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New This Week:
|The Christmas Skates|
Photo by Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
My take: ITC has a long history of providing quality children's theatre. If you're looking for live entertainment for the younger set, I don't think you can go wrong with this.
|A Christmas Story|
Photo by Jerry Naunheim, Jr.
My take: The film on which this show is based has always been a favorite of mine, as is the autobiographical Jean Shepherd novel In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash, that was the basis for the movie. The Rep last produced this fine stage adaptation back in 2009, so this revival is welcome. The acting is quite good, produciton values are first rate, and the changes in the script since 2009 have tightened and improved it, in my view. Give yourself a Major Award and see the show.
|The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told|
Photo by John Lamb
My take: Looking for something a bit more adult in the way of holiday theatre? Stray Dog has your ticket. It's an audacious, bright comedy that recasts the Old Testament story of Adam and Eve with Adam and Steve," writes Paul Friswold at The Riverfront Times, "but it's more than a cheeky romp through the Bible. Director Justin Been's vision for the show emphasizes the humanity of Rudnick's script, ensuring that this is a Christmas story with love and faith at the heart of it."
Photo by Michael Young
My take: In his review at STL Today, Calvin Wilson calls this "a smart, engaging and provocative comedy-drama that sheds light on just how different things were in America not so long ago." "Perfect Arrangement," writes Richard Green at Talkin' Broadway, "unfolds in a very tidy, logical manner—with government personnel files that go missing, and incriminating love letters that resurface from long ago. It's an irresistible glimpse into a chapter of American history we might otherwise be tempted to forget." I have come to the conclusion that anybody who thinks the 1950s were great either didn't live through them, or did so with blinders on. Topher Payne's play is a reminder that nostalgia is like a grammar lesson: it thinks the present tense and the past perfect.
My take: Lewis Carroll's characters have been through so many revisions and re-interpretations over the years that this new rock musical version hardly seems unusual at all. At Ladue News, Mark Bretz calls it a "festive, musical adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s beloved stories, updated with a modern message and ‘happening’ music which makes for a frolic-filled production." The cast includes KDHX theatre critic Shannon Cothran as well as the exceptionally talented Omega Jones. And as an added bonus, it has nothing to do with Christmas.