Christopher Kelley, 18, of Flossmoor, will make his professional Chicago-area debut in Porchlight Music Theatreâs production of "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying." | Supplied photo by Nate Groonwald
Updated: May 25, 2014 3:54PM
In the world of musical entertainment, a performer who can sing, dance and act is known as a triple threat.
Flossmoor native Christopher Kelley is that and much more.
The 18-year-old will make his professional Chicago debut next week in Porchlight Music Theatre’s end-of-season production of “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.”
“The nerves haven’t really hit me yet,” Kelley said.
The 2013 Homewood-Flossmoor High School graduate hasn’t had time to become nervous. He’s been preparing and rehearsing for his role as a dancer in the show, which is scheduled to open Tuesday.
Kelley began honing his theater chops all the way back in fourth grade, when he first involved himself in a summer theater program. He did that up until high school, where he appeared in 15 shows.
While at H-F, he performed in the Illinois High School Theater Festival’s All State Musical, “Memphis.”
“That was pretty much the biggest thing I did in high school,” Kelley said. “I was so lucky to find my passion in such a great program at Homewood-Flossmoor.”
Kelley started his freshman year at Butler University as a ballet performance major. Things there didn’t work out, he said. Instead, he wants to explore a more comprehensive theater experience.
“Dance is my passion but I wanted a more broad education in theater,” he said.
Next year, Kelley will attend the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.
J.R. Rose, a theater teacher at H-F who has known Kelley for years, said he believes his former student is using the gap year wisely. Rose operates his own theater company at Governors State University. Kelley acted in one of the recent productions there.
A talented performer, Kelley also is a fearless person, Rose said. That level of bravery is necessary to make it big in entertainment.
“I have no doubt we’ll be seeing him on Broadway someday,” Rose said.
Porchlight Music Theatre’s “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” runs from Tuesday to June 1 at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. Tickets are $43.50 and can be purchased online at porchlightmusictheatre.org or by calling (773) 327-5252.
Lower-priced preview shows are scheduled for Saturday through Monday in advance of the opening night performance at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.