Two Tony Award winners — Grammy receipient Billy Porter and Evanston native Jessie Mueller — will be the star attractions at two upcoming fundraising events for the Goodman Theatre.
On April 4, Mueller will be featured at the Goodman’s annual Education and Engagement Luncheon, being held at the Standard Club and co-chaired by Julie M. Danis, Lorrayne Weiss and Nancy Swan. Mueller, who won the 2014 Tony for best leading actress in a musical for the title role in “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical,” will join the Goodman’s Walter Director for Education and Engagement Willa J. Taylor in a discussion of the role of theater in education.
Later in the spring, on May 20, Porter will be the headliner at the annual black-tie Goodman spring gala to be held at the Fairmont Chicago hotel. The evening, co-chaired by Denise Stefan Ginascol, Wendy Krimins, Diane Landgren and Kristine R. Garrett, will feature a cocktail reception and a performance by Porter, followed by dinner and dancing to the Gentlemen of Leisure.
Porter gained fame for creating the role of the drag performer Lola in “Kinky Boots,” which had its pre-Broadway run in Chicago. That performance in the smash hit show won Porter the Tony Award in 2013 for best leading actor in a musical. Along with “Kinky Boots,” the actor and singer has starred on Broadway in “Miss Saigon,” “Five Guys Named Moe,” “Smoky Joe’s Cafe” and “Dreamgirls,” and he has appeared in numerous film and television productions.
Mueller, whose run on Broadway in “Waitress” goes through March 26, began her career in Chicago, where she won a Joseph Jefferson Award and separately also appeared in Goodman’s productions of “Animal Crackers” and “A Christmas Carol.”
Proceeds from both of these events will benefit the Goodman Theatre’s education and community engagement programs. For ticket information call (312) 443-3881, ext. 586.