Florida Studio Theatre Extends LET'S TWIST AGAIN: WITH THE WANDERERS and SMOKEY JOE'S CAFE

Florida Studio Theatre Extends LET'S TWIST AGAIN: WITH THE WANDERERS and SMOKEY JOE'S CAFE

By popular demand, Florida Studio Theatre has extended the run of the hit show Let's Twist Again: with the Wanderers, the ‘50s & ‘60s style musical revue, and Smokey Joe's Café, featuring music by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller.

Additional Performances of Let's Twist Again: with the Wanders are on Tuesday, January 15 at 6 pm; Wednesday, January 16 at 7:30 pm; Thursday, January 17 at 7:30 pm; Friday, January 18 at 6 pm & 9 pm; Saturday, January 19 at 6 pm; and Sunday, January 20 at 2pm & 7:30 pm.

Let's Twist Again: with the Wanderers, developed by Richard Hopkins and Jim Prosser with additional assistance from Rebecca Hopkins, features an all-male cast of performers who sing, dance and doo-wop their way through a multitude of popular songs. It features "At the Hop," "Barbara Ann," "Do You Believe in Magic," "At Last" and many more of pop's greatest hits.

The cast includes returning Florida Studio Theatre actor Eric Collins, as well as some new faces. Eric is reprising his role from the 2010 production of The Wanderers. He was previously seen on the FST stage in Hula Hoop Sha-Boop and That's Life. Joining the cast are José Restrepo, a Broadway actor who appeared in Grease, Evita and Skippyjon Jones; Brett Rigby who has appeared in numerous New York, regional and national shows and a two-year run on Guiding Light; and Teddy Tinson, a New York-based actor and fashion designer/stylist.

Musical Director John Franceschina also returns after having worked on numerous FST productions over the years. Franceschina has accompanied Judy Garland, Angela Lansbury, Nell Carter, Jan Peerce, Robert Merrill, Lotte Lenya, Paige O'Hara, Chita Rivera and Gwen Verdon, and has conducted dozens of off-Broadway shows and national tours. Pianist Jim Prosser returns to the Cabaret for his 16th season, returning Choreographer Stephen Hope gets the boys moving, and Lighting Designer Kate DeWall joins the production team along with Costume Designer Susan Angermann and Sound Engineer Ryan Kilcourse.

Let's Twist Again: with the Wanderers will continue to be performed in the Goldstein Cabaret through January 20, 2013. The Cabaret opens one hour before curtain for dining, where patrons may enjoy a full dinner menu and bar. Single tickets are $19 - $36 and may be purchased from the FST Box Office in person or by calling 941-366-9000 or visiting www.FloridaStudioTheatre.org.

Additional performances of Smokey Joe's Cafe are on Tuesday, January 8 at 8PM; Wednesday, January 9 at 8PM; Thursday, January 10 at 8PM; Friday, January 11 at 8PM; and Saturday, January 12 at 2PM & 8PM.

Smokey Joe's Café opened to an electric audience on Friday, November 2 in the Keating Theatre at FST (located at 1241 North Palm Avenue, Sarasota FL). Smokey Joe's Café features music by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller and brings together songs that helped change the face of the American music scene. The show – which ran for over 2000 performances on Broadway – features 39 songs by the prolific songwriting pair. The music contained in this swinging revue crosses tones as well as genres. Expect infectious melodies, romantic ballads, swinging dance numbers and soulful tunes - spanning styles such as R&B, Soul, Country, and Rock & Roll. Audiences have been humming along to classic favorites such as "Hound Dog," "Stand By Me," "There Goes My Baby" and "Love Potion #9."

The show is directed by returning FST artist Kevyn Morrow. Mr. Morrow has appeared in the Broadway productions of A Chorus Line, Dreamgirls, The Scarlet Pimpernel and Dream, as well as numerous international and regional theatre, film and television credits. He also appeared in the Broadway production of Smokey Joe's Café, providing him with deep insight and familiarity to the show.

The cast includes returning Florida Studio Theatre favorite Arthur W. Marks, as well as many new faces. New York actor Arthur W. Marks returns to FST after his appearances in That's Life (where he earned raves for his performance of the song "Mr. Bojangles") and That's Life, Again. His Off-Broadway credits include Sidd at Dodger Stages and The Screams of Kitty Genovese among others. His regional credits include Honk, Aida, Chicago and Songs for a New World.

Jason Veasey has previously appeared onscreen in American Gangster, as well as in the National tour of The Lion King. James Harkness has appeared on Broadway in such shows as The Color Purple, Guys and Dolls and Dreamgirls. Devin Roberts is a New York-based actor who has appeared on TV's Smash. Thomas Rainey is an actor who has worked on Disney Cruises, among other credits. Brittany Avey has appeared in regional productions of A Chorus Line, Hair, Ragtime and many other shows. Karen Burthwright appeared in Jesus Christ Superstar on Broadway, as well as in various regional productions, national tours, film and television. LiAnne Marie Dobbs has most recently appeared in the National tour of Irving Berlin's White Christmas and in an Off-Broadway production of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Allyson Kay Daniel is also a veteran of Disney Cruises.

Smokey Joes Café Musical Director Corinne Aquilina worked on National tours and Broadway shows including Menopause The Musical, as well as FST's own 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. April Soroko returns as Scenic Designer. Jeffrey Cady is back as Lighting Director along with Lynda Salsbury as Costume Designer. The band features David Nelson on synth/piano and Tony Bruno on drums, as well as other musicians to be named later.

Smokey Joe's Café will continue to be performed in the Keating Theatre through January 12, 2013. Single tickets are $19 - $42 and may be purchased from the FST Box Office in person, by calling 941-366-9000, or visiting www.FloridaStudioTheatre.org.

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 eventually settled down into a permanent home, acquiring the former Woman's Club building – now 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 four theatre venues: the Keating Theatre, the Goldstein Cabaret, the Gompertz Theatre and the John C. Court Cabaret.

Even with its growth, Florida Studio Theatre remains firmly committed to making the arts accessible and affordable to a broad-based audience. Under Richard Hopkins, Artistic Director and CEO, 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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