Upcoming Theater Season: PORCHLIGHT MUSIC THEATRE (2021-22 Live)

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by Tony Frankel on August 24, 2021

in Theater-Chicago

Chicago’s Porchlight Music Theatre’s 27th season has been announced. Single tickets and a variety of subscription options for the Mainstage and Porchlight Revisits are on sale now at Porchlight or by phone at 773.777.9884.

Along with Mainstage productions, Porchlight Revisits celebrates the lost musical gems of Broadway and Off-Broadway and is your ticket to go behind the scenes with an introduction to the luminaries who created the greatest musicals of all time and an opportunity to discover a new ‘old’ favorite all in one big show. Chicago’s finest music theatre talent dust off these treasures and escort audiences to the world of Broadway’s past for a limited run. In addition to productions from days gone by, each Porchlight Revisits includes the Behind the Show Backstory, an entertaining and informative multimedia presentation, created and hosted by Artistic Director Michael Weber+, introducing the evening’s production including the show’s creative history, juicy backstage stories and much more.

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The 2021 – 2022 Mainstage Season

Pump Boys & Dinettes October 30 – December 12, 2021
MAINSTAGE

Created by John Foley, Mark Hardwick, Debra Monk, Cass Morgan, John Schimmel, and Jim Wann
Directed by Daryl Brooks
Music Directed by Robert Reddrick

Porchlight’s 27th season kicks off with a stop at the Double Cupp Diner for Pump Boys & Dinettes, one of the longest running shows in Chicago Theatre history and a country fried phenomenon filled with toe-tapping music on guitar, piano, bass and a kitchen utensil or two! This North Carolina dinette is your home off the highway and located just across the street from the filling station. Run by Prudie and Rhetta Cupp, beloved sisters who are always ready with a cup of Joe, a slice of pie, a homespun song and a “Welcome back!” The New York Times said, “It doesn’t merely celebrate the value of friendship and life’s simple pleasures, it embodies them.”

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Porchlight Revisits: Nunsense, November 17 and 18
MAINSTAGE
Book, Music, and Lyrics by Dan Goggin
Directed by Michelle Lauto
Music Directed by Kailey Rockwell
Choreographed by Jenna Schoppe

Porchlight Revisits launches its 2021-2022 season with this heaven-sent musical.  Join the Little Sisters of Hoboken for a wholesome variety show to raise emergency funds for the convent. After 52 of the nuns met an untimely end from Sister Julia – Child of God’s vichyssoise, the surviving sisters need to throw the fundraiser to pay for their burials. This funny foray has blessed theatregoers worldwide for more than 30 years and has had six sequels, three spin-offs and a TV special starring “Golden Girl” Rue McClanahan as “Mother Superior!”

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Blues in the Night
January 15 – February 27, 2022
Conceived by Sheldon Epps
Directed and Choreographed by Kenny Ingram
Assistant choreographed by Ariel Dorsey
Starring Tony Award-nominee Felicia P. Fields

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.

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Porchlight Revisits: Passing Strange
February 16 and 17, 2022
Lyrics and Book by Stew
Music by Heidi Rodewald and StewDirected by Donterrio Johnson

From L.A. to Amsterdam to Berlin, a young musician chases youthful dreams and spiritual clarity against a shifting backdrop of locales and acquaintances as he rebels against his conservative upbringing. This hit rock musical, loaded with soulful lyrics and passion, debuted to critical acclaim on Broadway in 2008, winning both the Tony and Drama Desk Awards.

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Spring Awakening
April 23 – May 29, 2022
MAINSTAGE
Music by Duncan Sheik
Book and lyrics by Steven Sater
Based on the 1891 German play Spring Awakening by Frank Wedekind
Directed and Choreographed by Brenda Didier
Music Directed by Justin Akira Kono
Choreographed by Terri K Woodall

The winner of eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Porchlight’s production will thrill you with a story over 130 years in the making. Set against the backdrop of a repressive and provincial late 19th-century Germany, and based on Frank Wedekind’s 1891 play that was immediately banned due to its subject matter, Spring Awakening tells the timeless story of youthful self-discovery and budding sexuality as seen through the eyes of three teenagers. Haunting and provocative, this landmark American musical celebrates a journey from adolescence to adulthood with a power, a poignancy and a passion you will never forget.

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Porchlight Revisits: The Apple Tree (1966), May 18 and 19, 2022
Music by Jerry Bock
Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick
Book by Bock and Harnick with contributions from Jerome Coopersmith
Directed by Keely Vasquez, Sawyer Smith and Bethany Thomas
Music Directed by Linda Madonia

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

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New Faces Sings Broadway was launched in 2016 and quickly became one of Porchlight’s most popular offerings. This tuneful, audience-interactive evening is hosted by a popular Chicago music theatre star and features a company of up-and-coming local talents. The show is a journey from the start to the finish of one specific musical season on Broadway, peppered with visuals of the era in a multimedia presentation, trivia games (with prizes!), sing-alongs and more. Do not miss this year’s season to be treated to the best music of the “hit and miss” productions that made up a musical season on Broadway presented in an intimate and elegant cabaret environment.

New Faces Sing Broadway 1947
Winter 2021
Directed by Tommy Novak
Featuring songs from Brigadoon, Finian’s Rainbow, High Button Shoes and more

New Faces Sing Broadway 1971, Spring 2022
Directed by Frankie Leo Bennett
Featuring songs from Follies, Jesus Christ Superstar, 70, Girls, 70 and more.

New Faces Sing Broadway NOW (2022)
Summer 2022
Featuring songs from shows playing on Broadway right NOW

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Top Row: Daryl Brooks, (director, Pump Boys & Dinettes); Robert Reddrick, (music director, Pump Boys & Dinettes); Reuben D. Echoles, (choreographer, Pump Boys & Dinettes); Michelle Lauto, (director, Porchlight Revisits: Nunsense); Kailey Rockwell, (music director, Porchlight Revisits: Nunsense); Jenna Schoppe, (choreographer, Porchlight Revisits: Nunsense);

Middle Row: Kenny Ingram, (director/choreographer, Blues in the Night); Ariel Dorsey*, (assistant choreographer, Blues in the Night); Felicia P. Fields, (starring in Blues in the Night); Tommy Novak, (director, New Faces Sing Broadway: 1947); Donterrio Johnson, (director, Porchlight Revisits: Passing Strange); Terri K Woodall, (choreographer, Porchlight Revisits: Passing Strange)

Bottom Row: Brenda Didier, (director, Spring Awakening); Justin Akira Kono+, (music director, Spring Awakening); Keely Vasquez, (director, Porchlight Revisits: The Apple Tree); Sawyer Smith, (director, Porchlight Revisits: The Apple Tree); Bethany Thomas, (director, Porchlight Revisits: The Apple Tree); Linda Madonia, (music director, Porchlight Revisits: The Apple Tree); Frankie Leo Bennett, (director, New Faces Sing Broadway 1971).

photo by Austin Packard

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