David S. Howard to Star in Florida Studio Theatre's THE LAST ROMANCE
Florida Studio Theatre (FST) has announced the cast & creative team for The Last Romance by Joe DiPietro, beginning December 7. Directed by Drama Desk Award winner Russell Treyz, The Last Romance will run in the Gompertz Theatre (located at 1247 1st Street, Sarasota, FL) through February 11. Opening night is Friday, December 9 at 8pm. Tickets can be purchased online at www.FloridaStudioTheatre.org, by phone at (941) 366-9000 or by visiting the Box Office.
On an ordinary day in a routine life, an 80-year-old widower named Ralph decides to take a different path on his daily walk - one that leads him on an unexpected journey toward new love. The Last Romance is a heart-warming comedy about the power of love, one that leads to second chances and new romances. This play shows that no matter what age you fall in love, it’s still a story of boy meets girl.
The Last Romance is a simple, yet beautiful story about finding love late in life. Set in the lush fall of New England, the story is told mostly in a dog park (featuring a real dog!) with flashbacks to the elegant 1940s and 50s with a Young Ralph singing opera arias, from Mozart to Verdi. Director Russell Treyz says, “It’s a gorgeous little play that has so much to say about an older person living their life to the fullest. When I first read the play, I laughed, I cried, and I knew I had to direct this play. Joe DiPietro writes human characters, and this play seems as if it was really written for the Sarasota audience.”
In addition to David S. Howard as Rafeal Bellini (you can call him Ralph), the cast contains Broadway Actress Barbara Broughton as the reticent Carol, Returning FST Favorite Marina Re as Ralph’s over-protective sister Rose, and Opera Singer DANE REESE as The Young Man.
The creative team includes APRIL SOROKO (Costume and Set Design) and Robert Perry (Lighting Design).
Playwright Joe DiPietro recently won two Tony Awards for co-writing Memphis, which also received the 2010 Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Musical. His other plays and musicals include, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (which has had two successful productions at FST), Over the River and Through the Woods (produced at FST in 19**), The Toxic Avenger and The Thing About Men (both winners of the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off Broadway musical), and the Broadway musical, All Shook Up. DiPietro is currently working on a new Gershwin musical, Nice Work If You Can Get It, which will head to Broadway in the spring starring Matthew Broderick. His work has received thousands of productions across the country and around the world.
David S. Howard is an established local actor, having spent many seasons at Florida Repertory Theatre and Asolo Repertory Theatre. His Broadway roles include Nat in I’m Not Rappaport. He performed in Sam Waterston’s Hamlet at Lincoln Center. On film, Mr. Howard was featured as Anthony Hopkins’ friend Eddie Sloane in Meet Joe Black; Robin Williams’ doctor in Woody Allen’s Deconstructing Harry; Doctor Kramer, The Substance of Fire; Irv, Moonstruck; Davis, No Way Home; and Sol Rosenthal in Woody Allen’s Crimes and Misdemeanors. MFA, Brandeis University, guest artist and acting teacher there 1967 to 1975.
Barbara Broughton makes her FST debut in the role of Carol. MS. Broughton has thrilled audiences on and off-Broadway in such productions as Sunday in the Park with George, A Little Night Music, Les Liasons Dangereuses and Company.
Marina Re returns to FST after last appearing in Our Son’s Wedding last July. Other FST credits include Boleros for the Disenchanted and The Miamians. Off-Broadway: HB Playwrights, Bleecker Street, American Globe, West End, The Flea, Kraine. Regional: National Theatre of the Deaf, Huntington, Merrimack Repertory, Two River, CenterStage, Connecticut Rep, Gloucester Stage, Charles Playhouse, Seven Angels, Vineyard Playhouse, Lyric Stage, Jewish Theatre.
DANE REESE is making his FST debut. He is an opera singer who has been seen at Opera Manhattan Repertory, Tuscia Opera Festival in Italy, Dicapo Opera Theater, Bronx Opera Company, and Seagle Music Company. He has also performed regionally in musicals like How to Succeed in Business..., South Pacific, Robber Bridegroom, and Little Shop of Horrors.
As author/director, Russell Treyz collaborated with the late songwriter Harry Chapin on the Broadway musical Cotton Patch Gospel, published by Dramatic Publishing in 1982, in which he won a Drama Desk award for best direction. He returns to FST after directing Around the World in 80 Days and Measure for Pleasure. He has also directed at Orlando Shakespeare Festival for productions of Around the World in 80 Days; Twelfth Night; Henry IV, Part I; Othello; As You Like It; Julius Caesar and Hamlet. He directed King John at the Utah Shakespearean Festival, 1776 at the Porthouse Theatre in Kent, Ohio, Brighton Beach Memoirs at Connecticut College and Much Ado About Nothing at West End Theatre in New York City, among many others. Also in New York, he has directed at American Place Theater, Playwrights Horizons and La Mama Etc. His extensive regional credits include Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Godspeed Opera and Actors Theatre of Louisville. A graduate of Princeton and Yale School of Drama.
All 4 shows of the Mainstage Season – Next to Normal, The Last Romance, Next Fall and Jericho – will be presented at both FST’s Keating Theatre and Gompertz Theatre. Single tickets range from $19-$40 for regular performances. A subscription to all 4 plays of the Mainstage Season ranges from $39-$61. Both subscription tickets and single tickets may be purchased from the FST Box Office in person or by calling (941) 366-9000 or online at