musical love story.” -Tom Williams, Chicago Critic

Jeff Award Nominations (Equity)
Best Production-Musical
Choreography / Brenda Didier

Black Theater Alliance Awards & Nominations
Best Leading Actress In A Play-Musical or Revue / Melanie Brezill (award winner)
Best Featured Actor-Musical / Sean Walton

Phantom

September 14 – November 11 at Theatre Building Chicago

Music and Lyrics by Maury Yeston

Book by Arthur Kopit

Based on the novel “The Phantom of the Opera” by Gaston Leroux

Direction by L. Walter Stearns

Music Direction by Eugene Dizon

“The Porchlight production is the latest collaboration between director L. Walter Stearns and his impeccable musical director, Eugene Dizon (who has overseen a truly glorious blend of voices, with Michael Frain leading the backstage musicians). And it arrives immediately after their hugely impressive work on ‘Ragtime’… it puts some impressive talents in the spotlight — performers with both semi-operatic voices and acting chops. –Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times


A Wonderful Life

November 17 – December 30 at Theatre Building Chicago

Book and Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick

Music by Joe Raposo

Adapted from the Frank Capra film

Direction by Rob Lindley

Choreography by Laura Scheinbaum

Music Direction by Benjamin Bentler

“…Porchlight Music Theatre, is now offering ( for the second year), a musical version of the Frank Capra classic movie “A Wonderful Life” for the holidays. This version is a little better than last year in the the ensemble is much stronger and several of the character roles are standouts.” -Al Bresloff, Epoch Times


Nine

April 4 – May 18, 2008 at Theatre Building Chicago

Book by Arthur Kopit

Music and Lyrics by Maury Yeston

Adaptation from the Italian by Mario Fratti

Direction by L. Walter Stearns

Music Direction by Eugene Dizon

“…The production, directed by L. Walter Stearns, with expert music direction by Eugene Dizon, lavish choreography by Brenda Didier and inspired design work, is among the company’s most sophisticated efforts.” -Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times

Jeff Awards & Nominations (Equity)
Best Production-Musical
Ensemble
Music Direction / Eugene Dizon
Costume Design / Bill Morey (award winner)
Actor in a Principal Role-Musical / Jeff Parker

After Dark Award for Outstanding Season

A Wonderful Life

November 11 – December 31, 2006 at Theatre Building Chicago

Book and Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick

Music by Joe Raposo

Adapted from the Frank Capra film

Direction by L. Walter Stearns

Music Direction by Eugene Dizon

“…Just when you think you know everything there is to know about a modern classic, you take your seat for a production like “A Wonderful Life” — Sheldon Harnick and Joe Raposo’s musical version of the 1946 Frank Capra film “It’s a Wonderful Life” — and begin to see and hear a whole lot more. Porchlight Music Theatre’s charming, insightful take on the show, now at the Theatre Building, is a perfect example of this.” -Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times


Assassins

January 20 – March 18, 2007 at Theatre Building Chicago

Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

Book by John Weidman

Direction by Michael Weber

Music Direction by Doug Peck

Choreography by Tammy Mader

“…Taking into consideration the stellar cast, great singing and a high production value, the biggest star of Porchlight Theatre’s “Assassins” is the director, Michael Weber. His first gig with Porchlight, Weber’s staging is highly innovative, always searching (and finding) a new perspective on the material; placing his actors on the stage in picturesque manner (with the help of choreographer Tammy Mader); finding the obscure humor; dramatically squeezing out every drop of compassion or pathos in the characters.” -Scotty Zacher, Gay Chicago Magazine

Jeff Awards & Nominations (Equity)
Best Production-Musical
Direction-Musical / Michael Weber
Actress in a Supporting Role-Musical / Sara R. Sevigny (award winner)


World Premiere 

The Teapot Scandals

January 27 – March 18, 2007 at Theatre Building Chicago

Book, Music and Lyrics by Jon Steinhagen

Direction by Steve Scott

Music Direction by Nick Sula

“…Steinhagen’s musical pastiches are full of verve — whether in the form of a barbershop quartet, a softshoe, a blues riff, a ballad or a novelty number. And the ideally cast actors (all dressed up in Roaring ’20s finery by Carol J. Blanchard) have a great time with the material.” -Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times

Jeff Award Nominations (Equity)
New Work-Musical / Jon Steinhagen

After Dark Awards
Outstanding Music and Lyrics / Jon Steinhagen


Ragtime

March 31 – June 8, 2007 at Theatre Building Chicago
June 9 – August 26, 2007 transfer to the Chicago’s Apollo Theater

Lyrics by Lynn Aherns

Music by Stephen Flaherty

Book by Terrence McNally

Direction by L. Walter Stearns

Music Direction by Eugene Dizon

“After the most successful, sold-out run in Theatre Building Chicago’s history, Porchlight Music Theatre’s epic production of the mega-hit musical “Ragtime” has effortlessly moved over to the larger Apollo Theatre for an open run…Chicagoan Frank Galati’s staging was so tied to the original show that few have been able to make ‘Ragtime’ work without it, though happily, Porchlight Music Theatre’s artistic director L. Walter Stearns succeeds where so many others have failed by having enough faith in the work itself to let it speak for itself and dictate what happens on stage. This is the largest production that Porchlight has mounted and all of the stops have been pulled out, from first-class leads who can deliver the goods on the show’s eleven o’clock numbers down to singing and dancing children.” -Dennis Polkow, NewCity

Jeff Awards & Nominations (Equity)
Best Production-Musical
Direction-Musical / L. Walter Stearns (award winner)
Music Direction / Eugene Dizon (award winner)
Choreography / Brenda Didier
Actor in a Supporting Role-Musical / Aaron Graham (award winner)
Actor in a Principal Role-Musical / Jayson Brooks
Actress in a Principal Role-Musical / Charissa Armon

Black Theater Alliance Award Nominations
Best Leading Actor-Musical / Jayson Brooks
Best Featured Actress-Musical / Karla Brooks

After Dark Awards
Outstanding Ensemble
Outstanding Director – L. Walter Stearns
Outstanding Choreography – Brenda Didier
Outstanding Musical Direction – Eugene Dizon
Outstanding Sound Design – Kevin Carney
Outstanding Performance – Charissa Armon

Gypsy

September 9 – November 6, 2005 at Theatre Building Chicago

Music by Jule Styne

Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

Book by Arthur Laurents

Direction by L. Walter Stearns

Music Direction by Eugene Dizon

“A dynamic little show, chock-full of invention and imagination and guts…Porchlight is getting bigger as well as better with every passing year.-Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune

Jeff Award Nominations (Equity)
Actress in a Principal Role-Musical / Rebecca Finnegan

After Dark Awards
Outstanding Choreography / Kevin Bellie
Outstanding Costumes / Bill Morey
Outstanding Performance / Rebecca Finnegan


Macabaret

September 10 – October 30, 2005 at Theatre Building Chicago

Book, Music & Lyrics by Rob Hartmann and Scott Keys

Direction by Matthew Gunnels

Music Direction by Steve Sivak

Choreography by Brenda Didier

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

After Dark Awards
Outstanding Musical Direction / Steve Sivak 


The Secret Garden

April 1 – May 28, 2006 at Theatre Building Chicago
June 14 – 18, 2006 revival at Theatre on the Lake

Book & Lyrics by Marsha Norman

Music by Lucy Simon

Direction by L. Walter Stearns

Music Direction by Eugene Dizon

“…this Porchlight Music Theatre revival is exceptionally strong. It’s not only marked by several honest and moving performances but uncommonly well sung. And with ticket prices topping out at half of what you pay downtown, it is an excellent Easter choice for family entertainment. Especially for tween girls.” Highly Recommended. -Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune

Jeff Award Nominations (Equity)
Actor in a Principal Role-Musical / Michael Aaron Lindner
Actress in a Supporting Role-Musical / Angela Ingersoll

After Dark Awards
Outstanding Production

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

September 18 – November 7, 2004 at Theatre Building Chicago

Music & Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

Book by Hugh Wheeler

Direction by L. Walter Stearns

Music Direction by Eugene Dizon

“Porchlight deserves national attention.” -Chris Jones, Variety Magazine

Jeff Awards & Nominations (Equity)
Best Production-Musical
Director-Musical / L. Walter Stearns
Actor in a Principal Role-Musical / Aaron Lindner (award winner)
Actress in a Principal Role-Musical / Rebecca Finnegan (award winner)
Actor in a Supporting Role-Musical / Peter Pohlhammer (award winner)
Music Direction / Eugene Dizon (award winner)

After Dark Awards
Outstanding Musical Direction / Eugene Dizon
Outstanding Wig and Makeup Design – Betsy McKnight
Outstanding Performance – Rebecca Finnegan


Closer Than Ever

January 22 – March 13, 2005 at Theatre Building Chicago

Music by David Shire

Lyrics by Richard Maltby Jr.

Direction by Nick Bowling

Music Direction by Eugene Dizon

“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 Magazine

Jeff Awards & Nominations (Equity)
Direction-Musical / Nick Bowling
Music Direction / Eugene Dizon
Ensemble
Actress in a Revue / Rebecca Finnegan (award winner)

After Dark Awards
Outstanding Ensemble
Outstanding Direction / Nick Bowling


FINN FEST: The Nation’s First-Ever Festival Dedicated to the Work of William Finn

In Trousers

Book, Music & Lyrics by William Finn

Direction by Matthew Gunnels

Music Direction by Jon Steinhagen

Falsettos

Music and Lyrics by William Finn

Book by William Finn and James Lapine

Direction by Steve Scott

Music Direction by Eugene Dizon

A New Brain

Music and Lyrics by William Finn

Book by William Finn and James Lapine

Direction by L. Walter Stearns

Music Direction by Jim Collins 

Chicago Premiere

Elegies: A Song Cycle

March 19 – May 22 at Theatre Building Chicago

Music and Lyrics by William Finn

Direction by L. Walter Stearns

Music Direction by Eugene Dizon

“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

Cabaret

October 11 – December 7, 2003 at Theatre Building Chicago

Music and Lyrics by John Kander and Fred Ebb

Book by Joe Masteroff

Direction by L. Walter Stearns

Music Direction by Eugene Dizon

“Porchlight is a hugely ambitious operation.” -Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times


Amadeus

March 13 – May 9, 2004 at Theatre Building Chicago

By Peter Shaffer

Direction by L. Walter Stearns

Music Direction by Eugene Dizon

“Beautifully designed…fine live musicians…elegant, classy staging…impressively sized, full-throated chorus.” -Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune

Jeff Awards & Nominations (Non-Equity)
Music Direction / Eugene Dizon (award winner)
Costume Design / Carol J. Blanchard (award winner)
Actor in a Principal Role-Play / Brendan DeMay

Promises, Promises

August 2002 preview at Theatre on the Lake 
September 6 – November 3, 2002 at The Theatre Building
November 7-December 8, 2002 at Metropolis Centre for the Performing Arts (Arlington Heights)

Music by Burt Bacharach

Lyrics by Hal David

Book by Neil Simon

Direction by L. Walter Stearns

Music Direction by Eugene Dizon

“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

After Dark Awards
Outstanding Performance / Mark E. Smith


Company

Mar 7 – May 4, 2003 at Theatre Building Chicago
June 2003 remount at Theatre on the Lake

Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

Book by George Furth

Direction by L. Walter Stearns

Music Direction by Eugene Dizon

“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

Jeff Awards & Nominations (Non-Equity)
Best Production-Musical
Direction-Musical / L. Walter Stearns
Music Direction / Eugene Dizon (award winner)
Choreography / Katrina Williams Brunner (award winner)
Actor in a Principal Role-Musical or Revue / Charlie Clark (award winner)
Actress in a Supporting Role-Musical or Revue / Rebecca Finnegan (award winner)

A Little Night Music

October 21 – December 16, 2001 at Theatre Building Chicago

Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

Book by Hugh Wheeler

Direction by L. Walter Stearns

Musical Direction by 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

Jeff Award Nominations (Non-Equity)
Music Direction / Eugene Dizon


Chicago Premiere

Children of Eden

March 24 – May 12, 2002 at Theatre Building Chicago

Music and Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz

Book by John Caird

Direction by Wm. Eric Bramlett 

Music Direction by Eugene Dizon

“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


Chicago Premiere

A New Brain

May 26 – June 30, 2002 at The Storefront Theatre

Music and Lyrics by William Finn

Book by William Finn and James Lapine

Direction by L. Walter Stearns

Music Direction by Eugene Dizon

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

Jeff Awards & Nominations (Non-Equity)
Best Production-Musical
Direction -Musical / L. Walter Stearns
Actor in a Supporting Role-Musical / Todd Yearton
Actress in a Supporting Role-Musical / Megan Van De Hey
Actress in a Supporting Role-Musical or Revue / Suzanne Genz (award winner)
Choreography / Kevin Bellie

After Dark Awards
Outstanding Musical Direction / Eugene Dizon
Outstanding Costumes / Bill Morey
Outstanding Performance / Suzanne Genz

Into the Woods

November 25, 2000 – January 13, 2001 at The Athenaeum Theatre
August 2001 revival at Theatre on the Lake

Music & Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

Book by James Lapine

Direction by L. Walter Stearns

Music Direction by Eugene Dizon

“An intelligent, tuneful and passionate version of a moving musical.”Chicago Tribune

Jeff Awards & Nominations (Non-Equity)
Best Production-Musical
Direction-Musical / L. Walter Stearns
Music Direction / Eugene Dizon (award winner)
Ensemble

After Dark Awards
Outstanding Performance / Charlie Clark


Passion

March 9 – May 6, 2001 at The Athenaeum Theatre

Music & Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

Book by James Lapine

Direction by L. Walter Stearns

Music Direction by Eugene Dizon

“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

Jeff Awards & Nominations (Non-Equity)
Music Direction / Eugene Dizon
Actress in a Principal Role-Musical or Revue / Marlene Flood (award winner)

Chicago Premiere

Colette Collage

October 15 – November 28, 1999 at The Athenaeum Theatre

Music by Harvey Schmidt

Lyrics by Tom Jones

Book by Elinor Jones

Direction by Ann Filmer and L. Walter Stearns

Music Direction by Eugene Dizon

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

Jeff Award Nominations (Non-Equity)
Actress in a Principal Role-Play / Suzanne Genz
Music Direction / Eugene Dizon


Merrily We Roll Along

March 6 – June, 2000 at The Athenaeum Theatre

Music & Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

Book by George Furth

Direction by L. Walter Stearns

Musical Direction by Eugene Dizon

“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.” Four out of four stars. -Jeff Rossen, Gay Chicago Magazine

Jeff Awards & Nominations (Non-Equity)
Best Production-Musical
Direction-Musical / L. Walter Stearns
Music Direction / Eugene Dizon (award winner)
Actor in a Principal Role-Musical / Stephen Rader
Actor in a Principal Role-Musical / Charlie Clark
Choreography / Samantha Fitschen (award winner)

After Dark Awards
Outstanding Direction / L. Walter Stearns
Outstanding Musical Direction / Eugene Dizon
Outstanding Performance / Charlie Clark

Ruthless!

November 20, 1998 – January 10, 1999 at The Athenaeum Theatre

Co-produced with Effective Theatre

Book & Lyrics by Joel Paley

Music by Marvin Laird

Direction by L. Walter Stearns

Musical Direction by Eugene Dizon

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


Chicago Premiere

Falsettos

April 9 – August 9, 1999  at The Athenaeum Theatre
Summer 2000 revival at Theatre on the Lake 

Co-produced with The Athenaeum Theatre

Music & Lyrics by William Finn

Book by James Lapine and William Finn

Direction by L. Walter Stearns

Music Direction by Eugene Dizon

“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

Jeff Award Nominations (Non-Equity)
Music Direction / Eugene Dizon

After Dark Awards
Outstanding Performance / Janna Cardia

Macabaret

September 11 – October 11, 1997 at Victory Gardens Theatre (2257 N. Lincoln)

By Robert Hartmann and Scott Keys

Direction by Jeff Stephens 

Music Direction by Christopher Staton

Choreography by Tesha Buss

“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


World Premiere

The Vanishing Point

June 19 – August 9, 1998  at The Athenaeum Theatre

By Robert Hartmann and Scott Keys

Direction by Wm. Eric Bramlett

Music Direction by Eugene Dizon

“Empowering…a tantalizing musical mix…intriguing emotional and intellectual territory.” Recommended. -Lucia Mauro, Chicago Sun-Times

After Dark Awards
Outstanding Music and Lyrics / Rob Hartmann and Scott Keys

World Premiere

The Still Time

August 22 – September 21, 1996 at The Neo-Futurarium (5153 N. Ashland)

By K.R. Cahill

Direction by Wm. Eric Bramlett

“..drama by K.R. Cahill, which compares the life of a fictitious HIV-positive junkie to two real people – a German girl who died fighting Nazis in the 1940s and an American cabaret singer who died of cancer last year.” Chicago Reader


Macabaret

October 3 – October 31 at The O Bar & Cafe (3343 N. Clark)

By Robert Hartmann and Scott Keys

Direction by Jeannette LeGault

Music Direction by Steven Sivak

“…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, NewCity

 


World Premiere

Hereafter 

November 8 – December 14 at StageLeft Theatre (3408 N. Sheffield)

By Robert Hartmann and Scott Keys

Direction by Richard Israel

Music Direction by Cyndi Stevens

“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

World Premiere

Women Who Love Science Too Much

September 2 – September 30 at Red Bones Theatre (4139 N. Broadway)

By K.R. Cahill

Direction by Wm. Eric Bramlett

“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


Chicago Premiere

Macabaret

October 20 – November 18, 1995 at Organic Theater Greenhouse/Lab Theater (3319 N. Clark St.)

By Robert Hartmann and Scott Keys

Direction by Robert Hartmann

Music Direction by Steven Sivak

“Produced here by the new Porchlight Theatre Ensemble and directed by one of its creators, Robert Hartmann…make for surprising sophisticated entertainment.” -Chris Jones, Chicago Reader


Chicago Premiere

Family Album

January 15 – February 20, 1996 at StageLeft Theatre (3408 N. Sheffield)

By Jenny Noa

Direction by Christopher Gurr

“An engaging piece of un-traditional 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

May 31 – June 29, 1996 at Footsteps Theatre (5230 N. Clark)

By Anton Chekhov

Direction by Wm. Eric Bramlett

“Porchlight Ensemble’s attempt at staging a classic certainly commendable…bringing the great dramas to grassroots audiences.” -Mary Shen Barnidge, Theatre Critic