MIAMI (CBSMiami) – It’s not a publicly-funded ballpark or a jungle in the Philippines, but Miami Marlins President and Survivor castaway David Samson is making himself at home on a new stage- the one at the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center.
The sometimes controversial sports figure is starring in a play titled “Not Ready for Primetime”.
“I’m always doing interesting things outside of baseball,” Samson told CBS4’s Lauren Pastrana before the show’s final dress rehearsal ahead of opening night. “I’m always trying to push the envelope for things. These are things I like to do when I’m not working.”
The show, set in 1970s New York City, takes a look at all the on and off-camera drama behind the start of the popular sketch comedy show “Saturday Night Live”.
Samson plays show creator Lorne Michaels.
“I try to imagine Lorne as someone who puts together teams, and he does. He puts together teams of comedians. And I put together teams of baseball players, so there are many similarities,” Samson said.
Between daily rehearsals and trips to Jupiter for spring training games, Samson hasn’t had much down time lately.
“This is a major commitment and I’ve been into it from minute one. Completely committed,” Samson said. “Working with Ricky is just amazing.”
Ricky J. Martinez is the show’s director and the artistic director for New Theatre, a group which blends classics and new productions with the goal of being intimate, vibrant and groundbreaking.
“When I was reading the script I was thinking, ‘Who would make the best Lorne Michael?’ And instantly, I was like ‘Boom! David Samson’,” Martinez explained.
He said the play’s writers, Charles A. Sothers and Erik. J Rodriguez were skeptical at first, but were impressed by Samson’s audition.
Martinez said the show is funny, but also deals with dark themes like drug use and death.
He adds the audience is invited to be part of the experience.
The intimate space will accommodate roughly 80 guests during each of the show’s 14 performances, including one scheduled to start at 11:59 p.m. on April 4th, a nod to the time Saturday Night Live is usually on air.
Samson has dabbled in theater before, writing a short play with his cousin a few years ago.
This time though, he’s working with seasoned actors who are playing seasoned actors, the likes of Jim Belushi, Gilda Radner and Chevy Chase.
“I’m trying to survive, but with running a baseball team and being Lorne Michaels, they’re all different which is why I like doing all of them,” Samson said.
The play premiers Friday March 28th at the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center at 10950 SW 211 St.
Tickets are $26 in advance and $31 on the day of the show, which will run through April 19th.
The show also features performances by Melissa Hubicsak, Luis Daniel Ettorre, Danny Leonard, Ivan R. Lopez, Zack Myers, Susie Taylor, Jennifer Lehr and O’Neil Delapenha.
For more information, visit http://www.new-theatre.org/index.php