As at least nine major arts groups plan to enact new health and safety protocols this coming season for indoor performances, Florida Studio Theatre (one of those participating) has also announced just what those performances will be.
The theater will, as usual in the past, present a four-show Mainstage Series and a three-show Cabaret Series. The mainstage kicks off Nov. 3 (to run through Jan. 2, 2022) in the Gompertz Theatre with Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story, which was originally planned for production this past summer. Now the show chronicling the late great rocker’s all-too brief life will come to the stage with more than a dozen of his hits included. All eight of the actors in the show will play their own instruments.
Next up is the world premiere of a show FST commissioned in 2020, America in One Room, by Emmy nominee Jason Odell Williams. A comedy that follows eight strangers who are attending a convention touching on hot button topics from immigration to foreign policy, America in One Room asks the question: What does it mean to be an American? That play runs Dec. 8 through Feb. 27, 2022, in the Keating Theatre.
Next up, expect plenty of laughter from the Olivier Award-winning show The Play That Goes Wrong, by Henry Lewis, Henry Shields and Jonathan Sayer. A play-within-a-play format features a group of thespians struggling to make it through the opening night of a 1920s murder mystery where, indeed, everything goes wrong. That will be onstage in the Gompertz Theatre beginning Jan. 19, 2022, and continuing through March 13.
The Legend of Georgie McBride, another show that was planned to run previously but could not because of Covid-19, will open March 30 and run through May 22 in the Gompertz. It’s by Obie Award-winning playwright Matthew Lopez (The Inheritance) and centers on an Elvis impersonator who loses his job with the arrival of a B-level drag show. FST says the play celebrates “positivity and individuality.”
The company’s cabaret series opens with a reprise of FST’s 2011 musical revue The Wanderers, paying tribute to the harmony groups of the 1950s and the 1960s bands they helped inspire. With hits like “At the Hop” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You,” The Wanderers runs in the Court Cabaret Sept. 29 through Feb. 6.
FST skews a little bit country next, with the new original revue Friends in Low Places, highlighting the sounds of artists like Garth Books and Miranda Lambert. The show begins its run Nov. 17 in the Goldstein Cabaret and continues through March 27.
The cabaret season will close with a freshly updated production of Laughing Matters, a musical sketch comedy show that delivers Sarasota-specific laughs on matters from downtown parking to politics to plastic surgery. Onstage Feb. 9 through June 19 in the Court Cabaret.
And, not to overlook younger audiences, FST has also made plans for its Children’s Theatre Series, which will include an all-new adaptation of Cinderella (starting Oct. 8 in the Keating), the holiday-themed Deck the Halls (starting Nov. 27 in Bowne’s Lab), Hare & Tortoise, a retelling of a classic Aesop fable (in Bowne’s Lab starting Jan. 8); and, finally, The Grandma That Eats Everything & Other Winning Plays, award-winning works written by elementary school students from around the world in the 2020-21 school year. Beginning March 26 in the Keating.
For tickets and more info, head to floridastudiotheatre.org, or call (941) 366-9000.