PORCHLIGHT MUSIC THEATRE CELEBRATES BLACK HISTORY MONTH WITH LADY DAY AT EMERSON’S BAR & GRILL FEBRUARY 2 – MARCH 10, 2013, AT STAGE 773
Porchlight Music Theatre is proud to celebrate Black History Month, with the third production in their 2012 – 2013 season, Lanie Robertson’s Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, February 2 – March 10, 2013, starring Alexis Rogers as Billie Holiday and directed by Porchlight Artistic Associate Rob Lindley with music direction by Jaret Landon, at Stage 773, 1225 West Belmont Ave. Previews are Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013 at 8 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013 at 2 and 6 p.m. and Monday, Feb. 4, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. Opening/Press Night is Tuesday, Feb. 5 at 7:30 p.m. The regular run schedule is Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 4 and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $30 for previews and $39 for all other performances. Groups of ten or more may receive discounts on tickets purchased via the Groups Sales office at 773.777.9884. Single tickets for Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill are on sale now and may be purchased at stage773.com or by phone at 773.327.5252.
It’s 1959 and legendary musical performer Billie Holiday (Alexis Rogers) is just four months away from death as she steps to the microphone in a seedy bar in Philadelphia for one of her final performances. Though she is there to sing, the audience will find she has more on her mind than music. In addition to featuring a dozen of her hits, Holiday tells the tale of who she is, as a woman, as a black performer, as a civil rights leader and so much more, in her own original style. Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill showcases the talents of the strong, yet, fragile woman who pioneered a new way of looking and listening to music while presenting a story fused with drama as much as humor that plays like one of Lady Day’s legendary songs.
The production team for Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill includes Alexia Rutherford, costume design; Nick Belley, lighting design; Jeffrey D. Kmiec, set design; Victoria “Toy” DeIorio, sound design; Adrian Juarez, properties design; Jenn Kincaid, stage manager; Deborah Blumenthal, dramaturgy intern and Patrick Fries, production manager.
SPECIAL ENGAGEMENT AT BEVERLY ARTS CENTER
Porchlight’s Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, March 22 – 24, 2013
Porchlight’s production of Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, moves for a limited engagement to the Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W 111th Street, Friday, March 22 and Saturday, March 23 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, March 24 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $26 and are available at beverlyartcenter.org or 773.445.3838.
This Porchlight presentation at the Beverly Arts Center is made possible through a generous donation by the Chicago Community Trust.
ABOUT ALEXIS ROGERS, performer, “Billie Holiday”
Alexis J. Rogers was last seen at Porchlight Music Theatre as “Sarah” in Ragtime. She was most recently seen in Dreamgirls (Marriott Theatre) and Crowns (The Goodman Theatre,) where she previously appeared in Ain’t Misbehavin’. Other Chicago credits include “Bess” in Porgy and Bess, Spunk and The Piano Lesson (Court Theatre); Hairspray (Drury Lane Oakbrook); The Old Settler (Writers’ Theatre); The Colored Museum, The Nativity and Seven Guitars (Jeff awards for Best Ensemble and Best Production – Congo Square Theatre Company).
ABOUT ROB LINDLEY, director
Rob Lindley is a Porchlight Music Theatre Artistic Associate where he has directed A Wonderful Life and acted in Children of Eden, A New Brain, Sweeney Todd and Closer Than Ever and has played host and director of Porchlight’s annual Chicago Sings… concert. Most recently, Lindley has been seen in The Dead and Angels in America (Court Theatre); as well as Candide (Goodman Theatre); Bach at Leipzig (Writers’ Theatre); Urinetown (Mercury Theatre); Wings (Apple Tree Theatre); and The Most Happy Fella – starring George Hearn (Ravinia Festival). Lindley was also nominated for a Jeff Award for his performance of “Mr. Snow” in Carousel at Court Theatre and won the Jeff Award for Best Actor in a Revue for his work in Oh Coward! at Writer’s Theatre. He performs cabaret often with his vocal trio Foiled Again (After Dark Award winners in 2003) and recorded Foiled Again: Live with Them (available on iTunes and CDbaby.com). Lindley is a proud member of Actors’ Equity and married to musical director and fellow Porchlight Artistic Associate Doug Peck.
ABOUT JARET LANDON, music director
Jaret Landon is a composer, arranger, vocalist, pianist and educator. He has Bachelor and Master degrees in both Music Performance and Music Education. Landon has composed and arranged scores for various independent films, musicals and recorded albums. He is employed with the Lyric Opera of Chicago and serves as the music director at Pullman Christian Reformed Church. Landon is resident music director for Congo Square Theatre’s production of The Nativity, by McKinley Johnson for which he composed and arranged the music. In 2009, Landon received the BTAA Duke Ellington Award for “Best Musical Direction” for Sanctified by Javon Johnson. Landon has had the opportunity to play for nationally known recording artists, including Faith Evans and five-time Grammy-nominated artist, LEDISI. Currently he is writing and producing music for Pauletta Washington, wife of actor Denzel Washington, and is composing a new orchestral work entitled Fortitude.
ABOUT PORCHLIGHT MUSIC THEATRE
Porchlight Music Theatre nationally recognized for developing innovative new works, reimagining classic productions and showcasing musical theatre’s rising stars, is in its 18th season as Chicago’s leader of music theatre productions. Porchlight elevates music theatre in Chicago within an intimate, close-up environment and provides a thoroughly modern and passionate experience, serving both audiences and artists alike. With the recent addition of new Artistic Director Michael Weber and a 2012-2013 season that included the critically acclaimed Chicago premiere of A Class Act, the Chicago premiere of O. Henry’s American Christmas Carol, The Gifts of the Magi, now running through December 23 at Stage 773, and the O’Hara, Rodgers and Hart classic, Pal Joey, April 20 – May 26 at Stage 773, Porchlight continues to be Chicago’s leading presenter of music theatre. Porchlight’s rich history includes the staging of more than 50 shows with five world premieres, among them, BEST
MUSICAL! A Completely Improvised Musical Comedy!, playing Wednesdays at 7:30 at Stage 773 starting November 28, its most recent work developed through “Off the Porch,” Porchlight’s new works program, as well as ten Chicago premieres. The company has received a total of 73 Joseph Jefferson Award nominations resulting in 22 Jeff Awards.
Lanie Robertson’s Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, February 2 – March 10, 2013, starring Alexis Rogers as Billie Holiday and directed by Porchlight Artistic Associate Rob Lindley with music direction by Jaret Landon, at Stage 773, 1225 West Belmont Ave. Previews are Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013 at 8 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013 at 2 and 6 p.m. and Monday, Feb. 4, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. Opening/Press Night is Tuesday, Feb. 5 at 7:30 p.m. The regular run schedule is Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 4 and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $30 for previews and $39 for all other performances. Groups of ten or more may receive discounts on tickets purchased via the Groups Sales office at 773-777-9884. Single tickets for Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill are on sale now and may be purchased at stage773.com or by phone at 773.327.5252.