For Immediate Release

Media Contact: [not for release]
Laurie Colton 
Director of Marketing and Public Relations 
941-484-4033 ext. 221
It’s time for Venice Theatre’s Summer Cabaret Festival
4th annual event will feature a variety of acts in July and August 
VENICE, FL, JUNE 7, 2016 - Venice Theatre is delighted to invite audiences to its 4th Annual Summer Cabaret Festival. The ever-growing event features a variety of music in a night club setting. Professional singer Syreeta Banks will kick off the festival on Thursday, July 7, 2016 with her original show, Broadway Soul. In addition to Broadway show tunes, her repertoire includes R&B, soul, gospel, pop, rock and jazz. 

The festival will continue in “Pinky’s Cabaret” (the theatre’s black box Pinkerton Theatre) through Sunday, August 28, 2016. Tickets are $17 for each show and are on sale now at; by calling 941-488-1115; or in person at the box office located at 140 W. Tampa Ave. on the island in Venice. Summer box office hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and one hour before show time.

23 different acts will be performing throughout the festival. Most performances take place at 8 p.m. on Thursdays through Saturdays and at 2 p.m. on Sundays. Exceptions are several edgier acts on Fridays and Saturdays at 11 p.m. and a few Sunday night performances.

Several performers are returning from previous summers while ten brand-new acts have been added to the roster. A listing of shows follows. More information is available at The festival is directed by Venice Theatre’s Producing Director, Allan Kollar with musical direction by Peter Madpak.

4th Annual Summer Cabaret Festival Schedule

Syreeta Banks presents Broadway Soul
Thursday, July 7 and Friday, July 8 at 8 p.m.
Our favorite powerhouse vocalist (you might remember her from Smokey Joe’s Café, Crowns, and Hair) will present songs from Broadway shows and songs from artists she grew up listening to. She’ll cover everything from R&B and soul to gospel, pop, rock and jazz. 

John Russo presents his Rat Pack Tribute
Saturday, July 9 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, July 10 at 2 p.m.
John is the definition of a classic entertainer, offering his heart and soul through music. Wade Tatangelo of the Herald-Tribune calls him “The Gifted Crooner" and Linda Carson of ABC 7 has dubbed John "Our Favorite Suncoast Singer". With hundreds of songs in his repertoire, this cabaret will focus on ones made popular by Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop.

Kristofer Geddie presents Back to Before
Thursday, July 14 and Friday, July 15 at 8 p.m.
Back to Before features highlights of stage, screen, and radio. Kris will bring the past to life through his eyes with the reverent and not so reverent.  His set list includes songs from The Eagles, Styx, Queen, Miss Saigon, Once on This Island, Ragtime and more!

Robin Fernandez presents Barbra and Frank at the Movies
Saturday, July 16 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, July 17 at 2 p.m. 
Robin Fernandez honors iconic singers/movie stars Barbra Streisand and Frank Sinatra with a variety of signature movie songs and stories of their illustrious lives. She’ll sing “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” “Just One of Those Things,” “Somewhere,” “Before the Parade Passes By,” “People,” and more.

Dorian and The Furniture
Sunday, July 17 at 8 p.m.
Now a staple of the Summer Cabaret Festival, our resident sound designer is back for one night only of mellow rock ‘n’ roll with The Furniture and friends.

Michelle Kasanofsky presents Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner
Thursday, July 21 and Friday, July 22 at 8 p.m. 
Venice Theatre’s music director extraordinaire is back, this time with two special guest stars from her family: multi-instrumentalists George Mancini and Mikal Mancini. The talented trio (along with drummer Joel Broome) will perform jazz standards like “S'Wonderful,” “Someone To Watch Over Me,” “All of Me” and “Over the Rainbow” along with blues, rock, funk and Motown.

Rachel Knowles presents Sinning Sirens
Friday, July 22 and Saturday, July 23 at 11 p.m.
Sinning Sirens is a unique burlesque experience featuring live vocals, a live band, and mixed styles. Headed up by Rachel Knowles (aka Rubyyjean) the troupe also features Casey Kelley, Brian Finnerty, Caitlin Ellis, Christina Capehart, Amanda Heisey, Jamon Buie, Corinne Woodland, Liz Pascoe, Patrick Tancey and Logan Junkins.

Lyn Purmort presents Music from Around the World
Saturday, July 23 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, July 24 at 2 p.m.
Lyn, the founding member of the local singing group "Vocal Vixens", takes a tuneful journey with musical partners Bob Constantino and Bobby Ryan.  No need to travel this summer when you can visit the streets of Paris, London, Rome, Latin America and the good old USA, all in one show! Her international set list includes “I Love Paris,” “Hymn to Love,” “A Foggy Day,” “Vienna My City of  Dreams,” and “Route 66.” 

Alyssa Hunek presents Then and Now
Sunday, July 24 at 8 p.m.
Alyssa grew up at Venice Theatre, went away to study, and came back more talented than ever! In her second solo cabaret, she travels through the decades with beloved songs from the 1940s to today … from Judy Garland to Adele! 

A Sentimental Journey with Matthew M. Ryder 
Thursday, July 28 and Sunday, July 31 at 8 p.m.
Hailing from Maine, Matthew jumped into the area theatre scene this season as George in She Loves Me and George in La Cage aux Folles at The Players in Sarasota. Matthew is a teacher, director, and performer with other leading credits such as Jesus in Godspell, Jerry in The Full Monty, and Curly in Oklahoma! Get to know him as he sings songs by Stephen Schwartz, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Irving Berlin,  Eubie Blake, David Yazbec and more.

Eric Watters presents Banned in Boston, the Best of Cole Porter
Saturday, July 30 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, July 31 at 2 p.m. 
Venice song-and-dance man Eric Watters returns with a new selection of songs, fascinating facts, and history. This time he highlights the songs of Cole Porter, many that were quite racy in their time. Some were even … banned in Boston!

Kristina Rehak presents Late Night Jam Sessions with Steve and the O’Deas
Saturday, July 30 and Friday, August 12 at 11 p.m.
Join this group of talented individuals performing songs they all love to rock out to. With their own personal style, soul, and flair for full instrumental balance, they’ll share everything from radio hits we all know to more obscure music we can’t wait to hear. Some songs contain adult language. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Six Strings Attached, an Evening with Corda Voce
Thursday, August 4 and Friday, August 5 at 8 p.m.
Charming, entertaining, and daringly virtuosic, Jenny Kim-Godfrey and Jonathan Godfrey form the soprano and classical guitar duo known as Corda Voce. Whether sharing cabaret standards or reimagining mainstay musical theater numbers, the heart of Corda Voce is rooted in music that is simply meant to be fun, engaging, sometimes quirky, and always memorable.

Kelly Woodland & friends present Random Acts 
Fridays, August 5 & 19 and Saturdays, August 6 & 20 at 11 p.m. 
It’s a new installment from the rebels of raunch! Random Acts brings edgy songs and comedy to Pinky’s Cabaret. How edgy? The director warns, “This show contains naughty words, naughty songs, and lots of naughty thoughts. If you are offended by anything at all, do not attend. You’ll just get huffy!”

Alana Opie & Rachel Knowles present The American Songbook with a Twist
Saturday, August 6 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, August 7 at 2 p.m.
Alana & Rachel give their own contemporary twists to songs like “Autumn Leaves,” “Someone to Watch Over Me”, “Happy Days are Here Again,” “At Last,” and standards from jazz, country, musical theater, and R&B.

John Lariviere presents The Sinatra Songbook
Thursday, August 11 and Friday, August 12 at 8 p.m.
Cabaret and jazz singer John Lariviere regularly headlines throughout South Florida performing his cabaret and concert work at local theatres and clubs. He has sung live on the radio and on TV, and you can hear his voice in leading roles on the original cast albums Fun and Games and Die Ammsterdamerung. John is back by popular demand with his sold-out one-man show, The Sinatra Songbook.

Michele & David Pruyn present Falling in Love Again
Saturday, August 13 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, August 14 at 2 p.m.
Celebrating romance from Broadway to Hollywood, this gifted husband and wife duo will serenade you with standards from the stage and screen.

Laurie Colton & friends present Songs in the Key of Pink
Thursday, August 18 and Friday, August 19 at 8 p.m.
Join Laurie and her group of talented friends as they pay tribute to iconic singers from Dusty Springfield and Marianne Faithful to Sheryl Crow, Olivia Newton John, Carly Simon and more. All they wanna do is have some fun … and raise money for the American Cancer Society! All proceeds benefit Relay for Life of Venice. 

Charles Logan presents Born this Way
Saturday, August 20 and Friday, August 26 at 8 p.m.
Join area native Charles Logan for a joyous celebration of all the music -- Broadway and Hollywood alike --  that started him dancing at age four and has kept him kicking -- and sometimes screaming -- for the 30 years since. Featuring songs and dances from classics such as A Chorus Line, Singing In The Rain and La Cage aux Folles  to lesser-known gems from Whoop-Dee-Doo and When Pigs Fly.

Stephen Ditchfield presents An American Songbook
Sundays, August 21 and August 28 at 2 p.m.
Stephen, in his own inimitable style, presents the great standards and the best of Broadway, along with contemporary and inspirational favorites!  Resonating with warmth and sincerity, Stephen shares anecdotes and stories that bring the songs to life, encouraging his audiences to remember the good times and live life today to the fullest!

Ariel Blue presents The Power of the Voice
Sundays, August 21 and August 28 at 8 p.m.
Through song, spoken word, and storytelling, Ariel will take you on an intimate journey from her days of stage fright to finding her unique voice. Join this star of the critically acclaimed Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe as she sings songs from Stevie Wonder, Ruth Brown, Dream Girls and more.

Kathryn Parks & Matthew Ryder present Songs to Sweep You Off Your Feet
Thursday, August 25 and Saturday, August 27 at 8 p.m.
A collection of romantic melodies from musical theater and beyond that explores love -- falling in, falling out, and everything in between. Songs will include selections from Gershwin, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Andrew Lloyd Webber and more.

Jonathan Hall presents To Drag … or Not to Drag
Friday, August 26 and Saturday, August 27 at 11 p.m.
Jonathan Hall and special guest Felicity Liemont Roxx have some late-night surprises in store for you! 
About Venice Theatre                                                  
Venice Theatre ’s mission is making a dramatic impact on all stages of life. The second-largest out of 10,000 community theatres in the United States, its MainStage offers seating for 432 patrons and features musicals, plays, concerts and special events.  Its Yvonne Pinkerton Theatre seats 90 patrons and is home to the theatre’s “Generations”, Stage II and Cabaret Series. In addition to providing entertainment to the community, Venice Theatre has a wide range of education and outreach programs for children and adults. Venice Theatre is a non-profit, 501 (c) 3 organization.