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Skylight Music Theatre Announces Cast, Creative Team for "Noises Off"

Live Music Added to Hilarious Backstage Farce

Performances March 17 through April 2, 2023 in the beautiful Cabot Theatre

Milwaukee, Wis. (February 15, 2023) — Skylight Music Theatre today announced the cast and creative team for the hilarious comedy Noises Off, with music by Combustible Edison, running March 17 – April 2, 2023 at Skylight’s beautiful Cabot Theatre in the Broadway Theatre Center, 158 N. Broadway, in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward. Skylight is Milwaukee’s professional Equity music theatre company.

Fizzy Tunes Meets Showbiz Shenanigans

In a first-of-its-kind production, Skylight presents one of the most uproarious plays ever written – and adds live music. Noises Off by Michael Frayn is a side-splitting backstage farce. Skylight gives the classic show-within-a-show an additional twist by adding a singer and band who play songs during scene changes and at intermission. The music is written by Combustible Edison, a 1990s group inspired by a 1950s-cocktail-lounge groove. Effervescent tunes and zany showbiz shenanigans will create a Noises Off unlike any other. Skylight Artistic Director Michael Unger directs.

A Skylight First, With a Loophole

“This rollicking backstage farce is, in my opinion, the funniest play ever written,” said Unger. “It will be the first time Skylight has done a play, but we are embracing a music-theatre-loophole by adding live music to this genius work of comedic theatre. The singer and band will play Combustible Edison’s sparkling songs to add a giddy fizz to the backstage hijinks that the play celebrates.”

The set and design of Noises Off is an integral part of the humor, said Unger. “This show, created by a phenomenal design team and Skylight’s production staff, has a set filled with many surprises designed by Tony and Olivier-Award winner, Todd Rosenthal.”

Broadway’s Linda Mugleston to Join Incomparable Local Cast

The role of Dotty Otley/Mrs. Clackett will be played by Linda Mugleston, direct from the production of The Music Man on Broadway with Hugh Jackman, and Broadway’s My Fair Lady and Hello, Dolly! She joins an incomparable cast of local and regional artists including the return of actors Matt Daniels (Ernest Shackleton Loves Me), Max Pink (Being Ernest), Becky Cofta (Pippin), Emma Knott (Mamma Mia!), Jenna Bonofiglio (Urinetown the Musical), Jacob Horstmeier (Mamma Mia!), Joel Kopischke (My Fair Lady), Gabe Burdette (Evita) and King Hang (Evita). Joining Mugleston in making a Skylight debut is Alexander Johnson, a veteran of many shows at Wisconsin’s Door Shakespeare.

“With this cast, made up of some of the finest comic performers in Milwaukee and elsewhere, Noises Off is sure to tickle every funny bone possible. Laughter is the best medicine, and this show is the perfect antidote to whatever may ail us,” said Unger.

‘The Sardines’ to Perform

Noises Off will include a band of six musicians, led by Music Director Kurt Cowling, who most recently music directed Skylight’s Kiss Me, Kate. The band, named The Sardines, features Leah Gawel as the singer. Sardines are a crucial plot point in the Noises Off script, mentioned approximately 200 times in the script. Unger assured that “No sardines will be harmed during the production.”

Written in 1982, Frayn’s Noises Off first played London’s West End and then went on to Broadway in 1983, winning Tony and Drama Desk nominations and awards. It was an immediate hit and has been revived often. The play was made into a 1992 film starring Carol Burnett and Michael Caine. Former New York Times critic Frank Rich called Noises Off “the funniest play written in my lifetime.”

The New York Times called Noises Off, “The most dexterously realized comedy ever about putting on a comedy. A spectacularly funny, peerless backstage farce. This dizzy, well-known romp is a festival of delirium.”

The New York Daily News called it “Bumper car brilliance!” The New York Post said it was “The funniest farce ever written! Never before has side-splitting taken on a meaning dangerously close to the non-metaphorically medical.”

The show is recommended for ages 10 and up.

Skylight Premiere!

NOISES OFF March 17 – April 2, 2023

By Michael Frayn

With Music by Combustible Edison

Directed by Skylight Music Theatre Artistic Director Michael Unger

Skylight presents one of the most hilarious plays ever written – and adds live music! This hit, side-splitting backstage farce has live accompaniment by a singer and house band, The Sardines, playing songs written by Combustible Edison, a 1990s group inspired by a 1950s-cocktail-lounge groove. Effervescent tunes and showbiz shenanigans create a first-of-its-kind production on Skylight’s stage.

NOISES OFF CREATIVE TEAM

Director - Michael Unger***

Music Director - Kurt Cowling

Scenic Designer - Todd Rosenthal**

Costume Designer - Jason Orlenko**

Lighting Designer - Andrew F Griffin**

Sound Designer - Ben Scheff**

Stage Manager - Emily Wright*

Associate Set Designer - Lindsay Fuori

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

*** The Director is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, a national theatrical labor union.

NOISES OFF CAST

Dotty Otley/Mrs. Clackett - Linda Mugleston*

Lloyd Dallas - Matt Daniels*

Gary Lejeune/Roger Tramplemain - Max Pink

Brooke Ashton/Vicki - Becky Cofta

Poppy Norton-Taylor - Emma Knott

Belinda Blair/Flavia Brent - Jenna Bonofiglio

Freddy Fellowes/Philip Brent - Jacob Horstmeier

Tim Allgood - Alexander Johnson

Seldson Mowbray/Burglar - Joel Kopischke

Singer - Leah Gawel

Stagehand - Gabe Burdette

Stagehand - King Hang

*Denotes member of Actors' Equity Association

CREATIVE TEAM BIOGRAPHIES

Michael Unger (Director) joined Skylight as Artistic Director in 2019. At Skylight he directed A Jolly Holiday: Celebrating Disney’s Broadway Hits, 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 he 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.

Kurt Cowling (Music Director) is a pianist, composer, arranger and author based in the Milwaukee area. Past theater credits include work with Skylight (Kiss Me, Kate, Zombies from the Beyond), Milwaukee Rep, American Players Theatre, Fireside Theater and First Stage. He has many commercial jingles airing in the Midwest. He currently performs with Platinum and previously with Streetlife. His book, “Gospel Piano” has been a best seller on Amazon in the category of Gospel Music Books.

PERFORMANCE INFORMATION

Performances of Noises Off are Friday, March 17 through Sunday, April 2, 2023 in the beautiful Cabot Theatre at the Broadway Theatre Center, 158 N. Broadway, in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward.

Box Office

Purchase tickets 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

Sponsors

Skylight thanks season sponsors United Performing Arts Fund, Wisconsin Arts Board and CAMPAC – the Milwaukee County Arts Fund. Additional sponsorships are available. Please contact development@skylightmusictheatre.org

Skylight Bar & Bistro

Skylight Bar & Bistro, operated by Noble Catering and located on the second floor of the Broadway Theatre Center, is open two hours prior to curtain for light fare (see current menu here) and during intermission for beverages, including beer, wine, soda and bottled water, and snacks. Skylight Bar & Bistro is not open after the show.

Special Events

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

ASL Performance. Noises Off will be interpreted in American Sign Language (ASL) on Thursday, March 30 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.

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

Proof of vaccination or negative test is no longer required. Wearing masks indoors is optional but recommended. 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.

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. We are Milwaukee’s Home for Music Theatre -- the only professional Milwaukee arts company devoted solely to music theatre. Skylight produces the full breadth 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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