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Laughing Matters Brings The Laughs With 'Unconditional Surrender'


FST opens the fourth edition of the political and comedic satire on April 1

(Photo By Amy Steinmetz)

Laughing Matters, the ultimate hit of the Goldstein Cabaret, is back and bigger than ever.
Laughing Matters: Unconditional Surrender will parody national and local topics. From the new city commission to the new roundabouts, there's always something happening in Sarasota that we can all collectively laugh at. The show will have preview performances on March 30 and 31, with opening night on Friday, April 1.

This is the fourth installment of Laughing Matters, first done during the 2001-2002 Season then again during the 2006-2007 Season and 2008-2009 Season. Each time the name changes, as does the subject matter.

"What keeps me coming back to Laughing Matters each time, is that it never gets old and always keeps me challenged as a writer," said Head Writer and Creator Rebecca Langford, also FST's Managing Director. "It truly is a celebration of how nuts everyone is, rather than a skewery of current topics and issues. No matter what your political or social belief, we're all a little crazy."

Laughing Matters: Unconditional Surrender was created and written by Rebecca Langford, with additional writing by Stephen DeGhelder, Jim Prosser, W. Joseph Matheson and Adam Ratner.
The cast reunites three actors from the Laughing Matters series, Jamie Day, Richie McCall, and
Stephen Hope, who all appeared together in Laughing Matters ‘09, with newcomer Gavin Esham joining the cast. New York Actress Jamie Day returns from appearing in Laughing Matters ‘09 and Laughing Matters...Too in 2007. Her credits include Off-Broadway and National Tours: Debbie Does Dallas (Debbie Benton), Dorian-The Musical (Gwen Lord), Leave it To Me (Dolly Winslow), Grease (Marty) and Jolson: The Musical (Sophie). Broadway Actor Richie McCall also returns after appearing in Laughing Matters ‘09. McCall performed in the Broadway production and the National Tour of Showboat. Also returning is Broadway Actor Stephen Hope, who will also serve as the choreographer for the piece. Hope returns to FST, having most recently starred in last season's The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee as Vice Principal Panch. He also worked on several FST productions including A Murder, A Mystery and A Marriage, Steppin' Out, Laughing Matters...Too and Laughing Matters ‘09. On Broadway, Hope has performed in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and The Scarlet Pimpernel. Rounding out the cast is New York Actor Gavin Esham, who is new to Florida Studio Theatre. He appeared in the pre-Broadway run of Ragtime at the Kennedy Center, and in several off-Broadway productions including Primrose and Naked Boys Singing.

The production is directed by Artistic Director Richard Hopkins. Hopkins' many directing credits include: Race, Ruined, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Metamorphoses, The Bully Pulpit, God's Man in Texas, Hysteria, Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde, 2: Goering at Nuremberg, Six Degrees of Separation, Execution of Justice, Death by Misadventure, Hi-Hat-Hattie, Invictus, Agnes of God, Beyond Therapy, True West, La Ronde, Betrayal, and numerous other plays and Cabaret projects including Sophie Tucker, Inspired Lunacy, Shakespeare's Greatest Hits, Over the Rainbow, Permanent Collection, Laughing Matters...Too, and Laughing Matters ‘09.
Joining Hopkins are Music Director John Franceschina, Choreographer Stephen Hope, Lighting Designer Michael Jackson, Sound Engineer John Valines and Marcella Beckwith as Costume and Scenic Designer.

The comical Laughing Matters: Unconditional Surrender continues through June 19, 2011 at the Goldstein Cabaret. Tickets are $24 - $29 and may be purchased from the FST Box Office in person, by phone (941) 366 - 9000 or online at


From This Author - Beau Higgins