Sunday, February 14, 2016

St. Louis theatre calendar for the week of February 15, 2016

[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 web site.

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Act Two Theatre presents the musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee through February 21. "An eclectic group of six mid-pubescents vie for the spelling championship of a lifetime. While candidly disclosing hilarious and touching stories from their home life, the tweens spell their way through a series of [potentially made-up] words hoping to never hear the soul-crushing, pout-inducing, life un-affirming “ding” of the bell that signals a spelling mistake. Six spellers enter; one speller leaves! At least the losers get a juice box" Performances take place in the St. Peters Cultural Arts Centre at 1 St Peters Centre Blvd, St. Peters, MO 63376. For more information:

Eve Seltzer
The Presenters Dolan present Eve Seltzer: An American Cabaret on Thursday, February 18, at 8 p.m. "Eve makes her St. Louis cabaret debut. She has performed at The Metopolitan Room, Sylvana and Jules in NYC." The performance takes place in The Emerald Room at The Monocle Bar, 4510 Manchester in The Grove neighborhood. For more information:

The Bissell Mansion Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre presents And Away You Go through March 27. The Bissell Mansion is at 4426 Randall Place. For more information:

Metro Theatre Company and the Missouri History Museum present And in This Corner...Cassius Clay by Idris Goodwin through February 28. "This is the story of young Muhammad Ali as he struggles with racism and segregation in Jim Crow Louisville, Kentucky, how a chance encounter with police officer Joe Morgan (later to become his first coach) sets him on the path toward becoming a legendary boxer and how finally he learns that it is not enough to achieve personal success, one must also work for the good of others." Performances take place in the Lee Auditorium at the Missouri History Museum in Forest Park. For more information: Read the 88.1 KDHX review!

Chuck Lavazzi
Photo: Jill Ritter Lindberg
The Cabaret Project and 88.1 KDHX present the monthly cabaret open mic night on Wednesday, February 17, from 7 to 10 PM at the Tavern of Fine Arts “Drop by and enjoy a night of great music from St. Louis cabaret artists, backed up by special guest music director Ron McGowan on the baby grand.” The master of ceremonies is Chuck Lavazzi, senior performing arts critic at 88.1 KDHX. If you're planning to sing, be prepared to do one or two songs and bring music, preferably in your key. At least one of your two songs should be a medium-or up-tempo number. We'd also recommend that you have your song memorized. The Tavern of Fine Arts is at 313 Belt at Waterman in the Central West End. There's free parking in the lot right across the street. For more information:

The Emerald Room Cabaret presents Cher the Love Cabaret on Friday and Saturday, February 19 and 20, at 8 p.m. "This February, 'Cher' The Love with this cabaret tribute to the fabulous icon! 'Cher The Love' spans the full and comprehensive songbook of this amazing Diva's career with comedy and a just enough love to send you off with a few butterflies!" The performances take place in The Emerald Room at The Monocle Bar, 4510 Manchester in The Grove neighborhood. For more information:

The Lemp Mansion Comedy-Mystery Dinner Theater presents Clueless through April 16. The Lemp Mansion is at 3322 DeMenil Place. For more information:

St. Louis University Theatre presents The Dead, "a charming, intimate musical based on the James Joyce short story," February 19-28. Performances take place in Xavier Hall, 3373 West Pine Mall. For more information, call 314-977-3327 or visit

Photo: Peter Wochniak
The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis presents Disgraced by Ayad Akhtar through March 6. “Successful corporate lawyer Amir Kapoor comes from a Pakistani family, but he long ago distanced himself from his roots to embrace life as a slick New Yorker. On course to become a partner at his law firm, Amir's carefully constructed world begins to unravel when unexpected events cause him to question his own beliefs. Raw, turbulent and unsettling, this smart drama reveals hidden attitudes toward modern culture and faith. Winner of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.” Performances take place on the mainstage at the Loretto-Hlton Center, 130 Edgar Road in Webster Groves, MO. For more information, call 314-968-4925 or visit

YoungLiars present The Dispute: A Spectacle for Lovers and Fighters running through February 26. "It's 1744 (sort of) and an exasperated playwright with a wicked case of writer's block accidentally launches the world's first reality entertainment. Four self-absorbed teenagers, raised in total isolation, are turned loose on each other to figure out who committed the first infidelity - men or women. Baroque Farce, Euro-Dance, and The Dandy Warhols collide in this new adaptation of Marivaux's classic comedy where Courtship Etiquette turns into Mortal Combat and the only true love is the one in the mirror. The creative team that brought you Whammy! The Seven Secrets to a Sane Self and other HotCity favorites make their debut as YoungLiars."  Performances take place in the fourth floor ballroom at the Centene Center for Arts and Education, 3547 Olive Street in Grand Center. For more information: Read the 88.1 KDHX review!

Educating Rita
Photo: John Lamb
The West End Players Guild continues their 105th season with Willy Russell's comedy Educating Rita Thursday through Saturday at 8 PM and Sunday at 2 PM, February 18-21. "Frank is a tutor of English in his fifties whose disillusioned outlook on life drives him to drink and to bury himself in his books. Enter Rita, a forthright 26-year-old hairdresser who is eager to learn. After weeks of cajoling, Rita slowly wins over the very hesitant Frank with her innate insight and refusal to accept no for an answer. Their relationship as teacher and student blossoms, ultimately giving Frank a new sense of self and Rita the knowledge she so craves." There will also be a show on Thursday, February 18, at 8 PM. Performances take place at the Union Avenue Christian Church, 733 North Union at Enright in the Central West End. For more information, call 314-367-0025 or visit

Photo: John Lamb
Mustard Seed Theatre presents the comedy Eleemosynary Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. through February 21. "Both funny and poignant, this play examines the subtle and often perilous relationship between three remarkable women: a young girl, her mother, and her grandmother. Artie abandons her daughter Echo to be raised by Echo's grandmother, Dorothea. But when Dorothea's health begins to fail, can Artie and Echo move beyond the superficiality of words and begin to build a deeper relationship?" Performances take place at the Fontbonne Fine Arts Theatre, 6800 Wydown Blvd. For more information, call (314) 719-8060 or visit the web site at Read the 88.1 KDHX review!

KTK Productions presents Farce of Nature February 19-28. "From the successful writing team of Jones Hope Wooten, comes the Texas premiere of the newest, Southern-fried comedy! Meet the Wilburn family of Mayhew, Arkansas, and spend an outrageously funny day at The Reel 'Em Inn--finest little fishing lodge in the Ozarks. Can the lodge be saved from gangsters, love-starved females, jealous husbands, ruthless corporate executives, bad Swedish accents, a cranky, senior citizen maid packing heat, a jittery man masquerading as a woman, and vicious critters right outside the door? By the delightfully chaotic climax of this one remarkable day, love has blossomed, truths have been revealed and the lives of all - family, guests and gangsters alike - change in incredible and surprising ways in this laugh-'til-your-sides ache comedy!" Performances take place at Southampton Presbyterian Church, 4716 Macklind. For more information: or call 314-351-8984.

St. Louis Actors' Studio presents Gidion's Knot through February 28 at the Gaslight Theatre, 358 North Boyle. "Over the course of a parent/teacher conference, a grieving mother and an emotionally overwhelmed primary school teacher have a fraught conversation about the tragic suicide of the mother's son, Gidion. Gidion may have been bullied severely-or he may have been an abuser. As his story is slowly uncovered, the women try to reconstruct a satisfying explanation for Gidion's act and come to terms with excruciating feelings of culpability." For more information, call 314-458-2978 or visit

The Improv Shop presents Heartbreak running through March 19. "Heartbreak is an improvised serial show where we explore, in depth, the stages of doomed relationships. Watch characters go from strangers to friends, friends to lovers, and from lovers to heartbreakers. Heartbreak. It doesn't happen all at once." The Improv Shop is at 510 North Euclid in the Central West End. For more information on this and other Improv Shop shows:

I'll Be Back Before Midnight
Photo: John Lamb
Stray Dog Theatre presents the thriller I'll Be Back Before Midnight Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 PM through February 20. "Having suffered a nervous breakdown, Jan retreats with her husband to an old, country farmhouse where the owner delights in telling gruesome ghost stories. Before long, eerie sounds and visions are tormenting Jan. Is she suffering another breakdown or is someone trying to drive her mad?" Performances take place at The Tower Grove Abbey, 2336 Tennessee. For more information, visit or call 314-865-1995. Read the 88.1 KDHX review!

Ben Nordstrom
The Sheldon Concert Hall presents Ben Nordstrom: Isn't It Romantic on Tuesday and Wednesday, February 16 and 17, at 10 a.m. "One of St. Louis' most acclaimed musical theater performers, Ben Nordstrom celebrates Valentine's Day with love songs from the Great White Way. Guest vocalist Julie Hanson Battaglia, who has appeared on Broadway and at theatres around the country, joins Nordstrom for this romantic program of Broadway favorites." The performance takes place at The Sheldon Concert Hall, 3648 Washington in Grand Center. For more information:

COCA presents the musical Three Little Birds Saturday at 2 and 5 p.m. and Sunday at 1 and 4 p.m., February 20 and 21. "Based on the known and loved reggae music of Bob Marley, join the fun of this musical, which has been adapted from the children's book “Three Little Birds” by Cedella Marley. An empowering tale about triumph over anxiety, the musical's young protagonist, Ziggy, must find a way to leave the house despite a fear of hurricanes, mongooses and other things in his native Jamaica. Music and lyrics by Bob Marley himself, mon." COCA is at 524 Trinity in University City. For more information, call (314) 725-6555 or visit

Brass Rail Players present Meshuggah Nuns Live through February 21. The performances take place at The Turkey Hill Grange, 1375 Illinois Rte. 15 in Belleville, IL. For more information, visit

St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley presents Shakespeare's comedy A Midsummer Night's Dream through February 20. Performances take place in the Fisher Theatre on the campus at 3400 Pershall Road. For more information, call 314-644-5522.

Webster University's Conservatory of Theatre Arts presents Molière's comedy The Miser Wednesdays through Sundays, February 17-28. “Molière's classic comedy introduces us to Harpagon, a man so consumed by greed that he is set on sacrificing the happiness of his children in marriages of convenience. But Harpagon's son and daughter, Valère and Mariane, will plot against their father to marry those they love instead. Molière treats the age-old conflict between love and money with unparalleled and sparkling wit.” Performances take place in the studio theatre at the Loretto-Hilton center on the Webster University campus. For more information, or call 314-968-7128.

The Monocle presents an open mic night every Mondays from 9:00pm to midnight. "Musical Theater actor? Cabaret singer? Balladeer? Belter? Coloratura soprano? Crooner? Student? Teacher? Performer? Fan? Come on down and sing. All are welcome. Ron Bryant is your accompanist. Bring your sheet music"." The monocle is at 4510 Manchester in The Grove neighborhood. For more information:

Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville presents David Auburn's drama Proof Wednesday through Sunday, February 17-21. "On the eve of her 25th birthday, Catherine, a troubled young woman, has spent years caring for her brilliant but unstable father, a famous mathematician. Now, following his death, she must deal with her own volatile emotions; the arrival of her estranged sister, Claire; and the attentions of Hal, a former student of her father's who hopes to find valuable work in the 103 notebooks that her father left behind. Over the long weekend that follows, a burgeoning romance and the discovery of a mysterious notebook draws Catherine into the most difficult problem of all: How much of her father's madness - or genius - will she inherit? Winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award for Best Play, PROOF is a must see." Performances take place in the Dunham Hall Theatre on the campus in Edwardsville, IL. For more information, call 618-650-2774 or visit

The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis presents Ayad Akhtar, author of the current mainstage show Disgraced, in a panel discussion on Public Perceptions of Islam in Post-9/11 America on Monday, February 15, at 7:30 pm. Also on the panel will be Faizan Syed, Executive Director, Council on American-Islamic Relations - St. Louis and Dr. Ghazala Hayat, Former Board President, Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis. The moderator will be Associate Director of the Rep, Seth Gordon. The event takes place at the Loretto-Hilton Center on the Webster University campus. For more information:

Lindenwood University presents the musical Violet February 19-27. “As a girl, Violet was struck by a wayward axe blade when her father was chopping wood, leaving her with a visible scar across her face. With enough money finally saved she's traveling across the 1964 Deep South towards a miracle - the healing touch of a TV evangelist that will make her beautiful. Though she may not succeed in having the scar on her face healed, Violet is able to repair those that are lying deeper than her skin, and on the way she meets a young African-American Soldier whose love for her reaches far past her physical 'imperfections.'” Performances take at the black box theatre at the J. Scheidegger Center for the Arts on the Lindenwood campus in St. Charles, MO. For more information, call 636-949-4433 or visit

The cast of The Weir
Cocktails and Curtain Calls presents The Weir, the award-winning play by Irish playwright Conor McPherson, Monday through Thursday at 8:00pm, through February 18. It will be the first local production to utilize the new Members' Project Code, under the auspices of the Actors' Equity Association. All profits from ticket sales go directly to the artists. Performances will take place at McGurk's Irish Pub and Dressel's in the Central West End. For details on performance times and locatsions, visit Read the 88.1 KDHX review! 

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 Please include a sample review of something you've seen recently.

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