CHICAGO – Due to the current virus surge in Chicago and out of an abundance of caution regarding the public health concerns for our artists and audiences, Award-winning Porchlight Music Theatre announces its three events scheduled for January and February 2022: Blues in the Night, Clear, A New Musical Experience and Porchlight Revisits Passing Strange have been rescheduled to later this year, new dates for Blues in the Night are listed below, new dates for Clear, A New Musical Experience and Porchlight Revisits Passing Strange are to be announced. Tickets are now on sale for all new dates and current ticket holders may reschedule, make a tax-deductible donation or receive a refund. The Porchlight Music Theatre box office will reach out to current ticket holders over the next two weeks and may be reached at 773.777.9884.
New dates for Porchlight Music Theatre productions:
Blues in the Night
Conceived by Sheldon Epps
Directed and Choreographed by Kenny Ingram+
Music Directed by David Fiorello+
Associate Music Director and Conductor Maulty Jewell IV+
Assistant Choreographer Ariel Dorsey*
NEW DATES: February 9 – March 13
Performance schedule: Thursdays at 7 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 3 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. with a 1:30 p.m. matinee Thursday, Feb. 17 (there is no Saturday performance, Feb 12 and no 7 p.m. performance Thursday, Feb. 17)
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.
Clear, A New Musical Experience
Written by Paul Oakley Stovall+
Directed by Kenny Ingram+
NEW DATE: TBA – Spring 2022
Clear is a new, original musical from Paul Oakley Stovall, a Chicago-based artist who is currently performing as “Washington” in the national tour of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton and who also worked as a member of the Obama administration. Clear was born when he fused his personal life experience with his life-changing political odyssey as part of the Obama administration. He created Clear for everyone who wants to say yes to life, continue searching for joy and live in their truth.
Clear is a spiritual quest in a decidedly computerized time fusing music, memory and pure love to remind all how best to live life. It sings a tale of destiny, luck and the commonality of the human experience. From the slave castles of Ghana to the winding streets of Istanbul; from the banks of the river Seine to a star-filled night sky over the suburban Midwest, these storytellers continue to discover that change is inevitable and clear.
Porchlight Revisits: Passing Strange
Lyrics and Book by Stew+
Music by Heidi Rodewald* and Stew+
Directed by Donterrio+
Music Directed by Justin Akira Kono+
Choreographed by Terri K Woodall*
NEW DATES: TBA – Spring 2022
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 and went on to be a critically acclaimed motion picture filmed by Spike Lee+ in 2009. The New York Times said about its Broadway debut, “Call it a rock concert with a story to tell … Or call it a sprawling work of performance art … I’ll just call it wonderful.”
All performances take place at The Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn Street.
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 In-Resident Organization. Central to the Ruth Page Center for the Arts’ programming is this 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
Porchlight Music Theatre is the award-winning center for music theatre in Chicago. Through live performance, youth education and community outreach we impact thousands of lives each season, bringing the magic of musicals to our theatre home at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts in the Gold Coast and to neighborhoods across the city. Porchlight has built a national reputation for boldly reimagining classic musicals, supporting new works and young performers, and showcasing Chicago’s most notable music theatre artists, all through the intimate and powerful theatrical lens of the “Chicago Style.”
Now in its 27th season, Porchlight’s quarter-century production history includes more than 70 mainstage works with 15 Chicago premieres and five world premieres. Porchlight’s commitment to the past, present and future of music theatre led the company to develop the Porchlight Revisits and New Faces Sing Broadway program series, both quickly becoming audience favorites.
Porchlight’s education and outreach programs serve schools, youth of all ages and skill levels and community organizations, most notably the ongoing collaboration with Chicago Youth Centers. Porchlight annually awards dozens of full scholarships and hundreds of free tickets to ensure accessibility and real engagement with this uniquely American art form.
The company’s many honors include 178 Joseph Jefferson Award (Jeff) nominations and 45 Jeff awards, as well as 33 Black Theatre Alliance (BTA) nominations and 12 BTA awards. In 2019, Porchlight graduated to the Large Theatre tier of the Equity Jeff Awards, and was honored with eight nominations in both technical and artistic categories and won three awards in its inaugural year in this tier, most notably Best Ensemble for Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies.
Through the global pandemic, Porchlight emerged as one of Chicago’s leaders in virtual programming, quickly launching a host of free offerings like Sondheim @ 90 Roundtables, Movie Musical Mondays, Porchlight by Request: Command Performances and WPMT: Classic Musicals from the Golden Age of Radio. For the 2020-2021 season, Porchlight’s fall schedule included all-new ticketed virtual programs including Broadway by the Decade, New Faces Sing Broadway 1987, Chicago Sings Rock & Roll Broadway, New Faces Sing Broadway 1961 and the return of The Ruffians’ Burning Bluebeard as well as collaborations with Hershey Felder and L.A. Theatre Works. Porchlight recently launched its first summer performance schedule in 2021 that included a sold-out performance of New Faces Sing Broadway 1979at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, the premiere of its outdoor music series Broadway in your Backyard, performed throughout Chicagoland this summer and special appearances at Sundays on State and Navy Pier’s Chicago Live Again.
Porchlight Music Theatre is partially supported by generous contributions from Actors’ Equity Foundation; Allstate; Michael Best & Friedrich LLP; Chapman | Spingola, LLP; Abe and Ida Cooper Foundation; Gen Ops Plus; Elegant Event Lighting; Glimpse Vision; James P. and Brenda S. Grusecki Family Foundation; Hearty Boys; A.L. and Jennie L. Luria Foundation; The MacArthur Fund for Culture, Equity and the Arts at Prince; the Pritzker Traubert Foundation; Ryan and Spaeth, Inc.; Daniel and Genevieve Ratner Foundation; The Saints and Dr. Scholl 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.