Florida Studio Theatre's tribute to the toe-tapping sounds that brought Americans to their feet, Urban Cowboys, has been extended until March 31, 2013. The boot-scootin' new revue opened in Florida Studio Theatre's (FST) John C. Court Cabaret on Friday, January 4 at 7:30pm. Tickets for the premiere music revue are now on sale through March 31, 2013 and can be purchased by phone at (941) 366-9000, online at FloridaStudioTheatre.org, or by visiting the Box Office.
Urban Cowboys stands at the intersection of the Wild West and the urban city, exploring the emergence of country music into the mainstream that began in the 1970s and continued into the '80s. Co-creator Rebecca Hopkins says, "I always love putting together the guitar shows, especially the ones with a western swing to them. This show was particularly exciting because we got to explore the music that really brought country into the mainstream. This music is universal and wouldn't be caged by a genre - it crossed the charts." It is a tribute to the evolution of country music led by legendary artists such as Mickey Gilley, George Strait, Dolly Parton, John Denver and Kenny Rogers. Their music forever changed the Nashville Sound of the '50s, which combined the traditional storytelling of country music with big band jazz. Featured performances include "Take Me Home, Country Roads," "The Gambler," "Looking for Love," "Islands in the Stream" and many more crowd-pleasing tunes.
The cast includes returning Florida Studio Theatre performers Eric Scott Anthony, Dominick Cicco, Sarah Jane Mellen and Emily Mikesell - as well Connor Moore who is new to FST's stages. Eric is a Broadway and regional theatre actor who has appeared in the FST cabaret productions Shake, Rattle and Roll and Night Train to Memphis. Dominick is a musician who has played in bands and solo acts, on stage and in operas, as well as in film and television. He also previously appeared at FST in Shake, Rattle and Roll and Night Train to Memphis with Eric, as well as in Outlaws and Angels. Sarah is returning to FST after appearing in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee; she has appeared in numerous regional theatre productions and on television. Emily Mikesell appeared in Guitar Girls and Pump Boys and Dinettes and can be heard on the Off-Broadway and original cast recordings of Lone Star Love and Radio Gals. Connor Moore was seen in 2009's New York International Fringe Festival, before spending two summers at Connecticut Repertory Theatre and developing a new play at Urban Stages in New York.
This is director Russ Treyz first time working with FST's cabaret shows, but he has previously directed The Last Romance, Around the World in 80 Days and Measure for Measure for the mainstage. Additionally, he has directed numerous national and regional productions. New York-based Musical Director Brett Schrier has worked on the national tours of Hairspray and 42nd Street, among others. He has also written three of his own musical productions. Lighting Designer Kate DeWall also joins the production team along with Costume Designer Susan Angermann and Sound Engineer Dave Corsello.
Urban Cowboys will be performed in the John C. Court Cabaret through March 31, 2013. The Cabaret opens one hour before curtain for dining, where patrons may enjoy a full dinner menu and bar service. Tickets may be purchased from the FST Box Office in person or by calling (941) 366-9000 or online at floridastudiotheatre.org.
Known as Sarasota's Contemporary Theatre, Florida Studio Theatre was founded in 1973 by Jon Spelman. Starting out as a small touring company, FST traveled to places such as migrant camps and prisons. The company eventually settled down into a permanent home, acquiring the former Woman's Club building - now renamed the Keating Theatre. In the years that followed, Florida Studio Theatre established itself as a major force in American theatre, presenting Contemporary Theatre in its four theatre venues: the Keating Theatre, the Goldstein Cabaret, the renovated Gompertz Theatre and the new John C. Court Cabaret.