Norma Desmond (Hollis Resnik) and Joe Gillis (Billy Rude) in Porchlight Music Theatre’s production of Andrew Llyod-Webber’s Tony Award-winning musical, “Sunset Boulevard”
photo: Michael Courier

Critics and Audiences take a trip down SUNSET BOULEVARD, NOW EXTENDED thru DEC. 8 at the RUTH PAGE CENTER for ARTS

“Norma Desmond is played to perfection by  Chicago favorite Hollis Resnik, who nails her character from start to finish.”

Alan Bresloff, Around The Town Chicago

“Rude is marvelous as Joe, the would-be screenwriter who has been in Hollywood just long enough to curdle his own dreams […] As vocals go, Rude is in his prime, never more so than in that haunting and angry “Sunset Boulevard.”

“THREE AND A HALF OUT OF FOUR STARS”

Catey Sullivan, The Chicago Sun Times

“Resnik strikes a great balance as the once-worshiped screen icon who can also be cold and calculating when making demands on those who surround her, mostly Billy Rude, who dazzles as down-on-his-luck screenwriter Joe Gillis”

Philip Potempa, Post-Tribune

“Making his main stage debut, Rude is flat-out terrific in the role of Gillis. Lauto’s stunning vocals are a highlight and match perfectly with Rude’s, and their star-crossed love story feels moving and real.”

Ed Tracey, PickInSix Review
Hear what audiences are saying about Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Tony Award-Winning Sunset Boulevard — Starring Chicago legend Hollis Resnik!

NOW EXTENDED thru December 8! Get your tickets NOW at PorchlightMusicTheatre.org

Join your Monday Night Live! hosts, Denise McGowen Tracey and Beckie Menzie, for a evening of songs sung by cast members of Porchlight Music Theatre’s Sunset Boulevard, Billy Rude, Michelle Lauto, and Ron Keaton, with musical accompaniment by Aaron Benham.

Guest Information:

Enjoy a great musical experience while enjoying dinner and cocktails in this upscale downtown location. Now in its 11th anniversary season, MNL has welcomed over 700 singers to its stage since its opening in September 2007. Guests have included casts from The Lyric Opera Production of “West Side Story”, touring productions including, “Hamilton”, “Dear Evan Hansen”, “Jersey Boys”, “Wicked”. We have welcomed casts from numerous Chicago theater companies including Porchlight Music Theater, Kokandy Productions, Greenhouse Theater, Victory Gardens Theater and more. On a weekly basis youl can count on seeing some of Chicago’s highest-profile performers from the cabaret, musical theater and jazz communities. Unique in its dinner-theater format, Monday Night Live has become THE place to be on Mondays in downtown Chicago for nearly 12 years.There is no cover charge and a $19.95 food and beverage minimum. Discounted valet parking after 7pm. Special 3 course MNL $19.95 dinner menu. Reservations strongly recommended.

Billy Rude (Joe Gillis)

Hollis Resnick (Norma Desmond)

Michael Weber (Director), Michael Hendricks (Stage Manager)

Billy, Hollis, and Aaron Benham (Music Director)

The cast of Porchlight Music Theatre’s Sunset Boulevard sits down for their first rehearsal.

Michelle Lauto (Betty Schaefer), Larry Adams (Max Von Mayerling), and Billy

“And now, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.”

Tickets & Info: www.porchlightmusictheatre.org

Come spend an evening with Porchlight Music Theatre as they celebrate 25 years of music theatre excellence in Chicago. Billy is thrilled to join an exceptional lineup of performers, Monday, Aug 5th, for a night of songs reflecting back on Porchlight’s quarter-century history with highlights from shows like In The Heights, Dreamgirls, Ragtime, End of The Rainbow, Company, Into The Woods, and more! The Aug 5th evening will also honor Gary Griffin with the 9th Annual Guy Adkins Award for Excellence in the Advancement of Music Theatre in Chicago. It’s scheduled to be a wonderful night of music that you’ll surely love- hope to see you there! Monday, Aug 5th at the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art.

Hollis Resnik in a preproduction still for SUNSET BOULEVARD | Porchlight Music Theatre
photo: joe mazza | http://bravelux.com/

Billy is thrilled to be joining the cast of Porchlight Music Theatre’s production of Sunset Boulevard, opening Oct 11, 2019.

From PerformInk and Porchlight Music Theatres’ Press Announcement:

The production features the previously announced Hollis Resnik as “Norma Desmond,” alongside Billy Rude as “Joe Gillis;” Michelle Lauto as “Betty Schaefer;” Larry Adams as “Max Von Meyerling;” Joe Giovanetti as “Artie Green” and David Girolmo as “Cecil B. DeMille.” The ensemble includes Anna Brockman, Marcellus Burt, Justin Cavazos, Isaiah Silvia-Chandley, Laz Estrada, Brian Healey, Alex Jackson, Molly Kral, Jerry Miller, Mandy Modic, Michelle Owens, Danny Spagnuolo, Laura Sportello and Ambria Sylvain.

In her mansion on Sunset Boulevard, silent-screen legend Norma Desmond lives in a fantasy world. When impoverished screenwriter Joe Gillis (on the run from debt collectors) stumbles into her reclusive domain, he is persuaded to work on Norma’s “masterpiece,” a screenplay that she believes will put her back in front of cameras.

Based on the Billy Wilder film, “Sunset Boulevard” features a rich score including the hit songs “With One Look” and “As if We Never Said Goodbye.”

Weber’s production team includes Kevin Barthel, wig design; Anthony Churchill, projection design; Robert Hornbostel, sound design; Jeff Kmiec, set design; Bill Morey, costume design; Maggie-Fullilove-Nugent, lighting design and Michael Hendricks, stage manager.

“Sunset Boulevard” plays October 11 – November 24 at The Ruth Page Center for the Arts. More info at porchlightmusictheatre.org

The cast of Million Dollar Quartet at PCPA, Marian Theatre, Santa Maria, CA

Billy and the cast of PCPA’s Million Dollar Quartet were thrilled to open to houses packed with fantastic audiences this past week at the Marian Theatre, Santa Maria, CA. Audience members from ages six to ninety-six leapt to their feet to shake, rattle and roll the night away to the music of Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Carl Perkins. Still waiting to buy your tickets? Billy and the gang soon move to the Solvang Festival Theatre, Solvang, CA- so be sure to get your tickets while they’re still available! See what the Santa Maria Sun had to say on opening weekend…

“As for the cast, I honestly can’t recall a more energetic performance in recent memory than Rude’s take on Lewis; it easily steals the show. He doesn’t just play the piano, he treats it like a jungle gym; perfectly inhabiting the unpredictability of  ‘rock ’n’ roll’s first great wildman.'”

Caleb Wiseblood, Arts Editor, Santa Maria Sun

Billy Rude channels Jerry Lee Lewis’ burning physicality and vigorous piano-playing. We could plausibly light the town of Solvang with Billy Rude’s copious energy.”

Anna Jensen, Broadway World

“A show such as Million Dollar Quartet stands or falls on the way its actors sing and play the music, and I am delighted to report that this production delivers the goods. Like Jerry Lee himself, Billy Rude is a flamboyant disrupter, shamelessly mixing keyboard pyrotechnics with attention-stealing antics.”

Charles Donelan, Executive Arts Editor, Santa Barbara Independent

Tickets for Million Dollar Quartet at the Solvang Festival Theatre