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Sondheim @ 90 Roundtable

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Porchlight Music Theatre

Sondheim @ 90 Roundtable

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Porchlight Music Theatre’s 25th Anniversary season continues with a new free virtual series “Sondheim @ 90 Roundtable” with host Michael Weber, debuting Saturday, April 25 at 7 p.m. CST on Porchlight’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/PorchlightMusicTheatre. The series, created and hosted by Porchlight Music Theatre Artistic DirectorMichael Weber, gathers talents from Chicago, Broadway and the world of theater to discuss Stephen Sondheim as an American icon while celebrating Sondheim’s 90th birthday year. Throughout Sondheim’s storied career he has received an Academy Award, eight Tony Awards (more than any other composer), a special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre, eight Grammy Awards, a Pulitzer Prize, a Laurence Olivier Award and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. President Barack Obama, when presenting Sondheim with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015, said Sondheim had “reinvented the American musical.”

Each “Sondheim @ 90 Roundtable” with Michael Weber episode focuses on a specific Sondheim musical with special guests presenting videos of Sondheim inspired performances, providing a lively discussion of that week’s work and sharing their views on Sondheim’s impact on the performing arts.

Saturday, May 9 at 7 p.m. CST
Follies
This week’s episode highlights Follies, music and lyrics by Sondheim and book by James Goldman, which was inspired by a New York Times article about a gathering of former showgirls from the Ziegfeld Follies. The Follies roundtable includes Weber and guests David H. Bell (multi-award-winning director whose credits include Broadway, Off Broadway, Carnegie Hall, The National Theatre, London’s West End and The Kennedy Center) ), Gary Griffin (director of Broadway’s The Color Purple, The Apple Tree and Honeymoon in Vegas and London’s Pacific Overtures for which he received the Olivier Award) and Hollis Resnik (multi-award-winning actor whose appearances include Porchlight’s Sunset Boulevard, Sweeney Todd, Follies, Into the Woods and A Little Night Music).

Saturday, May 16 at 7 p.m. CST
Gypsy, a Musical Fable
Here she is, world! This week’s episode delves into Gypsy, for which Sondeim wrote lyrics with music by Jule Styne and a book by Arthur Laurents. Weber’s guests include Klea Blackhurst (Gypsy and Hazel at Drury Lane Theatre and known for her award- winning tribute to Ethel Merman: Everything The Traffic Will Allow), E. Faye Butler (Porchlight’s own Jeff Award-winning “Madame Rose”) and Marc Robin (Artistic Director of Pennsylvania’s historic Fulton Theatre and recipient of 16 Joseph Jefferson Awards with 42 nominations).

Saturday, May 23 at 7 p.m. CST
Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
The man behind the demon barber of Fleet Street is the focus of this week’s episode, Sweeney Todd, music and lyrics by Sondheim and a book by Hugh Wheeler. The guests scheduled to appear include Jim Corti, (Artistic Director of Paramount Theatre and recipient of the Jeff Award for his direction of Sweeney Todd whose Broadway credits include Candide, A Chorus Line, Music Is and Ragtime), David Girolmo (Jeff Award-winning actor whose work on Broadway includes War Paint and Candide and who appeared as the title character in Porchlight’s Sweeney Todd) and James Earl Jones II (Currently in the national tour of Come From Away and Jeff Award-nominee for Porchlight’s Sondheim by Sondheim).

Saturday, May 30 at 7 p.m. CST
Into the Woods
This week’s episode is about Sondheim’s modern twist on the Grimm fairy tales, Into the Woods, music and lyrics by Sondheim and book by James Lapine. David Cromer (MacArthur fellow and Tony Award-winning director of The Band’s Visit), Sean Allan Krill (currently in the cast of Jagged Little Pill and whose other Broadway credits include Honeymoon in Vegas, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever and Mamma Mia) and Jessie Mueller (Jeff Award and Tony Award-winning star of Broadway’s Beautiful: the Carole King Musical, Waitress, Carousel, Mystery of Edwin Drood and The Minutes) join Weber for a journey to a far-off kingdom in this week’s “Sondheim @ 90.”

Future episodes will be announced with updates found at PorchlightMusicTheater.org and its social media outlets. Future guests, scheduled to appear, include in alphabetical order: E. Faye Butler (starred as “Rose” in Porchlight Music Theatre’s Gypsy: A Musical Fable), Curt Dale Clark (artistic director of Maine State Music Theatre), Jim Corti (artistic director of Paramount Theatre), Robert Falls (artistic director of Goodman Theatre), David Girolmo (Broadway credits include War Paint and Candide and, regionally, leading roles in Sweeney Todd, Follies and Forum) James Earl Jones II (Jeff Award-nominee for Porchlight Music Theatre’s Sondheim by Sondheim), Sean Allan Krill (Broadway credits include Jagged Little Pill, Honeymoon in Vegas, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever and Mamma Mia) and more.

Porchlight Music Theatre

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Saturday, May 30
  1. 7:00pm
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