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New This Week:
That Uppity Theatre Company presents Every 28 Hours, and evening of one-act plays inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, on Saturday, October 15, at 8 p.m. "The One-Minute Play Festival (Dominic D'Andrea, Producing Artistic Director), and Oregon Shakespeare Festival (Claudia Alick, Producer) collaborated to create a collection of 71 one-minute plays from across the country called “Every 28 Hours”. This national partnership focuses on the widely shared statistic that every 28 hours in America, a black person is the victim of systemic violence and is killed by the police, vigilante, or security guard. The performance takes place at COCA, 524 Trinity in University City. For more information: uppityco.com.
My take: I think the importance of the issues dealt with here pretty much speaks for itself. If you miss this performance, it will be repeated on Monday the 24th at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis stage at the Loretto-Hilton Center on the Webster University campus.
Photo: Eric Woolsey
My take: Lavonne Byers, who has so many impressive roles to her credit on St. Louis stages, appears to have another hit on her hands with this one-woman show. In her upcoming review for KDHX, Tina Farmer says Ms. Byers "goes both broad and deep when capturing the life and motivation of one of the twentieth century's most popular and divisive female leaders" and that the show "gives us a terrifyingly real and decidedly unromantic view of those who seek to balance power and idealism. The one-woman biography is a stunning success and fitting tribute."
My take: A cabaret legend who appeared a record number of 76 times on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, Maye has been packing them in at Carnegie Hall, New York’s 54 Below, Feinstein’s, Birdland, and in clubs and concert venues throughout the country. Reviewing her appearance here in 2007, I praised her "immediate and honest communication with the audience." "Maye’s boundless energy and obvious delight in her material," I wrote, "in combination with her cheerful, off-the-cuff repartee, establish an immediate bond with those of us on the other side of the spotlight." If you missed her appearance with Ann Hampton Callaway this past summer, here's a chance to see a real pro at work doing what she does best.
My take: Upstream has presented some pretty inventive and daring theatre over the years, and their current production appears to be solidly in that same line. "As usual," writes Steve Allen at Stage Door St. Louis, "Upstream Theater brings us provocative and thoughtful theatre. “Suspended” is a story that unfolds slowly but gets to the heart of the matter. Thanks to two outstanding performances and excellent direction, “Suspended” becomes a show that you shouldn’t miss." At the Belleville News-Democrat, Lynn Venhaus says the show is "an absorbing character study with more layers than even the premise implies." Other critics have had good words for it as well.
Photo: Jill Ritter Lindberg
My take: Everybody knows Fantasticks, but other Jones/Schmidt shows like I Do, I Do and 110 in the Shade get less attention than they deserve, so it's good to see New Line take on this adventurous 1960s period piece. "Part fable, part love triangle, and part 1960s hippie/Brechtian/Fantasticks-style love-in," writes Richard Green at Talking Broadway, "this seldom-seen show succeeds brilliantly thanks to its post-Vietnam urgency, its post-Civil Rights egalitarianism, and perhaps even a soupçon of pre-Watergate naiveté—along with excellent leads and the sheer wit and exuberance of the whole ensemble."