James Baldwin dedicated his play “Blues for Mr. Charlie” to the memory of Medgar Evers and of the four girls killed in the Birmingham church bombing, all violent moments in the Civil Rights struggles of the 1950s and '60s. Baldwin loosely based the action on the murder of teenager Emmett Till in Mississippi in 1955. Director Ron Himes opens the current production of the play at Washington University's Performing Arts Department with photos of African-American men killed by white men in the decades since then. The killing continues.
The place where the play takes place and the people in that place make “Stick Fly” something out of the ordinary.
In “The Lion in Winter,” James Goldman has written something of a medieval version of “Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?.” Given that in Goldman's piece royalty are fighting for provinces and thrones and even lives, the stakes may seem higher than in Albee, but the bruising of egos is very similar. And Goldman's dialogue can be almost as witty as Albee's.
The “Cinderella” now at the Fox Theatre is not just any “Cinderella.” It's the “Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella.”
“The 39 Steps” began life as a novel and has been made into at least three movies, but the 1935 Alfred Hitchcock version is the favorite. It's the one that Patrick Barlow and John Buchan raided for their stage version.
It's early March in 1955, and a blizzard is blowing across the Kansas plains. When the bus from Kansas City pulls into its regular stop at Grace's Cafe, the local sheriff tells the driver that they'll have to wait there until the road crews can clear the highways ahead of them.
I have a list of movies that should not have been made into stage musicals. I haven't seen the movie of “Dirty Dancing,” but my friends who were at the opening of the stage version at the Fox and have seen the movie told me that the stage version is very true to the movie. Maybe too true. Which is why I might add it to my list.
Naomi Iizuka wrote “Anon(ymous)” for a children's theatre. She tells the story of a young man who was separated from his mother as they were escaping the violence in their native land.
With its skimpy costumes and abundant references in word and deed to sex of various kinds, “The Rocky Horror Show” might seem an unlikely choice for a group calling themselves Family Musical Theater. But someone who first saw “Rocky Horror” on stage or screen 30 years ago could well be joined by a grandchild at this production for a pleasant family outing.