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New This Week:
|A Christmas Carol|
My take: "I have always thought of Christmas time," wrote Charles Dickens in A Christmas Carol, "as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys." These days such a notion is considered politically radical, which makes partaking of the Dickens classic that much more important. Go though and enjoy.
www.webster.edu or call 314-968-7128.
My take: While I can be a bit leery of updates of theatrical classics, this one appears to get it right. "What a romping, merry hoot!" writes Steve Callahan at KDHX. "The adaptation by Ellen McLaughlin is some eleven years old but it's wonderfully fresh and is widely produced. Director Jamie McKittrick has put together a marvelous energetic trash-punk world full of music, dance and a whole lot of hilarious talk that I could never repeat on the air." And its anti-war message is sadly still relevant.
|Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberly|
Photo: Jerry Naunheim, Jr.
My take: Looking for a family friendly Christmas theatre treat that isn't based on Charles Dickens or Jean Shepherd? Allow me to recommend most heartily. This ingenious play by Lauren Gunderson (Silent Sky) and Margot Melcon does for Pride and Prejudice what Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead did for Hamlet by taking a minor character and thrusting her into the spotlight so that her story can be told. It's a beautifully done tribute to the values that have been at the heart of this season's celebrations for thousands of years: family, friends, light, and love. Oh, yeah: it's also funny as hell. Don't miss it.
|Bob Becherer and Merry Keller|
My take: What could be better at this time of year than seasonal favorites performed by a pair of outstanding local singers? I have known Bob and Merry for some years now from the St. Louis Cabaret Conference and other local venues. You'll be in good hands here, trust me.
Photo: Justin Been
My take: A hit on Broadway in 1987 and in cinemas in 1989, Steel Magnolias is a heartfelt tribute to the resiliency of its small town characters and to the importance of friendship in hard times. In his review for Ladue News, Mark Bretz notes that Stray Dog Artistic Director Gary Bell "directs with a sure and steady touch, maintaining the focus on Harling's fun-loving but also tender script."