FST’s 2022-2023 WINTER MAINSTAGE AND CABARET SERIES, Our Town Sarasota News Events





(Sarasota, FL) – Florida Studio Theatre (FST) is proud to announce the lineup for its 49th Winter Season, featuring a four-show Mainstage Series and a three-show Cabaret Series.

The Mainstage Series features a hit Broadway musical comedy, an Obie Award winner, a World Premiere, and a theatrical adaptation of an Academy Award-winning film. The Cabaret Series features three new musical revues celebrating the lyric poets of the 20th and 21st centuries. A season schedule at a glance follows this release.

Called “Broadway’s new big, fat hit” by New York Post, Something Rotten! kicks off FST’s Mainstage Series on November 9th in FST’s Gompertz Theatre. Set in Elizabethan England, this musical comedy follows Nick and Nigel Bottom, two playwriting brothers who are stuck in the shadow of the Renaissance rock star known as “The Bard.” Desperate to write the next big hit for the stage, they visit a local soothsayer, who foretells that the future of theatre involves singing, dancing, and acting—all at the same time. With this new insight, the brothers set out to write the world’s very first musical. Nominated for ten Tony Awards including Best Musical, Something Rotten! is a humorous mash-up of 16th century Shakespeare and contemporary musical theatre.

“When I saw Something Rotten!, I knew that FST had to produce it,” said Richard Hopkins, FST’s Producing Artistic Director. “The show delightfully juxtaposes the spectacle of Broadway musicals with the modesty and rigid atmosphere of the Elizabethan era.”

Next on the Mainstage is the Obie Award-winning play and Pulitzer Prize finalist What the Constitution Means to Me by Heidi Schreck. When Schreck was fifteen years old, she put herself through college by winning debates about The Constitution across the country. In this inspiring new play, the playwright resurrects her teenage self in order to trace the document’s profound impact on four generations of women in her family. Called “The best and most important new play of the season” by The New York Times, this dramatic comedy begins playing in FST’s Keating Theatre on December 7th.

Following this humorous and affecting play is Lee Hall’s theatrical adaptation of Network, the 1976 film by Paddy Chayefsky that garnered four Academy Awards, including one for Best Screenplay. This Regional Premiere follows veteran anchorman Howard Beale, who is let go for not bringing in enough viewers. In his final broadcast, Beale unravels live on air—and his show’s ratings soar. Suddenly, Beale is biggest thing on TV and the network seizes on his popularity and power. Called “Brilliant” by The New York Times and “A white-knuckle ride” by Hollywood Reporter, Network will play in FST’s Gompertz Theatre starting January 25, 2023.

Network is so much more profound now,” said Richard Hopkins, who will direct the Mainstage production. “When the film came out in the ‘70s, it was about TV, but now we have the internet and other mediums that influence how we think. Network tackles these ideas head-on and asks us to think about what difficulties we, as a society, are facing today.”

FST’s 49th Mainstage Series comes to a close with the World Premiere of Visit Joe Whitefeather (and bring the family!)  by Barrymore Award winner Bruce Graham. Set in the small town of Beaver Gap, Pennsylvania during the early 1970s, this new comedy centers on the city council’s outrageous ideas to help drum up more tourism. The council decides to rename the town in honor of Joe Whitefeather—a deceased, Native American war hero who has no connection to the town whatsoever. It’s a plan so wild—so insane—it just might work. This comedy was commissioned by FST as part of the theatre’s Playwrights Project in summer 2020. Visit Joe Whitefeather will run in FST’s Gompertz Theatre starting April 5, 2023.

In the Cabaret, FST presents two original musical revues celebrating the lyric poets of the 20th century and a new Cabaret taking audiences on a sweeping journey through the music of the feature film.

Opening FST’s Winter Cabaret Series is The ‘70s: More Than A Decade, a dynamic new music revue tracing a pivotal decade and celebrating some of the greatest music ever recorded. With music made famous by The Who, Harry Chapin, The Bee Gees, Marvin Gaye, and more, this series opener celebrates the musical hit parade that was the ‘70s. Featuring such songs as “Joy to the World,” “Let It Be,” and “Stayin’ Alive,” The ‘70s: More Than A Decade will begin playing October 5, 2022 in FST’s Court Cabaret.

“We started delving into the seventies over the last several years, but we were just dipping our toes in,” said Rebecca Hopkins, FST’s Managing Director and Lead Developer of The ‘70s: More Than A Decade.  “As a child of the ‘70s I thought I knew about the decade because I lived it, but I did the research and was awed by what a pivotal decade it really was. It didn’t take us long to realize there was enough music from the ‘70s that we could easily create several shows. There was just so much going on musically, culturally, and socially during that decade. This show gives an overview of the decade and where all the wonderful diverse musical styles of the decade came from. This music laid the foundation for so much of what we have today.”

Next up is A Place in the Sun: A Tribute to Stevie Wonder, which will play in FST’s Goldstein Cabaret starting November 16, 2022.  With a catalogue spanning six decades and multiple genres, Stevie Wonder has earned the status of the most-awarded solo artist of all time. An inductee of the Rhythm & Blues, Rock & Roll, and Songwriters Halls of Fame, Stevie Wonder has had a legendary impact on the music industry. A Place in the Sun highlights Wonder’s significant artistic contributions and features such timeless hits as “I Just Called to Say I Love You,” “Superstition,” and “Isn’t She Lovely?”

FST’s Winter Cabaret Series culminates with Reel Music, which begins playing in FST’s Court Cabaret February 15, 2023. Featuring songs from black & white films and movie musicals to Casablanca and The Greatest Showman, Reel Music highlights the movies that helped create the soundtrack to the last century. With classics like “Singing in the Rain,” “Circle of Life,” and “My Heart Will Go On,” this charming Cabaret reviews the past century of movie history and the impact these songs have on our lives.

With its mission to make theatre accessible to as many people as possible, FST offers all four Mainstage shows for as little as $69, and all three Cabarets for as little as $49. Subscriptions are now on sale at FloridaStudioTheatre.org or at 941.366.9000.