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Dim and dimmer: Wagner's 'Tannhäuser' at Lyric Opera of Chicago

I have a dream. I dream that some day I'll be able to walk into an opera house and not be faced with a production...

'Or,' gives the Restoration a playful dose of contemporary attitude

With her fanciful play "Or," Liz Duffy Adams has reimagined the early Restoration period with a touch of Ja...

'Blues for Mr. Charlie' at Washington University: not perfect, but powerful

James Baldwin dedicated his play “Blues for Mr. Charlie” to the memory of Medgar Evers and of the four gi...

‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’ has a bite that equals its bark

If there's one thing Edward Albee knows, without equivocation, it is the darker side of intimacy. The deep cuts t...

'The Winslow Boy' pairs social justice with a bit of romance

The St. Louis Repertory Theatre's current production, "The Winslow Boy," by Terrence Rattigan, is, at i...

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Sunday, 11 September 2011 11:17

“Art happens”: 'Red'

Written by Andrea Braun
The audience at the Rep’s 45th anniversary opener is “seeing red,” and maybe for the first time. In this case, the phrase has nothing to do with anger; rather, it means a way of receiving visual art per Mark Rothko,…
In simplest terms, theatre is a script come to life through the artistry of a capable cast and crew. I know I’m stating the obvious, but bear with me.  From the moment you enter the Kranzberg Arts Center, you sense quality:  beautiful…
Friday, 09 September 2011 21:15

Beam me up, Stevie: 'End Days'

Written by Andrea Braun
Unless you’ve been in a coma, you know that the 10th anniversary of 9/11/01 is upon us, and it is being observed in many public arenas, including theaters. End Days by Deborah Zoe Laufer is the New Jewish Theatre’s contribution,…
Across the U.S., evening news programs announce the tragic events—another murder of a young man or woman involved in a confrontation or the death of an innocent bystander, sometimes a child. It's epidemic; it's horrendous. In Chicago, members of a…
Anybody who’s been following St. Louis theatre for a while pretty much knows that Joe Hanrahan is the undisputed King of the one-man show in this burg. And they also know that it is unusual for him to give a…
The Swell Season meanders through the slow unraveling of the fragile relationship it follows over two years. That the couple under scrutiny is Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglova gains the documentary some affection since Glen and Mar achieved a measure…
This Way of Life profiles a year plus in the hand-to-mouth existence of the Ottley Karena family in the north Island of New Zealand. Peter and Colleen and their five, soon six, children live modestly, but precariously, by any standards.…
Saturday, 27 August 2011 12:07

This is the hour of lead: The Guys

Written by Andrea Braun
By her own account, Anne Nelson wrote The Guys in response to the World Trade Center attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 in only 9 days. By December, the play was in full production at the Flea Theatre in New York…
In 1964, Ken Kesey and friends—the Merry Band of Pranksters—drove a wildly painted bus from California to New York City for the World's Fair. They shot about 30 hours of color, 16mm film that confounded all of Kesey's attempts to…
As I’ve noted in the past, Union Avenue Opera isn’t shy about tackling material that pushes the company’s artistic and physical limits. Sometimes, as with last month’s Turandot, the results have been mixed. With the local premiere of Dead Man…
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