"Twelfth Night" is one of my favorite Shakespeare comedies, and Shakespeare Festival St. Louis has mounted a splendid production of it in the Shakespeare Glen in Forest Park. It has comedy high and low, true love whose course runs not unbearably rough, a generous sprinkling of music, and a happy ending shaded with a pleasant touch of melancholy.
Watching an Agatha Christie mystery, I have often wanted someone to do what Peter Gordon has tried to do in "Murdered to Death", which played recently at the Alpha Players of Florissant.
"Into the Woods" is one of my favorite Sondheim musicals – which is to say, one of my favorite musicals, period.
Farce requires a high degree of craft. Great skill is required, both in writing farce and in playing farce. Ken Ludwig has written one extremely well crafted farce. He's written others that are not as well crafted. Lend Me a Tenor is the extremely well crafted one. Leading Ladies is one of the others.
With her plays "The Clean House", "Dead Man's Cell Phone", and "In the Next Room", Sarah Ruhl has become one of my favorite playwrights. She combines a quirky sense of humor with a serious examination of life in a way that appeals to me. And she writes good theatre.
I think I'm not giving anything away when I suggest that when in a play set in Spain in the 15th century the Inquisition examines a priest who has married a Jewish woman and who is himself a Jew, that examination is not likely to end happily for the priest.
Not all actors can find and maintain the proper form for playing the stylish comedy of Noel Coward, the immensely popular British playwright and actor of the last century. As with all comedy, the actors must always convince us of the reality of their characters and of what is happening to them, even when what is happening moves beyond the reality of what happens to most of us every day. That's what makes it funny.
Tesseract Theatre appears to have been around for about a year now, but they've been flying under the radar for most of us. I gather they did something at the Fringe last summer, but I haven't seen any announcements from them or about them on either of the web theatre lists. But Chuck Lavazzi, combing the Regional Arts Commission's ArtsZipper in his quest to get every last theatre performance covered on KDHX, saw a notice of a production last month by them at RAC. So I took a look.
Pamela Reckamp, artistic director of Spotlight Theatre, joins an ancient tradition in the Christian community with her production of "Passion". It tells the story of the last week in the life of Jesus of Nazareth, events told countless times in paintings, sculpture, music, theatre, films, poetry, and prose.