Black Pearl Sings! is a small play. But it deals with large issues. And with Denise Thimes on stage, you know you're going to have a large performance.
Mustard Seed Theatre's artistic director Deanna Jent has created a convincingly playable adaptation of C.S. Lewis's novel Till We Have Faces. In his novel, Lewis wrote his own version of the Greek myth of Psyche and Eros, and play and novel present the essentials of that ancient tale. But Lewis, and Jent following him, make the focus of their version not Psyche herself but her old sister Orual, like Psyche the daughter of a king, eventually herself the ruler of the land.
It has singing and dancing and multiple characters and multiple scenes, but calling A.D. The Musical a musical doesn't make it a musical. It's more like a church pageant, and as Judy Newmark pointed out in her very generous review in the Post-Dispatch, it probably would be more comfortable, and raise fewer misplaced expectations, in a church rather than in the Ivory Theatre, where it currently resides through Sunday afternoon, April 17.
Washington University's production of Danai Gurira's Eclipsed gives us a second play this season about the plight of women trapped in the civil wars and insurrections of sub-Saharan Africa during the past decades. The first was Ruined, recently at The Black Rep.
Raise your hand if you've never seen You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. Well, now you can see it again. It's at Stray Dog Theatre in their home in the Tower Grove Abbey, where the acoustics continue to improve, slowly.
Any young woman who takes on the role of Catherine Sloper deserves credit simply for being willing to do it. Catherine is the central character in The Heiress, Ruth and Augustus Goetz's dramatization of Henry James's novella Washington Square. She is regularly described, especially by her father, as plain and painfully shy.
At Washington University's Performing Arts Department, Director Henry Schvey, his designers, and his cast have mounted a very clear, well-spoken and attractive production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, a comedy and fantasy that is one of Shakespeare's perennially most popular plays.
In current and recent wars in Africa, civilians suffer more deaths than the armies, along with mutilations and rape – rape sometimes with a knife or bayonet as the instrument of rape, leaving the woman permanently damaged and in pain – or, as they say, ruined.