Florida Studio Released From Grip of Hysteria, Feb. 26

News   Florida Studio Released From Grip of Hysteria, Feb. 26 Last chance to catch Florida Studio's mounting of Hysteria, Terry Johnson's off-beat comedy about Freud, Dali and mental disturbance. The show, which was set to run through Feb. 24, added two more dates and will now end Feb. 26. Performances began Jan. 11 for an on opening Jan. 15 (moved up from a previously-announced Jan. 13).

Last chance to catch Florida Studio's mounting of Hysteria, Terry Johnson's off-beat comedy about Freud, Dali and mental disturbance. The show, which was set to run through Feb. 24, added two more dates and will now end Feb. 26. Performances began Jan. 11 for an on opening Jan. 15 (moved up from a previously-announced Jan. 13).

Not only has FST mounted Hysteria at roughly the same time as Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre, but the southern venue has had to conquer the same snag. Both theatres lost their Sigmund Freuds in mid-rehearsal. At the Steppenwolf, Yasen Peyankov took over for Alan Wilder, who departed for personal reasons. At FST, Michael Lipton left the production and was been replaced as Freud by Michael O. Smith.

FST artistic director and director of the production, Richard Hopkins, called Lipton "a true professional" and explained the change only by stating, "the role of Sigmund Freud is a demanding one for any actor." A company spokesperson told Playbill On-Line, "It just wasn't working out. There was a mutual decision to change."

A veteran of Florida theatre, Smith's Broadway credits include The Elephant Man and Dracula. He had been playing Yehuda in Hysteria before the cast-change; now Roy Sorensen plays that role. Tom Ford plays Dali, and Celeste Ciulla is Jessica.

Hysteria, a comedy about Sigmund Freud's last days in a quiet London suburb, finds the father of psychiatry disturbed by an attractive yet unstable young lady, as well as a visit from surrealist artist, Salvador Dali. Johnson's other works include Insignificance and directing The Libertine at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre.

For tickets and information on Hysteria at Florida Studio Theatre, 1241 North Palm Avenue in Sarasota, call (941) 366-9000. Next up at the theatre will be Margaret Edson's Pulitzer-winning Wit, Feb. 29-29 April 14.

--By David Lefkowitz