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Andrea Braun

Sunday, 06 April 2014 22:11

Come On, Get Happy!: ‘Rx’

If there were a pill you could take to make you love your job, would you use it? If you are as miserable as Meena Pierotti (Laura Singleton), a frustrated poet with an MFA wasting her life editing a livestock magazine, you might.

‘Cabaret’ tells the story of the last days of the Weimer Republic before the Nazis seized power and engineered one of the most horrifying chapters in recorded history. Fittingly, the show is set in a decadent cabaret, the Kit Kat Klub, where anyone and anything goes.

Friday, 31 January 2014 23:59

Southern Discomfort: ‘The Whipping Man'

For the second time in less than a year, St. Louis audiences have the opportunity to see Matthew Lopez's "The Whipping Man," a fine script that has now received two excellent productions. The Black Repertory Theatre put it on in 2013 to great acclaim, making many "Best Of the Year" lists and receiving several Critics' Circle Nominations. New Jewish Theatre's version that opened last night (Jan. 30) matches that level of excellence, and due primarily to directorial choices, occasionally surpasses it.

Sunday, 12 January 2014 00:29

'Opus' Redux

I wonder how many reviewers will mention West End Players Guild's (WEPG) production of "Opus" in 2013 when they review this one. Is it appropriate to do so?

"Thou shalt not kill," the Commandment says. But what if you DO kill a whole lot of people and rather than officials arguing over the choice of "death drugs" you'll receive—oops, wait, that's a state of Missouri thing—you get a medal for your actions?

‘There are stars whose radiance is visible on earth though they have long been extinct. There are people whose brilliance continues to light the world though they are no longer among the living. These lights are particularly bright when the night is dark. They light the way for Mankind.’ –Hannah Senesh

Sunday, 27 October 2013 20:09

Twisted Yarn: 'The Trivia Job'

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).

Sunday, 06 October 2013 14:34

Did You Hear the One About The Good Doctor?

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.

Lonesome Hollow is a small town in a natural bowl shaped by the hills around it. It seems peaceful here in a time identified as “soon-ish.” The residents have no particular duties that we can ascertain. Meals and housing are provided, as you would expect, for Lonesome Hollow is a prison.

“Beulah Annan” wouldn’t make a very good song title, but “Roxie Hart,” works just fine. And that girl Roxie has really been around. She was based on Beulah who shot her lover dead (they both reached for the gun) and was acquitted in 1920s Chicago with her stalwart mechanic husband by her side. Beulah divorced him soon after, saying he was “dull.”

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