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Wheaton Central High School Alum Kevin McKillip Performs in Porchlight's "The Gifts of the Magi"

Wheaton Central High School Alum Kevin McKillip performs in "The Gifts of the Magi", November 17 – December 23 at Stage 773, 1225 West Belmont Ave.

PORCHLIGHT MUSIC THEATRE PRESENTS THE CHICAGO PREMIERE OF THE MUSICAL THE GIFTS OF THE MAGI, NOVEMBER 17 – DECEMBER 23, AT STAGE 773

O. Henry’s American Classic is Directed by Mark Lococo with
Music Direction by Elizabeth Doran and Choreography by Brenda Didier

CHICAGO – Porchlight Music Theatre is proud to announce the Chicago musical premiere of O.Henry’s holiday masterpiece, The Gifts of the Magi, book by Mark St. Germain, music by Randy Courts and lyrics by Randy Courts and Mark St. Germain, November 17 – December 23 at Stage 773, 1225 West Belmont Ave. Porchlight Music theatre’s production is directed by Mark Lococo with music direction by Elizabeth Doran and choreography by Brenda Didier. The Gifts of the Magi previews are Saturday, Nov.17 at 8 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 18 at 2 and 6 p.m. and Monday, Nov. 19 at 7:30 p.m. Opening/Press Night is Tuesday, Nov. 20 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. Three-show Subscriptions to the remainder of the  18th Season, student, senior and group discounts are available. Three-show Season Subscriptions may be purchased at porchlightmusictheatre.org or by phone at 773-777-9884. Group tickets may be purchased by phone at 773-777-9884. Single tickets for The Gifts of the Magi go on sale Friday, Sep 21 at 10 a.m.  and may be purchased at stage773.com or by phone at 773.327.5252.

Porchlight Music Theatre adds a new holiday family event to the Christmas calendar with the Chicago premiere of The Gifts of the Magi. Drawn from two short stories by O. Henry, this American “Christmas Carol,” combines the stories of "The Gift of the Magi" and "The Cop and the Anthem" with a compelling and original musical score. This heart-warming musical charmer transports the audience to Christmas in New York City, 1905, where they not only meet the famed penniless lovers (Chelsea Morgan and Jason Richards) but also a metropolis of people going about their holiday business including “Soapy Smith,” (Kevin McKillip) a cheerful bum hoping to be arrested so he can spend Christmas  in a warm jail cell. The Gifts of the Magi is an evening perfect for the whole family celebrating the true meaning of the season. 

The Gifts of the Magi also stars Nate Lewellyn (Willy Porter), Heather Townsend (The City – Her), Gerald Richardson (The City – Him).

The production team for The Gift of the Magi includes Doug Peck, music supervisor; William Boles, set designer; William C. Kirkham, lighting designer; Bill Morey, costume designer; Barbara Trinh, properties designer; Victoria (Toy) Delorio, sound designer; Deborah Blumenthal, assistant director/dramaturgy intern; Thom Van Ermen, stage manager and Patrick Fries, production manager.

ABOUT MARK LOCOCO, director

Mark Lococo has directed Porchlight Music Theatre’s Once On This Island (Jeff Award-nomination, Best Production - Musical) and, at the Marriott Theatre, A Chorus Line (Jeff Award-nomination, Best Director - Musical), Nunsense and The Taffetas (Jeff Award-nomination, Best Director - Revue). He served as Artistic Associate at the Apple Tree Theatre in Highland Park where he won numerous awards for his outstanding contributions. He has directed at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Peninsula Players, Pegasus Players, City Lit Theatre and he assisted David Bell on the London production of Hot Mikado. He is Director of Theatre at Loyola University, where he is a professor of Fine and Performing Arts.  He is also a member of the Society of Directors and Choreographers.

ABOUT ELIZABETH DORAN, music director

Elizabeth Doran was the conductor of Porchlight Music Theatre’s A Catered Affair. Previous credits include Some Enchanted Evening (Theo Ubique/Fox Valley Rep), Porgy and Bess (Court Theatre), and The Addams Family (Chicago).  Originally from Wheaton and a  graduate of Northwestern University,  additional credits include Ragtime, Elegies: A Song Cycle and The Wizard of Oz.

ABOUT BRENDA DIDIER, choreographer

Brenda Didier was the director and choreographer of Porchlight Music Theatre’s Putting It Together (Jeff Award-nomination, Best Production – Revue, Best Director – Revue). Other choreography credits include Cirque Shanghai at Navy Pier and its subsequent tours/engagements, Second City Etc. and Mainstage, T-Mobile's national TV commercial, Home for the Holidays, The Kenny Rogers Christmas Tour, the upcoming indie film, Scrooge and Marley and numerous musical theatre, dance concert, university and industrial projects. A Porchlight Artistic Associate, Didier is a multiple Jeff Award recipient in both direction and choreography and the owner/director of the Lincolnshire Academy of Dance, now in its 15th season.

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 includes critically acclaimed Chicago premiere of A Class Act, now running at Theater Wit through October 7, the  Chicago premiere of  O. Henry’s American Christmas Carol, The Gifts of the Magi, November 17 – December 23, at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave.; the musical biography of Billie Holiday, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, February 2 – March 10, 2013, 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! 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.

In 2011, Porchlight introduced the first annual Guy Adkins Award for Excellence in the Advancement of Music Theatre in Chicago, named in honor of the beloved actor, and presented it to L. Walter Stearns in recognition of his 14 years as artistic director of the company.  In 2012, the Guy Adkins Award for Excellence in the Advancement of Music Theatre in Chicago was presented to one of Chicago’s leading actors, Hollis Resnik, during the The Icons Gala, Celebrating the Art of Michael Bennett.

Mark Lococo directs Porchlight’s The Gifts of the Magi with music direction by Elizabeth Doran and choreography by Brenda Didier. Previews are Saturday, Nov.17 at 8 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 18 at 2 and 6 p.m. and Monday, Nov. 19 at 7:30 p.m. Opening/Press Night is Tuesday, Nov. 20 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. Three-show Subscriptions to the remainder of the  18th Season, student, senior and group discounts are available. Three-show Season Subscriptions may be purchased at porchlightmusictheatre.org or by phone at 773-777-9884. Group tickets may be purchased by phone at 773-777-9884.  Single tickets for The Gifts of the Magi go on sale Friday, Sep 21 at 10 a.m.  and may be purchased at stage773.com or by phone at 773.327.5252.

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Porchlight Music Theatre is partially supported by generous contributions from the The Fairmont Hotel-Chicago, Actors' Equity Foundation, A.R.T League, the Arts Work Fund at the Chicago Community Trust, Chase Bank, a City Arts Grant from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, 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.

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