Skylight Music Theatre
Press Release

Skylight Music Theatre Announces the Return of Things that go Ding! Back by Overwhelming Demand

February 22 – March 3, 2019 in Skylight’s Cabot Theatre

By - Jan 17th, 2019 12:15 pm

Milwaukee, Wis. (January 17, 2019)— Skylight Music Theatre announced the return of the wildly popular Things that go Ding! featuring Skylight percussionist Michael “Ding” Lorenz and his astonishing collection of eclectic and vintage percussion instruments.

Performances are Friday, February 22 through Sunday, March 3, 2019 in Skylight’s beautiful Cabot Theatre at the Broadway Theatre Center, 158 N. Broadway, in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward.

Things that go Ding! features Lorenz along with virtuosic pianist Jamie Johns and Skylight Music Theatre Artistic Director Ray Jivoff. The artistic advisor for the show is Skylight Artistic Associate Jill Anna Ponasik.

Return Engagement After Sold Out Shows
Things that go Ding! was first staged in 2009 as a cabaret show in the Skylight Bar & Bistro. It was such a hit that Lorenz expanded the show in 2012 and presented it in the Studio Theatre to sold-out audiences. This is the first time Things that go Ding! will be performed on Skylight’s Cabot Theatre stage.

“It is safe to say there is nothing else like this anywhere,” said Lorenz. “It is a combination concert, theatre, vaudeville, comedy and variety show, all reflecting my wacky sense of humor and outlook on life.”

Lorenz, a lifelong collector of percussion instruments, has amassed one of the largest private collections of modern and vintage percussion instruments in the world. He says this new version of Things that go Ding! will be bigger and better, showcasing hundreds of instruments.

Inspired by Spike Jones, Victor Borge and PDQ Bach
“This show represents a culmination of my entire career as a performer and a collector, and my admiration for artists such as Spike Jones, Victor Borge and PDQ Bach,” said Lorenz, who started playing drums at age five. He went on to a career as a percussionist that spans from rock and roll to symphony orchestras. He calls Skylight Music Theatre his “artistic home” having first performed there in 1972 and now serving as staff percussionist and orchestra contractor.

“I have heard from countless patrons encouraging us to bring this show back to Skylight,” said Artistic Director Jivoff. “We are looking forward to seeing those patrons again, while also introducing the fun and zaniness of this show to new audiences.”

The Shepherd Express called the show “pure magic” with “serious musicality” and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wrote, “A virtuoso evening! Part concert, part variety show, part vaudeville.”

Things that go Ding!
February 22 – March 3, 2019
Created by Michael “Ding” Lorenz and Jamie Johns
Orchestrations by Jamie Johns, Michael “Ding” Lorenz and Ed Doemland
Creative Input by Ray Jivoff
Recommended for ages 9 and up

Cast
Ding…………………………………………………………………………………………………. Michael (Ding) Lorenz
Jamie………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. Jamie Johns
Ray…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. Ray Jivoff

Creative Team
Artistic Advisor………………………………………………………………………………………….. Jill Anna Ponasik
Co-Music Director…………………………………………………………………………………………….. Jamie Johns
Co-Music Director…………………………………………………………………………….. Michael “Ding” Lorenz
Lighting Designer…………………………………………………………………………………. Aaron Zimmermann
Sound Designer……………………………………………………………………………………………….. John Tanner
Costume Coordinator………………………………………………………………………………………. Shima Orans
Stage Manager……………………………………………………………………………………………. Melissa Bondar

Biographies
Michael “Ding” Lorenz serves as staff percussionist and orchestra contractor for Skylight Music Theatre. His involvement with the theatre goes back to 1972 and he has performed in over 130 productions. His percussion/comedy show “Things that go Ding!” was a smash hit (pun intended) and played to sold-out audiences in the Studio Theatre. The Christmas version, “Things that go Ding (Dong, Merrily on High)!” packed the Skylight Cabaret for six weekends. In addition to playing for Skylight Music Theatre productions, Lorenz plays in several of the area’s orchestras, for the touring Broadway shows, recording shows for Fireside Theatre, collaborating with Milwaukee Opera Theatre on such terrific productions as The Mikado and 1776, as well as playing the occasional bar mitzvah.

Ray Jivoff was named Artistic Director in 2017 and has been working at Skylight since 1990. In 1999, he joined Skylight staff as Education Director and started Enlighten, Skylight’s education program, which includes the Partner School Program, offering music theatre education to students in eight MPS schools; two touring shows —The Standard Songbook and KidsWrites and the High School Musical Celebration. As an actor, he has appeared in Skylight’s La Cage Aux Folles, Animal Crackers, Adding Machine, Guys and Dolls, The Mikado, Pirates of Penzance, HMS Pinafore and The Producers. He directed Pippin,Urinetown, Hair, Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris and Sing Me a Story at Skylight; The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Abridged, Revised and The Sum of Us at Milwaukee Chamber Theatre; West Side Story at UW-Milwaukee and Anything Goes, Little Shop of Horrors and Into the Woods at Marquette University.

Jamie Johns has been on a North American tour with Phantom of the Opera for the last five years. Before that, he lived in Milwaukee for 15 years (1998-2013), working at the Milwaukee Rep, Florentine Opera, First Stage, UW-Milwaukee and Skylight on over 50 mainstage productions (30+ of those with Ding), and countless cabarets. Previously he lived in Orlando (1995-1998), meeting interesting people who would define his life. He attended grad school in Cincinnati (1993-1995) and lived, schooled, and worked in the Cleveland area from 1971-1993.

Performance Information
Performances of Things that go Ding! are Friday, February 22 through Sunday, March 3, 2019 in the Cabot Theatre, Broadway Theatre Center, 158 N. Broadway in the Historic Third Ward of Milwaukee.

Tickets & Box Office
Tickets are $25-$35 (plus tax and fees) and can be purchased in person at the Broadway Theatre Center Box Office, 158 N. Broadway, by calling (414) 291-7800, or visiting www.skylightmusictheatre.org

Box Office hours are Monday – Saturday, noon – 6 p.m. The Box Office window is open two hours prior to each performance. Group discounts are available for parties of 10 or more by calling (414) 299-4964 or email morganh@skylightmusictheatre.org.

Calendar
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Skylight Bar & Bistro
Skylight Bar & Bistro, on the second floor of The Broadway Theatre Center, is open two hours before each performance in the Cabot Theatre and features gourmet dining and fine wine by Indulge Wine Room. Reservations for full table service are recommended and can be made in advance at www.skylightmusictheatre.org/bistro or by calling (414) 291-3773. Counter service is available without reservations.

Parking Vouchers on Sale
Purchase discounted parking vouchers from the Broadway Theatre Center Box Office for use in the Historic Third Ward parking garage at 212 N. Milwaukee St. (one block east and one block north). Vouchers can be purchased for $5 during Box Office hours. Vouchers are valid starting at 5 p.m. for evening performances only. Voucher sales stop 30 minutes before showtime and are not available during intermission. No refunds.

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. The beautiful, intimate Cabot Theatre allows audiences to feel close to the powerful emotions on stage.

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