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Tina Farmer

Clayton Community Theater's "Little Women" is an entertaining production that stays faithful to the themes and era presented in Louis May Alcott's beloved story. The cast and director Sheri Hogan lovingly recreate the well-defined characters and moral lessons in the original story, ensuring this family oriented show remains appropriate for all ages.

St. Louis Actors' Studio once again features the talents of emerging and established playwrights with the second "LaBute Festival of New Plays," a month long presentation of short plays presented in two parts. Teeming with subtext and slow revelations, part one features a fascinating mix of complex characters and intriguing situations.

St. Louis Shakespeare kicks off its thirtieth season with a passionate, emotionally layered production of "Hamlet" that remains faithful to the script while providing a few unexpected twists, most of which work to great effect.

Anthony Wininger's "Theater for Men" was an interesting set featuring two short pieces accompanied by a lecture. The two pieces were a speech by Cato the Elder, performed in contemporary dress, and a subversively funny short play by George Kaufman that parodies gender behavior with deceptively sharp observations delivered in sweet words and coded phrases.

Can you imagine a mixture of aboriginal didgeridoo music with classical European instruments and compositions? Or original works that combine those same instruments in a way that is not quite meditative and not yet orchestral? Such were my thoughts on entering the theater for “Terra Camera” at St. Lou Fringe 2014.

Somewhere in Lebanon, in a dark, cold prison cell, three men wait to learn their fate. Will they be killed by their captors? Will their respective governments negotiate for their freedom? Will they lose their minds and slowly go insane as they wait in the small, cramped cell for release, or at least some news from home? "Someone Who'll Watch Over Me" examines these questions in this gut-wrenching drama set in a single, dark cell.

As a reviewer, comedy is one of those arts I don't typically cover; and, though I'm not exactly sure how to approach the show as a whole, St. Louis' own The World's Greatest Comedians convinced me that the future of comedy is in good hands, and I need to see more comedy. Who doesn't like a good laugh?

 

Seattle Magician Christopher Bange brings his family friendly humor and action-infused act to the St. Lou Fringe 2014 Festival of Performing Arts with 50-minutes of skillful slight-of-hand magic and engagingly comedic banter. 

The MUNY opens its 96th season with the heartwarming and hopeful musical "Billy Elliot," based on the popular movie, with book and lyrics by Lee Hall and music by Sir Elton John. The moral, a combination of "be true to yourself" and "don't give up your dreams," is clear from early on, and it's nicely conveyed; but it's the dancing that keeps the audience riveted the entire performance.

Terrence McNally's Tony award winning play deals openly with the personal side of the lives of several gay men. In its moving,production, Stray Dog Theatre seems more relaxed and comfortable with the script, including its themes and nudity. The resulting show, with strong acting and direction, is an enjoyable combination of fresh and familiar.

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The Driftaways

Mon July 28
The Driftaways are a seven man reggae band hailing from St. Louis. Their E.P. Don't Hide is full of high energy jams and groovey improves that gives them a good time vibe. Download their song "Don't Hide"…

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