With “Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash,” the title explains the show itself. It’s not the story of Johnny Cash the man, nor his demons or his loves, but of his music, specifically the music he wrote.
I have a list of movies that should not have been made into stage musicals. I haven't seen the movie of “Dirty Dancing,” but my friends who were at the opening of the stage version at the Fox and have seen the movie told me that the stage version is very true to the movie. Maybe too true. Which is why I might add it to my list.
With its skimpy costumes and abundant references in word and deed to sex of various kinds, “The Rocky Horror Show” might seem an unlikely choice for a group calling themselves Family Musical Theater. But someone who first saw “Rocky Horror” on stage or screen 30 years ago could well be joined by a grandchild at this production for a pleasant family outing.
The Over Due Theatre Company is a small impecunious group. With a budget of about two cents and a shoestring they continue to impress me—especially with their musicals.
We recently saw a musical about people who kill presidents. Now we have a musical about people who kill anyone who gets in the way of what they want. It's being done by New Line Theatre. They've already done the presidential one three times. This musical is "Bonnie and Clyde," about the curiously fascinating pair of young Depression-era outlaws.
The current Alpha Players production takes place in medieval England, as a historian, played with plummy BBC vowels by Chuck Brinkley, informs us. So Destiny Graham's set shows us the facade of a beautifully painted medieval castle. But obviously painted. Obviously a stage set. We are not visiting a realistic representation of King Arthur's Camelot. This is "Spamalot." Monty Python's "Spamalot". It's a show.
Who but Stephen Sondheim would think of a musical about people who shoot at presidents. It's called "Assassins," with Sondheim's music and lyrics and a book by John Weidman. And it works, both as script and in this production.
Faith Prince launched the 2014 season of the St. Louis Cabaret Project weekend with great presence and charm at The Sheldon on July 30.
You might think that a show like "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying," which was widely regarded as a timely musical satire when it opened on Broadway in 1961, would now look pretty dated. And you'd be wrong, as the big, bright, and tremendously entertaining Stages production clearly demonstrates.
There may be a more whimsical, charming, and funny show out there with more heart and smarts than “Seussical” at The Muny, but if so I have yet to encounter it.