#MusicFromTheFrontPorch: Pittsburgh’s boutique summer musical company, Front Porch Theatricals, presented a grand night for singing and a 2018 season announcement Monday night at the Cabaret at Theater Square, Downtown. More than a dozen performers from 2017 productions “Violet” and “Big Fish,” and a few from the past six seasons, joined forces for medleys from those shows and personal selections. Front Porch producers Leon and Nancy Zionts and Bruce E.G. Smith capped off the night by announcing the upcoming season — “Grey Gardens,” with director Robyne Parrish, and “A New Brain,” with Connor McCanlus at the helm.
#BigFishStory: It was announced that the August production of “Big Fish” became Front Porch’s first show to sell out all of its performances. Star Billy Hartung, a Broadway actor and head of Mt. Lebanon’s Center for Theater Arts, joined cast members in a medley, lifting stage son Mario Williams onto his shoulders once more, then sang with his daughter Elizabeth, the oldest of his six children with wife Sharon.
#NightOfStars: The fundraiser moved Downtown after quickly outgrowing last year’s venue, Club Cafe. Performers included Elizabeth Boyke (the title role in “Violet”), Hope Anthony, Lindsay Bayer, Matt Calvert, Erich Lascek, David Leong, Alex Manalo, Danny Mayhak, Kristiann Menotiades, Missy Moreno, Daniel Pivovar, Mario Williams, Corwin Stoddard, David Toole, Becki Toth and Jonathan Visser. Past directors on the scene included Spencer Whale, Stephen Santa and Scott Calhoun.
#SEEN: The producers thanked Pittsburgh Public Theater’s Ted Pappas for his mentorship and Pittsburgh CLO’s Mark Fleischer, both in attendance. Event co-chairs were Rita and David Pollock, Marlene and Art Silverman, and Nikki and Travis Williams. The VIP Host Committee was Joan and Bob Peirce, Laurie and Harry Zionts, and Shirley Zionts. Event Hosts were Gail and Norman Childs, Elise and Nathaniel Hunter, Susan and Greg Kaminski, Mary Kay and Ollie Poppenberg, and Lynn and Joseph Smith.