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Steve Callahan

Thursday, 23 July 2015 16:34

Everything glows in 'Anything Goes'

WOW!!!  “Anything Goes” has opened at Stages St. Louis, and it is simply stunning!   Every song, every character, every step, every gesture, every tiny comic bit is perfect!  Every single moment of this show is a delight.

Thornton Wilder. He just gets better with the years. Wilder was the author of “Our Town” (which everyone from here to Mars has seen) and of “The Matchmaker,” which became “Hello Dolly!” (and everyone from here to Pluto has seen that). But he also wrote a wonderfully playful tragic heroic comic allegory called “The Skin of Our Teeth.” And everyone everywhere should certainly see that.

From the moment that Scott Schoonover raised his baton to invoke that incredible athletic overture it was re-confirmed to me that "Don Giovanni" is indeed the zenith of 18th Century opera. 

ERA has opened a brilliantly adventurous adaptation of "Three Sisters" at the St. Louis Fringe Festival. It's called, simply, "MOSCOW!"  Anton Chekhov would heartily approve as did the cheering audience at last night's performance.

Opera Theatre of St. Louis has opened a very fine production of "Emmeline," by Tobias Picker, with libretto by J. D. McClatchy. This remarkable piece premiered at the Santa Fe Opera in 1996 to great praise. It was done at the New York City Opera in '98 (with much the same cast)—again to considerable praise. It was deemed one of the great modern operas. Except for two "reduced version" productions the work lay fallow until this full-scale revival by Opera Theatre of St. Louis.

The Metro Theatre Company is a never-failing delight. This award-bespangled company produces the very finest theater for children that you'll ever see. They have just opened "The Boy Who Loved Monsters and the Girl Who Loved Peas," by Jonathan Graham. It is a bright, happy, sweet, perfect joy for kids (and for me). It is beautifully directed by Jef Awada.

Opera Theatre of St. Louis has opened Handel's "Richard the Lionheart," and it is truly astonishing! It is, in all aspects, the most perfect production of an opera that I've ever seen. And voices? Ah, the voices are quite stunning! This is not to be missed. This is a masterpiece.

If you think those tales from the brothers Grimm get pretty grim, think again. You ain't seen grim till you've seen the blacker-than-black little fables that spring from the mind of Martin McDonagh in his play, "The Pillowman." The Theatre Lab has opened a very fine production of "Pillowman" at the Gaslight.


"The Tempest," that rich bittersweet fantasy, sits like a dessert atop the great feast of Shakespeare.   This, the bard's final play, was given a splendid production by the Webster Conservatory under the direction of Paul Mason Barnes.

The young ERA company is a wonderfully imaginative and truly experimental theater.  They're interested in finding out what theater is and what it might be.  Occasionally they find out what it isn't.  They stretch the limits.

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