Alton Little Theater presents The 39 Steps Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m., October 20 - 29. "A beautiful spy tells a lethal secret to a man she’s just met. With that, our hero Richard Hannay finds himself embroiled in a riotous chase across England and Scotland, discovering clues, dodging police, and charming ladies at every turn. With tons of characters played by a small group of actors, the play provides actors the opportunity to perform multiple wildly creative characters in the midst of a fast-paced, hilarious evening at the theatre." Performances take place at 2450 North Henry in Alton, IL. For more information, call 618.462.6562 or visit altonlittletheater.org.
Insight Theatre Company presents Ken Ludwig's Baskerville, A Sherlock Holmes Mystery through October 29. The play is "a tour de force with actors playing many different characters in madcap comedy." Performances take place at The .ZACK, 3224 Locust in Midtown. For more information, call 314-556-1293or visit insighttheatrecompany.com.
The Cabaret Project and The Curtain Call Lounge at the Fox present the Broadway Open Mic Night on Thursday, October 19, from 8 to 11 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 Bob Wetzel. 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. The Curtain Call Lounge is next door to the Fabulous Fox in Grand Center. For more information: thecabaretproject.org.
The Playhouse at Westport Plaza presents the one-man show Defending the Caveman, running through October 29. "Defending the Caveman, is the longest running solo show in Broadway history, is a hilariously insightful play about the ways men and women relate. This prehistoric look at the battle of the sexes is full of wonderful scenarios that celebrate the differences between men and women, making it a perfect entertainment option for couples or for a girls’ night out. The show has also been seen and recommended by thousands of marriage and family therapists and counselors for its humorous look at the inherent differences between the sexes." The Playhouse at Westport Plaza is at 635 West Port Plaza. For more information: westportstl.com.
Emery Entertainment presents Evil Dead - The Musical opening on Thursday, October 12, at 7:30 p.m. and running through October 22. "The Winner of the 2007 Dora Audience Choice Award for Toronto’s favorite show, Evil Dead - The Musical is the hilarious and outrageous story of five college friends spending the weekend in an abandoned cabin in the woods after accidently unleashing an evil force that turns them all into Candarian demons. The “Splatter Zone,” located within the first three rows of seating, is for super fans who can’t get enough of blood “splatter” during their favorite scenes of death and destruction in the woods. Audience members in these seats are covered in fake blood as part of the ‘real-life’ effects that take place during scenes in the show. In addition to some dismembered limbs, demons telling bad jokes and catchy tunes ("Look Who’s Evil Now," "All the Men in My Life Keep Getting Killed by Demons"), the show features a saucy combination of wit and sexual innuendo that keeps audiences laughing." The performance takes place at the Grandel Theatre across from Powell Hall in Grand Center. For more information: metrotix.com.
The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis presents Shakespeare's Hamlet through November 5. “For the first time in its 50-year history, The Rep will produce Hamlet. Spurred on to vengeance by the ghost of his father, Prince Hamlet hovers in limbo between bloody retribution and madness. Potentially fatal indecision delays his every step. With its profound soliloquies, complexly shaded characters and brutal plotting, it’s Shakespeare’s most enduring tragedy.” Performances take place at the Loretto-Hilton Center on the Webster University campus. For more information: repstl.org.
The Lemp Mansion Comedy-Mystery Dinner Theater presents The Haunted Hunter through October 27. "The rumor is true! Word on the street? This place is Haunted! That's right! ...and lots of famous sleuths, detectives and ghost hunters from around the world will be there to catch a glimpse of our famous, (and elusive), ghost "Billy", (better known as "Billy, the Spook"). Gee! If someone gets "Whacked", we'll have plenty of detectives to solve the crime, won't we! Everyone plays a part! You could be "Sherlock Homes", "Miss Garble", or even "The Hardly Boys". Call today for tickets to this "hauntingly silly" dinner theater." The Lemp Mansion is at 3322 DeMenil Place. For more information: lempmansion.com.
Photo: Jill Ritten Lindberg
Take Two Productions the musical Next to Normal through October 21. "The Tony Award winning musical explores how one suburban household copes with crisis and mental illness. Dad's an architect; Mom rushes to pack lunches and pour cereal; their daughter and son are bright, wise-cracking teens, appearing to be a typical American family. And yet their lives are anything but normal. The mother has battled manic depression for 16 years. Next to Normal takes audiences into the minds and hearts of each character, presenting their family's story with love, sympathy and heart." Performances take place at Southampton Presbyterian Church, 4716 Macklind. For more information, visit taketwoproductions.org.
Muny Magic at the Sheldon presents Our Leading Men Wednesday and Thursday, October 18 and 19, at 7:30 p.m. "Complementing last fall’s Our Leading Ladies concert, Our Leading Men features the talented quartet of Ben Davis (Curly in Oklahoma!, 2015; Emile de Becque in South Pacific, 2013); Davis Gaines (Joseph Pulitzer in Newsies, 2017); Jay Armstrong Johnson (Jack Kelly in Newsies, 2017; Billy Lawlor in 42nd Street, 2016); and Mykal Kilgore (Annas in Jesus Christ Superstar, 2017). This promises to be an evening of celebration through song of the iconic musical theatre men who have appeared on the Muny stage throughout its 99-year history." Performances take place at the Concert Hall in Grand Center. For more information: muny.org.
The Presenters Dolan presents Broadway star Alice Ripley on Friday and Saturday, October 20 and 21, at 8 p.m. as part of the Gaslight Cabaret Festival. "Alice Ripley brings to her cabaret shows the explosive brilliance that has taken her to Broadway stardom. In addition to Next to Normal, she has been in the original Broadway casts of Les Misérables (Fantine), Sunset Boulevard, Side Show, The Rocky Horror Show, and American Psycho. Currently appearing as Kathleen on the new Netflix comedy Girlboss." The performances take place at the Gaslight Theater, 358 North Boyle. For more information: gaslightcabaretfestival.com.
Alfresco Productions presents the musical The Rocky Horror Show Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. through October 21. "One fateful night, Brad Majors and his fiancée, Janet Weiss — a wholesome, well-behaved, utterly normal young couple — innocently set out to visit an old professor. Unfortunately for them, this night out is destined to be one they will never forget. A thunderstorm and a flat-tire force them to seek help at the castle of Dr. Frank ’N’ Furter, a transvestite scientist with a manic genius and insatiable libido. Brad, Janet, and Frank’ N’ Furter’s cohorts are swept up into the scientist’s latest experiment. The night’s misadventures will cause Brad and Janet to question everything they’ve known about themselves, each other, love, and lust. A loving homage to the classic B sci-fi film and horror genres with an irresistible rock’n’roll score, The Rocky Horror Show is a hilarious, wild ride that no audience will soon forget." Performances take place at the Alfresco Art Center, 2401 Delmar in Granite City, IL. For more information: (618) 560-1947 or www.alfrescoproductions.org.
The Bissell Mansion Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre presents Smoking Gun through October 29. The Bissell Mansion is at 4426 Randall Place. For more information: bissellmansiontheatre.com.
Stray Dog Theatre presents the rock musical Spring Awakening Thursdays through Saturdays through October 21. "Spring Awakening explores the journey from adolescence to adulthood with poignancy and passion that is illuminating and unforgettable. This landmark musical is an electrifying fusion of morality, sexuality, and rock & roll that since its premiere has been exhilarating audiences like no other musical in years. A heart-rendering story that follows a group of teenage friends as they travel the fraught and rocky path of adolescence and find themselves along the way." Performances take place at The Tower Grove Abbey, 2336 Tennessee. For more information, visit straydogtheatre.org or call 314-865-1995.
Upstream Theater presents the St. Louis premiere of Sweet Revenge Fridays through Sundays through October 22. "Considered the finest Polish comedy ever written, this 19th century verse drama uses Molière-like wit to poke fun of human follies. Upstream takes the hijinks to another level by presenting the play as performed by an actual amateur Polish immigrant theater from the 1930s. A sympathetic satire with a focus on tolerance." Performances take place at the Kranzberg Arts Center, 501 North Grand in Grand Center. For more information, including show times: upstreamtheater.org.
New Jewish Theater presents Tuesdays With Morrie through October 22. "In this adaptation of the dearly loved book by Mitch Albom, Tuesdays with Morrie explores the ever-deepening relationship of journalist Albom with his Brandeis University professor and mentor, Morrie Schwartz. 16 years after graduation from college, Mitch catches Morrie on a television news program and discovers he is battling Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS). What begins as a one-time visit to his former professor turns into a weekly pilgrimage where Mitch is schooled in life lessons and ultimately discovers the meaning of life." Performances take place in the Marvin and Harlene Wool Studio Theater at the Jewish Community Center, 2 Millstone Campus Drive in Creve Coeur. For more information: www.newjewishtheatre.org or call 314-442-3283.
Clayton Community Theatre presents August Wilson's drama Two Trains Running Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m., through October 22. "This Pulitzer Prize-nominated play, set in a diner in the Hill District of Pittsburgh in 1969, dramatically highlights the changing attitudes toward race in the North at the time, from the perspective of urban blacks. This will be Nada Vaughn's second August Wilson production for CCT, having previously directed The Piano Lesson in 2015." Performances take place at the Washington University South Campus Theatre. For more information, call 314-721-9228 or visit placeseveryone.org.
The Performing Arts Department at Washington University presents the musical Urinetown Fridays and Saturdays at at 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m., October 20 - 29. "Winner of three Tony awards in 2002, Urinetown has been described as the “anti-musical.” Brechtian in spirit and dystopian in setting, the show is wildly funny and engaging. Bruce Weber of The New York Times wrote ten days after the 9/11 attacks that ”Urinetown…is simply the most gripping and galvanizing theater experience…equal parts visceral entertainment jolt and lingering provocation. The context of the historical moment makes us ask ourselves going in: Can we laugh and thrill to a musical at a time like this?” In 2017 others may be asking a similar question. We are confident that revisiting Urinetown will be just the ticket." The performances take place in the Edison Theatre on the Washington University campus. For more information, call 314-935-6543 or visit pad.artsci.wustl.edu.
COCA Theatre Company presents the musical The Wiz Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 1 and 5 p.m., July 21 - 23. "This beloved seven-time Tony Award-winning musical features a dazzling mix of rock, gospel and soul music – including Brand New Day and Home – to create a refreshing update to a timeless classic. The Black Rep’s Ron Himes joins COCA to direct Dorothy and her crew as they adventure through the Land of Oz in an upbeat, family-friendly, retelling of L. Frank Baum’s “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz." The performances take place in the Founder's Theater at COCA, 524 Trinity in University City. For more information: cocastl.org.
Variety Children's Theatre presents The Wizard of Oz Thursday through Sunday, October 19 – 22. Performances take place at the Touhill Performing Arts Center on the University of Missouri – St. Louis campus. For more information: touhill.org.