Meet Billy Elliot: Porchlight Music Theatre (Chicago, IL)

    The 218-seat Ruth Page Theater

    For its first production in its new home at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts, Porchlight Music Theatre has chosen Billy Elliot The Musical (BETM).  It was originally scheduled to be presented from October 6 to November 26, 2017, but due to overwhelming demand the production has been extended to December 31, 2017.

    Porchlight Music Theatre is known for its bold, edgy and intimate music theatre, offering audiences the drama, song and dance “up close” with Chicago and Broadway’s brightest music theatre talent.  As they say: “We deliver American Musicals. Chicago Style.

    Porchlight Music Theatre was incorporated in 1995 by founding Artistic Director Jill Moore and a close group of artists and friends.  Their goal was to create a company that would feel like home to artists and audiences alike.  Since 2010, that goal has been carried forward by veteran actor/director/artistic director Michael Weber and his dedicated professional staff.

    Over the years, Porchlight Music Theatre has staged more than 70 productions, including many Chicago and world premieres and has received many awards for its efforts.  The theatre group is especially proud to have received four consecutive Best Production Jeff Awards for A Class Act (2013), Ain’t Misbehavin’ (2014), Sondheim on Sondheim (2015) and Dreamgirls (2016).

    The 2016-2017 season for Porchlight was a key turning point in the company’s evolution.  In the Heights, the season opener, attracted record attendance, critical acclaim and four extensions for an all-time high of 78 performances.  This hit musical changed the face of the company and provided the capacity and economic stability for Porchlight to make the big move to their new performance venue, The Ruth Page Center for the Arts.

    Under the aegis of the non-profit Ruth Page Foundation, The Ruth Page Center has for over 46 years committed its resources to a unique combination of artistic programs that impact over 40,000 children and adults.  The Ruth Page Artist In-Residence Program is an incubator for small to mid-sized dance and theater organizations designed to serve those looking for a home-base while they grow or expand their artistic and organizational capabilities.  This season, Porchlight Music Theatre is the newest Artist In Residence there.

    Billy Elliot will open Porchlight’s 2017–2018 season in its new venue.

    Rehearsals began in mid-September.  Here’s a video clip of the very first rehearsal at which the cast heard from all the creatives and read through the script.  They even sang some of the numbers from the show, sounding in great voice for so early on in the rehearsal process.  It boded well for when the show actually opened after weeks of more rehearsals.

    Credit: Video by Porchlight Music Theatre

    The 35-member cast of local Chicago area talent will be led by a pair of young performers who will debut as Billy Elliot in this production of the musical.  They are Jacob Kaiser and Lincoln Seymour.

    To learn more about the Porchlight Music Theatre Billys, click on the Billy Profiles button (below) to be taken to their detailed profiles. 

    billy profiles

    To see a complete listing of the rest of the Porchlight Music Theatre cast, just click on the Cast Information button.

    cast info

    Members of the child cast on Opening Night

    Credit: Photo by Austin Packard

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