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New This Week:
|A Gnome for Christmas|
My take: Children's theatre can be a mixed bag, but the Imaginary Theatre Company has a good track record of producing shows that take kids on their own terms rather than treating them like dimwitted adults. "A Gnome for Christmas," writes Tina Farmer at KDHX, "introduces the youngest members of the family to live theater with a mix of story and song that offers gently persuasive, positive lessons about persistence, belief, and self-confidence...The story is told with an emphasis on possibility and the benefits of helping each other, whether you're efforts are initially recognized or not. That's an important message, but it's delivered in a natural, unaffected story that doesn't make too much of the lesson."
|A Christmas Carol|
Photo: Jerry Naunheim, Jr.
My take: Some of my friends turn into Scrooges at this time of year. I turn into Scrooge's nephew, cheerfully singing along with every carol and enjoying the hell out of holiday gatherings. That means I'd probably recommend this even if the reviews weren't so good, but as it happens my fellow critics are in danger of running out of verbal laurel wreaths to bestow on this production. Harry Hamm calls it "a polished, warm and large-scale production". "The redemption of Ebenezer Scrooge is among the most beloved of holiday stories," writes Tina Farmer at KDHX, "and The Rep's production delivers the spectacle of the story in a standout revival that's a welcome theatrical treat." As you can tell from my own review at OnSTL, I could not agree more.
|The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane|
My take: At the other end of the spectrum from American Buffalo is this heart-warming, family-friendly show from Metro. "If you believe the holidays are about loving and being loved," writes Shannon Cothran at KDHX, "then this show is for you."