Marty Clear

New theater company debuts in Sarasota

From left, Don Walker as Frank Goldstein, Amanda Schlachter as Geanina Palmieri and Joseph Parra as Marco Donnatucci in "Sweeter Than Justice."MICHELLE DONNER/publicity photo
From left, Don Walker as Frank Goldstein, Amanda Schlachter as Geanina Palmieri and Joseph Parra as Marco Donnatucci in "Sweeter Than Justice."MICHELLE DONNER/publicity photo

A new company called Page to Stage is making its entrance into the Sarasota theater scene this weekend.

Page to Stage will present the regional premiere of Robert Lipkin's psychological drama "Sweeter Than Justice" in the Cook Theatre at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts for two weeks beginning today.

It's set in South Philadelphia in 1963, and young law student (played by Amanda Schlachter) matches wits against a mob boss. The law student is the only one who can save the mob boss' son from the electric chair. But she's conflicted as to whether she wants to do that.

Page to Stage is an Equity company, and the cast includes some of the area's best theater professionals. Among them area Joseph Parra as the mob boss, Rafael Petlock as the son, and Don Walker in a smaller role. It's directed by Sarasota theater stalwart Carole Kleinberg.

Banyan Theater had produced shows through the summer in the Cook Theater for many years, but that company abruptly folded a few weeks ago after the death of founder Jerry Finn. Some of the people involved with Stage to Page and this production are Banyan veterans, so perhaps the new company can help fill the considerable void left by the Banyan.

Details: May 12-21, Cook Theatre at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Show times: 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: $28-40; students $15. Information: 941-359-0099, pagetostageproductions.com.

-- Marty Clear

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