The University of Missouri -- St. Louis department of Theatre, Dance and Media Studies brought heart and compassion to their production of "The Laramie Project" April 10 through April 13, 2014. The clarity and voice of the production stood out, and was nicely complemented by the technical design.
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.
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.
Upstream Theater's poignant production of "Forget Me Not" explores the little known history of non-humanitarian child migration. The story is one of sorrow, regret and pain, and the company does not gloss over this hard truth or the lasting damage this policy inflicted on countless children.
Dr. Seuss, in his 1961 story, "The Sneetches," taught a lesson against prejudice that no Sneetch was different or better than any other Sneetch, whether or not they had stars on their bellies. Playwright Alfred Uhry is exploring a very similar issue of prejudice in The Theatre Guild of Webster Groves' current production, "The Last Night of Ballyhoo."
Carrot, the titular canine in Daniel Damiano's "Day of the Dog," the world premiere of which is being presented by St. Louis Actors' Studio, is a German Shepherd mix and the family pet of accountant Paul and interior designer Julianne. He never appears on stage, but his presence--and his problem--are obvious as soon as the lights go up and Paul enters with heavily bandaged arms and hands.
This movie should be so much better. It squats solidly at the mediocre level, but, mercy! It should have been so much better, what with the proven actor, Dustin Hoffman, serving as director, and a roster of stars that should have sparkled all over the place.
Debbie and Pete were the secondary characters in "Knocked Up." Debbie served as the older, married sister to the character who became preggers after a one-night stand. Now, Debbie and Pete, and their two irrepressible daughters, are the main characters of "This Is 40," another film by Judd Apatow.
Rarely has a book been so finely translated to the screen. By the same token, having not read the book will not alter appreciation for the film. "Life of Pi" is not just the story of a young man who weathers the elements in a lifeboat with a tiger, for, after all, that's unbelievable.