Murder hornets? Bitcoin? Captain Kirk actually going to space? To say the past couple years have been a wild ride might be the biggest understatement of the century.
Although the 2020s may not have been all fun and games so far, FST’s popular musical sketch comedy show, Laughing Matters, gives audiences a chance to look back and find the humor in the madness of the past few years. And this time around, with Variant 6 of the show, no one is safe from a good-spirited tease.
“We’ve been eager to do another volume of Laughing Matters for a while now,” explained Rebecca Hopkins, the show’s Head Writer. “So much has happened since we produced Volume 5: Lock the Gates! in 2016. As we started to re-open the theatre last spring, the timing just felt right. With Variant 6: Paranoia on Parade, we want to give everyone the opportunity to be in one room, share a moment of joy with others, and laugh together about this crazy time we are living in.”
Similar in style to Saturday Night Live and The Capitol Steps, Laughing Matters highlights the absurdity of life and our attempts, as well-intentioned people, to try and stay sane and keep moving forward amidst the chaos.
“Laughing Matters gives us the chance to laugh at ourselves and how truly nuts the world is,” said contributing writer Sarah Durham. “Helping put together this show has been sort of cathartic for me. It’s helped me look at things in a different way.”
Every day serves up new inspiration for the writers of Laughing Matters.
“The show would be four hours long if we used all the material we’ve come up with,” laughed Durham. “But fortunately for the audience, we’ve edited it down.”
Laughing Matters touches on national, state, and local happenings, from the media’s sensationalized ratings crusade (facts optional) to the latest trouble “Florida Man” has been getting into to Sarasota’s adoration of roundabouts and the eternal Gulf Coast mystery: when will we have enough condos?
Three Laughing Matters veterans —Nick Anastasia, Richie McCall, and William Selby—return to FST to poke fun at the latest events and trends. The trio first met in 2016, when they were all cast in Laughing Matters (Vol. 5): Lock the Gates!
“I’m over the moon to be reuniting with Bill and Richie onstage,” said Nick Anastasia. “The three of us have maintained a great friendship since the last Laughing Matters, so I’m grateful that we are getting another chance to work together. In this business, it is rare to be able to work with people you truly love.”
Anastasia was last seen in FST’s popular Cabaret, That’s Amoré (2020), and Selby starred in FST’s hit Mainstage production, Bright Star (2020), during the same season. Laughing Matters (Variant 6) marks the fourth rendition of the show in which Richie McCall has been cast.
Jenna Cormey, a sketch comedienne who has been in multiple national tours and performed Off-Broadway, makes her FST debut with this new sketch comedy revue.
“I’m hopeful that Laughing Matters can bring people from all walks of life together in the same space, where we can all let our guards down and laugh about what divides us,” said Cormey. “And maybe then, things won’t seem so terrifying.”