Lanning began performing in theatre at the age of nine. With an extensive
background and training in music and theatre, Michael has been a featured
performer in many theatre companies including San Bernardino Civic Light
Opera and the legendary Summer Stock, Junior University. Michael has
recorded and/or toured with such musical greats as Donovan, Fleetwood Mac,
Rockpile, Larry Gatlin, Frank Wildhorn, Mike Post and George Harrison.
Michael’s band, Jiva, was the first American band signed to the Harrison
label, Dark Horse Records, with George serving as their executive producer.
Michael’s distinctive, yet versatile, style made him a top session vocalist
for national television and radio commercials for over a decade. Commercial
jingles include the national spots-- "Heartbeat Of America, Chevy truck","
Snickers, There's A Hunger Inside You", "We Build Excitement, Pontiac",
"Honda, Come Ride", “Sizzler, sounds good”, “ Hamm’s Beer, Leave the grind
behind”, just to name a few. As an actor and a singer his credits
include Steven Bochco’s “Coprock”, “Wayne’s World”, “ER”, “Thunder In
Paradise” and “Baywatch”.
A songwriter and a music publisher, Lanning songs have been recorded by
producer/guitar legend Dave Edmunds, The Stray Cats, French recording star
Slyvie Vartan and many others. As a musician, Michael has mastered guitar,
bass, mandolin, banjo, drums and percussion, And, is a hunt and peck
pianist. Sorry, Mom.
Michael starred in both the Tony nominated Broadway and National Tour
Productions of composer Frank Wildhorn’s “The Civil War”. He played Dozer in
the World Premiere Musical “Mask” at The Pasadena Playhouse, based on the
motion picture starring Cher. He was featured as the Preacher in the World
Premiere Musical “Bonnie And Clyde” at The La Jolla Playhouse in the winter
of ‘09, at The Asolo Theatre in Sarasota, Fla. in the winter of ‘10 and on
Broadway at The Schoenfeld Theatre in late 2011. He was also an original
founding member of the highly acclaimed Trans-Siberian Orchestra.