Venice Theatre's Solofest

Arts & Culture

Venice Theatre is proud to present its first Solofest opening in its 90-seat Pinkerton Theatre on Friday Dec. 8 and running through Sunday Dec. 17, 2023. There are three plays in the festival: Shirley Valentine, Give 'Em Hell, Harry! and Mark Twain: They Told Me to Be Brief. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. on Sundays. Festival tickets are available for $26 per show at www.venicetheatre.org or by calling 941-488-1115. Seating is general admission. The first play in the Solofest line-up is Shirley Valentine by Willy Russell starring actor, director, and writer Jan Wallace on Dec. 8, 9 and 10. This piece is an actor's tour-de-force about an ordinary middle class English housewife. As Shirley prepares dinner, she ruminates on her life and tells the audience about her husband, her children, her past, and an invitation from a girlfriend to join her on holiday in Greece to search for romance and adventure. Wallace has performed Shirley Valentine in the area before and is excited to share it with Venice Theatre patrons. Her credits include off-Broadway, New York Regional theatre, and local appearances at Asolo Rep, Banyan Theatre, Sarasota Players, Manatee Performing Arts Center, and the Island Players. Wallace's first performance at Venice Theatre was as Ida in last season's acclaimed The Cemetery Club. Give 'Em Hell, Harry! will be performed by Jack Rabito on Dec. 12, 13 and 14. Rabito is known in South Florida for his portrayal of President Harry S. Truman and also brought "Harry" to Chicago to great reviews and a standing-room-only audience. A veteran actor with over 100 stage shows to his credit, Rabito has performed locally at Venice Theatre, Glenridge Performing Arts Center, Cook Theater in Sarasota, The Lemon Bay Playhouse, and Charlotte Players. Solofest concludes with Mark Twain: They Told Me To Be Brief written by and starring Alan Kitty. Kitty will perform his original piece on Dec. 15, 16 and 17. Nationally known for his impersonation of America’s most relatable and quoted author, Kitty began playing Twain in 1979 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Soon after, he began to reread the Twain books he grew up with. A deep dive into scholarly research followed. The result was a library lecture series, theatrical performances around the country, school presentations, and scores of after-dinner and corporate event speeches. Again, tickets for Solofest are available at www.venicetheatre.org or by calling 941-488-1115. Venice Theatre is located at 140 Tampa Ave. W. in Venice. The Pinkerton Theatre is located in its main building.

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