CHICAGO – Porchlight Music Theatre continue its 25th Anniversary Season with its “lost” musicals in staged concert series Porchlight Revisits. Porchlight Revisits Call Me Madam, with book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse and music and lyrics by Irving Berlin stars Donica Lynn as the titular socialite presented for three performances Wednesday, Nov. 20 at 7:30 p.m. and Thursday, Nov. 21 at 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at The Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn Street The production is directed by Christopher Pazdernik, musical direction by Micky York and choreography by Jenna Schoppe. Each Porchlight Revisits production begins with the“Behind the Show Backstory” multimedia presentation, created and hosted by Artistic Director Michael Weber, discussing that evening’s production including the show’s creative history, juicy backstage gossip and much more. Single tickets for $45 are available at porchlightmusictheatre.org or by calling the Porchlight Music Theatre box office at 773.777.9884.
From the combined talents who penned Annie Get Your Gun and The Sound of Music and created for the original “Hostess with the Mostess’ on the Ball,” Ethel Merman, here is one of the Golden Age of Broadway’s biggest musical comedy hits. All the more timely in an election year, it’s a satire on politics and foreign policy that spoofs America’s penchant for lending billions of dollars to needy countries and centers on Sally Adams, a well-meaning but ill-informed socialite who is appointed United States ambassador to the fictional European country of Lichtenburg who charms the local gentry and, of course, falls in love. Call Me Madam features the hit songs: “It’s a Lovely Day Today,” “The Best Thing for You (Would be Me)” and “You’re Just in Love.”
The cast of Porchlight Revisits Call Me Madam includes: Donica Lynn, “Sally Adams;” Matthew Keffer, “Cosmo Constantine;” Nik Kmiecik, “Kenneth Gibson;” Laura Savage, “Princess Maria;” Bill Larkin, “Senator Wilkins;” Chris Baum, “Senator Gallagher;” Cortez Johnson, “Senator Brockbank;” Elliot Sagay, “Pemberton Maxwell;” Larry Baldacci, “Sebastian Sebastian;” Tom Shea, “Senator Gibson/Duke of Otto/ensemble;” Michelle McKenzie-Voigt, “Secretary/Duchess Sophie/ensemble;” Connor Giles, “featured dancer/ensemble” and Taryn Skoda, “featured dancer/ensemble.” Porchlight is proud to partner with Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts including students enrolled in the program Adit Marciano, Drew Mitchell, Tanner Garmon, Ashton Norris, Katie Kotila and Emma Murphy as ensemble apprentices.
The production team includes Christopher Pazdernik, director; Micky York, music director; Jenna Schoppe, choreographer; Rueben Echoles, costume designer; Rachel West, lighting designer; Keegan Bradac, sound designer; Kaitlin Moser, stage manager; Sean Michael Mohler, stage manager assistant; Hai Alvarez-Millard, stage manager assistant; Jack Breslow, stage manager assistant apprentice; Samantha Treible, wardrobe supervisor and Jamie Davis, audio engineer.
ABOUT DONICA LYNN, “Sally Adams”
Chicago Sun-Times calls her “Show-stopping: Her astonishing voice and fierce acting chops should catapult her to stardom.” Donica Lynn earned Chicago’s Jeff Award, Time Out Award and Black Theatre Alliance Award for her heart-wrenching performance as “Effie” in Porchlight Music Theatre’s Dreamgirls and she returns to the Porchlight MainStage this January in Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies. Most amazingly, Lynn is a two-time brain tumor survivor currently battling a third cancerous tumor. For her courageous artistry, Chicago Tribune named her a Chicagoan of the Year. Other theatre credits include: Ghost, The Color Purple, Smokey Joe’s Cafe (Jeff Award nomination), 42nd Street, Ghost, The Color Purple, Rock of Ages, Hair, Hairspray, Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida, Footloose, Barnum, Confessions of a P.I.M.P. (opposite Andre DeSheilds), Lady in Denmark, Duke Ellington’s Queenie Pie, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Once On This Island and A Wonder in My Soul. Television credit includes “Chicago Fire.” Concert performances also include “Aretha Franklin: Queen of Soul.” As a recording artist, Lynn has performed, recorded, lent background vocals, and toured with artists including Stevie Wonder, Mariah Carey, New Kids on the Block, Natalie Cole and Gladys Knight.
ABOUT CHRISTOPHER PAZDERNIK, director
Christopher Pazdernik is a director/choreographer with “a near encyclopedic knowledge of musicals” (Newcity). At Porchlight Music Theatre, Pazdernik serves as casting & company manager. He recently assisted directed Porchlight’s current MainStage production Sunset Boulevard that has been extended through December 8. At Porchlight he has also directed and choreographed many Porchlight Revisits productions including Minnie’s Boys, The Rink, Anyone Can Whistle, City of Angels, Applause and Do Re Mi; served as associate director for Porchlight’s Merrily We Roll Along and has co-curated the Porchlight New Faces Sing Broadway series. For three seasons, he was the artistic director at Refuge Theatre Company, best known for the critically acclaimed production of High Fidelity (Jeff Awards for Best Director and Best Production of a Musical). Recent other credits include Carrie (Ohio Northern University), Wicked City (Chicago Theatre Workshop), Planted (Chicago Musical Theatre Festival), Make Me a Song (Eclectic Theatre Co.) and Story of A Story (The Untold Story) (Underscore Theater Co.).
ABOUT MICKY YORK, music director
Micky York is a professional musician, performing all over Chicagoland.He has has completed several national tours. In 2003, he founded and acted as executive director of a small Chicago theatre company until its close in 2008. He received a BFA in Musical Theatre/Conducting from Drake University and a Masters in Arts Management from Columbia College Chicago. York has been teaching Information Management in the Business & Entrepreneurship Department since 2010. He is currently the director of marketing and innovation at Chicago-based Errand Solutions, focused on customer engagement and new technology development initiatives.
ABOUT JENNA SCHOPPE, choreographer
Jenna Schoppe returns to Porchlight Music Theatre where she choreographed its Porchlight Revisits production of Do Re Mi. Additional choreography credits include Mamma Mia (Highland Park Players); Yank: a WW2 Love Story (Pride Films and Plays. Jeff Award, Best Choreography), Spamalot (Wilmette Center for the Arts), The Ballad of Lefty and Crabbe (Underscore Theatre Company) and Shrek (Windy City Performs). She also assistant directed and choreographed On the Town (Highland Park Players).
ABOUT 2019 YEAR OF CHICAGO THEATRE
Porchlight Music Theatre is proud to be part of the 2019 Year of Chicago Theatre, presented by the City of Chicago and the League of Chicago Theatres. To truly fall in love with Chicago, you must go to our theatres. This is where the city bares its fearless soul. Home to a community of creators, risk-takers and big hearts, Chicago theatre is a hotbed for exciting new work and hundreds of world premieres every year. From Broadway musicals to storefront plays and improv, there’s always a seat waiting for you at one of our 200+ theatres.
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:
(2018/19) 1776, Can-Can, Minnie’s Boys
(2017/18) Woman of the Year, They’re Playing Our Song, Do Re Mi;
(2016/17) The Rink, Little Me, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever;
(2015/16) Babes in Arms, Applause, Chess;
(2014/15) Bells Are Ringing, City of Angels, Mack & Mabel;
(2013/14) Anyone Can Whistle, Golden Boy, Fade Out-Fade In.
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 25th 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 marked a milestone for Porchlight as the company became 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 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 “Make Your Own Musical” Camp in 2017. The company’s many accolades include 30 Black Theatre Alliance nominations and 12 awards, as well as a total of 167 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 continue its 25th Anniversary Season with its “lost” musicals in staged concert series Porchlight Revisits. Porchlight Revisits Call Me Madam, with book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse and music and lyrics by Irving Berlin stars Donica Lynn as the titular socialite presented for three performances Wednesday, Nov. 20 at 7:30 p.m. and Thursday, Nov. 21 at 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at The Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn Street The production is directed by Christopher Pazdernik, musical direction by Micky York and choreography by Jenna Schoppe. Each Porchlight Revisits production begins with the“Behind the Show Backstory” multimedia presentation, created and hosted by Artistic Director Michael Weber, discussing that evening’s production including the show’s creative history, juicy backstage gossip and much more. Single tickets for $45 are available at porchlightmusictheatre.org or by calling the Porchlight Music Theatre box office at 773.777.9884.