Florida Studio Theatre is proud to present The Swingaroos: "Hollywood Serenade," a brand-new music revue celebrating big band leaders like Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman, as well as the stars like Fred Astaire and Lena Horne who performed alongside them on the silver screen.
Featuring “At Last,” “The Joint is Really Jumpin’ Down at Carnegie Hall,” and “Hooray for Hollywood,” this jazzy show transports audiences back to the ‘30s and ‘40s, when swing dancing was all the rage. With musical arrangements by Assaf Gleizner, The Swingaroos: "Hollywood Serenade" plays through Aug. 30 in FST’s Court Cabaret.
“I wanted to capture the thrill that someone in the 1940s would have felt when they saw their favorite popular music stars on the big screen,” shared Kimberly Hawkey, The Swingaroos’ bandleader.” Audiences were often seeing stars like Benny Goodman and Gene Krupa for the first time in movies, even though they had heard hours of their music on the radio.”
Hawkey was also drawn to the social and cultural climate of the '30s and '40's. “These song choices will underscore what was going on in America at that time,” added Hawkey. “The performers of Hollywood were hip, humorous and classy —and were almost always multi-talented. We’re going to channel these elements and build an entertaining evening worthy of the ‘Hollywood’ name.”
Broadway World calls The Swingaroos “One of America’s favorite swing bands,” saying they are “multi-talented” and “delightful to watch.” The Swingaroos made their FST debut in 2015 and returned last summer with "The Music of the Night" and both productions have made Hawkey and The Swingaroos audience favorites. “FST audiences are savvy. I'm not afraid to include an obscure reference here or there,” said Hawkey. “Someone always picks up on it and appreciates it. When we perform at FST, we know our own arrangements of classic songs will be recognized and appreciated!”
Performing alongside Hawkey are Philip Ambuel (Bass), Assaf Gleizner (music director/piano), Steve Morley (trumpet), Marty Peters (reed/vocals) and Uri Zelig (percussion). Ambuel and Peters will be making their FST debuts with The Swingaroos: Hollywood Serenade. Gleizner is also the pianist and Music Director for the opening production of this season’s Summer Cabaret Series, "Come Together: When the 60s Met the 70s."
Morley studied with legendary jazz trumpeters like Greg Gisbert and Brad Goode, and is currently a freelance musician and teacher in New York City. Zelig has worked with jazz legends George Cables, Bill Crow, and Marion Cowings and now holds lead drum chair in several Off-Broadway productions.
Tickets can be purchased at floridastudiotheatre.org or call 941-366-9000. Florida Studio Theatre is at 1241 N. Palm Ave., Sarasota.