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Festivals, Fairs & Special Events

Porchlight Honors Ben Vereen and Paul Lisnek

Porchlight Music Theatre announces Porchlight ICONS: Celebrating Ben Vereen, taking place Friday, Sept. 8 at 5:30 p.m. at the Athenaeum Center, 2936 N. Southport Ave. Featuring the presentation of the 2023 ICONS Award to the legendary Ben Vereen and the 2023 Luminary Award to WGN’s Paul M. Lisnek, live performances directed by Artistic Director Michael Weber will highlight Mr. Vereen’s incredible career along with an on stage interview between our award recipients. 

In 2020, the ICON Award was established at Porchlight Music Theatre to celebrate a notable artist who has made an indelible contribution to American entertainment and has since been presented to living legends Hal Prince, Joel Grey, Chita Rivera and in 2022, Donna McKechnie as well as historic music theatre greats Fred Astaire, Ethel Merman, Bob Fosse, Elaine Stritch, Frank Loesser, Michael Bennett and others. Porchlight will welcome the 2023 recipient of the ICON Award, Ben Vereen, to accept this award. 

The Luminary Award is bestowed annually and this year it is presented to Paul M. Lisnek. This honor recognizes an outstanding individual, family or family foundation with a history of philanthropic and volunteer leadership on behalf of Porchlight and music theater in Chicago, and whose generosity inspires others to philanthropic action. Past honorees include Rick and Deann Bayless and the Bayless Family Foundation, Elaine Cohen and Arlen D. Rubin, Jim Jensen, Jean Klingenstein, Dan Ratner and the Ratner Family Foundation.


Porchlight Music Theatre is the award-winning center for music theatre in Chicago. Through live performance, youth education and community outreach, we impact thousands of lives each season, bringing the magic of musicals to our theatre home at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts in the Gold Coast and to neighborhoods across the city. Porchlight has built a national reputation for boldly reimagining classic musicals supporting new works and young performers, and showcasing Chicago’s most notable music theatre artists, all through the intimate and powerful theatrical lens of the “Chicago Style.” 


Single tickets are $500 (which includes a cocktail reception with Mr. Vereen and priority reserved seating on the main floor), $250 for main floor seating and $100 for seating in the front balcony. Tickets are on sale now at or 773.777.9884. Sponsorship opportunities are available now. Please contact Development Director Evin Rayford* at for more information.


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