In 1859, Baltimore was home to 25,000 free blacks but with abolitionism and talk of secession growing their world is changing. 'Facing the Shadows', a Black Rep premiere of a play by Sheila Payton performing at the Missouri History Museum, tells the story of a group of women trying to live a free life confronted with a run-away slave and a potentially life-changing decision.
I’ve always maintained—sometimes against stiff critical headwind—that cabaret is essentially a form of musical theatre, and that some of the best cabaret artists are the ones with a solid stage background. If you doubt that, head on over to the Missouri History Museum to see Christy Simmons’s "Count Your Blessings" and be convinced.
Resplendent in top hat, white tie and tails, Chuck Lavazzi brought his intimate cabaret act to the Missouri History Museum for two weekends (this is the second). His performance is part of a series presented by the Museum in collaboration with local theatre companies, in this case, the West End Players Guild (WEPG), whose 2011-12 season the show also kicks off. He came to sing the Golden Oldies, and I’m not talking about the Beatles or even Bing. His material is straight from the Amercian Vaudeville age, and mainly songs from its peak shortly before and during the 1920s.
St. Louis Shakespeare has hit a home run with its production of Cyrano de Bergerac, due in great part to a powerful and poetic performance by Todd Gillenardo in the title role.
When I first learned The New Jewish Theatre was planning a production of Romeo & Juliet set in 1947 Palestine (under the British Mandate), it sounded like a fine idea. The family's conflict, vague in origin in the original play, is a given: The Montagues are Jews and the Capulets are Arabs. So how did it go so far off the rails? Let me count the ways.