Skylight Music Theatre presents
Things that go Ding!
April 27 – May 6, 2012
Studio Theatre at the Broadway Theatre Center
For more information, contact:
Jennifer Samuelson, Marketing Director
Milwaukee, WI – Skylight Music Theatre is pleased to present Things that go Ding!, a musical theatre spectacle like no other! Featuring an unbelievable collection of vintage, vaudeville percussion novelties known as Ding’s Dynasty, highbrow meets lowbrow in this zany and highly entertaining show.
Things that go Ding! is the creation of Michael “Ding” Lorenz along with Jamie Johns and Ray Jivoff. Ding, a life long collector of percussion instruments, has amassed one of the largest collections of modern and vintage instruments in the country. This, combined with his experience as a professional musician and performer of a multitude of different musical styles, and his admiration for artists such as Spike Jones, Victor Borge and PDQ Bach, inspired Ding to create a show that would feature his massive collection by combining music and comedy.
A few years ago at an Open House at Skylight’s home, the Broadway Theatre Center, Ding’s performance of “The Habanera” from Carmen on tuned taxi horns, along with the piano accompaniment of Jamie Johns, brought the house down. Out of that performance, and with the addition of Skylight funny man Ray Jivoff, grew a wildly successful cabaret show that was featured in Skylight’s free Cabaret series in the Skylight Bar & Bistro. The current incarnation of the “Ding!” show has been dramatically expanded into a full-length production for Skylight’s Studio Theatre series.
The newly composed show will pack the Studio Theatre stage with every percussion instrument imaginable including xylophones, marimbas, bells, gongs, timpani, chimes, industrial sound effects, whistles, cowbells, wood blocks, triangles, maracas, tambourines and many, many more. In addition, it will include music from the “1812 Overture” to the “Can Can”, Oscar Hammerstein, Gilbert and Sullivan, and even a little Mozart opera. One of the highlights of the show will be the recreation of the Silent Movie Era with a 1931 cartoon to which Ding and Jamie Johns will perform live musical accompaniment and sound effects.
“This show promises to be unlike anything ever brought to the Studio. If you are looking for some incredible music performed on a huge arsenal of instruments (and lots of laughs) this is the show for you!” – Michael “Ding” Lorenz
Michael “Ding” Lorenz - Things that go Ding! represents Mike’s 104th production at the Skylight Music Theatre, dating back to 1972. During his many years as a drummer/percussionist Mike has played an incredibly wide variety of music. Early highlights include receiving his first drum at age 5 from his father (peace and tranquility were forever shattered at the Lorenz household), joining the National Champion Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps of Chicago, Illinois (at age 11) and playing with a variety of rock, R&B, jazz and fusion groups during the 60’s and 70’s, including MGM recording artists “The Bloomsbury People”. From 1982 through 1992 he was the featured xylophone player with “Mr. Jack Daniel’s Original Silver Cornet Band”. Memorable gigs included appearances on NBC’s “The Today Show”, the White House and dozens of national tours. These days, when not haunting the Skylight orchestra pit, you can find Ding playing in just about every orchestra in the area, the touring Broadway shows, working with the nationally acclaimed Kenosha Bradford high school theatre department, playing drums for Dick Contino at Festa Italiana and the occasional bar mitzvah.
Jamie Johns (Co-Music Director) - Currently a freelance musician, pianist/conductor Jamie Johns has been the Director of Opera and Musical Theatre at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, the Resident Music Director at Skylight Opera Theatre and the Education Director at Orlando Opera. Conducting highlights include The Marriage of Figaro, Carmen, Romeo and Juliet, The Coronation of Poppea, and La Traviata. Favorite shows on which Jamie has served as music director are No, No, Nanette, The Last Five Years, Little Shop of Horrors, Cabaret, Archy and Mehitabel, Jacques Brel…, Rent and The World Goes Round. In addition to shows, Jamie enjoys arranging and playing cabaret performances and recitals. Accompanying Gary Briggle as Noel Coward, Jamie has performed A Talent to Amuse; an Evening with Noel Coward, in Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Sarasota, Sacramento, Iowa City and St. Paul. Other companies that Jamie has worked for include Lyric Opera Cleveland, Madison Rep, Milwaukee Rep, Bel Canto Chorus, Present Music, Writers’ Theatre (Chicago) and Milwaukee Opera Theatre.
Ray Jivoff (Stage Director) – Ray is happy to join two long time Skylight friends and be part of the party that is Things that go Ding!. Last season at Skylight, he directed Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris and played Mr. Zero in Adding Machine. He directed Annie and Hair at the Sunset Playhouse and this summer will direct their production of Sweet Charity. Other directing gigs include The Sum of Us for Milwaukee Chamber Theatre; An Empty Plate in the Cafe du Grand Boufe for Bialystock and Bloom; West Side Story at UW Milwaukee; Little Shop of Horrors and Into the Woods at Marquette University and Ragtime, You Can’t Take it With You and On the Razzle at Milwaukee High School of the Arts. He and Jamie Johns have created a number of cabarets including Everything From Ray to Z, The Night of 1,000 Songs, The So Low Show and Ray and Kay and Jamie J’s Fall Cabaret. Favorite roles at the Skylight include Harpo in A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine; Animal Crackers; The Cocoanuts; Roger Debris in The Producers; Amos in Chicago; Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls; Koko in The Mikado. He has also appeared in shows at Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, Next Act, Milwaukee Rep’s Stackner Cabaret and First Stage Children’s Theatre. Ray is the Associate Artistic Director of Skylight Music Theatre.
Ryan Bertelson (Lighting Designer) – Currently immersed in his eighth season as Skylight’s Master Electrician, Ryan is excited to be working with such a great group of people. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater, and he has enjoyed working with many great theatre companies including Strollers Theatre, Madison Theatre Guild, Mercury Players Theatre, StageQ, Madison Repertory Theatre, Children’s Theatre of Madison, Madison Opera, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, First Stage Children’s Theatre, Next Act Theatre, Bialystock & Bloom, Danceworks, Milwaukee Shakespeare, In Tandem Theatre, Renaissance Theatreworks, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre and Skylight Music Theatre.
Jessica Peck (Stage Manager) - This has been Jessica’s first season at Skylight Music Theatre where she normally can be seen as light board operator in the Cabot Theater. Previous stage management credits include Complete Works of William Shakespeare with Summer Stage of Delafield, as well as Fuente Ovejuna and Arcadia at Ripon College. Assistant Stage Manager credits include 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Dames at Sea with University Theater, Madison. Other career favorites have been running follow-spot for Cabaret and assistant stagehand for The 39 Steps with the Milwaukee Repertory Theater, and designing lights for Eurydice at Ripon College.
Things That Go Ding! is generously sponsored by Briggs & Stratton Corporation Foundation.
Additional information about the show, INCLUDING VIDEOS can be found on our website at http://www.skylightmusictheatre.org/shows-events/on-stage/things-that-go-ding
Performances of THINGS that go DING! will take place April 27 – May 6 in the Studio Theatre at the Broadway Theatre Center, 158 N. Broadway in the Historic Third Ward of Milwaukee. Tickets are $35.50 (plus tax) and can be purchased in person at the Broadway Theatre Center Box Office or by calling (414) 291-7800 Monday – Sunday from noon – 6:00 p.m. Tickets may also be purchased online at www.skylightmusictheatre.org. Group, student, senior and other discounts are available.