Florida Studio Theatre announces summer season

 Sarah Ledtke McCann, Meredith Jones, Ann Flanigan and Chelsea Turbin.

Florida Studio Theatre is excited to announce its lineup for the 2019 Summer Mainstage and Cabaret Seasons. On the Mainstage, FST brings music, drama, and laughter to Sarasota with an Off-Broadway hit, a powerful musical biography, and a sexy, smart comedy of manners. In the Cabaret, some of New York City’s brightest and most accomplished musical performers bring the music of the '60s and the '70s, the Golden Age of Hollywood and Frankie Valli to life.

“Sarasota no longer slows down in the summer. FST discovered this over twenty years ago when we launched our first Summer Season and we have continued to grow ever since,” shared Richard Hopkins, FST’s Producing Artistic Director. “This summer we have a delightful three-show fare on the Mainstage and three wonderful musical revues by guest artists in the Cabaret.”

The Off-Broadway sensation, "The Marvelous Wonderettes," opens FST’s 28th Summer Mainstage season. When four friends are called upon to perform at their 1958 senior prom, they rally together to entertain their classmates with classic hits like “It’s My Party,” “Lollipop,” “Son of a Preacher Man,” and “Mr. Sandman.” Next on the Mainstage is Ethel Waters: His Eye is on the Sparrow by Sarasota playwright Larry Parr. FST produced the World Premiere production of this compelling play in 2005 with Sarasota favorite Jannie Jones, who will be lending her dynamic voice to the role once again. Concluding the Summer Mainstage season is the Regional Premiere of The Cottage by Sandy Rustin, a sophisticated romantic comedy that starts to unfold when Sylvia Van Kipness decides to expose her secret love affair to her husband.

In the Cabaret, FST’s sixth Summer Cabaret Series includes two of Sarasota’s favorite cabaret acts returning with all new shows, and a new musical tribute honoring one of the most beloved male harmony groups of all time. Opening the season is "Come Together: When the 60s Met the 70s" by Carole J. Bufford, a rockin’ music revue that explores the changing musical landscape from 1965-1975. Next up, due to audience demand, The Swingaroos return for a third summer with a brand-new show inspired by the Golden Age of Hollywood, "The Swingaroos: Hollywood Serenade." This jazzy cabaret pays homage to icons like Frank Sinatra, Cab Calloway, and Fred Astaire. The summer season concludes with a celebration of one of the most successful acts in music history — "Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Who Loves You" features the group’s top hits, like “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Walk Like a Man,” “Rag Doll,” “December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night),” and many more.

In addition to FST’s Mainstage and Cabaret programs, FST offers families a place to gather and experience the magic of music together with Off the Charts! Made with children in grades K-8 in mind, this brand new cabaret-style show celebrates the universal language of music and its power to make us think, feel, and connect across generations. Off the Charts! features some of pop music’s greatest hits from the past century, like “Hound Dog,” “Dancing Queen,” “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” and “Uptown Funk.” Off the Charts! will play to summer camps and educational organizations during the week from June 20-August 2. A public performance of Off the Charts! is currently scheduled for Saturday, June 22 at 10 am in FST’s Bowne’s Lab Theatre.

With its mission to make theatre accessible to as many people as possible, FST offers all three Summer Mainstage shows for as little as $49, and all three Summer Cabarets for as little as $49. Subscriptions are now on sale at floridastudiotheatre.org or through the Box Office at 941-366-9000.

SEASON AT A GLANCE

MAINSTAGE:

"The Marvelous Wonderettes"

May 29-June 16 (Gompertz Theatre)

It’s 1958, and the Springfield High prom has unexpectedly lost its musical act. When called upon to take the stage, four girls with hopes and dreams as big as their crinoline skirts rally together to entertain their classmates in four-part harmony. An Off-Broadway hit, this cotton candy-colored musical features classic hits from the ‘50s and ‘60s like “It’s My Party,” “Lollipop,” “Son of a Preacher Man,” and “Mr. Sandman.”

"Ethel Waters: His Eye is on the Sparrow"

June 26–Aug. 4 (Keating Theatre)

This powerful musical biography celebrates the life of actress and singer Ethel Waters. From abject poverty to Broadway and Hollywood stardom, Ethel Waters crossed racial barriers to become a legend. No matter what challenges she faced, music gave Waters strength, solace, and success. This is her remarkable story, filled with the greatest hits of a lifetime, including “Stormy Weather,” “Sweet Georgia Brown,” "This Joint is Jumpin,'" and “Am I Blue?”

"The Cottage"

July 31–Aug. 18  (Gompertz Theatre)

REGIONAL PREMIERE. Set in the English countryside in 1923, this sexy comedy of love and betrayal unfolds when Sylvia Van Kipness decides to expose her secret love affair to her husband. The true meanings of love and marriage are called into question as a surprising, hilarious web of secrets unravels in this ridiculous—potentially murderous—romantic comedy.

CABARET:

"Come Together: When the 60s Met the 70s"

June 11–July 21, 2019 (Court Cabaret)

With music made famous by Cher, The Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, and more, this rockin’ revue explores the changing musical landscape from 1965-1975. Come Together explores the musical soundtrack of one of the most exciting, controversial, and impactful decades our country has ever seen. Featuring hits like “Dream a Little Dream of Me,” “Come Together,” and “Killing Me Softly.”

"The Swingaroos: Hollywood Serenade"

July 23-Aug. 30, 2019 (Court Cabaret)

Back by popular demand, The Swingaroos return to FST with a brand new show. Inspired by the Golden Age of Hollywood, this jazzy music revue pays tribute to such icons as Frank Sinatra, Cab Calloway, and Fred Astaire. Travel back in time this summer to the ‘30s and ‘40s when big bands and swing dancing were all the rage. Featuring songs like “At Last,” “The Joint is Really Jumpin’ Down at Carnegie Hall,” and “Hooray for Hollywood.”

"Who Loves You: Musical Tribute to Frankie Valli and Beyond"

Sept. 3–Oct. 13  (Goldstein Cabaret)

Experience the signature songs and dance moves of one of the most successful acts in music history: Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. A musical tribute to the group that has sold more than 100 million records worldwide, Who Loves You will have you clapping and singing along to hits like “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Walk Like a Man,” “Rag Doll,” “December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night),” and many more you know and love.

Florida Studio Theatre is at 1241 N. Palm Ave., Sarasota.

For more information, visit www.floridastudiotheatre.org or call 941-366-9000.

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