For its 2013-2014 season, Porchlight Theatre is trying something a bit different. Its standard subscription series will include one Chicago premiere, one revue and one Broadway classic. But it also will introduce a "Lost Musicals" series designed to take audiences back to a particular year in Broadway musical history with one-night-only presentations of three rarely revived or largely forgotten shows.
The main Porchlight season will include:
± "Double Trouble" (Aug. 31-Oct. 6), a "musical tour de farce" in its Chicago premiere. With book, music and lyrics by Bob Walton and Jim Walton, the show, set in 1940's Hollywood, follows two song-and-dance brothers with the career -making opportunity to write a song for a major motion picture company. But they only have a few hours in which to do it. The cast of two actors plays more than 10 characters (and musical instruments), in this quick change, tap-dancing comedy musical that celebrates the crazy days of making movie musicals with the likes of Gene Kelly, Danny Kaye and Donald O'Connor.
± "Ain't Misbehavin'" (Feb. 1-March 9, 2014): Conceived by Murray Horwitz and Richard Matlby, Jr., this Tony Award-winning revue of the music of Thomas "Fats" Waller reveals the sometimes sassy, sometimes sultry songbook of a man whose music was all the rage during the height of the Harlem Renaissance. The show features 30 of Waller's high energy tunes, including the title song, "Honeysuckle Rose" and "This Joint is Jumpin'."
± "How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying" (April 26-June 1, 2014): This classic Frank Loesser musical about 1950s office politics, with a book by Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock and Willie Gilbert., is a Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical satire about big business. It follows the rise of one J. Pierrepont Finch, who uses a little "how to succeed" handbook to climb the corporate ladder from lowly window washer to high-powered executive.
For the launch of the Porchlight Revisits project, outside the standard subscription, a single year in the life of America's unique artistic creation, "the Broadway musical," will be selected, and audiences will get a rare opportunity to visit three musicals (in concert form) that opened that year but have since gone "unsung."
The first year in focus will be 1964. Each performance will begin at 8 p.m., but starting at 7:15 p.m., there will be a "behind the scenes" multimedia presentation that puts the show in perspective, supplies juicy backstage stories and reveals the state of the art on Broadway in that season. The 1964 productions will include: "Anyone Can Whistle" (Sept. 25), the Stephen Sondheim musical with book by Arthur Laurents ; "Golden Boy" (Feb. 26, 2014), the musical created for Sammy Davis, Jr., with book by Clifford Odets and William Gibson, and score by Lee Adams and Charles Strouse;and "Fade Out - Fade In" (Feb. 26, 2014); the show that originally starred Carol Burnett in a spoof of the Hollywood film industry of the 1930s, with book and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green and music by Jule Styne.
All Porchlight productions take place at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont. "Early Bird" discount Season Subscriptions are on sale through July 1. Single tickets for all performances go on sale July 1. Call (773) 327-5252 or visit www.stage773.com. All subscriptions are available at porchlightmusictheatre.org or call (773) 777-9884.
Note: 3-SHOW OPENING NIGHT SUBSCRIPTION ($150); 3-SHOW PREMIER SUBSCRIPTION ($102); 3-SHOW PREVIEW SUBSCRIPTION ( $75); 4-TICKET FLEX-PASS SUBSCRIPTION ($136); PORCHLIGHT REVISITS... Concert Series ( $75)