Venice Theatre is delighted to invite audiences to its 3rd Annual Summer Cabaret Festival

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It’s time for Venice Theatre’s Summer Cabaret Festival

3rd annual event will feature a variety of acts in July and August 


(Venice, FL) Venice Theatre is delighted to invite audiences to its 3rd Annual Summer Cabaret Festival. The event features a variety of music and comedy in a night club setting and kicks off on Thursday, July 9, 2015 with a performance by Michelle and David James-Pruyn. The husband-and-wife duo will be presenting To Rosie and Mel, with Love, a tribute to Rosemary Clooney and Mel Torme. The festival will continue in “Pinky’s Cabaret” (the theatre’s black box Pinkerton Theatre) through Sunday, August 30, 2015. Tickets are $15 for each show and are on sale now at; by calling 941-488-1115; or in person at the box office located at 140 W. Tampa Ave. on the island in Venice. Summer box office hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and one hour before show time.


18 different acts (up from 13 the first summer, but not quite as many as last year’s jam-packed schedule) will be performing throughout the festival. Most performances take place at 8 p.m. on Thursdays through Saturdays and at 2 p.m. on Sundays. Exceptions are late-night shows at 11 p.m. for the edgy musical comedy troupe, Random Acts; a Sunday night performance from Dorian and The Furniture; and Tuesday and Wednesday evenings for The Best of Theatre Odyssey’s Ten-Minute Play Festival.


12 acts are returning from previous summers to share new material and six new acts have been added to the roster. A listing of shows follows. More information is available at Questions and requests for photos should be directed to Laurie Colton at [email protected]. The festival is directed by Venice Theatre’s Producing Director, Allan Kollar with musical direction by Peter Madpak.



3rd Annual Summer Cabaret Festival Schedule


Michelle and David James-Pruyn present To Rosie and Mel, with Love
Thursday, July 9 and Friday, July 10 at 8 p.m.

Audiences know Michelle as the lead singer from The Sounds of Harry James and the Andrews Sisters. In To Rosie and Mel, with Love she is joined by her husband as they pay tribute to “The Singers’ Singers” — Rosemary Clooney and Mel Tormé. Michelle and David will escort audiences on a musical journey of beloved favorites from the Great American Songbook in a tribute performance unlike any other!


xxKathryn Parks presents Secrets and Sequins
Saturday, July 11 and Thursday, July 16 at 8 p.m.

Area theatre goers may recognize her as a leading lady, but Kathryn Parks was once a shy, self-aware girl with just a twinkle of confidence in her eye. Meticulously writing in her diary since the age of 11, Kathryn divulges all her inner drama, the cute with the crazy, while connecting her confessions to, what else, classic Broadway show tunes! Follow the adventures of this Sarasota native as she reveals her private musings through personal stories and the songs of Rodgers & Hammerstein, Gershwin, Sondheim, and more.


xxJohn Lariviere presents The Sinatra Songbook
Sundays, July 12 and July 19 at 2 p.m.

Cabaret and jazz singer John Lariviere regularly headlines throughout South Florida performing his cabarets and concerts at local theatres and clubs. He has sung live on the radio and on TV, and his voice can be heard in leading roles in the original cast albums of Fun and Games and Die Ammsterdamerung. John has appeared at The Plaza Theater in his sold-out one-man show The Sinatra Songbook.


Dorian and The Furniture
Sunday, July 19 at 8 p.m.
Now a staple of the Summer Cabaret Festival, Venice Theatre’s resident Sound Designer is back for a night of mellow rock ‘n’ roll with The Furniture and friends.


Kristofer Geddie and Michelle Kasanofsky present That Old Black Magic
Friday, July 17 and Saturday, July 18 at 8 p.m.
Venice Theatre favorite Kristofer Geddie (Ragtime, Smokey Joe’s Cafe, Intimate Apparel) brings the influential song and dance men in his life together in one evening of song. Audiences will hear selections that were made popular by entertainment giants such as Sammy Davis, Jr., Ben Vereen, and Bert Williams.


Harry and Lesley Fager present 2 SAXY
Thursdays, July 23 and July 30 at 8 p.m.

Together as a musical duo since the summer of 2010, 2 SAXY has performed at some of the finest restaurants and private clubs throughout Sarasota and Manatee counties. Their music repertoire, with live tenor sax and jazz guitar, includes dozens of favorites from the Great American Songbook as well as more contemporary tunes, sure to please all audiences.


Joey Panek presents Live from Venice, It’s Friday and Saturday Night!
Friday, July 24 and Saturday, July 25 at 8 p.m.
Local celebrity Joey Panek unveils his late-night talk show onstage in Pinky’s Cabaret! Joey – along with his own Ed McMahon, local comedienne Christine Alexander – will interview and performs with a variety of local celebrity guests.


Eric Watters presents 1958
Sunday, July 26 at 2 p.m. and Friday, July 31 at 8 p.m.
Venice song-and-dance man Eric Watters returns with a new selection of songs, fascinating facts, and history — all from 1958! Eric will serenade audiences with hits and enlighten them with stories from that year’s Tony nominees, Top 40 Countdown, and beloved crooners like Ricky Nelson, Pat Boone, Connie Francis, and Perry Como.


Theatre Odyssey presents The Best of the Ten-Minute Play Festival
Tuesdays, July 28 and August 11 at 8 p.m.
Wednesdays, July 29 and August 12 at 8 p.m.

Founded in Sarasota in 2006, Theatre Odyssey provides a nurturing environment to encourage, inspire, and challenge local playwrights and actors. Venice Theatre welcomes them as they bring a selection of ten-minute plays and music to the Summer Cabaret Festival! Marty Fugate of The Observer Group has called their offerings, “warm,” “funny,” “charming,” “poignant,” and “hilarious.”


Bobby Brader presents Bach and Forth
Saturday, August 1 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, August 2 at 2 p.m.
Bobby was an audience favorite last year, bringing down the house with his clever and creative take on Baroque music and beyond. Now living in Seattle, WA to study film scoring at the Seattle Film Institute, Bobby is delighted to be back for this summer’s festival! His musical romp through time will feature countless composers from the distant past to the present day.


Robin Fernandez presents Awaken the Dream
Thursday, August 6 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, August 9 at 2 p.m.

Robin is thrilled to return to Venice Theatre’s third Cabaret Festival with a new inspiring show about following your dreams.  She invites audiences to join her in exploring some of the dreams, schemes, and themes that compel them to wish, hope, and create something new in their lives and the world around them.  “Perhaps this will motivate you to awaken your secret dream and make it come true”, she says.  Her song list will include classic and contemporary selections like “The Impossible Dream,” “When You Wish Upon a Star,” “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” and “Defying Gravity.”


Kitt Moran presents Johnny Mercer: An Intimate Portrait
Friday, August 7 and Saturday, August 8 at 8 p.m.

Kitt details the passionate, heartbreaking, behind-the-scenes love affair between Johnny Mercer and Judy Garland that lasted until Johnny’s death, demonstrating how the affair changed Johnny’s lyric writing.  Her cabaret will include numbers such as “The Days of Wine and Roses,” “Satin Doll,” “That Old Black Magic,” “When October Goes” and many more great songs of Johnny Mercer.


Kim Kollar, Michelle Kasanofsky, and Bobbi Eschenbach present Movie Magic
Thursday, August 13 and Friday, August 14 at 8 p.m.

Kim, Michelle, and Bobbi are back with “reeling” excitement in their brand-new cabaret Movie Magic! All aboard for show-stopping sensations from the beginning of movie musicals to modern movies.


Eli Schildkraut presents Trending
Saturday, August 15 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, August 16 at 2 p.m.

Equipped with the music of famous composers, insightful commentary, and even original songs, student music director Eli Schildkraut and his talented friends return to Venice Theatre to present an entertaining and occasionally hilarious peek at the past, present, and future trends of musical theatre.


Kaitlyn Terpstra presents The Good Life
Thursday, August 20 and Friday, August 28 at 8 p.m.

Kaitlyn grew up performing at Venice Theatre where she developed her passion for the stage.  After wowing audiences last summer with “Smoke and Mirrors,” she’s back with another cabaret in which she’ll be celebrating the good in life with uplifting songs ranging from Broadway to jazz.


Random Acts presents Censory Overload (The Musical)
Friday, August 21 and Saturday, August 29: 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. both nights!
A new installment from the rebels of raunch! Random Acts brings another evening of edgy songs and comedy to Pinky’s Cabaret. How edgy? Audiences should come at 8 p.m. for the PG13 version or at 11 p.m. for the full-out uncensored version. A warning from the director, Kelly Wynn Woodland: “This show contains naughty words, naughty songs, and lots of naughty thoughts–especially the 11:00 show. If you are offended by anything at all, do not attend. You’ll just get huffy!”


Kristofer Geddie and DaNiesha Carr present Laugh ‘Til You Cry
Saturday, August 22 and Thursday, August 27 at 8 p.m.

DaNiesha and Kris take audiences on a journey through the highs and lows of performing in this business called theatre: the good ‘n’ funny, the bad ‘n’ sad, and the hilariously ugly. Sometimes in theatre you have to laugh in order not to cry!


Stephen Ditchfield presents Some Enchanted Evening
Sundays, August 23 and August 30 at 2 p.m.
The best-loved music from the best-loved singers of our time. From Sinatra to Nat King Cole, from Tony Bennett to Michael Buble, from the Broadway stage to the silver screen … it’s the music you love … the way you remember it! Join Stephen Ditchfield for an “enchanted evening” of music presented in his own inimitable style – with warmth, humor, and inspiration!

Tickets: 941-488-1115

Venice Theatre’s mission is making a dramatic impact on all stages of life. The second-largest out of 10,000 community theatres in the United States, it is located at 140 W. Tampa Ave .on the island in Venice, FL. Its MainStage offers seating for 432 patrons and features musicals, plays, concerts and special events.  Its Yvonne Pinkerton Theatre seats 90 patrons and is home to the theatre’s “Generations”, Stage II and Cabaret Series. In addition to providing entertainment to the community, Venice Theatre has a wide range of education and outreach programs for children and adults.

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