Conceived by Richard Hopkins, Rebecca Langford, & Jim Prosser
Directed & Choreograhed by Dennis Courtney
Florida Studio Theatre's Goldstein Cabaret
1241 N. Palm Ave., Sarasota, 941-366-9000
Oct. 20, 2009 through January 2, 2010

Reviewed by Marie J. Kilker


As if a supper club, the cabaret at Florida Studio Theatre features pop songs from 1948 to 1977. Three men (Eric Collins, Arthur W. Marks, Jeff Pierce) sing flirtations with Stacey Harris in songs and styles of the star singers during the three decades. "Walkin' My Baby Back Home," Eric wins her over. From then on, Stacey no longer flirts via ditties like "C'mon 'a My House." Later, when she plays less than innocent ("The Lady Is a Tramp"), it's clear she's just imitating the likes of "Fever" by such as Peggy Lee. Her clinging red satin gown adds to the effect.


The men mostly harmonize like well known boys' groups but each has at least one memorable solo. Jeff is Dean Martin-like on "Memories Are Made of This" and Arthur makes "Mr. Bojangles" an outstanding tribute to Sammy Davis Jr. paying a tribute of his own. Everyone's constantly in motion between songs and often within them, thanks to director Dennis Courtney's careful choreography.

Jim Prosser does his always right piano accompaniment on stage.  Shawn Watkins' lighting complements Marcella Beckwith's vivid backdrop and costume designs.  The title song as well as "Sh' Boom" epitomize the happy holiday tone of the show. It lasts an hour and a half plus a 15 minute break.

Return to Home Page