CHICAGO – Porchlight Music Theatre is proud to announce Chicago Sings Stephen Sondheim, its annual fundraising concert, Monday, May 23, 2022 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago Ave. Chicago Sings Stephen Sondheim will be a celebration of the life and art of the great composer/lyricist who changed the world of American music theatre. The concert includes live performances of Sondheim classics performed by Chicago music theatre’s best loved artists and the presentation of the 2022 Guy Adkins Award for Excellence in the Advancement of Music Theatre in Chicago. Chicago Sings Stephen Sondheim is directed by Porchlight Music Theatre Artistic Director Michael Weber. Tickets will be available for purchase beginning Monday, March 1 at 12 p.m. CST at PorchlightMusicTheatre.org.
“We were in the final stages of planning our 2022 Chicago Sings concert, when we heard the heartbreaking news about the passing of Stephen Sondheim,” said Executive Director Jeannie Lukow. “We knew immediately that Chicago Sings would now have to be in honor of this extraordinary American artist. Porchlight has a long history with Stephen Sondheim’s work, producing nearly 20 of his works in our 27 year history, and we felt this was an opportunity to share his life and his career with our audiences who love him so much.”
“Stephen Sondheim, without a doubt, has been one of the main influences and creative geniuses of modern music theatre,” added Artistic Director Weber. “Chicago Sings Stephen Sondheim will salute this recipient of Tony, Academy, Olivier and Grammy awards, as well as a Pulitzer Prize and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. His passing has been felt by people around the world and our commemoration of Sondheim will be both a time to reflect on his artistry and celebrate all that he has given to us.”
ABOUT THE GUY ADKINS AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN THE ADVANCEMENT OF MUSIC THEATRE IN CHICAGO
Each year, Porchlight Music Theatre celebrates an individual who has made an exceptional and lasting contribution to the state of the art of Chicago music theatre, with the prestigious Guy Adkins Award. Guy Adkins was an award-winning Chicago actor who passed away in 2010. Among his significant stage credits were Oklahoma! Windy City and A Funny Thing Happened…at Marriott Theatre; The Taming of the Shrew at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre; Pericles, Twelfth Night, The Invention of Love and the title role in Hamlet at Court Theatre; The Time of Your Life at Steppenwolf and the world premieres of the musicals The Return of Martin Guerre and The Visit, both at The Goodman Theatre. The Chicago Sun-Times called Adkins, “…a smart and invariably graceful actor” and The New York Times called him “outrageously talented” for his turn at “Puck” in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the McCarter Theatre in New Jersey. Porchlight commemorates Adkins’ spirit and life with this annual award and celebrates the many gifts he shared with our theatre community and the world.
Past recipients include:
Felicia P. Fields, 2021
Gary Griffin, 2019
Brenda Didier, 2018
Rachel Rockwell, 2017
E. Faye Butler, 2016
Dominic Missimi, 2015
Paula Scrofano, 2014
Douglas Peck, 2013
Hollis Resnik, 2012 and
L. Walter Sterns, 2011.
ABOUT STEPHEN SONDHEIM
Stephen Sondheim wrote the music and lyrics for Saturday Night (1954), A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum (1962), Anyone Can Whistle (1964), Follies (1972)
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 1979 at 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; Bayless Family Foundation; Michael Best & Friedrich LLP; Chapman | Spingola, Attorneys at Law; Abe and Ida Cooper Foundation; Gen Ops Plus; Elegant Event Lighting; 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; Dr. Scholl Foundation 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.
Porchlight Music Theatre wishes to thank members of the Matching Gift Corporate Program including abbvie; Allstate; Lloyd A. Fry Foundation; Peoples Gas; Pepsico; Polk Bros Foundation and The Saints.