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|Beauty and the Beast|
My take: I saw this opening night and was reminded what a good show this is, the Disney brand not withstanding. As I write in my review for KDHX, this is ia big, brash, amusement park of a show. It's fast, colorful, loud, opulent, shamelessly sentimental, cheerfully vulgar, and—there's no getting around it—highly entertaining. The well-known story is simple enough to keep the kids' attention, and polished enough to amuse all but the most jaded adults. If this isn't a family show, I don't know what is. And the Muny is doing a good job of it, even if some of the magic of the original can't be completely replicated on that stage.
Photo: John Lamb
My take: As Tina Farmer writes in her review for KDHX, this second part of the LaBute Festival "hits another high note...St. Louis Actors' Studio continues its string of productions featuring strong, original short plays." The five one-act plays feature many prominent local actors both on stage and behind the scenes, and a festival of new plays by local playwrights is always welcome.
My take: Porter's hit-laden score and the breezy (and often revised book) combine for great fun, and it looks like Stages is doing it justice. "Every song, every character, every step, every gesture, every tiny comic bit is perfect," writes Steve Callahan at KDHX. "Every single moment of this show is a delight."