Friday, January 01, 2016

Chuck's Choices for the weekend of January 1, 2016

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:

Carol Schmidt
The Tavern of Fine Arts presents Concert for Change, a cabaret showcase in support of The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, on Saturday, January 2, at 8 p.m. "Calling all moms, dads, brothers, sisters, grandmas, grandpas, sons, daughters, aunts, uncles and cousins: Get your Peter, Paul and Mary on for a great musical evening. Join music director Carol Schmidt and singers Matt Anderson, Bob Becherer, Anna Blair, Steve Brammeier, Robert Breig, Michele Isam, Chuck Lavazzi, Kay Love, Katie McGrath, Elizabeth Murphy, Angela Nicholson, Dionna Raedeke, Charlene Reiman, Christy Simmons and Jeffrey M. Wright for a free concert to promote the need for change in our gun laws. No speeching, teaching or preaching. Online petitions will be available from The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence for sign-up on the spot and contact info on our local, state and national representatives who need to know we support their efforts for change." The Tavern of Fine arts is at 313 Belt in the Debaliviere Place neighborhood. For more information:

My take: I have, obviously, a vested interest in this. But the fact is that this is really quite an impressive lineup of local cabaret artists who are donating their time to a good cause. The Tavern of Fine Arts is a very cool venue with a good wine list and a small but tasty menu, so you'll want to come early and grab a bit to eat and a tipple before the show.

Held Over:

Photo: Joan Marcus
The Fox Theatre presents the musical Wicked, based on the novel by Gregory McGuire, running through January 3. "Long before that girl from Kansas arrives in Munchkinland, two girls meet in the land of Oz. One - born with emerald green skin - is smart, fiery and misunderstood. The other is beautiful, ambitious and very popular. How these two grow to become the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good makes for 'the most complete - and completely satisfying - musical in a long time' (USA Today)." The Fox Theatre is at 517 North Grand in Grand Center. For more information, or call 314-534-1678.

My take: I haven't seen this particular tour, but in my review of the 2005 tour I noted that composer/lyricist Stephen Schwartz and book author Winnie Holtzman have done a remarkable job of simplifying and reducing the story of Gregory McGuire's original novel while still remaining true to the original characters and their relationships. The score is one of Schwartz's best, and that's saying something.

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