Sunday, July 23, 2017

St. Louis theatre calendar for the week of July 24, 2017

9 to 5, the Musical
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Stages St. Louis presents the 9 to 5, the Musical through August 20. "Based on the seminal 1980 hit movie, this hilarious musical romp that explores friendship and revenge in the Rolodex era is outrageous, romantic, and even a little bit thought provoking in its heroines' desire to break the glass ceiling. Chock-full of upbeat and optimistic songs by country superstar Dolly Parton and featuring the toe-tapping title tune, "9 to 5", three female coworkers concoct a plan to live out their wildest fantasies by giving their sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot of a boss the boot! In the process, the women give their workplace a dream makeover and take control of the company that had always kept them down. A bright and brand new musical bon-bon for STAGES audiences and a celebration for anyone who has ever struggled with any kind of authority figure, you will laugh, cry, and ultimately cheer the exploits of Violet, Judy, and Doralee as they discover the joys of working 9 to 5!" Performances take place in the Robert G. Reim Theatre at the Kirkwood Community Center, 111 South Geyer Road in Kirkwood. For more information: stagesstlouis.org.

Over Due Theatre presents musical Annie Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 PM and Sundays at 2 PM, July 28 - August 2. Performances take place at the Olivette Community Center, 9723 Grandview Drive, in Olivette, MO. For more information, call 314-210-2959 or visit overduetheatrecompany.com.

Union Avenue Opera presents the Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel Fridays and Saturdays at 8 PM, July 28 - August 5. Performances take place at the Union Avenue Christian Church, 733 Union at Enright in the Central West End. " The time is 1873. The place, a small fishing village on the rocky New England coastline. Billy Bigelow, the handsome and swaggering barker for Mrs. Mullin's carousel in the local amusement park, meets Julie Jordan, a lovely young working girl at the nearby mill, when Julie and her friend Carrie Pipperidge come to the carousel. Billy and Julie fall in love and are soon married. But as the community unties against them, it soon becomes apparent that marriage doesn't guarantee "happily ever after." The production is directed by Ken Page. The opera is sung in English with projected English text. For more information, visit unionavenueopera.org or call 314-361-2881.

The Muny presents the musical A Chorus Line opening on Saturday, July 29, at 8:15 p.m. and running through the August 4th. "This singular sensation of a musical tells the story of 19 dancers at a final audition, vying for a spot in a Broadway show. A landmark American musical, A Chorus Line has been called "the greatest musical - ever." With music by Oscar and Tony winning Marvin Hamlisch, A Chorus Line celebrates the dreams, guts and sweat that we all need to take our place "on the line." Performances take place on the Muny's outdoor stage in Forest Park. For more information: muny.org.

The Playhouse at Westport Plaza presents Church Basement Ladies Thursdays through Sundays through October 1. "Church Basement Ladies, a celebration of the church basement kitchen and the women who work there, features four distinct characters and their relationships as they organize the food and the problems of a rural Minnesota church. From the elderly matriarch of the kitchen to the young bride-to-be learning the proper order of things, the book and music give us a touching, funny look at their lives as we see them handle a record breaking Christmas dinner, the funeral of a dear friend, a Hawaiian Easter Fundraiser, and a steaming hot July wedding. They stave off potential disasters, share and debate recipes, instruct the young, and keep the Pastor on due course while thoroughly enjoying, (and tolerating) each other." The Playhouse at Westport Plaza is at 635 West Port Plaza. For more information: playhouseatwestport.com.

The Lemp Mansion Comedy-Mystery Dinner Theater presents Death of a Blackheart through July 29. "Welcome aboard the largest, (and safest), cruise liner ever to sail the low seas. That's right. Welcome aboard the Gigantic! But wait! What do I hear? "Argggghhhhhhh!" Avast ye mateys and get yer gizzard ready to be robbed by the most famous pirate ever to pillage a maiden! Of course, we're talkin' Captain Jack Blackheart! He's the pirate that has cheated more people, emptied more pockets and pillaged more ladies than any politician. Gee. I hope no one kills him off. You'll meet lots of fun characters at this show. In fact audience members will get to play lots of fun characters in this show because it's "chock full" of "Fair Maidens", "Lost Boys", "Rival Pirates", and more. One thing is for sure. If you've ever wanted to stand up and shout out Arggggghhhh!...then "Death of a Blackheart" is the show for you!" The Lemp Mansion is at 3322 DeMenil Place. For more information: lempmansion.com.

JPEK CreativeWorks Theatre presents NV and Paige Otis in A Legends Review: Chaka Kahn and Tina Marie on Sunday, July 30, at 3 and 6 p.m. The performances take place at the Kranzberg Arts Center, 501 North Grand in Grand Center. For more information: kranzbergartscenter.org/calendar.

Ignite Theatre Company presents the musical Little Shop of Horrors on Thursday through Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m., July 27 - 30. "The meek floral assistant Seymour Krelborn stumbles across a new breed of plant he names "Audrey II" - after his coworker crush. This foul-mouthed, R&B-singing carnivore promises unending fame and fortune to the down and out Krelborn as long as he keeps feeding it, BLOOD. Over time, though, Seymour discovers Audrey II's out of this world origins and intent towards global domination!" Performances take place at South Hampton Church, 4716 Macklind. For more information: www.brownpapertickets.com.

The Fox Theatre presents the musical Mamma Mia!, based on the songs of ABBA, Friday through Sunday, July 28 - 30. The Fox Theatre is at 517 North Grand in Grand Center. For more information: fabulousfox.com.

St. Louis Actors' Studio presents the Neil LaBute New Theater Festival, Part 2 through July 31 at the Gaslight Theatre, 358 North Boyle. The festival features professional, new and previously unproduced one-act plays 45 minutes or less in length, chosen from submissions to the festival over the previous year. . The plays in Part 2 are "Hate Crime" by Neil LaBute, "How's Bruno?" by Cary Pepper, and "Sin Titulo" by Tearrance Chrisholm. For more information call 314-458-2978 or visit stlas.org.

The Hawthorne Players present the musical Once Upon a Mattress July 28 - August 6. "Due to an unhappy curse, King Sextimus is unable to speak. Mean- while, his terror-of-a-wife, Queen Aggravain, has taken over control of the kingdom. In an attempt to keep Prince Dauntless single, has decreed that only the princess that can pass her test may marry her son. Luckily, Sir Harry is able to find an amazing princess who instantly catches the attention of Prince Dauntless. In the end, Winnifred is able to pass the Queen's impossible sensitivity test." The performances take place at the Florissant Civic Center Theatre at Parker and Waterford in Florissant, MO. For more information, call 921-5678 or visit hawthorneplayers.info.

The Bissell Mansion Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre presents Phantom of the Grand Old Opry through July 30. The Bissell Mansion is at 4426 Randall Place. For more information: bissellmansiontheatre.com.

The Looking Glass Playhouse presents the musical The Rocky Horror Show Friday and Saturday, July 28 and 29. "In this cult classic, sweethearts Brad and Janet, stuck with a flat tire during a storm, discover the eerie mansion of Dr. Frank-N-Furter, a transvestite scientist. As their innocence is lost, Brad and Janet meet a houseful of wild characters, including a rocking biker and a creepy butler. Through elaborate dances and rock songs, Frank-N-Furter unveils his latest creation: a muscular man named Rocky." Performances take place at 301 West St. Louis Street in Lebanon, Ill. For more information, visit www.lookingglassplayhouse.com.

Hard Road Theatre Productions presents the musical Sister Act July 28 - August 6. "Blessed with a rollicking musical score from Alan Menken - the composer who brought us BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, THE LITTLE MERMAID, NEWSIES, and ALADDIN - this divine comedy about a sassy, low-rent lounge singer forced to hide out from the mob in the last place anyone would ever look for her - a convent - recently became one of Broadway's smash hit musicals and continues to attract flocks of faithful followers wherever it goes thanks to its soulful chorus of swingin' sisters." Performances will be held at the Highland Elementary School Auditorium, 12760 Troxler Ave, Highland IL. For more information: www.hardroad.org.

The Unsinkable Molly Brown
The Muny presents the musical The Unsinkable Molly Brown nightly at 8:15 through July 27th. "Hannibal Missouri's own brash and beguiling Molly Brown shines in this exhilarating adaptation of Meredith Willson's 1960 musical. Her rags-to-riches story sparkles with a new book by Dick Scanlan (Thoroughly Modern Millie), and new songs from the Meredith Willson songbook. The tempestuous can't-live-with-him/can't-live-without-him love story that survived the Silver Boom, Gold Rush and sinking of the Titanic returns to the stage with more fun and flair than ever. This is one of those classic musicals that will have your heart soaring!" Performances take place on the Muny's outdoor stage in Forest Park. For more information: muny.org.

St. Charles Community College presents the musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown Wednesday through Friday at 7:30, Saturday at 2 and 7:30 p.m, and Sunday at 2 p.m., July 26 - 30. "This revival of the original 1967 musical is a fresh approach to the comic book world of Charles Schulz. All your favorite characters are here: Charlie Brown, Sally, Linus, Lucy, Schroeder, and even Snoopy as they experience "an average day in the life of Charlie Brown." It really is just that - a day made up of little moments picked from various comic strips and set to music. Come see Charlie and the gang battle with kites, book reports, baseball games, Valentine's Day, and childhood crushes before finally realizing what true happiness is all about." Performances take place in the FAB Theater in the Donald D. Shook Fine Arts Building on the campus at 4601 Mid Rivers Mall Drive in Cottleville, MO. For more information, call 636-922-8050 or visit stchas.edu.

Looking for auditions and other artistic opportunities? Check out the St. Louis Auditions site.
For information on events beyond this week, check out the searchable database at the Regional Arts Commission's Events Calendar.
Would you like to be on the radio? KDHX, 88.1 FM needs theatre reviewers. If you're 18 years or older, knowledgeable in this area, have practical theatre experience (acting, directing, writing, technical design, etc.), have good oral and written communications skills and would like to become one of our volunteer reviewers, send an email describing your experience and interests to chuck at kdhx.org. Please include a sample review of something you've seen recently.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

St. Louis classical calendar for the week of July 24, 2017

The Compton Heights Concert Band
Photo: J. Sparks Photography
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The Compton Heights Concert Band presents free Musical Mondays concerts featuring marches, show tunes and classical favorites at Mondays at 7:30 p.m. through August 7. This week (July 24) it's "This Band is Your Band", a band showcase night. The concert takes place in Tower Grove Park at the historic Henry Shaw Bandstand. For more information: chband.org.

The Compton Heights Concert Band presents free Sunday Serenades concerts featuring marches, show tunes and classical favorites on Sundays at 7:30 PM through August 6. This week (July 30) its a Chuck Berry Tribute with Butchwax and the Hollywoods and Billy Peek. The concerts takes place in Francis Park at Donovan and Eichelberger on the Compton Heights Band's Carol Joy Brooks Memorial Stage. For more information: chband.org.

The Gateway Festival Orchestra presents Many Miniatures and a Masterpiece, a free concert on Sunday, July 30, at 7:30 PM. "Enjoy a free live concert by a fifty-piece professional orchestra. Bring a lawn chair or a blanket for relaxing on the grass in beautiful Brookings Quadrangle on the campus of Washington University. Parking is free and plentiful. Ted Drewes Frozen Custard is available for purchase, and children receive an attendance prize." The all-Russian program includes music by Glinka and Borodin and features Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto with soloist Julia Sakharova. The concert takes place at the Brookings Quadrangle on the Washington University campus. For more information: www.gatewayfestivalorchestra.org.

The Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center presents Orchestrating Diversity's Youth Orchestra in concert on Sunday, July 30, at 3:30 p.m. "The orchestra is students from McCluer, Normandy, Metro, Gateway, and Grand Center Arts Academy as well community members. They are known for performing world-class music with unusual skill. Orchestrating Diversity is a free orchestral music education program for all St. Louis Area youth. As a part of the El Sistema Movement, we see playing music in ensembles as a key tool for empowering and uniting our youth." The program includes music by Tchaikovsky and Janacek and takes place at Pilgrim Congretaional Church, 826 Union.

The University City Summer Band presents a concert on Tuesday, 25 11, at 7 p.m. "Concerts last about 80 minutes, and include a short intermission. Seating is on the lawn. Bring a lawn chair or blanket as available seating is limited. Bring your children! Bring a picnic!" The concert takes place in Heman Park, 1028 Midland in University City. In case of inclement weather, the concert will be held at Trinity Presbyterian Church 6800 Washington Ave (at Kingsland). For more information: ucsummerband.org.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Chuck's Choices for the weekend of July 21, 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:

The St. Louis Cabaret Conference presents the Professional Track Showcase on Saturday, July 22, at 7:30 p.m. as part of the 2017 St. Louis Cabaret Festival. "Directed by Tony Winner Faith Prince with music direction by Alex Rybeck, these six singers take to the stage to show you why they are on the right track! The St. Louis Cabaret Conference presents these select singers in their own showcase of mini cabaret sets to show so you can see why they are ready to take their talents and ambitions and make their mark in the cabaret world - if they haven't already." The performance takes place at The Stage @ KDHX in Grand Center. For more information: www.ticketfly.com.

My take: These are singers from the most advanced of the Cabaret Conference's three tracks. They're established cabaret pros from around the country, often with many shows to their credit, who are polishing their craft here in St. Louis. The showcase presents each of them in short, carefully tailored sets that display their range and talent.


The St. Louis Cabaret Conference presents the Final Showcase and Closing Night Party on Saturday, August 25, at 7:30 p.m., as part of the 2017 St. Louis Cabaret Festival. "Singers come from all around the country as well as our hometown to be mentored by the renowned artists who are performing as part of the St. Louis Cabaret Festival. This is the closing night revelry to honor their work. Don't miss this audience favorite and the go-to singer showcase of the year. Seats are limited. Who knows -- maybe the next St. Louis Cabaret Festival headliner will be on the stage! Directed by Marilyn Maye, Peisha McPhee, and Jeff Harnar and music directed by Tedd Firth, Chris Denny, and Michael Orland." The performance takes place at The Stage @ KDHX in Grand Center. For more information: www.ticketfly.com.

My take: As someone who has seen and/or performed in most of the closing showcases over the years, I can attest to the wonderful variety and skill of the performers who take the stage in this big, two-act show.


Held Over:

On Golden Pond
Photo: John Lamb
Insight Theatre Company presents the drama On Golden Pond through July 23. "On Golden Pond had its Broadway appearance in 1979. Directed by Ernest Thompson and reopened again the following season. It received a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play and received 5 Drama Desk Awards: When it was adapted for the screen in 1981, it starred Henry Fonda, Katherine Hepburn and Jane Fonda, and was highly acclaimed. It is a love story of Ethel and Norman Thayer, a long married couple in their near 80s and their relationship with their daughter, Chelsea." Performances take place at The .ZACK, 3224 Locust in Midtown. For more information, call 314-556-1293 or visit insighttheatrecompany.com.

My take: The script is slight but the characters have real depth (or so says the critical consensus). "There’s a certain aww, cute aura about it that the play’s script frequently knocks off-kilter," writes Anne Lemmons Pollack, "if not intermittently obliterates altogether. Insight Theatre Company's current interpretation gives such the off-kilter attitude center stage." And St. Louis veteran Joneal Joplin can always be counted upon for a finely wrought performance.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

St. Louis theatre calendar for the week of July 17, 2017

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Stages St. Louis presents the 9 to 5, the Musical July 21 - August 20. "Based on the seminal 1980 hit movie, this hilarious musical romp that explores friendship and revenge in the Rolodex era is outrageous, romantic, and even a little bit thought provoking in its heroines' desire to break the glass ceiling. Chock-full of upbeat and optimistic songs by country superstar Dolly Parton and featuring the toe-tapping title tune, "9 to 5", three female coworkers concoct a plan to live out their wildest fantasies by giving their sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot of a boss the boot! In the process, the women give their workplace a dream makeover and take control of the company that had always kept them down. A bright and brand new musical bon-bon for STAGES audiences and a celebration for anyone who has ever struggled with any kind of authority figure, you will laugh, cry, and ultimately cheer the exploits of Violet, Judy, and Doralee as they discover the joys of working 9 to 5!" Performances take place in the Robert G. Reim Theatre at the Kirkwood Community Center, 111 South Geyer Road in Kirkwood. For more information: stagesstlouis.org.

All Shook Up
The Muny presents All Shook Up through Wednesday, July 19. "Set to the hits of the King of Rock and Roll himself, Elvis Presley, this musical will have you dancing in your "Blue Suede Shoes" all night long. Inspired by Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, the music is all Elvis, and the result is a night of hilarious and enchanting 1950s fun. When Chad, the mysterious hip-swiveling roustabout arrives in town, suddenly everyone's lip-curling and all shook up with secrets, music and love." Performances take place on the Muny's outdoor stage in Forest Park. For more information: muny.org .

Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville presents the musical The Addams Family, Wednesdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. through July 23. "The weird and wonderful family created by New Yorker cartoonist Charles Addams comes to life in this zany musical comedy. All the memorable 'creepy and kooky"' characters are there: Morticia, Gomez, Uncle Fester, Lurch, Grandmama, Wednesday and Pugsley, accompanied on stage by some of their deceased ancestors. In this story, Morticia and Gomez Addams want to continue living amongst death, pain and suffering as they always have. But there is a change brewing." Performances take place in the Dunham Hall Theater on the campus in Edwardsville, IL. For more information, call 618-650-2774 or visit siue.edu.

COCA Theatre Company presents Disney's Beauty and the Beast Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 1 and 5 p.m., July 21 - 23. " A classic story of a young woman and a prince trapped under an enchantress' spell, which only needs the power of love to break. This production features the film's Academy Award-winning score with music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Howard Ashman, with additional song with music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Tim Rice. The book is by Linda Woolverton. COCA Theatre Company (CTC) is an auditioned ensemble of students enrolled in COCA's Pre-Professional Division." The performances take place in the Founder's Theater at COCA, 524 Trinity in University City. For more information: cocastl.org.

Tim Schall
The Cabaret Project and presents the Broadway Open Mic Night on Thursday, July 20, from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Drop by and enjoy a night of great music from St. Louis cabaret artists, backed up by the pianist and music director Carol Schmidt. The special guest MC this month in Tim Schall. If you're planning to sing, be prepared to do one or two songs and bring music, preferably in your key. It's also recommend that you have your song memorized. This month's open mic takes place at The Stage at KDHX. For more information: thecabaretproject.org.

The St. Louis Writers' Group presents a reading of the operetta Caligari's Carnival, based on the silent film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari Monday, July 17, at 6:30 p.m. "The carnival has come to town and the mysterious yet charismatic Dr. Caligari presents, for the first time anywhere, his strange sideshow exhibit of Cesare the Somnambulist. Twenty-three year old Cesare knows every secret of the past, present, and future. He awakens from his death-like trance only once a day at Caligari's command to give his predictions, not all of which are entirely pleasant. It is up to Francis and Jane to discover the nature of Cesare's dark prophecies before more harm is done. There's every kind of entertainment at the fair ...and there's murder!" The event takes place upstairs at Big Daddy's, 1000 Sindey in Soulard. For more information: www.stlwritersgroup.com.

The Playhouse at Westport Plaza presents Church Basement Ladies Thursday through Sunday, July 21 - October 1. "Church Basement Ladies, a celebration of the church basement kitchen and the women who work there, features four distinct characters and their relationships as they organize the food and the problems of a rural Minnesota church. From the elderly matriarch of the kitchen to the young bride-to-be learning the proper order of things, the book and music give us a touching, funny look at their lives as we see them handle a record breaking Christmas dinner, the funeral of a dear friend, a Hawaiian Easter Fundraiser, and a steaming hot July wedding. They stave off potential disasters, share and debate recipes, instruct the young, and keep the Pastor on due course while thoroughly enjoying, (and tolerating) each other." The Playhouse at Westport Plaza is at 635 West Port Plaza. For more information: playhouseatwestport.com.

The Lemp Mansion Comedy-Mystery Dinner Theater presents Death of a Blackheart through July 29. "Welcome aboard the largest, (and safest), cruise liner ever to sail the low seas. That's right. Welcome aboard the Gigantic! But wait! What do I hear? "Argggghhhhhhh!" Avast ye mateys and get yer gizzard ready to be robbed by the most famous pirate ever to pillage a maiden! Of course, we're talkin' Captain Jack Blackheart! He's the pirate that has cheated more people, emptied more pockets and pillaged more ladies than any politician. Gee. I hope no one kills him off. You'll meet lots of fun characters at this show. In fact audience members will get to play lots of fun characters in this show because it's "chock full" of "Fair Maidens", "Lost Boys", "Rival Pirates", and more. One thing is for sure. If you've ever wanted to stand up and shout out Arggggghhhh!...then "Death of a Blackheart" is the show for you!" The Lemp Mansion is at 3322 DeMenil Place. For more information: lempmansion.com.

St. Louis Actors' Studio presents the Neil LaBute New Theater Festival, Part 2 July 22 - 31 at the Gaslight Theatre, 358 North Boyle. The festival features professional, new and previously unproduced one-act plays 45 minutes or less in length, chosen from submissions to the festival over the previous year. . The plays in Part 2 are "Hate Crime" by Neil LaBute, "How's Bruno?" by Cary Pepper, and "Sin Titulo" by Tearrance Chrisholm. For more information call 314-458-2978 or visit stlas.org.

On Golden Pond
Photo: John Lamb
Insight Theatre Company presents the drama On Golden Pond through July 23. "On Golden Pond had its Broadway appearance in 1979. Directed by Ernest Thompson and reopened again the following season. It received a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play and received 5 Drama Desk Awards: When it was adapted for the screen in 1981, it starred Henry Fonda, Katherine Hepburn and Jane Fonda, and was highly acclaimed. It is a love story of Ethel and Norman Thayer, a long married couple in their near 80s and their relationship with their daughter, Chelsea." Performances take place at The .ZACK, 3224 Locust in Midtown. For more information, call 314-556-1293 or visit insighttheatrecompany.com.

The Bissell Mansion Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre presents Phantom of the Grand Old Opry through July 30. The Bissell Mansion is at 4426 Randall Place. For more information: bissellmansiontheatre.com.

Curtain's Up Theatre presents the Stephen Schwartz musical Pippin Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. through July 22. "A prince learns the true meaning of glory, love and war in this iconic musical allegory." Performances take place at the Alfresco Art Center, 2401 Delmar in Granite City, IL. For more information, visit curtainsuptheater.com .

The St. Louis Cabaret Conference presents the Final Showcase and Closing Night Party on Saturday, August 25, at 7:30 p.m., as part of the 2017 St. Louis Cabaret Festival. "Singers come from all around the country as well as our hometown to be mentored by the renowned artists who are performing as part of the St. Louis Cabaret Festival. This is the closing night revelry to honor their work. Don't miss this audience favorite and the go-to singer showcase of the year. Seats are limited. Who knows -- maybe the next St. Louis Cabaret Festival headliner will be on the stage! Directed by Marilyn Maye, Peisha McPhee, and Jeff Harnar and music directed by Tedd Firth, Chris Denny, and Michael Orland." The performance takes place at The Stage @ KDHX in Grand Center. For more information: www.ticketfly.com.

The St. Louis Cabaret Conference presents the High School Teen Showcase on Tuesday, July 18, at 7:30 p.m. as part of the 2017 St. Louis Cabaret Festival. "Join Broadway's Karen Mason, American Idol's Peisha McPhee and St. Louis Cabaret Conference's Carol Schmidt as they present to you the new, young voices of cabaret. These talented young people will have just worked with the above faculty on the art and craft of song performance. And tonight they will celebrate what they have learned with a special showcase performance of their budding talents. As the saying goes 'There's a lot of talent out there' and this evening singers at the first stages of their careers prove it." The performance takes place at The Stage @ KDHX in Grand Center. For more information: www.ticketfly.com.

The St. Louis Cabaret Conference presents the Professional Track Showcase on Saturday, July 22, at 7:30 p.m. as part of the 2017 St. Louis Cabaret Festival. "Directed by Tony Winner Faith Prince with music direction by Alex Rybeck, these six singers take to the stage to show you why they are on the right track! The St. Louis Cabaret Conference presents these select singers in their own showcase of mini cabaret sets to show so you can see why they are ready to take their talents and ambitions and make their mark in the cabaret world - if they haven't already." The performance takes place at The Stage @ KDHX in Grand Center. For more information: www.ticketfly.com.

The Kirkwood Theatre Guild presents Twisted Improv on Friday, July 21, at 8 p.m. at The Steamboat Room, 314 S. Clay in Kirkwood, MO. "Join Adam and his crew for an interactive night of fun and laughter.Beer, wine and food available from Kirkwood Station Brewery." For more information: ktg-onstage.org.

The Muny presents the musical The Unsinkable Molly Brown opening on Friday, July 21, at 8:15 p.m. and running through the 27th. "Hannibal Missouri's own brash and beguiling Molly Brown shines in this exhilarating adaptation of Meredith Willson's 1960 musical. Her rags-to-riches story sparkles with a new book by Dick Scanlan (Thoroughly Modern Millie), and new songs from the Meredith Willson songbook. The tempestuous can't-live-with-him/can't-live-without-him love story that survived the Silver Boom, Gold Rush and sinking of the Titanic returns to the stage with more fun and flair than ever. This is one of those classic musicals that will have your heart soaring!" Performances take place on the Muny's outdoor stage in Forest Park. For more information: muny.org.

Looking for auditions and other artistic opportunities? Check out the St. Louis Auditions site.
For information on events beyond this week, check out the searchable database at the Regional Arts Commission's Events Calendar.
Would you like to be on the radio? KDHX, 88.1 FM needs theatre reviewers. If you're 18 years or older, knowledgeable in this area, have practical theatre experience (acting, directing, writing, technical design, etc.), have good oral and written communications skills and would like to become one of our volunteer reviewers, send an email describing your experience and interests to chuck at kdhx.org. Please include a sample review of something you've seen recently.

Friday, July 14, 2017

St. Louis classical calendar for the week of July 17, 2017

The St. Louis Rivermen
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The Compton Heights Concert Band presents free Musical Mondays concerts featuring marches, show tunes and classical favorites at Mondays at 7:30 p.m. through August 7. The soloists this week (July 17) are Red Lehr and the St. Louis Rivermen. The concert takes place in Tower Grove Park at the historic Henry Shaw Bandstand. For more information: chband.org.

The Compton Heights Concert Band presents free Sunday Serenades concerts featuring marches, show tunes and classical favorites on Sundays at 7:30 PM through August 6. This week (July 23) it's "This Band is Your Band", a band showcase night. The concerts takes place in Francis Park at Donovan and Eichelberger on the Compton Heights Band's "Carol Joy Brooks Memorial" Stage. For more information: chband.org.

The Gateway Festival Orchestra presents Parisian Romance, a free concert on Thursday, July 20, at 7:30 PM. "Enjoy a free live concert by a fifty-piece professional orchestra. Bring a lawn chair or a blanket for relaxing on the grass in beautiful Brookings Quadrangle on the campus of Washington University. Parking is free and plentiful. Ted Drewes Frozen Custard is available for purchase, and children receive an attendance prize." The program includes music by Franck, Herold, Debussy, and Offenbach along with selections from the musical Gigi. The concert takes place at the Chesterfield Ampitheater, 631 Veteran's Place Drive in Chesterfield. For more information: www.gatewayfestivalorchestra.org.

The Gateway Festival Orchestra presents Wolfgang and Felix, a free concert on Sunday, July 23, at 7:30 PM. "Enjoy a free live concert by a fifty-piece professional orchestra. Bring a lawn chair or a blanket for relaxing on the grass in beautiful Brookings Quadrangle on the campus of Washington University. Parking is free and plentiful. Ted Drewes Frozen Custard is available for purchase, and children receive an attendance prize." The program consists of music by Mozart and Mendelssohn, including Mozart's Symphony No. 40 and the Fingal's Cave Overture by Mendelssohn. The concert takes place at the Brookings Quadrangle on the Washington University campus. For more information: www.gatewayfestivalorchestra.org.

The University City Summer Band presents a concert on Tuesday, July 18, at 7 p.m. "Concerts last about 80 minutes, and include a short intermission. Seating is on the lawn. Bring a lawn chair or blanket as available seating is limited. Bring your children! Bring a picnic!" The concert takes place in Heman Park, 1028 Midland in University City. In case of inclement weather, the concert will be held at Trinity Presbyterian Church 6800 Washington Ave (at Kingsland). For more information: ucsummerband.org.

Chuck's Choices for the weekend of July 14, 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:


The AFI's Top 100
Photo: Autumn Rinaldi
St. Louis Shakespeare's Magic Smoking Monkey Theatre presents The AFI's Top 100 Greatest American Films of All Time: A Parody Fridays and Saturdays at 8 and 10:30 p.m. through July 7 15. "That's right! The Magic Smoking Monkey players are attempting their boldest feat yet: to parody all 100 movies on the American Film Institute's list in 60 minutes! From Blade Runner to Sunset Boulevard! From Modern Times to King Kong! From Citizen Kane to... The Sixth Sense? Well, no list is infallible." Performances take place at the Regional Arts Commission in University City. For more information: stlshakespeare.org.

My take: Over at STLtoday, Judy Newmark calls this "a smart, rowdy, hilarious take on classic movies." Which is to say that it's a typical fast-paced and irreverent MSM production. 'Nuff said.


"Percentage America"
Photo: John Lamb
St. Louis Actors' Studio presents the Neil LaBute New Theater Festival, Part 1 through July 16 at the Gaslight Theatre, 358 North Boyle. The festival features professional, new and previously unproduced one-act plays 45 minutes or less in length, chosen from submissions to the festival over the previous year. The plays in Part 1 are "Hate Crime" by Neil LaBute, "Waiting for the Erie Lackawana" by Ron Radice, "Sacred Space" by Barbara Blumenthal-Ekrlich, and "Percentage America" by Carter Lewis. For more information, call 314-458-2978 or visit stlas.org.

My take: Actors' Studio continues to do local theatre a big service with its yearly survey of new plays, always anchored by a Neil LaBute piece. The Carter Lewis play is a trenchant satire which is very current, which might mean its shelf life is not long; catch it while you can. Writing for Ladue News, Mark Bretz says the festival "offers some intriguing works for consideration...check it out both for entertainment and education."


On Golden Pond
Photo: John Lamb
Insight Theatre Company presents the drama On Golden Pond through July 23. "On Golden Pond had its Broadway appearance in 1979. Directed by Ernest Thompson and reopened again the following season. It received a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play and received 5 Drama Desk Awards: When it was adapted for the screen in 1981, it starred Henry Fonda, Katherine Hepburn and Jane Fonda, and was highly acclaimed. It is a love story of Ethel and Norman Thayer, a long married couple in their near 80s and their relationship with their daughter, Chelsea." Performances take place at The .ZACK, 3224 Locust in Midtown. For more information, call 314-556-1293 or visit insighttheatrecompany.com.

My take: The script is slight but the characters have real depth (or so says the critical consensus). "There’s a certain aww, cute aura about it that the play’s script frequently knocks off-kilter," writes Anne Lemmons Pollack, "if not intermittently obliterates altogether. Insight Theatre Company’s current interpretation gives such the off-kilter attitude center stage." And St. Louis veteran Joneal Joplin can always be counted upon for a finely wrought performance.


Held Over:


Albert Herring
Photo: John Lamb
Union Avenue Opera presents Benjamin Britten's comedy Albert Herring Fridays and Saturdays at 8 PM through July 15. "In a small Suffolk market town Mr. Gedge the Vicar, Police Superintendent Budd, Mr. Upfold the Mayor and the local head teacher Miss Wordsworth meet at the home of Lady Billows to appoint at her behest a May Queen as an encouragement to local chastity. Nobody can agree on a candidate, so instead a May King is proposed and Albert Herring - blameless son of a widowed shopkeeper - is chosen." Spiked lemonade at the celebration and Albert's unexpected disappearance result in comic confusion and, of course, a happy ending. The opera is sung in English with projected English text. Performances take place at the Union Avenue Christian Church, 733 Union at Enright in the Central West End. For more information, visit unionavenueopera.org or call 314-361-2881.

My take: While I haven't seen the Union Avenue production yet (my own rehearsal schedule means I won't get there until closing night), I'm putting this on the list because I have been a great admirer of this funny and cuddly comic opera ever since Opera Theatre presented it as part of their inaugural season back in 1976 and because reviews for this production have been raves. Like Britten's tragic Peter Grimes, Albert Herring looks at the way a traditional society deals with the local oddball, but it does so is a comic and ultimately forgiving way. The cast includes renowned soprano Christine Brewer as Lady Billows.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

St. Louis theatre calendar for the week of July 10, 2017

Citizen Kong?
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St. Louis Shakespeare's Magic Smoking Monkey Theatre presents The AFI's Top 100 Greatest American Films of All Time: A Parody Fridays and Saturdays at 8 and 10:30 p.m. through July 7 15. "That's right! The Magic Smoking Monkey players are attempting their boldest feat yet: to parody all 100 movies on the American Film Institute's list in 60 minutes! From Blade Runner to Sunset Boulevard! From Modern Times to King Kong! From Citizen Kane to... The Sixth Sense? Well, no list is infallible." Performances take place at the Regional Arts Commission in University City. For more information: stlshakespeare.org.

The Muny presents All Shook Up opening on Thursday, July 13, at 8:15 p.m. and running through the 19th. " Set to the hits of the King of Rock and Roll himself, Elvis Presley, this musical will have you dancing in your "Blue Suede Shoes" all night long. Inspired by Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, the music is all Elvis, and the result is a night of hilarious and enchanting 1950s fun. When Chad, the mysterious hip-swiveling roustabout arrives in town, suddenly everyone's lip-curling and all shook up with secrets, music and love." Performances take place on the Muny's outdoor stage in Forest Park. For more information: muny.org .

Albert Herring
Union Avenue Opera presents Benjamin Britten's comedy Albert Herring Fridays and Saturdays at 8 PM through July 15. Performances take place at the Union Avenue Christian Church, 733 Union at Enright in the Central West End. " In a small Suffolk market town Mr. Gedge the Vicar, Police Superintendent Budd, Mr. Upfold the Mayor and the local head teacher Miss Wordsworth meet at the home of Lady Billows to appoint at her behest a May Queen as an encouragement to local chastity. Nobody can agree on a candidate, so instead a May King is proposed and Albert Herring - blameless son of a widowed shopkeeper - is chosen." Spiked lemonade at the celebration and Albert's unexpected disappearance result in comic confusion and, of course, a happy ending. The opera is sung in English with projected English text. For more information, visit unionavenueopera.org or call 314-361-2881.

Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville presents the musical The Addams Family, Wednesdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m., July 14 - 23. "The weird and wonderful family created by New Yorker cartoonist Charles Addams comes to life in this zany musical comedy. All the memorable 'creepy and kooky"' characters are there: Morticia, Gomez, Uncle Fester, Lurch, Grandmama, Wednesday and Pugsley, accompanied on stage by some of their deceased ancestors. In this story, Morticia and Gomez Addams want to continue living amongst death, pain and suffering as they always have. But there is a change brewing." Performances take place in the Dunham Hall Theater on the campus in Edwardsville, IL. For more information, call 618-650-2774 or visit siue.edu.

Alton Little Theater presents Disney's Beauty and the Beast Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. through July 16. "Please 'Be Our Guest"'and spend time with Belle, Lumiere, LeFou, Cogsworth, Mrs. Potts (and Chip), Babette, Gaston, the Prince (and the Beast). The whole gang will be there! Picture opportunities with the cast will be available after the show along with ice cream!" Performances take place at 2450 North Henry in Alton, IL. For more information, call 618.462.6562 or visit altonlittletheater.org.

The Lemp Mansion Comedy-Mystery Dinner Theater presents Death of a Blackheart through July 29. "Welcome aboard the largest, (and safest), cruise liner ever to sail the low seas. That's right. Welcome aboard the Gigantic! But wait! What do I hear? "Argggghhhhhhh!" Avast ye mateys and get yer gizzard ready to be robbed by the most famous pirate ever to pillage a maiden! Of course, we're talkin' Captain Jack Blackheart! He's the pirate that has cheated more people, emptied more pockets and pillaged more ladies than any politician. Gee. I hope no one kills him off. You'll meet lots of fun characters at this show. In fact audience members will get to play lots of fun characters in this show because it's "chock full" of "Fair Maidens", "Lost Boys", "Rival Pirates", and more. One thing is for sure. If you've ever wanted to stand up and shout out Arggggghhhh!...then "Death of a Blackheart" is the show for you!" The Lemp Mansion is at 3322 DeMenil Place. For more information: lempmansion.com.

First Run Theatre presents Dreaming in Black and White Fridays and Saturdays at 8 PM and Sundays at 2 PM through July 16 "Summer, 1963. Danville, Virginia. Here and elsewhere in the South, civil rights protests are dividing the races. Half a world away, a war is heating up that'll also have folks choosing sides. Less ominous but vying for attention are a looming presidential election and a down-to-the-wire race for the National League pennant. Against this backdrop, we meet Sonny - white, bitter, suffering the effects of rheumatic heart disease - who hopes to live long enough to see his son play major league baseball and Pearlene - black and poor - who dreams of seeing her troubled son employed. Dreams and fears collide when Pearlene is hired to help care for Sonny who's chased away dozens of other would-be caretakers." Performances take place in the Thomas Hunter Theatre at DeSmet Jesuit High School, 233 N New Ballas Road. For more information, call (314) 352-5114 or visit www.firstruntheatre.com.

Hard Road Theatre Productions presents the children's musical Freckleface Strawberry Thursday through Sunday, July 13 - 16. Performances will be held at the Highland High School Auditorium, 12760 Troxler Ave, Highland IL. For more information: www.hardroad.org.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
The Muny presents A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum running through July 11th. "Load up the chariots, we are off to The Muny for big, big laughs! Considered one of Broadway's greatest farces, this musical romp through Rome includes desperate lovers, mistaken identities, scheming neighbors and secrets behind every toga. With delicious music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, this is one hair-brained Roman forum you won't want to miss!" Performances take place on the Muny's outdoor stage in Forest Park. For more information: muny.org.

The St. Paul United Church of Christ Summer Youth Musical Program presents Disney's The Lion King Jr. Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m., July 14 - 16. Performances take place at St. Paul United Church of Christ, 115 West B. Street in Belleville, IL. For more information: www.stpaulucc.org/events.

St. Louis Actors' Studio presents the Neil LaBute New Theater Festival, Part 1 through July 16 at the Gaslight Theatre, 358 North Boyle. The festival features professional, new and previously unproduced one-act plays 45 minutes or less in length, chosen from submissions to the festival over the previous year. The plays in Part 1 are "Hate Crime" by Neil LaBute, “Waiting for the Erie Lackawana“ by Ron Radice, “Sacred Space" by Barbara Blumenthal-Ekrlich, and "Percentage America by Carter Lewis. For more information, call 314-458-2978 or visit stlas.org.

On Golden Pond
Photo: John Lamb
Insight Theatre Company presents the drama On Golden Pond through July 23. "On Golden Pond had its Broadway appearance in 1979. Directed by Ernest Thompson and reopened again the following season. It received a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play and received 5 Drama Desk Awards: When it was adapted for the screen in 1981, it starred Henry Fonda, Katherine Hepburn and Jane Fonda, and was highly acclaimed. It is a love story of Ethel and Norman Thayer, a long married couple in their near 80s and their relationship with their daughter, Chelsea." Performances take place in the Heagney Theatre, 530 East Lockwood on the campus of Nerinx Hall High School in Webster Groves. For more information, call 314-556-1293 or visit insighttheatrecompany.com.

The Bissell Mansion Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre presents Phantom of the Grand Old Opry through July 30. The Bissell Mansion is at 4426 Randall Place. For more information: bissellmansiontheatre.com.

Curtain's Up Theatre presents the Stephen Schwartz musical Pippin Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., July 14 - 22. "A prince learns the true meaning of glory, love and war in this iconic musical allegory." Performances take place at the Alfresco Art Center, 2401 Delmar in Granite City, IL. For more information, visit curtainsuptheater.com .

R-S Theatrics presents The R-S Theatrics Fun Raiser Saturday at 7 p.m., July 15. "R-S is bringing back beloved members of their family from musicals past, as well as highlighting member of their upcoming musical, "In the Heights", but they'll all be singing and joking and making general merriment while you laugh, eat, bid, and enjoy!" For more information: kranzbergartscenter.org .

TLT Productions presents Tangled (The Play) Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m., July 14 - 16. " In an ultimate trial of trust, three friends test their bond and go where no three women have gone, for principal and the love of money." Performances take place at the Kranzberg Arts Center, 501 North Grand in Grand Center. For more information: kranzbergartscenter.org .

Looking for auditions and other artistic opportunities? Check out the St. Louis Auditions site.
For information on events beyond this week, check out the searchable database at the Regional Arts Commission's Events Calendar.
Would you like to be on the radio? KDHX, 88.1 FM needs theatre reviewers. If you're 18 years or older, knowledgeable in this area, have practical theatre experience (acting, directing, writing, technical design, etc.), have good oral and written communications skills and would like to become one of our volunteer reviewers, send an email describing your experience and interests to chuck at kdhx.org. Please include a sample review of something you've seen recently.

Saturday, July 08, 2017

St. Louis classical calendar for the week of July 10, 2017

Miss Jubilee and the Humdingers
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The Compton Heights Concert Band presents free Musical Mondays concerts featuring marches, show tunes and classical favorites at Mondays at 7:30 p.m. through August 7. The soloists this week (July 10) are Miss Jubilee and the Humdingers. The concert takes place in Tower Grove Park at the historic Henry Shaw Bandstand. For more information: chband.org.

The Compton Heights Concert Band presents free Sunday Serenades concerts featuring marches, show tunes and classical favorites on Sundays at 7:30 PM through August 6. The soloists this week (July 16) are Red Lehr and the St. Louis Rivermen. The concerts takes place in Francis Park at Donovan and Eichelberger on the Compton Heights Band's "Carol Joy Brooks Memorial" Stage. For more information: chband.org.

The Gateway Festival Orchestra presents Parisian Romance, a free concert on Sunday, July 16, at 7:30 PM. "Enjoy a free live concert by a fifty-piece professional orchestra. Bring a lawn chair or a blanket for relaxing on the grass in beautiful Brookings Quadrangle on the campus of Washington University. Parking is free and plentiful. Ted Drewes Frozen Custard is available for purchase, and children receive an attendance prize." The program includes music by Franck, Herold, Debussy, and Offenbach along with selections from the musical Gigi. The concert takes place at the Brookings Quadrangle on the Washington University campus. For more information: www.gatewayfestivalorchestra.org.

The University City Summer Band presents a concert on Tuesday, July 11, at 7 p.m. "Concerts last about 80 minutes, and include a short intermission. Seating is on the lawn. Bring a lawn chair or blanket as available seating is limited. Bring your children! Bring a picnic!" The concert takes place in Heman Park, 1028 Midland in University City. In case of inclement weather, the concert will be held at Trinity Presbyterian Church 6800 Washington Ave (at Kingsland). For more information: ucsummerband.org.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Chuck's Choices for the weekend of July 7, 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:


Christine Brewer
Union Avenue Opera presents Benjamin Britten's comedy Albert Herring Fridays and Saturdays at 8 PM, July 7 - 15. Performances take place at the Union Avenue Christian Church, 733 Union at Enright in the Central West End. "In a small Suffolk market town Mr. Gedge the Vicar, Police Superintendent Budd, Mr. Upfold the Mayor and the local head teacher Miss Wordsworth meet at the home of Lady Billows to appoint at her behest a May Queen as an encouragement to local chastity. Nobody can agree on a candidate, so instead a May King is proposed and Albert Herring - blameless son of a widowed shopkeeper - is chosen." Spiked lemonade at the celebration and Albert's unexpected disappearance result in comic confusion and, of course, a happy ending. The opera is sung in English with projected English text. For more information, visit unionavenueopera.org or call 314-361-2881.

My take: While I haven't seen the Union Avenue production yet (my own rehearsal schedule means I won't get there until closing night), I'm putting this on the list because I have been a great admirer of this funny and cuddly comic opera ever since Opera Theatre presented it as part of their inaugural season back in 1976. Like Britten's tragic Peter Grimes, Albert Herring looks at the way a traditional society deals with the local oddball, but it does so is a comic and ultimately forgiving way. The cast includes renowned soprano Christine Brewer as Lady Billows.


A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
The Muny presents A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum opening on Wednesday, July 5, at 8:15 p.m. and running through the 11th. "Load up the chariots, we are off to The Muny for big, big laughs! Considered one of Broadway's greatest farces, this musical romp through Rome includes desperate lovers, mistaken identities, scheming neighbors and secrets behind every toga. With delicious music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, this is one hair-brained [sic] Roman forum you won't want to miss!" Performances take place on the Muny's outdoor stage in Forest Park. For more information: muny.org.

My take: Combine a great score by Sondheim with a fast and hilarious book by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart (of M*A*S*H. fame)—based on the farces of the Roman playwright Plautus—and you have a recipe for a show that has been a hit since its 1962 Broadway debut. The key role of Pesudolus has been taken over by Jeffrey Schecter, replacing Peter Scolari (whose allergies couldn't stand up to a St. Louis summer) and word is that Mr. Schecter is doing a bang-up job.

Saturday, July 01, 2017

St. Louis theatre calendar for the week of July 3, 2017

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St. Louis Shakespeare's Magic Smoking Monkey Theatre presents The AFI's Top 100 Greatest American Films of All Time: A Parody Fridays and Saturdays at 8 and 10:30 p.m. July 7 - 15. "That's right! The Magic Smoking Monkey players are attempting their boldest feat yet: to parody all 100 movies on the American Film Institute's list in 60 minutes! From Blade Runner to Sunset Boulevard! From Modern Times to King Kong! From Citizen Kane to... The Sixth Sense? Well, no list is infallible." Performances take place at the Regional Arts Commission in University City. For more information: stlshakespeare.org.

Union Avenue Opera presents Benjamin Britten's comedy Albert Herring Fridays and Saturdays at 8 PM, July 7 - 15. Performances take place at the Union Avenue Christian Church, 733 Union at Enright in the Central West End. " In a small Suffolk market town Mr. Gedge the Vicar, Police Superintendent Budd, Mr. Upfold the Mayor and the local head teacher Miss Wordsworth meet at the home of Lady Billows to appoint at her behest a May Queen as an encouragement to local chastity. Nobody can agree on a candidate, so instead a May King is proposed and Albert Herring - blameless son of a widowed shopkeeper - is chosen." Spiked lemonade at the celebration and Albert's unexpected disappearance result in comic confusion and, of course, a happy ending. The opera is sung in English with projected English text. For more information, visit unionavenueopera.org or call 314-361-2881.

Alton Little Theater presents Disney's Beauty and the Beast Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m., July 7 - 16. "Please 'Be Our Guest"'and spend time with Belle, Lumiere, LeFou, Cogsworth, Mrs. Potts (and Chip), Babette, Gaston, the Prince (and the Beast). The whole gang will be there! Picture opportunities with the cast will be available after the show along with ice cream!" Performances take place at 2450 North Henry in Alton, IL. For more information, call 618.462.6562 or visit altonlittletheater.org.

The Lemp Mansion Comedy-Mystery Dinner Theater presents Death of a Blackheart through July 29. "Welcome aboard the largest, (and safest), cruise liner ever to sail the low seas. That's right. Welcome aboard the Gigantic! But wait! What do I hear? "Argggghhhhhhh!" Avast ye mateys and get yer gizzard ready to be robbed by the most famous pirate ever to pillage a maiden! Of course, we're talkin' Captain Jack Blackheart! He's the pirate that has cheated more people, emptied more pockets and pillaged more ladies than any politician. Gee. I hope no one kills him off. You'll meet lots of fun characters at this show. In fact audience members will get to play lots of fun characters in this show because it's "chock full" of "Fair Maidens", "Lost Boys", "Rival Pirates", and more. One thing is for sure. If you've ever wanted to stand up and shout out Arggggghhhh!...then "Death of a Blackheart" is the show for you!" The Lemp Mansion is at 3322 DeMenil Place. For more information: lempmansion.com.

First Run Theatre presents Dreaming in Black and White Fridays and Saturdays at 8 PM and Sundays at 2 PM, July 7 - 16 "Summer, 1963. Danville, Virginia. Here and elsewhere in the South, civil rights protests are dividing the races. Half a world away, a war is heating up that'll also have folks choosing sides. Less ominous but vying for attention are a looming presidential election and a down-to-the-wire race for the National League pennant. Against this backdrop, we meet Sonny - white, bitter, suffering the effects of rheumatic heart disease - who hopes to live long enough to see his son play major league baseball and Pearlene - black and poor - who dreams of seeing her troubled son employed. Dreams and fears collide when Pearlene is hired to help care for Sonny who's chased away dozens of other would-be caretakers." Performances take place in the Thomas Hunter Theatre at DeSmet Jesuit High School, 233 N New Ballas Road. For more information, call (314) 352-5114 or visit www.firstruntheatre.com.

The Muny presents A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum opening on Wednesday, July 5, at 8:15 p.m. and running through the 11th. "Load up the chariots, we are off to The Muny for big, big laughs! Considered one of Broadway's greatest farces, this musical romp through Rome includes desperate lovers, mistaken identities, scheming neighbors and secrets behind every toga. With delicious music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, this is one hair-brained Roman forum you won't want to miss!" Performances take place on the Muny's outdoor stage in Forest Park. For more information: muny.org.

Clinton County Showcase presents Disney's The Lion King Jr. Thursday through Sunday, July 6 - 9. "Join Simba, Nala, Scar, & Mufasa in the musical twist of this classic Disney film. An awesome tale of tragedy, friendship, love, and loyalty, with unforgettable songs like Hakuna Matata, The Circle of Life, and Can You Feel the Love Tonight, this is one show you won't want to miss!" Performances take place at the Avon Theater, 525 North 2nd Street Breese IL. For more information, visit ccshowcase.com.

St. Louis Actors' Studio presents the Neil LaBute New Theater Festival, Part 1 July 7 - 16 at the Gaslight Theatre, 358 North Boyle. The festival features professional, new and previously unproduced one-act plays 45 minutes or less in length, chosen from submissions to the festival over the previous year. The plays in Part 1 are "Hate Crime" by Neil LaBute, “Waiting for the Erie Lockdown“ by Ron Radice, “Sacred Space" by Barbara Blumenthal-Ekrlich, and "Percentage America by Carter Lewis. For more information, call 314-458-2978 or visit stlas.org.

On Golden Pond
Insight Theatre Company presents the drama On Golden Pond july 6 - 23. "On Golden Pond had its Broadway appearance in 1979. Directed by Ernest Thompson and reopened again the following season. It received a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play and received 5 Drama Desk Awards: When it was adapted for the screen in 1981, it starred Henry Fonda, Katherine Hepburn and Jane Fonda, and was highly acclaimed. It is a love story of Ethel and Norman Thayer, a long married couple in their near 80s and their relationship with their daughter, Chelsea." Performances take place in the Heagney Theatre, 530 East Lockwood on the campus of Nerinx Hall High School in Webster Groves. For more information, call 314-556-1293 or visit insighttheatrecompany.com.

The Bissell Mansion Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre presents Phantom of the Grand Old Opry through July 30. The Bissell Mansion is at 4426 Randall Place. For more information: bissellmansiontheatre.com.

Looking for auditions and other artistic opportunities? Check out the St. Louis Auditions site.
For information on events beyond this week, check out the searchable database at the Regional Arts Commission's Events Calendar.
Would you like to be on the radio? KDHX, 88.1 FM needs theatre reviewers. If you're 18 years or older, knowledgeable in this area, have practical theatre experience (acting, directing, writing, technical design, etc.), have good oral and written communications skills and would like to become one of our volunteer reviewers, send an email describing your experience and interests to chuck at kdhx.org. Please include a sample review of something you've seen recently.