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Heidi Kettenring to star at Porchlight

In addition to the musicals produced as part of its standard season, Porchlight Music Theatre presents shows under the umbrella title “Porchlight Revisits,” which features three-night-only concert stagings of musicals that have tended to get “lost” or forgotten – or just rarely revived – over the years.

Now comes news that Jeff Award-winning actress Heidi Kettenring (who recently lit up the stage of the Marriott Theatre with her Jeff Award-winning performance as Anna in “The King and I”), will make her Porchlight debut starring in “Applause,” the 1970 Broadway musical, based on the film, “All About Eve,” that features a book by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Lee Adams.

The three performances – March 1, 2 and 3 at 7:15 p.m. at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont – will be directed and choreographed by Christopher Pazdernik, with Nick Sula as music director.

Kettenring will play Margo Channing, the role created by Bette Davis on film and Lauren Bacall on stage, with the set of Porchlight’s Chicago premiere of “Far From Heaven” (which runs Feb. 5 – March 13) as the backdrop.

Tickets for “Applause” are $30 and include access to the popular pre-performance event, “Behind the Show Backstory” a multi-media presentation, hosted by Porchlight’s artistic director, Michael Weber, that discusses that evening’s production, from the show’s creative history to juicy backstage gossip and more. Call (773) 327-5252 or visit http://www.porchlightmusictheatre.org.

Based on the Academy Award winning 19500 film, “All About Eve,” and the short story, “The Wisdom of Eve,” on which it was based, “Applause” tells the classic show biz story of a Broadway legend and her overzealous “fan,” Eve Harrington (Lauren Roesner, a new Porchlight discovery making her Chicago debut). Harrington eases herself into Channing’s circle of theater friends, playing the ingénue while at the same time plotting to steal Channing’s career and her man, Bill Sampson (David Schlumpf, also making his Porchlight debut.) The Tony AWard-winning Broadway production features such songs as “Backstage Babble,” “But Alive,” “Fasten Your Seat Belts ” and “Welcome to the Theatre.”

Also part of the “Applause” cast will be: Michael Kingston (as Howard Benedict), Jason Richards (Buzz Richards), Ryan Lanning (Duane Fox), Khaki Pixley (Karen Richards), Kyrie Courter (Bonnie), Elya Bottiger (Gypsy Girl), James Nedrud (Danny), Jacob Gilchrist (The Bartender) Janelle Villas (Carol) and Jake Ganzer (The Piano Player).