Florida Studio Theatre Reveals Summer Season Lineup

Learn more about the season here!

By: May. 02, 2023
Florida Studio Theatre Reveals Summer Season Lineup

Florida Studio Theatre has announced the lineup for its 2023 Summer Season, featuring a three-show Mainstage Series and a three-show Cabaret Series.

The Mainstage Series includes the comedic whodunit, Shear Madness; the uplifting drama, Black Pearl Sings!; and Ken Ludwig's A Comedy of Tenors, a fast-paced comedy. The Cabaret Series features some of the country's top Cabaret artists celebrating the soaring harmonies of The Beach Boys, great contemporary female vocalists like Aretha Franklin and Celine Dion, and Creedence Clearwater Revival's songbook. A complete season schedule at a glance follows this release.

"This Summer Season, we want to 'brighten and lighten your days!'" said Richard Hopkins, FST's Producing Artistic Director. "On the Mainstage, we are presenting plays full of humor, heart, and humanity. From the popular whodunit, Shear Madness, to the compelling Black Pearl Sings!, and the energetically funny A Comedy of Tenors, we will bring you a summer of plays filled with all that is good and true and honest in the American Theatre. And in the Cabaret, we will bring you words and music from some of the best lyric poets of our age."

Shear Madness, the longest running play in American history, kicks off FST's Mainstage Series on May 31 in FST's Gompertz Theatre. By Paul Pörtner, Shear Madness is a comedic murder mystery that gets the audience directly involved in solving the crime. In the play, the old lady living above a local hair salon is killed under strange circumstances. Two police officers work with the audience to spot the clues, question the suspects, and determine the identity of the killer. Called "Downright hilarious" by Huffington Post, Shear Madness has been seen by over 12.5 million people worldwide.

"It's a delightful comedy, and a wonderful, heartwarming piece of theatre," said Hopkins. "When we produced the show over a decade ago, it was a huge hit! I always knew that I wanted to present the show again. The question was just when."

Next on the Mainstage is Black Pearl Sings! by Frank Higgins, a stirring drama about two women from different backgrounds who are brought together by the power of music. Set during The Great Depression, Black Pearl Sings! follows Susannah, an ambitious Library of Congress musicologist determined to record undocumented slave songs, and Pearl, a Black American woman with a soulful voice, a steely spirit, and a prison sentence. Pearl's memory is a treasure trove of songs from her ancestors, but can she share these beloved songs without giving up something of herself? Called "Remarkable" and "Compelling" by Chicago Tribune, Black Pearl Sings! will begin playing June 28 in FST's Keating Theatre.

"Music is the most powerful mood elevator on earth," said playwright Frank Higgins. "Sometimes we don't feel that we completely know a person until we know the music they like. If we can know and appreciate the music of someone from a completely different background, maybe that's the first step in getting closer to understanding."

FST's Summer Mainstage Series comes to a close with Ken Ludwig's A Comedy of Tenors, a boisterous comedy featuring mistaken identities, absurd situations, witty one-liners, and unexpected surprises. It's 1930s Paris, and the stage is set for the concert of the century-as long as producer Henry Saunders can keep Italian superstar Tito Merelli and his hot-blooded wife from causing utter chaos. Called "Astoundingly good" and "Glorious" by DC Theatre Scene, A Comedy of Tenors begins playing August 2 in FST's Gompertz Theatre.

In the Cabaret, FST will present The Surfer Boys, a spirited tribute to the band credited for creating pop music's iconic "California sound." In this lively music revue, four Broadway veterans bring The Beach Boys' biggest hits to life with classics like "California Girls," "Good Vibrations," "Barbara Ann," and "Surfin' USA." Filled with the honey-tinged harmonies and unforgettable melodies that defined 1960s California and pop music, The Surfer Boys will begin playing in FST's Goldstein Cabaret on June 13.

"I created this show after performing our hit Frankie Valli tribute show for roughly seven years," said the show's creator, Brian Noonan. "We wanted to start encompassing other genres and influential bands into our show, and almost instantly, our creative team suggested The Beach Boys. We knew how intricate and difficult it would be to pull off such a task, given the incredible talents of Brian Wilson and the rest of the band, but at the end of the day, we all decided that we were up to the challenge."

Next up is Divas Three, a celebration of the artists whose musical impact earned them the coveted title of "Diva." In this dazzling Cabaret, three powerhouse female vocalists deliver the biggest hits by some of music's most influential women, such as Aretha Franklin, Carole King, Celine Dion, and Whitney Houston. Featuring classics like "We Are Family," "Stop! In the Name of Love," "Total Eclipse of the Heart," and "It's Raining Men," Divas Three begins playing in FST's Court Cabaret on July 11.

FST's Summer Cabaret Series culminates with Creedence Clearwater Remixed!, a new music revue following a group of four friends on a musical journey through the songbook of Creedence Clearwater Revival. Featuring hit songs like "Proud Mary," "Fortunate Son," "Bad Moon Rising," and "Have You Ever Seen the Rain?," this rousing revue celebrates music's pioneers of country rock. Created by Vaden Thurgood, Creedence Clearwater Remixed! will begin playing in FST's Goldstein Cabaret on August 22, 2023.

With its mission to make theatre accessible to as many people as possible, FST offers all three Summer Mainstage productions or all three Summer Cabaret shows for as little as $49. Subscriptions are now on sale at FloridaStudioTheatre.org or at 941.366.9000.