It can be difficult to put into context what the Venice Theater means to the communities of Venice, Sarasota, and the surrounding region of Florida’s Gulf Coast. In its 73rd season, the Venice Theater has grown from a tiny, volunteer-operated endeavor to the largest community theater in the country, per capita, with a yearly operating budget close to four million dollars. Part of that growth, however, involves managing the responsibility of providing an ever-increasing audience base opportunities to view and become involved with theater. “In our 73rd season we’re providing opportunities for our community to gather together to reflect on our lives and dreams, with nostalgia and laughter, deep thoughts and great music,” says Artistic Director Benny Sato Ambush. “We do a lot and within it, there’s both the familiar and the new. The season truly has something for everyone and at the core of all of it is the human heart. We’re offering a wide range of entertaining dramatic stories that will delight your fancy, tickle your funny bone, and inspire thought provoking conversations.”  One of the productions that embodies the mission of the Venice Theater is Up on the Roof, an original music revue from Director Scott Keys and Venice Theater’s Music Director Michelle Kasanofsky. Up on the Roof which will run from January 13th, 2022 - February 5th, 2023 in the company’s 432-seat Main Stage Jervey Theater, focuses on a group of singers who retreat to a rooftop at first seeking isolation, but eventually finding companionship with one another. It’s a production that, while simple in its story, feels right at home in today’s post pandemic climate. “Up on the Roof is a world premiere of an original musical revue of the songs of Carol King and James Taylor, who were friends and colleagues,” says Ambush. “The idea first bubbled up last Fall, with the music of King and Taylor being the main inspiration for it. Those great late ‘60s-early ‘70s singer songwriters are kind of my era of music. It’s also the songbook of many of our audience members, the music they grew up listening to.”

Venice Theatre, January 13–February 5. 2023,