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2015 Cabaret Festival

The Venice Theatre will present the acclaimed 2015 Cabaret Festival from July 9th – August 30th in beautiful Venice, Florida.  Now in its third year “This festival goes back to the basics with a variety of music and comedy in a nightclub setting,” festival director Allan Kollar said. “We found that our audiences loved the format and the performers did, too”.  Kollar has designed a festival that brings together simply the best of the best cabaret acts all in one place for some glorious summertime entertainment. Each show will be presented twice, with most performances being Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sundays at 2:00PM.  Tickets are only $15 per show.   The Venice Theatre is located at 140 Tampa Ave., Venice< FL 34285.  For more information call 941-488-1115 or go on line to


2015 Cabaret Festival Artists:

Michelle and David James-Pruyn present To Rosie and Mel, with Love
Thursday, July 9 and Friday, July 10 at 8 p.m.
You know Michelle as the lead singer from The Sounds of Harry James and the Andrews Sisters. In To Rosie and Mel, with Love she is joined by her husband as they pay tribute to “The Singers’ Singers” — Rosemary Clooney and Mel Tormé. Take a look back at Rosie and Mel’s amazing careers through the songs and styles that endeared them to the hearts of millions! Michelle and David escort us on a musical journey of beloved favorites from the Great American Songbook in a tribute performance unlike any other!

Kathryn Parks presents Secrets and Sequins
Saturday, July 11 and Thursday, July 16 at 8 p.m.
You may recognize her as a local leading lady, but Kathryn Parks was once a shy, self-aware girl with just a twinkle of confidence in her eye. Meticulously writing in her diary since the age of 11, Kathryn divulges all her inner drama, the cute with the crazy, while connecting her confessions to, what else, classic Broadway show tunes! Follow the adventures of this Sarasota native as she reveals her private musings through personal stories and the songs of Rodgers & Hammerstein, Gershwin, Sondheim, and more.

John Lariviere presents The Sinatra Songbook
Sundays, July 12 and July 19 at 2 p.m.

Cabaret Scene Magazine has called him “a voice of the gods”.  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 his voice can be heard in leading roles in the original cast albums Fun and Games and Die Ammsterdamerung. John has appeared at The Plaza Theater in his sold-out one-man show The Sinatra Songbook.

Dorian and The Furniture
Sunday, July 19 at 8 p.m.
Now a staple of the Summer Cabaret Festival, our resident Sound Designer is back for a night of mellow rock ‘n’ roll with The Furniture and friends.

Kristofer Geddie and Michelle Kasanofsky present That Old Black Magic
Friday, July 17 and Saturday, July 18 at 8 p.m.
VT favorite Kristofer Geddie (Ragtime, Smokey Joe’s Cafe, Intimate Apparel) brings the influential song and dance men in his life together in one evening of song. You’ll hear selections that were made popular by entertainment giants such as Sammy Davis, Jr., Ben Vereen, and Bert Williams.

Harry and Lesley Fager present 2 SAXY
Thursdays, July 23 and July 30 at 8 p.m.
Together as a musical duo since the summer of 2010, 2 SAXY has performed at some of the finest restaurants and private clubs throughout Sarasota and Manatee counties. Their music repertoire, with live tenor sax and jazz guitar, includes dozens of favorites from the Great American Songbook as well as more contemporary tunes, sure to please all audiences.

Joey Panek presents Live from Venice, It’s Friday and Saturday Night!
Friday, July 24 and Saturday, July 25 at 8 p.m.
Join one of our favorite performers, Joey Panek, for a late-night talk show onstage in Pinky’s Cabaret! Joey – along with his own Ed McMahon, Christine Alexander – interviews and performs with a variety of local celebrity guests.

Eric Watters presents 1958
Sunday, July 26 at 2 p.m. and Friday, July 31 at 8 p.m.
Venice song-and-dance man Eric Watters returns with a new selection of songs, fascinating facts, and history — all from 1958! Let Eric serenade you with hits and enlighten you with stories from that year’s Tony nominees, Top 40 Countdown, and beloved crooners like Ricky Nelson, Pat Boone, Connie Francis, and Perry Como .

Theatre Odyssey presents The Best of the Ten-Minute Play Festival
Tuesdays, July 28 and August 11 at 8 p.m. and Wednesdays, July 29 and August 12 at 8 p.m.
Founded in Sarasota in 2006, Theatre Odyssey provides a nurturing environment to encourage, inspire, and challenge local playwrights and actors. Venice Theatre welcomes them as they bring a selection of ten-minute plays and music to the Summer Cabaret Festival! Marty Fugate of The Observer Group has called their offerings, “warm,” “funny,” “charming,” “poignant,” and “hilarious.”

Bobby Brader presents Bach and Forth
Saturday, August 1 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, August 2 at 2 p.m.
Bobby was an audience favorite last year, bringing down the house with his clever and creative take on Baroque music and beyond. Now living in Seattle, WA to study film scoring at the Seattle Film Institute, we’re delighted to have Bobby back for this summer’s festival! His musical romp through time will feature countless composers from the distant past to the present day.

Robin Fernandez presents Awaken the Dream
Thursday, August 6 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, August 9 at 2 p.m.
Robin is thrilled to return to Venice Theatre’s third Cabaret Festival with a new inspiring show about following your dreams. Join Robin in exploring some of the dreams, schemes, and themes that compel us to wish, hope, and create something new in our lives and the world around us. Perhaps this will motivate you to awaken your secret dream and make it come true! Songs include classic and contemporary selections like “The Impossible Dream,” “When You Wish Upon a Star,” “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” and “Defying Gravity.”

Kitt Moran presents Johnny Mercer: An Intimate Portrait
Friday, August 7 and Saturday, August 8 at 8 p.m.
Kitt details the passionate, heartbreaking, behind-the-scenes love affair between Johnny Mercer and Judy Garland that lasted until Johnny’s death, demonstrating how the affair changed Johnny’s lyric writing. Songs include “The Days of Wine and Roses,” “Satin Doll,” “That Old Black Magic,” “When October Goes” and many more great songs of Johnny Mercer.

Kim Kollar, Michelle Kasanofsky, and Bobbi Eschenbach present Movie Magic
Thursday, August 13 and Friday, August 14 at 8 p.m.
Kim, Michelle, and Bobbi are back with “reeling” excitement in their brand-new cabaret Movie Magic! All aboard for show-stopping sensations from the beginning of movie musicals to modern movies.

Eli Schildkraut presents Trending
Saturday, August 15 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, August 16 at 2 p.m.
Equipped with the music of famous composers, insightful commentary, and even original songs, student music director Eli Schildkraut and his talented friends return to Venice Theatre to present an entertaining and occasionally hilarious peek at the past, present, and future trends of musical theatre.

Kaitlyn Terpstra presents The Good Life
Thursday, August 20 and Friday, August 28 at 8 p.m.
Kaitlyn grew up performing at Venice Theatre and developed her passion for the stage here. After wowing audiences last summer with “Smoke and Mirrors,” she’s back with another cabaret. She invites you to celebrate the good in life with uplifting songs ranging from Broadway to jazz.

Random Acts presents Censory Overload (The Musical)
Friday, August 21 and Saturday, August 29: 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. both nights!
A new installment from the rebels of raunch! Random Acts brings another evening of edgy songs and comedy to Pinky’s Cabaret. How edgy? Come at 8 p.m. for the PG13 version or at 11 p.m. for the  full-out uncensored version. A warning from the director: This show contains naughty words, naughty songs, and lots of naughty thoughts–especially the 11:00 show. If you are offended by anything at all, do not attend. You’ll just get huffy!

Kristofer Geddie and DaNiesha Carr present Laugh ‘Til You Cry
Saturday, August 22 and Thursday, August 27 at 8 p.m.
DaNiesha and Kris take you on a journey through the highs and lows of performing in this business called theatre: the good ‘n’ funny, the bad ‘n’ sad, and the hilariously ugly. Sometimes in theatre you have to laugh in order not to cry!

Stephen Ditchfield presents Some Enchanted Evening
Sundays, August 23 and August 30 at 2 p.m
The best-loved music from the best-loved singers of our time. From Sinatra to  Nat King Cole, from Tony Bennett to Michael Buble, from the Broadway stage to the silver screen … it’s the music you love … the way you remember it! Join  Stephen Ditchfield for an “enchanted evening” of music presented in his own  inimitable style – with warmth, humor, and inspiration!