Musical MainStage

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BARRY & BETTE: LOOKS LIKE WE MADE IT – Musical MainStage Concert Series


It’s a Miracle! This One’s for You because We Can’t Smile Without You! And When October Goes, you’ll say, Looks Like we Made It! So if you’re Ready to Take a Chance Again, head on over to the Copacabana where we’ll pay tribute to the biggest hits from musical legends Barry Manilow and Bette Midler. You don’t want to see this one From a Distance!

Meet the Cast

Our Rising Star, Elisabeth Adam, is a junior at Wauwatosa West High School. Her credits include THE LITTLE MERMAID (Ariel), MAMMA MIA (Ensemble), ANYTHING GOES (Ensemble), WILLY WONKA JR (Willy), and GUYS AND DOLLS JR (Adelaide).


SHAWN HOLMES returns to our series following his appearance last season in SOUNDS OF SOUL. Extensive area credits include work with the Florentine Opera, First Stage Children’s Theatre, Middleton Players Theatre, Black Arts MKE, and Skylight Music Theatre. Favorite roles include Coalhouse Walker Jr. in RAGTIME, Sebastian the Crab in THE LITTLE MERMAID, and Jacob in LA CAGE AUX FOLLES.


TOMMY LUECK, a Musical MainStage veteran, is one of the Four Guyz in Dinner Jackets and front man vocalist for Swing Nouveau, Milwaukee’s own award-winning swing band. Area acting credits include work at Skylight Music Theatre and Broadway Baby Dinner Theatre. Sunset directing credits: THE DROWSY CHAPERONE, HOW TO SUCCEED…, JOSEPH…, ANYTHING GOES, LITTLE SHOP, and HAIRSPRAY. 

LAURA MONAGLE returns to the series following her appearance in DOWN HOME WITH THE CARPENTERS. She’s currently appearing as Donna in Sunset’s MAMMA MIA! Other Playhouse credits: INTO THE WOODS in the Furlan and, in the SideNotes Cabaret Series, HOLIDAY BELLES and BOYGIRLBOYGIRL. Also: The Fireside, Skylight, Boulevard, Windfall, Off the Wall, and lots more.


The lead female vocalist in MKE’s classic horn band Groove Therapy, EVA SCHUELKE makes her MM debut. She performs with Ultimate Legends in her own Reba McEntire set and as backup for tribute artists like Elvis, Elton John, and Neil Diamond. Area work includes CHICAGO for West Bend’s Musical Masquers, the Milwaukee Symphony Chorus, teaching and vocal directing.  

October 21-22.  For tickets:  Call 262-782-4430 or

PETER, PAUL, MARY, & FRIENDS, Musical MainStage Concert Series

PETER, PAUL, MARY, AND FRIENDS.  Musical MainStage kicks off its fourteenth season with some of your favorite performers and a variety of folk favorites in PETER, PAUL, MARY, AND FRIENDS. We’ll be Leaving on a Jet Plane, heading 500 Miles to hear some great Peter, Paul, and Mary classics. But we’ll also pay homage to legends like Bob Dylan, Judy Collins, and Joni Mitchell. Plus, we’ve got a protest medley with everything from We Shall Overcome to Eve of Destruction.


Three of our singers—Mike Hennes, Sara Hubertz, and Casey Olson will also play guitar—while Peggy Peterson Ryan will be strumming her uke. We’ve got a terrific Rising Star, Waukesha home-schooled Junior, Lily Miller. Then there’s Kerry Hart Bieneman on piano, Hal Miller on bass, Tim Karth on drums, along with Bob Hirschi and Susan Loveridge providing play-by-play. So Don’t Think Twice, just board the Peace Train and let’s head back to all those great folk classics.

September 16th at 7:30PM, September 17th at 2PM and 7:30PM.

To reserve tickets for the season or any of its shows, call 262-782-4430 or visit For group sales, contact Stephanie at 262-782-4431, ex. 291.

Sunset Playhouse, 700 Wall Street, Elm Grove, WI, 53122

Meet the cast: BEAT IT! Back to the ’80s – Musical MainStage

Our first tribute to that totally righteous decade—the ‘80s–was an absolute sell-out! So rinse and repeat
and this one’s getting close.  BEAT IT! Back to the ’80s – April 29 & 30, 2019.

With an all-star cast it’s no surprise—just look who we’ve got!

ALLIE BABICH was one of this series’ very first Rising Stars. That was ten years ago and oh, the places she’s gone! A graduate of the University of MN/Guthrie program, Allie has appeared across the country singing and speaking Shakespeare. Favorite roles include VIOLET at Skylight Music Theatre, Rosalind (AS YOU LIKE IT) at the American Shakespeare Center, and Ela (CHARLEY'S AUNT) at the Utah Shakespeare Festival. Allie looks forward to making her Door Shakespeare debut this summer.

TOMMY HAHN is on his some-teenth Musical MainStage appearance because well, he’s Tommy Hahn. Among his credits: MAN OF LA MANCHA (Milwaukee Rep); RENT, LES MISERABLES, and MUSIC MAN (Skylight); JC SUPERSTAR (Rochester Civic Theatre), PUMP BOYS & DINETTES at the Fireside; PHANTOM, EVITA, MISS SAIGON (Marriott Lincolnshire); and DEE SNIDER’S ROCK & ROLL CHRISTMAS TALE (Broadway Playhouse, Chicago).

JOSH KRAUSE’s credits include SOMEONE WHO'LL WATCH OVER ME (Two Crows Theater); A CHRISTMAS CAROL (Children’s Theater of Madison); THE RECRUITING OFFICER, BORN YESTERDAY, and OUR COUNTRY’S GOOD (American Players Theater, where he’ll spend the summer); EQUIVOCATION (Next Act); MIRACLE ON SOUTH DIVISION STREET and GREAT EXPECTATIONS (Milwaukee Chamber Theater); and VISITING MR. GREEN and JEEVES AT SEA with Artists’ Ensemble.

BETH MULKERRON appeared Off-Broadway in REDHOOK (H.C., Lambs Theatre). Regionally: Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra (Linkup Series), MAN OF LA MANCHA and A CHRISTMAS CAROL (Milwaukee Rep), FALLEN ANGELS (Milwaukee Chamber), WINTER'S TALE (Optimist Theatre), BIG (First Stage), SIZZLIN' 60's (Fireside), CHURCH BASEMENT LADIES (Marcus Center), SUNDAY IN THE PARK… (Windfall Theatre), and A CHORUS LINE (MOT/TheaterRED).

ELLA ROSE KLEEFISCH returns for her second Rising Star turn. She’s been seen on the Sunset Playhouseboards as Baby June in GYPSY!, Little Red in INTO THE WOODS, and Jane in MARY POPPINS. Other credits include Young Violet in Skylight’s VIOLET, Amy in LITTLE WOMEN: THE BROADWAY MUSICAL at Lake Country Playhouse, Opal in Acacia Theatre's OPAL, and Nellie in ANNIE GET YOUR GUN for Waukesha Civic.

Plus KERRY HART BIENEMAN on keys, CASEY OLSON on guitar, TIM KARTH behind the drums, and the usual SUSAN LOVERIDGE-BOB HIRSCHI combo platter doing play-by-play. Missing this one will be grody to the max. Word.

Tickets available at the box office at 262-782-4430 or at

Meet the cast of BILLBOARD’S BEST – Musical MainStage

Five of the area’s busiest performers will kickstart the new year with Billboard’s Best–a salute to some of the music industry’s biggest, chart-topping hits:

ALISON MARY FORBES’ credits include work with Skylight Music Theatre, First Stage Children’s Theatre, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, In Tandem, Bunny Gumbo, Milwaukee Shakespeare, Optimist Theatre, and Off the Wall. A Musical MainStage regular, she’s also appeared in the SideNotes Cabaret productions SONGS OF THE SILVER SCREEN and THE HARMONETTES.


TOMMY LUECK was featured in our very first Musical MainStage concert and many more over the years. He’s probably best known as the front man vocalist for Swing Nouveau and as one quarter of the Four Guyz in Dinner Jackets, but he’s also a remarkable director of musicals, both at Sunset Playhouse and for his students at Brookfield Central High School.

CASEY OLSON, singer and guitarist extraordinaire, has quickly risen to cult status around the Playhouse, with credits that include YOU’VE GOT A FRIEND: A TRIBUTE TO CAROLE KING & JAMES TAYLOR; HOMEWARD BOUND: SIMON AND GARFUNKEL; and QUEENS OF COUNTRY. This season brings half a dozen more appearances for both the SideNotes Cabaret and Musical MainStage series. 

It’s always fun to introduce a new performer to our family. This time around we welcome HAYLEY SAN FILLIPPO. With a BFA in Theater Performance from UW-Whitewater, her area credits include work with First Stage Children’s Theatre, All in Productions, ComedySportz, Soulstice Theatre, Alchemist Theatre, Greendale Community Theatre, and Sunset Playhouse.

In her second Rising Star appearance, we welcome back KYLEE HENNES, who has wowed our audiences with her talent as both vocalist and bass guitar player. Recent credits include THE BAD SEED (Sunset), ANNIE and VIOLET (Skylight Music Theatre), and THE SOUND OF MUSIC (Lyric Opera of Chicago). KyLee also rocks out with her sisters in the BAND Hennes.

On keys will be superstar music director KERRY HART BIENEMAN. She’ll be joined by our resident drummer-man, TIM KARTH, along with Susan Loveridge and Bob Hirschi in the play-by-play chairs. You’ll be All Shook Up if you miss this one!


Musical MainStage celebrates the holidays with that mellow fellow, singer-songwriter John Denver. Our talented singers and musicians will cover both his Christmas tunes and his classic hits. Meet the cast:

A big welcome back to LYDIA ROSE EICHE, whom we first met exactly ten years ago when she was a Rising Star! Her Sunset credits include Babette (BEAUTY AND THE BEAST) and Rapunzel/Cinderella’s Mother (INTO THE WOODS). Also: Yitzhak (HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH) with All In Productions, Milica (SVADBA—WEDDING) with Milwaukee Opera Theatre, and Ensemble for SWEENEY TODD at Skylight Music Theatre.

CARRIE GRAY is also back for her second Musical MainStage concert. Her many credits include work with Skylight Music Theatre, First Stage Children’s Theatre, Milwaukee Opera Theatre, and Greendale Community Theatre. Carrie’s favorite roles include The Baker’s Wife in INTO THE WOODS for Sunset and Diana in NEXT TO NORMAL with All In Productions.


TOMMY HAHN, one of your favorite performers, is back in his 14th or 15th or 16th appearance—we’ve lost track! Local credits include Milwaukee Rep (MAN OF LA MANCHA) and Skylight Music Theatre (RENT, LES MISERABLES, MUSIC MAN). Regional: Fireside Theatre (PUMP BOYS AND DINETTES, ROCKIN’ AT THE FIRESIDE), Marriott Theatre at Lincolnshire (PHANTOM, EVITA, MISS SAIGON), Northlight Theatre (SIDE SHOW), and DEE SNIDER’S ROCK & ROLL CHRISTMAS TALE (Broadway Playhouse, Chicago.)


CHAD LARGET, who made his Broadway debut in the ‘97 revival of CANDIDE, directed by Harold Prince, makes his Musical MainStage debut. Other credits include PIRATES OF PENZANCE (Frederic), DIE FLEDERMAUS (Dr. Blind), and MOST HAPPY FELLA (Pasquale), all for Skylight Music Theatre, featured soloist with the Milwaukee and Racine Symphony orchestras, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Florentine Opera. At Sunset: MARY POPPINS (Bank Chairman) and SHE LOVES ME (Kodaly).

Our Rising Star is Divine Savior Holy Angels High School sophomore CLAIRE BECKER. Her credits include the school’s production of Les Miserables, along with performances for the Hartford Players, Lake Country Playhouse, and Falls Patio Players.

In addition, we have KERRY HART BIENEMAN on the keys, CASEY OLSON on guitar, and JASON LOVEALL on violin. As always, Susan Loveridge and Bob Hirschi will offer the play-by-play.

Start your holidays out right by letting those country roads take you home!


December 3, 2018, 7:30 pm

December 4, 2018, 2:00 and 7:30 pm

Note:  Performances are almost SOLD OUT.  We are considering adding a performance on Sunday, December 2nd at 7:30 or Monday, December 3 at 2:00.  If you are interested in attending one of these shows if added, please call our box office ASAP at 262-782-4430





Mequon resident Jeffrey-Thomas (JT) Snow has been named a Rising Star for Musical MainStage, a professional concert series at Sunset Playhouse in Elm Grove. JT, the son of Jeff and Mia Snow, is a junior at Homestead High School, where he has appeared in show choir and the musical SHREK. His Wisconsin credits include First Stage Children’s Theatre and the Kids from Wisconsin, and Kentucky credits include the Woodford Theatre, UK Opera Theatre, and Lexington Children’s Theatre. JT will also appear in Skylight Music Theatre’s upcoming production of HAIRSPRAY.

Sunset Playhouse, now in its 59th season as one of the area’s premier community theaters, is also home to three professional series, including Musical MainStage. Each of its themed concerts offers one promising high school student an opportunity to work alongside professional singers and musicians.

JT will join Ellen Winters, Marcya Daneille, Adam Estes, Dominic Russo, and Kerry Hart Bieneman in a show called, “Frank & Ella & Friends,” a 90-minute concert featuring jazz and American Songbook classics.  Performances are on Monday and Tuesday, October 22nd and 23rd. For more information about the production or tickets, you can visit or call its box office at 262-782-4430.


Sunset Playhouse – 800 Elm Grove Rd. – Elm Grove, WI 53122





Oconomowoc resident Ella Kleefisch has been named a Rising Star for Musical MainStage, a professional concert series at Sunset Playhouse in Elm Grove.

The daughter of Rebecca and Joel Kleefisch, Ella is a freshman at Oconomowoc High School. Her favorite theater credits include GYPSY (Baby June) at Sunset Playhouse, VIOLET (Young Violet) for Skylight Music Theatre, LITTLE WOMEN: THE BROADWAY MUSICAL (Amy) with Lake Country Playhouse, OPAL (Opal) for Acacia Theatre Company, and ANNIE GET YOUR GUN (Nellie) with Waukesha Civic Theatre. Ella also enjoys archery, horseback riding, drawing, and painting.

Sunset Playhouse, now in its 58th season as one of the area’s premier community theaters, is also home to three professional series, including Musical MainStage. Each of its themed concerts offers one promising high school student an opportunity to work alongside professional singers and musicians.

Ella will join Karen Estrada, Johnny Rodgers, Alison Mary Forbes, Casey Olson, and Kerry Hart in a show called “Homeward Bound,” a 90-minute concert featuring songs from the popular duo, Simon and Garfunkel. Performances are on Monday and Tuesday, December 4th and 5th.

For more information about the production or tickets, you can visit or call its box office at 262-782-4430.

Meet the cast of ELVIS!

Our first Musical MainStage of the 2017-18 Season is ELVIS!  The show runs September 18-19, 2017. 

Are You Lonesome Tonight? Then put on your Blue Suede Shoes ’cause we’ll be rockin’ and a-rollin’ all the way to Graceland. 

Meet our cast:

RYAN CHARLES’ (lower left) credits include In Tandem Theatre’s JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR (Jesus) and CARNIVAL (Grobert), Skylight Music Theatre (LES MISERABLES, PIRATES OF PENZANCE), and the Boulevard Theatre (TWELFTH NIGHT, THIS IS OUR YOUTH). He’s also lead singer of the rock band “Independent Idols.”
SARALYNN EVENSON (upper left) made her Sunset debut in the concert version of SHE LOVES ME. Favorite NYC credits include Off-Broadway workshops DEX! (Laguerta) and YEAST NATION (Jan). Regional credits include INTO THE WOODS (Witch), URINETOWN (Pennywise), CHICAGO (Velma), SECRET GARDEN (Martha), TAMING OF THE SHREW (Kate), and the national tour of A CHRISTMAS CAROL.
After a short break to tackle a new career as a medical assistant, HEATHER REYNOLDS (upper right) is thrilled to return to Sunset, where she appeared most recently in THE ADDAMS FAMILY (Alice). This is her second Musical MainStage concert and she’s particularly delighted since she grew up listening to Elvis with her dad.
DOMINIC RUSSO (lower right) is excited to make his Musical MainStage debut. No stranger to the Sunset stage, his recent appearances include LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS and JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT. Dominic also performs as one half of THE RUSSO BROTHERS.
Rising Star TRAVIS CHEEVER (right) is a Jr. at Oak Creek High School. Credits include LOVABYE DRAGON and CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG at First Stage Children’s Theatre, Village Playhouse of Wauwatosa, Milwaukee Youth Theater, and the Oak Creek Production Company (Harold in FLY BY NIGHT and Dobie in THE MANY LOVES OF DOBIE GILLIS).
Our talented cast also includes KERRY HART BIENEMAN on the keyboard, TIM KARTH on drums, BOB MONAGLE on guitar, along with narrators SUSAN LOVERIDGE and BOB HIRSCHI.
Note:  This production does not feature an Elvis impersonator.

Musical MainStage 2017-18 Auditions: May 9, 2017

Musical MainStage 

Concert Series 2017-18

Tuesday, May 9th from 6:30-9:00 pm





Musical MainStage is a series of six concerts requiring four professional singers and one Rising Star per show. Styles needed this season include rock, pop, standards, folk and Motown.  Rehearsals are minimal and performances take place on Mondays and Tuesdays.  Students who will be enrolled in any area high school from September, 2017 – June, 2018 are eligible to be named a Rising Star.  All singers should bring 32 bars of sheet music in their key; an accompanist will be provided.  Adults will be paid. 

Candidates should fill out either a RISING STAR Audition Sheet or PROFESSIONAL Audition Sheet. Please call the Box Office prior to May 9th to schedule a 5 minute time slot between 6:30 – 9:00pm. Arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled audition time with a copy of your completed audition sheet.


Here is the rehearsal and show lineup for the 2017-18 season:




Rehearsals: August 28, September 4 (LABOR DAY) and 11

Tech: Sunday, September 17

Performances: September 18 – 19, 2017


THE BRITISH INVASION: Beyond the Beatles


Rehearsals: October 2, 9 and 16
Tech: October 22
Performances: October 23-24, 2017


HOMEWARD BOUND: The Sounds of Simon & Garfunkel 


Rehearsals: November 13, 20 and 27
Tech: December 3
Performances: December 4-5, 2017




Rehearsals: January 8, 15 and 22

Tech: January 28

Performances: January 29-30, 2018




Rehearsals: February 19 and 26, March 5

Tech: March 11

Performances: March 12-13, 2018





Rehearsals: April 9, 16, and 23
Tech: April 29

Performances: April 30-May 1, 2018


For further questions please contact Ann Mather at 262-782-4431 ext 221 or or check the FAQ on our website.

FAMILY TIES Rising Star: Emma Borkowski

Brookfield resident Emma Borkowski has been named a Rising Star for Musical MainStage, a professional concert series at Sunset Playhouse in Elm Grove.

The daughter of Nicole Krebs and Jeff Borkowski, Emma is a senior at Brookfield Central High School where she’s active in the Chamber Choir, leads an all-female a cappella group, and has been seen in OLIVER! (Nancy), CRAZY FOR YOU (Polly) and PETER PAN (Tiger Lily). With singer-dancer-actor credits at Skylight Music Theatre, First Stage Children’s Theatre, Waukesha Civic Theater, and the KIDS from Wisconsin, her favorite roles include Annie (ANNIE), Dorothy (THE WIZARD OF OZ), Louisa (THE SOUND OF MUSIC) and Rosie (BYE BYE BIRDIE). After graduation, Emma plans to study marketing and performance.

Sunset Playhouse, now in its 57th season as one of the area’s premier community theaters, is also home to three professional series, including Musical MainStage. Each of its themed concerts offers one promising high school student an opportunity to work alongside professional singers and musicians.

Emma will join Doug Clemons, Karen Estrada, Matt Zeman and Grace Bobber in a show called Family Ties. The 90-minute concert will feature songs from musical families like the Everly Brothers, the Jackson Five and the Bee Gees.
Performances are on Monday and Tuesday, March 6th and 7th. For more information about the production or tickets, you can CLICK HERE or call its box office at 262-782-4430.

BILLY JOEL & FRIENDS – Meet the Cast

BILLY JOEL & FRIENDS will be performed January 30 & 31st in our Furlan Auditorium. This Musical MainStage concert will be a celebration of singer-songwriters and will pay tribute to folks like Simon & Garfunkel, Carol King and the Piano Man himself.

Let’s meet our stellar cast:

TOMMY HAHN’s credits include work with the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Skylight Music Theatre, Fireside Theatre, Marriott Theatre at Lincolnshire, Northlight Theatre and DEE SNIDER’S ROCK & ROLL CHRISTMAS TALE at Chicago’s Broadway Playhouse.

MICHAEL HENNES has been an actor and musician for almost 40 years. His credits include THE WIZARD OF OZ, A CHRISTMAS CAROL, A WONDERFUL LIFE, SISTER ACT, WEST SIDE STORY and DRIVING MISS DAISY. Michael is eager to share the stage with his oldest daughter!

SARA HUBERTZ studied vocal performance with Signe Quale, WI Conservatory; Marguerite Hedges, St. Paul, MN; and Boris Goldovski, Opera Workshop, the Met, NYC. She’s been seen in half a dozen of our concerts and performs regularly in a folk/rock cover band ‘The Acousticats’.

RANA ROMAN recently completed a run as Mrs. Cratchit in the Milwaukee Rep’s production of A CHRISTMAS CAROL. Other favorite credits include appearances with the Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, the Milwaukee Opera Theatre, Renaissance Theatreworks and Madison’s Forward Theatre.

Our Rising Star, MEGUIRE HENNES, is enrolled in Seton Home Study and K-12 Online School. This singer, dancer, actor and musician’s credits include performances with the Lyric Opera Chicago, Northwestern University, the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, and half a dozen productions with the Fireside Theatre.

Tickets are selling fast so order yours today!

Richard Becker: Rising Star, Musical MainStage

Hubertus resident Richard Becker has been named a Rising Star for TWIST AND SHOUT, the 2nd show of our 2016-17 Musical MainStage Concert Series

The son of Jerry and Karen Becker, Richard is a sophomore at Marquette University High School, where he sings in its select choir and appeared in a production of SWEENEY TODD. His credits also include performances in the Hartford Players’ productions of THE MUSIC MAN, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF and BEAUTY AND THE BEAST.

Each of Musical MainStage themed concerts offers one promising high school student an opportunity to work alongside professional singers and musicians.

Richard will join Alison Mary Forbes, Joel Kopischke, Casey Olson and Peggy Peterson Ryan in a show called TWIST AND SHOUT, a 90-minute tribute to classic Beatles tunes. They’ll be joined by Kerry Hart Bieneman on piano, Tim Karth on drums, Tom Koehn on guitar, along with two narrators, Susan Loveridge and Bob Hirschi, who provide background on the music and era.


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