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Steve Callahan

Chekhov wrote his wistfully bleak “The Three Sisters” fifty years before Beckett wrote his existentially bleak “Waiting for Godot”. Each play shows a world where hope must ultimately end in disappointment. But, because of some tragic flaw in the human spirit, after each disappointment that hope must, in desperation, be rekindled.

Monday, 22 April 2013 14:03

A Bernstein Banquet

Leonard Bernstein was arguably the most prodigiously gifted musician in America’s history.   He was a world-class conductor, pianist and educator, and his prolific outpouring of compositions included symphonies, ballets, piano choral and chamber music, film scores, hit Broadway musicals and operas.  Among his shelves-ful of awards from around the world we find nine Grammys and two Tonys.

Wednesday, 03 April 2013 19:03

Rigby brings home the gold in 'Peter Pan'

Rigby brings home the gold! Once or twice in your lifetime, if you’re lucky, you may be blessed to see a performance that is iconic—that is simply perfect in every way.

In 1937 Australian dock-workers refused to load scrap iron into ships destined for Japan because imperial “fascist” Japan was attacking China.  Then-Attorney-General Robert Menzies threatened to jail any workers who refused to load this “pig iron”.   Thus Menzies, earned the soubriquet “Pig-iron Bob”.  He went on to lead the “Liberal” (actually conservative) party to victory and to become Australia’s longest-reigning Prime Minister.   His reactionary followers were called the “pig-iron people”.

Elvis Presley lives! And lives and lives and lives . . . Each year Washington University’s A. E. Hotchner playwriting competition serves as muse to budding playwrights among the Wash U. student body.

Sunday, 17 March 2013 09:56

Pluto Ruhls the Underworld

Fontbonne University has opened a charming production of "Eurydice", a very slight piece by Sarah Ruhl. Whimsical, with occasional wisps of poetry, this little story is a retelling of the Orpheus legend—but with a focus on Eurydice.

It’s the oldest love story in the world: boy meets horse, boy loses horse, boy gets horse back. And that old story comes to the Fox in a production of "War Horse" that is visually and aurally stunning.

Monday, 21 January 2013 14:56

The Goat: or Who is Sylvia?

Edward Albee just never tires of being brilliant.   The St. Louis Actors Studio has opened a production of Albee’s "The Goat: or Who is Sylvia?"  It’s directed by Wayne Salomon, and it’s a stunningly beautiful piece of theatre.  It is certainly the best thing I’ve ever seen at the Gaslight Theatre—and one of the best I’ve seen anywhere in some years.  It’s passionate; it’s violent;  and ultimately it’s bloody—yet it’s suffused with Albee’s distinctive delicate wit.

Saturday, 12 January 2013 21:24

STOMP-a galvanizing galvanized Armageddon

Why do humans have that opposed thumb?  Well, I realized last night that the obvious and true purpose of that useful digit is so that we can grab a stick and pound on things!  Humans just LOVE to pound on things!  Of course, over the millennia we have regularly and vigorously and joyously pounded on each other—but our real love is for pounding on stuff that makes a “BOOM!”  You can’t keep us from doing it.  We’ll pound on anything.  Just put a toddler, a pan and a wooden spoon together and you’ll see what I mean.

You gotta hand it to a small company that takes on Lysistrata—that classic bawdy anti-war comedy that Aristophanes wrote two thousand four hundred twenty-three years ago.  So Clayton Community Theatre and its large ensemble of actors deserve a big hand—if only for sheer guts.  We need to see the classics once in a while.

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