Available for streaming NOW through January 3

Porchlight Music Theatre is proud to announce its latest virtual offering, the holiday return of The Ruffians’ Burning Bluebeard!

Burning Bluebeard, now in its ninth year, was created and performed by the critically acclaimed theatre troupe The Ruffians. A magical story, told with music, clowning, tumbling, acrobatics and dance, Burning Bluebeard is a physical-performance phenomena inspired by the true story of Chicago’s former Iroquois Theatre and the unforgettable events that resulted in tragedy for 600 theatergoers at Christmastime in 1903.

A vaudevillian musical delight with a story that excavates the poetic and poignant remains of a piece of Chicago’s rich history and will leave you with an unforgettable experience.


This streamed performance was filmed for archival purposes during the 2019 run at The Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn Street.


AVAILABLE FOR STREAMING NOW THROUGH SUNDAY, JANUARY 3, 2021

After purchasing your ticket, you will receive an email with a link and password to view the production. This link and password will expire 72 hours after purchase.

PARENTAL GUIDANCE NOTE | PG-13 | Contains adult language and themes


This performance of Burning Bluebeard includes the 2019 cast: Pamela Chermansky (Fancy Clown); Anthony Courser (Henry Gilfoil); Jay Torrence (Robert Murray); Leah Urzendowski (Nellie Reed); Ryan Walters (Eddie Foy) with Crosby Sandoval (Faerie Queen).

The Burning Bluebeard production team includes Maggie Fullilove-Nugent (lighting design); Robert Hornbostel (associate sound design); Jeffrey D. Kmiec (set design); Bill Morey (costume coordination); Mike Tutaj (original sound design); Leah Urzendowski (choreography); Ariel Etana Triunfo (additional 2019 choreography); Sam Moryoussef (production manager); Justine Palmisano (stage manager) and Alex Rhyan (production and operations director).

The following artists significantly contributed to this performance and the play’s creation with The Neo-Futurists in 2011: Lizzie Bracken (set design, costume design, prop design), Dan Broberg (set design), Maggie Fullilove-Nugent (lighting design), Leah Urzendowski (choreography) and Mike Tutaj (sound design).

Explore Our Virtual Program


The Ruffians’ Burning Bluebeard was inspired by the true story of Chicago’s former Iroquois Theatre and the unforgettable events that resulted in tragedy for 600 theatergoers at Christmastime in 1903. Below is a look at the history of the Iroquois Theatre fire, originally shown in our lobby for the 2019 production.



Reviews

ChicagoTheatreReview – Colin Douglas

https://www.chicagotheatrereview.com/2019/12/send-in-the-clowns/
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

“A MUST-SEE PRODUCTION…THAT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO FORGET”

“A unique experience that has come to be associated with Chicago.”

ThirdCoastReview.com – June Sawyers

https://thirdcoastreview.com/2019/12/17/review-chicagos-history-flames-again-in-burning-bluebeard-by-the-ruffians/
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

“There is and never has been anything quite like it on the Chicago stage: created by the ragtag Chicago theater group known as the Ruffians, Burning Bluebeard is an unclassifiable hybrid of comedy and great pathos buoyed by uniformly wonderful performances.”

Chicago Reader – Max Maller

https://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/burning-bluebeardrelives-the-iroquois-theater-fire-with-joy-and-sadness/
READER RECOMMENDED

“OUR BEST, MOST UNIQUE CHICAGO THEATRE TRADITION…JOYOUS”.

Chicago Podcast Theatre Review – Chicago Broadcast Network – Reno Lovison

https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/renocast/episodes/2019-12-17T13_34_09-08_00

“THE TALENTED CAST EXCELS AT TELLING THE STORY… BREATHTAKING”

ChicagoTheatreandArts.com – Reno Lovison

https://chicagotheaterandarts.com/2019/12/18/burning-bluebeard-a-tragic-christmas-story/
Three out of Four Stars

“BURNING BLUEBEARD HAS BECOME AN ANNUAL EVENT… AND IS SURE TO CONTINUE TO BE A PERENNIAL CHICAGO FAVORITE.”

TotalTheatre.com – Mary Shen Barnidge

http://www.totaltheater.com/?q=node/8501
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

“DAZZLING..CLOWNISH SLAPSTICK…FAIRY_TALE SPECTACLE”

“In the eight years since its premiere, Burning Bluebeard has played in a variety of settings, but the 1927-vintage Ruth Page Center for the Arts, currently leased to Porchlight Music Theater, is the one most closely approximating the gilded-age Iroquois palace”

TheFourthWalsh – Katy Walsh

http://thefourthwalsh.com/2019/12/review-the-ruffians-burning-bluebeard-porchlight-music-theatre-magical/
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

“Magical! Facts and Fantasy mingle together to conjure up a unique spectacle.”

Let’s Play – Rick McCain

http://www.chicagonow.com/lets-play/2019/12/the-ruffians-burning-bluebeard/
RECOMMENDED

“The bittersweet true story that took place 116 years ago is an iconic piece of Chicago’s history…comical and compassionate”

Picks in Six – Ed Tracy

https://www.conversationswithedtracy.com/picksinsix/2019/12/17/picksinsix-the-ruffians-burning-bluebeard
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

“a staggering combination of fairy tale and turn-of-the-century pantomime wrapped in poetry, acrobatics and suspense”

“an imaginative production that will warm your heart”

PictureThisPost.com

https://www.picturethispost.com/porchlight-music-theatre-ruffians-burning-bluebeard/
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

“Full of beauty and wonder, Burning Bluebeard is a must-see.”

NewCity – Persphone Jones

https://www.newcitystage.com/2019/12/16/gift-for-all-a-review-of-burning-bluebeard-at-the-ruffians-and-porchlight-music-theatre/
RECOMMENDED

“‘Burning Bluebeard’ represents the cumulative potential of theater as an art form: a poetic, terrifying, gutbuster tour-de-force”

“Words still fail me. I have used so many, but to describe the effect of the deep-seated possession of space and bodies, of the trust built between audience and ensemble, would require me to break the bones of “Burning Bluebeard” and write something as beautiful, as totally enthralling and transformative, as the show itself. That would be a feat. It would be easier for both of us if you just go see it.”

AroundTheTownChicago.com – Julia Rath

http://www.aroundthetownchicago.com/theatre-reviews/burning-bluebeard-reviewd-by-julia-w-rath/
RECOMMENDED

“Funny, macabre, and frightfully delightful”


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  • How will I receive the video link?  You will receive the viewable link and password via the email you used to register for this event. If you have issues finding your link or email, please check your spam folder.
  • When will I be able to watch the program? Your viewable link and password will be sent to the email you used to register for this event immediately following your purchase. Once you receive your link and password, you will have 72 hours to watch Burning Bluebeard.
  • What if I experience technical difficulties or am unable to view Burning Bluebeard? We are not responsible for technical difficulties on your home devices or any issues with your local broadband or wifi. However, there is online support available to help you as best we can. Contact boxoffice@porchlightmusictheatre.org for online support, or call us at 773.777.9884 (Click here for Box Office hours). Please remember that your video link and password will be available for 72 hours from the time it was sent.
  • What’s the refund policy? There are no refunds for this event.
  • Is my registration fee or ticket transferrable? No transfers or sharing.
  • May I give this as a gift or purchase access for multiple households? Yes, you may gift access to friends and family! To do so, you will need to make a separate purchase for each household and provide a different name and email address associated with that viewing household. The confirmation email will go directly to them.
  • How do I contact the organizer if I have questions? You can email boxoffice@porchlightmusictheatre.org with questions, or call us at 773.777.9884 (Click here for Box Office hours). We will get back to you as soon as possible and thank you for your patience.

Header photo credit: The cast of The Ruffians’ Burning Bluebeard (2019). Photo by Michael Courier.


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