Local opera company First Coast Opera ventures “out of the box” inviting theater lovers to enjoy a lighthearted entertainment as its summer benefit. The Friends of First Coast Opera will present a staged reading of the comic play, “The Owl and the Pussycat” August 3-5 at Corazon Cinema and Cafe in downtown St. Augustine. Friday and Saturday shows begin at 7:30pm. The Sunday matinee begins at 2pm.
Starring Broadway stage and film actress Annie Gaybis and First Coast Opera Artistic Director Curtis Tucker, under the direction of Anne Kraft, proceeds from the event will benefit First Coast Opera, the only professional opera company in northeast Florida.
In a San Francisco apartment, aspiring author Felix spies a prostitute plying her trade in a neighboring building. He notifies the landlord, who evicts her, but not before giving up Felix as the snitch. Doris, really an aspiring model and actress, confronts Felix, which leads to surprises and hilarity. Alan Alda and Diana Sands played the roles on Broadway in 1964, George Segal and Barbra Streisand on film in 1970.
“The Owl and the Pussycat” was the most successful play by Bill Manhoff, who also wrote extensively for television including “The Real McCoys,” “The Bob Cummings Show,” and numerous sitcoms, including “Leave it to Beaver,” “Sanford and Son,” and “All in the Family.”
When asked whether it was unusual for an opera company to present a nonmusical play, FCO Artistic Director Curtis Tucker said “That’s what makes this event so intriguing. Opera is theater, and I was onstage before I began conducting and producing opera. The arts are best when they are collaborative. By doing something different, we get to enjoy the expertise of Anne and Annie and reach new audiences … and have some fun at the same time.”
Tickets for the performance are $25 and patrons are encouraged to arrive early to enjoy food and drink specials available from The Corazon Cinema and Cafe. Get tickets at www.firstcoastopera.com or call 904-417-5555.