CHICAGO –Porchlight Music Theatre is proud to announce the 13th Annual Chicago Sings concert; Chicago Sings The MGM Musicals, Monday, Aug. 20 at 7 p.m., at Second City’s UP Comedy Club, 230 W. North Ave, directed by Keely Vasquez and Artistic Director Michael Weber with music direction by Porchlight Artistic Associate Beckie Menzie. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. at the annual benefit concert that includes performances, a paddle raiser and tableside food and drink service at an additional charge. Tickets are on sale for $75 at PorchlightMusicTheatre.org or by calling 773.777.9884. Tickets at the door will be $100. Seating at the event is done on a first come, first served basis at the discretion of the Second City staff. Sales from this one-night-only performance benefit Porchlight Music Theatre’s educational and artistic programming.
Chicago Sings, Porchlight’s annual fundraiser, has honored artists and organizations whose music has changed the world, and this year, in addition to celebrating MGM Musicals, Porchlight Music Theatre is honoring James Jensen with its inaugural Luminary Award—- For Exemplary Leadership and Support of Music Theatre in Chicago. 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.
Chicago Sings subjects have included Sinatra and the Rat Pack, Motown, The Beatles, the Disney studios and the musicals of Stephen Sondheim, Kander and Ebb, Jerry Herman and others. Join Porchlight and Chicago’s music theatre and cabaret stars as they shine the spotlight this year on the company that taught audiences what a movie musical could be–Metro Goldwyn Mayer. With a stable of incomparable stars that included Gene Kelly, Judy Garland, Lena Horne, Fred
Astaire, Cyd Charisse, Jeanette MacDonald, Mickey Rooney, Esther Williams and “more stars than there are in the heavens,” this film studio gave birth to some of the landmark productions including The Wizard of Oz, Singin’ in the Rain, An American in Paris and Meet Me in St. Louis.
Porchlight Associated Artists currently scheduled to appear include Adrian Aguilar (tick, tick…BOOM!, Chess); Neala Barron (A Funny Thing…Forum, Merrily We Roll Along); Sean Blake (Woman of the Year); Brianna Borger (The King and I, Into the Woods); Cynthia Clarey (The Scottsboro Boys); Brandon Dahlquist (Sunday in the Park with George, Assassins, City of Angels); Devin DeSantis (Side Show); Jim DeSelm (A Catered Affair, Merrily We Roll Along); Sharriese Hamilton (Pal Joey, They’re Playing Our Song); James Earl Jones II (The Scottsboro Boys, Memphis); Michelle Lauto (In The Heights, New Faces Sing Broadway); Yando Lopez (In The Heights, Sondheim on Sondheim); Patrick Martin (How to Succeed…); Tom Michael (Chicago Sings); Christine Mild (The Rink, Chicago Sings); Peggy Roeder (Chicago Sings); Kelvin Rostin Jr. (Chicago Sings); Lorenzo Rush Jr. (Ain’t Misbehavin’, Memphis); Laura Savage (Pal Joey); Stephen Schellhardt (A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Chicago Sings); Bethany Thomas (Marry Me a Little, Into the Woods); Genevieve Thiers (Chess, Little Me); Gene Weygandt (New Faces Sing Broadway) with more artists to be added to the line-up.
*Songs performed and artists may change without notice.
ABOUT JAMES JENSEN, THE 2018 LUMINARY AWARD RECIPIENT
Jim Jensen has been a longtime benefactor of Porchlight Music Theatre where he has served on the Board of Directors since 2011. In that capacity, Jensen serves on the finance committee and has served as an advisor for the company’s education, programming and marketing endeavors. He was co-producer and general manager of the Drury Lane Water Tower Theatre (now The Broadway Playhouse) and prior to that was general manager of the Royal George Theatre for fourteen years, where he co-produced the long-running Forever Plaid. He also produced the Milwaukee and Seattle productions of Plaid. Jensen began his professional career at Drury Lane and has general managed more than 100 shows in Chicago. He co-produced the first Chicago production of Forbidden Broadway in cabaret theaters he opened in the Hotel Continental and The Palmer House. He was company manager for the first national tours of Aspects of Love and Evita. He was also general manager of the Chicago premiere of Angels in America, which enjoyed a long run in Chicago, followed by a national tour. Recently in Chicago, Jensen was a producer of the Jeff Award-winning Doyle And Debbie Show and the commercial transfer of Theo Ubique’s Smokey Joe’s Café. Currently, he is manager of special projects for Drury Lane Productions in Oakbrook. Jensen is a member of the Association of Theatrical Press Agents and Managers (ATPAM). Recently, in New York City, he was a producer of the Q Brothers’ Othello the Remix at the Westside Theater and is an investor in several musicals on Broadway and national tours. For the past thirteen years, he has taught in the Theatre Management Program at the Theatre School at DePaul University. Jensen is a Northwestern graduate.
ABOUT PORCHLIGHT MUSIC THEATRE AS RUTH PAGE ARTIST IN-RESIDENCE
Porchlight Music Theatre is proud to be a member of the vibrant Ruth Page Center for the Arts community and an Artist In-Residence. Central to the Ruth Page Center for the Arts’ programming is the Artists In-Residence program, which is designed to serve organizations looking for a home base while they grow or expand their artistic and organizational capabilities. The Center is committed to nurturing and assisting dance and other performing artists, allowing for exchange and collaborative
relationships to develop within the artistic community. The Ruth Page Center for the Arts is a destination for quality performing arts, accessible to a wide community regardless of race, gender, age, education or disability. An incubator of artistic energy and excellence, the Ruth Page Center for the Arts carries forward the vision of its founder, legendary dance icon Ruth Page, to be a platform for developing great artists and connecting them with audiences and community.
ABOUT PORCHLIGHT MUSIC THEATRE
As the home for music theatre in Chicago now in its 23rd season, Porchlight Music Theatre is nationally recognized for reimagining classic productions, developing new works and showcasing musical theatre’s noted Chicago veterans and rising stars. Porchlight elevates the genre by providing intimate and powerful theatrical experiences of music theatre through the lens of the “Chicago Style.” The 2017–2018 year marks a milestone for Porchlight as the company becomes an Artist In-Residence at the historic Ruth Page Center for the Arts in Chicago’s Gold Coast. Porchlight’s rich history includes the staging of more than 60 productions with 15 Chicago premieres and five world premieres. Through Porchlight’s “Off the Porch” new works program, the musicals of the next generation are developed and given a first audience. The School at Porchlight is Chicago’s center for music theatre training in the areas of performance, writing and appreciation including the launch of a youth summer “Make Your Own Musical” Camp in 2017. The company’s many accolades include 22 Black Theatre Alliance nominations and seven awards, as well as a total of 139 Joseph Jefferson Award nominations resulting in 42 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).
Porchlight Music Theatre is proud to announce the 13th Annual Chicago Sings concert; Chicago Sings The MGM Musicals, Monday, Aug. 20 at 7 p.m., at Second City’s UP Comedy Club, 230 W. North Ave, directed by Keely Vasquez and Artistic Director Michael Weber with music direction by Porchlight Artistic Associate Beckie Menzie. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. at the annual benefit concert that includes performances, a paddle raiser and tableside food and drink service at an additional charge. Tickets are on sale for $75 at PorchlightMusicTheatre.org or by calling 773.777.9884. Tickets at the door will be $100. Seating at the event is done on a first come, first served basis at the discretion of the Second City staff. Sales from this one-night-only performance benefit Porchlight Music Theatre’s educational and artistic programming.
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Porchlight Music Theatre is partially supported by generous contributions from the Abe and Ida Cooper Foundation, Actors’ Equity Foundation, Bayless Family Foundation, Chapman | Spingola, Attorneys at Law, the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, James P. and Brenda S. Grusecki Family Foundation, Hopsmith, Lou Malnati’s on State Street, the MacArthur Fund for Arts & Culture at the Prince Foundation, Morgan Stanley, Q Chicago, The Saints and the Topfer Family Foundation. The season program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, a state agency and by a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events.