Thursday, March 10, 2016

Chuck's Choices for the weekend of March 11, 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:

American Idiot
Photo: Jill Ritter Lindberg
New Line Theatre presents the musical American Idiot, based on the album by Green Day, Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 PM through March 26. " New Line continues its 25th season with the powerful, high-octane, rock fable AMERICAN IDIOT, based on the powerhouse album by Green Day, a scorching attack on what they saw as the hypocrisy and moral evils of the Bush Administration after the attacks of Sept. 11, as well as the increasingly submissive nature of the American public. The score includes every song from Green Day's hit album American Idiot, as well as several songs from their follow-up release, 21st Century Breakdown, with music by Green Day, lyrics by front man Billie Joe Armstrong, a book by Armstrong and Michael Mayer, and musical arrangements and orchestrations by Broadway composer Tom Kitt (High Fidelity, Next to Normal, If/Then). The Toronto Star called the show 'the first great musical of the 21st century.'" Performances take place at the Marcelle Theater, 3310 Samuel Shepard Drive, three blocks east of Grand, in Grand Center. For more information, visit or call 314-534-1111.

My take: As you can see from the description of this show, it could hardly be more relevant during the current primary campaign season, especially in light of the Republican Party's slide into drooling insanity. In her review for KDHX, Tina Farmer says this "is a fantastic production, and several scenes flash with brilliance. The cast are uniformly strong singers and the interpretations of the songs are spot on. " At Ladue News, Mark Bretz says "New Line’s presentation superbly captures the musical essence of the album and show as well as making the most of the straightforward plot."

Sun Theater
Amanda Honigfort / St. Louis Public Radio
The Gateway Men's Chorus presents Dear Future Husband Friday and Saturday, March 11 and 12, at 8 p.m. "Celebrating the landmark Supreme Court decision the men will treat audiences to the struggles and triumphs of the march to Marriage Equality, including the world premiere of two pieces written exclusively for Gateway Men's Chorus." The performances take place at the Sun Theater in Grand Center. For more information:

My take: With the Missouri legislature displaying its contempt for the law of the land these days, the GMC's latest show is both timely and welcome. And the newly-rehabbed Sun Theater looks very cool inside.

R-S Theatrics presents Pirates!, its fifth annual KIDaret fund raiser, on Saturday, March 12, at 7 PM. "Bring your favorite swashbucklers, or just grab a friend from a deserted island and come enjoy some of our favorite members of the R-S family singing fun, non-lame, family-friendly tunes. We at R-S believe that art is important at every age, so don't worry about getting a sitter - bring the kids along!" The performance takes place at Bethel Fellowship Hall located at 7001 Forsyth. For more information:

My take: R-S is a company worth supporting for its daring choices (they took on the local premiere of Jason Robert Brown's Parade, for example) and the performers in this show always constitute a nice cross section of local theatre talent. Should be fun, and certainly less pricey than the Fox's Beauty and the Beast as a family night out.

KT Sullivan and Jeff Harnar
The Presenters Dolan present KT Sullivan and Jeff Harnar in A Sondheim Montage on Friday and Saturday, March 11 and 12, at 8 PM as part of the Gaslight Cabaret Festival. "Manhattan standouts KT Sullivan and Jeff Harnar take on one of the greats. Nominated for 5 Awards. Recently filmed by PBS. They're prepping in St. Louis for a theatrical run in NY. Hauntingly good." The performance takes place at the Gaslight Theater, 358 North Boyle. For more information:

My take: KT Sullivan is a singing actress of considerable skill and, with a golden, flexible voice and engaging manner, Mr. Harnar is perhaps the ideal cabaret performer. Together I think we can expect great things from them, especially given the fact that Stephen Sondheim is one of the giants of late 20th/early 21st century musical theatre.

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