Theatre Reviews

Avoid the heat this weekend by spending some time in a local theater! Welcome to this week's KDHX In Performance feature, previewing The Feast, by St. Louis native Cory Finley. There are also numerous shows continuing their run this week, ensuring a performance of interest for nearly everyone.

St. Louis Actors' Studio kicks off its eleventh season with the taut, twisting, and psychologically probing The Feast, in performance through October 8, 2017. The 2014 play, which premiered at the Flea Theater under the title Sunk, traces the impact on Matt and Anna's relationship when the sewers under their apartment open up and begin speaking. Matt's art is getting darker, strangers seem to know his fate -- storm clouds are clearly gathering directly over the apartment. Mixing traditional and mythological themes with modern realities, the show is a study of character, situation, and fear that questions our perceptions of reality as it takes multiple turns along the path to its conclusion. 

Finley, a John Burroughs School graduate, is an established playwright and the writer and director of Thoroughbred, an official 2017 Sundance Film Festival NEXT program selection. In The Feast, he smartly mixes the comic and disturbing, sometimes in surprisingly creepy ways, while creating interesting, complex situations grounded in our everyday relationships and interactions. The three-person show under the direction of John Pierson features Spencer Sickmann, Jennifer Theby Quinn, and Ryan Foizey. 

The company is offering two opportunities for audiences to see the show and meet the playwright. Finley will be in attendance for the opening night performance, Friday, September 22, and will join the director and cast for a post-show reception at the West End Grill and Pub. On Sunday, September 24, the play's director John Pierson will lead a talk back with the author and cast following the 3pm performance. Audiences are invited to attend either of these events at no additional charge.

Continuing this weekend: Tesseract Theatre presents Coupler a story set in motion on an urban train. The charming play, running through September 24, 2017, follows the twists and turns in the lives of the riders of the last train on London's Northern Line. Elements of magic, mystery, and a little pixie dust are thrown in as the six passengers learn to connect, listen, and work with each other. 

Unsuspecting Susan, continuing through September 30, 2017, is a humorous, sometimes haunting look at motherhood from the newest company on the block, Inevitable Theatre Company. The chatty show, starring St. Louis' favorite Donna Weinsting takes a surprising turn when the divorcees world is shattered by news about her son.

STAGES St. Louis wraps up their season with the always crowd-pleasing South Pacific, continuing through October 8, 2017. The musical set in World War II is filled with engaging performances and memorable songs that helped solidify Rodgers and Hammerstein's work as the upper echelon of classic American theater.

A heartwarming look at contemporary families and aging, the hilarious and insightful DOT continues through September 24, 2017 at The Black Rep. The Shealy Holiday celebration gets real, and really funny, as siblings Shelly, Donnie, and Averie learn to cope with their mother's dementia. 

Inventive staging and choreography add to the transformative The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, in performance through October 1, 2017 at the Rep. Intellectually brilliant, socially awkward, and living with autism, 15-year old Christopher is determined to discover the truth about Wellington the dog. He learns much more than he expected, and audiences may as well. 

The sweet natured, musically pleasing Church Basement Ladies continues its run at the Playhouse at Westport Plaza through October 1, 2017. The life-affirming show is a genuine slice of mid-American apple pie. And, as always, remember to check out the KDHX Calendar for information on art and music in and around St. Louis.

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