FST Kicks Off 2014-15 Cabaret Season with THE PRIMA DONNETTES Tonight
FST's Winter Cabaret season begins with four singing sirens in Dancing in the Street with The Prima Donnettes. Developed by FST Artistic Director Richard Hopkins and Jim Prosser, it will begin in the John C. Court Cabaret tonight, October 22, 2014.
Subscriptions for all three shows can be purchased for as little as $39. Single tickets range from $18-$36. Subscriptions and single tickets may be purchased online at FloridaStudioTheatre.org, by phone at (941) 366-9000, or by visiting the Box Office.
From hula hoops and drive-ins to the fight for equal rights, The Prima Donnettes perform songs from dynamic 50s girl groups like The Chiffons and The Chordettes and empowering artists of the 70s such as Aretha Franklin and Cher. The Prima Donnettes are back to feature a soundtrack for the hopes and dreams of women everywhere with songs such as "Chapel of Love," "Delta Dawn," and "I Will Survive."
Artistic Director Richard Hopkins explains the draw of this style of music stating, "The music of Prima Donnettes is popular with a wide majority of people these days. Baby boomers grew up with it. Their parents yelled at them to 'turn that noise off!' Now, they have grown to love it themselves. Today's Millennials, with their open minded approach to all that life has to offer have rediscovered this music and enjoy it as much as their parents. It's the root of rock and roll."
After decades on the radio waves, these songs still carry with them the reminder to celebrate love, life, and the golden moments that remain with us forever. These dynamic women perform the songs that defined a generation and infused popular music with infectious dance grooves and rapturous rhythms.
Directing and choreographing this musical journey is Dennis Courtney. This is Courtney's 27th show with FST. Also returning to FST is the powerhouse performer, Jannie Jones. With previous FST credits including His Eye Is On The Sparrow, By Gershwin, and last season's The Prima Donnettes, this Broadway veteran is back to wow Sarasota once again. An audience favorite, Jones is known for her Aretha-style vocals and captivating stage presence. She is the truest definition of a Prima Donnette.
Courtney speaks to his return to Sarasota, "I am extremely pleased and honored to return to Florida Studio Theatre to direct Dancing in the Street with The Prima Donnettes. Last season's production of The Prima Donnettes was such a joy for me and I know that celebrating the music and era of the girl groups will once again touch the minds, hearts, and souls of the audience. The girl groups and the women who shared their stories with us through song continue to be loved by audiences today. This will certainly be a labor of love for us all."
Making their FST debut are new company members Lauren Elaine Taylor, Courtney Stokes, and Melissa Robinette. Lauren Elaine Taylor's previous credits include Betty Rizzo in the 2010-11 Grease National Tour and Harmony at Alliance Theatre. Among Courtney Stokes past productions are The Secret Garden at TheatreWorks and Avenue Q at Mason Street Warehouse. Melissa Robinette is certainly no stranger to the life of a performer. Robinette hails from a true circus family complete with a show girl, an ariel star, a horn player, and even a clown.
Robinette speaks to the thrill of joining the Prima Donnettes stating, "I have been singing this music my entire professional career. These decades of music are incredible because it's 2014 and they are still household songs that everyone knows. This music is a package deal: great lyrics that tell stories, fabulous harmonies, and the best hooks around. Not to mention how relatable all the stories of the songs are then and today. I have a deep love for how every song just makes you want to bop along in your chair. It's by far the best time period for pop music."
Dancing in the Street with The Prima Donnettes begins in the John C. Court Cabaret on Wednesday, October 22, 2014. Subscriptions for all three shows can be purchased for as little as $39. Single tickets range from $18-$36. Subscriptions and single tickets may be purchased online at FloridaStudioTheatre.org, by phone at (941) 366-9000 or by visiting the Box Office.
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 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 five theatre venues: the Keating Theatre, the Gompertz Theatre, the Goldstein Cabaret, the 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. 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.