“Cowgirls,” at Florida Studio Theatre, ropes in the audience right away with its eclectic group of characters, each clearly defined by six talented actors.
The premise is that a wrong booking brings three classically trained musicians to a honky-tonk saloon. The musicians are individualistic country women, however. High jinks ensue as they face off with each other to make the leap from Chopin to country.
“Cowgirls” was nominated for Best Off-Broadway Musical by the Outer Critics’ Circle.
The score features some classical country and mainly original music arranged by Music Director Mary Ehlinger. The songs are chock-full of clever lyrics, such as, “I don’t live in no trailer park; I live in a mobile home.” They range from thrilling, such as a banjo driving-train sound, to emotional. One song in particular, “Miracle,” is strikingly beautiful and moving. The audience expressed hearty approval for every number.
Brilliantly cast, the actors were equally delightful and their every gesture fun to watch. There is minimal downtime in this fast-paced, uplifting production.
Playing prissy violinist Mary Lou, Sarah Hund oozes uptightness. Hund sings and fiddles in real life with rock and country artists throughout the U.S., and she also appears in theater, film and TV, in such shows as “Law and Order” and “The Listening Dead.”
Franca Vercelloni is perfect as put-upon, pregnant Rita. Vercelloni’s musical solo show, “Classically Trained, Practically Broke,” was a 2010 New York International Fringe Festival hit.
Could any contemporary play be complete without a feisty, wise-cracking lesbian? That part in “Cowgirls” — Lee — is played by Joanna Parson, who appeared in “Outlaws and Angels” at the Goldstein Cabaret.
Angela C. Howell appears to have been born to play the part of Jo, and she did play it last year at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. Additionally, Howell has originated numerous roles in New York City, including one in “Big Red Sun” at the Lincoln Center.
Chelsea Costa flawlessly transforms herself via a blond big-hair wig into Mickey, a local, wannabe country singer. Costa has done national tours of “Madagascar,” “Go, Diego, Go,” and “Dora the Explorer.”
Mo, an impish handywoman who plays a mean washboard, is charmingly evoked by Emily S. Grosland.
Dale Jordan did the country lodge-inspired scenic design, and Nicole Wee’s costume design enhanced the all-girl ambience. Supporting the production were Stage Manager Kelli Karen, Lighting Designer Michael Foster and Sound Designer Joshua Hummel.
Currently 0 Responses
5 Spirits of Life: Portraits from the Art of Living
5:00 pm - 4:00 pm
6 The 4th Annual Sarasota Craft Show Returns to Robarts Arena
6 37th Annual 1st Friday Art Walk "Taste of the Season"
6:30 pm - 9:00 pm
6 Setting New Courses
8:00 pm - 4:30 pm
8 School of Russian Ballet :: The Nutcracker
8 Holiday Brass Spectacular
11 Let it Snow
5:30 pm - 10:00 pm
13 Cirque Des Voix "Joy and Wonder"
7:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Paint the town red and green
This year, we won’t just be on the lookout for the most festive holiday lights on the Key. We’ll be on the prowl for anything that embodies the happiness of the holidays with our new “Spirit of the Season” contest.
Pettingell tradition is as sweet as pie
For the sixth consecutive year, Pettingell delivered pies from Yoder’s Restaurant in Sarasota to his customers at Thanksgiving.
Former Key Club manager takes on new role
Former Longboat Key Club & Resort General Manager Michael Welly has a new gig.