To accommodate its growing summer audience, Florida Studio Theatre will stage two of its three summer shows in its newly rebuilt and expanded Gompertz Theatre.
The Gompertz seats about 60 more people than the Keating Theatre, and the stage is wider, giving artistic director Richard Hopkins “a little bigger palette to work on.”
Hopkins hopes to use the summer season to work out any remaining kinks in the Gompertz, primarily involving sound, since it reopened last August.
“We’re going to shake that sucker down,” he joked. Acoustical issues have been tweaked a bit since the renovated theater reopened after a major rebuilding of the interior of the original building shell. Some of the concerns couldn’t be worked out until audiences were in the building and productions were on stage, he said.
“We’ve been learning a lot and we’re making adjustments,” Hopkins said.
In past years, the company would present two shows in the Keating and one in the Gompertz in the summer, but it will be the reverse this year, with a lineup that begins with “The World Goes ’Round,” a revue of songs by the Broadway team of John Kander and Fred Ebb.
It will be the the first musical in the new Gompertz and will pose different sound issues, Hopkins said.
It’s also one of his favorite musical revues, second only to “Ain’t Misbehavin’.”
“They just got it right. There’s the right amount of drama, comedy and dance” in the show of songs from the creators of “Cabaret,” “Chicago,” “Zorba,” “Woman of the Year” and the film “New York, New York.”
It runs May 31-June 31, with the possibility of an extension. It will be the company’s third production of the show, which was most recently staged in 2004.
In the Keating theater, from June 28 to July 28, FST will present “The Underpants,” comedian Steve Martin’s adaptation of a German farce by Carl Sternheim.
“It’s a comedy but at the same time, it makes some good satirical punches about bourgeois Germany,” Hopkins said. It’s built around the embarrassment a woman and her husband fear when her underwear falls down in a public place, just as they’re trying to rent a spare bedroom.
The farce will be directed by Bruce Jordan, who is best known as the producer and director of the long-running comedy “Shear Madness,” which has been a hit at FST. Jordan also staged last summer’s production of “The Perfect Wedding,” which reopened the Gompertz.
The summer season closes July 26 to Sept. 1 with Michael McKeever’s comedy “South Beach Babylon,” about the mix of visual arts and the social whirl in Miami. The play had its world premiere in 2010 in Miami, where McKeever lives. FST has produced several of his shows, including his “37 Postcards” and “The Miamians.”
“Our audience loves his work, and it’s neat to have a Florida playwright,” Hopkins said. “He gets the whole universe in his plays, gets all sides of the coin.”
“South Beach Babylon” is set amid the art scene in Miami, where a visual artist is trying to maintain some integrity amid the social whirl that the art scene has become. McKeever is himself a successful visual artist and appeared in the world premiere at Zoetic Stage, a still-young theater company he co-founded.
FLORIDA STUDIO THEATRE
“The World Goes ‘Round,” May 31-June 31 (Gompertz)
“The Underpants,” June 28-July 28 (Keating)
“South Beach Babylon,” July 26-Sept. 1 (Gompertz)
Subscriptions are $39-$49. Single tickets are $18-$36 for previews, $18-$42 for regular performances. For subscription information: 366-9000; floridastudiotheatre.org