Thursday, November 02, 2017

Chuck's Choices for the weekend of November 3, 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:

Will Bonfiglio in Balloonacy
COCA presents the Will Bonfiglio in Balloonacy Saturday and Sunday at 1 and 5 p.m., November 4 and 5. "A grownup discovers the fun, imagination and companionship of childhood with the help of a red balloon. This sensory-friendly production packed with physical comedy, intended for young audiences, is a great introduction to live theatre. Written by Barry Kornhauser." COCA is at 524 Trinity in University City. For more information:

My take: Looking for something fun for the kids this weekend? Look no farther then this production from the folks at COCA, starring local theatre star Wil Bonfiglio. Think of it as the omega to YoungLiars' alpha (see below). Or vice-versa.

Farah Alvin and William Michals
The Gaslight Cabaret Festival presents Farah Alvin and William Michals in Broadway's Greatest Hits of All Time on Friday and Saturday, November 3 and 4, at 8 p.m. "The show that every musical-theater lover has been waiting for. The songs that made Broadway great, that made your heart soar, that you sing leaving the theatre and in the shower! You will hear many of the greatest Broadway songs of all time performed by two of Broadway's most acclaimed voices. The Gaslight is the first stop outside of New York for Scott Siegel's critically acclaimed and wildly popular concert series, which has been playing for 18 months at at Feinstein's/54 Below." The performances take place at the Gaslight Theater, 358 North Boyle. For more information:

My take: How can any musical theatre fan resist a show with this title? Grab a drink at the bar and shamelessly immerse yourself in the best the Great White Way has to offer.

The Gaslight Cabaret Festival presents singer Ken Haller and pianist Marty Fox in Happy Hallerdays on Thursdays, November 2 and 9, at 8 p.m. . "In his take on the holidays, Ken promises to be surprising,funny, personal, moving, great company and just a little exasperating. Just like all our holidays! The very well done video below by Paul Schankman takes you into the world of Ken's shows. " The performances take place at the Gaslight Theater, 358 North Boyle. For more information:

My take: In my review of Ken's last production, The Medicine Show, I noted that he "delivered the goods with that combination of theatrical smarts and vocal authority that has made him one of our town's principal cabaret exports." Here's your chance to confirm that I know what I'm talking about.

Conductor Gemma New
Photo: Roy Cox
St. Louis Symphony Orchestra Resident Conductor Gemma New leads the orchestra in John William's score for Jurassic Park, accompanying a showing of the film. Performances are Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m., November 3-5, at Powell Hall in Grand Center. For more information:

My take: No, it's not theatre, but it's entertaining as hell and I will definitely be there on Friday night to see it. The SLSO movie events are always a good time and always very well attended. The screen on which the movies are shown is huge and no matter how good the sound system is at your local megaplex, there's nothing quite like the sound of a live orchestra. The usual rules are relaxed a bit, allowing the audience to bring drinks and food (including, of course, popcorn) into the auditorium. So if you attend, be careful not to spill anything, OK?

Titus Androgynous
YoungLiars presents Titus Androgynous opening on Friday, October 27, and running through November 11. "Did you know that Shakespeares most brutal tragedy is actually a comedy? YoungLiars aim to prove the point with a vengeance in this riotous reimagining of Titus Andronicus - where the Italian Commedia smashes into All-American Splatter, and Shakespeare comes along for the ride. Titus Androgynous is YoungLiars deliciously deranged deep-dive into the perverse passions and vaudeville violence of the Bard's bloodiest play." Performances take place in in the hundred-year-old basement of the Centene Center for the Arts, 3547 Olive Street in Grand Center. For more information:

My take: I'm not a fan of grand guignol theatre in general, but if (say) Evil Dead: The Musical is your particular cup of stage blood, you might want to take a look at this unapologetically outrageous revision of Shakespeare's most violent play (which, to be fair, is often cited as an early example of grand guignol). Over at Ladue News, Mark Bretz praises the production's "inspired silliness" and says this Hallowe'en-themed show is "as much treat as trick."

Held Over:

Windsor Theatre Group presents the musical revue Broadway: The Early 1900's - Victor Herbert and His Contemporaries at 2 and 7 p.m. on Sunday, November 5; 7 p.m. on Friday, November 10; and 2 and 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, November 11 and and 12. "Talented professional singers and dancers will take the audience to an era that was very interesting for music lovers. Fantastic shows were staged on Broadway, and jazz, blues and tango began receiving mainstream recognition. Broadway tunes include the great male chorus numbers from Rose-Marie, The Student Prince, The Merry Widow, and The New Moon. There will be solo and duet performances of more Broadway selections and the other genres gaining fame. In addition, highlights of plots or other interesting facts about a song will enhance the enjoyment of the attendees." Performances take place at the historic Ozark Theatre, 103 E. Lockwood in Webster Groves. For more information call 314-832-2114 or visit the group's Facebook page.

My take: I'm putting this on the list for the simple reason that I'm very fond of music from the early years of the 20th century. Heck, I even created an entire show around it. Herbert and his contemporaries aren't heard that much these days, which is a pity. Thanks to Windsor for bringing us a full evening of this classic stuff.

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