Florida Studio Theater Celebrates The Music Of The Movies With REEL MUSIC

Featuring classics like “Singin' in the Rain,” “Circle of Life,” and “My Heart Will Go On,” this new Cabaret traces the evolution of film over the past one hundred years.

By: Jan. 25, 2023
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Florida Studio Theatre presents the original music revue, Reel Music, celebrating the movies that helped create the soundtrack to the last century. Featuring classics like "Singin' in the Rain," "Circle of Life," and "My Heart Will Go On," this new Cabaret traces how films-and the music highlighted in them-have evolved over the past one hundred years.

Created by Richard Hopkins, Rebecca Hopkins, and Sarah Durham with musical arrangements by Jim Prosser, Reel Music begins playing February 15, 2023, in FST's Court Cabaret. Single tickets for Reel Music range between $18-39 and are now on sale at FloridaStudioTheatre.org or at 941.366.9000.

"In a way, this show reveals the history of America," says Richard Hopkins, one of the developers of Reel Music and FST's Producing Artistic Director. "By looking at the music featured in American movies, starting in the early 20th century to the present, we can see how the songs captured the shifting moods of our country in both dramatic and subtle ways."

From the movie musicals of The Great Depression to the coming-of-age films of the '80s, Reel Music features the songs that have touched people's hearts and permeated American culture.

Directing Reel Music is FST Associate Artist Catherine Randazzo, who has directed over a dozen FST original music revues, including this season's The '70s: More Than A Decade and A Place in the Sun: A Tribute to Stevie Wonder. Darren Server, who is back at FST for his seventh season, serves as the show's Music Director.

Liz Power returns to FST after last appearing in the theatre's hit Mainstage production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (2019). Power performed in the first edition of Reel Music (2012) and is looking forward to coming back to the Court Cabaret stage in this season's new version of the music revue.

"Reel Music was my very first Cabaret at FST, and even though I have done three more Cabarets since then, Reel Music has always been my favorite," said Power. "It connected with the audience in a very organic, authentic way. These are songs that can transport people back to a certain time or memory, and I'm sure the new version will do the same."

Joining Power onstage are Michael Mendez (FST Debut), Joel Newsome (Over the Rainbow, All Night Strut at FST), and Alexis Semevolos-Velazquez (FST Debut). FST's Resident Pianist, Jim Prosser, will provide musical accompaniment on stage.

Mendez is a Sarasota resident who has performed in numerous productions at Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, including In the Heights (2017) and Little Shop of Horrors (2015). Newsome was part of the Tony Award-winning Broadway productions of The Producers and 42nd Street as well as the first national tours of Billy Elliot, Something Rotten!, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Semevolos-Velazquez has performed in several regional productions of popular musicals, such as On Your Feet, Cabaret, Grease, and West Side Story.

The production's creative team includes Alex E. Price (Scenic Design), April Andrew Carswell (Costume Design), Andrew Gray (Lighting Design), and Thom Korp (Sound Design).

FST's production of Reel Music is sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, and the National Endowment for the Arts. The production is also supported by Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Sarasota County Tourist Development Tax Revenues, the Shubert Foundation, and The Exchange. Special thanks to our media sponsor, SRQ Magazine.

Florida Studio Theatre (FST) is Sarasota's contemporary theatre. Founded in 1973, FST has grown to a village of five theatres located in the heart of downtown Sarasota. Each theatre is small in size and large in impact- providing intimate and engaging settings for high-quality, professional performances.

Today, FST has established itself as a major force in American Theatre. FST is the largest subscription theatre in the state of Florida and among the largest in the country, serving more than 200,000 live attendees each year across its diverse programs: Mainstage, Cabaret, Stage III, Children's Theatre, The FST School, New Play Development, and FST Improv.

Even with its growth, Florida Studio Theatre remains firmly committed to making the arts accessible and affordable to as many people as possible. Under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Richard Hopkins, FST develops theatre that speaks to our living, evolving, and dynamically changing world. Hip and historical, entertaining and challenging, we are where everyone is welcome to engage in the art of theatre.