Saturday January 20 10:13 am

Spotlighting events along the south shore of Lake Michigan

PORCHLIGHT MUSIC THEATRE CONTINUES 2017 – 2018 NEW FACES SERIES WITH NEW FACES SING BROADWAY 1959, FEBRUARY 26

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In tribute to the original New Faces series that ran on Broadway and on film from 1934 – 1968, Porchlight Music Theatre created the Chicago musical revue series, New Faces Sing Broadway as a showcase for the best emerging music talent now performing on Chicago stages. Each edition is a “time–machine” journey from the start to the finish of an entire musical season from the classic days of Broadway, peppered with photos and films of the era in an exciting multimedia presentation with a favorite Chicago theatre veteran hosting and introducing the next generation of music theatre artists while acting as your guide through a vintage year on the Great White Way.

Seating is general admission; tickets are $22 and are available at porchlightmusictheatre.org or from the Porchlight Music Theatre box office, 773.777.9884.

In addition to the performances on stage, the host engages the audience to sing along as the “Broadway chorus” of some of the best-known production numbers from that classic musical season and challenges them to “Name that Showtune,” a fun and fast-moving music theatre trivia game where participants win Porchlight prizes.

New Faces Sings Broadway’s spring edition celebrates the start to the finish of the year 1959 on Broadway, peppered with photos and films of the era in an exciting multimedia presentation with, Gene Weygandt, a favorite Chicago theatre veteran hosting and introducing the next generation of music theatre artists and acting as your guide through a past season on the Great White Way.

Featuring songs from A Party With Comden and Green, Destry Rides Again, Fiorello!, First Impressions, Flower Drum Song, Goldilocks, Gypsy, Juno, The Most Happy Fella, The Nervous Set, Once Upon a Mattress, Redhead, Saratoga, The Sound of Music, Take Me Along, Whoop-Up and others.

The original New Faces series via Broadway and movies was instrumental in introducing the public to emerging talent such as June Carroll, Robert Clary, Imogene Coca, Jane Connell, “Professor” Irwin Corey, Henry Fonda, Alice Ghostley, Ronny Graham, Tiger Haynes, Van Johnson, Madeline Kahn, Eartha Kitt, Robert Klein, Carol Lawrence, Paul Lynde, Virginia Martin, John Reardon, Maggie Smith, Inga Swenson and many, many others.

The cast of New Faces Sing Broadway 1959 includes: Anastasia Arnold, last seen in Gypsy at Music Theatre Works; Curtis Bannister, who recently appeared in Marie Christine at BoHo Theatre; Katherine Bourne, also seen in Marie Christine; Roy Brown, just seen in Porchlight’s Billy Elliot the Musical; Charlie Ingram, recently seen in Les Miserables at The Muny; Jacquelyne Jones, who appeared in Honky Tonk Angels at Theo Ubique; Bernell Lassai III, who is also appeared in Billy Elliot; Mallory Maedke, recently seen in Hair at The Mercury Theatre; Jeff Pierpoint, last seen in Newsies at Marriott Theatre and Maisie Rose, who appeared in Lysistrata Jones with Refuge Theatre Project. The stage manager is Joaquin Gomez.

ABOUT ADRIAN ABEL AZEVEDO, director

Adrian Abel Azevedo is the assistant director for Porchlight’s Billy Elliot the Musical and where he will next assistant direct the Porchlight Revisits production They’re Playing Our Song. He previously worked with Billy Elliot’s director Brenda Didier during last season's successful run of In The Heights. Other work with Porchlight includes directing New Faces Sing Broadway 2001 and New Faces Sing Broadway 1969. He has previously assisted for productions in various Chicago houses including Steep Theatre, Goodman Theatre and Teatro Vista. Azevedo is on staff for Goodman Theatre in the Education and Engagement Department.

ABOUT DAVID FIORELLO, music director

David Fiorello returns to Porchlight, where he was the music director and arranger for this year’s Chicago Sings: Sinatra & The Rat Pack, Porchlight Revisits Woman of the Year, the 2016-2017 New Faces Sing Broadway season and this current season. He will music direct Porchlight Revisits Do Re Mi, May 22 – 24, 2018 at The Ruth Page Center. 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 GENE WEYGANDT, host

Gene Weygandt is one of Chicago’s most acclaimed actors, perhaps best know for his portrayal of “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” in Wicked in Chicago, and on Broadway. He also starred as “Jean Shepherd” in A Christmas Story, the Musical. Also on Broadway, Weygandt originated the role of “Paul” in Big: The Musical. He is a three-time Jeff Award recipient for A Day in Hollywood/A Night in The Ukraine and Me and My Girl at the Marriott Theatre and for Little Shop of Horrors. He received an After Dark Award for his role as “Max” in the long running-hit, Lend Me a Tenor at the Royal George Theatre. Other credits include Inspecting Carol at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, The Taming of the Shrew at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre and principal roles in Old Jews Telling Jokes, The Miser, Don’t Dress for Dinner, Little Me and The Man Who Came to Dinner. Weygandt’s TV and film credits include “The Birdcage,” “The Babe,” The Pager,” “Chicago Fire,” “Betrayal,” “Boss,” “Mind Games,” “The Beast,” “Home Improvement,” “Cybil,” “Murphy Brown,” “The Drew Carey Show” and others.

Next New Faces Sings Broadway Performance:
New Faces Sing Broadway 1975
June 4 and 5, 2018
featuring songs from A Chorus Line, Chicago, The Wiz and others

*Performers, productions and songs are subject to change.

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 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 and Artistic Director Michael Weber are proud to announce the second production in its 2017 – 2018 season of Chicago’s hit musical revue series, New Faces Sing Broadway 1959, hosted by Gene Weygandt, directed by Adrian Abel Azevedo with music direction by David Fiorello, Monday, Feb. 26 at Skokie Theatre, 7924 Lincoln Ave in Skokie at 7:30 p.m. In tribute to the original New Faces series that ran on Broadway and on film from 1934 – 1968, Porchlight Music Theatre created the Chicago musical revue series, New Faces Sing Broadway as a showcase for the best emerging music talent now performing on Chicago stages. Each edition is a “time–machine” journey from the start to the finish of an entire musical season from the classic days of Broadway, peppered with photos and films of the era in an exciting multimedia presentation with a favorite Chicago theatre veteran hosting and introducing the next generation of music theatre artists while acting as your guide through a vintage year on the Great White Way. Seating is general admission; tickets are $22 and are available at porchlightmusictheatre.org or from the Porchlight Music Theatre box office, 773.777.9884.

Elaine Cohen and Arlen Rubin of Chicago sponsor Porchlight’s 2017 – 2018 New Faces series.

Porchlight Music Theatre is partially supported by generous contributions from the Abe and Ida Cooper Foundation, Actors’ Equity Foundation, Chapman | Spingola, Attorneys at Law, 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.