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Mark Bretz

Monday, 29 November 1999 19:00

Steel Magnolias

St. Charles Community College

10/3 - 10/7/2007
Reviewed by Mark Bretz
October is one of the busiest months on the theatrical calendar in our area, as numerous colleges and universities showcase dramatic and musical endeavors along with the myriad professional and community groups who call St. Louis home. A most pleasant surprise took place last Thursday, when the second performance of Center Stage Theatre's production of Robert Harling's affecting drama, Steel Magnolias, played to a sold-out audience in the 400-seat Robert Shook Theatre on the campus of St. Charles Community College.

Sunday, 01 March 2009 19:00

Arsenic and Old Lace

Act II Community Theatre

Through March 1, 2009
Reviewed by Mark Bretz
According to Wikipedia, playwright Joseph Kesselring wrote a dozen plays, but only one of them was successful.  That lone star, however, was the amusing comedy, Arsenic and Old Lace, which first was performed in 1941 and closed on Broadway in 1944 after 1,444 performances.  Shortly thereafter came the classic movie version directed by Frank Capra and starring Cary Grant.

The Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University

Through October 12, 2008
Reviewed by Mark Bretz
The Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University routinely challenges its talented students with a wide variety of works that run the gamut from classical to contemporary, tragic to comic, disciplined to free-wheeling.  Its season-opening production of the musical revue, Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, provides a magnificent opportunity for these student artists to display their considerable wares.

Saturday, 10 October 2009 19:00


The Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University

Through October 11, 2009
Reviewed by Mark Bretz
Stephen Sondheim has regaled audiences with his singular brand of musical complexity since he first hit the winner's circle with the lyrics for West Side Story. After several years of collaboration with numerous artists, he won several Tony Awards in 1970 on his own for his witty musical, Company.
Saturday, 02 May 2009 19:00


Webster Univeristy Conservatory of Theatre Arts

April 29 through May 3, 2009
Reviewed by Mark Bretz
Each year, near the conclusion of two grueling semesters learning the tricks of the theater trade from the expert faculty at the Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University, the talented students display their wares on the Mainstage in the Loretto-Hilton Center (they perform there once in the first semester as well).  This year's production was Cabaret, and what a grand and glorious showcase it was.

Saturday, 28 March 2009 19:00


The Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University

March 25 - 29, 2009
Reviewed by Mark Bretz
The Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University is an exacting program that pulls the best and brightest shooting stars into its orb, working painstakingly and exhaustively to mold them into future fixtures in the theatrical firmament.  Included in this program are the Capstone projects for senior directing students.  For her assignment, Karyn Joy DeYoung chose the one-act drama, Betrayal, written by the late Harold Pinter, one of the 20th century's most brilliant and successful Western playwrights but also one of its most difficult.  While Pinter's work is rich with layers of interpretation between characters, it can be exasperating and a bit of an acquired taste, and thus perhaps not the easiest of selections for a student to undertake.

Saturday, 15 August 2009 19:00

The Wizard of Oz

wizardofoz0908.jpgOver Due Theatre Company

Through August 16, 2009
Reviewed by Mark Bretz
The Wizard of Oz has been a perennial favorite of children since the classic movie first played the silver screen in 1939.  For years, in fact, CBS would telecast the beloved family flick annually in February on a Sunday evening for new generations of tykes to revel in the adventures of Dorothy and her friends following the yellow brick road to Oz.  That's before DVDs.
Saturday, 27 February 2010 18:00

On the Verge

Washington University Performing Arts Department

Through February 28, 2010
Reviewed by Mark Bretz
Eric Overmyer has spent much of career as a writer for various TV series, including Law & Order and Homicide: Life on the Streets. He's quite adept at crafting clever dialogue for his characters, a trait brought to the fore in one of his whimsical theatrical efforts, On the Verge, sub-titled The Geography of Yearning.

Monday, 29 March 2010 10:58


Washington University Performing Arts Department

March 25 through 28, 2010
Reviewed by Mark Bretz
Pulitzer Prize winners in drama can be a curious lot. Some of the honorees have long and distinguished careers, others seem to resemble shooting stars which shine brightly for a while and then fade into the ether.

Saturday, 03 April 2010 18:00

Cloud 9

The Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University

Through April 4, 2010
Reviewed by Mark Bretz
Part of the magic and wonder of the rigorous training undertaken by students at the Webster University Conservatory of Theatre Arts is exploring the many facets of performance. Under the tutelage of the demanding Conservatory faculty, talented young artists cut their teeth across a broad spectrum of works. The intention is to shape their skills to meet the demands of farce, period dramas, musicals, etc. and make them well-rounded in their endeavors.

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