The cast of “Anything Goes” from Porchlight Music Theatre, now playing through Feb. 25 at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts. (Liz Lauren)

Without a moment’s hesitation, the powers that be at Porchlight Music Theatre should invite a slew of heavyweight New York producers to Chicago to see its bravura production of “Anything Goes,” the classic 1934 Cole Porter musical. They just don’t make many musicals like this one anymore, WTTW News theater critic Hedy Weiss writes.

(Left to right) Gilbert Domally (Clifford Bradshaw) and Erica Stephan (Sally Bowles) in “Cabaret” from Porchlight Music Theatre. (Liz Lauren)

Read the headlines these days, and the sharply sardonic edge of “Cabaret" feels more chillingly ironic and on target than ever.

(L to R) Maya Lou Hlava and Jack DeCesare in “Spring Awakening” from Porchlight Music Theatre now playing at The Ruth Page Center through June 2. (Credit: Liz Lauren)

Arriving at the very moment the Supreme Court appear to be poised to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision of a half-century ago, this haunting musical is infused with an intensity and a cry for help in the very midst of a retroactive movement.

Shantel Cribbs (left) and Melanie Loren in “Pump Boys & Dinettes” from Porchlight Music Theatre, now playing through Dec. 12. (Photo by Chollette)

Created by a group of six performers and musicians, the 1981 musical is now being brought back to vivid life in a terrific production devised by director Daryl Brooks, music director Robert Reddrick and choreographer Rueben D. Echoles.

From left: Ariana Burks, Shantel Cribbs and Melanie Loren in “Chicago Sings Rock & Roll Broadway” from Porchlight Music Theatre. (Courtesy of Porchlight Music Theatre)

True to its title, this lavish production traces the evolution of Broadway scores from the 1960s until now, and explores the many ways in which pop music (as well as modern life) has expanded and altered the sound of musical theater.

Neala Barron (left) and Lucy Godinez perform “My Own Best Friend” from “Chicago” in “Broadway By the Decade” from Porchlight Music Theatre. (Courtesy of Porchlight Music Theatre)

The 45-minute “Broadway By the Decade,” performed by a gifted six-person cast, features representative songs from musicals spanning 10 decades.

From left: Chuckie Benson, Terri K. Woodall, Joey Stone, Madison Piner and Tristan Bruns in “Rockin’ in Rhythm” from “Sophisticated Ladies” by Porchlight Music Theatre. (Photo by Michael Courier)

This knockout revival could easily be airlifted onto a New York stage without a single alteration. Come and see it if you can.

Hollis Resnik as Norma Desmond in “Sunset Boulevard” from Porchlight Music Theatre. (Photo by Michael Courier)

A musical-opera hybrid, “Sunset Boulevard” captures the dual face of Hollywood as a dream factory and a dream destroyer. And it spins the haunting tale of Norma Desmond, an aging, once fabled star.

The cast of “A Chorus Line” at Porchlight Music Theatre. (Credit: Michael Courier)

Three very different productions that recently opened on Chicago stages serve as a powerful reminder of the dramatically varied ways in which the language of dance can be spoken.

Matt Crowle and Rachel Klippel in Porchlight Music Theatre’s production of “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder.” (Photo by Michael Courier)

Not even the polar vortex could deter the performers and audience as Porchlight Music Theatre opened its altogether bravura production this week. This brilliantly conceived and equally brilliantly performed show was meant to defy the odds on every count.

E. Faye Butler as Rose in “Gypsy” from Porchlight Music Theatre. (Photo by Michael Courier)

With her force-of-nature personality, powerhouse voice and galvanic emotional range, E. Faye Butler was clearly was born to play Mama Rose.

Liam Quealy as Huey Calhoun and Aeriel Williams as Felicia Farrell in “Memphis” from Porchlight Music Theatre. (Photo by Michael Courier)

A transformative evening in the theater, Porchlight Music Theatre’s production features galvanic direction, volcanic dancing, a powerhouse onstage band and a large, fiercely talented cast.