Skylight Music Theater: Tony award winner Stephanie J. Block headlines Skylight Night 2021

Milwaukee, Wis. (October 4, 2021) — Stephanie J. Block, Tony Award Winner and Broadway sensation, will headline Skylight Night 2021, an annual fundraiser supporting Skylight Music Theatre on Saturday, November 6, 2021. Skylight is Milwaukee’s professional Equity music theatre company entering its 62nd season.

The event will be held in the main ballroom of the Woman’s Club of Wisconsin, 813 E Kilbourn Ave. The gala evening includes cocktails, dinner, and an unforgettable concert.

In a show she is calling “Back in the Spotlight,” Block will perform some of her favorites, including signature songs from her starry Broadway career. The evening will pay tribute to the joy of being back to in-person, live performances after the extended pandemic shut down.

“The concert will be my love letter to the world of music theatre, which we have all missed so deeply since March of 2020,” said Block. “I am so excited to be back performing again and am thrilled to return to Milwaukee and share this evening with Skylight Music Theatre and its supporters.”

Block won the very rare “triple crown” for her recent role as “Star” in The Cher Show (2019) winning Best Actress in a Musical from Outer Critics, the Drama Desk and the American Theatre Wing’s Tony Awards. Block also received Tony Award nominations for her roles in Falsettos and The Mystery of Edwin Drood. She won the prestigious Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical for originating the role of Elphaba in the First National Tour of Wicked (2005). She also portrayed the role in the 2007 Broadway company.

In her Skylight “Back in the Spotlight” concert, songs may include “Defying Gravity” (Wicked), “Don’t Rain on My Parade” (Funny Girl), “Way of Love” (The Cher Show), “Some People” (Gypsy), “As if We Never Said Goodbye” (Sunset Boulevard), “Move On” (Sunday in the Park with George), songs from her solo album “This Place I Know,” and others.

Block will be accompanied by her music director Andrew Resnick, who will lead a trio including Michael “Ding” Lorenz on drums and Timothy Archbold on cello.

“This is a rare opportunity to see an exceptional Tony Award winner like Stephanie in Milwaukee,” said Skylight Music Theatre Artistic Director Michael Unger, who is friends with Block and the reason she is performing at Skylight Night. “She is not only a brilliant talent and one of the most sought-after Broadway performers, but is also delightful, kind, hilarious, and an inspiration to aspiring musical artists everywhere. This concert will be a rare opportunity to get to know her on a personal level as she takes us on the journey of some of the high points in her stellar career,” he added.

Unger said one of his goals since being named artistic director in 2019 was to “share Skylight’s excellence, influence, and incredible talent on a national level, and to bring some of my favorite people whom I have had the pleasure to work with in New York and around the world to Skylight.” Unger directed Block in a musical in Los Angeles in 2001, which led to their friendship.

Block is not a stranger to Milwaukee. She performed with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra about five years ago with guest conductor, Steven Reineke. She says her favorite memories might be when she took her daughter to the Milwaukee Zoo. “We were lucky enough to have a “backstage pass” where we were up close and personal with the hippos, monkeys and a baby giraffe,” said Block.

Block’s Rich History on Broadway

Block is best known for her portrayal as Elphaba in the Broadway company of Wicked as well as originating the role in the First National Tour for which she won numerous awards. She made her Broadway debut in 2003, originating the role of Liza Minnelli in The Boy from Oz. In 2007, Block starred in the original Broadway cast of The Pirate Queen as Grace O’Malley and originated the role of Judy Bernly in 9 to 5: The Musical in 2009. Block was nominated by the Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Actress in a Leading Role for her work in 9 to 5: The Musical. Block also assumed the role of Reno Sweeny from original cast member Sutton Foster in Broadway’s Anything Goes in 2012 and was nominated for Favorite Replacement by Broadway.com’s Audience Awards.

Skylight Night 2021 Sponsorships

Event chairs for Skylight Night 2021 are Walt & Irene Skipper. Sponsorships are currently available ranging from $2,500 to $10,000. For more information, contact Development Associate Kathryn Hausman at [email protected] or call (414) 299-4953.

Skylight Night 2021 Tickets

Tables seating eight guests for Skylight Night 2021 are $2,500. Single tickets are $350. Tickets include cocktail hour, gourmet dinner and Skylight Night 2021 concert starring Stephanie J. Block. To purchase tickets or for more information visit: www.skylightmusictheatre.org/SkylightNight.

Skylight thanks the support of Skylight Night Standing Ovation sponsors Quarles & Brady and the Stollenwerk Family Foundation; Curtain Call sponsors Foley & Lardner, Michael Best & Friedrich, and CLP Capital, and support of community partners including Saint Kate – The Arts Hotel and Snapdragon Flowers of Elm Grove.

Health & Safety

All attendees must have proof of vaccination or negative Covid test within 72 hours of the event. Unless eating or drinking, masks must be worn by all participants during the performance, regardless of vaccination status. All Skylight Staff are vaccinated and will wear masks at all times in the Woman’s Club of Wisconsin.

About Stephanie J. Block

Stephanie J. Block has established herself as one of the most relevant and versatile voices in contemporary musical theatre. She most recently won the 2019 Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical, as well as winning The Drama Desk Award and Outer Critics Award for her Star turn in The Cher Show. She was also recognized for her role of Trina in Lincoln Center Theatre’s 2016 revival of Falsettos garnering her the Tony Award, Drama Desk and Outer Critics nominations for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. In 2013 she was recognized with both the Drama Desk and Tony Award nomination(s) for Best Leading Actress in a Musical for her portrayal of Alice Nutting/Edwin Drood in The Roundabout Theater’s production of The Mystery of Edwin Drood. That marks three Tony Award nominations in the last six years, a feat very few Broadway actors have attained.

Other Broadway credits include Reno Sweeney in the 2011 Tony Award-winning revival of Anything Goes, 9 to 5: The Musical playing the role of Judy Bernly for which she earned a Drama Desk nomination for Best Actress in a Musical. She created the roles of Grace O’Malley in The Pirate Queen and Liza Minnelli in The Boy from Oz (opposite Hugh Jackman). Block is best known for her portrayal as Elphaba in the Broadway company of Wicked as well as originating the role in the First National Tour for which she won numerous awards, including the prestigious Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical.

Block has sung with numerous symphony orchestras including the NY Pops at Carnegie Hall, Boston Pops, National Symphony Orchestra (under the baton of Marvin Hamlisch). Her solo concert has been critically acclaimed and continues to sell out throughout the U.S. and in London.

Some Off-Broadway and regional theatrical credits include Little Miss Sunshine (Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical), By the Way, Meet Vera Stark (Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play), They’re Playing Our Song (starring opposite Jason Alexander), Cats (St Louis’ Kevin Kline Award Nominee- Best Actress), Funny Girl, Crazy for You (L.A. Ovation Award Nominee), Oliver (Critics Award-Best Actress), Triumph of Love, and the World Premiere of Wicked.

Block’s solo album, This Place I Know, was called, “One of the best debut recordings to come out of the Broadway community in quite some time… 6 out of 5 stars.” An array of award-winning songwriters assembled to help interpret their music on her album include composers Stephen Schwartz, Marvin Hamlisch and the legendary Dolly Parton. Block is on multiple cast recordings, including The Boy from Oz, The Pirate Queen, Wicked’s 5th Anniversary Album and 9 to 5: The Musical (Grammy Nomination).

Television credits include: Bluff City Law (NBC), Rise (upcoming: NBC), Madame Secretary (CBS), Orange Is the New Black (Netflix), Homeland (Showtime), It Could Be Worse (HULU).

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. Skylight produces the full spectrum 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 62nd season in 2021-22.

Skylight Music Theatre’s 2021-2022 Season is sponsored by the United Performing Arts Fund, the Wisconsin Arts Board, and CAMPAC, the Milwaukee County Arts Fund.