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Items filtered by date: September 2013

Growing up is hard to do. It is rare that the transition from youth to young adult occurs without some pain. It is, in fact, all too common that the pain is almost unbearable. The Washington University Performing Arts Department delves deeply into this subject and delivers a moving, bittersweet production.

Published in Theater Reviews

Like you, I think I read Henry James' "The Turn of the Screw" in Freshman English.  This so-called "ghost story" is rather rough going for a Freshman, what with James' long, formal, rambling, ornately qualified, vaguely Germanic sentences.  But I went to COCA!  There Jeffrey Hatcher's graceful stage adaptation of the story cut through all that stylistic filigree to take us swiftly, cleanly and clearly to the heart of this fearful story.  And, with stunning economy, it was done with simply a chair and two very gifted actors.

Published in Theater Reviews

Well, with Mel Brooks you get Mel Brooks.  The Over Due Theatre Company has opened a production of Brooks' musical adaption of his own wacky spoof movie, "Young Frankenstein."   (Oops!  Make that "Young Frankensteen".)

Published in Theater Reviews

St. Louis is, from what I’ve heard, the trivia capital of the world. “Trivia Nights,” in which competing teams of usually 8 to 10 people, answer quiz questions in various categories, some serious (art history, for example) and some silly (identify breakfast cereals from little samples in baggies—that’s the one I hate the most).

Published in Theater Reviews

The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis brings history to life with the evocative brilliance of "Fly," a tribute to the Tuskegee Airman. Over the past few years, this previously overlooked corps of African-American airmen has finally begun to receive the hard-earned credit they deserve. The Repertory Theater of St. Louis' production may be the most movingly beautiful and interpretive ovation yet.

Published in Theater Reviews

Mistaken identity must be one of the oldest tropes in comedy simply because the resulting confusion is so easily mined for humor. Certainly, this can lead to poorly written and lazily structured material. There's no cause to worry about quality, however, when the author is William Shakespeare.

Published in Theater Reviews

What's that crashing against your screen door?   Well, if it were mid-summer it would, of course, be all those June-bugs.  But in October it's got to be that annual infestation of zombies.  There's no escape!   They're out there, everywhere!  And they will get you! 

Published in Theater Reviews

Fall. The time of year when the leaves change color, sweaters are pulled out of storage, and tales of horror, aliens, and ghosts abound. The University of Missouri at St. Louis (UMSL) jumps in, and then takes a step to the right, with "The Rocky Horror Show," the original stage version of the midnight movie favorite.

Published in Theater Reviews

If you like your scary stories served with a generous helping of ribald and slapstick humor, you'll want to put "Evil Dead The Musical" at the top of your must see list. Stray Dog Theatre kicks off its eleventh season with a show that takes the company's tagline "Come out and play" and ratchets it up to new levels in an energetic, yet playful, spoof on the teen horror movie genre.

Published in Theater Reviews

"The truth is she never left you,” proclaims the billboard for the tour of the smartly re-invented new revival of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's unlikely 1976 concept album-turned-musical "Evita." For once, there's truth in advertising; "Evita" has been continually in the repertory since Hal Prince first staged it in London's West End in 1978.

Published in Theater Reviews

Who hasn't thought: "if I don't get taken care of soon, I am going to lose my mind" while waiting in line at the DMV? As Upstream Theater's production "Diary of a Madman" illustrates, it isn't just the customer who can be driven crazy by bureaucracy.

Published in Theater Reviews

It occurred to me watching “The Good Doctor” this time that its eight vignettes both riff on sketch comedy shows like Sid Caesar’s “Your Show of Shows" where playwright Neil Simon got his start, and are extended jokes. They all have a setup, middle and a punch line or “punch situation” of one kind or another.

Published in Theater Reviews

Dare you dive head-first down a rabbit hole?  Wonders await you if you'll only close your eyes and jump!  No, no, don't close your eyes—keep them wide open lest you miss a morsel of this delightful "Alice in Wonderland" that the Webster Conservatory now offers you.

Published in Theater Reviews

I've seen "Les Miserables" several times at the Fox, in two versions, and a couple of times at The Muny. But the current production by the Alpha Players of Florissant is the first I've seen by a community theatre group. It will not be the last. It's a daunting project, and I hope it continues to be done as well as they're doing it at Alpha Players.

Published in Theater Reviews

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