Porchlight’s SWEENEY TODD Featuring David Girolmo & Rebecca Finnegan Runs Oct. 3- Nov. 9


10672348_10152258824257261_6528907000588667856_nPorchlight Music Theatre’s
 mainstage 20th Anniversary Season of Sondheim commences with Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by Hugh Wheeler, direction by Porchlight Managing Artistic Director Michael Weber with music direction by Porchlight Artistic Associate Doug Peck, October 3 – November 9 at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave. Previews are Friday, Oct. 3 at 8 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 4 at 8 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 5 at 2 p.m. and Monday, Oct. 6 at 7:30 p.m. The regular run schedule is Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 4 and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. There is an added matinee performance Thursday, Nov. 6 at 1 p.m. NOTE: *There are noThursday 7:30 p.m. performances October 9 and November 6.  Tickets are $35 for preview performances, $50 for the opening night performance and reception, $39 for Thursday performances and $45 for all other performances. Subscriptions to the entire 20th Anniversary Season, including Sweeney Todd, the first production of the season, Sondheim on Sondheim and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum are currently on sale as well as single tickets for the entire season. To purchase subscriptions or single tickets visit porchlightmusictheatre.org or call 773.777.9884. Groups of ten or more may receive discounts on tickets purchased via Group Theater Tix at 312.423.6612 or grouptheatertix.com.
 
One of Sondheim’s most beloved pieces, based on the Victorian era serial, this Tony and Olivier Award-winning musical is a spine-chilling masterpiece of obsession, retribution and culinary curiosity telling the tale of London barber Benjamin Barker (Porchlight Artistic Associate David Girolmo). Torn from his family and exiled for 15 years on a miscarriage of justice, Barker returns home to a city as corrupt as when he left. Hell-bent on revenge after learning the agonizing fate of his wife and daughter, he assumes the guise of Sweeney Todd and takes up his razors to dish out a brutal recipe of justice with the help of infatuated and enterprising meat pie-maker Nellie Lovett (Porchlight Artistic Associate Rebecca Finnegan)Sweeney Todd is the latest collaboration between multi-Jeff Award-winners Michael Weber and Doug Peck who, together, brought Pal Joey and Assassins to the Porchlight stage, both productions being nominated for the Best Production – Musical Equity Jeff Award.
 
Sweeney Todd is a seminal work in the canon of Stephen Sondheim. Doug Peck and I are so honored to be able to, again, collaborate on one of this master’s works within the intimate confines of Porchlight Music Theatre,” said Weber. “This chilling piece is a heart pounding and musically soaring thrill ride and we are delighted to bring a new vision for this lauded classic to Chicago audiences.”
 
Rebecca Finnegan returns to the role of “Nellie Lovett,” for which she won the Jeff Award as Best Actress in a Musical in 2005. Jeff Award-winning actor David Girolmo essays the role of “Sweeney Todd” for the first time in his lauded career. The full cast also includes: Kelli Harrington (The Beggar Woman), Stephanie Stockstill (Johanna), Brian Acker (Anthony Hope), Edward J. MacLennan (Judge Turpin), Matthias Austin (Beadle Bamford), Kevin Webb (Adolfo Pirelli) and Miles Blim (Tobias Ragg). The Ensemble features: Pablo Barajas, Ben Barker, Caron Buinis, Javier Ferreira, Johann George, Rachel Klippel, Matt McNabb, Sierra Naomi, Andy Robinson and Porchlight Artistic Associate Christin Boulette.
 
The Artistic/Production staff includes: Porchlight Artistic Associates Jeff Kmiec (scenic design), Bill Morey (costume design), Jenna Moran (sound design), Dina DiCostanzo 
(dance and movement), Aaron Shapiro (production management), and guests Julie Eberhardt (assistant director), Greg Hofmann and Jess Goings (lighting design), Christopher Tisone (properties design) and Julia Zayas-Melendez (stage manager).
 
ABOUT STEPHEN SONDHEIM, music and lyrics
Stephen Sondheim is an American composer and lyricist known for his immense contributions to musical theatre for more than 50 years. He is the winner of an Academy Award, eight Tony Awards (more than any other composer) including the Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre, eight Grammy Awards, a Pulitzer Prize and the Laurence Olivier Award. Sondheim has written material for movies, including the 1981 Warren Beatty film Reds, for which he contributed the song “Goodbye For Now.” He also wrote five songs for the 1990 movie Dick Tracy, including a song performed by Madonna that won the Academy Award for Best Song. In celebration of his 80th birthday, the former Henry Miller’s Theatre was renamed the Stephen Sondheim Theatre on September 15, 2010.
 
ABOUT HUGH WHEELER, book
Hugh Callingham Wheeler was an English-born American based playwright, screenwriter, librettist, poet and translator. Under a variety of pen names, Wheeler was the author or co-author of many mystery novels and short stories. He won the Tony Award and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Book of a Musical in 1973 and 1974 for his books for the musicals A Little Night Music and Candide. He won both again in 1979 for his book for Sweeney Todd.  
ABOUT ARTISTIC DIRECTOR MICHAEL WEBER, director
Michael Weber previously served as artistic director for the inaugural season of Drury Lane Theatre Water Tower Place (now The Broadway Playhouse) and at Theatre at the Center (1998-2004). His productions of Pal Joey and Assassins at Porchlight Music Theatre, Grand Hotel at Drury Lane Theatre Water Tower Place and She Loves Me at Theatre at the Center were each nominated for the Equity Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Production-Musical. Most recently he co-directed (with Porchlight Artistic Associate Dina DiCostanzo) Fade Out  Fade In for “Porchlight Revisits…” in addition to, selectively, Fifth of July and Talleys Folly at the Oak Park Festival Theatre, The Petrified Forest at Theatre at the Center, Beauty and the Beast at Marriott Theatre, Over the River and Through the Woods at The Mercury Theater, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum at Pheasant Run Theatre, and Cirque du Symphony at Sears Center Arena. The recipient of two Joseph Jefferson Awards, he has written and directed the past seven Joseph Jefferson Awards ceremonies. Weber’s regional acting credits include The Sound of Music at Lyric Opera, 42nd Street at Paramount, Annie Get Your Gun and Gypsy (both starring Patti LuPone) at Ravinia, Disneys My Son Pinocchio at First Stage Milwaukee, Around the World in 80 Days at Cleveland Playhouse, The Winters Tale and Henry V at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, It Had To Be You (starring Cindy Williams and Eddie Mekka) at Little Theatre on the Square, Angel Street at First Folio Shakespeare, and The Gifts of the Magi at Indiana Repertory. A Central Region Board Member of Actors’ Equity Association, Weber is proud to serve as a pledge host on WTTW, Channel 11, and he is author of the new play, War of the Welles.
 
ABOUT ARTISTIC ASSOCIATE DOUG PECK, music director
Doug Peck is one of Chicago’s leading music directors, having won six Joseph Jefferson Awards (The Jungle Book, Porgy and Bess, Caroline, or Change, Carousel, Fiorello!, and Man of La Mancha) and two After Dark Awards (Guys and DollsHello, Again), as well as the Sarah Siddons Award and the Guy Adkins Award, for his music direction and orchestrations in Chicago and across the country. Recently, he has worked on Juno at Timeline Theatre, the world premiere musical Days Like Today at Writers Theatre and Carousel at the Glimmerglass Opera.  Peck’s work has been heard in Chicago at Court Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Writers Theatre, TimeLine Theatre Company, Northlight Theatre, Paramount Theatre, Drury Lane Oakbrook Terrace, Porchlight Music Theatre and the Ravinia Festival. Regional credits include work at the Huntington Theatre Company, the Shakespeare Theatre Company, Long Wharf Theatre, Asolo Repertory Theatre and Peninsula Players Theatre, among others. Peck can be heard on the recordings Bright Young People: The Songs of Noël Coward, Foiled Again Live, and Loving Repeating: A Musical of Gertrude Stein. For the Chicago Humanities Festival, he and his husband Rob Lindley have presented Assassins and Follies in concert, as well as the original concert evenings Birds Do It, Bees Do It and A Night At The Oscars, a chronological survey of every single song that has won the Academy Award.  Peck is a graduate of Northwestern University and also trained at the Interlochen Center for the Arts. He is a creative partner with the Goodman and a faculty member of the National High School Institute of the Arts.
 
ABOUT DAVID GIROLMO, “Sweeney Todd”
David Girolmo is a Jeff Award-winner (Phantom, Drury Lane Theatre) and multiple nominee. On Broadway he has appeared in Candide, directed by Hal Prince. Chicago: Fiddler on the Roof (Tevye) Paramount, 21 Drury Lane productions, including, most recently Les Miserables as well as Kiss Me Kate (Jeff nomination as “Fred Graham”), Annie (“Oliver Warbucks”), Follies (“Ben Stone”) and the world premieres of The Hunchback of Notre Dame (“Quasimodo).  He has performed in 46 of the contiguous United States and Canada. On television, he was most recently seen on the NBC series, Crisis (“Congressman Langston Wirth”).  Girolmo is a proud member and councilor of Actors’ Equity Association and is married to Chicago actor Heidi Kettenring.
 
ABOUT REBECCA FINNEGAN, “Nellie Lovett”
Rebecca Finnegan is a multiple Jeff Award-winning Chicago-based actor. Her Chicago credits include work at Court Theatre, The Goodman, Chicago Shakespeare, Broadway Playhouse, Drury Lane, Marriott Lincolnshire, TimeLine, Theo Ubique and Porchlight Musical Theatre where she is an Artistic Associate. Finnegan’s regional credits include: Glimmerglass Festival (Cooperstown), The MUNY (St. Louis), Peninsula Players (Wisconsin), Huntington Theatre (Boston), Shakespeare Theatre (Washington D.C.), Human Race Theatre (Ohio), Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park (Ohio) and Arkansas Rep. (Little Rock). First National Tour: The Secret Garden.  On Broadway, Finnegan was seen in Summer and Smoke (Roundabout Theatre). 
 
ABOUT PORCHLIGHT MUSIC THEATRE
Porchlight Music Theatre, currently celebrating its 20th season, is nationally recognized for developing innovative new works, reimagining classic productions and showcasing musical theatre’s noted veterans and rising stars. Porchlight elevates the genre in Chicago by providing intimate and powerful experiences and opportunities for growing, diverse audiences. With the vision of Managing Artistic Director Michael Weber, Porchlight builds on its role as Chicago’s leading music theatre producer. Porchlight’s rich history includes the staging of more than 50 productions with 12 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. Most recently premiered through this process, BEST MUSICAL! A Completely Improvised Musical Comedy! enjoyed a smash engagement at The Second City’s UP Comedy Club. The School at Porchlight is Chicago’s new center for music theatre training in the areas of performance, writing and appreciation. The company has received a total of 73 Joseph Jefferson Award nominations resulting in 26 Jeff Awards, most recently garnering the 2013 Jeff Award for Best Production for the Chicago Premiere of A Class Act.
 
Porchlight Music Theatre’s mainstage 20th Anniversary Season of Sondheim commences with Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by Hugh Wheeler, direction by Porchlight Managing Director Michael Weber with music direction by Porchlight Artistic Associate Doug Peck,October 3 – November 9 at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave. Previews are Friday, Oct. 3 at 8 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 4 at 8 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 5 at 2 p.m. and Monday, Oct. 6 at 7:30 p.m. The regular run schedule is Thursdays at7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 4 and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. There is an added matinee performance Thursday, Nov. 6 at 1 p.m. NOTE: *There are no Thursday 7:30 p.m. performances October 9 andNovember 6.  Tickets are $35 for preview performances, $50 for the opening night performance and reception, $39 for Thursday performances and $45 for all other performances. Subscriptions to the entire 20th Anniversary Season, including Sweeney Todd, the first production of the season, Sondheim on Sondheim and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum are currently on sale as well as single tickets for the entire season. To purchase subscriptions or single tickets visit porchlightmusictheatre.org or call 773.777.9884. Groups of ten or more may receive discounts on tickets purchased via Group Theater Tix at 312.423.6612 or grouptheatertix.com.
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Porchlight Music Theatre is the proud recipient of the Hopie Award from the Lester and Hope Abelson Fund for the Performing Arts and is partially supported by generous support from Actors’ Equity Foundation, the Arts Work Fund at the Chicago Community Trust, Chapman & Spingola LLP, the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, the Illinois Arts Council (a state agency), the MacArthur Fund for Arts & Culture at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, the National Association of Realtors, Peoples Energy and The Saints.