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My take: When I reviewed this show back in 2012, I wrote that Ms. Simmons’s stage experience is obvious is nearly every moment of this remarkable mix of cabaret, biography, and musical theatre that recounts the ups and downs of the famed singer's often troubled life with a canny combination of song and story. It looks as polished and professional as it sounds, and it sounds awfully fine. The mix of songs includes plenty of Clooney’s hits along with some less familiar titles, the balance of music and biography is right, and the presentation is first-rate. The late Ms. Clooney did not have a trouble-free life, but this biography-based show avoids the maudlin and concentrates on the songs that made Ms. Clooney a major celebrity.
My take: "Haller is a charming and talented performer with a voice as smooth as a brandy Alexander," wrote Robert Mitchell in a KDHX review of this show back in 2011. I couldn't agree more. Ken is an immensely talented gent with impressive credentials in both the theatrical and cabaret worlds and he has been producing top-notch cabaret here in town as well as in Chicago and New York for several years now. This love letter to Sondheim is not to be missed.
The Fox Theatre presents the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The Sound of Music opening Tuesday, April 26, and running through May 8. "The hills are alive! A brand new production of THE SOUND OF MUSIC, directed by Jack O'Brien, is coming to the Fox. The spirited, romantic and beloved musical story of Maria and the Von Trapp Family will once again thrill audiences with its Tony®, Grammy® and Academy Award® winning Best Score, including "My Favorite Things," "Do-Re-Mi," "Climb Ev'ry Mountain," "Edelweiss" and the title song." The Fox is on North Grand in Grand Center. For more information: fabulousfox.com.
My take: I haven't seen any reviews yet and my schedule probably won't allow me to see this, but how can you go wrong with this Rodgers and Hammerstein classic? The original stage show isn't as sentimental as the often-criticized film and a big revival is long overdue. This particular production has been gathering very positive reviews as it makes its way across the USA.
|Bosnian-American: The Dance of Life|
Photo: John Lamb
My take: Unlike some cities I could name, St. Louis has opened its doors to Muslim immigrants—especially those from Bosnia—and experienced considerable economic growth in the neighborhoods were they have settled. Mustard Seed has turned their experiences into what Steve Callahan calls "a most heartening and hopeful evening celebrating the Bosnian-American experience." At Ladue News, Mark Bretz writes: "Bosnian/American: The Dance for Life succeeds as a tribute to the valiant spirit of a people and culture driven from their homeland to start life anew in a land a continent away."
My take: In a review of the original St. Louis University production of this last October, 88.1 KDHX reviewer Sarah Richardson wrote that "[t]he fates that are spun and the lives unwound in this tragedy reach astounding dramatic heights thanks to a marvelous alchemy of all the elements of theatre: design, staging, performance, and text...A delicious, theatrical nightmare par excellence." Reviewing the current version for KDHX, Steve Callahan calls it "a most remarkable evening of theatre." This is a chance to see the play done by the ensemble whose founder, Lucy Cashion, created the piece for St. Louis U. last fall. Ms. Cashion has made a name for herself locally for her ingenious reworkings of classic plays.