"No man is an island," says John Donne. Perhaps not, and yet it seems that in modern America, despite our vast electronic interconnections, more and more of us feel that we are on an island -- marooned like Ben Gunn -- scrambling to survive and desperate for human contact.
I was looking forward to our visit to the new Boo Cat Club about which we've recently been showered with printer's ink. It's the renovated old Artists' Guild building on Union -- just across from the Union Avenue Opera -- and it's the venue for a production of "Stairs to the Roof" by Tennessee Williams.
It was an adoring crowd that filled the Gaslight Theatre—a surprisingly large crowd for a singer who has no history in cabaret.
The Over Due Theatre Company is a small impecunious group. With a budget of about two cents and a shoestring they continue to impress me—especially with their musicals.
My favorite company in town, Phillip Boehm's Upstream Theatre, has opened a classic: Sophocles' "Antigone."
If March comes in like a lion it goes out like a lamb—or so they say. On the stage at St. Louis University March is surely roaring in; we're in the middle of a Kansas blizzard that's burying the roads in feet of snow. The last bus from Kansas City, on its way to Topeka, just manages to make it to Grace's Diner only thirty miles into Kansas. It can go no farther until the storm abates and the roads are cleared. So the travelers are stranded here for the night.
I just had a very exciting couple of days attending the staged readings of this year's Hotchner winners: "Ekphasia, or The Shadow Girl," by Cary Simowitz; "Kairos," by Kristen Oneal; and "Telegraph," by Will Jacob. The experience gave me great hope for the future of the American theatre.
The Mustard Seed Theatre opens its season with a world premiere of a new work by Jennifer Blackmer. It's called, simply, "Human Terrain," (not to be confused with the 2010 documentary film of the same name) and it's beautifully comfortable at Mustard Seed, which has a charter of examining moral questions. There is a tension between these softest of sciences and the hard facts of military force. Can they ever work together toward a common goal? And who decides the goal?
The St. Louis Cabaret Festival, under the guiding hand of Tim Schall, is, so far, a resounding success. Last night at the Sheldon an adoring, almost adulatory packed house welcomed that stellar cabaret artist Ann Hampton Callaway and her evening's tribute to Barbra Streisand.
"Meskerem": We'd call it September, but in the ancient calendar of Ethiopia Meskerem is the first month of the new year. It follows three dismal months of gloom and heavy rain. It's bright and sunny and it brings the renewal of hope.