Beginning this June, the stage lights will sparkle across FST’s beautiful Parisian Cabaret theatres for the first time in over a year. We are thrilled to bring you three sizzling musical revues starring some of the country’s top cabaret artists who will serenade Sarasota audiences with revolutionary Rock & Roll, crooner classics, and timeless swing standards.
The Cabaret Series kicks off with Great Balls of Fire, an explosive tribute to original bad boy of Rock & Roll: the one-and-only Jerry Lee Lewis. Created by Jason Cohen and Michael Schiralli, this rockin’ show tells the story of how Lewis’ unabashed confidence and wild personality took him on an even wilder journey – from humble roots, growing up in an impoverished farming family in eastern Louisiana, to the top of the charts.
“Jerry Lee saw a hole in the music industry,” said Cohen. “Namely, that there were no pianists who had the showmanship and Rock & Roll sensibility of the guitarists of the age. And he sought to fill it.”
Cohen, himself, might as well be a certified “Jerry Lee expert,” having portrayed the ivory-smashing superstar on stage over 300 times. From appearing in the national tour of the hit musical Million Dollar Quartet to concerts and cabarets of his own creation, Cohen has hit the keys as “The Killer” in more than eighty cities across North America.
“Jason Cohen is a professional with great energy,” said FST Associate Artist Catherine Randazzo. “He takes the audience through Jerry Lee Lewis’ music and story, but adds a touch of comedy, which keeps the audience on their toes. It’s the perfect show to kick off our Summer Cabaret Series.”
Cast of Shades of Bublé. Photos courtesy of EPIC Arts Management.
THE MODERN SINATRA
Up next, we shift musical stylings with Shades of Bublé: A Three-Man Tribute to Michael Bublé. Making their Sarasota premiere, the cast of Shades of Bublé mixes the familiar with the new, all while embodying everything that has earned Bublé the nickname of “The Modern
“If you ask three different people what they think of when they hear the name ‘Michael Bublé,’ you’ll get three different answers,” shared Shades of Bublé Creative Director and cast member Drew Pournelle. “That is exactly why we have three uniquely talented guys paying him tribute. Bublé performs such a wide variety of music, from the Sinatra-style covers that put him on the map to Motown to contemporary pop.”
And three voices means beautiful three-part harmonies, allowing this trio to put their own stamp on the solo singer’s vast catalog of hits. From his famous covers of songs like “Feeling Good” and “Moondance,” to original compositions such as “Home” and “Haven’t Met You Yet,” these talented vocalists will bring to life Bublé’s effortless charm, down-to-earth demeanor, and of course, his suave sound.
“People are drawn to this show because it is full of nonstop fun,” shared Shades of Bublé Co-Creator Melissa Giattino. “This music is meant to be heard, and this show is full of wonderful moments… and a few surprises!”
The Swingaroos in Hollywood Serenade (2019 Summer Cabaret). Photo by FST.
A MUSICAL TIME CAPSULE
FST’s Summer Cabaret Series comes to a close with the return of an FST Cabaret favorite: The Swingaroos. Back by popular demand, this group debuts their newest show, Jukebox Saturday Night, in FST’s Bowne’s Lab. Featuring hits like “Get Your Kicks On Route 66,” “Heart and Soul,” and “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” The Swingaroos shine a spotlight on the music of one of the most iconic musical inventions of the twentieth century.
“The jukebox was a time capsule for the most popular songs of its day,” said Kimberly Hawkey, the show’s co-creator and bandleader for The Swingaroos. “It was a place to hear an eclectic mix of folk singers, patriotic numbers, and musical comedians like Spike Jones. It also became one of the few ways people were introduced to Black artists who otherwise didn’t get air-play on the radio.”
The Swingaroos will reintroduce these songs, adding their signature swing-infused style, as they take audiences on a journey across 40+ years of jukebox hits.
“We want everyone to experience each song with the same excitement and buzz they’d feel if they were hearing it within the year it was released,” added Hawkey. “We love to time-travel with our audience and capture the essence of each song while still fully inhabiting our ‘Swingaroos flair.’ I hope the FST audience gets to relive some of their favorite songs, and maybe even walk away with new favorites.”
With three great and diverse concerts, it’s sure hard to choose! The good news is you don’t have to. Subscribe today and see all three Summer Cabarets for as little as $49. Learn more here or by calling our Subscription Hotline: 941.552.1521.
Header Image (Left to Right): Adam Rennie, Christopher McCrewell, and Danny Drewes. Photo by Annabelle Cuitino.