Make us your home page
Instagram

Stage West production of musical 'I Do! I Do!' features bold casting move

Dorothy Ferguson portrays Agnes and Keith Surplus plays Michael in Stage West Community Playhouse’s production of I Do! I Do!

Courtesy of Carol Ballard

Dorothy Ferguson portrays Agnes and Keith Surplus plays Michael in Stage West Community Playhouse’s production of I Do! I Do!

SPRING HILL — The director of Stage West Community Playhouse's musical Jesus Christ Superstar, made a daring casting decision for its production of that show last season: She cast a female in the role of Judas Iscariot, a role traditionally played by a male, usually a black male.

It was an inspired move. Actor/singer Victoria Primosch did a magnificent job with the role and went on to win a coveted HAMI Award, the single HAMI given to the show in a tough season that included the musicals Ragtime and Little Shop of Horrors.

Now director Kathy Capelle is making a similarly bold move with the musical I Do! I Do!, playing Thursday to Oct. 23 on theater's Main Stage. The two-person musical follows a married couple through their ups and downs from their wedding day in 1895 to their golden anniversary in 1945.

The bold move? Capelle cast a black woman as Agnes and a white man as Michael.

It makes sense. Dorothy Ferguson and Keith Surplus are two of the most proficient singer/actors who have ever performed at Stage West. Ferguson won HAMI Awards as Sarah in Ragtime and as Calpurnia in To Kill a Mockingbird. Surplus has performed professionally at Jimmy Ferraro's Studio Theatre, played the title role in Stage West's Jesus Christ Superstar, lead male in Little Shop of Horrors and Younger Brother in Ragtime and has had several lead and supporting roles at Richey Suncoast Theatre, where he picked up a Tommy Award (now Charlie Award) for his performance as Cornelius in Hello, Dolly!

I Do! I Do!, based on the play The Fourposter, debuted on Broadway in 1966, starring Robert Preston and Mary Martin. It was nominated for seven Tony Awards in 1967, and won for Preston's performance. Seven years later, it toured the United States with Carol Burnett and Rock Hudson in the leads. It was proposed as a movie, but was never made. Instead, it became a television production with Lee Remick and Hal Linden. It's sometimes done with an eight-person cast, most recently at the Ocala Civic Theatre.

It has become a favorite of regional and community theaters, especially those catering to mature audiences, mainly because of what was once dubbed as its "remarkably plain-spoken" song lyrics.

It begins on Agnes and Michael's wedding day and follows them through the decades as they set up house, have children, quarrel, make up, separate, reconcile and, finally, look back on their lives together. The music by Harvey Schmidt and lyrics by Tom Jones produced one hit, Ed Ames' version of My Cup Runneth Over, though critics generally praised the entire score. The composer/writers also wrote The Fantasticks, the long-running Off-Broadway musical.

>>if you go

To see the show

I Do! I Do!, a musical, at Stage West Community Playhouse, 8390 Forest Oaks Blvd., Spring Hill, Thursday to Oct. 23. Shows are at 7:30 p.m., except Sundays and the second Saturday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20, reserved seating. Call (352) 683-5113.

Stage West production of musical 'I Do! I Do!' features bold casting move 10/04/16 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 4, 2016 5:25pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Hernando Events for Sept. 22

    Events

    22 Friday

    Academia Hernando Fall 2017 Lecture Series: "Eleanor Roosevelt at the U.N. — Human Rights," by Susan Marie Frontczak. Series includes eight lectures and one field trip. Field trip only open to subscribers. 10 a.m. to noon. $65 for the entire series, including field trip; $9 per …

  2. Things to Do in Pasco and Hernando counties starting Sept. 22

    Events

    Festivals

    Music and brews: "Brews and Wine on the Bayou," a benefit for Youth and Family Alternatives, will be from 2 to 6 p.m. Sept. 23 at Gill Dawg Marina, 5419 Treadway Drive, Port Richey. The event will feature all-you-can-taste beer and wine, with 20 craft beers and 20 wines. There will be a …

  3. 5 things you didn't know about 'Wall Street' on its 30th anniversary

    Blogs

    It’s hard to think of the 1987 movie Wall Street and not picture Michael Douglas as a megalomaniac tycoon spouting “Greed is good” until shareholders fall in line. 

  4. A meatless burger that tastes like meat? Ciccio Restaurants will serve the Impossible Burger.

    Food & Dining

    TAMPA — The most red-hot hamburger in the nation right now contains no meat.

    Ciccio executive chef Luis Flores prepares an Impossible Burger Wednesday at the Epicurean Hotel Food Theatre in Tampa.
  5. Plan your weekend: Sept. 22-24: Buffyfest, Arcade Fire, Howl-O-Scream, Wanderlust 108 and 'Rent'

    Events

    Plan your weekend

    Pop show

    Florida Björkestra's Buffyfest: Pop culture meets pop music when the Florida Björkestra, a 20-piece alternative-classical ensemble that tributes ground-breaking pop artists, on Saturday will play with eight vocalists for "Once More with …

    The 20th anniversary tour of RENT, shown in 2016, comes to the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts Sept. 19-24, 2017. Photo by Carol Rosegg.