(Sarasota, FL) — FST pays tribute to America’s original entertainment in its third Cabaret show, Never Marry A Girl With Cold Feet: and other life lessons from Vaudeville. Developed by Richard Hopkins, Rebecca Hopkins, and Jim Prosser, it begins in the John C. Court Cabaret on Wednesday, February 18, 2015. Single tickets range from $18-39 and may be purchased online at floridastudiotheatre.org or by phone at 941-366-9000.
At its peak in the 20s over two million people saw Vaudeville shows every day. FST celebrates the greatest musical artists such as Fanny Brice, George M. Cohen, Jerome Kern, and Al Jolson. Featuring irreverent humor and unforgettable melodies like “Alexander’s Ragtime Band,” “Birth of the Blues,” “Give My Regards to Broadway,” and “Nobody.”
What exactly is Vaudeville? Richard Hopkins, FST’s Artistic Director and the Director of this production explains. “Vaudeville is the foundation for today’s radio, and television. It was the popular entertainment of the day and included everything from low-brow to high-brow offerings. Vaudeville was basically known as a variety show with everything from dog acts to high end intellectual speeches or Shakespearean monologues. Our production will focus on a taste of the best songs to pass through the Vaudeville stages during its heyday – songs by the great songwriters of the day.”
Known for his cheeky charisma and humble humor is returning FST company member, Gary Marachek. Not Marachek’s first venture into the eclectic Vaudeville world, he brings with him the experience of studying with some of the finest in American comedy. “I’ve studied and worked for years with some of the best like Martha Raye and Bob Hope – Vaudeville veterans themselves,” said Marachek. “I’ve made a good living in show business for the last 37 years. I’ve been a full-time singer and comedian, learning mostly from my instincts and from among the best comedians that ever graced the stage.”
lso returning to FST is Richie McCall and Eric Collins. McCall’s previous FST credits include The Flipside, Harry Who, and Laughing Matters. Collins’ previous credits include Hula Hoop Sha Boop, The Wanderers, Let’s Twist Again With The Wanderers, and That’s Life. Making her FST debut is new company member Ali Reed. Among Reed’s past productions include Ragtime, Reefer Madness, and Leave it to Jane. She has also previously performed with the Upright Citizens Brigade.
Reed shares a personal connection to the great Fanny Brice. “I’m excited to connect to an art form that has directly affected what I enjoy performing now and paved the way. It’s also exciting as a woman to embrace some of Fanny Brice’s material – a woman who made no apologies for herself as an artist and changed a lot of people’s minds.“
Hopkins reflects on this endearingly eccentric and inventive theatre genre and the time in which it was born. “It was a time of innocence, an almost childlike innocence that is nearly incomprehensible to us today. That innocence was matched by intellectual curiosity.”
FST’s third Cabaret show of the season gives audiences a glimpse into the Vaudevillian life.
The story, the music, and of course the comedy of this fascinating time period create the framework for this production celebrating America’s true original entertainment.
Never Marry A Girl With Cold Feet: and other life lessons from Vaudeville begins in the John C. Court Cabaret on Wednesday, February 18, 2015. Single tickets range from $18-39 and may be purchased online at floridastudiotheatre.org or by phone at 941-366-9000.
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.
CABARET: A HISTORY
It began in Paris on November 18, 1881, the year in which the first and most famous cabaret the Chat Noir (Black Cat), was established. If something caught on in Paris, the immense reputation of the city as the source of fashion and innovation insured its rapid diffusion across the Continent and beyond. Besides giving rise to many cabarets in Paris itself, in its own time and after it became history, the Chat Noir also inspired the introduction of cabaret in major cities throughout Europe in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In the beginning, cabaret arose as an informal grouping of artists – painters, poets, musicians, and theatre people – who felt the need to come together. It was intended as something essentially private. From 1881 to 1917, audiences were made up predominantly of artists, their friends, and a variety of cultural fellow-travelers. In post-World War I Europe, the cabaret ceased to be a novelty and by and large fulfilled its function as a locus of an emerging avant-garde. Cabarets became places of entertainment; their facilities were expanded and enhanced, their doors thrown open to the public. When developing FST’s Cabaret we took the diverse and rich history of the form to create the atmosphere you see today. Set in a turn-of-the-century Parisian Café and offering fresh baked food, the Cabaret is an intimate space for an intimate form of entertainment.
–Turn-Of-The-Century Cabaret, by Harold B. Segel
HAIRSPRAY – November 12 – January 11
DANCING LESSONS – December 10 – February 27
FLY – February 4 – April 4
CHAPATTI – April 8 – May 30
WITH THE PRIMA DONNETTES – October 22 – February 5
AMERICAN PIE – December 31 – April 23
AND OTHER LIFE LESSONS FROM VAUDEVILLE – February 18 – June 7
OUT OF BOUNDS MATCH UP – October 18 – January 3
WRITE A PLAY
RAP-Punzel – September 23 – November 14