Porchlight Music Theatre opens its 17th season with its 14th production of a work by Stephen Sondheim, Putting It Together, directed by Brenda Didier with music direction by Austin Cook, at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. The performance schedule is Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 and 6 p.m. Single tickets are $38 with group and student discounts available. A season subscription including Putting It Together, the Chicago premiere of John Bucchino and Harvey Fierstein's A Catered Affair and Jonathan Larson's tick, tick...BOOM! is $99 per subscription. All tickets are available at theaterwit.org or by phone at 773-975-8150.
Porchlight redefines this celebratory review of the music of Stephen Sondheim by setting Putting It Together here and now in the hip West Loop loft condo of a moving and shaking Chicago couple (McKinley Carter and Adam Pelty) who, in the midst of their 25th anniversary celebration, find themselves foundationally rocked as the arrival of their guests (Aja Goes and Michael Reckling) and a mysterious observer (Alex Weisman) challenges everything they understand of the realities of contemporary love, loyalty, romance and restraint. The production includes Sondheim's best loved songs from A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Merrily We Roll Along, Anyone Can Whistle, Sunday in the Park with George, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, The Frogs, Sweeney Todd and Dick Tracy.
ABOUT Brenda Didier, DIRECTOR
Brenda Didier is a Non-Equity Jeff-Award winning director (Theo Ubique's Cats) and choreographer (Bailiwick Repertory's Kiss of the Spiderwoman and Bohemian Theatre Ensemble's The Life) who most recently choreographed the smash hit South Side of Heaven for The Second City and Cirque Shanghai. Didier is a six-time nominee of the Joseph Jefferson Award and is the recipient of two choreography awards from the Academy of Theatre Artists and Friends and two After Dark Awards for excellence in choreography.
ABOUT Austin Cook, MUSIC DIRECTOR
Austin Cook is the most recent recipient of the Non-Equity Jeff Award for Best Music Direction (Theo Ubique's Some Enchanted Evening-The Songs of Rodgers and Hammerstein) and he is the current Music Director of their Theatre on the Lake transfer of Sweet and Hot-The Songs of Harold Arlen. Before moving to Chicago in 2009, Austin worked for Walt Disney Entertainment in Lake Buena Vista, Florida collaborating on such projects as the musicals of Finding Nemo and Toy Story.
ABOUT THE CAST
Adam Pelty appeared in the Broadway productions of Cyrano, Steel Pier, A Christmas Carol, Joseph..., The Scarlet Pimpernel and Titanic and in Chicago in Spamalot (Drury Lane) and The Drowsy Chaperone (Jeff Nomination-Marriott).
Chicago favorite, McKinley Carter has been seen in The Tempest (Chicago Shakespeare), The Dead and The Romance Cycle (Court), Turn of the Century (Goodman), Ragtime (Drury Lane) and Jon and Jen (Jeff Nomination-Apple Tree).
Rising Chicago actor Alex Weisman has appeared in The Madness of George III (Chicago Shakespeare), A Christmas Carol and Mary (Goodman); Peter Pan (Lookingglass) and The History Boys (Jeff Award-TimeLine Theatre).
Porchlight discovery Aja Goes, still a student at Roosevelt University, has appeared in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (CCPA) and on the recordings RENT: Student Edition and The Sound of Plaid for MTI.
Michael Reckling makes his Porchlight debut having been seen in A Little Night Music, Yeoman of the Guard and Carousel (Light Opera Works).
The design team includes John Zuiker, scenic design; Matthew Guthier, costume design; Julie Ballard, lighting design; Joseph Fosco, sound design. The stage manager is David Loranca.
ABOUT PORCHLIGHT THEATRE
Porchlight Music Theatre, American Musicals. Chicago Style., nationally recognized for developing innovative new works, reimagining classic productions and showcasing musical theater's rising stars, begins its 17th Season as Chicago's leader of music theatre productions. By uniting the arts of music, drama, dance and design Porchlight Music Theatre transforms stories into thrilling, passionate and relevant events, which affect the lives of artists and audiences alike. With the recent addition of new Artistic Director Michael Weber and a 2011-2012 season that includes Sondheim, a Chicago premiere and an international sensation, Porchlight's status as Chicago's music theatre will continue and grow. Porchlight's rich history includes the staging of 49 shows with five world premieres, among them, The Teapot Scandals, its first work developed through "Off the Porch," Porchlight's new works program, as well as seven Chicago premieres. The company has received a total of 34 Joseph Jefferson Award nominations resulting in 11 Jeff Awards.
This year, Porchlight introduced the first annual Guy Adkins Award for Excellence in the Advancement of Music Theatre, named in honor of the beloved actor and presented it to L. Walter Stearns in recognition of his 14 years as artistic director of the company.
FUTURE PORCHLIGHT PRODUCTIONS
A Catered Affair
Music and Lyrics by John Bucchino,
Book by Harvey Fierstein
February 17 thru April 1, 2012
Nick Bowling, director
Doug Peck, musical director
Press Opening: Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 7:30 p.m.
Stage773, 1225 W Belmont Ave.
Music, Lyrics and Book by Jonathan Larson
April 27 - June 10, 2012
Adam Pelty, director
Diana Lawrence, music director
Press Opening: Tuesday, May 1 at 7:30 p.m.
Stage773, 1225 W Belmont Ave
Stephen Sondheim's Putting It Together is at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. The performance schedule is Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 and 6 p.m. Single tickets are $38 with group and student discounts available. All tickets are available at theaterwit.org or by phone at 773-975-8150.
Photos courtesy of Porchlight Music Theatre
Musical Director, Conductor, Pianist Austin Cook and Director/choreographer of Putting ItTogether Brenda Didier
Sam Philip, McKinley Carter, Adam Pelty, Alex Weisman, Aja Goes, Michael Reckling, Matthew Sitz and Austin Cook
Cast of Putting It Together Adam Pelty, McKinley Carter, Alex Weisman, Aja Goes and Michael Reckling
Director/choreographer of Putting ItTogether Brenda Didier and Porchlight's Artistic Director Michael Weber
Artist Matthew Lew and guest