Sunday, July 12, 2020

St. Louis theatre calendar for the week of July 13, 2020

Now including both on-line and live events during the pandemic. To get your event listed here, send an email to calendar [at] stageleft.org.

St. Louis playwright Nancy Bell's MUTE: A Play for Zoom, which was performed live via Facebook on April 5, 2020, is available as a live stream at vimeo.com. "In a world much like ours, there exists a video conference call. And in this call, there are academics, confusion, fire and...one hamster. An experimental theatre piece that steals rabidly from Ionesco, Beckett, real life and Chekhov. The play was for performance on Zoom by Nancy Bell and directed by Lucy Cashion."

Sir Stryker
The Blue Strawberry presents a Pop-Up Piano Bar with Sir Stryker, "Piano Bar Star of the Holland America Cruise Line," Tuesdays through Sundays from 6 to 10 pm. There is no cover or minimum and sidewalk seating is available. The club is operating under a "COVID careful" arrangement with restricted indoor capacity and other precautions. The Blue Strawberry is at 364 N. Boyle. For more information: bluestrawberrystl.com/

Fly North Theatricals presents three new free digital series. Their new digital line up includes The Spotlight Series, the Grown-Up Theatre Kids Podcast, and Gin and the Tonic. The Spotlight Series highlights the Fly North family of students and actors performing songs from previous FNT shows. In the Grown-Up Theatre Kids podcast you can join Colin Healy and Bradley Rohlf every other Friday as they explore life after drama club and what it means to make a living in theatre far from the lights of broadway. Gin and the Tonic is a "reckless unpacking of music history’s weirdest stories hosted by Colin Healy.” The Spotlight Series and Gin and the Tonic are available at the Fly North Theatricals YouTube channel and the Grown-Up Theatre Kids podcast can also be found on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Sticher, other podcast platforms. All three are updated on a bi-weekly (every other week) basis.

The Gaslight Theater presents Freud’s Last Session by Mark St. Germain Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 3 pm, July 17-26. “Limited seating is available.” The Gaslight Theater is at 358 N. Boyle in the Central West End. For more information: gaslighttheater.net.

Metro Theater Company presents a digital streaming version of the critically acclaimed 2016 production of And In This Corner... Cassius Clay by Idris Goodwin through July 26. The production, which was directed by MTC Artistic Director Julia Flood, is available in a pay-what-you-can pay-per-view environment at www.metroplays.org/watchnow.

Mikaele Bennett and Alex Prakken
Photo courtesy of The Muny
The Muny presents Muny Magic in Your Home, on-line videos of previous editions of the Muny Magic at the Sheldon cabaret evenings, Mondays and Thursdays at 8:15 pm through July 16. The series concludes July 13 and 16 with Mikaela Bennett and Alex Prakken.  For more information: muny.org/munymagic. The video will be available at: youtube.com/TheMunyTV.

Opera Theatre of St. Louis presents its 2020 Digital Festival with a variety of streaming content, including Opening Night Spotlights and the Spring Artists in Training Recital, available at www.opera-stl.org/season-and-events/thisisotsl-digital-festival as well as on its YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/user/OperaTheatreSTL.

The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, in collaboration with Baltimore Center Stage, Long Wharf Theatre, The Public Theater and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, present Play at Home, a series of micro-commissioned short plays from some of the American theatre's most exciting and prominent playwrights. These new plays – which all run 10 minutes or less – are available for the public to download, read and perform at home for free at playathome.org.

The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis invites budding young writers throughout the nation to develop and submit plays to for inclusion in its all-new WiseWrite Digital Play Festival. “Through the incredible work of our education department, we've posted an online curriculum at repstl.org/wisewrite that teaches students how to construct plays and characters. We’re accepting submissions from students grades 4 through 12 from throughout the nation for inclusion in the festival, which will feature performances by professional actors.” Submissions will be accepted through August 31st. For more information:  repstl.org/wisewrite.

Hamlet vs. The State of Denmark
The St. Louis Shakespeare Festival presents streaming videos from the SHAKE20 festival, including re-imagined, condensed versions of classic Shakespeare plays and new takes on old favorites like the mock trial Hamlet vs. The State of Denmark, at the Shakespeare Festival Facebook page at www.facebook.com/STLShakesFest/

The St. Louis Writers Group streams live recordings of previous play reading sessions at their Facebook page. For more information: facebook.com.

The Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis presents Something Spoken: Tennessee Williams On the Air alternating Sundays at 5 pm on Classic 107.3 FM. Each episode will air live and then be available for streaming at classic1073.org until the day before the next episode is broadcast. Episodes include a production of a Williams one-act play, followed by commentary from Williams scholar Thomas Mitchell.  Currently Our Lady of Larkspur Lotion is streaming until July 25, when This Property is Condemned will air. For more information: www.twstl.org/something-spoken

Looking for auditions and other artistic opportunities? Check out the St. Louis Auditions site.
For information on events beyond this week, check out the searchable database at the Regional Arts Commission's Events Calendar.
Would you like to be on the radio? KDHX, 88.1 FM needs theatre reviewers. If you're 18 years or older, knowledgeable in this area, have practical theatre experience (acting, directing, writing, technical design, etc.), have good oral and written communications skills and would like to become one of our volunteer reviewers, send an email describing your experience and interests to chuck at kdhx.org. Please include a sample review of something you've seen recently.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Where's the St. Louis Symphony during the pandemic? Almost everywhere.

A quick run through the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra (SLSO) concert calendar reveals a depressing truth: while tickets for a handful of events in August and September (mostly pops concerts and a Harry Potter film) are still available, everything else, including the official 20-21 season is marked “currently unavailable.” I expect that handful of exceptions soon will join them.

Powell Hall
Photo courtesy of the SLSO
Which, frankly, is as it should be. Because, no matter what some politicians and pundits would have you believe, putting hundreds of people together in an enclosed space for a couple of hours is guaranteed to be a free buffet for the coronavirus. That’s why the performing arts are, practically speaking, shut down for the foreseeable future.

As a music critic, I especially miss our evenings at Powell Hall. Fortunately, there are still many ways to see and hear members of the SLSO perform, if only from your living room.

Let’s start with the obvious one: the rebroadcasts by St. Louis Public Radio of prior SLSO concerts. Every Saturday at 8 pm, you can revisit a great musical moment from the past by tuning your analog radio to 90.7 FM, tuning your HD radio (yes, some of us still have them) to 90.7 HD-1, or listening to the station’s main Internet stream either at the SLPR web site or via the St. Louis Public Radio app. My experience has been that you’ll get the best sound from either the web site or the app, but no matter how you get there you’ll be happy with what you hear.

Stéphane Denève conducts
Photo courtesy of the SLSO
If the concerts I’ve heard so far are any indication, SLPR has assembled a carefully curated list of the orchestra’s “greatest hits” for these broadcasts. Every one has been a winner. Over the last couple of months, for example, we’ve had Stéphane Denève’s riveting Beethoven 9th and Mahler 2nd, as well as former Resident Conductor Gemma New’s glowing account of music by Elgar, Sibelius, and Grieg, along with a wonderful new work by Aaron Jay Kernis. Upcoming concerts include an all-American program on July 11 under guest conductor Cristian Macelaru, Richard Strauss’s monumental “Alpine Symphony” on July 18, and works by Shostakovich, Britten, and Thomas Adès on July 25.

I was out of town for the Strauss and am really looking forward to it. I was here for the others, and they were all tremendous successes.

But the SLSO’s presence isn’t just auditory. Take a look at their YouTube channel for a veritable cornucopia of music videos.

Lyric for Strings at the Soldiers Memorial
Photo courtesy of the SLSO
Start out with the orchestra’s most recent project, “Songs of America”. It’s a solid half-hour of American classics ranging from “America the Beautiful” to Sam Cook’s “A Change is Gonna Come” performed by members of the orchestra both in Powell Hall and at local landmark sites. You can see an irrepressibly jolly version of Scott Joplin’s “The Easy Winners” at the Scott Joplin House, a moving version of “Lyric for Strings” by George Walker (one of the first black graduates of the Curtis Institute of Music) at the Soldiers Memorial downtown, and a rollicking “St. Louis Blues” by our own Music Director Stéphane Denève on the piano at his home. St. Louis’s Brian Owens delivers a powerful “Change is Gonna Come” at Kiener Plaza, Malena Smith sings a heartfelt “America the Beautiful,” and Kennedy Holmes wraps it up with a lovely “Amazing Grace,” accompanied by a quartet of SLSO string players. Video and sound quality are beyond reproach, and it’s all yours with the click of a mouse or a tap of your phone.

But wait—there’s more! The #SLSOatHome series features SLSO musicians playing from (of course!) their homes. You can hear SLSO Chorus member Susan Patterson sing an English translation of Dvorak’s “God is My Shepherd,” violist Michael Casimir play the “Star Wars” theme while wearing a Storm Trooper helmet and using a light saber for a bow (it’s a hoot, trust me), and SLSO horns Thomas Jöstlein, Tod Bowermaster, and Tricia Jöstlein play a brief trio for alphorns. Given the size of those instruments, physical distancing isn’t just a good idea, it’s inevitable.

Shannon Wood
Photo courtesy of the SLSO
My cabaret buddy and chorus member Mark Saunders sings Stephen Schwartz’s wonderful “Meadowlark” (a song that always leaves me a bit weepy). Principal Horn Roger Kaza plays Schubert’s “Auf dem Strom” (“On the River”) while kayaking on (yes) a river. There’s even a solo tympani version of the main theme from the third movement of Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 arranged and performed by Shannon Wood.

He has a lot of drums at his house.

There’s more—quite a lot more, really—at the orchestra’s YouTube site. I have barely scratched the surface here. You’ll want to surf over yourself and check it out, which you can do not only on your phone and computer but also on your smart TV at the YouTube channel.

Also on your TV: Nine Network’s monthly “Night at the Symphony” broadcasts. On the first Sunday of every month at 5 pm you can enjoy selections from a previously recorded SLSO performance. Sound and video quality are quite good, but you will need a digital antenna to watch it. As far as I can tell, it’s not available on the PBS smart TV app, but you can watch earlier episodes at the Nine Network web site.

So while it’s anybody’s guess as to when we’ll all be together in Powell Hall again, we can at least stay in touch with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra from the comfort of our homes. Pour some prosecco into your SLSO “keep it cup” and enjoy.

Sunday, July 05, 2020

St. Louis theatre calendar for the week July 6, 2020

Now including both on-line and live events during the pandemic. To get your event listed here, send an email to calendar [at] stageleft.org.

St. Louis playwright Nancy Bell's MUTE: A Play for Zoom, which was performed live via Facebook on April 5, 2020, is available as a live stream at vimeo.com. "In a world much like ours, there exists a video conference call. And in this call, there are academics, confusion, fire and...one hamster. An experimental theatre piece that steals rabidly from Ionesco, Beckett, real life and Chekhov. The play was for performance on Zoom by Nancy Bell and directed by Lucy Cashion."

Sir Stryker
The Blue Strawberry presents a Pop-Up Piano Bar with Sir Stryker, "Piano Bar Star of the Holland America Cruise Line," Tuesdays through Sundays from 6 to 10 pm. There is no cover or minimum and sidewalk seating is available. The club is operating under a "COVID careful" arrangement with restricted indoor capacity and other precautions. The Blue Strawberry is at 364 N. Boyle. For more information: bluestrawberrystl.com/

Fly North Theatricals presents three new free digital series. Their new digital line up includes The Spotlight Series, the Grown-Up Theatre Kids Podcast, and Gin and the Tonic. The Spotlight Series highlights the Fly North family of students and actors performing songs from previous FNT shows. In the Grown-Up Theatre Kids podcast you can join Colin Healy and Bradley Rohlf every other Friday as they explore life after drama club and what it means to make a living in theatre far from the lights of broadway. Gin and the Tonic is a "reckless unpacking of music history’s weirdest stories hosted by Colin Healy.” The Spotlight Series and Gin and the Tonic are available at the Fly North Theatricals YouTube channel and the Grown-Up Theatre Kids podcast can also be found on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Sticher, other podcast platforms. All three are updated on a bi-weekly (every other week) basis.

Metro Theater Company presents a digital streaming version of the critically acclaimed 2016 production of And In This Corner... Cassius Clay by Idris Goodwin through July 26. The production, which was directed by MTC Artistic Director Julia Flood, is available in a pay-what-you-can pay-per-view environment at www.metroplays.org/watchnow.

Our Leading Men
Photo courtesy of The Muny
The Muny presents Muny Magic in Your Home, on-line videos of previous editions of the Muny Magic at the Sheldon cabaret evenings, Mondays and Thursdays at 8:15 pm through July 16. The series continues July 6 and 9 with Our Leading Men. "Ben Davis (John Dickinson in 1776, 2019; Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls, 2019; Pilate in Jesus Christ Superstar, 2017; Curly in Oklahoma!, 2015; Emile de Becque in South Pacific, 2013; Galahad in Spamalot, 2013), Davis Gaines (Joseph Pulitzer in Newsies, 2017), Jay Armstrong Johnson (Jack Kelly in Newsies, 2017, Billy Lawlor in 42nd Street, 2016; Barnaby Tucker in Hello, Dolly!, 2014) and Mykal Kilgore (Annas in Jesus Christ Superstar, 2017) celebrate iconic men from past Muny seasons." For more information and to view the video: youtube.com/TheMunyTV.

Opera Theatre of St. Louis presents its 2020 Digital Festival with a variety of streaming content, including Opening Night Spotlights and the Spring Artists in Training Recital, available at www.opera-stl.org/season-and-events/thisisotsl-digital-festival as well as on its YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/user/OperaTheatreSTL.

The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, in collaboration with Baltimore Center Stage, Long Wharf Theatre, The Public Theater and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, present Play at Home, a series of micro-commissioned short plays from some of the American theatre's most exciting and prominent playwrights. These new plays – which all run 10 minutes or less – are available for the public to download, read and perform at home for free at playathome.org.

The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis invites budding young writers throughout the nation to develop and submit plays to for inclusion in its all-new WiseWrite Digital Play Festival. Open to all students grades 4 through 12, this online celebration of storytelling will culminate in June when professional actors perform selected student submissions over Zoom. To help students develop the skills to write their first plays, The Rep will release a six-part online learning curriculum - one part each week through the end of May. For more information: repstl.org/wisewrite.

The St. Louis Shakespeare Festival presents the streaming video Come Together, written for the Zoom videoconferencing app by St. Louis actor/playwright Joe Hanrahan. The video, along with other streaming events from the SHAKE20 festival, is available at the Shakespeare Festival Facebook page at www.facebook.com/STLShakesFest/

The St. Louis Writers Group streams live recordings of previous play reading sessions at their Facebook page. For more information: facebook.com

Looking for auditions and other artistic opportunities? Check out the St. Louis Auditions site.
For information on events beyond this week, check out the searchable database at the Regional Arts Commission's Events Calendar.
Would you like to be on the radio? KDHX, 88.1 FM needs theatre reviewers. If you're 18 years or older, knowledgeable in this area, have practical theatre experience (acting, directing, writing, technical design, etc.), have good oral and written communications skills and would like to become one of our volunteer reviewers, send an email describing your experience and interests to chuck at kdhx.org. Please include a sample review of something you've seen recently.

Saturday, July 04, 2020

Starved for opera? A feast awaits online.

For lovers of live music and theatre, this has been a lean year, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.  Theatres and concert halls are high-risk areas for airborne transmission of the virus for audiences and performers alike. That means they are likely to remain shuttered for some time.

This year has been especially tough for local opera lovers, with both Opera Theatre and Union Avenue Opera cancelling their seasons.  Fortunately, some major companies are making video recordings of past performances available for free. This list isn’t exhaustive—it barely scratches the surface, in fact—but it at least should give you some idea of what’s available.

James Morris in Die Walküre
The Metropolitan Opera offers a massive library of Met performance videos, some dating back many decades, both on its web site and via its Met Opera on Demand app for devices and smart TVs.  Full access requires a subscription, but every day they offer a free preview of a selected opera. It’s a complete performance rather than a collection of excerpts, but it’s only available for 24 hours. The Met's web site says the streams start at 7:30 pm EDT but but I have seen them start as early as 6 pm EDT, so tuning in a bit in advance couldn't hurt.

Tonight (July 3), for example, it’s a 2011 production of Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” with baritone Mariusz Kwiecien in the title role.  Previous freebies have included a stunning “Die Walküre” from 1989 with Jessye Norman, James Morris, Hidegard Behrens, Kurt Moll, and Christa Ludwig; a delightful “La fille du regiment” with soprano Pretty Yende and tenor Javier Camarena as the comic lovers; and a wonderfully whimsical production of Massenet’s “Cendrillon” (“Cinderella”) that I saw at Lyric Opera of Chicago in 2018.

Upcoming previews include Donizetti’s comedy “Don Pasquale” on July 4. Filmed in 1979, it stars the late superstar Beverly Sills in her farewell Met performance. July 5 brings us Rossini’s “La donna del lago” (“The Lady of the Lake”), based on the 1810 narrative poem by Sir Walter Scott.  Check out the Met’s Nightly Opera Streams web site for future schedules. It’s updated weekly.

Patricia Racette in SusannahPhoto by Cory Weaver
San Francisco Opera is also offering free on-demand streams, but only on weekends.  A new opera goes online every Saturday at 10 am PDT and stays there until midnight on Sunday (which is 2 am Monday morning here in the Midwest).  This weekend, July 4-5, it’s Carlisle Floyd’s “Susannah.” This rarely seen American classic tale of innocence lost to hypocrisy and violence stars soprano Patricia Racette, whom St. Louis audiences will remember from her impressive Violetta in Opera Theatre’s 2018 “La Bohème.”

Previous videos have included a killer production of Busoni’s powerful “Mefistofele” with Ildar Abdrazakov in the title role and Ms. Racette as the tragic Gretchen as well as a downright disturbing "Salome" with Nadja Michael oozing deranged sexuality in the title role. It's the same production Opera Theatre gave us in 2009 with Kelly Kaduce as Salome.

Upcoming entries in the series are Rossini’s “La cenerentola” (“Cinderella”), which plays the whole story for laughs and has no supernatural elements on July 18-19, and a genuine rara avis, Janáček’s “Věc Makropulos” (“The Markopoulos Case”) on July 25-26. Based on a play by Karel Capek (author of the science fiction play “R.U.R.”) involving a complex legal case and a singer who is apparently immortal, “The Markopoulos Case” is one of those operas many of us have read about but never actually seen, so this is a great opportunity to find out what all the fuss is about.

SFO doesn’t have an app, so you’ll have to watch via their “Opera is ON” web site.  That said, if your smart TV supports a webcasting app (I use Mirror for Roku myself; it’s available for both computers and devices) you can watch on your big screen with ease.

Sara Gartland in Rusalka
Photo by Duane Tinkey
Des Moines Opera offers perhaps the most flexible arrangement I have seen so far, with its “2020 Virtual Festival” of six operas and a series of concerts featuring its 2020 Apprentice Artists (the equivalent of the Gerdine Young Artists at OTSL).  The operas are Massenet’s tragic “Manon”; Lee Hoiby’s one-act “Bon Appétit,” which celebrates the life of the late Julia Child; Dvorak’s rarely seen “Rusalka”; Britten’s “Billy Budd”; and Rossini’s comedy “Le Comte Ory.”  Availability dates of the videos vary; check out the company’s web site for details. They're streaming via the Iowa PBS YouTube channel, so if you have the YouTube app on your smart TV, you’re good to go.

Lest you think I’m forgetting the home team, Opera Theatre of St. Louis offers an assortment of interviews, behind-the-scenes features, and other goodies on their YouTube channel.  No complete opera, alas.

There are many other digital delights available for the opera lover right now.  Opera America has a complete list, which is updated on a regular basis. Check it out, but be prepared to be a bit overwhelmed by the sheer size and variety of it all.

So even though it may be a while before opera houses once again open for business, you can still turn your living room into a virtual theatre. You won’t have to pay for the drinks and you also won’t have to wait for intermission to use the toilet—a useful thing if you’re watching a marathon like “Die Walküre.”


This article originally appeared at 88.1 KDHX, where Chuck Lavazzi is the senior performing arts critic.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

St. Louis theatre calendar for the week of June 29, 2020

Now including both on-line and live events during the pandemic. To get your event listed here, send an email to calendar [at] stageleft.org.

St. Louis playwright Nancy Bell's MUTE: A Play for Zoom, which was performed live via Facebook on April 5, 2020, is available as a live stream at vimeo.com. "In a world much like ours, there exists a video conference call. And in this call, there are academics, confusion, fire and...one hamster. An experimental theatre piece that steals rabidly from Ionesco, Beckett, real life and Chekhov. The play was for performance on Zoom by Nancy Bell and directed by Lucy Cashion."

Sir Stryker
The Blue Strawberry presents a Pop-Up Piano Bar with Sir Stryker, "Piano Bar Star of the Holland America Cruise Line," Tuesdays through Sundays from 6 to 10 pm. There is no cover or minimum and sidewalk seating is available. The club is operating under a "COVID careful" arrangement with restricted indoor capacity and other precautions. The Blue Strawberry is at 364 N. Boyle. For more information: bluestrawberrystl.com/

Circus Flora presents a Virtual Circus Showcase on its web site through June 30th. “You'll see amazing acrobatics, daring flips on horseback, and some of the best-behaved cats we've ever met. Plus, you'll get behind-the-scenes glimpses of performers' lives (and living rooms! and backyards!). It's a show full of awe-inspiring feats, laugh-out-loud moments, and (most importantly) chances to connect at a time when we often feel far apart.” For more information: circusflora.org.

Metro Theater Company presents a two-play summer digital streaming series, featuring the critically acclaimed 2016 production of And In This Corner... Cassius Clay by Idris Goodwin through July 26. The production, which was directed by MTC Artistic Director Julia Flood, is available in a pay-what-you-can pay-per-view environment at www.metroplays.org/watchnow.

Our Leading Ladies
Photo courtesy of The Muny
The Muny presents Muny Magic in Your Home, on-line videos of previous editions of the Muny Magic at the Sheldon cabaret evenings, Mondays and Thursdays at 8:15 pm through July 16. The series continues June 29 and July 2 with Our Leading Ladies. "Danielle Bowen (Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, 2016), Ali Ewoldt (Martha Jefferson in 1776, 2019; Philia in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, 2017; Maria in West Side Story, 2013), Stephanie Gibson (Gabrielle in Cinderella, 2019; Inga in Young Frankenstein, 2016; Gertie Cummings in Oklahoma!, 2007), and Elena Shaddow (Marian in The Music Man, 2016; Cinderella in Into the Woods, 2015) give heart-stirring tributes to leading ladies of past Muny seasons, including Ethel Merman, Shirley Jones and Bernadette Peters. For more information and to view the video: youtube.com/TheMunyTV.

Opera Theatre of St. Louis presents its 2020 Digital Festival with a variety of streaming content, including Opening Night Spotlights and the Spring Artists in Training Recital, available at www.opera-stl.org/season-and-events/thisisotsl-digital-festival as well as on its YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/user/OperaTheatreSTL.

The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, in collaboration with Baltimore Center Stage, Long Wharf Theatre, The Public Theater and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, present Play at Home, a series of micro-commissioned short plays from some of the American theatre's most exciting and prominent playwrights. These new plays – which all run 10 minutes or less – are available for the public to download, read and perform at home for free at playathome.org.

The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis invites budding young writers throughout the nation to develop and submit plays to for inclusion in its all-new WiseWrite Digital Play Festival. Open to all students grades 4 through 12, this online celebration of storytelling will culminate in June when professional actors perform selected student submissions over Zoom. To help students develop the skills to write their first plays, The Rep will release a six-part online learning curriculum - one part each week through the end of May. For more information: repstl.org/wisewrite.

The St. Louis Shakespeare Festival presents the streaming video Come Together, written for the Zoom videoconferencing app by St. Louis actor/playwright Joe Hanrahan. The video, along with other streaming events from the SHAKE20 festival, is available at the Shakespeare Festival Facebook page at www.facebook.com/STLShakesFest/

The St. Louis Writers Group streams live recordings of previous play reading sessions at their Facebook page. For more information: facebook.com

Looking for auditions and other artistic opportunities? Check out the St. Louis Auditions site.
For information on events beyond this week, check out the searchable database at the Regional Arts Commission's Events Calendar.
Would you like to be on the radio? KDHX, 88.1 FM needs theatre reviewers. If you're 18 years or older, knowledgeable in this area, have practical theatre experience (acting, directing, writing, technical design, etc.), have good oral and written communications skills and would like to become one of our volunteer reviewers, send an email describing your experience and interests to chuck at kdhx.org. Please include a sample review of something you've seen recently.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

St. Louis theatre calendar for the week of June 22, 2020

Now including both on-line and live events during the pandemic. To get your event listed here, send an email to calendar [at] stageleft.org.

St. Louis playwright Nancy Bell's MUTE: A Play for Zoom, which was performed live via Facebook on April 5, 2020, is available as a live stream at vimeo.com. "In a world much like ours, there exists a video conference call. And in this call, there are academics, confusion, fire and...one hamster. An experimental theatre piece that steals rabidly from Ionesco, Beckett, real life and Chekhov. The play was for performance on Zoom by Nancy Bell and directed by Lucy Cashion."

Sir Stryker
The Blue Strawberry presents a Pop-Up Piano Bar with Sir Stryker, "Piano Bar Star of the Holland America Cruise Line," Tuesdays through Sundays from 6 to 10 pm. There is no cover or minimum and sidewalk seating is available. The club is operating under a "COVID careful" arrangement with restricted indoor capacity and other precautions. The Blue Strawberry is at 364 N. Boyle. For more information: bluestrawberrystl.com/

Circus Flora presents a Virtual Circus Showcase on its web site through June 30th. “You'll see amazing acrobatics, daring flips on horseback, and some of the best-behaved cats we've ever met. Plus, you'll get behind-the-scenes glimpses of performers' lives (and living rooms! and backyards!). It's a show full of awe-inspiring feats, laugh-out-loud moments, and (most importantly) chances to connect at a time when we often feel far apart.” For more information: circusflora.org.

Metro Theater Company presents a two-play summer digital streaming series, including the 2019 world premiere of The Girl Who Swallowed a Cactus by Eric Coble (available through June 28) and the critically acclaimed 2016 production of And In This Corner... Cassius Clay by Idris Goodwin (available June 23 - July 26). Both productions, which were directed by MTC Artistic Director Julia Flood, will be available in a pay-what-you-can pay-per-view environment at www.metroplays.org/watchnow. Prior to this summer streaming series, both productions were part of a virtual international festival and conference hosted earlier in May by TYA-USA, the national service organization for theaters for youth and families, attended by over 1,200 theater and education professionals.

The Buddy Holly Boys at the Sheldon
Photo courtesy of The Muny
The Muny presents Muny Magic in Your Home, on-line videos of previous editions of the Muny Magic at the Sheldon cabaret evenings, Mondays and Thursdays at 8:15 pm through July 16. The series continues June 22 and 26 with A Night With the Buddy Holly Boys. "After starring as Buddy and the Crickets in The Muny’s 2015 summer blockbuster Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story, Andy Christopher, Joe Cosmo Cogen, Kyle Lacy and Nathan Yates Douglass give an electrifying performance in the highest-attended Muny Magic at The Sheldon to date. For more information and to view the video: youtube.com/TheMunyTV.

The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, in collaboration with Baltimore Center Stage, Long Wharf Theatre, The Public Theater and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, present Play at Home, a series of micro-commissioned short plays from some of the American theatre's most exciting and prominent playwrights. These new plays – which all run 10 minutes or less – are available for the public to download, read and perform at home for free at playathome.org.

The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis invites budding young writers throughout the nation to develop and submit plays to for inclusion in its all-new WiseWrite Digital Play Festival. Open to all students grades 4 through 12, this online celebration of storytelling will culminate in June when professional actors perform selected student submissions over Zoom. To help students develop the skills to write their first plays, The Rep will release a six-part online learning curriculum - one part each week through the end of May. For more information: repstl.org/wisewrite.

The St. Louis Shakespeare Festival presents the streaming video Come Together, written for the Zoom videoconferencing app by St. Louis actor/playwright Joe Hanrahan. The video, along with other streaming events from the SHAKE20 festival, is available at the Shakespeare Festival Facebook page at www.facebook.com/STLShakesFest/

The St. Louis Writers Group streams live recordings of previous play reading sessions at their Facebook page. For more information: facebook.com

Looking for auditions and other artistic opportunities? Check out the St. Louis Auditions site.
For information on events beyond this week, check out the searchable database at the Regional Arts Commission's Events Calendar.
Would you like to be on the radio? KDHX, 88.1 FM needs theatre reviewers. If you're 18 years or older, knowledgeable in this area, have practical theatre experience (acting, directing, writing, technical design, etc.), have good oral and written communications skills and would like to become one of our volunteer reviewers, send an email describing your experience and interests to chuck at kdhx.org. Please include a sample review of something you've seen recently.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

St. Louis theatre calendar for the week of June 15, 2020

Now including both on-line and live events during the pandemic. To get your event listed here, send an email to calendar [at] stageleft.org.

MUTE: A Play for Zoom
St. Louis playwright Nancy Bell's MUTE: A Play for Zoom, which was performed live via Facebook on April 5, 2020, is available as a live stream at vimeo.com. "In a world much like ours, there exists a video conference call. And in this call, there are academics, confusion, fire and...one hamster. An experimental theatre piece that steals rabidly from Ionesco, Beckett, real life and Chekhov. The play was for performance on Zoom by Nancy Bell and directed by Lucy Cashion."

The Blue Strawberry presents a Pop-Up Piano Bar with Sir Stryker, "Piano Bar Star of the Holland America Cruise Line," Tuesdays through Sundays from 6 to 10 pm, beginning on June 16th. There is no cover or minimum and sidewalk seating is available. The club is operating under a "COVID careful" arrangement with restricted indoor capacity and other precautions. The Blue Strawberry is at 364 N. Boyle. For more information: bluestrawberrystl.com/

Circus Flora presents a Virtual Circus Showcase on its web site through June 30th. “You'll see amazing acrobatics, daring flips on horseback, and some of the best-behaved cats we've ever met. Plus, you'll get behind-the-scenes glimpses of performers' lives (and living rooms! and backyards!). It's a show full of awe-inspiring feats, laugh-out-loud moments, and (most importantly) chances to connect at a time when we often feel far apart.” For more information: circusflora.org.

Metro Theater Company presents a two-play summer digital streaming series, including the 2019 world premiere of The Girl Who Swallowed a Cactus by Eric Coble (available through June 28) and the critically acclaimed 2016 production of And In This Corner... Cassius Clay by Idris Goodwin (available June 23 - July 26). Both productions, which were directed by MTC Artistic Director Julia Flood, will be available in a pay-what-you-can pay-per-view environment at www.metroplays.org/watchnow. Prior to this summer streaming series, both productions were part of a virtual international festival and conference hosted earlier in May by TYA-USA, the national service organization for theaters for youth and families, attended by over 1,200 theater and education professionals.

Beth Leavel
The Muny presents Muny Magic in Your Home, on-line videos of previous editions of the Muny Magic at the Sheldon cabaret evenings, Mondays and Thursdays at 8:15 pm, June 15 through July 16. The series continues June 18 with Muny favorite and Tony and Drama Desk Award-winner, Beth Leavel. The video will also feature a guest appearance from Tony Award nominee Lara Teeter of Webster University, “as well as other very special surprise artists.” Ms. Leavel’s music director is Phil Reno and she is joined by Vince Clark on bass and Nick Savage on drums. For more information and to view the video: youtube.com/TheMunyTV.

The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, in collaboration with Baltimore Center Stage, Long Wharf Theatre, The Public Theater and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, present Play at Home, a series of micro-commissioned short plays from some of the American theatre's most exciting and prominent playwrights. These new plays – which all run 10 minutes or less – are available for the public to download, read and perform at home for free at playathome.org.

The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis invites budding young writers throughout the nation to develop and submit plays to for inclusion in its all-new WiseWrite Digital Play Festival. Open to all students grades 4 through 12, this online celebration of storytelling will culminate in June when professional actors perform selected student submissions over Zoom. To help students develop the skills to write their first plays, The Rep will release a six-part online learning curriculum - one part each week through the end of May. For more information: repstl.org/wisewrite.

The Riverside Players presents a virtual performance of The Audition by Don Zolidis on June 20 at 8pm. All proceeds will be donated to high school theatre programs in the area who lost money/their spring show due to COVID-19. For more information: www.onthestage.com/show/the-riverside-players1/the-audition-85220

The Shakespeare Festival in Forest Park
Photo by Philip Hamer
Shakespeare Festival St. Louis presents plays, readings, and other features as part of its #SHAKESPEARETV lineup through June 21st. Current offerings include their made-for-video production of Shakespeare's Cymbeline and readings of selections from Camu's The Plague. For more information: stlshakes.org.

Shakespeare Festival St. Louis presents SHAKE20 through June 20. The SHAKE20 festival consists of 20 - 30 minute adaptations of Shakespeare's 38 plays by local individuals and theatre companies designed for a live streaming experience. A new SHAKE20 event will be streamed live from the Shakespeare Festival Facebook page at facebook.com/pg/STLShakesFest/videos/ nightly except for Mondays. For more information and a complete schedule of events: stlshakes.org/shake20.

St. Louis Actors' Studio offers short films written and (mostly) directed by Neil LaBute from Contemptible Entertainment through their Twitter account through June 15. The lineup changes every Monday morning. For the current list, visit twitter.com/@stlas1.

Looking for auditions and other artistic opportunities? Check out the St. Louis Auditions site.
For information on events beyond this week, check out the searchable database at the Regional Arts Commission's Events Calendar.
Would you like to be on the radio? KDHX, 88.1 FM needs theatre reviewers. If you're 18 years or older, knowledgeable in this area, have practical theatre experience (acting, directing, writing, technical design, etc.), have good oral and written communications skills and would like to become one of our volunteer reviewers, send an email describing your experience and interests to chuck at kdhx.org. Please include a sample review of something you've seen recently.