Skylight Opera Theatre Presents A DAY IN HOLLYWOOD/A NIGHT IN THE UKRAINE

A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine is a musical double feature as hilarious as any presented in Hollywood's heyday. The first act, A Day in Hollywood, takes us to the lobby of Grauman's Chinese Theatre in the 1930s where the ushers sing a musical tribute to the screen stars and productions of that magical era - including a musical homage to film clichés and a tap salute to the 1930 Production Code governing on-screen sex and violence. The second act, A Night in the Ukraine, is in the Marx Brothers comedic style - sweeping us away to Russia for a madcap musical featuring all the usual Marx Brothers suspects, and loosely based on Chekhov's one-act play, The Bear. Nominated for five Tony Awards, this rollicking, innovative two-musicals-in-one is a guaranteed toe-tapping, belly-laughing delight. A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine is reminiscent of big Skylight hits like Cocoanuts and Animal Crackers.

"A Day In Hollywood/A Night In The Ukraine is such a perfect choice for the Skylight's 50th Anniversary. Our cast for this production is a wonderful mix of long-time Skylight favorites like Norman Moses and Ray Jivoff with newer faces to the Skylight such as Molly Rhode and Chase Stoeger. Our cast and our audiences are sure to be in for a side-splittingly good time with this show," states Amy S. Jensen, Managing Director.

Who's Who

Benjamin Howes (Carlo)-Benjamin hails from Australia where his credits include Les Miserables, Beauty and the Beast, Little Shop of Horrors and Grease. Benjamin's previous Skylight appearances include Hero in A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum and Dick Trevor in Lady Be Good. He has also performed for the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, was praised in the New York Times for his performance in Veronique for Pecadillo Theatre Company. He made his Off-Broadway debut with the Mint Theatre Company and is a winner of the Weekley and Arganbright Outstanding Support Actor award for roles in Florida including Le Compte De Guiche in Cyrano, Rocky in Damn Yankees and Wemmick in Great Expectations. His regional credits include CosMo Brown in Singin' In The Rain and Bob Cratchit in A Christmas Carol.

Ray Jivoff (Gino)-Ray Jivoff's recent Skylight roles include Roger DeBris in The Producers and himself in Everything From Ray to Z and Things That Go Ding. He's happy to inhabit Harpo opposite Norman Moses for the fourth time! Last season he directed The Sum of Us for Milwaukee Chamber Theatre and this summer he is directing Hair at the Sunset Playhouse. Ray is the Skylight's Associate Artistic Director.

Carol Greif Schuele (Mrs. Pavlenko)-Carol Greif Schuele (Mrs. Pavlenko)--- Carol is delighted to return to the Skylight stage where she was last seen as Lady Ella in Patience. Other Skylight roles include Miss Jessel in The Turn Of The Screw, Mrs.Nordstrom in A Little Night Music, Despina in Cosi Fan Tutte, and Yum-Yum in The Mikado. Carol has performed with the Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, the MCT Shaw Festival and on the Skylight Cabaret stage. As a vocal soloist she has appeared with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra, Bach and Beyond and the Cathedral of St. John Fine Arts Series with Dave Brubeck and his quartet. Carol most recently served as music director for the Cardinal Stritch University productions of Working, Zombies From The Beyond, Urinetown and is also on their voice faculty.

Melinda Pfundstein (Nina)-Melinda is thrilled to return to the Skylight where she was last seen as Betty in White Christmas. This season, you may have seen her in Moon Over The Brewery at Milwaukee Chamber Theatre or The Smell Of The Kill at Renaissance Theatreworks. Other Milwaukee shows include the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre's You Can't Take It With You, The Andrews Brothers and The Nerd. She will appear next at First Stage, after which she will return to the Utah Shakespearean Festival where she will embark on her 12th season in the company. Favorite past roles include Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady, Aldonza in Man Of La Mancha and Roxane in Cyrano DeBergerac.

Norman Moses (Serge B. Samovar)-As a 34-year veteran of Milwaukee stages, Norman has performed leading roles with most every company in town. Roles include Gabe in Dinner With Friends with Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, Max in The Real Thing with Next Act Theatre, Avery in Precious Memories with Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Captain Spaulding (Groucho) in Animal Crackers with Skylight and Horton in Suessical with First Stage. Norman has also been seen and heard in hundreds of commercials and voice-overs. He received his Masters of Fine Arts from the Professional Actor Training Program at UWM.

Chase Stoeger (Constantine)-Chase is ecstatic to be back at the Skylight and working with such a wonderful cast and company. You may have seen him at Skylight Productions this season under the stairs managing the Boutique. Check out the hats crocheted by him and his lovely wife Molly. Skylight shows include The Producers, White Christmas, The Mikado and Cabaret. He's also worked for Chamber Theatre, First Stage, Nevermore, Off the Wall, Bialystock and Bloom, Milwaukee Shakespeare and Door Shakespeare. This summer he returns to American Folklore Theatre to premier Life on the Mississippi as Samuel Clemens.

Molly Rhode (Masha)-Molly is incredibly proud to be here performing in Skylight's 50th Anniversary Season with so many good friends. Past Skylight appearances include Hello, Dolly!; Chicago; Lady, Be Good; Tartuffe; as well as Ulla in the Producers and Sally Bowles in Cabaret. Molly has also been seen on all of Milwaukee's other professional stages and has worked to the west in Spring Green, and to the north in Door County. She also recently appeared for the first time in Madison as Eve in All About Eve with the brand new Forward Theatre Company. Molly will spend the summer with American Folklore Theatre, and she looks forward to directing a beautiful new musical, Main-Traveled Roads, for the Milwaukee Chamber Theatre next fall. Off-stage, Molly has a small crochet business with her husband, Chase.

Ben George (Sasha)-Ben George was last seen at Skylight Opera Theatre as O'Rourke in The Producers. Locally, he has performed at Off the Wall in Chess, Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, The Frogs and Company and at Windfall Theatre in A New Brain and Betty's Summer Vacation. He moved to Milwaukee from Europe where he performed with the Brussels Light Opera, the Brussels Shakespeare Society, and the American Theatre Company.

Jennifer C. Kiel (Coro)-Jennifer Kiel earned her Bachelor of Music degree at UW-Eau Claire and is currently teaching music at Drought School. She also teaches a Musical Theatre Workshop at the Racine Theatre Guild. Jennifer has performed with American Hawaii Cruises and at several local theaters. She is thrilled to be back at the Skylight and performing for her husband, Dan and their children, Jacob and Abigail.

Pam Kriger (Stage Director)-Pam returns to the Skylight after serving as stage director/choreographer for White Christmas, Tintypes, Lady Be Good, The All Night Strut, Little Shop Of Horrors and Once On This Island. She has choreographed a multitude of Skylight shows since 1980 including Oh, Lady Lady!, Cabaret, The King & I, and Animal Crackers. She is a member of the theater faculty at Cardinal Stritch University where she recently directed Urinetown and Zombies From The Beyond, and works extensively throughout the region as both a director and choreographer. Recent credits include Cheeseheads, The Musical for American Folklore Theatre, Muskie Love for Madison Rep, and Curtains for Nicolet High School. Her next project is Into The Woods for University Theatre at UW-Madison.

James Valcq (Music Director) James returns to the Skylight where he's done over 30 shows. Broadway credits include Chicago, Flower Drum Song, Cabaret, and Scarlet Pimpernel. With Fred Alley, James wrote The Spitfire Grill (Playwrights Horizons, 2001) which won the Richard Rodgers Production Award and received Best Musical nominations from the Outer Critics Circle and Drama League as well as two Drama Desk nominations. He is also the composer/author of Zombies from The Beyond, which opened Off-Broadway to critical acclaim in 1995. Other conducting credits include Maurice Sendak's production of Really Rosie, Indiana Rep's She Loves Me, and The Spitfire Grill at Idaho Shakespeare Festival.

Jessica Berlin (Stage Manager)--Jessica has worked with theatres across the country, including the Dallas Theatre Center, The Denver Center, The Shakespeare Festival of Dallas, Casa Manana, Studio Arena, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, and San Jose Rep as well as served as the production manager for Milwaukee Shakespeare for four seasons. Most recently, she stage managed The Marriage of Figaro, Plaid Tidings, The Barber of Seville, The Pirates of Penzance, Blues in the Night, I Do! I Do! and The Producers for the Skylight. Jessica also teaches stage management at UW-Milwaukee.

Rick A. Rasmussen (Set Design)- Rick Rasmussen has been working with Skylight Opera Theatre since 1991 when he designed the scenery, props and costumes for its production of Dames At Sea in the old Skylight Theatre. He was honored to be the scenic designer for its first season in the Cabot Theatre, designing 110 In The Shade. Rick resides in Seattle, but works extensively in Milwaukee and other parts of the Midwest. Area theatrical credits include, Duet For One at Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, La Boheme at Skylight Opera Theatre, High School Musical at the Fireside, Seven Stories at Next Act Theatre, A Christmas Story at First Stage Children's Theater and Syncopation at Renaissance Theaterworks.

Holly Blomquist (Lighting Design)- Holly's lighting design work this season includes Tea at Five for In Tandem, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever for First Stage, and Pearl Bailey by Request for the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre. Past favorites include Educating Rita for the Berkshire Theatre Festival, The Diary of Anne Frank for Madison Repertory Theatre, The Internationalist for Boulevard Ensemble, and Urinetown: The Musical for UW-Madison. Holly's full time career as an architectural lighting designer with Harwood Engineering Consultants, Ltd. in Wauwatosa has enabled her to design for theatre while expanding her design horizons to architectural projects around the city and state. Holly has an MFA in theatre from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is the recipient of the 2007 Young Lighting Designer Award given by the United States Institute for Theatre Technology, and recipient of the 2008 Standing 'O' Award given by Apollo Design Technologies.

Gary Ellis (Sound Design)-- Gary Ellis is serving in his third year as the Skylight's audio visual supervisor and has been an audio engineer in theatre for over 15 years. He began his career as a software engineer in Silicon Valley, but got hooked on theatre after years of watching performances at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Shows he has mixed include White Christmas, The Spitfire Grill, The Producers, Blues In The Night, Sunday In The Park With George, Side Show and Violet. Gary studied technical theatre at San Francisco State University. Previously, he worked at The Santa Fe Opera, Theatreworks in Palo Alto, CA and Summer Repertory Theatre in Santa Rosa, CA.

Shima Orans (Costume Design)-Shima designed costumes for the Skylight's I Do, I Do, Souvenir, South Pacific, Little Women, and A Grand Night for Singing. She also serves on the Skylight staff as costume director/draper. Shima has designed for Syracuse Opera, Sterling Renaissance Festival, Oswego Opear, Pittsburgh Playhouse, Apple Hill Playhouse, Acadia Repertory Theatre, and teh Albuquerque Civic Light Opera. She holds a Master of Fine Arts from Carnegie Mellon University and has taught at Point Park College and the State University of New York.

Orchestra
Piano: Mark Carlstein
Drums/percussion: Michael Lorenz

Song List
Act I
"Just Go to the Movies"
"Famous Feet"
"Nelson"
"Over the Rainbow"
"It All Comes Out of the Piano"
"Ain't We Got Fun"
"Too Marvelous for Words"
"Japanese Sandman"
"On the Good Ship Lollipop"
"Double Trouble"
"Louise"
"Sleepy Time Gal"
"Beyond the Blue Horizon"
"Thanks for the Memory"
"The Best in the World"
"Film Cliché"
"Doin' the Production Code"
"A Night in the Ukraine"

Act II
"A Night in the Ukraine"
"Carlo's Piano Solo (Melody in 'F')
"Samovar the Lawyer"
"Just Like That"
"Again"
"Gino's Harp Solo"
"A Duel! A Duel!"
"Natasha"
"A Night in the Ukraine"

Book and Lyrics by Dick Vosburgh; Music by Frank Lazarus.

Performance dates: March 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 31, April 1, 2, 3, 4, 2010

Ticket Prices...There are four price levels in the Cabot Theatre. Prices range from $62 to $20 before discounts are taken.

Media Requests: Artists will be available for pre-show interviews. Press photos will be available February 26, 2010. Production photos will be available March 11, 2010. Contact Laura Russart, Marketing Project Manager at laurar@skylightopera.com or (414) 299-4951 to request interviews, photos or reviewer passes.

Good to Know Before the Show
Cabaret Performances...Friday and Saturday evening performances are followed by a 45-minute free cabaret show in the Skylight Bar & Bistro. There is not a cabaret performance on opening night.

Food and Drink...The Skylight Bar & Bistro, located on the second floor of the Broadway Theatre Center, is a full-service bar open two hours before performances, at intermission and after performances with the exception of Sunday evenings. For reservations, call Fratellos Waterfront Restaurant at (414) 271-1740.

Skylight Insights ..... Join us for an opportunity to learn more about Skylight Opera Theatre productions. Music Director James Valcq and Associate Artistic Director Ray Jivoff will lead pre-performance talks one hour before curtain for every Wednesday and Sunday performance.

Box Office Information
Skylight Opera Theatre's Box Office is located in the Broadway Theatre Center at 158 North Broadway, Milwaukee, WI 53202. Phone: (414) 291-7800

Hours...Monday through Saturday noon to 6:00 p.m. and two hours prior to all performances. Skylight tickets are available for purchase online at www.skylightopera.com -- 24 hours a day/7 days a week!

This production was sponsored by Robert W. Baird and was supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts. Skylight Opera Theatre is a nationally recognized producer of the full-spectrum of Music Theatre.

The Skylight is proud to be a cornerstone member of the United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF), which provides major annual financial support. Through community support of the United Performing Arts Fund, UPAF Member and Affiliate Groups are able to provide education and outreach to over 400,000 children, provide over 2,000 live performances and reach over 1,000,000 people every year. When everyone supports the arts through UPAF, they help our local economy, improving education and strengthening outreach programs to the disabled and elderly - all while adding culture to their own life. Support of UPAF is critical to UPAF Member Groups' ability to continue to offer exceptional live performances, award-winning education and outreach programming and substantial economic impact to our region. To learn more about UPAF or to donate, go to www.upaf.org.

The Skylight is supported in part by grants from the NEA, Wisconsin Arts Board, the City of Milwaukee Arts Board, and CAMPAC. The Skylight is a member of OPERA America; Visit Milwaukee; Historic Third Ward Association; Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin; Theatre Wisconsin; Cultural Alliance and a cultural partner of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra's Arts in Community Education (ACE) Program. This theater is an equal opportunity employer. Except in plays where race itself is an issue, casting is decided based on ability, not race.



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