Skylight Music Theatre
Press Release

Skylight Music Theatre to Launch First Virtual Musical

Being Earnest based on Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest Available for Streaming Summer 2020

By - Jun 12th, 2020 02:49 pm
The cast and creative team of Being Earnest. (L. to R.) Top Row: Ashley Oviedo (Cecily), Michael Unger (Director), Stephanie Staszak (Gwendolyn), Max Pink (Algernon), Second Row: Samantha Pekelnicky (Stage Manager), Joey Chelius (Jack), Nathan Marinan (Lady Bracknell), Conor Keelan (Music Director), Third Row: Karen Estrada (Miss Prism), Paul Gordon (Book/Lyrics/Music), Amanda Marquardt (Choreographer), Emma Knott (Artistic Intern), Fourth Row: Tim Rebers (Dr.Chasuble/Lane/Merriman).

The cast and creative team of Being Earnest. (L. to R.) Top Row: Ashley Oviedo (Cecily), Michael Unger (Director), Stephanie Staszak (Gwendolyn), Max Pink (Algernon), Second Row: Samantha Pekelnicky (Stage Manager), Joey Chelius (Jack), Nathan Marinan (Lady Bracknell), Conor Keelan (Music Director), Third Row: Karen Estrada (Miss Prism), Paul Gordon (Book/Lyrics/Music), Amanda Marquardt (Choreographer), Emma Knott (Artistic Intern), Fourth Row: Tim Rebers (Dr.Chasuble/Lane/Merriman).

Milwaukee, Wis. (June 12, 2020) — Skylight Music Theatre Artistic Director Michael Unger announced today that Skylight will present its first online/virtual, full-length musical, Being Earnest by Paul Gordon and Jay Gruska, based on Oscar Wilde’s satirical comedy of manners, The Importance of Being Earnest.

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, upper-crust men trying to court two young women, and the societal conventions, over-bearing mothers, and misplaced handbags in railway stations that stand in their way. The score is a sparkling homage to 1960’s rock groups such as Herman’s Hermits, The Dave Clark Five, The Rolling Stones, The Seekers, The Hollies, The Lovin’ Spoonful and more.

Being Earnest is being performed, recorded, and presented in a way that assures social distancing for both cast and audience. Performers are rehearsing online through Zoom, in their own homes, and the final performance will be recorded and edited together like a film. Being Earnest will be available for streaming in July 2020. Dates and ticket prices will be announced soon.

Unger, who directs the musical said, “this completely groovy musical is sure to charm Skylight audiences as well as online viewers everywhere. It is the perfect way to show off Milwaukee’s talent pool in one of the world’s most popular titles. We are presenting it in as upbeat and whimsical a style possible, while embracing social distancing. We have delivered costumes to the performers’ homes as well as props that pass from one frame to another, as none of the actors are in the same room, building, or even state, in some instances.”

“Being Earnest” Book by “Daddy Long Legs” author Paul GordonConor Keelan

Gordon, who wrote Being Earnest, also wrote the musical Daddy Long Legs, which premiered at Skylight in 2012 and went on to national acclaim. Gordon was nominated for a Tony Award for Jane Eyre on Broadway and received a Jeff Award for Sense and Sensibility at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre.

Gruska is a three-time Emmy-nominated film and TV composer who has scored shows such as Lois & Clark, Supernatural, and Charmed, and has written songs for Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Amy Grant, Chicago, Robert Palmer, Dusty Springfield, and others.

Skylight’s first online musical features a cast of seven Milwaukee-area performers, and includes Max Pink as Algernon, Joey Chelius as Jack, Tim Rebers as Dr. Chasuble/Lane/Merriman, Stephanie Staszak as Gwendolyn, Ashley Oviedo as Cecily, Karen Estrada as Miss Prism and Nathan Marinan as Lady Bracknell.

Skylight Executive Director Jack R. Lemmon said, “During this challenging time of the Covid-19 crisis, we think Being Earnest will provide just the dose of humor, music, and theatre we need right now. This is a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with our audiences and remind us all of the power of arts to heal and delight.”

Dates and ticket information will be announced soon. Check www.skylightmusictheatre.org for updates. Contact the Box Office at (414) 291-7800 or Tickets@skylightmusictheatre.org. Box Office hours are Noon – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Box Office will be closed for summer break June 22 through July 5.

Being Earnest

Available for streaming Summer 2020

Book and Lyrics by Paul Gordon

Music by Paul Gordon and Jay Gruska

Based on the play by Oscar Wilde

Directed by Michael Unger

Music Director

BEING EARNEST CREATIVE TEAM

Director – Michael Unger

Music Director – Conor Keelan

Choreographer – Amanda Marquardt

Costume Coordinator – Shima Orans

Video Consultant – Tyler Milliron

Stage Manager – Samantha Pekelnicky

BEING EARNEST CAST

Algernon – Max Pink

Jack – Joey Chelius

Dr. Chasuble/Lane/Merriman – Tim Rebers

Gwendolyn – Stephanie Staszak

Cecily – Ashley Oviedo

Miss Prism – Karen Estrada

Lady Bracknell – Nathan Marinan

About Skylight Music Theatre

Skylight Music Theatre launches its 61st season in 2020-21. Skylight’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.

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