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Items filtered by date: October 2013
Racism is one of humanity's least attractive, yet most stubbornly persistent, traits. In his moving drama "My Children! My Africa!" Athol Fugard distills this broad social issue with a narrow focus that personalizes the concept. The Washington University Performing Arts Department brought the personal to life with a talented and dedicated cast, sure-handed direction, and unobtrusive staging in a powerful, effective production.
Published in Theater Reviews

Broadway is starting to look a lot like Hollywood, and it seems like every week a new musical is announced based on a box office blockbuster. One of the more buzzed about recent additions is a new stage adaptation of "Sister Act," produced by none other than Whoopi Goldberg herself.

Published in Theater Reviews

A lovely, sensitive new play, "The Two Sisters," by Dennis Corcoran has opened at St. Louis Community College at Meramac.  It's set in 1980 in the women's prison at Armagh, Northern Ireland, and it addresses the heroism—and the brutishness—that can arise in religious and political conflict.

Published in Theater Reviews

Pinocchio has been with us for a hundred and fifty years now, delighting readers of all ages and frightening those of tender years.  Last week-end COCA brought us an admirable staging of Carlo Collodi's beloved tale, produced by the Théâtre Tout à Trac from Canada[1].  It was part of the company's premiere English-language tour of this show.

Published in Theater Reviews

David Mamet's "Oleanna" is an intense examination of the power of words and intention. To its credit, Encore! Theater Group spares no punches in this well-acted production, presented in an intimate space that only heightens the dramatic tension developed in the script. The result is an affecting and lingering performance that, as promised, offers the audience no easy answers.

Published in Theater Reviews

There's a sweet and honest charm to "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum." The show doesn't over-promise and it's impossible to take too seriously, ensuring it remains a favorite go-to show for amateur and professional companies alike. With a focus on frequent and easy laughs, the show is also a can't-miss crowd pleaser.

Published in Theater Reviews

In today's conflicted politically correct culture, the idea of evolution as necessary to the survival of a species is more fodder for disagreement than measured study. When applied to a family filled with secrets, however, the question gains a certain tragic purpose, fraught with remorse and filled with pain. The St. Louis Actors' Studio digs deep and finds no clear answers in Nicky Silver's bitingly funny, yet poignantly tragic "Pterodactyls."

Published in Theater Reviews

Recently the Fabulous Fox Theatre was set to rocking for two performances of "Rain: A Tribute to The Beatles;" a two-hour homage to the Fab Four and dozens of the songs with which they revolutionized popular music.

Published in Theater Reviews

"Godspell" rocked the Peabody Friday night with all the explosive subtlety of a fireworks display. The 2013 incarnation of the 1970's rock sensation burst onto the stage, a suname of sound and color and beautifully pure rock.

Published in Theater Reviews

Long regarded by many as one of the highlights of the French grand opera tradition, Gounod's "Faust"—a beautifully sung production of which opened Winter Opera’s season—actually started life in 1859 as an opéra comique with spoken dialog instead of recitatives and without large ballet sequences. It was only the addition of the former in 1860 and the latter in 1875 that elevated Faust to the position of eminence it held in opera houses for over a century.

Published in Theater Reviews

Yes, Christmas might be the best time to see "All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914," but any time of year is a good time to revisit a moment of such humanity in a troubled world.

Published in Theater Reviews

There were many remarkable things about The Shanghai Ballet's production of "The Butterfly Lovers" that Dance St. Louis presented at the Touhill this weekend. The colorful costumes, the incredible athleticism and skill of the dancers, the incisive way artistic director Xin Lili's choreography illuminated character and defined action, and the powerful emotional pull of the tragic story were all reasons to take notice.

Published in Theater Reviews

“As I always say, if it’s not ‘baroque’, don’t fix it,” says Cogsworth the clock of the neoclassical architecture of the castle in “Beauty and the Beast” the musical. It’s a play on words from an old saying that can also be applied to the classic Disney fairy tale.

Published in Theater Reviews

The First Run Theatre produces only world premieres.  In a new venture the company is presenting "Spectrum" their very first fully rehearsed and staged evening of very short plays—that is, plays from ten to twenty minutes long.  This is a very challenging format.  The author has not the leisure to spend much time on character development or plot complexities.  He must be concise and efficient, yet still effectively dramatic or comic.  And the evening, though rather mixed, is most definitely a success.

Published in Theater Reviews

If there are any broad lessons to be learned from Jean Anouilh's "Antigone," they may be that history can be a bitch and tragedy runs in families. The play is decidedly more complex than those themes, however, and Tesseract Theatre's production demonstrates this complexity in its season-opening production.

Published in Theater Reviews

"The Woman in Black” is a ghost story, plain and not too simple.

Published in Theater Reviews

"The Hothouse" is a dark, sinister play with plenty of laughs to go around - classic early Pinter and very well done.

Published in Theater Reviews

When I asked if I could review "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf," a show which concluded at UMSL on Sunday, Nov. 3, I had no idea what I had gotten myself into.

Published in Theater Reviews

The best thing about “Freud’s Last Session”—in which a fictional meeting between Sigmund Freud and C.S. Lewis becomes a debate on the existence of God—is the quality of the production. Director Michael Evan Haney’s blocking, pacing, and overall feel for dramatic crescendos and diminuendos bring life to what is, on paper, a somewhat static script.

Published in Theater Reviews

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