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Sunshine City: The Musical Is Coming

By JON WILSON, Consulting Editor, TB Reporter

The production celebrates the 1920s boom years in St. Petersburg.

ST. PETERSBURG — Portrayed on its website as a “big, wet kiss to St. Petersburg and the Roaring Twenties in Florida,”  a free reading of a new musical,  Sunshine City, is set for 7 p.m. Sept. 21 at The Palladium, 253 Fifth Ave. N.

Here’s how the musical is described: “Set in the waning years of the 1920s land boom in St. Petersburg . . . Sunshine City is the true story of a publicity campaign described as a press release bemoaning the presence of ‘Sea Vamps’ in skimpy bathing suits littering our beaches. The message was sun, surf, and sex! And the result was a boom in the tourist trade which continues to this day.”

The production is based on St. Petersburg history. Frank Fortune Pulver, a 1920s era St. Pete mayor, won publicity for the city by posing on the beach while pretending to inspect one-piece bathing suits and the women wearing them — all under the guise of the St. Petersburg Purity League, a fabricated organization devised by Pulver and master publicist John Lodwick.

Dewey  Davis-Thompson wrote the Sunshine City book and Tom Sivak the music. The two collaborated on lyrics. Both are St. Petersburg residents.

For more about Sunshine City, including a list of cast members and sample songs, visit

St. Petersburg | Events | Arts and Leisure | TB Reporter

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