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.
What's that crashing against your screen door? Well, if it were mid-summer it would, of course, be all those June-bugs. But in October it's got to be that annual infestation of zombies. There's no escape! They're out there, everywhere! And they will get you!
For twenty-two years Scott Miller and his New Line company have been zapping the St. Louis musical theatre scene with bolts of energy. Off-beat, eccentric, sometimes dark, often hilarious, occasionally outrageous and always fresh, New Line productions are for folks who have accepted the fact that Rogers and Hammerstein are actually dead.
Mention “Musical Theatre” to the average Joe, and I think it’s a fair bet that what will be brought to mind is a story in which True Love conquers all, and you leave the theatre whistling something bright and breezy about raindrops on roses, love across a crowded room, or a sun that will come out tomorrow. This is not the case, however, with New Line Theatre’s current production of "Next to Normal," a musical that explores the depths of a battered psyche that foments little but anger and despair.
High fidelity (noun): the reproduction of an effect (as sound or an image) that is very faithful to the original.
Life is a construct. So the good folks at New Line Theatre suggest with their current offering, Passing Strange. It's the autobiographical Alice in Wonderland story of a real-life musician Stew, reflecting on his most formative years. A privileged, angst-ridden would-be artist seeks identity through sex, drugs, and deconstructionist European ideology. You know, same old.
After 15 years together, New York-based band Fountains of Wayne has proven it has what it takes to withstand the test of time. Bassist and songwriter Adam Schlesinger attributes the band's longevity to maintaining personal space and doing what feels right at the time.
Bare makes me feel old. Young people seem to find the musical moving and exciting. Even some people approaching my state of decrepitude have said good things about it, comparing it to Spring Awakening.