Skylight Music Theatre’s Virtual Benefit Concert To Feature Dennis DeYoung
Skylight Music Theatre will bring outstanding talent together — while staying apart — in an exclusive fundraising event, Skylight Sings: A Virtual Concert, on Thursday, May 21 at 7 p.m. to benefit Skylight Music Theatre.
The fundraiser, originally planned in the Cabot Theatre as part of Skylight’s 60th anniversary year, will now be virtual, with online performances from some of Skylight’s favorite performers, special guests and a few surprises.
Among the featured guests will be Ray Jivoff, Skylight’s former artistic director. As a performer, Jivoff has wowed audiences in Skylight shows including La Cage Aux Folles, Things that Go Ding!, Animal Crackers, The Pirates of Penzance, The Producers and many others. Also announced is a performance by Dennis DeYoung, lead singer and songwriter of the legendary rock group Styx, and known for such power ballad hits as “Lady,” “Come Sail Away” and “Babe,” which was a number one hit on Billboard’s Hot 100. DeYoung has written the book and original score for Skylight’s 2020-2021 season production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, based on the novel by Victor Hugo.
Other artists scheduled to perform include Ryan Cappleman (Kiss Me, Kate; Urinetown the Musical); Doug Clemons (Ruddigore; Hairspray); Raven Dockery (The Gospel at Colonus; Violet); Shawn Holmes (La Cage Aux Folles; The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee); Kevin James Sievert (Five Guys Named Moe; The Gospel at Colonus); Samantha Sostarich (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee; Annie); Shayne Steliga (Ruddigore); and Ben Tajnai (Sweeney Todd). Accompanist will be David Bonofiglio, who has music directed numerous Skylight productions, including Oklahoma!, Urinetown, Pippin and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.
A special part of the evening will be a performance by Krystal Drake, 2019 Lee Dougherty Ross Debut Artist Award winner. Drake made her Skylight debut as Leading Player in Skylight’s 2018 production of Pippin. Each season Skylight recognizes one performer who made their Skylight debut with the award. It is named for Dougherty Ross, a Milwaukee voice coach and teacher. At the concert, the name of the 2020 Debut Artist Award winner will be announced.
Skylight’s Artistic Director Michael Unger will host the performance. Said Unger, “we are using some great technology that allows us to combine live music, exciting video, and up close and personal interviews and performances for you to enjoy in the comfort and safety of your own home. We would all far prefer to be together in person at the Cabot Theatre, but are thrilled to find a way to stay connected with our loyal supporters in this way.”
Current donors who have given $100 or more this season, or new donors at that level, will get ticketed access to the virtual event. With that donation, supporters also receive access to exclusive Behind the Curtain donor events during the 2020-2021 season. Guests hear from the creative team and watch part of rehearsal for five mainstage shows, while enjoying complimentary wine and hors d’oeuvres.
Skylight Executive Director Jack R. Lemmon said, “These are unprecedented times for every arts organization. This concert not only is a way for us to raise money during the crisis, but our way of saying thank you to our loyal donors and supporters who are standing ready, with us, to make sure that Skylight will continue to offer exceptional musical theatre long into our next 60 years.”
To become a Skylight donor and gain access to Skylight Sings: A Virtual Concert, visit www.skylightmusictheatre.org and click the “Donate” button or text the word Skylight to 56512 and donate via mobile device.
For further information, please email Sean Devlin, Development Associate at SeanD@skylightmusictheatre.org
About Skylight Music Theatre
Skylight Music Theatre celebrates its 60th anniversary during the 2019-2020 season. 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. 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.