Thursday, May 14, 2015

Chuck's Choices for the weekend of May 15, 2015

As always, the choices are purely my personal opinion. Take with a grain (or a shaker) of salt.

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New This Week:

My Mother's Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding
Photo: Eric Woolsey
New Jewish Theater presents the musical My Mother's Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding May 7-31. "The surprise hit of both the Toronto Fringe Festival and New York Musical Theater Festival, My Mother's Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding is the sweet, tuneful and true story of the journey of the playwright's mother as she discovered her true self. Despite its specific title, MMLJWW is a universal story about parents and children, falling in love, and finding out who you are. It has heart and soul and in today's political climate, it couldn't be more timely - plus, it's a TRUE STORY!" Performances take place in the Marvin and Harlene Wool Studio Theater at the Jewish Community Center, 2 Millstone Campus Drive in Creve Coeur. For more information: or call 314-442-3283.

My take: As I wrote in my review for KDHX, David Hein and Irene Sankoff's unapologetically autobiographical musical is a pleasant and pleasing little show. It's so light that a stiff breeze would blow it away, but its heart is in the right place, which counts for a great deal. Ed Coffield has assembled a great cast and directed them well. Sets and costumes are bright and colorful and the on-stage band is solid. When I saw it last weekend it was sold out, so you might want to order tickets sooner rather than later.

L-R: Brian Duprey as Frank Sinatra,
Drew Anthony as Dean Martin,
Kenny Jones as Sammy Davis, Jr.,
Mickey Joseph as Joey Bishop
The Fox Theatre presents The Rat Pack is Back Friday through Sunday, May 15-17. The Fox Theatre is at 527 North Grand in Grand Center. "What happens in Vegas...all started with The Rat Pack. This spirited show recreates one of the famous “Summit at the Sands” nights when the swingin', ring-a-ding group known as “The Rat Pack” was creating hipster legend with a free-wheeling, no-holds-barred nightclub act starring Vegas' four favorite sons: Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., Dean Martin and Joey Bishop." For more information:

My take: Celebrity impersonation doesn't get a lot of respect, but in some ways it's more difficult than traditional acting. Duplicating a performer's on-stage persona in a way that will allow audience members to suspend disbelief and react as they would to the original is quite a challenge, especially when the performer in question is well-represented on audio and film/video. The "Rat Pack" shows are the Lexus of celebrity impersonation, re-creating a typical mid-1960s Las Vegas appearance by the ruling triumvirate of the Rat Pack: Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr. Great theatre it ain't, but if The Rat Pack is Back is anything like the last two shows in the series that have played the Fox, it should be great fun.

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