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New This Week:
|Oprah Says Goodbye from Briefs|
Photo: John Lamb
My take: I have been a big admirer of the Briefs festival since the first appearance six years ago (when I was also one of the actors). "Though several of the plays are likely to be serious in nature," writes Tina Farmer in a preview article for KDHX, "the overall tone of the production is one that encourages acceptance and positivity. At its heart, Briefs is always a celebration of voices, stories, and people." At a time when that nation is under the control of those who only want certain voices to be heard, this is more important than ever.
Photo: Joan Marcus
My take: Speaking of those who want to silence some voices, this chilling musical adaptation of John Van Druten's 1951 play I Am a Camera (adapted from Christopher Isherwood's 1939 novel Goodbye to Berlin) feels all the more relevant today as it chronicles the fascist demolition of an open, tolerant, and creative society. This tour is based on the highly praised 2013 Roundabout Theatre revival of its original 1998 production which emphasized the darker undertone of the show's literary origins.
Alpha Players present the drama To Kill a Mockingbird, based on the book by Harper Lee, March 10-19. "Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is a beloved tale that still resonates today. Scout Finch is growing up in Depression-era Alabama, where poverty and prejudice dominate daily life. With the guidance of her wise father, Atticus, the rebellious Scout discovers her own path, learning the power of empathy and the struggle for justice." Performances take place at The Florissant Civic Center Theater, Parker Rd. at Waterford Dr. in Florissant, MO. For more information: alphaplayers.org, call 314-921-5678.
My take: With racism and bigotry on the rise again in America, this classic story of one lawyer's courageous stand for justice is, I'm sorry to say, every bit as relevant as it was when Harper Lee first set it down in novel form. If yo missed the Rep's outstanding production of this classic, this would be a good chance to get acquainted with it again.
Photo: Jill Ritter Lindberg
My take: New Line continues to surprise us with productions of rarely-seen and (in this case) largely forgotten shows. That's a bit surprising since the team behind Zorba! produced Cabaret—one of the biggest hits in Braodway history (and now playing the Fox). In a soon-to-be-published review for KDHX, Tina Farmer calls Zorba! "the most beautifully hopeful tragedy I've seen in quite some time. The score and dancing are evocative, drenched with the sounds of Greek folk music. The lyrics are filled with exposition and storytelling reminiscent of the classics. The musical tackles the story of humanity as told through the eyes of an aging man determined to squeeze every last ounce from his own life. Tragic in nature, because we all must die at some point, the tale is nonetheless spirited and filled with love and passion."