Circus Flora's "The Pawn" is the strongest show they've done in years. The unifying concept—a chess game—provides a simple, easily understood thread to link the various acts and doesn't require a lot of narration.
One of Shakespeare's best loved and most well known plays, "Henry V" tells the continuing story of Hal, introduced as a young ne'er do well prince who brilliantly redeems himself and earns the throne in "Henry IV." Now crowned King Henry V, Hal has unified England and, bolstered by lineage, set his sites on claiming the French crown as well. With both his father and his barroom mentor Falstaff dead, Henry must prove his merit on the battlefield as well as politically, by securing the French princess Katherine as his queen.
Harold Pinter's tale of family dysfunction is a well-acted, sharply directed and tightly produced piece, driven by a surprisingly satisfying level of dark humor and absurdity. What it lacks are easy answers and a clear path towards resolution, though this, too, is done with careful intention.
There's never a dull moment in the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis production of "The Magic Flute." That's because director Isaac Mizrahi keeps his performers (including a cast of seven dancers) in constant motion. The resulting stage pictures are impressive, but they often threaten to eclipse the music and text.
There was a chill in the air opening night of "Henry IV," and a slight wind, adding a sense of drama well before the curtain. The show, teeming with intrigue, war and Prince Hal's transformation, keeps the tension mounting, weaving a tale that leaves the majority of the audience spellbound from opening scene to curtain call.
Going to Florissant to see the Alpha Players' production of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” I was thinking, do I really have to sit through “Spelling Bee” again? Yes, it's a charming and clever piece, but four or five or six times is enough. You can only squeeze so much out of it.
"Meskerem": We'd call it September, but in the ancient calendar of Ethiopia Meskerem is the first month of the new year. It follows three dismal months of gloom and heavy rain. It's bright and sunny and it brings the renewal of hope.
"August, Osage County" is a deeply thoughtful, often intensely disturbing look at the secrets families keep and the ways those same secrets are used as ammunition to wound or control other family members. It isn't a pretty show, but it is a well acted, emotionally charged production that examines the dark side of familial ties.
Magic Smoking Monkey Theatre, the wild child of St. Louis Shakespeare, turns to the golden age of network television in its latest production, an action-packed, played for laughs "The One-Hour Twilight Zone: Live" now showing through May 17, 2014 at the Regional Arts Commission.
The perils and pitfalls of a single woman in her mid-to-late twenties are accurately chronicled, and vividly characterized, in Slightly Askew Theater Ensemble's acerbic and perceptive "Bachelorette." A tightly wound contemporary dramedy, the production is smartly directed and well acted and the strong script delivers moments of genuine laughter and surprising sympathies, as well as uncomfortable flinches and honest drama.The perils and pitfalls of a single woman in her mid-to-late twenties are accurately chronicled, and vividly characterized, in Slightly Askew Theater Ensemble's acerbic and perceptive "Bachelorette." A tightly wound contemporary dramedy, the production is smartly directed, by Rachel Tibbetts, and well acted and the strong script by Leslye Headland delivers moments of genuine laughter and surprising sympathies, as well as uncomfortable flinches, unsettling confessions, and honest drama.
Turning movies into musical theatre has been a popular pastime for many years now. No surprise, then, that there have been multiple attempts to bring the much-loved 1939 film “The Wizard of Oz” to the musical stage. With all those great Harold Arlen and “Yip” Harburg songs, after all, it’s almost a musical to begin with.
I should state up front that I was never a fan of the late country singer Patsy Cline. I didn't dislike her music; I was indifferent towards it.
Have you heard the one about Lieberman and the sheep? Or the one about Levinson and his nail business? Maybe the one about Kaminsky, the kleptomaniac?
The Terrapin Puppet Theatre visited COCA last week and they gave young St. Louis audiences a taste of some very fine children's theatre. This was the latest in a splendid series that COCA has offered for some years.
Can a horror be beautiful? In Euripedes' "Medea" we see that it can indeed. Of all revenge stories this is the revenge story. St. Louis University has mounted a fine production of Robinson Jeffers' free adaptation of Euripedes' play.
"The Nerd" is a delightful, if somewhat insubstantial, bit of theater mischief teeming with wry references and affected mannerisms from the "golden age of Hollywood." Filled with engaging performances built around snappy remarks, witty comebacks, comic expressions, and a dash of pure silliness, the show is a bit romantic comedy, a bit slapstick, and a bit of a mystery.