Florida Studio Theatre serves up some hometown humor in the third Cabaret show of the Winter Season, Laughing Matters (vol. 5) Lock the Gates!

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(Sarasota, FL) It’s time to face the facts and discuss the most serious of laughing matters. Florida Studio Theatre serves up some hometown humor in the third Cabaret show of the Winter Season, Laughing Matters (vol. 5) Lock the Gates! Subscriptions for all three Cabaret shows can be purchased for as little as $39. Tickets may be purchased online at FloridaStudioTheatre.org, by phone at (941) 366-9000, or by visiting the Box Office.

Will Hillary Clinton find herself Trumped? Will Lido Key use pirates to steal Siesta’s sand? Should Mexico become our 51st state? These questions and more will be debated when a new edition of Laughing Matters (vol. 5) Lock the Gates!, a musical Saturday Night Live for Sarasota returns. Whether you lean left, right, or are still stuck in a roundabout, there will be no clean getaways.

Lead Developer and FST Managing Director, Rebecca Hopkins does not beat around the (Jeb) bush when it comes to seeking humor in local and national current events. She remarks on where her inspiration for new material comes from stating, “It comes from everywhere. All you have to do is go on-line or turn on the TV and it appears as though the whole world’s gone nuts. The truth is…it always has. I love studying history. It is amazing how in every period of time people have always thought things were turning to chaos and we were ‘this’ close to it all falling apart. Maybe we are. Maybe we’re always ‘this’ close. Humans are messy. We don’t agree on anything, but we keep trying. That’s where the humor comes in. Deep down we know we’re nuts and comedy helps us face that fact. It’s no coincidence that there’s always been comedian’s (whether jester, commedia’ del arte,’ SNL, or The Daily Show) to point out our collective craziness. Comedy helps us balance the playing field, by calling out the absurdity. I’ll be worried that we’re coming to the end when we stop being able to laugh at it all. Then we’re in real trouble.”

Comedy is one of the hardest formats to write and perform. This cast of four is ready for the challenge as they deliver a series of satirical sketches and songs with a smile and a wink. Returning company members Richie McCall and Ali Reed reunite once again on the Court Cabaret stage after appearing together in Never Marry a Girl With Cold Feet: and other life lessons from Vaudeville last spring. McCall is no stranger to satire and song having performed in several performances at FST including The Flip Side and previous year’s Laughing Matters editions.

In addition to her work in the cabaret, audiences may also remember Reed’s role in FST Improv’s fully improvised romantic musical, When X Meets Y. Reed comments on the challenge of combining comedy and music in one fell swoop stating, “We’ve just begun rehearsals and already we are exploring how the comedy can inform our musical choices. Different from a regular musical, the notes come after our character choices and the new words that have been cleverly set to the tunes we know and love. We have also started playing with our impressions of different politicians. So far, I’ve got Hilary Clinton, Carly Fiorina, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the works. Lots more to come! Keeping them all straight will be a fun challenge.”

Joining them are new company members Nick Anastasia and William Selby. Anastasia’s credits include In the Heights, Voca People, and Miss Saigon. Selby rounds out the cast with previous credits that include Forbidden Broadway, South Pacific, and The Daring Duo.

Will the Rowing World Championships be up the creek without a paddle? It’s time to discuss some very serious laughing matters. This zany Sarasota-centric show opens in the John C. Court Cabaret on Friday, February 19, 2016. Subscriptions for all three Cabaret shows can be purchased for as little as $39 and may be purchased online at FloridaStudioTheatre.org, by phone at (941) 366-9000, or by visiting the Box Office.

About Florida Studio Theatre

Known as Sarasota’s Contemporary Theatre, Florida Studio Theatre was founded in 1973 by Artist Jon Spelman. Starting out as a small touring company, FST traveled to places such as migrant camps and prisons. The company then acquired the former Woman’s Club building, becoming the first permanent venue. Shortly after Producing Artistic Director Richard Hopkins arrived, the building was purchased and renamed The Keating Theatre. In the years that followed, Florida Studio Theatre established itself as a major force in American Theatre, presenting contemporary theatre in its five theatre venues: the Keating Theatre, the Gompertz Theatre, the Parisian style Goldstein Cabaret and John C. Court Cabaret, and Bowne’s Lab Theatre. 

Even with its growth, Florida Studio Theatre remains firmly committed to making the arts accessible and affordable to a broad-based audience.  FST develops theatre that speaks to our living, evolving, and dynamically changing world.  As FST grows and expands, it continues to provide audiences with challenging, contemporary drama and innovative programs.

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