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Gary Scott

Saturday, 15 August 2009 15:44

The Diary of Anne Frank

diaryofanne0908-1.jpgThe Lyceum Theatre

Through August 15, 2009
Reviewed by Gary Scott
Driving to the village of Arrow Rock, about forty miles northwest of Columbia, Missouri, home to the lyceum Theatre, is almost like making a sort of theatrical pilgrimage.  (Could this be what Richard Wagner had in mind for visitors to Bayreuth?)  The current production of The Diary of Anne Frank, newly adapted by Wendy Kesselman from the original script of Francis Goodrich and Albert Hackett, makes it a particularly moving journey.
Saturday, 10 October 2009 19:00

The Belle of Amherst

Insight Theatre Company

Through October 11, 1009
Reviewed by Gary Scott
Plays with a cast of one can pose a grueling yet exhilarating challenge to both the single actor as well as to the director and technicians--the production must sparkle with verve, spontaneity, visual energy and quick-moving drama.  The life of Emily Dickinson, one of our greatest poets, brought to life onstage in William Luce's The Belle of Amherst, provides fuel for such a challenge and demonstrates that the life of a single individual can hold an entire audience spellbound.

Friday, 14 August 2009 19:00

Rent

rent0908.jpgTake Two Productions

Through August 15, 2009
Reviewed by Gary Scott
The movie was definitely OK, but Rent is musical theatre that rises to its full glory most fully when performed live onstage.  Improvisational spontaneity, creative movement and plain old hard work from cast and crew make this work shine.  The story of Rent is an old one--boy meets girl, sometimes transposed to boy meets boy or girl meets girl in Jonathan Larson's updating of La Boheme--but it sparkles anew when live actors and crew, be they geniuses or just hard-working performing stiffs, give it their own unique stamp.

Thursday, 25 June 2009 19:00

Il Re Pastore

Opera Theatre of St. Louis

Through June 26, 2009
Reviewed by Gary Scott
Mozart at nineteen seemed to have a clairvoyant vision of the future of Italian opera as he composed Il re pastore (The Shepherd King), over a six-week period.  Although his melodies in this relatively youthful work are not always memorable, their florid effervescence springs onto the stage like jets from a Baroque fountain, belying the serious nature of the work and the questions it raises about government, status and nobility--questions that would dominate Mozart's thinking in later life.

Saturday, 19 September 2009 19:00

William Shakespeare's Greatest Hits

lwilliamshakespearesgreatest.jpgSoundstage Theatre

Through September 20, 2009
Reviewed by Gary Scott
Reader's theatre is an amazingly effective means of enjoying drama and the actor's art.  Soundstage Theatre, being the sole professional venue for reader's theatre in the Midwest, offers "theatre of the mind" from their studio in Crestwood Plaza.  For those who have never experienced the imaginative flow stimulated by the act of a play read with artistic vigor, but devoid of scenery and possessing minimal  action, it is worth a try.  And reader's theatre is something we can all do in our homes or clubs and churches.
 
Saturday, 26 December 2009 19:00

White Christmas

whitechristmas01.jpgThe Fabulous Fox Theatre

December 15 hrough 27, 2009
Reviewed by Gary Scott
Our society has faced a number of challenges over the past year, and, perhaps as a result, we seem to be longing for the nostalgia and comfort of the holiday season.  Even our most cynical curmedgeons seem ready to embrace Christmas this year and plunge headlong into the ghosts of Christmas past, reveling in the hope of reclaiming the joys that inhabit our memories.  What better way could there be to relive the joy of Christmas than to attend a live stage production of Irving Berlin's classic musical, White Christmas?

Sunday, 24 January 2010 19:00

Werther

werther.jpgWinter Opera St. Louis

January 16 and 17, 2010
Reviewed by Gary Scott
The growth of opera around the country just seems to keep on going and growing.  In just the past several days St. Louisans have been able to attend a live Met broadcast as well as stage productions by the Teatro Lirico d'Europa (La Traviata) and our own Winter Opera St. Louis (formerly New Opera of St. Louis), presenting Jules Massenet's Werther for the first time in over twenty years.  Although conceived during the Romantic era, Werther is an opera that continues to speak to the angst of our own time, and provides a superb vehicle for regional opera companies.  It also gives us the opportunity to become better acquainted with a composer who is worthy of the increasing attention paid to him, but who is all too often only remembered for one solitary piece, the "Meditation" from his opera Thais.

Saturday, 01 May 2010 11:16

Wagner's Greatest Hits.

It sometimes seems that, nearly 140 years after his death, we are still trying to figure out just who Richard Wagner really was.  He was a poet, a philosopher, a creator of dramatic prose--and most of us have heard about his racism, directed towards Jews and others whom he regarded as cultural interlopers.  But one fact remains undisputed:  Wagner was undoubtedly one of the greatest composers who ever lives, and one of the most inspiring.  Even the Nazis, in their stupefied state, were able to realize his greatness, and, sadly, co-opt his message to subsume into their own world view.

The St. Louis Symphony

May 7 through 9, 2010
The St. Louis Symphony closed out its current subscription season with yet another blockbuster program.  Pianist Horacio Gutierrez soloed in Sergei Rachmaninov's ever-popular Piano Concerto No. 2, and the Symphony was joined by the Symphony Chorus, soprano Christine Goerke and baritone Brett Polegato for the too-rarely-performed Sea Symphony of Ralph Vaughan Williams.  Given the breadth, vision and diversity of musical though of each work, either would have made almost a complete program in itself, but guest conductor Robert Spano--on loan from Atlanta--brought both masterpieces to the capacity audiences assembled in Powell Hall.

Sunday, 27 September 2009 19:12

Gustav Mahler and Osvaldo Golijov

St. Louis Symphony

September 25 and 26, 2009
Reviewed by Gary Scott
Opening night for the 2009-10 season of the St. Louis Symphony brought together the works of two Jewish composers, born exactly 100 years apart, and on opposite sides of the globe, yet perhaps sharing bonds that transcend space and time.  Osvaldo Golijov, born in 1960 in Argentina, brings a similar love of nature and folk/ethnic music that captivated Gustav Mahler, born in 1860 in Bohemia.

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