By Matt Mueller Culture Editor Published Jun 16, 2020 at 6:56 PM

The show must go on for the Skylight Music Theatre – or at least online, as the company announced that, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it will present its first virtual musical: "Being Earnest."

Based on Oscar Wilde's famous comedy of manners "The Importance of Being Earnest," the new production of the full-length musical maintains the original story of two well-off gentlemen attempting to woo their respective loves but in the process causing all sorts of chaos, mistaken identities, witty societal shenanigans and an abnormal of people pretending to be a guy named Earnest. This musical retelling, however, moves the story from the Victorian era to the bright and colorful aesthetic of the '60s and scores the silliness with music inspired by the iconic and revolutionary rock bands of the era. 

"During this challenging time of the COVID-19 crisis, we think 'Being Earnest' will provide just the dose of humor, music and theatre we need right now," said Skylight executive director Jack R. Lemmon, in a release. "This is a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with our audiences and remind us all of the power of arts to heal and delight."

Since the stage is still closed due to coronavirus concerns, "Being Earnest" will be presented online for streaming. The performers rehearse social distanced over Zoom, with the final production recorded and edited together like a movie. 

"This completely groovy musical is sure to charm Skylight audiences as well as online viewers everywhere," said Michael Unger, Skylight artistic director as well as the director for "Being Earnest," in a release. "It is the perfect way to show off Milwaukee’s talent pool in one of the world’s most popular titles. We are presenting it in as upbeat and whimsical a style possible, while embracing social distancing. We have delivered costumes to the performers’ homes as well as props that pass from one frame to another, as none of the actors are in the same room, building or even state, in some instances."

Official ticket information and dates have yet to be announced, but the Skylight says that "Being Earnest" will be available to stream starting sometime next month. For more updates, stay tuned to the Skylight's website.

And while you wait for that, be sure to watch "Skylight Sings," a virtual concert put on by many of the theater's familiar faces – plus Dennis DeYoung of STYX and two-time Tony nominee Kate Baldwin. Available through the end of the month, the concert is free, but the Skylight is also accepting donations to help raise money during these difficult times. 

Matt Mueller Culture Editor

As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.

When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.