Sarasota Jewish Theatre Announces Doug Shapiro Will Replace Kraig Swartz in Fully Committed

Arts & Culture

Pictured: Doug Shapiro in Fully Committed at The Barnstormers. Photo by Lisa DuFault.

Sarasota Jewish Theatre (SJT) announces that, due to a scheduling conflict with previously-booked actor Kraig Swartz, Doug Shapiro will play the role of Sam in Becky Mode’s “Fully Committed” which runs from January 31-February 4, 2024. The play will be presented at The Players Centre Studio 1130 at the Crossings at Siesta Key mall, 3501 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. To purchase tickets, visit ThePlayers.org or call 941-365-2494. For information, visit SarasotaJewishTheatre.org. “Fully Committed” is a riotously funny play that follows a day in the life of Sam (Doug Shapiro), an out-of-work actor who mans the red-hot reservation line at Manhattan’s number-one restaurant. Coercion, threats, bribes, histrionics—a cast of desperate callers will stop at nothing in their zeal to land a prime reservation at the right table. Directed by Gus Kaikkonen, Shapiro portrays 40 wildly diverse characters in an extraordinary acting tour de force. This past August, Shapiro performed “Fully Committed” to rave reviews at The Barnstormers theatre in Tamworth, New Hampshire. A well-known New York actor and popular voice-over artist, Shapiro voiced characters for the upcoming film Lost on a Mountain in Maine. He has performed Off-Broadway with National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene in “The Sorceress” (“Di Kishefmakherin”) and in “Once Upon a Mattress” with Jackie Hoffman. Shapiro recently shared a story with SJT’s board chair Carolyn Michel. While seated for a performance at Lincoln Center, he told a friend that he would soon be heading to Sarasota to do “Fully Committed” with Sarasota Jewish Theatre. He wrote, “From behind me I hear, ‘Did you say Sarasota Jewish Theatre?’ Two of your subscribers love your theatre and were very excited to hear I’ll be performing there. I’m so happy to hear that in less than three years, everything you’ve created is spreading joy all the way to New York City.” The season continues with M*A*S*H writer Larry Gelbart’s “Better Late” (March 13-21), directed by Carolyn Michel. This riff on a December-December-December romance bristles with biting humor. Nora (Nellie O’Brien) and Lee (Don Walker) have been married for 20 years when Nora asks if they can take in her ex-husband, Julian (Lee Gundersheimer), for a few weeks while he is recovering from a recent stroke. Tension builds between the two men as Julian’s orchestrated relapses prolong his stay from weeks to months and family and relationship dynamics are tested. How long will Julian stay and how long will it take until Lee cracks? The season closes with Mark Harelik’s “The Immigrant” (May 1-12), a heartwarming true story of a life fulfilled in the “Golden Land” directed by Gus Kaikkonen. In rural central Texas, 1909, a young Russian-Jewish immigrant has sought refuge in the land of the free. He arrives in America through the port of Galveston and discovers a world of unknowns. The first miracle he encounters is a banana. He goes door to door selling this fruit, and eventually manages to buy a cart. Life changes when he pulls his banana cart into the village of Hamilton. Able to speak only Yiddish, alone amid a staunchly Christian community, he begs for shelter. Miracles continue to unfold over the next 30 year as religion meets religion, culture meets culture, and humanity triumphs over fear. For more information, visit SarasotaJewishTheatre.org. To purchase tickets to the performances at The Players Centre Studio 1130, visit ThePlayers.org or call 941-365-2494.

Pictured: Doug Shapiro in Fully Committed at The Barnstormers. Photo by Lisa DuFault.

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