Porchlight Music Theatre ICONS GALA Report- Record Breaking Fundraising Event

Porchlight Music Theatre Hits New Benchmark

This year’s Porchlight Music Theatre’s ICONS GALA was the most successful in the theater’s 22-year history. The event was held April 30th in the Atlantic Ballroom at the Radisson Blu Aqua Chicago. The gala celebrated Hal Prince, a Broadway legend who had won 21 Tony Awards, more than anyone else.

275 people attended the event and a total of $115,000 was raised. The proceeds will go towards Porchlight Music Theatre’s Education Programs and Productions. There were several musical performances to celebrate the career of Hal Prince. These included performances by Beckie Menzie, Bethany Thomas and Austin Cook. Special guest Lonny Price spoke about what it was like to work with Prince. The celebratory brunch ended with more songs performed by Porchlight regulars Adrian Aguilar, Angela Ingersoll and Denzel Tsopnang.

Brad McCormick, Jay Simms and Porchlight Board of Director Bill Ingraham Photo: Brandon Dahlquist
Porchlight Music Theatre’s Artistic Director Michael Webber, 2017 Guy Adkins Award for Excellence in the Advancement of Music Theatre in Chicago recipient Rachel Rockwell and Porchlight Music Theatre’s Executive Director Jeannie Lukow Photo: Brandon Dahlquist

Award to Rachel Rockwell

The 2017 Guy Adkins Award for Excellence in the Advancement of Music Theatre in Chicago was presented to Rachel Rockwell, for her contributions to music theater in Chicago. She spoke about her experiences working with Prince. She recently directed SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater. She has won several other awards over the course of her notable career. In 2012, the Chicago Tribune named Rockwell Chicagoan of the Year in Theatre.

Tamara Sims, the gala chair said, “This year’s gala was our best one ever. There are so many factors that go into the ICONS Gala being a success, in addition to our generous guests and attendees”. The Executive Director, Jeannie Lukow, also commented, “It is an incredible experience for me to attend the ICONS Gala. I have been involved with Porchlight since its beginnings and to see the crowds grow each year, the enthusiasm the guests have for our mission and productions and the star quality we have perform at this very special event is amazing”.

Stars of Porchlight’s current hit Stephen Sondheim’s Marry Me a Little Austin Cook and Bethany Thomas perform for the ICONS audience Photo: Brandon Dahlquist

Porchlight Musical Theatre , founded in 1995, is devoted to  being the home for music theater in Chicago and providing educational opportunities about theater.  In the coming year Porchlight will be moving to a new home at The Ruth Page Center for the Arts. For more information on Porchlight Musical Theater and their upcoming 2017/2018 season visit the Porchlight Musical Theatre website.


Photos by: Brandon Dahlquist.

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