Glamour, sophistication, and elegance: these words defined the era of supper clubs and the crooners who ruled them. Florida Studio Theatre opens its Cabaret Season on October 12 with That's Life, Again, a journey to the time when livin' was easy, with stylish songs like "New York, New York," "Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime," and "My Way."
When the teeny-boppers had their bubblegum music, the grown-ups were listening to the memorable sounds of the 50s and 60s supper clubs. Succeeding the secretive speakeasies of prohibition, these new supper clubs became the nightlife entertainment of choice. The Copacabana Nightclub in New York City and The Sands Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas donned a level of class and became a mecca for stars from Hollywood to Broadway. The star-studded rosters often included Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, among others. The shows of these one-of-a-kind performers became known for their intimate delivery and solidarity.
"'That's Life, Again' celebrates the personal touch of life," said Dennis Courtney, director andchoreographer. "It's got showmanship, entertainment, and the ability to touch people emotionally and make them laugh at the same time."
That's Life, Again developed by Richard Hopkins, Rebecca Langford and Jim Prosser, features FST veterans and a marvelous range of voices from a top-notch cast of New York and Broadway performers. New York Actor Eric Collins, Broadway Actress Stacey Harris, Broadway Actor Stephen Hope and New York Actor Arthur W. Marks return to FST for the show.
New York Actor Eric Collins previously appeared on the FST stages in Hula Hoop Sha-Boop, That's Life and last season's The Wanderers. His credits include the Off-Broadway production of The Wind and the Willows at The New Victory Theater, where he also can be heard on the original cast recording. Other Credits include Grease, Into The Woods, The Who's Tommy and many other regional theatre productions.
Broadway Actress Stacey Harris will portray the brassy gal, after appearing in the original That's Life and last season's I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change. Her roles include Gwynne in the Broadway production of Bells Are Ringing. She has toured with Showboat, Cinderella and Dreamgirls. Harris' numerous regional credits include Lone Star Love, Chicago, Singin' in the Rain, Gypsy and many others.
New York Actor Arthur W. Marks returns after his appearance in That's Life (which garnered him rave reviews for singing "Mr. Bojangles"). His Off-Broadway credits include Sidd at Dodger Stages, The Screams of Kitty Genovese at the Theatre at St. Clements among others. His regional credits include Honk, also heard on the 1st American Cast Recording, Aida, Chicago and Songs for a New World.
Joining the Comrades is Broadway Actor Stephen Hope, who Sarasota audiences have seen in numerous productions, most recently Laughing Matters ‘11 and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. On Broadway, Hope has performed in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and The Scarlet Pimpernel.
Director and Choreographer Dennis Courtney returns for his 22nd production at FST, having last staged Brassy Broads and the original That's Life. Based in New York City, Mr. Courtney recently staged a re-envisioned production of Fiddler On The Roof for the Cameri Theatre in Tel Aviv as the official production for the 60th Anniversary of Israel, for which he won the 2009 Israeli National Theatre Award. He has been the director/choreographer of over 150 stage productions including Peter Pan with Cathy Rigby, Can-Can with Leslie Uggams, the regional premieres of I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change and Summer of ‘69, the world premiere productions of Ethel Waters: His Eye Is On The Sparrow (FST), Red Hot Mama, Beggar's Holiday and The Beethovens.