In Joe Orton’s short but prolific career as a writer, the Englishman developed a reputation for incisive and biting humor that lampooned the Establishment in merry olde England. Before his abilities could fully blossom, Orton tragically was bludgeoned to death by his lover, another writer/actor named Kenneth Halliwell, in 1967 at the age of 34.
If I were writing this review five years ago, I might refer to Awake and Sing! as a strong but dated piece of theatre. After all, we'd solved all those problems that caused the Great Depression, and we'd arranged things so it would never happen again.
Black Pearl Sings! is a small play. But it deals with large issues. And with Denise Thimes on stage, you know you're going to have a large performance.
In this always ambitious yet mostly pretentious philosophic cosmic conversation, "Brother Lies, Sister Truth," an original play written, directed and produced by Mark Pannebecker and his neophyte nonprofit pending Panther Productions, provided one answer to that question, though its two young sibling contenders never satisfactorily answered the paradoxical polemic about the nature and "fate of Mankind."
Mustard Seed Theatre's artistic director Deanna Jent has created a convincingly playable adaptation of C.S. Lewis's novel Till We Have Faces. In his novel, Lewis wrote his own version of the Greek myth of Psyche and Eros, and play and novel present the essentials of that ancient tale. But Lewis, and Jent following him, make the focus of their version not Psyche herself but her old sister Orual, like Psyche the daughter of a king, eventually herself the ruler of the land.
While it’s too late for you to support Kay Martin Love’s lingering trauma about failing to make her high school pom pom squad in the late 1970s, I have a feeling you’ll get another chance. Love’s pain is our pleasure, as she resurrects song from the ‘70s and ‘80s, and she puts on a grand night of singing, joking and music.
It has singing and dancing and multiple characters and multiple scenes, but calling A.D. The Musical a musical doesn't make it a musical. It's more like a church pageant, and as Judy Newmark pointed out in her very generous review in the Post-Dispatch, it probably would be more comfortable, and raise fewer misplaced expectations, in a church rather than in the Ivory Theatre, where it currently resides through Sunday afternoon, April 17.
In musical theatre’s house are many mansions, from the blood-soaked barbershop of Sweeney Todd to the exotic palace of The King and I, so it should come as no surprise that there’s room for the conventional suburban home of a family struggling with bipolar disorder in Next to Normal. What is unexpected is how intelligently Brian Yorkey’s book and lyrics and Tom Kitt’s music turn potentially sordid material into compelling dramatic comedy.
Washington University's production of Danai Gurira's Eclipsed gives us a second play this season about the plight of women trapped in the civil wars and insurrections of sub-Saharan Africa during the past decades. The first was Ruined, recently at The Black Rep.
Upstream Theatre has opened a production of The Death of Atahualpa at the Kranzberg. It's a world premiere of a traditional folk-play from Peru, and it's another in the lengthening series of fascinating works that is making Upstream my favorite company in town. But there are some significant problems with this new piece