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Steve Callahan

A lovely, sensitive new play, "The Two Sisters," by Dennis Corcoran has opened at St. Louis Community College at Meramac.  It's set in 1980 in the women's prison at Armagh, Northern Ireland, and it addresses the heroism—and the brutishness—that can arise in religious and political conflict.

Pinocchio has been with us for a hundred and fifty years now, delighting readers of all ages and frightening those of tender years.  Last week-end COCA brought us an admirable staging of Carlo Collodi's beloved tale, produced by the Théâtre Tout à Trac from Canada[1].  It was part of the company's premiere English-language tour of this show.

The First Run Theatre produces only world premieres.  In a new venture the company is presenting "Spectrum" their very first fully rehearsed and staged evening of very short plays—that is, plays from ten to twenty minutes long.  This is a very challenging format.  The author has not the leisure to spend much time on character development or plot complexities.  He must be concise and efficient, yet still effectively dramatic or comic.  And the evening, though rather mixed, is most definitely a success.

Like you, I think I read Henry James' "The Turn of the Screw" in Freshman English.  This so-called "ghost story" is rather rough going for a Freshman, what with James' long, formal, rambling, ornately qualified, vaguely Germanic sentences.  But I went to COCA!  There Jeffrey Hatcher's graceful stage adaptation of the story cut through all that stylistic filigree to take us swiftly, cleanly and clearly to the heart of this fearful story.  And, with stunning economy, it was done with simply a chair and two very gifted actors.

Well, with Mel Brooks you get Mel Brooks.  The Over Due Theatre Company has opened a production of Brooks' musical adaption of his own wacky spoof movie, "Young Frankenstein."   (Oops!  Make that "Young Frankensteen".)

What's that crashing against your screen door?   Well, if it were mid-summer it would, of course, be all those June-bugs.  But in October it's got to be that annual infestation of zombies.  There's no escape!   They're out there, everywhere!  And they will get you! 

Thursday, 03 October 2013 15:50

A Wonderland indeed!

Dare you dive head-first down a rabbit hole?  Wonders await you if you'll only close your eyes and jump!  No, no, don't close your eyes—keep them wide open lest you miss a morsel of this delightful "Alice in Wonderland" that the Webster Conservatory now offers you.

Monday, 16 September 2013 20:56

'Our Town' at Insight: You CAN go home again!

Over the past seventy-five years the little town of Grover’s Corners has come to life at least once on every stage in America.  This village is the subject of Thornton Wilder’s wonderful play, "Our Town," which Insight Theatre is now presenting in quite an excellent production.  

Mr. Sloane is a gorgeous young thing and everybody wants him.  Mr. Sloane hasn't had a single scruple for ever-so-long.  Mr. Sloane's polite demeanor is marbled with streaks of blazing viciousness.  Mr. Sloane is quite a piece of work.

The OnSite Theatre Company has opened a strange, lovely little play called "There's a Gun in Your Goodbye Bag" by Elizabeth Birkenmeier.

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