Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Skylight Music Theatre Presents SKYLIGHT SINGS: A HOLIDAY SPECIAL


Streaming online December 11, 2020 through January 10, 2021.

Skylight Music Theatre Presents SKYLIGHT SINGS: A HOLIDAY SPECIAL

Skylight Music Theatre today announced it will invite audiences to join them virtually in the Cabot Theatre for Skylight Sings: A Holiday Special - From Our Home at the Cabot Theatre, streaming Friday, Dec. 11, 2020 through Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021.

Skylight Sings: A Holiday Special virtually brings together more than 20 artists and performers presenting a wide range of seasonal music, including Broadway show tunes, traditional holiday songs, pop adaptations, and a generous dose of comedy.

"Our goal is to refresh spirits during these challenging times," said Skylight Artistic Director Michael Unger, who also directs the show. "More than just a concert of holiday tunes, we have put our usual Skylight spin on the festivities. We have curated a variety of numbers performed by the sort of delightfully talented people whom any of us would love to welcome into our homes. Even though we will all be inside more than usual this season, this show is certain to make the holidays a little brighter."

The backdrop for the show will be the stunning Cabot Theatre, Skylight's home. All performances were recorded individually in the Cabot, following strict safety protocols. The Cabot Theatre is considered one of Milwaukee's most beautiful theatres. It is modeled after an 18th century French opera house, with jewel-box, tiered balconies and plush velvet seats.

Ray Jivoff and Michael "Ding" Lorenz Bring their Comedic Antics

Performers in the show include some familiar faces as well as a few who are new to Skylight. Two well-known names include Ray Jivoff, seen in shows including La Cage Aux Folles, The Mikado and Chicago, and Michael "Ding" Lorenz, Skylight's percussionist who delighted audiences with his humorous variety shows filled with an incredible collection of percussion instruments. They will perform a selection from their hit Christmas show Things That Go Ding (Dong, Merrily on High)!

The Holiday Special will also welcome "home" performer Liz Norton, last seen at Skylight in Into the Woods, The Wizard of Oz and The Sound of Music. She will bring a little jazz to the show, with a special version of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer."

Some of the artists who were scheduled to appear in Little Shop of Horrors are also part of the show, including Ashley Olviedo and Aaron Reese Boseman, who would have made their Skylight debuts in Little Shop. Other Little Shop cast members who are performing are Raven Dockery and Kevin James Sievert. Little Shop of Horrors was postponed due to the pandemic and will be presented when conditions allow a safe return to live theatre.

"It wouldn't be a Skylight show if we did not balance a little bit of quirk with a whole lotta' class; traditional tunes, some with a twist, and some delightful numbers audiences may not know but are sure to love," said Unger.

Unger has programmed, among other things, familiar holiday songs; a fresh approach to a Hannukah song; a song honoring the seven principles of Kwanzaa; a revival of a classic Ray Jivoff Christmas cabaret song; and a guest appearance by Dolly, the Adorable Dancing Dog.

"Although we don't know if the dog can tap dance, we can say Skylight favorite Ryan Cappleman will dance with his dog, Dolly, performing the song "The Best Things Happen While You're Dancing" from the musical White Christmas."

Other highlights include the drama and passion of "Simple Song," from Leonard Bernstein's Mass, performed by Andrew Varela, known for leading roles in many Skylight shows, including Sweeney Todd. Rána Roman, last seen as Kate in (Kiss Me, Kate) will perform a contemporary holiday song that is sure to become a classic.

Broadway songs will be a part of the eclectic mix. Samantha Sostarich, who recently appeared in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, will sing "A Hard Candy Christmas," from The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. Ashley Oviedo, who made her Skylight virtual debut in the musical Being Earnest, will be joined by Kevin James Sievert, who has been seen in Newsies and Five Guys Named Moe, to perform "Love is an Open Door" from Disney's Frozen.

In addition, Skylight Sings: A Holiday Special will offer some group numbers through the magic of editing. One song updates what it means to be "Home for the Holidays" at this particular time in our world.

The cast includes (in alphabetical order) Kaylee Annable, Aaron Reese Boseman, Christie Burgess, Ryan Cappleman, Raven Dockery, Kelly Doherty, Krystal Drake, Shawn Holmes, Ray Jivoff, Liz Norton, Ashley Oviedo, Rána Roman, Kevin James Sievert, Samantha Sostarich, Ben Tajnai, Andrew Varela, and others.

Led by music director David Bonofiglio, Skylight Sings: A Holiday Special has a three-piece band featuring Michael "Ding" Lorenz on percussion, Michael Ritter on bass, and Bonofiglio on piano. Special guests include Congregation Beth Israel Ner Tamid Cantor, Jeremy Stein on flute, and Doug Syme on guitar.

Skylight Sings: A Holiday Special video production is by Ryan Rosmann and Hi-Five Studio.

Skylight Sings: A Holiday Special From Our Home at the Cabot TheatreStreaming PresentationDec. 11, 2020 through Jan. 10, 2021Directed by Michael UngerMusic Director David BonofiglioVideo Production by Ryan Rosmann and Hi-Five Studio

Skylight is offering two virtual options for the holidays. In addition to Skylight Sings: A Holiday Special, virtual performances of Being Earnest continue through Dec. 31. The musical, based on Oscar Wilde's satirical comedy of manners, The Importance of Being Earnest, has received effusive reviews from patrons and critics. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said Being Earnest is "spectacular!" and Shepherd Express called it "fun and endearing." Urban Milwaukee praised its "evocative 1960s music" and Ryan Jay Reviews called it "delightfully entertaining and marvelous!"

Written by Paul Gordon and Jay Grushka, Being Earnest takes place in a mod, 1960's, Austin Powers-era setting. All of the brilliant wit in Wilde's most popular play remains intact in this effervescent musical about two young couples and the societal conventions, over-bearing mothers, and misplaced handbags in railway stations that they must overcome in the course of finding true love. The score is a sparkling homage to 1960's rock groups such as Herman's Hermits, The Dave Clark Five, The Rolling Stones, The Lovin' Spoonful and more.

The musical was rehearsed, performed, and recorded in the seven performers' separate homes to allow for social distancing, and footage was then edited together like a film. Being Earnest was directed by Skylight's Artistic Director, Michael Unger, who with Paul Gordon, also edited the film version.

The Milwaukee-area performers in the cast of Being Earnest are: Algernon (Max Pink), Lane/Chasuble/Merriman (Tim Rebers), Jack (Joey Chelius), Lady Bracknell (Nathan Marinan), Gwendolyn (Stephanie Staszak), Miss Prism (Karen Estrada), and Cecily (Ashley Oveido).

To watch Skylight Sings: A Holiday Special online, patrons purchase tickets for a specific date through January 10, 2021 and have 48 hours from their selected date to view the show online. Tickets are $20 (Solo), $35 (Date Night), $50 (Family) and $75 (Full House). Tickets are available at Tickets for subscribers are $10, but must be purchased through the Box Office at (414) 291-7800.

To watch Being Earnest online, patrons purchase tickets for a specific date through Dec. 31, 2020 and have 48 hours from their selected date to view the show online. Tickets are $25 (Solo); $35 (Date Night), $50 (Family) and $75 (Full House) and available at Tickets for subscribers are $10, but must be purchased through the Box Office at (414) 291-7800.

Related Articles View More Milwaukee, WI Stories

Featured on Stage Door

Shoutouts, Classes & More

More Hot Stories For You