Inspired Lunacy

Inspired Lunacy

Inspired Lunacy by Richard Hopkins, Rebecca Hopkins, and Jim Prosser
Dedicated in loving memory to Jimmy Hoskins

An irreverent collection of witty, wacky, and whimsical novelty songs.  Join our comic explorers as they set out on a daring mission to amuse, and delight.  Relying on the waggish wisdom of composers such as Allan Sherman, Shel Silverstein, and Kander and Ebb with songs like "Ring Them Bells," "Poisoning Pigeons in the Park," and "Jolly Old Sigmund Freud," our wayward jesters attempt to solve the mystery at the center of the universe.

CREATIVE

Director………………..…....Richard Hopkins
Music Director…………..…Ben Krauss
Choreographer…………....Christine O’Grady
Scenic Designer………......Isabel & Moriah Curely-Clay
Costume Designer.....…….Greg Poplyk
Lighting Designer……........Rob Perry
Sound Designer………......Tony Angelini
Projection Designer...........Erin Pleake


 

CAST

Dane Becker*
Gil Brady*
Don Farrell*
Kathy Halenda*
Dennis Kenney*

BAND

Piano/Conductor............. Ben Krauss/Jim Prosser
Second Keyboard............ Shawn Marren
Drums............................. Tony Bruno
Reeds/Saxophone............Tom Ellison

*Denotes member of Actors' Equity Association. The Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

This show is dedicated in loving memory to Jimmy Hoskins

DANE BECKER is beyond humbled to return to Florida Studio Theatre after playing Link Larkin in Hairspray this season. Favorite Credits: Band Geeks!, Showbiz Tonight, Carrie, Into The Woods, and The Civil War. TV/FILM: Deadly Affairs, The Following, and Why. Dane has also done worked for Disney, Publix, and Bealls. He is a proud graduate of CCM and member of SAG/AFTRA and AEA. Dane proudly represented Theatre Troupe 6020 at Lakewood Ranch High School.

 

GIL BRADY is so happy the doctors let him out to do this crazy show! Also at FST: Spamalot, The Underpants, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, Our Son’s Wedding, and Reel Music. The Kennedy Center: Shear Madness. Off-Broadway: National Pastime, National Tour: Annie. Boeing, Boeing (Seven Angels Theatre), Around The World in 80 Days and Three Days of Rain (Oldcastle Theatre), Grease (Fulton Theatre and Mill Mountain), The Full Monty (Foothills Theatre), The Crucible (Gallery Players), North Carolina Shakespeare Festival. TV: Law and Order: SVU, All My Children. www.GilbertBrady.com

 

DON FARRELL returns to FST after a considerable hiatus having last directed, choreographed and played the role of “Sparky” in FST’s production of Forever Plaid (2000) and as a cast member of Shakespeare’s Greatest Hits (1999) and the original production of Inspired Lunacy (1998). Since FST, he founded Actors Theatre of Indiana (www.actorstheatreofindiana.org), the resident professional theatre company at the Center for the Performing Arts (www.thecenterfortheperformingarts.org) located in Carmel, Indiana where he serves as Artistic Director.

 

 

KATHY HALENDA is always delighted to come back to FST. FST: Sophie Tucker: Last of the Red Hot Mamas, Dirty Blonde, The Wonder Years, 3 Postcards, Inspired Lunacy, numerous cabarets. National Tour: Gypsy, 42nd St., Oliver, Grand Hotel, Fiddler on the Roof. Regional: title roles in Mame, Hello Dolly, Evita, Annie Get Your Gun, Gypsy, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Oliver, Annie, Little Shop of Horrors, Steel Magnolias. Other credits: the first female Singmaster of the Big Apple Circus. Sang the National Anthem at Madison Square Garden and Fenway Park, Brassy Broads of Broadway premiered in NYC and presented nationwide, Sophie Tucker: Last of the Red Hot Mamas has been critically acclaimed and chosen for the Piccolo Spoleto Festival and The Arts Festival. Her latest show, Somewhere Over the Rose, was last seen  at FST.

DENNIS KENNEY Favorite credits include the Broadway National touring production of How the Grinch Stole Christmas where he covered and performed the role of the Grinch. The role of Eddie in Mamma Mia!  Mame starring Christine Baranski and Harriet Harris at the Kennedy Center, First National Broadway Revival tour of 42nd St. TV appearances include The Today Show with Kathy Lee and Hoda, Comedy Central, The Young and the Restless and the CBS Comedy Showcase. BFA in Drama from Carnegie Mellon University. Thank you to my agents at BLOC. www.dennisokenney.com

RICHARD HOPKINS (Director & Cowriter) is the Artistic Director of Florida Studio Theatre. Mr. Hopkins has fostered the development of FST’s Mainstage and Cabaret productions.  His many directing Mainstage credits include: Inspired Lunacy, The Best of Enemies, Next to Normal, Race, Ruined, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Boleros for the Disenchanted, Permanent Collection, and Metamorphoses among numerous other plays. Mr. Hopkins led the development of FST’s Cabaret productions of The Prima Donnettes, Too Darn Hot and By Gershwin. Mr. Hopkins also serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Florida Studio Theatre. This includes overseeing the creation and implementation of all FST programming, including Mainstage, Cabaret, Stage III, New Play Development, Education, and Touring. Since his arrival at FST in 1980, Mr. Hopkins has guided the theatre from a small touring company to a nationally recognized regional theatre which impacts over 190,000 adults and children annually. He created the New Play Development Program, The Cabaret Series, FST’s award winning Write-a-Play-Program, and he has directed the design and renovation of all FST’s Theatres. Mr. Hopkins is the recipient of numerous awards including the Arts Leadership Award from the Sarasota Arts Council, the Richard G. Fallon Award for Artistic Excellence from the Florida Professional Theatres Association, and the 2012 Cultural Champion Award from the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County.


REBECCA HOPKINS (Cowriter) has been actively involved in new play development at FST since her arrival in 1998. She has helped create over 25 musical revue’s for FST’s Cabaret Theatres. This season, Mrs. Hopkins was the lead developer on American Pie. She also co-wrote Dancing In The Street and Never Marry A Girl With Cold Feet. Last season she was the lead developer on Poems, Prayers, and Promises and Co-Writer on The Prima Donnettes and Too Darn Hot. She has been the head writer on all four Laughing Matters shows. Some of her favorite shows she helped develop include: That’s Life, The Wanderers, My One and Only Gershwin, Hot and Cole, Shakespeare’s Greatest Hits, Piano Men, The British Invasion, The Flip Side, Outlaws and Angels, and Steppin’ Out. In addition, she is the founder and producer of FST Improv and the Sarasota Improv Festival. Mrs. Hopkins serves as Managing Director for Florida Studio Theatre, and as such, is the Chief Operations Officer. Mrs. Hopkins is responsible for oversight of FST’s Administration, including the Business Office, Development, Marketing, Box Office, Front of House, Restaurant, budgeting, and maintaining the overall quality of FST’s internal management. Under her leadership FST has grown from a 2 theatre to a 5 theatre operation reaching over 190,000 attendees a year. Nationally, Mrs. Hopkins serves on the Executive Committee for the  National New Play Network and for the League of Resident Theatres.  In 2012, the Arts & Cultural Alliance awarded Mrs. Hopkins the Cultural Champion Award in recognition of her many years of accomplishment and growth with Florida Studio Theatre.


JIM PROSSER (Piano/Conductor/Cowriter) Over his many years at FST, Jim has most often performed in the Cabaret, where he has arranged and co-developed many shows including Never Marry A Girl With Cold Feet, Dancing In The Street, By Gershwin, Laughing Matters, European Cabaret, That’s Life, Again, British Invasion, Shakespeare’s Greatest Hits, Harry Who?, Too Darn Hot, and last season’s production of The Prima Donnettes. He has also served as resident composer/music director for FST’s Education department, writing numerous songs and scores for children’s shows such as Androcles and the Lion, RAP-Punzel, and the WRITE A PLAY elementary tours.  In 2013, Jim was pianist and music director for FST’s Sophie Tucker: The Last of the Red Hot Mommas at Philadelphia’s Walnut Street Theater.

BEN KRAUSS (Music Director/Orchestrator) returns to FST after having music directed Poems, Prayers, and Promises and this  past winter season’s record breaking American Pie. An active pianist, vocal coach, and music director in the New York area, Ben’s other credits include:  Broadway: The Mystery of Edwin Drood, The Addams Family. Selected Regional/Stock: Westport Country Playhouse, North Shore Music Theater, Theater by the Sea, Surflight Theater. Ben’s orchestrations have accompanied singers such as Tituss Burgess, Lillias White, and Stephanie J. Block.  Additionally, Ben is an alumnus of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theater Workshop.

KELLI KAREN (Production Stage Manager) has been an integral member of Florida Studio Theatre for the past 22 years. Kelli began at FST as a dance teacher in the education department in 1993. In addition to her classes at FST, Kelli has created and taught outreach programs at Care Pointes in Swaziland South Africa, The Pines of Sarasota, Girls Inc., The Boys and Girls Club, and has taught playwriting at numerous local elementary schools as well as our sister city of Dunfermline, Scotland. Stage management credits at FST include: Chapatti, Fly, Taking Shakespeare, Pump Boys and Dinettes, Tom Jones, Daddy Long Legs, Monty Python’s Spamalot, The Underpants, The World Goes ‘Round, The Columnist, Smokey Joe’s Café, In the Book Of, Perfect Wedding, Jericho, Next Fall, Next to Normal, The Savannah Disputation, Cowgirls, Ghost-Writer, Shear Madness, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, The 39 Steps, Beehive: The 60s Musical, Shotgun, Ruined, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Edward Albee’s Occupant, Motown Cabaret, ...and L.A. is Burning, and Always... Patsy Cline.

CHRISTINE O’GRADY (Choreographer) FST debut. Christine is a NYC-based director/choreographer. Broadway/Tours: HAIR (Associate), Legally Blonde (SDC Observer). Off-Broadway: John & Jen (Keen Company), The Underclassman (Prospect), The Glass Menagerie (Roundabout), The Boys in the Band (Transport Group), Signs of Life (Amas). Five NY Innovative Theatre Award Nominations for Outstanding Choreography, won in 2012 for The Drowsy Chaperone (Gallery). Upcoming: Shenandoah (Totem Pole Playhouse), Shrek (Barrington Stage), and the premiere of The Outcast of Sherwood Forest (RIYT). www.ChristineOGrady.com.

GREGORY A. POPLYK (Costume Designer) an Emmy® nominated costume designer is happy to be making his FST debut as part of the artistic team for Inspired Lunacy. He has designed for Broadway, Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey, Disney on Ice and most recently a new production of Phantom for EMK productions in Seoul Korea. He is a member of the TDF Costume Collection Advisory Committee, which presents the TDF Irene Sharaff Awards recognizing outstanding contributions to the field of costume design.

ROB PERRY (Lighting Designer) Designs at Florida Studio Theatre: Freud’s Last Session, World Goes’ Round, The Best Of Enemies, Shotgun, The Wanderers, Brassy Broads, Race, Two Jews Walk into a War, The Last Romance, and Talley’s Folly.  Robert has also designed off-Broadway in addition to The Goodman Theatre, Arena Stage, LaJolla Playhouse and the McCarter Theatre. He received his MFA from Yale University and a BFA from the North Carolina School of the Arts.  He is a member of United Scenic Artists.

ISABEL & MORIAH CURLEY-CLAY (Scenic Designer) Moriah and Isabel’s work can be seen on stages around the country. Past work at Florida Studio Theatre includes Taking Shakespeare, Hairspray, Dancing Lessons, and Chapatti. Other favorite recent credits include Scenic design of Detroit, Grand Concourse (Horizon Theatre), Detroit ’67 (Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre), and Murder Ballad (Actors Express). Isabel and Moriah are the recipients of four Suzi Bass Awards, are Resident Scenic Designers at Atlanta’s Horizon Theatre, Artistic Associates at Theatrical Outfit, and members of IATSE, United Scenic Artists 829. Moriah and Isabel are honored to be working with such an incredible cast and collection of artists.

TONY ANGELINI (Sound Designer) has composed/designed over 150 productions. For FST he has designed Never Marry a Girl With Cold Feet, American Pie, The Prima Donnettes, Taking Shakespeare, and others. Other designs include productions for The Kennedy Center, Signature Theatre, The Shakespeare Theatre, San Diego Repertory Theatre, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Jomandi, Hamptons Shakespeare Festival, Round House Theatre, Olney Theatre, The Glen Street Playhouse Australia, The Townhall Theatre in Ireland, National Theatre of Cuba. He has two albums under his Recording Label “The Sound Crew.” Member United Scenic Artists, IATSE local 829.

SHAWN MARREN (Second Keyboard) studied Music Performance at the University in South Florida in Tampa. He traveled the country performing with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus for over 5 years and has played many Broadway and community theatre shows. Shawn currently resides in Englewood, FL, with his wife and 3 beautiful children and is the Music Director at First United Methodist Church of Punta Gorda. This is his first show at FST.

TONY BRUNO (Drums) Tony calls FST “home”. Tony began his career with FST in 1988 with No Way To Treat A Lady - the start of a long relationship in over 37 productions with many special moments in FST history. These include: playing the first Cabaret venture in 1989, meeting long time friend Jim Prosser who was making his debut, being the first drummer on the Goldstein stage, playing the last show in the Old Gompertz Theatre, and the first show in the Court Cabaret. Shows include: Urban Cowboys, Night Train To Memphis, Shake, Rattle, and Roll, and the record breaking American Pie. He is humbled and grateful for FST.

TOM ELLISON (Reeds/Saxophone) is glad to be back at FST having played Smokey Joe’s Café, The World Goes ‘Round, and Hairspray. He is a 1973 Graduate of the State University of New York College at Fredonia where he earned his Bachelor of Music/Alto Saxophone degree with subsequent graduate studies at SUNY Potsdam and the Eastman School of music. He was a music educator in New York for a total of 36 years. As a freelance woodwind artist, Tom has performed with the likes of Tony Bennett, Johnny Mathis, Doc Severinsen, Woody Herman and the Thundering Herd and many other top name artists. Since moving to Florida from Rochester NY, Tom has played with (and continues to play with) the Naples Jazz Orchestra, his own group Hip Pocket as well as many regional theater productions (most recently the national tour stop of Pippin). Mr. Ellison currently resides in Venice, Florida with his wife Lori.

ABOUT JIMMY HOSKINS:  Jimmy Hoskins choreographed multiple shows for FST throughout his career including the original Inspired Lunacy in 1997-98 Cabaret Season. Richard Hopkins, Artistic Director says “Jimmy did 15 shows with us, and had a great sense of humor. He was one of those choreographers who choreographed on his feet. It could be frustrating for the actors, but it was always perfectly suited to them as a result - brilliant and wonderful. Jimmy was a joy to work with. A wonderful, joyous, positive person with funny choreography. You look at the tapes of the old Inspired Lunacy and say ‘we have to keep that, and that, and that! And we worked with the new choreographer to keep all of those things that embody Jimmy’s work over the years.”

SPECIAL THANKS to Associate Artist, Catherine Randazzo, and FST’s Literary Department for their assitance on the production development.

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