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Chuck Lavazzi

You might think that a show like "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying," which was widely regarded as a timely musical satire when it opened on Broadway in 1961, would now look pretty dated. And you'd be wrong, as the big, bright, and tremendously entertaining Stages production clearly demonstrates.

There may be a more whimsical, charming, and funny show out there with more heart and smarts than “Seussical” at The Muny, but if so I have yet to encounter it.

What a long strange trip it has been for The Addams Family. They started out as a collection of unnamed characters in the creepy drawings of the late Charles Addams for “The New Yorker” in the 1930s, got names when they became sitcom stars in the mid-1960s, went through multiple live and animated TV incarnations beginning in the ‘70s, and were the subject of three feature films in the ‘90s.

History tells us the 1853 premiere of Verdi's "La Traviata" was something of a disaster, capped by the fatal miscasting (opposed unsuccessfully by the composer) of a soprano whose girth, in the view of the audience, made her attempts to portray a consumptive beauty laughable rather than tragic.

Nothing dates faster than relevance. The more a work of art addresses uniquely contemporary issues, the quicker it becomes stale and even, eventually, quaint.

The main thing you need to know about “The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess” is that it's not the Gershwins' “Porgy and Bess.” Let me me to explain.

Although George Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess" is now widely regarded as one of the masterpieces of 20th century opera, it took (to quote one of the opera's lyrics) "a long pull to get there".

The cabaret scene in St. Louis continues to expand, and this Thursday marks the cabaret debut of Emilie Nevins-Carter, a singer whose sister, Dionna Raedeke, has already made quite a name for herself in town.

It's doubtful that the 2006 stage adaptation of Disney's 1999 animated film “Tarzan” will ever make anybody's list of Great Musicals. But the Phil Collins score (expanded from the five numbers he wrote for the movie) is filled with songs that are never less the serviceable and, in the case of “You'll Be in My Heart” and “Sure as Sun Turns to Moon,” really quite moving.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014 22:50

St. Lou Fringe 2014: The Misses

I have been a big supporter of the St. Lou Fringe festival since its inception three years ago. This year I was out of town for most of the festival’s run (June 18-22), so I only got to six events. Rather than writing a review of each one, I have decided put them into three groups: hits, misses, and flops (a.k.a. “I want my 45 minutes back”). Here are two misses and a flop, in descending order of quality.

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The Driftaways

Mon July 28
The Driftaways are a seven man reggae band hailing from St. Louis. Their E.P. Don't Hide is full of high energy jams and groovey improves that gives them a good time vibe. Download their song "Don't Hide"…

Dad Jr: Get Down. Hard.

Sun June 29