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New This Week:
|One Too Many|
My take: These guys came to the open mic night I host for The Cabaret Project at the Tavern of Fine Arts a few months ago and just knocked everybody out. Is the cabaret tent big enough to include a cappella? I'd say so, and I'd say this is just the group to prove it.
My take: This is the second in a planned series of showcases of local cabaret talent presented in the informal atmosphere of the Tavern of Fine Arts, which is where I host The Cabaret Project's monthly open mic night. As the executive director of The Cabaret Project and the organizer of the yearly St. Louis Cabaret Festival, Tim Schall is one of the genre's leading exponents here in St. Louis, and Carol Schmidt is one of our most sought-after music directors. Their guests for this first outing are all impressive performers in their own right, so you can expect serious entertainment here.
You can read more about all the upcoming operas at OTSL in my preview post.
Photo: Ken Howard
My take: Pretty much everything I want to say about this fine production is in my 88.1 KDHX review!. There are some minor aspects of this particular La Bohème that I find less than ideal, but the production as a whole is so very good so often that I have no hesitation in recommending it.
Photo: Ken Howard
My take: I haven't seen this yet and won't get the opportunity to do so for a few weeks, but I'm recommending it anyway because I have always liked this economical and dramatically charged operatic version of Shakespeare's terse tragedy. Yes, it's more Italian than it is Scots or English, but it's rattling good yarn all the same.
|The Two-Character Play|
My take: The recently-concluded Tennessee Williams festival produced a remarkable variety of performances, including an unconventional take on The Glass Menagerie by Upstream and this "weird but oddly wonderful production" (to quote Mark Bretz of Ladue News) of a late and rarely-seen play. It might not be the playwright's best work, but it's being performed by a pair of actors—Michelle Hand and Joe Hanrahan—who are among the best at their craft. That, for me, means that it deserves serious consideration.
Photo: Eric Woolsey
My take: This "rousing, spirited production" (to quote KDHX critic Tina Farmer) is effectively a world premiere, and I'm a big fan of the idea of bringing new works to local stages. Better yet, New Jewish has assembled a very strong cast for this, headed by Shanara Gabrielle in the title role and Andrew Michael Neiman as her love interest.