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Announcing Skylight Music Theatre's 2018-2019 Season

Line-Up Includes Blockbuster Titles Never Before Seen at Skylight

Milwaukee, Wis. (Feb. 20, 2018) — Artistic Director Ray Jivoff unveiled Skylight Music Theatre’s 2018-19 Season line-up of “firsts” -- five shows that have never been produced at Skylight.

“We are thrilled to announce this exciting season of well-known and well-loved shows that have not been produced by Skylight before,” said Jivoff. “These are blockbuster titles that perfectly capture Skylight’s mission of presenting the full spectrum of music theatre, from musicals to revues to classical repertoire. Each show is joyful and exuberant in its own way and highlights our dedication to producing inventive and theatrical musical storytelling.”

Jivoff also announced that Skylight will continue building on its efforts to expand and grow the Skylight family with opportunities for young performers to appear on stage.

Holiday Musical “Hairspray” to Feature Teenagers from Area Schools

 “Last season’s successful run of Annie showcased young performers who energized us and our audiences with their enthusiasm and talent. We continue building on that excitement with our next holiday show, Hairspray. We look forward to working with area high schools as we search for 12-15 local teenagers to perform in the show’s ensemble.”

Jivoff, who has been involved in arts education for 40 years, added “I believe Skylight can make a difference in our community by offering opportunities to artists of all ages.”

Other community building efforts include a partnership with Milwaukee Opera Theatre and other arts organizations when Skylight presents the awe-inspiring Carmina Burana in March 2019.

“Things that go Ding!” Transfers to Cabot Stage

Jivoff also announced a special added production of Things that go Ding! Back by overwhelming popular demand, Things that go Ding! features Skylight percussionist Michael “Ding” Lorenz and his outrageous collection of vintage and vaudeville percussion instruments. Things that go Ding! was previously presented in Skylight’s Bar & Bistro Cabaret (2009) and in the Studio Theatre (2012). This will be the first time the production is on the Cabot stage, running February 22 - March 3, 2019 for eight performances only.

Jivoff also said that Skylight would continue its successful Cabaret series with cabarets following select weekend performances of each production and on Monday nights.

Patrons, subscribers, donors and members of the arts community attended the Season Announcement party held in Skylight’s home, the Cabot Theatre in the Broadway Theatre Center. Entertainment included songs from each of the upcoming shows, performed by a cast of Skylight favorite performers.

Skylight’s 2018-19 subscription season opens in fall with the five-time Tony Award-winning Pippin (Sept. 21 – Oct. 7). For the holidays, Skylight presents the family-favorite Broadway blockbuster Hairspray (Nov. 16 – Dec. 23). In 2019, Skylight will produce the musical sensation, Five Guys Named Moe (Jan. 25 –Feb. 10, 2019), followed by a joint production with Milwaukee Opera Theatre of the Carl Orff cantata, Carmina Burana (March 15 – 31, 2019). Closing the season is the musical classic Kiss Me, Kate (May 17 – June 9, 2019).  In addition to the five shows, Skylight will offer a special added production of Things that go Ding! (Feb. 22 – March 3, 2019).

“Each year, we strive to produce exceptional productions that are new to our stage,” said Jivoff.  “After almost 60 years of producing music theatre, we believe our audiences look forward to discovering something new in every Skylight production.”

The 2018-2019 Skylight Music Theatre Season is as follows:


First Time at Skylight

September 21 – October 7, 2018

Music and Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz

Book by Roger O. Hirson

Originally produced on the Broadway stage by Stuart Ostrow

Directed on the Broadway stage by Bob Fosse

Theo Ending Originally Conceived In 1998 By Mitch Sebastian

This unforgettable musical from the composer of Wicked and Godspell has inspired generations of theatregoers. The five-time Tony Award-winning show follows Pippin’s search to live an extraordinary life and find his “corner of the sky,” while learning that true happiness is more complicated than he thought.

Said Jivoff, “Pippin is both a humorous allegory about growing up and a dark tale of the dangers of false appearances. This may be Stephen Schwartz’s most imaginative and compelling score and calls for stage magic, thrilling choreography and deeply personal storytelling.”

The Chicago Tribune called Pippin "Truly dazzling! Inestimably clever!" The New York Times described it as "Astonishing...and awe-inspiring."



First time at Skylight

November 16 – December 23, 2018

Music by Marc Shaiman

Lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman

Book by Thomas Meehan and Mark O’Donnell

Based on the New Line Cinema film written and directed by John Waters

Orchestrations by Harold Wheeler

Arrangements by Marc Shaiman

You can’t stop the beat in this big, bold, beloved story of one girl’s inspiring dream to dance. Winner of eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical, this family-friendly show set in 1962 is filled with exuberant dancing, infectious music and the transformation of plus-size teen Tracy Turnblad from social outcast to star who integrates local television and wins the affections of heartthrob, Link Larkin.

Said Jivoff, “Hairspray is one of the most popular musicals today because it deals with issues of race, class, bullying and physical appearance with wit, a great score, a diverse cast and exuberant dancing. This is a hilarious musical with depth and heart that deals with important issues facing our community. Our plan is to feature 12-15 local teenagers as the teen ensemble, with auditions beginning in April.”

The New York Times calls Hairspray “Endearing! Deliriously tuneful!” and New York Magazine described it as a “Blockbuster! Relentlessly upbeat!”


Five Guys Named Moe

First time at Skylight

January 25 – February 10, 2019

A musical by Clarke Peters

Featuring Louis Jordan’s Greatest Hits

Originally Produced at the Theatre Royal Stratford East

Five Guys Named Moe is a joyful, jazzy tribute to Louis Jordan, the 1940s rhythm-and-blues singer, songwriter and bandleader. When a young man, Nomax, breaks up with his girlfriend, he finds inspiration and guidance from five guys named Moe, who burst out of his radio, performing the great music of Louis Jordan. The guys turn his life around with their megawatt singing and dancing energy, including Jordan favorites Saturday Night Fish Fry and Choo Choo Ch' Boogie.

Jivoff said, “Five Guys Named Moe is popular with all audiences because Jordan’s music is funny, joyful and human. This is a true ensemble piece with a small, swinging band and our intention is to feature local Skylight talent.”

The Los Angeles Times called Five Guys Named Moe “A big party with… enough high spirits to send a small rocket into orbit!” The Chicago Sun-Times said the show is “Pure, unadulterated theatrical fun!” The Northwest Herald wrote, “It is less like a traditional night at the theater and more like a party at your funniest, most talented friends’ house, only more fun than that!”


Carmina Burana

First time at Skylight

March 15 – 31, 2019

Composed by Carl Orff

Arranged by Wilhelm Killmayer

Featuring the thrilling music of composer Carl Orff, this cantata takes an unflinching view of the pleasures and perils of the human condition. Most often performed with a large symphony and choirs, Skylight joins forces with Milwaukee Opera Theatre to reconceive this masterpiece for the intimate Cabot stage, as “total theatre” in which music, movement and words are inseparable.

Jivoff said, “Usually produced as a concert work, we have an opportunity to create a new Carmina, in which each musical moment is connected to an action onstage.  With music that is now part of our cultural DNA, Carmina Burana represents one of the few box office certainties of 20th century classical repertoire.”

Chicago Tribune called Carmina Burana “Fresh! Glowing! Imaginative!” The New Tork Times hailed it as “A masterpiece!”


Kiss Me, Kate

First time at Skylight

May 17 – June 9, 2019

Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter

Book by Sam and Bella Spewack

Passions run high onstage and off in this Tony Award-winning version of Taming of the Shrew. The poetry and wit of Shakespeare’s play meets the irreverent humor and romance of Cole Porter’s music to create one of Broadway’s greatest treasures, featuring unforgettable songs like “Another Op’nin’, Another Show,” “Why Can’t You Behave?” and “Too Darn Hot.”

Jivoff said, “Kiss Me, Kate is perfect for Skylight because the book is central to the show and requires performers who can act, handle Shakespearean text and sing. The score mirrors Skylight’s mission of presenting the full spectrum of music theatre and acknowledges our history with opera, operetta and musicals.” Jivoff added, “The musical was inspired by the battling of husband-and-wife actors Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne during their 1935 production of Taming of the Shrew. Alfred Lunt was a Wisconsin native and they owned Ten Chimneys, now a southeastern Wisconsin landmark. Skylight’s version will provide a fresh twist on a classic!”

The New York Times called Kiss Me, Kate “Irresistible!” and a “Delight of a musical! Glittering!” Variety hailed the show as “Vibrant, colorful!” and “Exhilarating!”


Things that go Ding!

Special added production!

February 22 – March 3, 2019 Eight performances only!

Things that go Ding! is not part of subscription package, but subscribers can purchase exclusive $25 discounted tickets.

Percussionist Michael “Ding” Lorenz brings his outrageous collection of vintage and vaudeville percussion novelties to this wildly entertaining show. Highbrow meets lowbrow in this zany revue of virtuosic and often ill-advised versions of works by such musical luminaries as Bizet, Liszt, and Mozart in the style of Spike Jones, Victor Borge and P.D.Q. Bach.

Shepherd Express said Things that go Ding! is “pure magic!” while The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel called the show “a virtuoso evening!”

Performance Information

Performances in the Cabot Theatre, Broadway Theatre Center, 158 N. Broadway, Historic Third Ward, Milwaukee, Wis.

Special Events

Skylight Insights. In-depth discussions with directors and special guests take place one hour before every Wednesday and Sunday performance. For more information on special events visit, email or call the Box Office at (414) 291-7800.

Tickets & Box Office

Subscriptions are on sale now.  Subscribers get the best seats at the best prices! Single tickets go on sale Monday, July 16. Tickets are $30 - $75 (plus tax and fees) and can be purchased in person at the Broadway Theatre Center Box Office or by calling (414) 291-7800, Monday – Saturday, from noon - 6 p.m., and two hours prior to each performance. Tickets may be purchased online at  For ticket discounts and more information sign up for Skylight’s email newsletter at or call the Box Office (414) 291-7800.

Group discounts are available for parties of 10 or more. Call (414) 299-4964 for more information, or email MorganH@

Skylight Bar & Bistro

The Skylight Bar & Bistro is located on the second floor of The Broadway Theatre Center. It is open two hours before each performance and features gourmet dining and fine wine by Indulge Wine Room. Reservations for full table service in Skylight Bar & Bistro can be made in advance by calling (414) 291-3773 or emailing Counter service is available without reservations.

About Skylight Music Theatre

Skylight Music Theatre’s mission since 1959: To bring the full spectrum of music theatre works to a wide and diverse audience in celebration of the musical and theatrical arts and their reflection of the human condition.

Skylight presents productions “Skylight Style” – bringing fresh approaches or interesting twists to music theatre works, creating meaningful connections, not only between the characters on stage but with the audience as well. Skylight performs in the beautiful, intimate Cabot Theatre, which allows audiences to feel close to the powerful emotions on stage.