Feb. 9 - Mar. 20, 2022
FEB. 9 – MAR. 20, EXTENDED BY POPULAR DEMAND
“A REAL MUSICAL ESCAPE…ELEGANTLY STAGED AND WITH TOP-DRAWER LOCAL TALENT”
Chicago Tribune (Read More)
Conceived by Sheldon Epps
With the music of Bessie Smith, Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen, Vernon Duke, Gordon Jenkins, and Alberta Hunter and others
Directed and Choreographed by Kenny Ingram+
Music Director David Fiorello+
Associate Music Director and Conductor Maulty Jewell IV+
Assistant Choreographer Ariel Dorsey*
The Blues is one of America’s original art forms and Chicago was the home to some of the greatest Blues performers ever. Set in a history-filled hotel on Chicago’s south side one fateful night in the late 1930s, this Tony Award-nominated celebration interweaves the stories of three women who share their highs and lows of romance through the iconic songs of Bessie Smith, Duke Ellington, Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen, Alberta Hunter, Jimmy Cox, Ida Cox and others.
The Blues in the Night cast includes Felicia P. Fields* (“The Lady from the Road”) in her Porchlight Mainstage debut; Donica Lynn* (“The Woman of the World”) last seen by Porchlight audiences in her Jeff-Award nominated role in Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies, Clare Kennedy* (“The Girl with a Date”) a follow up to her performance in Porchlight’s New Faces Sing Broadway 1961; Evan Tyrone Martin+ (“The Man in the Saloon) last seen in Porchlight’s Jeff Award-winning Dreamgirls and Terrell Armstrong+ (“The Dancing Man”) last seen in Porchlight’s A Chorus Line.
Blues in the Night’s production team includes: Kenny Ingram+, (director & choreographer); David Fiorello+, (music director); Ariel M Dorsey*, (assistant choreographer) and Maulty Jewell IV+ (associate music director/conductor), Alden Vasquez+ (production stage manager); Ruben Echoles+ (costume and wig designer), Brandon Wardell+ (lighting designer), Eric Backus+ (sound designer), Angela Weber Miller* (scenic designer), Caitlin McCarthy* (properties designer), Matthew Chase+ (audio engineer), Rachel West* (lighting supervisor), Jennifer Aparicio* (production manager), Henry Wilkinson+ (technical director), Alex Rhyan+, (production and operations director) and Michael Weber+, (artistic director).
Based on availability, a select, limited number of Mainstage tickets will be on sale for $25 day of select performances. Rush tickets are subject to availability and limited to two (2) per person. All handling fees still apply. When tickets are available, they may be purchased directly through our box office, either in person or via phone, when we open each day at noon.*
*On Saturdays and Sundays, box office hours vary. Please view our complete box office hours here.
STUDENT TICKETS: Based on availability, a limited number of student tickets are on sale for our Mainstage shows for $20. Tickets are subject to availability and limited to one (1) per student. Students must present a valid student ID when picking up tickets from will call. All handling fees still apply.
When available, tickets may be purchased directly through our box office, either in person or via phone, when we open each day. Tickets at 12 and Student Ticket discounts cannot be combined with additional offers or applied to previously purchased tickets.
For more information about our ticketing options, please call our box office at (773) 777-9884.
Pronoun Key: + (he/him/his); * (she/her/hers); ^ (they, them, theirs); = (any with respect)
“I am grateful to work with Porchlight Music Theatre as the director/choreographer of Blues in the Night. We approach this production with realism and look forward to taking audiences on a joyful ride that includes two parts of the ‘Night.’ There is that 11 p.m. side when you want to throw your hands up, give a shout and learn a lesson and then that 4 a.m. side when the truth hits you so bad in your guts you almost cannot move and you may only want to cry. We want audiences to feel all of these emotions and let them figure out ‘Which side of the night are they on?’”
Director/Choreographer Kenny Ingram+
Meet the Cast, Creatives and Crew
"The Dancing Man"
TERRELL ARMSTRONG (he/him/his) Richie Walters in A Chorus Line (Porchlight Music Theatre), An American in Paris (Drury Lane) and Sweet Charity (Columbia College Chicago). Armstrong is from Las Vegas, Nevada, and recently graduated from Columbia College Chicago with his BA in Musical Theatre & Dance. Prior to moving to Chicago in fall of 2017, he attended Santa Fe University of Art and Design in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and danced with Modas Dance, New Mexico, for two years. “Do everything with love.”
Felicia P. Fields*
"The Lady from the Road"
Felicia P. Fields* (she/her/hers) is Porchlight Music Theatre’s 2021 Guy Adkins Award For Excellence in the Advancement Of Music Theatre Recipient. Fields is an acclaimed and renowned actress, director and playwright with credits around the country. In Chicago, Fields has participated in many productions with the Goodman Theatre including Crowns; The Rose Tattoo; The Amen Corner; Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom as well as being the first African-American female to portray “The Ghost of Christmas Present” in A Christmas Carol. Fields’ other Chicago credits include productions at Marriott Theatre Lincolnshire; Chicago Shakespeare Theater; The Court Theater; Northlight Theatre; Drury Lane Oakbrook Terrace; Theatre at the Center and Apple Tree Theatre; among others. Fields’ has also received a Black Theatre Alliance Award and nominations, multiple Jeff Award nominations and the award for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance in Sophisticated Ladies. In addition, Governor Pat Quinn declared July 24, 2007 “Felicia P. Fields Day.”
On Broadway, Fields earned a Tony Award nomination for her portrayal of “Sofia” in The Color Purple; she also was a member of the first national tour. Fields’ performance as “Sofia” also garnered her a 2006 Theatre World Award, a Clarence Derwent Award, two Broadway.com awards, an NAACP nomination, a Denver Post Ovation Award and she was a 2006 Drama League honoree.
Field’s other production credits include Hairspray; the first cycle of the tour of Love, Loss, and What I Wore; Nunsense; Sunset Boulevard; Swinging on a Star; Some Like It Hot; Richard II; It Ain’t Nothing But the Blues; Low Down Dirty Blues; A Civil War Christmas; Hot Mikado; Show Boat; Ain’t Misbehavin’; Dreamgirls; Little Shop of Horrors; 7 Guitars and Hello Dolly! And associate director for 5 Guys Named Moe, among others. Fields’ television and film credits include “Early Edition,” “Save the Last Dance,” “The Knights of Prosperity,” “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago PD,” “Who gets the Dog?,” “Slice” and many commercials and voice-overs.”
"The Girl with a Date"
CLARE KENNEDY (she/her/hers) is delighted to be returning to Porchlight after making her debut in “New Faces Sing: Broadway 1962”. Educational theatre: Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls, Alice in Bright Star, Susan in Tick, Tick.. Boom! (Northwestern University). She is a 2020 graduate from Northwestern University and represented by Stewart Talent. This one’s for Deej- “Yo!” clarekennedy.me
"The Woman of the World"
DONICA LYNN* (she/her/hers) Donica returns to Porchlight following last season’s Sophisticated Ladies (Jeff Award nomination- Best actress revue). Previous work includes “Effie” in Dreamgirls (Jeff Award- Best Actress Musical, Time Out Chicago Award, Black Theater Alliance Award, African American Arts Alliance nomination, Broadway World Award nomination) Porchlight Revisits Call Me Madam, Gatecrashers, Chicago Sings: Disney, Motown, Beatles & 25th Anniversary (Porchlight Music Theatre); Smokey Joe’s Cafe (Jeff Award nomination—Best Actress revue) 42nd Street, Aida, Rock of Ages, Hairspray, Cat on A Hot Tin Roof, James & the Giant Peach (Drury Lane Oakbrook); Confessions of P.I.M.P. w/Andre De Shields, A Wonder In My Soul (Victory Gardens Theater); Barnum, The Color Purple (Mercury Theater Chicago); Caroline or Change (Court Theatre); Lady In Denmark (Goodman); Fiorello! (Timeline Theater); Queenie Pie (Chicago Opera Theatre); Black Nativity, Sanctified (Congo Square); Ghost (Jeff Award- Best Supporting Actress Musical), Footloose (Theatre at the Center). TV/Radio: Chicago Fire Season 4 ep.1 (NBC), Sears Craftsman Tools. Alumnus of Walt Whitman and The Soul Children of Chicago, back-up singer for artists from Mariah Carey to Natalie Cole. Named Chicago Tribune’s 2016 Person of the Year in Theatre, she is a wife, & sister, though her biggest role thus far has been being a mother to her three children, and now new grandson. Donica’s a brain cancer survivor, LGBTQ advocate, supporter of brain tumor & cancer awareness & research, Board Member of Season of Concern believing that “no artist should ever feel alone” She thanks this creative team for their belief in her and including her in their vision. Represented by Stewart Talent as a proud member of AEA & SAG/AFTRA. Love to Husband Kippy, my son Sahm, and always my Mama. Thank YOU for supporting LIVE theatre; WE’RE BACK!!!
Evan Tyrone Martin+
"The Man in the Saloon"
Porchlight welcomes Evan Tyrone Martin back to Porchlight Evan is a Chicago based actor whose recent credits include: the World Premiere of the one-man cabaret Let’s Fall In Love — which he created, co-wrote, and starred in to re-open Florida Repertory Theatre’s 24th season last fall. Other credits include: Jim Bishop in the Roundabout Theatre Company’s (NYC) digital reading of Spunk by Zora Neale Hurston, and directed by Chicago’s own Lilli-Anne Brown, Ensemble in The Black Clown (Lincoln Center 2019 MMF // A.R.T., BOSTON), Horton in Seussical (Marriott TYA), Ali Hakim in Oklahoma! (Marriott Theatre), Duke Ellington’s Greatest Hits (Music Theatre Works), Hud in Hair (Mercury Theatre), Jesus of Nazareth in Jesus Christ Superstar (Paramount Theatre, BTAA Nomination), I Left My Heart: A Salute to the Music of Tony Bennett (Mercury Theatre, Jeff Nomination), Curtis Taylor, Jr. in Dreamgirls (Porchlight Theatre, BTAA Nomination), Raymond Deagan in Far From Heaven (Porchlight, Jeff Nomination), King Triton in The Little Mermaid (Paramount Theatre) and (Arkansas Rep), Jake in Side Show (Porchlight, Jeff Nomination), Tom Collins in Rent (Paramount), Harpo in The Color Purple (Mercury Theatre). Evan has also worked with FWD Theater Project, Chicago Children’s Theater, Silk Road Rising, and Arkansas Shakespeare Theater and has even been featured as a performer in Chicago Magazine, Chicago Tribune, and the New York Times. Additionally, Evan did 2 national tours starring in his one man shows Unforgettable: Falling in Love with Nat King Cole, and An Unforgettable Nat King Cole Christmas through Artists Lounge Live, and recorded a Live! album. Evan sends love and thanks to his friends, family and amazing agents at Paonessa Talent!
Anna Marie Abbate*
"The Girl with a Date" (Stand-by)
(She/Her/Hers) is ecstatic to return to Porchlight. Abbate was previously seen in Porchlight’s New Faces Sing Broadway 1987. Other performance credits include, “Esmeralda” in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Music Theater Works), “Roxie Hart” in Chicago (Big Noise Theater), “Tiger Lily” in Peter Pan (Music Theater Works) “Hodel” in Fiddler on the Roof (Wilmette Theater), “Liz” in Chicago (Arizona Broadway Theater) Ensemble/Dance Captain Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Music Theater Works). She also choreographed and back up danced for Chicago Artist Vic Mensa, Lollapalooza 2016. Endless love and gratitude to my friends and family.
"The Dancing Man" (Stand-by)
(He/Him/His) Nolan is an actor, singer, dancer, and filmmaker and a recent graduate of Northwestern University studying Theatre, Music Theatre, and Political Science. After graduation Robinson worked as the writer’s assistant to Tony Award Winner Robert Horn for a new Broadway comedy musical in development. As a writer Nolan has penned the scripts of a web series, Where’s Noah and a short film, Grief Night Club, the latter of which was recently nominated for a student production award at the 2021 Chicago Emmy Awards. He has also written several ten-minute plays produced by theatrical groups on Northwestern’s campus. His recent professional acting credits include: Passing Strange (Youth), Blues in the Night (The Dancing Man standby), and 1776 (The Courier) all of which were and will be performed at Chicago’s Porchlight Music Theatre. His recent educational acting credits include the American Music Theatre Project’s Sean’s Story Part 1 & 2 led by Hamilton directors Tiffany Nichole Greene and Patrick Vassel (Sean), Grief Night Club (Jordan), The Exonerated reading directed by Hamilton alum Jordan Donica (Young Delbert), Legally Blonde (Grand Master Chad), A Chorus Line (Richie Walters), and The Waa-Mu Show: For The Record (Tommy). He hopes to continue to act, write, and produce for both the stage and screen.
"The Woman of the World/The Lady from the Road" (Standby)
(She/Her/Hers) is honored to be back at Porchlight Music Theatre! She last appeared in A Chorus Line as “Maggie Winslow,” Gypsy as “Dainty June,” Memphis, and New Faces Sing Broadway 1975. Credits include Sister Act (Mercury Theatre), Beauty and the Beast (Paramount Theatre), The Pajama Game as Brenda (Theatre at the Center), The Wizard of Oz (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre), and Boy on the Roof (Jacob’s Pillow). She’s represented by Shirley Hamilton talent agency.
Eustace J. Williams+
"The Man in the Saloon" (Stand-by)
EUSTACE J. WILLIAMS† (The Man in The Saloon, u/s) is thrilled to be back after making his Chicago debut in Porchlight’s 2020 critically acclaimed production of Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies (Jeff Award Winner – Ensemble Revue). He portrayed the role of “Hinton” (The
Danseur)/Gregg (The Jazzbo) u/s. Some of his favorite credits include “Hans/Emcee u/s” in Cabaret and “Walter Lee Younger” in A Raisin in The Sun (Educational Theatre). Other credits include Oil Lamp’s Iconic. Eustace was also recently seen in Theo Ubique’s melodically entrancing
production of Songs For A New World in the role of “Man 1,” a project of which he is incredibly proud. Thanks be to God, his family, and friends for their endless love and support. #TheBestIsYetToCome IG: @blessedisejw
Director & Choreographer
KENNY INGRAM+ (he/him/his) is grateful to be on the team of Porchlight Theatre’s production of “Blues in the Night.” Kenny Ingram last directed and choreographed “Triple Threat” A play that moves and sings starring James T. Lane at the Zeiders American Dream Theatre in Virginia Beach. He received the White Nights Film Festival Diploma for his direction and choreography for Chicago performing theatrical production of “The Moment” in Russia. Kenny pioneered as Chicago Shakes’ director and choreographer first summer musical, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” at Navy Pier. He choreographed New York Times Critics Pick re-mount of “Emojiland” off Broadway at The Duke on 42nd, and “Till,” The musical based on the story of Emmett Till, off Broadway at Signature Theatre for the New York Musical Festival. Kenny won outstanding Choreography for his moves in “Emojiland” in 2018 at NYMF. Although Kenny lives in Harlem, He is excited to return home to Chicago where he began his career at Lou Conte Dance Studio on scholarship, taught jazz dance at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts and choreographed at many Chicago legendary theatres including Goodman, Steppenwolf, Court Theatre, Organic Theatre, Hasted Street Theatre and now to cap it off: Porchlight Music Theatre. Kenny looks forward to staging the reading of “Clear” here at Porchlight.
DAVID FIORELLO+ (he/him/his) is a music director, performer, director, composer and arranger who’s no stranger to Porchlight. He has served as music director for Porchlight’s Gypsy, Do Re Mi, Woman of the Year, several seasons of the New Faces Sing Broadway, as well as several Chicago Sings & ICONS Gala benefits. He also appeared onstage as Joe in Merrily We Row Along. David currently serves as founder & artistic director of The Beautiful City Project, a theatre company committed to raising funds for local Chicago charities & non-profits, using some of the city’s finest musical theatre talents. He’s music directed national & international tours, including John Doyle’s re-imagining of Sweeny Todd. He also served as music director for the Off-Broadway hit Danny & Sylvia: The Danny Kayde Musical. His orchestrations and arrangements have been heard across the nation, and on several albums. He’s taught and directed/music directed as part of the International Lyric Academy in Italy, and is adjunct faculty at Columbia College Chicago. An in-demand Vocal Coach, Fiorello Studios has also provided unique cabaret programming featuring the music of The Indigo Girls, Jason Mraz, Kelly Clarkson, Eva Cassidy, Sara Bareilles & Colbie Caillat. For more information on Fiorello’s background, visit www.thebeautifulcityproject.com and www.fiorellostudios.com.
Maulty Jewell IV+
Assistant Music Director & Conductor
MAULTY JEWELL IV+ (he/him/his) A native of Gary, IN, Maulty Jewell IV began playing the piano at an early age under the tutelage of his father, renowned musician Maulty Jewell III. It was at the Clark Road Baptist Church, during services and his father’s choir rehearsals, where Maulty was introduced to the rich heritage of gospel music. By the age of 3 he showed an aptitude for hearing melodies and began to pick out cartoon songs and commercials on his father’s piano.
In 1982, he auditioned for and was accepted into the Emerson School for Visual And Performing Arts in Gary, IN as part of the inaugural group of students selected. It was there where he learned music theory as well as music history, and was exposed to classical music, jazz, and musical theater. He performed in many of the school’s productions, such as Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Guys And Dolls, Flower Drum Song, West Side Story, Your Arms Too Short To Box With God, Dreamgirls, Cats, Jesus Christ Superstar, and many others. Already capable of playing by ear, he began studying private classical piano lessons with instructor Thelma Blumenthal as a sixth grader. Through his studies with Mrs. Blumenthal, he would learn many compositions by great composers such as Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Brahms, and many others.
Ariel M. Dorsey*
ARIEL M DORSEY* (she/her/hers) is a Chicago native, she began her formal training at Chicago Academy for the Arts under the direction of Ana Peskevska and Randy Duncan. Ariel went on to further her studies at SUNY Purchase College in New York where she graduated with a BFA in dance. Mrs. Dorsey’s credits include Winifred Haun and Dancers, Hot Crowd, Banks Performance Project (guest artist), Moonwater dance project, Porchlight music theatre production of “Memphis” (ensemble) and “Sophisticated Ladies”(female swing).
JENNIFER APARICIO (she/her/hers) has been working in the Chicago theater scene for the past several years as a freelance production manager and stage manager. Select production management credits include work with Teatro Vista, Sideshow Theatre Company, Oak Park Festival Theatre, and 16th Street Theater. As a stage manager, credits include work with The Goodman Theatre, Theatre at the Center, Oak Park Festival Theatre, 16th Street Theater, and Lifeline Theatre. Jennifer is an Artistic Associate with Teatro Vista and 16th Street Theater and is a member of Actors’ Equity Association.
Eric Backus (he/him/his) is a composer and sound designer based in Chicago. Previous collaborations with Porchlight include the streaming productions Chicago Sings Rock & Roll and Broadway by the Decade. Off-Broadway: Hollow/Wave (United Solo Festival), Churchill (SoloChicago Theatre); Regional: Mark Twain’s River of Song, The All Night Strut (Milwaukee Rep.), Shakespeare in Love, Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley (TheatreSquared), Legally Blonde (Northern Stage), Working: A Musical, Murder for Two (Merry Go Round Playhouse), Rock of Ages (Lake Dillon Theatre Co.). Recent Chicago credits include Plano (First Floor Theater, Steppenwolf LookOut Series), Short Shakes! Comedy of Errors (Chicago Shakespeare Theater), Every Brilliant Thing (Windy City Playhouse), Wolf Play (Gift Theatre, Jeff Nomination), and The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey (American Blues Theater, Jeff Nomination). In addition to theatre, Eric has composed and sound designed for podcasts and film. To hear some of his music, please visit ericbackus.com.
Matthew R. Chase+
Matthew R. Chase (he/him/his) is a Chicago-based Theatrical Sound Designer and Production Manager. Recent credits include: Sound Design of Who’s Holiday (Theater Wit), Nunsense (Porchlight Music Theatre) Anyone Can Whistle, Cooking with Bubbie & Veronica’s Room (Skokie Theatre), Gigi’s Party (Yellow Rose Theatre), 9 to 5 & Mama Mia (Golden Ticket Productions). Production Manager for Mr. Burns, a post-electric play, Who’s Holiday & Hurricane Diane (Theater Wit). Audio Engineer for Pump Boys & Dinettes (Porchlight Music Theatre), Princess and the Pea (Marriott Theatre)
Rueben D. Echoles+
Costume & Wig Designer
(he/him/his) Mr. Echoles is an accomplished playwright, director, choreographer, and designer. He is an Associate Artistic Director for Black Ensemble Theater and has been since from 2005. Rueben has had the pleasure of working with many theater companies across the country and in the Chicagoland area such as ETA creative Arts Foundation (Director/Choreographer/Costume designer Showfolk TYA, Co playwright with Euseni Eugene Perkins ‘Voices of HIV’) Congo Square, Refuge, Porchlight Music Theater (costume designer), Paramount (asst. wig designer) and Studio One Dance Theater (playwright, director creative consultant 2003 – present), just to name a few. His most recent projects include Call Me Madam (costume design PMT) “A New Attitude, In Tribute to Patti Labelle“, “My Brothers Keeper: The story of the Nicholas Brothers” and “The last Dancer Standing” (playwright/director/Choreographer Black Ensemble Theater) Rueben is thrilled to be a part of this amazing project!
Caitlin (she/her/hers) is a multi-disciplinary theatre and film artist who works in prop, costume, and production design. Chicago: prop design for Sophisticated Ladies (Porchlight Music Theater), The Last Pair of Earlies, A Doll’s House (Raven Theatre), A Recipe for Disaster, Every Brilliant Thing, The Recommendation (Windy City Playhouse); costume/prop design for The Gulf (About Face Theatre). Film: production design for The Care and Keeping of You; production/costume design for Trading Hearts with Victor Shaw, CLAMBAKE (upcoming); costume design for The Last Stand of Bobby Coe (upcoming). Caitlin is the Director of Production at First Floor Theater. www.caitlinmccarthy.net
(she/her/hers) is a Costume Design M.F.A. candidate at Tulane University. Most recently at Tulane she costume designed Eclipsed for her thesis show as well as co-costume designed She Kills Monsters with Stephanie Dixon. During her undergrad at Clark University, she designed The Little Mermaid which won the U. S. Institute Theatre Technology Meritorious Award as well as Honorable Mention at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, Region 1. Blues in the Night is her first production since moving to Chicago and she appreciates how welcoming everyone has been.
Brandon Wardell (he/him/his) is a Lighting and Scenic Designer based in Chicago. He is an Ensemble Member at Steep Theatre Company, an Artistic Associate with Griffin Theatre Company, and Associate Professor of Lighting Design at Northern Illinois University. Recent designs include The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Steppenwolf); A Number (Writers); The Father (Remy Bumppo); Birdland, Lela & Co., and Earthquakes in London (Steep); Cardboard Piano and The Vibrator Play (TimeLine); Men On Boats (American Theatre Company); Titanic, London Wall, and Men Should Weep (Griffin); The Game of Love and Chance (American Players); and Million Dollar Quartet (Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival). Other designs include The Sleepy Hollow Experience, the Little Mermaid Cocktail Experience, and The Hubbard Inn Christmas Pop-Up. Brandon earned his MFA from Northwestern University. Brandonwardelldesign.com
Angie Weber Miller*
(she/her/hers) Angie is back at Porchlight for her fourth show, having designed Sophisticated Ladies, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, and A Class Act. Other recent productions include Cinderella (Paramount Theater), Who’s Holiday (Theater Wit), Sister Act (Mercury Theater), and The Jigsaw Bride at First Folio Theater, where is an artistic associate and has designed many sets. Upcoming shows include The Secret Council and Emma at First Folio, The 2022 Bar Show for the Chicago Bar Association, Women of Soul at The Mercury Theater, and Steel Magnolias at Drury Lane Theater. Angie has been nominated for some Jeff Awards, won one, and is a proud member of United Scenic Artists 829. www.angelawebermiller.com
Rachel West (she/her/hers) has been serving as the lighting supervisor for Porchlight since the 2016. She has designed the Porchlight Revisits productions of 1776, Can-Can, Minnie’s Boys and Call Me Madam and more recently the Porchlight Palooza virtual fundraiser. She is a Chicago-area native and a graduate of Boston University. Rachel proudly volunteers for the Maine-Niles Association for Special Recreation, teaching theatre for individuals with special needs.
(he/him/his) is glad to be joining this production as theatre begins to make a return to our lives. He holds degrees in both architecture and scenic design and has been designing and building shows in the South and now Chicago for almost 10 years. Most recently, he has worked with Theatre Y on their Camino Project.
(he/him/his) Born on Chicago’s South Side, Rafe began his professional career at age 16 playing in steppers lounges. He received a full scholarship to study Jazz and Classical bass at the University of Illinois Urbana after which performing with many jazz legends including McCoy Tyner, Nancy Wilson, Stanley Turrentine, and Chicago legend Ghalib Ghallab. Later Rafe became an original member of the Tom Joyner Morning Show Live-House Band where he was privileged to perform with Luther Vandross, Mavis Staples and others. Many TV commercials followed with the famous voices of Barry White, CeCe Winans, Patti Austin, and the Oprah show theme with Patti LaBelle. In recent years you could catch Rafe on NBC’s the Bonnie Hunt Show where he performed with Late Night’s Paul Shaffer and drumming legend Harvey Mason. Now back in Chicago, Rafe has been the bass foundation for many Jeff nominated musicals.
Darius Hampton (he/him/his) is a highly active and versatile artist and educator based in Chicago. He studied the saxophone with Charles McNeill and Ron Bridgewater while earning his MM in jazz studies at the University of Illinois. He was the Education Director for the Chicago Jazz Ensemble and developed outreach programs at Columbia College Chicago. He is currently the Managing Director of Education and Special Projects at the Jazz Institute of Chicago and an ensemble director within Northwestern University Jazz Studies. He has worked on musical projects with artists such as Jon Faddis, Slide Hampton, Wycliffe Gordon, Dana Hall, Frank Foster, Garnett Brown, Miguel Zenon, Etienne Charles and many others. As a performer, he is active in large and small ensembles across the musical spectrum, working live and in-studio, including leading his own project entitled Hear Me.
(he/him/his) is a trumpet player, jazz vocalist, and educator in Chicago, IL. He is a recent graduate of Lawrence University, Appleton, WI, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and a Bachelor of Music in Trumpet Performance. At Lawrence University, he was the principal trumpet in both the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra, the Lawrence University Wind Ensemble, and lead trumpet in the Lawrence University Jazz Ensemble. Ricardo has sung with many groups and artists such as Joe Locke, Tim Garland, Geoffrey Keezer, John Harmon, Tim Albright, Jose Encarnacion, Janet Planet, and Gene Bertoncini. Equally at home as a performer of classical, jazz, and pop music, Mr. Jimenez strives to enable his students to become not just masters of their instrument, but whole artists, at ease in multiple genres and unafraid to tap into their individual creative potential. An internationally recognized musician, Mr. Jimenez has also shared music in Italy, Germany, England, Spain, and Puerto Rico. When he is not performing or honing his craft, Mr. Jimenez works for the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic as a program assistant, working on education projects that help underrepresented communities and underserved populations through third-stream jazz. He is co-founder of the “International Masters of Improvisation Workshop” which helps to build cross-cultural bridges amongst Latinx youth in the U.S. and abroad to help students navigate their Latinidad through music and improvisation.
Harold is thrilled to be making his musical debut with the
Porchlight Music Theatre. He was a member of the Drury Lane South Theater for 13 years where he performed in such musicals as Sophisticated Ladies, Anything Goes, Ain’t Misbehaving, Nunsense, Five Guys Name Moe, Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Reflect Up and many more. Harold has done musicals at Theater In the Center performing in It’s A Wonderful Life, The Producers, The Patsy Cline Story, All Shook Up to name a few. He has performed at the Goodman Theater, Candlelight Theater and the Peagus Theater. He has worked with Gregory Porter, Felicia Fields and Bobby Wilsyn while doing the play “Ain’t Nothing But The Blues at the Northlight Theater. Harold has also toured with the vocal group “The Mighty Dells and Jazz Saxophonist Great Eddie Harris. He has performed with Chaka Khan,Eldee Young, Jimmy Smith among others. Harold has performed at the Chicago Jazz Festival multiple times. Harold has also lead his own band called “Harold & Co.” He has two CDs which are Harold & Co with Friends and Harold’s Musical Landscape that are selling well.