Thursday, June 29, 2017

Chuck's Choices for the weekend of June 30, 2017

As always, the choices are purely my personal opinion. Take with a grain (or a shaker) of salt.

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New This Week:

St. Louis Public Radio presents the Grand Center Theatre Crawl on Friday at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday at 1 p.m, June 30 and July 1, at various locations in the Grand Center Arts District. Join St. Louis Public Radio for the finest offerings of the bustling St. Louis theatre scene at the Grand Center Theatre Crawl. Rotate through venues in Grand Center to get free access to 24 local theatre groups in short performances." Featured theatre companies include Gateway Opera, Slightly Askew Theatre Ensemble, R-S Theatrics, The Midnight Company, and West End Players Guild. For more information:

My take: Here's a chance to get sneak previews of some of what's coming up on local stages. Think of it as a kind of theatrical tasting menu. And for free, no less.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
Photo: Peter Wochniak
Stages St. Louis presents the musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat through July 2. "One of the most enduring shows of all time, Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is the irresistible family musical about the trials and triumphs of Joseph, Israel's favorite son." Performances take place in the Robert G. Reim Theatre at the Kirkwood Community Center, 111 South Geyer Road in Kirkwood. For more information:

My take: This is one of two Stages shows that has been getting good press lately (see below for the other). Writing for Ladue News, Mark Bretz says that director/choreographer Stephen Bourneuf "leads an effervescent Stages troupe that keeps the fun times rolling in a high-stepping, fast-moving rendition filled with infectious rhythm and an abundance of good cheer to rousingly kick off Stages’ 31st season." Tina Farmer at KDHX says "Stages St. Louis opens their season with an energetic production of the popular show that dances and dazzles its way to success."

Seussical the Musical
Stages St. Louis Theatre for Young Audiences presents Seussical the Musical through July 2nd. "Let your imagination run wild in this magical, musical extravaganza as you join the Cat in the Hat and enter the fantastical world of Doctor Seuss. SEUSSICAL lovingly brings to life your favorite Seussian characters including Horton the Elephant, Gertrude McFuzz, lazy Maizie La Bird, and the little boy with a big imagination - Jojo, who whisk you away from the Jungle of Nool to the Circus McGurkus to the invisible world of the Whos. Based on the internationally beloved children's books "Horton Hears A Who" and "Horton Hatches An Egg", SEUSSICAL boasts a triumphant score from Tony-winners Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty of ONCE ON THIS ISLAND and RAGTIME fame. Celebrate the powers of friendship, loyalty, family, and community in this not-to-be-missed musical treat for the young and young of heart!" Performances take place at the Playhouse at Westport Plaza. For more information:

My take: Suessical isn't a children's show as such, but this production is explicitly aimed at the small fry. It's a 75-minute, one-act version of the original with a small ensemble cast and modest technical requirements. "Kids will have a good time, for sure" says Mark Bretz at Ladue News, but [Director Michael] Hamilton’s smooth guidance makes Seussical entertaining for all ages." Chris Gibson at Broadway World agrees, calling it "a complete delight, filled with good humor and charm to spare." Looks like your weekend ticket for family fun.

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