Guess Who?

by Mary Donofrio The artists in Unchained Melodies were trailblazers who changed the face of popular music. Can you match these faces to some of their legendary accomplishments? This group from New Jersey is one of the best-selling musical acts of all time, having sold over 100 million records worldwide. This Motown Records super group scored over 26 Top 40 hits, 7 of them making … Continue reading Guess Who?

On Broadway!

by Mary Donofrio Jersey Boys: This musical tells the story of the formation, success, and eventual dissolution of The Four Seasons. The show took Broadway by storm in 2005, winning the Tony Award for Best Musical. Motown: The Musical: Developed by Berry Gordy Jr. himself, Motown: The Musical centers around Motown Records’ rise to prominence, and on Gordy himself as well as the artists he helped to … Continue reading On Broadway!

Behind the Songs

by Mary Donofrio While many artists during the 1950s and ‘60s wrote their own songs, professional songwriters also played a large role in creating iconic chart toppers that we still enjoy today. Here are a few of the composers and lyricists behind the music in : Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller: The undeniable kings of rock n’ roll songwriting, Leiber and Stoller met in 1950, … Continue reading Behind the Songs

From Under the Boardwalk to the Top of the Charts

by TJ Lewis Get ready to SH-Boom all night long with this season’s Winter Cabaret opener, Unchained Melodies, a celebration of male harmony groups. Our talented lineup of versatile vocalists will take you on a musical trip down memory lane beginning with doo-wop and continuing through some of the smoothest sounds of the 1950s and ‘60s. Featuring hits such as “Baby I Need Your Loving,” … Continue reading From Under the Boardwalk to the Top of the Charts

Two is Better Than One

by Mary Donofrio Gilbert and Sullivan were quite the dynamic duo and paved the way for other composing partnerships. Here are a few other duos that made musical magic together: Rodgers and Hart Composer Richard Rodgers and Lyricist Lorenz Hart were introduced in 1919 when both were students at Columbia University. Their partnership produced 28 stage musicals and over 500 songs. From musicals like Babes … Continue reading Two is Better Than One

Art Isn’t Easy

by Mary Donofrio Despite their fruitful collaboration, Gilbert and Sullivan often quarreled when developing a new piece. Sullivan often found Gilbert’s plots to be repetitive and unrealistic, and felt his artistic growth as a composer was being stifled. Sullivan requested to leave their partnership several times, and produced extensive solo work. During their feuds, their producer, Richard D’Oyly Carte, was able to keep the public … Continue reading Art Isn’t Easy

Gilbert and Sullivan: Trendsetters

by Sarah Durham The operettas of Gilbert and Sullivan have inspired and influenced entertainment and the arts around the world since the late 19th century, from the big-screen to the small-screen, and from page to stage. Even if you think you’ve never heard of Gilbert and Sullivan, chances are, you probably have. Here are several examples of the pair’s staying power in popular culture: The … Continue reading Gilbert and Sullivan: Trendsetters

What’s Old is New Again: Gilbert and Sullivan Unplugged

by Mary Donofrio Best known for their “Big Three”—The Mikado, Pirates of Penzance, and HMS Pinafore—Gilbert and Sullivan brought a whimsical approach to classical operetta in the late 19th century that is still celebrated today. Now imagine these operettas performed with a banjo. What about an accordion, mandolin, and an acoustic guitar? Gilbert & Sullivan Unplugged features iconic excerpts from the composing duo performed with … Continue reading What’s Old is New Again: Gilbert and Sullivan Unplugged

A Florida Studio Theatre Summer

Summer has arrived and FST is shifting gears. It seems like only yesterday when Sarasota Summers slowed to a lazy tropical pace, and the neighborhood dog would sleep in the street. All of the theatres would close, as the snowbirds flew north and the locals went fishing. Well, the locals may still go fishing, but the dog is definitely out of the street, and FST’s … Continue reading A Florida Studio Theatre Summer

New Plays Matter

New plays matter because they speak to the contemporary consciousness. FST has been developing and producing new plays since the mid-’70s when Jon Spelman founded the theatre. Our New Play Development Program was ‘formalized’ in the mid-’80s. FST has produced over 100 new plays that have gone on to productions throughout the United States. We do it because new plays matter. • New plays matter … Continue reading New Plays Matter