Total Rating: 
October 12, 2011
January 1, 2012
Florida Studio Theater
Theater Type: 
Florida Studio Theater - Goldstein Cabaret
Theater Address: 
1241 North Palm Avenue
Running Time: 
1 hr, 45 min
Musical Revue
Developed by Richard Hopkins & Rebecca Prosser
Dennis Courtney
Dennis Courtney

Little talk, lots of singing-and-dancing talent. A fulsome foursome engages in songs, mainly from the 1950s to 1970s, against a mainly blue background, with balls of light under a taut gauzy surface. Microphones (with hats, typical of Sinatra's, atop them) against the gathered drapes point to the predominant singing styles of the era: crooning, dramatizing lyrics, synchonizing group delivery, and solos being backed up but not elipsed. The Cabaret becomes like a supper club or a Las Vegas night spot but also recalls numbers done by stars (like Sinatra, Dinah Shore, Sammy Davis Jr., Bobby Darin, Rosemary Clooney, The Chordettes) on TV, often for their own shows.

Sharing the twinkling here are Eric Collins (with his sustained tonal purity), Stacey Harris (sweet and sexy), Stephen Hope (emceeing, expressive, enjoyable), Arthur W. Marks (with his flirty and flamboyant ways). To one side onstage, pianist Jim Prosser may have his back forward but his hands and music can be seen -- a plus.

After a few strains of “Chicago” and a short paen to “New York, New York” come a few jokes about Sarasota to establish a rapport with the audience. “I Ain’t Got Nobody” allows Arthur to (typically) flirt with women in the front row. For “Beyond the Sea” Stephen gets everyone snapping their fingers. The guys join to form a trio, introducing Stacy’s inviting “Botcha Me.” When she poses like a pin-up atop a stool, they sing “You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby.”

The beginning set's formula works throughout the show of solos (usually backed up), duets, the three men, and a chorus (often in line) of four. With variations, of course.

Best of all in this second Cabaret version of That’s Life is the vigorous to subdued dancing, including tap.

Some audience favorites: Arthur’s “Mr. Bojangles” with Sammy Davis’ typical moves; Eric’s tenor tackling “You Belong to Me”; Stephen’s original interpretation (not Darin’s) of “Mack the Knife”; Stacy’s “My Funny Valentine” that gets a tribute of violets from Eric. “Route 66” proves a fun number for the guys in unison.

That all the scenes are well coordinated is due to Dennis Courtney’s smooth direction and excellent choreography that extends to moves between songs. Susan Angermann’s formal outfits for the men and two stunning satiny gowns for Stacy -- with rhinestones on their clothes, faces, and fingers -- are appropriately smart for a glittering show.

Eric Collins, Stacey Harris, Stephen Hope, Arthur W. Marks. Piano: Jim Prosser
Set/Costumes: Susan Angermann; Sound: Tom Jones; Lighting: Micheal [sic] Foster.
The show is a sequel to, not a repetition of, an earlier FST Cabaret hit.
Marie J. Kilker
Date Reviewed: 
October 2011