Porchlight Music Theatre, Chicago IL | January 2018
- Direction Michael Weber
- Set Design Jeff Kmiec & Greg Pinsoneault
- Lighting Denise Karczewski
This show is a rarely-seen musical that tells the story of three friends in reverse, starting in 1976 (this production actually began in 2018) and moving backwards to 1953. The production used a bare set as a canvas for media to help audiences understand the times of each scene and better communicate the story in collaboration with the text, costumes, and detailed direction.
Merrily was a gargantuan undertaken that included projector mapping, static and moving images throughout the show, photo and video manipulations to indicate time and story, and a four projector system across the entirety of the set.
"This writer was also wowed visually at the very start, when Projection Designer Anthony Churchillbegins to show his stuff. A mosaic of images catapults the story from its mid-70’s time post to today—very today, replete with #MeToo signs, Trump in his most Orange Hitler stance, and more. How fun! Churchill’s ability to bottle the zeitgeist continues as the story rolls the clock back, even thinking to include that iconic clip of Lucy and Ethel trying to keep pace in the chocolate factory. Churchill’s eye for detail even included meshing a bridge image with the trim in the Ruth Page Performance Center, the Porchlight's new home. Just exquisite!"
- Picture this Post, Amy Munice
"...but Merrily is the kind of show that was made for projections, and Anthony Churchill’s are exemplary: moving through time, setting the scene, making a joke, but never distracting."
Chicagoland Musical Theatre, Patrikc O'Brien
"...using the smaller and very intimate stage of The Ruth Page Center For The Arts to its best advantage and the projections by Anthony Churchill were sheer perfection."
- Around the Town Chicago, Alan Bresloff
Photos by Anthony Churchill & Porchlight Music Theatre