If anyone needs further proof of how talented our FIU Theatre students and graduates are you should definitely take in a performance of New Theatre’s production of Not Ready for Primetime, due to open on March 28 in the Lab Theatre at the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center. The play was written by FIU graduate and Theatre Arts Director of The Roxy Group Charles Sothers, and FIU theatre major Erik Rodriguez (BA in progress). The cast and crew include Ivan Lopez (Class of 04), an adjunct professor in the Theatre Department who will be playing Dan Aykroyd, FIU theatre major Danny Leonard (BFA Performance in progress) as Chevy Chase, Nicole Quintana (Class of ’01) as the Set Designer, and theatre major Paul Steinsland (BA in progress) as the Sound Designer. Other cast members include Melissa Hubicsak (Class of ‘09), Zack Myers (BFA Performance in progress) and Luis Ettorre (BA in progress). President of the Miami Marlins and Survivor contestant David Sampson will be playing Lorne Michaels, creator of Saturday Night Live.
Not Ready for Primetime is about the first five tumultuous years of America’s funniest TV show, Saturday Night Live. At least five months of research went into the play so that the writers could portray how the original cast interacted with each other on and off the set and could stick as closely as possible to actual events and storylines. There was also the research the cast members had to do to capture the essence of the characters they are playing. Ivan Lopez found the friendship between his character, Dan Aykroyd, and John Belushi to be deep and fascinating. Years after Belushi’s death, Aykroyd would still be asked about their friendship in interviews. In the process of his research Danny Leonard became more interested and curious about his character and the first cast member to leave the show, Chevy Chase.
Not Ready for Primetime is told in the first person perspective and promises to take viewers on a trip down memory lane. Saturday Night Live is an interesting part of pop culture that appeals to people of different generations. The writers are hoping for a turnout that will reflect this. Older generations will come out to see those characters that drew them into the show back in the ‘70s and young people will come out of curiosity to learn about the seven iconic characters that made the show what it is today.
The show is being directed by New Theatre Artistic Director, Ricky J. Martinez and produced by New Theatre. As a champion of new works and a playwright himself, Ricky fell in love with the script from its inception. He is not just a director and producer of the play, but he has been a mentor to the writers and shares their joy and pride in the finished product. When asked about his expectations for the play, Ricky responded, “It is an incredible script and I am so proud of Erik and Charlie. They are both very talented. I feel that this play has future legs, on a local, national, and perhaps even international level. It is a comedy loaded with tragedy and drama”.
Not Ready for Primetime begins on March 28 and will run through April 20 at the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center. Please go out and support the arts and enjoy an evening with some of the funniest comedians of our time.
For tickets, showtimes, dates or more information please visit http://www.new-theatre.org/play_primetime.php