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Skylight Music Theatre Announces Cast and Full Creative Team for 'A Jolly Holiday: Celebrating Disney’s Broadway Hits'

Performances Nov. 18 – Dec. 31, 2022

 

Milwaukee, Wis. (October 25, 2022 rev. Oct. 26) — Skylight Music Theatre today announced the full cast and creative team for A Jolly Holiday: Celebrating Disney’s Broadway Hits, running November 18 – December 31, 2022. Performances take place in the beautiful Cabot Theatre at the Broadway Theatre Center, 158 N. Broadway, in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward. Skylight is Milwaukee’s professional Equity music theatre company.

 

Skylight Offers Holiday Entertainment for the Whole Family

A Jolly Holiday: Celebrating Disney’s Broadway Hits is a new musical revue featuring 30 beloved songs from 13 of Disney’s biggest Broadway hits. Destined to be an instant family classic, audiences will be treated to favorite tunes such as “Be Our Guest” (Beauty and the Beast), “Under the Sea” (The Little Mermaid), “Santa Fe” (Newsies), “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” (Mary Poppins), “Circle of Life” (The Lion King), “Bare Necessities” (The Jungle Book), “Let it Go” (Frozen) and more from shows like Aladdin, High School Musical, Tarzan, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Elton John & Tim Rice’s Aida among many others.

 

Set at a festive holiday party with family and friends, the production is directed by Skylight Artistic Director Michael Unger and features a cast of many well-known Skylight artists along with an ensemble of youth performers. The adult cast includes Daryn Alexus, making her Skylight debut; Joey Chelius (The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Full Monty); Shawn Holmes (Raisin, La Cage Aux Folles); Kevin James Sievert (The Little Shop of Horrors, Five Guys Named Moe); and Samantha Sostarich (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Hairspray).

 

The youth company will perform in two rotating casts. The “Jolly” cast includes Taylor Arnstein, Bristol Beasley, Ella Caglin, Naima Gaines, Bennett Schoonover, and Grant Schoonover. The “Holiday” cast includes Sydney Alexander-Brown, Vivian Beeghly, Max Chelius, Sophia Furshpan, Evie Patrick, Shale Schroeder.

 

Skylight Becomes Second Theatre in Country to Present New Disney Musical Revue

Skylight’s production marks a regional premiere and will be the second time the show has been staged anywhere. A Jolly Holiday had its world premiere in December 2021 at Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey and is being presented at Skylight by special arrangement with Disney Theatrical Productions.

 

“We are thrilled to be able to present the phenomenal music from these beloved Disney shows,” said Unger. “A Jolly Holiday is brimming with warmth and fun. It is the perfect family treat no matter what holiday you celebrate. Skylight is honored that Disney Theatrical Productions and playwright Sandy Rustin have entrusted us to celebrate and share these amazing songs with our Milwaukee audiences.”

Continued Unger, “Sandy is a marvelously prolific performer-turned-writer who also adapted the popular play, Clue.  I had the pleasure of directing her in a production of Crimes of the Heart in Aspen, Colo. and am very excited to bring her work to Skylight.”

 

Rustin, an actress and award-winning playwright, was named to American Theatre’s list of “Most Produced” playwrights of the 2022-23 season and to the Broadway Women’s Fund “Women to Watch” list.

 

“As a playwright, I have never had a more joyful assignment than crafting this show,” said Rustin. “What could be better than curating favorite tunes from favorite shows and weaving them together into an explosion of Disney holiday cheer?! (Answer: nothing). This show is part concert, part holiday-party, and all heart. Developed throughout the pandemic, it is especially gratifying to know that Milwaukee audiences will be able to enjoy A Jolly Holiday in-person!”

 

Music by Acclaimed Composers

The show weaves together the music from such acclaimed composers as Alan Menken, Elton John, Stephen Schwartz, Tim Rice, Phil Collins, and Kristin Anderson-Lopez & Robert Lopez, during a festive holiday party with family and friends.

 

Christie Chiles Twillie is music director for the show and leads an onstage six-piece band. Among her Skylight credits are music director for Skylight’s recent production of Raisin and for the holiday blockbuster Newsies.  

Tara Jeanne Vallee will choreograph A Jolly Holiday: Celebrating Disney’s Broadway Hits, making her Skylight debut.

 

The performance schedule for A Jolly Holiday features numerous family friendly show times, including two early curtain times (1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.) for the show’s closing on New Year’s Eve.

 

The New Jersey Stage said A Jolly Holiday is “embraceable, energetic, and effervescent!” Broadway World called it “Inspiring, spirited, and touching!”

 

Regional Premiere

A Jolly Holiday: Celebrating Disney’s Broadway Hits

Nov. 18, 2021 – Dec. 31, 2022

Book by Sandy Rustin

Music & Lyrics by (in alphabetical order) Kristin & Robert Lopez, Howard Ashman, Chad Beguelin, Phil Collins, Anthony Drewe, Jack Feldman, Matthew Gerrard, Terry Gilkyson Elton John, Alan Menken, Robbie Nevil, Tim Rice, Stephen Schwartz, Richard M. Sherman & Robert B. Sherman, George Stiles, David Zippel

Orchestrations and Additional Arrangements by Jim Abbott

Directed by Artistic Director Michael Unger

Presented by special arrangement with Disney Theatrical Productions

Sponsored by Private Asset Management – Baird

 

A Jolly Holiday Cast

Daryn - Daryn Alexus**

Joey - Joey Chelius

Shawn - Shawn Holmes

Kevin - Kevin James Sievert

Samantha - Samantha Sostarich

** Appearing through an agreement between Skylight Music Theatre and Actors’ Equity Association.

 

Young Company

“Jolly” cast: Taylor Arnstein, Bristol Beasley, Ella Caglin, Naima Gaines, Bennett Schoonover, and Grant Schoonover. “Holiday” cast: Sydney Alexander-Brown, Vivian Beeghly, Max Chelius, Sophia Furshpan, Evie Patrick, Shale Schroeder.

 

Adult Company Standbys

Gabriel Burdette, Alexis Cimoch, King Hang, Sarah Zapiain

 

A Jolly Holiday Creative Team

Director - Michael Unger***

Choreographer - Tara Jeanne Vallee ***

Music Director - Christie Chiles Twillie

Scenic Designer - Kenneth Martin*

Costume Designer - Brad Musgrove

Lighting Designer - Jamie Roderick*

Sound Designer - Joanna Lynne Staub*

Production Stage Manager - Kate Ferdinandi**

* The Lighting, Scenic, and Sound designers are represented by United Scenic Artists, Local USA-829.

** Appearing through an agreement between Skylight Music Theatre and Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

*** The Director and choreographer are members of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, a national theatrical labor union.

 

Creative Team Biographies

Michael Unger (Director) joined Skylight as Artistic Director in 2019. At Skylight he directed Dennis DeYoung’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Little Shop of Horrors and the virtual production of Being Earnest, available worldwide at streamingmusicals.com. For nine years, Unger was the Producing Artistic Director of NewArts in Newtown, CT; started in response to the Sandy Hook tragedy, where directed 16 large-scale musicals involving over 650 local children. He has directed benefit concerts honoring Susan Stroman, Andre DeShields, Maltby and Shire, Leslie Uggams as well as for the Sandy Hook, CT and Parkland, FL communities.

 

Sandy Rustin (Writer) is an actress and award-winning playwright recently named by American Theatre Magazine as one of the “Most-Produced Playwrights of the ’22-’23 season.” Her stage adaptation of the film Clue is one of the most-produced plays in the U.S. with over 3,000 productions since its 2020 premiere at The Cleveland Playhouse. Her comedy, The Cottage is in development for Broadway with Seinfeld’s Jason Alexander directing. Her stage adaptation of MGM’s Mystic Pizza premiered in the summer of ’21 and is now available for licensing through Concord Theatricals.  

 

Tara Jeanne Vallee (Choreographer) has choreographed for Broadway in Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy, as well as shows Off Broadway, aboard cruise ships, on television, National Tours, and the Grand Ole Opry. She has choreographed regional productions of The Little Mermaid, Triumph of Love, Mary Poppins, Elf, Annie, The Producers, School of Rock, Pippin, The King and I and On the Town, earning four Helen Hayes Awards nominations for Outstanding Choreography. She is on staff as a Choreographer for Walt Disney World Live Entertainment.

 

Christie Chiles Twillie (Music Director) is a Chicago-based artist. Regional music direction credits include Five Guys Named Moe, NewsiesThe Gospel at Colonus and Raisin (Skylight), HAIR (Asolo), Dreamgirls (Paramount Aurora) and Minnie’s Boys (Porchlight). Original Scores for A Raisin in the Sun (Invictus); America 2.0 (Definition); The Niceties (Forward). Sound Design for We Are Continuous and VietGone (GEVA), The Way She Spoke (Milwaukee Chamber), Fireflies (Northlight). Film score credits include The Pandemic Trilogy, The Clearing and Alone.

 

Performance Information

Performances of A Jolly Holiday are Friday, November 18 through Sunday, December 31, 2022, in the beautiful Cabot Theatre, Broadway Theatre Center, 158 N. Broadway in the Historic Third Ward of Milwaukee.

Jolly Holiday Calendar

Box Office

Subscribers get the best seats at the best prices. Purchase at the Broadway Theatre Center Box Office. Call (414) 291-7800 or visit 158 N. Broadway, Monday – Saturday, from Noon - 6 p.m. or email tickets@skylightmusictheatre.org. Please let the Box Office know if accessible seating is needed, or if patrons will have a wheelchair or walker.

  • Box Office hours Mon. – Sat., Noon -6 p.m. The Box Office window is also open two hours prior to performances.
  • Group discounts are available for parties of 10 or more by calling (414) 291-7800
  • If you have ADA needs, please contact the Box Office (414) 291-7800 or tickets@skylightmusictheatre.org.
  • Skylight offers a risk-free guarantee to exchange, credit, or refund tickets for any canceled performances.
  • For more information visit skylightmusictheatre.org or email info@skylightmusictheatre.org

 

Special Events

Skylight Insights. In-depth discussions with Artistic Director, Michael Unger and special guests take place one hour before all Wednesday and Sunday performances.

 

ASL Performance. A Jolly Holiday will be interpreted in American Sign Language (ASL) on Thursday, Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m. To purchase tickets for this performance, email tickets@skylightmusictheatre.org or call Skylight Music Theatre's Box Office at (414) 291-7800. Mention ASL performance for seating in the appropriate section. Supported by UPAF Connect.

 

For more information visit www.skylightmusictheatre.org, email info@skylightmusictheatre.org or call the

Box Office at (414) 291-7800.

Skylight Bar

Conveniently located on the second floor of the Broadway Theatre Center, the Skylight Bar is open 30 minutes prior to showtime and during intermission for beverage service only.

Parking

Purchase $5 parking vouchers from the Broadway Theatre Center Box office for use in the Historic Third Ward

parking garage at 212 N. Milwaukee Street (one block east and one block north). Vouchers are valid between 5 p.m. and 11:59 p.m. for evening performances. Matinee vouchers are valid 12-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Not valid for Wednesday matinees. Voucher sales stop 30 minutes before showtime. Advance purchase recommended so that vouchers can be mailed with tickets. No refunds.  

 

Meter parking is available on the street (free after 6 p.m. and on Sundays).

 

Health & Safety Protocols

Skylight Music Theatre has joined other Milwaukee performing arts organizations to discontinue requirements for proof of vaccination or negative Covid tests. Masks are optional. Skylight’s health and safety protocols follow local and state guidelines and are subject to change. For up-to-date information, please visit www.skylightmusictheatre.org/health.

 

Sponsors

Skylight thanks season sponsors United Performing Arts Fund, Wisconsin Arts Board and CAMPAC – the Milwaukee County Arts Fund. Thanks to A Jolly Holiday production sponsor Private Asset Management Baird. Additional sponsorships are available. Please contact development@skylightmusictheatre.org

 

About Skylight Music Theatre

Founded in 1959, Skylight is Milwaukee’s professional Equity music theatre company and the largest employer of Wisconsin actors in the state. Skylight produces the full spectrum of music theatre ranging from blockbuster Broadway musicals to reimagined operas, and from exciting world premieres to contemporary off-Broadway hits. Skylight’s mainstage home is the Cabot Theatre in the Broadway Theatre Center, which was built by Skylight in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward in 1992. Considered to be one of Milwaukee’s most beautiful theatres, the Cabot Theatre is based on the design of an 18th-century French opera house. With just 350 seats it offers audiences great views of the action onstage. Skylight Music Theatre marks its 63rd season in 2022-2023. Skylight Music Theatre is a proud Cornerstone Member of the United Performing Arts Fund.


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