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Chuck Lavazzi

Storm Large (yes, that's her real name) seems to be a one-woman entertainment conglomerate: rock star, author, actor, songwriter, and creator of the much-praised one-woman show "Crazy Enough" (based on her memoir of the same name).

The title of actor/singer Taylor Pietz's show "If I Only Had a Brain" is somewhat deceptive. She not only clearly has a brain, she has put it to good use concocting a fresh, funny, and polished cabaret evening that gave the old "this is my life" school of cabaret a quirky, self-effacing spin.

Kimber Lee's "brownsville song (b-side for tray)" opens on a bare, harshly illuminated stage. Lena (Cherene Snow), a middle-aged African-American woman, is in pain. A resident of the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, Lena has been working two jobs and doing everything she can to raise her two grandchildren properly. Now the older, Tray (John Clarence Stewart), has been gunned down stupidly and senselessly simply because he was standing too close to his gangbanger friend Junior (Joshua Boone).

When the lights come up on Lucas Hnath’s compelling idea-rich drama “The Christians,” the Actors Theatre of Louisville’s Pamela Brown auditorium is instantly transformed into the sanctuary of a typical Christian mega-church, complete with video screens, an organ, and a choir.

Clare (Annie Purcell) is an aspiring chef married to Paul (David Ross), an IT manager for a New York City law firm. She loves trying out new recipes on her best friend Ezra (Kasey Mahaffy) and his boyfriend Brady (LeRoy McClain), who teaches "at risk" kids. Ezra wants to start a Tex-Mex food truck business with Clare. She, in turn, wants him to marry Brady. When Clare gets an unexpected financial windfall as a result of a long-forgotten class-action lawsuit, She, Paul, and Ezra find themselves faced with some tricky choices.

A lot of talent went into the Actors Theatre of Louisville and SITI Company’s co-production of "Steel Hammer"—and I'm not just talking about the gifted, versatile, and physically robust six-person cast.

It may be trite to say that big things come in small packages, but as a description of this short (45 minute) trio of one-acts, it's also completely true.

Every Humana Festival has a late night show that features the members of the Acting Apprentice Company. In previous years, the format has been an evening of short plays with a common theme.

As Jordan Harrison's play begins, ten-year-old Kai (Matthew Stadelmann) is enthralled when his grandfather (Paul Niebanck) tells him a story about a magical doorknob fashioned from a crystal eye of the mermaid figurehead from an ancient ship.  Pop the doorknob off, his grandfather tells him, and place it on another door, and that door will magically take you somewhere else.

Wednesday, 02 April 2014 21:32

Symphony Preview: Heart of Darkness

This weekend's St. Louis symphony concerts feature (to borrow a phrase from the baseball diamond) a pair of heavy hitters—on both the stage and the page.

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Tok Releases Gold Dollar Hen House Volume 3

Tue April 8
Tok is a Festus based rock band who has been rocking St. Louis for 20 years. They are due to release their third installment of their Gold Dollar Hen House collection on February 28, 2014 at Schlafly's…