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Ferraro’s Studio Theatre getting ‘Coupled’

Suncoast News staff report
Published:   |   Updated: July 11, 2014 at 11:09 AM

After a critically acclaimed sold-out first show last month, the Jimmy Ferraro’s Studio Theatre cast is gearing up for the second production.

The musical comedy “Coupled ” will have its world premiere July 18. The show’s book, music and lyrics are by Brooksville resident Diana Rogers, according to Jimmy Ferraro who is directing and staging the show.

“Coupled will run on weekends through Aug. 10 at the theater at 5732 Main St.

Opening night will include a champagne reception to meet the cast, following the show.

“Coupled” revolves around three couples. who have been close friends who go on vacation together each year. The musical comedy romp is about friendships and long-term relationships, Ferraro said. Tunes include “Middle Age Lament,” “Bathroom Samba,” “Channel Surfing” and “Help Me, Oprah.”.

Musical director is Marvin Lovett.

As a backdrop, the play uses the grand opening of the fictional New Millennium Oasis Resort and pro golf course.

Diana Rogers, who portrays the character Donna, has compiled credits on Broadway and a national tour as Madame Thenardier in “Les Miserables,” She’s also appeared in “Always Patsy Cline” and many other productions.

Rogers had never dreamed of writing her own musical. When she came to Florida in 2000 to help with ailing parents, she took a full-time job teaching drama and had occasional acting jobs. She missed the creative side of rehearsals and performing and decided to write a musical.

Dee Etta Rowe, who plays Maggie in Coupled” played the wacky farmer’s wife Mavis in last month’s show, “Church Basement Ladies.” She starred as Golde, in the 2012 national tour of “Fiddler on the Roof,” opposite Ferraro, her husband. For eight years she toured around the country in “Menopause the Musical,” among many other credits.

Jessica Virginia, Lexi, has been performing for more than 12 years, most recently in Stage West’s Production of “Les Miserables,” as Eponine. Some favorite credits include Annie Sullivan in “The Miracle Worker” and roles in “The Rocky Horror Show” and “Chicago.” She has also won five local theatre awards for her various roles and choreography.

Pete Clapsis, Bill, is no stranger to local audiences, He portrayed Pastor Gunderson in the inaugural production “Church Basement Ladies,” A p//rofessional since late 2010, he has appeared at the Show Palace in Hudson in productions ranging from “Oklahoma” to “La Cage Aux Folles.” He also has appeared on the Julie Harris Stage in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, American Stage in St. Petersburg and the Straz Center in Tampa.

Rick Faurote, Jack, has performed on the Suncoast for more than 38 years. His most recent credits include Jean Valjean in “Les Miserables” as well as shows for Plant City Entertainment, m.a.d. theatre of Tampa, Riverview Little Theatre and the Tampa Players theatre.

Brandon Mauro, Daniel, was born and raised in New Port Richey. He graduated from River Ridge High School, where he was directed by Rogers in multiple shows. He graduated from University of South Florida with a degree in mass communications and a minor in theater performance. Mauro’s TV and film roles have included “CSI,” “Touched by an Angel” and “Malcolm in the Middle.”

The crew includes production stage manager and lighting designer Misty Hornsby. Keith Snyder handled set design. Myndee Fleury Washington created costumes. Russ Hornsby handled sound design.

For tickets call the theater box office at (727) 409-0293 or email For more information, go online to