(Sarasota, FL) — Florida Studio Theatre sheds some light on the humor of humanity with the first show of the Summer Mainstage Season, Inspired Lunacy by Richard Hopkins, Rebecca Hopkins, and Jim Prosser. This whimsical production featuring songs from the best comedy writers and composers of the 20th century begins on June 3 in the Gompertz Theatre. Subscriptions for all three Mainstage shows can be purchased for as little as $39 by phone at (941) 366-9000 or by visiting the Box Office.
An irreverent collection of witty, wacky, and whimsical novelty songs. Join our comic explorers as they set out on a daring mission to amuse, and delight. Relying on the waggish wisdom of composers such as Allan Sherman, Shel Silverstein, and Kander and Ebb with songs like “Ring Them Bells,” “Poisoning Pigeons in the Park,” and “Jolly Old Sigmund Freud,” our wayward jesters attempt to solve the mystery at the center of the universe.
FST Artistic Director Richard Hopkins speaks to the inspiration and creation of this unique production stating, “The show focuses on the essence of the importance of comedy and humor in our lives. Without it, it would be a dull world. Inspired Lunacy has been informed by dozens of other shows we’ve done here at FST. An original production, this show was created in-house by resident artists – by people that live and work in this community. It’s a collection of the best novelty songs of the 20th century from the best comedy writers and composers of the 20th century.”
At the core and backbone of this production is the work of legendary comedy writers and composers like Ira Gershwin, Kander and Ebb, Bobby Darin, Allan Sherman and Shel Silverstein. Managing Director, Rebecca Hopkins adds, “Each of these writers/composers in the show has their own depth of lyric. Each one is telling their own point of view about life. What’s even more interesting is learning which pieces connect to different people.”
Cast in this guileless production are returning FST company members Gil Brady, Don Farrell, and Kathy Halenda. Audiences may remember Brady’s comedic style from FST’s production of Monty Python’s Spamalot, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, and The Underpants.
When asked about his own approach to comedy Brady stated, “For me, it’s like a little switch I turn on. I think most of us have it, and it can feel very exciting and a bit mischievous when you turn it on, like a little secret you’re dying to share. Sometimes it comes naturally, and sometimes, especially if I haven’t had my coffee, I have to work for it. With certain shows, there are comedic parameters which you have to adhere to for the most part. I think with a show like Spamalot, if you’re not trying to imitate the genius of Monty Python at least a little bit, people will be disappointed. Whereas with something like Inspired Lunacy, we’ve got a lot more room to be inventive.”
Don Farrell’s extensive theatre background includes appearing in FST’s original Inspired Lunacy production along with Shakespeare’s Greatest Hits and Forever Plaid. He has also performed in numerous Off-Broadway shows, International Tours, National Tours, Las Vegas, Regional, and Educational productions. He has held a very active concert solo career with top symphonies across the nation. Farrell is returning to FST after over a decade spent as the Co-Founder and Artistic Director of the Actors Theatre of Indiana. Also reprising her role, Halenda is known for her show-stopping vocals in previous FST shows such as Sophie Tucker: Last of the Red Hot Mamas, Brassy Broads, Dirty Blonde, Inspired Lunacy, and Shakespeare’s Greatest Hits among others.
New to the FST stage will be David Demato and Dennis Kenney. Demato’s previous credits include Jersey Boys, The Full Monty, and Sweeney Todd. Kenney’s previous credits include a national tour of Mamma Mia!, and regional tours of West Side Story and Cabaret.
Join us this summer as these comedic characters attempt to once and for all discover the humor in humanity. The lunacy begins June 3 and continues through June 21 in the Gompertz Theatre. Subscriptions for all three Mainstage shows can be purchased for as little as $39 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 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 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.