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Daniel Higgins

Some local theater companies take great pride in the audacious, groundbreaking new theatrical experiments they produce, and rightly so. At ACT Inc., by contrast, the point of pride is in dusting off neglected gems from an earlier era and giving them respectful and sincere treatment and high production values. And in a hot St. Louis summer, it can be greatly refreshing to sit back and resonate with what our grandparents took for their light entertainment. And so, ladies and gentlemen, I give you ACT Inc’s production of George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber’s The Royal Family.

Monday, 29 November 1999 19:00

Tartuffe

The Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University

November 14 through 18, 2007
Reviewed by Daniel Higgins
Molière's Tartuffe is one of the classics of stage literature, and one of most enduringly comic of all plays. For as long as the human race continues to produce con men and marks, and for as long as religious establishments continues to produce frauds and sheep, there will always be relevance to this text, and it will always be funny.

St. Louis Shakespeare

Through 8/19/2007
Reviewed by Daniel Higgins

The comedies of Tom Stoppard have always been quirky and imaginative, intellectually stimulating but readily accessible, and wide-ranging in content.  In the case of Dogg's Hamlet, Cahoot's Macbeth, a pair of one-act plays that comprise a single statement, all of these traits are in evidence, and the timely political relevance of the selection is a bonus. 

Saturday, 11 October 2008 19:00

The Lieutenant of Inishmore

Repertory Theatre of St. Louis "Off-Ramp" Series

Through October 12, 2008
Reviewed by Daniel Higgins
It is a mark of satire that it holds nothing sacred, and a mark of good satire that it forces a laugh out of the unspeakable. From Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal through the September, 2001 special edition of The Onion, there can be a unique enlightenment in laughter at things that are revolting or horrifying in any other context. It's common for satire and black comedy to shock and offend more people than they edify, and the darker the subject, the greater the risk that a satiric treatment will fail to reach anyone.

Saturday, 13 February 2010 18:00

Sweet Dreams of Patsy

patsycline.jpgThe Ivory Theatre

Through February 14, 2010
Reviewed by Daniel Higgins
There has never been anyone else quite like Patsy Cline.  I've never met anyone who dislikes her, nor even anyone who claims to be ignorant of or indifferent to her legacy.  If it seems dissonant to think of her as a "superstar," it may be because her persona was so wholesome, so much an Everywoman.  So trying to present her on the stage for a present-day audience is obviously a challenging job.  Kudos, then, to Irene Jones, whose memorable work in the title role of Sweet Dreams of Patsy, currently being presented by Perrino Productions at the Ivory Theatre, more than meets our suspension of disbelief and takes by itself nearly all the credit for making an audience very happy.

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