Miss Brenda’s Latest Project “In the Heights” Extended a Third Time

pl_ith_fbcover3Porchlight Music Theater’s production of “In the Heights” is receiving high praises from theater critics throughout Chicago and has been extended through December 3rd.  The production which was directed and choreographed by Lincolnshire Academy of Dance’s Artistic Director and Owner, Brenda Didier, with Co-Choreographer Chris Carter,  is described by the Sun Times as “an overwhelming experience on every level — in the brilliance and endearing warmth of its cast, the passion behind its storytelling, the piercing truth and mastery of its direction, the thrill of its explosive dancing, the magic of its mix of voices, the detail of its design and the instant connection it forges with its audience — that it is difficult to know where to begin when heaping praise on it all.”

With music and lyrics written by Lin-Manuel Miranda,  the creator of the immensely successful and Tony award winning musical “Hamilton”, “In the Heights” offers a glimpse into Washington Heights, a primarily Latino community located in Upper Manhattan and takes place during a time when the community is changing and becoming more gentrified.  Performink praises the cast as a whole stating that “The company has a true community feel in this production, which helps underscore the tension between Washington Heights as a nurturing and warm community while also being a place that some may need to leave in order to grow and develop.”

“In the Heights” follows on the heels of Ms. Didier’s last directorial project at Porchlight, “Dreamgirls” which also enjoyed a very successful run.  “Dreamgirls” was recently the recipient of 2016 Equity Jeff Awards for Production-Musical (for a midsize theatre), Principal Actress (Donica Lynn), Supporting Actor (Eric Lewis) and Costume Designer (Bill Morey) and received Jeff nominations for Director – Musical and Musical Direction.

If you missed Ms. Didier’s “Dreamgirls” project, be sure to check out the heartfelt and energetic production of “In the Heights”.  All performances are at Stage 773 located at 1225 West Belmont Avenue in Chicago.  Show times are Thursdays at 7:30pm, Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 4pm and 8pm, and Sundays at 2pm.  Tickets can be purchased at PorchlightMusicTheatre.org.  To contact Porchlight’s Box Office, call 773-327-5252.

Pride and Praise for our LAD Performance and Hip Hop Companies!

1937002_10156629123395790_4863367728825161253_n12418053_10205733198866011_5983803131056215739_nLincolnshire Academy of Dance’s Performance Company (LADPC) and Hip Hop Company finished off their competition season this weekend at Tremaine Dance Convention in Chicago on a high note!  After many classes and numerous rehearsals, the hard work of our company dancers, Company Manager and Director, Deborah Silvers, Company Director, Mary Tisa, and choreographers  and commitment of our LAD parents paid off.

The Hip Hop Company whose number “Lip Gloss” was choreographed and rehearsed by LAD Hip Hop instructor, Nicki Niemet, won First Place and overall highest score in the Junior Division.  Our Hip Hop Company members are Olivia and Isabel Bottcher, Tess Freemen, Eva Nikolic, Isabel Perez, Calleigh Schneider, Anett Vaysberg and Karina Dyakov (Apprentice).

Lincolnshire Academy of Dance Performance Company’s Group numbers won 2nd Place for Musical Theater with “Footloose” choreographed by LAD instructor, Sasha Vargas, and for Lyrical with “Step by Step” choreographed by LAD instructor and Company Director, Mary Tisa.

The company’s small group pieces also received awards.  The Tap trio’s “Hollywood” dance choreographed by LAD instructor, Christie Kerr, won 3rd place, and the quartet’s Lyrical piece, “The Promise” choreographed by Mary Tisa was also awarded 2nd place.  Although Tremain only gives award for 1st – 3rd place, we would be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge that the Jazz duet “Move” choreographed by LAD instructor and Giordano Dance company member, Ashley Downs, received 4th place.  The Performance Company members are Agnes Chamberlain, Ryan Cheslock, Megan Embree, Kelly Fagel, Elli Freeman, Ashley Gordon, Raquel Hirsch, Ty Melnick, Sarah Rainis, and Ella Van Gerven.

The companies have also shared their talents for good causes, including a performance at Victory Centre of Vernon Hills, an assisted living facility and an event for EDN!C (Everybody Dance Now! Chicago).  According to its website everybodydancenow.org, “Everybody Dance Now! is a youth-run nonprofit organization that provides free, weekly dance programming to young people throughout the country who would otherwise not have access to such opportunities.”

Look for more performances by the Lincolnshire Academy of Dance Performance Company and Hip Hop Company in our recitals June 11th and 12th at the Stevenson High School Auditorium and in the upcoming months throughout our local community.