lIGHT mY fIRE

Seth Eliser, Alayna Gallo and Dale Obermark in “Light My Fire,” newly open in the Court Cabaret of Florida Studio Theatre in Sarasota.

I have told both Richard and Rebecca Hopkins many times that their in-house cabaret creations for Florida Studio Theatre are so often better than ready-made cabaret shows they find.

“Light My Fire,” their newest creation with arrangements by Jim Prosser, is a case in point.

Audience members could not help but singalong on several numbers that were near and dear to their hearts because they brought back memories of the eras when they were young and in college or just out and beginning to make their way in the world.

It was a somewhat turbulent time with social, cultural and political changes — Civil Rights issues, single-sex colleges going co-ed, hippies hanging out in the Haight, Woodstock and music that reflected those times. The country was rockin’ in more ways than one.

The Beatles introduced the British invasion “With a Little Help From My Friends.” Jimi Hendrix hit with “Purple Haze” and “Puff the Magic Dragon” by Leonard Lipton and Peter Yarrow and an “Octopus’s Garden” by Ringo Starr made those unlikely creatures into icons.

As the Fab Four turned out one hit after another while rolling with the turbulent times, they became the most prolific songwriters of the center, together and even separately according to Casey Kasem, who kept track of such things throughout the period right up into the 80s.

In the end, “All You Need is Love” wrote and sang Paul McCartney and John Lennon and that turned out to be the love fest at FST Saturday evening.

Pianist Jim Prosser was accompanied by drummer Marcuse James and three singers, Seth Eliser, Alayna Gallo and Dale Obermark.

Eliser and Galllo are incredible talents who both have extensive vocal ranges which is probably why they are FST returnees. The Hopkins keep track of the great ones and bring them back whenever the show fits. This one was perfect for the two of them.

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