FST Presents THE LEGEND OF GEORGIA MCBRIDE

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Florida Studio Theatre (FST) presents The Legend of Georgia McBride, a heartfelt, music-filled play by Obie Award-winning playwright Matthew Lopez. Called "A stitch-in-your-side funny new comedy" by The New York Times and "Incredibly entertaining" by Broadway World, The Legend of Georgia McBride is a regional theatre favorite that celebrates self-expression, individuality, and diversity. A New York Times Critics Pick, The Legend of Georgia McBride will run in FST's Gompertz Theatre starting April 1. Tickets range from $29-39 and are now on sale at (941) 366-9000 or floridastudiotheatre.org.

"The Legend of Georgia McBride is an insightful comedy that helps us better understand the world we live in," said Richard Hopkins, FST's Producing Artistic Director. "It is about accepting 'The Other.' There is a great joy in meeting and learning about people who are different and considered to be outside 'the norm.'"

In Lopez's charming comedy, a young Elvis impersonator named Casey is struggling to make ends meet-he can't pay his rent, and he just found out that his wife, Jo, is pregnant. Casey's situation becomes more serious when he is fired from his job performing at a run-down, small-town Florida bar. Eddie, the bar owner, has brought in Miss Tracy Mills and her B-level drag show to replace Casey's Elvis act in hopes it will help his struggling business. When Miss Mills' co-star, Rexy, is unable to perform at the last minute, Casey steps in, and realizes he has a lot to learn about show business-and himself.

"The Legend of Georgia McBride is about becoming who we are in a joyful way," said Kate Alexander, the show's Director. "In a world where people often feel threatened by those who are different, this play celebrates our differences and reminds us that we don't have to change who we are. In fact, we can all learn from each other."

Playwright Matthew Lopez started envisioning the play when he heard a playlist that was created for a friend's boyfriend who was exploring drag as a performance art. "I was attracted to the notion of a straight man exploring drag," said Lopez in an interview with Los Angeles Blade. "That's where I got the idea of telling the story of this down-on-his-luck straight guy who is an aspiring Elvis impersonator, who has definitely got performing in his blood, but who is not yet fully actualized as an artist or a person."

Stanley Martin (FST Debut), Sam Mossler (Kunstler, The Nether) Jayson Speters (FST Debut), Kraig Swartz (FST Debut), and Tatiana Williams (FST Debut) will bring this quirky comedy to life. Martin plays Rexy, a drag queen who craves attention, as well as Casey and Jo's landlord, Jason. Martin was part of the original Broadway cast of Aladdin and performed in the international tour of West Side Story. The Legend of Georgia McBride marks Mossler's sixth production at FST, in which he plays Eddie, a Florida bar owner whose business starts to boom after he hires Miss Tracy Mills.

Speters played Casey in The Guthrie's production of Georgia McBride, and has performed at other regional theatres across the country, such as the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Actors Theatre of Louisville, and Two River Theatre. Swartz returns to the role of Miss Tracy Mills after starring in Marin Theatre Company's and Vermont Stage's productions of Lopez's popular comedy. Swartz has also been featured in Off-Broadway productions of A Picture of Autumn, The Voysey Inheritance, Jungle Book, and So Help Me God. Williams-who plays Casey's wife Jo-most recently performed in Wooly Mammoth's production of BLKS. Williams has also been featured in Smart People (Denver Center for the Performing Arts), The Royal Family (The Guthrie), and Girl Shakes Loose (Penumbra Theatre).

Walk a Mile in My Heels, a special panel discussion with the cast of The Legend of Georgia McBride, will take place on April 14 at 5PM in FST's Bowne's Lab Theatre. This event is free and open to the public, but reservations are required. Reservations can be made at floridastudiotheatre.org, by phone at (941) 366-9000, or by visiting the FST Box Office.

The Legend of Georgia McBride concludes FST's 46th Winter Mainstage Season, and begins playing April 1 in FST's Gompertz Theatre. Tickets can be purchased at (941) 366-9000 or at floridastudiotheatre.org.


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