CHICAGO – Porchlight Music Theatre is proud to announce the first production in the fifth season of Chicago’s “lost” musicals in staged concert series, Porchlight Revisits Woman of the Year, starring Meghan Murphy and Brandon Dahlquist, music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb and book by Peter Stone, with direction by Porchlight’s Artistic Director Michael Weber, choreography by Florence Walker Harris and musical direction by David Fiorello. Porchlight Revisits Woman of the Year is presented for three-nights-only Tuesday, Nov. 14 through Thursday, Nov. 16 at 7:15 p.m. and is performed on the set of Porchlight’s Billy Elliot the Musical (previews begin October 5) at Porchlight’s new home, The Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn Street. Tickets for Woman of the Year are $35. All tickets include access to the popular pre-performance event, Behind the Show Backstory, a multimedia presentation, created and hosted by Weber that discusses that evening’s production including the show’s creative history, juicy backstage gossip and the state of the art on Broadway that season. Single tickets to Woman of the Year and subscriptions for the entire series are available at porchlightmusictheatre.org or by calling the Porchlight Music Theatre box office at 773.777.9884.
The 2017 – 2018 season subscription series is $90 and includes They’re Playing Our Song (March 6 – 8, 2018) and Do Re Mi (May 22 – 24, 2018). Subscriptions are available at porchlightmusictheatre.org.
From the legendary creative team of John Kander and Fred Ebb, with book by Peter Stone, the multi-Tony Award-winning Woman of the Year is based on the classic film of the same name that starred Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy. Woman of the Year tells the story of a television anchorwoman and a newspaper cartoonist who get into a public battle over their respective professions and, of course, fall in love, marry and experience more career conflicts. In the original 1981 Broadway production Lauren Bacall assumed the title role succeeded by Raquel Welch and Debbie Reynolds. Woman of the Year features the hits “One of the Boys,” “Sometimes a Day Goes By” and “The Grass is Always Greener.”
The cast of Porchlight Revisits Woman of the Year includes: Meghan Murphy, “Tess Harding;” Brandon Dahlquist, “Sam Craig;” Sean Blake, “Gerald;” Mel Bee, “Helga;” Robert Quintanilla, “Chip Salisbury;” Cisco Lopez, “Phil Whitaker;” Chuckie Benson, “Ellis McMaster;” John Wesley Hughes, “Abbott Canfield;” Jonathan Schwart, “Pinky Peters;” Rachel Osting, “The Chairwoman;” Cam Turner, “Alexi Petrikov;” Derek Self, “Larry/Maury” and Kimberly Lawson, “Jan.”
The production team includes Mary Badger, stage manager; Ariela Subar, assistant stage manager; Morgan Lake, sound designer/board engineer; Kate Setzer Kamphausen, costume design/coordinator; Bryant Milet, trumpet; Marcel Reimão Bonfim, bass and Jordan Fleming, house manager
ABOUT MICHAEL WEBER, director
Michael Weber is the artistic director of Porchlight Music Theatre. He previously served as artistic director for the inaugural season of Drury Lane Theatre Water Tower Place (now The Broadway Playhouse) and at Theatre at the Center (1998-2004). His productions of End of the Rainbow, Sweeney Todd, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Pal Joey, Assassins and Side Show at Porchlight Music Theatre, Grand Hotel at Drury Lane Theatre Water Tower Place and She Loves Me at Theatre at the Center were each nominated for the Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Production. Directing credits include Living the History-125 Years of The Auditorium Theatre starring Patti LuPone and John Mahoney, Fifth of July and Talley’s Folly at the Oak Park Festival Theatre, The Petrified Forest at Theatre at the Center, Beauty and the Beast at Marriott Theatre, Over the River and Through the Woods at The Mercury Theater, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum at Pheasant Run Theatre and Cirque du Symphony at Sears Center Arena. The recipient of two Joseph Jefferson Awards, he has written and directed the past nine Joseph Jefferson Awards ceremonies. Weber’s regional acting credits include Annie Get Your Gun and Gypsy (both starring Patti LuPone) at Ravinia, Disney’s My Son Pinocchio at First Stage Milwaukee, Around the World in 80 Days at Cleveland Playhouse, The Winter’s Tale and Henry V at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, It Had To Be You (starring Cindy Williams and Eddie Mekka) at Little Theatre on the Square, Angel Street at First Folio Shakespeare and The Gifts of the Magi at Indiana Repertory. Weber is proud to serve as a pledge host on WTTW, Channel 11. He also authored the play, WAR of the WELLeS.
ABOUT DAVID FIORELLO, music director
David Fiorello returns to Porchlight, where he was most recently the music director and arranger for this year’s Chicago Sings: Sinatra & The Rat Pack. He also music directed The New Faces Sing Broadway season last year and returns to music direct the current season as well as music directing Porchlight Revisits Woman of the Year, November 14 – 16 and Do Re Mi, May 22 – 24, 2018. Fiorello has been in Chicago since 2010, when he moved from the East Coast to music direct and vocal coach at Northwestern University’s Music Theatre Certificate Program. He served as music director for the Off-Broadway hit Danny & Sylvia: The Danny Kaye Musical, and has toured nationally and internationally with several productions, including John Doyle’s re-imagining of Sweeney Todd, as music director. Fiorello has worked in Chicago with Chicago Shakespeare, The Marriott Theatre and many others. A director, music director, performer, writer, arranger and show doctor, he has helped guide new works to development and world premieres in Chicago, at New York Musical Festival and several premieres in the United Kingdom. He has written and collaborated on several original pieces, including the musical The Language or the Kiss, a musical featuring the music of The Indigo Girls, that he conceived, wrote the book and starred in for many Off-Broadway industry readings.
ABOUT FLORENCE WALKER HARRIS, choreographer
Florence Walker Harris returns to Porchlight Music Theatre where she last choreographed The Scottsboro Boys. She is the artistic director/instructor at Studio One Dance Studio and is trained in a variety of dance disciplines including classical ballet, the modern technique of Lester Horton, Katherine Dunham technique, jazz (strongly influenced by Frank Hatchet), traditional Haitian folklore, African, tap and hip-hop. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Sociology and Black and Latino Studies from the State University College at Oneonta in New York and a Masters degree in Human Services Administration from National Louis University.
ABOUT MEGAN MURPHY, “Tess Harding”
Meghan Murphy returns to Porchlight where she has previously hosted the inaugural production of the New Faces Sing Broadway series and has appeared in multiple Chicago Sings events. Murphy is an actor/singer/dancer/solo artist currently performing in the worlds of theatre, music and cabaret. Her incredible range of talents has taken her all over the world, creating and performing in countless musical theater shows and concerts, delivering her long-running one-woman show The Big Red Show, and singing in her Chicago-based blues band, Everybody Says Yes.
ABOUT BRANDON DAHLQUIST, “Sam Craig”
Brandon Dahlquist is back with Porchlight Revisits where he appeared in last year’s City of Angels, he is an artistic associate and has performed in several mainstage Porchlight productions. Dahlquist is proud to be a working Chicago actor with credits in regional theatre, commercial, print and short film. Originally from Minnesota, Dahlquist studied theatre and music at Gustavus Adolphus College where instructors included Rick Snyder of the Steppenwolf Theatre and Peter Krause of “Six Feet Under.” While in Chicago, he has been fortunate enough to perform regularly at stages including Drury Lane Watertower, Drury Lane Oakbrook, Next Theatre, Theatre at the Center, Marriott Lincolnshire, Congo Square, Bohemian Theatre, Theatre on the Lake, Lakeshore Theatre and Theatre Building Chicago. In addition to critical acclaim as an actor and singer, Dahlquist was honored by the Joseph Jefferson committee with a nomination for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical for his portrayal of “George Gipp” in Knute Rockne: All American at Theatre at the Center.
ABOUT PORCHLIGHT REVISITS
Continuing to forge its role as “Chicago’s Music Theatre,” Porchlight launched the exciting new series Porchlight Revisits in 2013; especially created for the die-hard music theatre aficionado. Each season, Porchlight Music Theatre shares with audiences the rare opportunity to visit three musicals that opened on the Great White Way but have since gone “unsung.” The finest music theatre artists in Chicago dust off these neglected treasures and, with script in hand and minimal staging, escort audiences to a world of Broadway long past. Previous Porchlight Revisits productions include: (2016/17) The Rink, Little Me, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever; (2015/16) Chess, Applause, Babes in Arms; (2014/15) Bells Are Ringing, City of Angels, Mack & Mabel and (2013/14) Anyone Can Whistle, Golden Boy, Fade Out-Fade In.
Future Porchlight Revisits Performances:
They’re Playing Our Song
March 6 – 8, 2018
Book by Neil Simon
Music by Marvin Hamlisch
Lyrics by Carole Bayer Sager
Direction and Choreography by Christopher Carter
Music Direction by Andra Velis Simon
Starring Alexis J. Roston and James Earl Jones II
A romantic musical comedy about the affair, both professional and romantic, of a wisecracking composer and an aspiring, offbeat lyricist. Creatively, their relationship works great, but personal trials and tribulations lead them toward finding a new way to make harmonious music together in this laugh-a-minute romantic charmer. Featuring the hits: “Fallin’,” “If He Really Knew Me” and “Just For Tonight.”
Do Re Mi
May 22 – 24, 2018
Book by Garson Kanin
Music by Jule Styne
Lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green
Direction and Choreography by Christopher Pazdernik
Music Direction by David Fiorello
Originally created for the comic style of the great Phil Silvers and Nancy Walker, this is the story of “Hubie Cram,” a minor-league conman endlessly scheming to win big who, at the urging of his long-suffering wife, “Kay,” decides to go (somewhat) straight by moving into the jukebox and music promotion business as he concocts his biggest score ever. Featuring the hits: “Make Someone Happy,” “Fireworks” and “I Know About Love.”
ABOUT PORCHLIGHT MUSIC THEATRE
Porchlight Music Theatre, now in its 23rd season, is nationally recognized for developing innovative new works, reimagining classic productions and showcasing musical theatre’s noted veterans and rising stars. Porchlight is now an Artist In-Residence at the historic Ruth Page Center for the Arts in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood. Porchlight elevates the genre in Chicago by providing intimate and powerful theatrical experiences for its growing and diverse audiences. With the vision of Artistic Director Michael Weber, Porchlight builds on its role as Chicago’s only Equity not-for-profit company exclusively specializing in music theatre. Porchlight’s rich history includes the staging of more than 70 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 Camp in 2017. The company’s many accolades include 22 Black Theatre Alliance nominations and three awards, as well as a total of 139 Joseph Jefferson Award nominations resulting in 39 Jeff Awards including four consecutive Best Production awards for Dreamgirls (2016), Sondheim on Sondheim (2015), Ain’t Misbehavin’ (2014) and A Class Act (2013).
Porchlight Music Theatre is proud to announce the first production in the fifth season of Chicago’s “lost” musicals in staged concert series, Porchlight Revisits Woman of the Year, starring Meghan Murphy and Brandon Dahlquist, music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb and book by Peter Stone, with direction by Porchlight’s Artistic Director Michael Weber, choreography by Florence Walker Harris and musical direction by David Fiorello. Porchlight Revisits Woman of the Year is presented for three-nights-only Tuesday, Nov. 14 through Thursday, Nov. 16 at 7:15 p.m. and is performed on the set of Porchlight’s Billy Elliot the Musical (previews begin October 5) at Porchlight’s new home, The Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn Street. Tickets for Woman of the Year are $35. All tickets include access to the popular pre-performance event, Behind the Show Backstory, a multimedia presentation, created and hosted by Weber that discusses that evening’s production including the show’s creative history, juicy backstage gossip and the state of the art on Broadway that season. Single tickets to Woman of the Year and subscriptions for the entire series are available at porchlightmusictheatre.org or by calling the Porchlight Music Theatre box office at 773.777.9884.
Principal Sponsors for Porchlight Revisits Woman of the Year are Anne & Greg Taubeneck.
Porchlight Music Theatre is partially supported by generous contributions from the Actors’ Equity Foundation, the Bloomberg Philanthropies, Chapman | Spingola, Attorneys at Law, the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, James P. and Brenda S. Grusecki Family Foundation, the MacArthur Fund for Arts & Culture at the Prince Foundation, 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.