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Thursday, 06 April 2017 12:56

10 Things You Didn't Know About Stephen Sondheim's "Marry Me a Little"

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Stephen Sondheim's "Marry Me a Little" is just around the corner, but how much do you really know about this Porchlight premiere? Here are 10 things you might not know about this rarely seen Stephen Sondheim revue - Opening April 14 at Stage 773! Tickets and show information are available at http://porchlightmusictheatre.org/marry-me-a-little/.

 

"Marry Me a Little" debuted professionally in 1981 off-Broadway at The Actors Playhouse. The production set into a new dramatic context songs cut from Sondheim musicals produced up until that time, as well as songs from his then-unproduced musical "Saturday Night," "The Last Resorts," an abandoned project he was working on with playwright Jean Kerr, and "The Girls of Summer," the 1956 play of the same name by N. Richard Nash for which Sondheim created incidental music.

 

"Marry Me a Little" is the only Sondheim project that has a cast of two Bethany Thomas and Austin Cook play singles living in the same urban apartment building, both looking for love and not knowing their possible mate is just one floor away.

 

Bethany Thomas recently released her FIRST ALBUM! Titled "First," it is now available through CDBaby (iTunes soon to follow) and is currently streaming on Spotify.

 

Bethany Thomas first appeared at Porchlight Music Theatre in "Children of Eden" at the age of 19! She has also appeared here in "Into The Woods," "Once On This Island" among others, as well as numerous Chicago Sings concerts.

 

Austin Cook has twice received the Equity Jeff Award for his work here at Porchlight. In 2014, he received the award for Artistic Specialization for his work on "Ain't Misbehavin'"and again the following year for Music Direction for his outstanding contributions to our Chicago premiere of "Sondheim on Sondheim."

 

Austin Cook in NYC! Austin Cook currently lives in New York City, where his wife, actress Adrienne Walker, is starring in "The Lion King" on Broadway as "Nala". He has returned to Chicago specifically for this production.

 

Stephen Sondheim and Porchlight

Stephen Sondheim has given Porchlight permission to re-imagine "Marry Me a Little" for this production and to include material written since the show debuted in 1981.

Appearing for the first time in any production of "Marry Me a Little" are:

 

"Second Midnight" (cut from "Into the Woods") Used as the protagonists contemplate children (You're a good person and I'm a good person / You'll be a good father; we'll know what to do. / If / When / How will we say to our child in the night / Nothing's all black but then nothing's all white? / How will we say it will be all right / When we know that it mightn't be true? / What will we do? / I don't understand...) "Honey" (cut from "Merrily We Roll Along") Included to explore persevering in a relationship as things/life get increasingly more difficult. "I Remember Sky" (from the TV production "Evening Primrose") To explore the freedom breaking out of a bad relationship. "You Are the Best Thing That Ever Has Happened To Me" (from "Bounce") Used to explore being in love and writing about it at the same time.

 

Brand new orchestrations!

"Marry Me a Little" was originally presented with piano-only accompaniment. For this production, Austin Cook has created orchestrations for keyboard, cello, drums and flute and Bb clarinet as well has his occasional participation at the baby grand piano.

 

A first for Porchlight

This production will be the first time Porchlight has ever produced a musical "in-the-round."

Director Jess McLeod and Scenic Designer Jeffrey D. Kmiec thought it the best approach to create the "voyeuristic" atmosphere they were looking to achieve for the audience's experience.

 

Porchlight LOVES Sondheim

This is the first time Porchlight has produced "Marry Me a Little," but it's definitely not our first Sondheim.

Other Sondheim productions that have appeared on our stage include:

"Gypsy"

Music by Jule Styne

Book by Arthur Laurents

 

"A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum"

Book by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart

 

"Anyone Can Whistle"

Book by Arthur Laurents

 

"Company"

Book by George Furth

 

"A Little Night Music"

Book by Hugh Wheeler

 

"Pacific Overtures"

Book by John Weidman

 

"Sweeney Todd"

Book by Hugh Wheeler

 

"Merrily We Roll Along"

Book by George Furth

 

"Sunday in the Park with George"

Book by James Lapine

 

"Into the Woods"

Book by James Lapine

 

"Assassins"

Book by John Weidman

 

"Passion"

Book by James Lapine

 

"Putting it Together"

 

and

"Sondheim on Sondheim"

 

 

 

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