Review of Florida Studio Theatre’s presentation of Mark Nadler’s one-man production of “I’m a Stranger Here Myself”; part of the FST’s Stage III program

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By: Carol Erickson
March 20, 2015

The show is a journey that is both broadly historical and profoundly personal for Mr. Nadler. Nadler examines the lives of artists and ordinary citizens caught up in one of the most intriguing periods of the 20th century…the Weimar Era (the first democratically elected government in German history). This lasted from the end of World War I until Hitler’s rise to power. Nadler explores what the people of this era so courageously achieved, not only as talented artists, but also as survivors. The show is done in a European cabaret style with compelling projections, vintage photographs, film clips and more, all to testify the life during this time and as it continued for the lucky ones that got out of Hitler’s Germany in time. Although these are hard, dark subjects, Nadler’s comedic tone and thunderous piano playing keeps this story entertaining and captivating.

His performance is emotionally riveting and it is clear that he has the passion and knowledge to perform this masterful tribute. He is accompanied by Melissa Elledge as the accordionist and Vena Johnson on Violin.

Nadler was born and raised in the Midwest and took an interest in Broadway musicals at the tender age of 10. He is a master of storytelling and this is a story you don’t want to miss.

This is a limited engagement that runs only through March 29th. For more information and availability, contact the Florida Studio Theatre, 1241 Palm Avenue 941 366-9000.

In conjunction with this production, Florida Studio Theatre and The Jewish Federation present the panel discussion “Dangerous Worlds”. This discussion will be held on April 2nd at 5 p.m. in the Keating Theatre. This discussion is free to the public, but reservations are required. 941 366-9000

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(Florida Studio Theatre Press Release)

(Sarasota, FL) — Florida Studio Theatre welcomes Mark Nadler to the Keating stage with his production of I’m A Stranger Here Myself, as part of FST’s Stage III program. It will have a limited engagement beginning March 17, 2015 in the Keating Theatre. Tickets range from $32 to $34. Tickets are on sale and may be purchased from the FST Box Office in person, by calling (941) 366-9000, or online at www.FloridaStudioTheatre.org.
In this musical, cabaret-style show, I’m A Stranger Here Myself, internationally acclaimed cabaret entertainer Mark Nadler explores the depths of the European Expatriate experience. Nadler examines the lives of German and French songwriters who composed during the years of the Weimar Republic. Nadler also takes a closer look at the lives of ordinary German citizens caught up in the most intriguing and emotionally charged period of the Twentieth Century.
Nadler’s production delves deep into the heart of Weimar Germany. Nadler speaks to the inspiration behind this very personal show. “It’s been so interesting performing this show. I originally thought it would appeal only to Jewish and gay people, because those are the people from the Weimar Republic whose stories I focus on in the show. Most of the artists and great thinkers of the Weimar Republic were either Jewish or gay or both. Then, of course, when Hitler came to power, these two groups were all but wiped out in Germany. But there were survivors and there were people who escaped and it’s these stories that I tell in I’m a Stranger Here Myself. Many of the people who fled to other countries ended up becoming the cultural linchpins of those countries. They became Germany’s greatest export. So, as Ira Gershwin put it, ‘Who’s got the last laugh now.’”
Nadler has previously performed at Carnegie Hall with the New York Pops Orchestra Mark Nadler and has been a soloist with the Baltimore Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Oregon Symphony, National Arts Centre Symphony in Ottawa and others. Nadler has played in almost every significant night-club in New York City and Los Angeles such as four seasons at Sardi’s, 54 Below, The Oak Room at the Algonquin Hotel, The Cinegrill in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, Maxim’s. At the age of nineteen, he played at the West Bank Cabaret where he was the house master-of-ceremonies and musical director. Abroad, Mark has performed in England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Israel and Australia. The New York Times describes this latest production as “Compelling.” The New York Post says it’s “Entertaining and illuminating.” The Wall Street Journal calls it, a “Moving account of the Weimar era.”
I’m A Stranger Here Myself will begin performances March 17, 2015 and run for a limited engagement through March 29, 2015 in FST’s Keating Theatre. Single tickets range from $32 to $34. Tickets are on sale and may be purchased from the FST Box Office in person, by calling (941) 366-9000 or online at www.FloridaStudioTheatre.org. FST is located in historic downtown Sarasota at 1241 North Palm Avenue, Sarasota FL 34236.
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.

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(Florida Studio Theatre Press Release)

FST present a Stage III panel discussion:

Dangerous Worlds: Reflections on pre-WWII Germany
and the roots of hatred and anti-Semitism today

(Sarasota, FL) — Florida Studio Theatre has never shied away from theatre that challenges audiences to explore all sides of humanity – the good and the bad. The return of FST’s Stage III series definitely carries on this tradition with Mark Nadler’s production, I’m A Stranger Here Myself. In conjunction with this production, FST and The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee County present the panel discussion, Dangerous Worlds: Reflections on pre-WWII Germany and the roots of hatred and anti-Semitism today. The discussion will be held on April 2 at 5pm, in the Keating Theatre. This panel discussion is free to the public, but reservations are required. For tickets, please call the FST Box Office at (941) 366-9000, or visit FloridaStudioTheatre.org.

Nadler’s European-style cabaret musical production highlights an era that gave birth to many artists whose music still influences the cultural society of today. Taking audiences deep into the lives of these unique individuals, Nadler explores what the people of this era achieved not only as artists, but also as survivors. The Jewish Federation commented on this opportunity to talk about such an influential era in history stating, “The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee is pleased to join in FST’s mission of creating a community conversation about theatre and its impact on us all. Mark Nadler’s I’m A Stranger Here Myself brings to the forefront many themes and issues that that we see on a daily basis and are still relevant at the Jewish Federation and around the world. It’s a pleasure to be a part of this important dialog in a safe place for us all while discussing this show, voice our opinion, and discuss our past and present – all of which have been so greatly influenced by the artists of the Weimar era.”

FST’s Associate Director Kate Alexander expands on the themes within Nadler’s production stating, “This play is placed in the eerie days before the annexation of Poland. It was a time of artistic and intellectual freedom – yet the hate was simmering and smoldering beneath the surface of the German people. As Hitler himself said, ‘All great movements are popular movements. They are the volcanic eruptions of human passions and emotions, stirred into activity by the ruthless Goddess of Distress or by the torch of the spoken word cast into the midst of the people.’ Today we are seeing very similar disruptions in a world fueled by hate. It is imperative that we discuss and understand the roots of this hate and how to combat it ourselves, in our cities in our very modern, dangerous world.”

Alexander concludes her final thoughts stating, “I’m A Stranger Here Myself could not be more timely. FST is pleased to join with the Jewish Federation who have always championed the principals of ethics in many of our plays dealing with injustice on all fronts. This play hits home and all of us need to pay attention.”

In conjunction with FST’s Stage III production of I’m A Stranger Here Myself, FST and The Jewish Federation present the panel discussion, Dangerous Worlds: Reflections on pre-WWII Germany and the roots of hatred and anti-Semitism today. The discussion will be held on April 2 at 5pm, in the Keating Theatre. This panel discussion is free to the public, but reservations are required. For tickets, please call the FST Box Office at (941) 366-9000, or visit www.FloridaStudioTheatre.org.

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.

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