Porchlight Music Theatre launches its 18th season with the Chicago premiere of A Class Act, September 1 – October 7, at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. A Class Act's music and lyrics are by Edward Kleban and the book is by Linda Kline and Lonny Price. Porchlight's production is directed and choreographed by Stacey Flaster with music direction by Beckie Menzie who will personally accompany at the grand piano. Porchlight Artistic Associate Doug Peck plays performances Sept 7, 8 & 9 and Oct 7. A Class Act previews are Saturday, Sept. 1 at 8 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 2 at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. and Monday, Sept 3 at 7:30 p.m. Opening/Press Night is Tuesday, September 4 at 7:30 pm. The regular run schedule is Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Please note: there is no 4 p.m. performance, Saturday, Sept. 8. Tickets are $30 for previews and $39 for all other performances. Subscriptions to the entire 18th Season, student, senior and group discounts are available. Purchase Season Subscriptions at porchlightmusictheatre.org or by phone at 773-777-9884. Single tickets for A Class Act may be purchased at theaterwit.org, or by phone at 773-975-8150 .
A Class Act, nominated for three Drama Desk Awards and five Tonys including "Best Musical," is a "musical about musicals" based on the life of one of the award winning collaborators of A Chorus Line, Composer–Lyricist Edward Kleban, who died at the age of 48 in 1987. Kleban's friends Linda Kline and Lonny Price created the story from Kleban's work that was never produced and found after his death.
Providing a behind-the-scenes glimpse at how a musical is created and the forces behind its creation, A Class Act, uses flashbacks to retrace the high and low points of Kleban's amazing career and explores how an artist's personal life can inspire or interfere with professional pursuits. The show integrates songs, which Stephen Sondheim said he "wished he'd written," from widely different Kleban projects into the narrative, with the topics ranging from the tricks of songwriting to personal/professional relationships to self-critical examination. Each number establishes a particular moment of insight creating a study of a lost era in show business.
The production team for A Class Act includes Bil Ingraham, assistant director; Doug Peck, music supervisor Patrick Fries, production manager; Christopher Tisone, stage manager; Bill Morey, costume designer; Dustin L. Derry, lighting designer, Julia Eberhardt, properties designer, Angela Miller, set designer and Victoria (Toy) Delorio, sound designer.