NEW PORT RICHEY — Two comedies, a musical tribute to Broadway and a two-show special are on tap for the 2016 spring season at Jimmy Ferraro's Studio Theatre in downtown New Port Richey.
The special, Shimmy Showcase of Stars, is an "all singing, dancing, comedy revue," according to theater owner Jimmy Ferraro. It's to benefit the Angels of Gratitude scholarship fund, which provides lessons for performing arts students in financial need, Ferraro said. There are only two performances: 7:30 p.m. Jan. 23 and 2 p.m. Jan. 24.
The "infamous" belly dance troupe Sahirnee will anchor the show. Singers Dee Etta Rowe, Sara DelBeato, Heather Spillane, Tracie Callahan and Elizabeth S. Phillips will perform tunes from Broadway, pop hits and inspirational numbers, with Ferraro himself as special guest star.
Standup comic Jared Michael Shari (Anthony in Holy Cannoli) also will be featured, as will actor Jerry Cowling in a tribute to writer Mark Twain.
Regular season shows include:
Feb. 5-March 6: Murder at the Howard Johnson's, a screwball suspense comedy about a love triangle in a Howard Johnson Motor Inn.
March 11-27: Puttin' on the Glitz!, a musical tribute to Broadway, with hits from favorite musicals, as well as some little-known shows, including Oklahoma!, Hair, Funny Girl, Mame, Phantom of the Opera, Sunset Boulevard and more.
April 15-May 15: Cookin' with Gus, a comedy about renowned cook Gussie Richardson, her live-in partner and part-time hypnotist Walter, her blustery agent Bernie and her neighbor Carmen, a sort of Jewish-gypsy princess. It's only after Gussie lands her very own television show that she realizes she can't speak a word in front of a camera. That's when her pals and supporters come up with "cures" that turn into wild hilarity.
The theater is at 5732 Main St., New Port Richey. Tickets are $28, tax included (group rates available), open seating. There is a $2-per-order handling fee for credit and debit cards. Call (727) 409-0293. Regular season shows are at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and at 2 p.m. Sundays.