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Tina Farmer

Saturday, 12 April 2014 12:43

‘Once’ upon a love story

Lovely and heartfelt, “Once” tells the story of two musicians who share a deeply profound love that can only be expressed through songs. This beautifully staged and performed tale is bittersweet and softly played in gentle melodies and pure harmonies, with just the right mix of Irish and Czech-influenced folk traditions.

This weekend, I was lucky enough to experience two new experiences that I thoroughly enjoyed: the Humana Festival of New American Plays, presented by the Actors Theatre of Louisville, and posting short, “in the moment” video blog reviews of the five plays I attended. I enjoyed both experiences very much, and plan to add more video reviews to my repertoire, watch for them over the coming months.

St. Louis Shakespeare closes its 29th season with the Bard's most imitated, and perhaps his most famous, play of all, "Romeo and Juliet." This timeless tale of young love and old grudges is filled with memorable lines and enduring characters remains itself a much loved, much performed work. 
 

Expressing the intimacy of a relationship, and the pain of loss, can be a difficult task for actors. Translating these very personal emotions and character choices from the silver screen to the stage is doubly hard. When songs, choreography and fantastic special effects are added, characters can quickly disappear into the spectacle. 

That Uppity Theatre Company and VITAL Voice recently presented their third annual "Briefs:a Festival of Short LGBT Plays" La Perla. The show's run performed to sold out audiences every matinee and evening, a testament to the production's growing popularity and the attention this emerging festival is deservedly attracting.

The New Jewish Theatre's presentation of "The Price" is an artfully staged, well-acted production that fully embraces the essential themes of playwright Arthur Miller. There's layered intention in every line and the cast, with strong, purposeful direction from Bruce Longworth, does an admirable job of navigating the playwright's subtleties and inferences while avoiding excess.

Sunday, 23 March 2014 13:01

Hail! Hail! Rock ‘n’ Roll

The writers and producers of "We Will Rock You" are bringing down the house at the Fabulous Fox with a fitting tribute to the rock band Queen's enduring popularity that is also an incredibly good time.

Friday, 21 March 2014 07:52

An ode to the emerging feminist

Kate Chopin's seminal "The Awakening" is a deeply powerful, ground-breaking novel that explores one woman's emergence as a fully independent self. One of the first works of feminism, it manages to remain fresh and poignantly insightful. In dramatic form, it also presents an opportunity to showcase the talents of an actress capable of playing a character who must express her discontent with the status quo, as well as her awakening passion, with a subtle, nuanced touch.

Adam Rapp's "Red Light Winter" is an exploration of a contemporary love triangle and, frankly, every bit as compelling as a car wreck or sensationalized celebrity crime scene. Watching the play unfold is at times uncomfortable, and occasionally disturbing, but equally compelling.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014 13:50

Artful and affirming, 'Rent' pays it forward

The rock musical "Rent" is an unflinching, uncompromising look at the struggles of a community of young artists in New York City late in the twentieth century. At its heart, it's a coming of age tale, and New Line Theatre takes this broad concept and distills it into an intimate, emotionally charged production filled with memorable performances. The show isn't always pretty and the situations not easily packaged, but there's an honest, hard-earned integrity that reveals an underlying hopefulness.

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Tok Releases Gold Dollar Hen House Volume 3

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Tok is a Festus based rock band who has been rocking St. Louis for 20 years. They are due to release their third installment of their Gold Dollar Hen House collection on February 28, 2014 at Schlafly's…