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Robert Strasser

"Connect the Dots"
Core Project of Chicago

I enjoyed this modern dance troupe. Blue Dots, four in all, slid along the black box floor amidst a web of blue painters tape.

The five-day 2nd Annual St. Lou Fringe Festival is happening this June 20-24. This year's Fringe has a multitude of local and national arts groups performing in indoor and outdoor venues around Grand Center and Midtown Alley in St. Louis.

Monday, 02 July 2012 22:06

St. Lou Fringe recap

It's been a week since I spent four days at St. Louis's first ever fringe festival, and I've finally recovered enough to write about it.

The Repertory Theatre's latest production of Tom Dudzick's comedy Over the Tavern provides a wonderful evening of nostalgia. Much like something from Homer, the play is filled with mythical character-types and detached gods. The gods number three - God, Ed Sullivan and the unseen but always present grandpa. The characters of cranky nun, gruff father and mother trying to hold a household together are from the age of America that is known in our collective mythos as the 1950's. They might be from a bygone era but each character is just as relevant as Oedipus was to that first audience of Greeks.

Upstream's new production of Oedipus King is an intimate affair. The 70 seat Kranzberg black box is a far cry from a Greek amphitheater, but Philip Boehm has taken this change of venue and directed a simple and subtle production of the venerable Greek tragedy.

Sunday, 20 June 2010 13:05

The Cassilis Engagement

In St. John Hankin's English comedy, The Cassilis Engagement, young Geoffrey Cassilis has gone and proposed to a woman beneath his social standing, and the gaggle of snobbish ladies who live around the his mother's country home are none too happy about that fact. The play takes place near the turn of the last century at one of those English country houses where servants are dressed in proper attire and marble columns line the walls. Despite her brave face, Mrs. Cassilis doesn't approve of her son's choice of bride either. To rectify the situation, Mrs. Cassilis hatches the perfect plan. While Ethel and her mother are down visiting, Mrs. Cassilis will show the bride-to-be how utterly boring country life is compared to the excitement of London.

Friday, 02 October 2009 18:00

The Last Memory of an Ol' Brownie Fan

First Run Theatre

Through October 3, 2009
Reviewed by Robert Strasser
The play currently being staged at Sound Stages Theatre by First Run is part history lesson and part character study. Of course, it's also about St. Louis baseball. Not Redbird baseball this time. No, The Last Memory of an Ol' Brownie Fan is about brown baseball. To be more plural, it is about St. Louis Browns baseball. This one-man play by local writer Bill Borst attempts to relive some of the ups and downs of those perennial underdogs of Sportsman's Park.
Saturday, 30 January 2010 18:00

The 39 Steps

39steps.jpgThe Repertory Theatre of St. Louis

Through January 31, 2010
Reviewed by Robert Strasser
The 39 Steps, the latest offering at the St. Louis Rep, is one of those plays drawn from the ever expanding subgenre of comedy I'll call "aren't we cleaver for how we stage a movie."  It isn't an adaption of a movie but a send up of one.   The beauty of the Rep's production comes from the fact that the movie they send up is an early Hitchcock piece.

Saturday, 17 October 2009 18:00

Proposals

The St. Louis Actors' Studio

Through October 18, 2009
Reviewed by Robert Strasser
A congested play is not always a multifaceted play. A congested play can be a funny play. Neil Simon's Proposals is a funny play if not a multifaceted one. It does manage to get congested. What could have been a compelling piece exploring a young woman's decision of who and why to marry, becomes a hollow collage of parallel story lines that almost bursts the seams of the small stage at The Gaslight Theater.
Thursday, 29 October 2009 18:00

One Extraordinary Darkness

OnSite Theatre Company

Through October 31, 2009
Reviewed by Robert Strasser
Like the train in Furry Lewis's blues classic "Kassie Jones", the Green family hurdles towards an inevitable big bang. The Greens inhabit OnSite Theatre's newest play, One Extraordinary Darkness. It takes place in 1934 during the rehearsal of a physics demonstration.

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