Looking ahead to some entertainment indoors during the long, hot days of summer? Florida Studio Theatre has just announced its slate of summer shows, and there’s plenty of music and storytelling to be had.
Six shows make up the summer season, with three offered on FST’s mainstage and three on its smaller cabaret stages. Here’s what’s coming.
First, on mainstage, Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash, opening June 3 in the Gompertz Theatre. No, it’s not actually a bio of country music legend Cash, but this show, created by Richard Maltby Jr. and conceived by William Meade, does present more than 30 of his songs, with a storyline that focuses on three couples—young, middle-aged and older—but may still touch the outlines of Cash’s own life story. With songs like “I Walk the Line,” “A Boy Named Sue” and “Folsom Prison Blues,” it seems bound to. The production will be directed by Ben Hope, previously seen here in the 2015 summer cabaret show Kings of Country, who also played Guy in Broadway’s musical Once.
The second mainstage show, Maytag Virgin, by Audrey Cefaly, is described as a classic Southern love story. Two forty-something high school teachers, living next door to each other, move from neighborly nagging to a deeper connection, raising the question: how do you know when you’re ready to live, and love, again? Opening July 1 in FST’s Keating Theatre, this production will be helmed by longtime FST director Kate Alexander.
Next up is Smoke and Mirrors, directed (her first mainstage production) by FST’s own Catherine Randazzo. Opening Aug. 5 in the Gompertz, this show by Will Osborne and Anthony Herrera centers on a ruthless Hollywood director scheming to gain control over a multimillion-dollar film. It’s designed to keep audiences guessing—and laughing—until the end. FST presented this show once before, in 2000.
Coming in the cabaret series are productions catering to the musical tastes of baby boomers and others who recall fondly songs from the 1950s, ’60s, ’70s and beyond. FST starts with Rock & Roll Reignited with Not Fade Away, created by Jared Mancuso and featuring hits from the likes of Buddy Holly, Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry and more. Not Fade Away has performed in over 150 cities; the four-piece band takes to the Court Cabaret stage here opening June 16.
The Jersey Tenors: Part II, conceived by Brian Noonan, is a new show described as an “opera/rock mashup,” blending hits from artists such as Queen, Journey and Elton John with some of the Garden State’s finest: Frankie Valli, Bon Jovi and Frank Sinatra. This show opens in the Goldstein Cabaret July 21.
And finally, the season moves from New Jersey to New York with New York State of Mind: All the Hits of Billy Joel with the Uptown Boys. The Uptown Boys deploy Joel’s extensive songbook to share stories of life, love and trying to make it in the Big Apple. Conceived by Alexander Aguilar and John De Simini, the show opens Aug. 11 in the Court.
For tickets and more info, call (941) 366-9000 or head to floridastudiotheatre.org.