FST Presents Smoke & Mirrors, a comedic murder mystery
(Sarasota, FL) —Florida Studio Theatre (FST) presents Smoke & Mirrors, a riveting comedic thriller by Will Osborne and Anthony Herrera. Called “Outrageously funny” by the Bennington Banner and “Clever” by Talkin’ Broadway, Smoke & Mirrors is an intriguing murder mystery with twists and turns that keep the audience guessing (and laughing) until the end. Smoke & Mirrors will begin playing in FST’s Gompertz Theatre on Wednesday, August 3, 2022. Tickets are now on sale at FloridaStudioTheatre.org or at 941.366.9000.
Smoke & Mirrors follows Hamilton Orr, a power-hungry Hollywood director who will stop at nothing to get control over a multi-million-dollar film. To achieve this, Hamilton comes up with a deadly scheme to get rid of Derek, the dim-witted star of the movie. Hamilton persuades the movie’s screenwriter, Clark, to join his crafty plot and ensures that his wife, Barbara, stays in line. But when his ploy doesn’t go as planned, Hamilton meets the wily local sheriff, Leroy, who unearths one surprise after another until the play’s stunning conclusion.
“Smoke & Mirrors is full of crisp, witty dialogue, colorful characters, suspenseful twists and turns, and, of course, smoke and mirrors,” said Catherine Randazzo, the show’s director. “Murder mystery comedies like these boast the perfect combination of unique—yet classic—characters, fast-paced dialogue, and crackling comedy.”
Smoke & Mirrors was first produced in 1991 as part of a twelve-city tour through Mississippi. The play’s authors, Will Osborne and Anthony Herrera, played Clark and Hamilton, respectively, during the tour. Since then, the comedy has been produced by theatres—including FST in 2000—across the country as well as in Johannesburg, South Africa, and Seoul, South Korea.
The cast of Smoke & Mirrors features Alberto Bonilla (Clark), Ben Cherry (Hamilton), Jack Gerhard (Derek), Justin Ness (Sheriff Leroy), and Alanna Smith (Barbara). Bonilla has appeared in about two dozen television shows and movies, including The God Committee, Person of Interest, and Russian Doll. Cherry was in the Broadway casts of Indecent and Fiddler of the Roof and has been part of productions at more than a dozen regional theatres.
Gerhard was last seen at FST in the popular 2022 Cabaret, Friends in Low Places. Before that, he played the male lead, “Guy,” in the national tour of Once. Ness has been featured in half a dozen productions at Boise Contemporary Theater as well as numerous productions in New York City, including Much Ado About Nothing, The Medea, and A Christmas Carol. Smith originated a role in the World Premiere of Nevermore: The Fantastic Terrors of Edgar Allen Poe before directing it at Gretna Theatre. She has also been featured in several productions at Walnut Street Theatre.
The creative team for Smoke & Mirrors includes Moriah and Isabel Curley-Clay (Scenic Design), Erin Barnett (Costume Design), Andrew Gray (Lighting Design), Louis Vetter Torres (Sound Design), and Roy Johns (Stage Manager).
FST’s production of Smoke & Mirrors 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 the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, and Sarasota County Tourist Development Tax Revenues.