Sunday, June 16, 2019

St. Louis theatre calendar for the week of June 17, 2019

This week the Gateway Man's Chorus remembers Stonewall, the Muny steps out in Kinky Boots, and Ken Haller steps in to host the Cabaret Project open mic.

The Gateway Men's Chorus presents 1969: Stonewall Remembered Saturday at 8 pm and Sunday at 2 pm, June 22 and 23. "It was the Age of Aquarius, Woodstock, the moon landing, and the Stonewall Riots in Greenwich Village. 1969 marks the 50th anniversary of Stonewall, the flashpoint for the LGBTQIA+ rights movement. Featuring solemn pieces through disco celebrations, GMC shines a light on LGBT history, especially transgender women of color, who led the charge for change but have largely been erased from the narrative of gay rights." Performances take place at the auditorium of the Touhill Center on the campus of the University of Missouri at St. Louis. For more information: touhill.org.

Gitana Productions presents An Amazing Story: German Abolitionists Of Missouri Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 and Sunday at 3 and 5:30 pm, June 20-23. "This provocative original play is inspired by the amazing stories of such remarkable individuals as Friedrich Munch, Judge Arnold Krekel and August Boernstein; German immigrants and leading abolitionists in the State of Missouri. Through the lens of history, we will bring to life all of the elements of what it means to strive for social justice for "others" when advocating within and outside of one's own cultural group. While many Germans who came to the Midwest were staunch defenders of a "color-blind" democracy some immigrants set aside their values in order to survive and be accepted during the period before and after the Civil War. As is the case with most Americans there are often contradictions in our beliefs often colliding and challenging us to clarify what is most important. The German story is an important American story…where the ideal of Democracy brings together unlikely and diverse champions!" Performances take place at The Kranzaberg Arts Center, 501 N. Grand in Grand Center. For more information: www.gitana-inc.org.

Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville presents Shakespeare's As You Like It Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm and Sundays at 2 pm, June 21-30. "The theatrical and enchanting Shakespeare that you have come to expect from SIUE Summer Theater continues; this beloved romantic comedy moves from the magical Forest of Arden to the mysterious 1920's Ozark forests, complete with original, Old-Time Tunes. Our hero Rosalind, finding herself on the run from the evils of the city with her best friend Celia and her philosophical fool Touchstone, disguises herself as a young man and begins a journey of self-discovery. Falling in love and learning who you are by "acting the part" are the heart of this classic tale of romance and reconciliation." Performances take place in the Metcalf Theater on the campus in Edwardsville, IL. For more information, call 618-650-2774 or visit siue.edu.

Be More Chill
Photo by Jill Ritter Lindberg
New Line Theatre presents the musical Be More Chill Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 PM through June 22. "The Breakfast Club meets Little Shop of Horrors, as New Line closes its season by bringing you the new sci-fi rock musical BE MORE CHILL -- currently breaking records on Broadway! -- with music and lyrics by Joe Iconis and book by Joe Tracz, based on the bestselling novel by Ned Vizzini. It's an honest, fearless, funny look at life in the digital age, exploring teen depression, bullying, and other current issues through the comic lens of sci-fi films of the 50s, horror flicks of the 80s, and teen movies of the 90s. The show has been selling out everywhere it runs. Jeremy is just an average, nothing-special teenage nerd -- until he finds out about the Squip ("Super Quantum Unit Intel Processor"), a tiny Japanese supercomputer in a convenient pill, which promises to "upgrade" him and bring him everything he desires most: a date with Christine, an invite to the coolest party of the year, and a chance to survive life in his suburban New Jersey high school." Performances take place at the Marcelle Theater, 3310 Samuel Shepard Drive, three blocks east of Grand, in Grand Center. For more information, visit newlinetheatre.com or call 314-534-1111.

The Boy from Oz
Photo by Peter Wochniak
Stages St. Louis presents the musical The Boy From Oz through June 30. "Dazzling and hilarious as the legendary Peter Allen himself, THE BOY FROM OZ follows the Australian singer-songwriter from his humble beginnings performing in backcountry pubs to his international stardom beside such Hollywood icons as Judy Garland and her daughter Liza Minnelli. " 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.

Circus Flora presents its new show, The Caper on Aisle 6 through June 30 under the air-conditioned, red-and-white, big top tent in Grand Center. "A trip to the grocery store is not usually the most exciting part of our day. But the market is a place of intrigue and excitement in "The Caper in Aisle 6." An ancient and powerful substance, long thought to be gone from the Earth, is found in the unlikeliest of places: aisle six of the local grocery store. What secrets does aisle six hold, and what adventures will it set in motion?" For more information: circusflora.org.

CSZ St. Louis presents The ComedySportz Show on Saturday nights at 7:30 pm. The show is "action-packed, interactive and hilarious comedy played as a sport. Two teams battle it out for points and your laughs! You choose the winners the teams provide the funny!" Performances take place on the second floor of the Sugar Cubed, 917 S Main St. in St Charles, Mo. For more information: www.cszstlouis.com.

The Coronation of Poppea
Photo by Eric Woolsey
Opera Theatre of St. Louis presents Monteverdi's The Coronation of Poppea through June 28. "The fight for the throne is never dignified. Poppea will stop at nothing to become Empress, no matter who she has to blackmail, betray, or kill. And Emperor Nero, who is infatuated with Poppea, is not thinking with his head. Separately, they're bad enough. Together, they will turn Rome upside down. Sexy, bloodthirsty, and unapologetic, this opera is the best kind of political thriller." The opera runs approximately two hours and 50 minutes with one intermission and is performed in English with English supertitles. Performances take place at the Loretto-Hilton Center at 135 Edgar Road on the Webster University campus.  For more information: experienceopera.org call 314-961-0644.

The HIlton St. Louis Frontenac presents The Dinner Detective Murder Mystery Dinner Show through July 27. "Solve a hilarious crime while you feast on a fantastic dinner. Just beware! The culprit is hiding in plain sight somewhere in the room, and you may find yourself as a Prime Suspect before you know it!" For more information: https://www.thedinnerdetective.com/st-louis

Stages St. Louis presents the musical Disney's 101 Dalmatians, based on the animated film, June 18-30. "Join the evil Cruella De Vil and her two klutzy henchmen as they try to steal a litter of the cutest puppies ever to hit jolly old London Town. But not to worry - this fur-raising adventure ends happily with plenty of puppy power to spare! " 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.

because why not? theatre company presents Fat by Shannon Geier Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 7 pm, June 6-16. "Amy Prestly has a lot going for her: a career, a happy marriage, a beautiful child, wonderful friends. She is also overweight; a fact that is affecting not just Amy, but her relationships with everyone surrounding her. Fat explores the struggles that come with obesity and body image ideals, taking a realistic look at the societal messages communicated with regards to size and the challenges of balancing personal health with positive body image in a world where thin equals better." Performances take place at Satori, 3003 Locust. For more information: eventbrite.com

Opera Theatre of St. Louis presents Fire Shut Up My Bones by Terence Blanchard and Kasi Lemmons, based on the memoir by columnist Charles Blow, through June 29. "One moment can change everything. When Charles discovers that his cousin has returned to his Louisiana hometown, he races home from college to confront his past. Memories and shadows surround Charles as he strives to move beyond a cycle of violence and forge a brave new path. Terence Blanchard, composer of OTSL's sold-out hit Champion, teams up with screenwriter Kasi Lemmons (Eve's Bayou) for a haunting, powerful, and tender coming-of age story inspired by a memoir celebrated as "stunning" (Essence), "riveting" (Chicago Tribune), and "exquisite" (The New York Times)." The opera runs approximately two hours and 25 minutes with one intermission and is performed in English with English supertitles. Performances take place at the Loretto-Hilton Center at 135 Edgar Road on the Webster University campus. All performances are sung in English with projected English text. For more information: opera-stl.org call 314-961-0644.

The Bissell Mansion Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre presents Flaming Saddles through July 28 The Bissell Mansion is at 4426 Randall Place. For more information: bissellmansiontheatre.com

The Q Collective presents the rock musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch Thursdays and Fridays at 8 pm and Saturdays at 8 and 10:30 pm, June 20 - 29. "The Q Collective is excited to present John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask's groundbreaking, Obie-winning Off-Broadway musical Hedwig And The Angry Inch, in which the 'internationally ignored song stylist' Hedwig Schmidt, herself, tells us her wild life story, as a fourth-wall smashing East German rock 'n' roll goddess who also happens to be the victim of a botched sex-change operation. This outrageous and unexpectedly powerful story is dazzlingly performed by Hedwig (née Hansel) in the form of a rock gig/stand-up comedy backed by the hard-rocking band The Angry Inch. It's a rocking ride, funny, touching, and ultimately inspiring to anyone who has felt life gave them an inch when they deserved a mile." Performances take place at The Monocle, 4510 Manchester in The Grove. For more information: eventbrite.com.

Indecent
Photo by Gerry Love
Max and Louie Productions presents Indecent Thursdays at 7:30 pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm, and Sundays at 3 pm, June 20-30. "Winner of numerous awards including an acclaimed Tony-winning run on Broadway, "Indecent" by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel, is the true story of a groundbreaking scandalous play and the courageous artists who risked their careers and lives to perform it. " Performances take place at the Grandel Theatre, 3610 Grandel Square in Grand Center. For more information: maxandlouie.com.

The Muny presents the musical Kinky Boots opening on Wednesday, June 19, at 8:15 p.m. and running through June 25th. '"Step into a dream where glamour is extreme" with the U.S. regional premiere of the international smash-hit-musical Kinky Boots! Winner of six Tony Awards, the Olivier Award and the Grammy, this huge-hearted hit tells the story of a struggling British shoe factory that finds a surprising way to recreate themselves! Featuring 16 Grammy Award-winning original songs penned by pop icon Cyndi Lauper, this sparkling, stiletto sensation will "lift you up!"' Performances take place on the Muny's outdoor stage in Forest Park. For more information: muny.org.

Leaving Iowa
Act Inc presents Leaving Iowa by Tim Clue and Spike Manton Friday at 7:30 pm and Saturday at 2 pm, June 21 and 22. "Remember the family road trip? Sure do! Mom, Dad and the kids all packed up in the car with maps and snacks. Road games, billboards, gift shops and the ultimate rest stops and Motel 6. Giggles and battles, smiles and tears. Those were the days! Columnist, Don Browning, decides to bury his Dad's ashes at the old family farm. When he discovers that the homestead is now the site of a supermarket he embarks upon a journey of reconciliation and discovery in his quest for the perfect resting place for Dad in the middle of the USA. If you are interested in the perfect "staycation" look no further. Leaving Iowa is a delightful "postcard" that will leave you with a smile on your face and a spring in your step." Performances take place in the Emerson Black Box Theatre at the J. Scheidegger Center for the Arts on the Lindenwood campus in St. Charles, MO. For more information, visit actincstl.com.

Love's Labours Lost
Shakespeare Festival St. Louis presents the comedy Love's Labors Lost nightly except for Mondays through June 23. "Belonging to Shakespeare's "lyrical" period, which also included Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night's Dream, the play tells the story of the Princess of France and her ladies who arrive on a diplomatic mission to Navarre only to be met by a young king and his lords who have taken a vow not to see women. Affairs of state give way to affairs of the heart as Shakespeare reveals with great humor and compassion the way our culture sometimes doesn't fully prepare us for the realities of love and intimacy. A feast of language and theatrical virtuosity, Love's Labors Lost shimmers with all the passion and promise of a first kiss." Beginning at 6:30 the Green Show presents pre-play entertainment a variety of local performers on multiple stages. The play begins at 8 p.m. Performances take place in Shakespeare Glen next to the Art Museum in Forest Park. For more information, visit shakespearefestivalstlouis.org.

The Marriage of Figaro
Photo by Eric Woolsey
Opera Theatre of St. Louis presents Mozart's comedy The Marriage of Figaro running through June 29. "Life at court is about to get complicated. The maid Susanna is determined to wed her fiancé, Figaro, while the Count is equally determined to add her to his list of conquests. But Susanna and Figaro won't allow one self-entitled nobleman to ruin their happy ending! They each hatch their own plots to teach their master a lesson. What follows is a whirlwind day of romantic intrigue, cunning schemes, and uproarious fun. One of Mozart's most beloved masterpieces, The Marriage of Figaro reminds us all that love will always prevail, and forgiveness is always within reach." The opera runs three hours and ten minutes with one intermission and is sung in English with English supertitles. Performances take place at the Loretto-Hilton Center at 135 Edgar Road on the Webster University campus. For more information: opera-stl.org call 314-961-0644.

St. Louis Community College at Meramec presents A Mother Goose Comedy Monday at 10 am and 1 pm, Tuesday at 10 am and 7 pm, and Wednesday at 10 am and 1 pm, June 17-19 " The world-famous, fun-loving Mother Goose is now retired and living in Mother Goose Resort Spa, where she has time to keep active and pursue her favorite hobbies. She's really into sports and fitness! She gets tweets and texts, and even letters, from children all over the world who want to know how she got the ideas for her nursery rhymes. Assisted by the stage manager, her gander Sydney, she uses comedy sketches and audience participation to show how all of her nursery rhymes and characters came about. With energetic new twists - including a daredevil Humpty Dumpty, a suspicious Bo Peep, and a dancercising Mrs. Sprat - Mother Goose skates, jogs, and scuba-dives her way into children's hearts." Performances take place in the theatre on the campus at 11333 Big Bend Road. For more information, stlcc.eduor call 314-984-7500.

That Uppity Theatre Company presents The Mueller Report: Read, Sing, Resist on Saturday, June 22, from 2-5 pm. "A diverse array of artists, activists, elected officials and community people will come together to participate in a free event to read excerpts and summaries of the Mueller Report and offer related commentary through song. The event will also include voter registration in partnership with St. Louis Voter Registration Group, refreshments, a selfie station and the debut performance by the St Louis chapter of Sing Out, Louise, a New York social activist group founded in 2017 that writes parodies with political commentary of iconic songs." The free event takes place at Projects+Gallery at 4733 McPherson in the Central West End.

The Lemp Mansion Comedy-Mystery Dinner Theater presents Muurder in Maaaybury! through July 27. The Lemp Mansion is at 3322 DeMenil Place. For more information: lempmansion.com.

Broadway Fantasies presents Our Favorite Songs Saturdays at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m., June 22-30. " A wonderful 2 hours of song and dance entertainment supporting CORP County older residents program. Directed by Christy Simmons and Musical direction by Joe Dreyer." Performances take place at the Chesterfield Family YMCA, 16464 Burkhardt Place. For more information: broadwayfantasies.com.

The Kirkwood Theatre Guild presents Recipes for Ice, their monthly improv show, on Friday, June 21, at 8 and 10:30 pm 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.

Rigoletto
Photo by Eric Woolsey
Opera Theatre of St. Louis presents Verdi's Rigoletto running through June 30. "There is no purer love than that of a father for his daughter - and no more impossible task than protecting her from the world. Rigoletto is a bitter court jester who serves the Duke of Mantua, a lecherous womanizer. Together, they are despised throughout the city. But alone, Rigoletto is all tenderness when it comes to his innocent young daughter, Gilda. Little does he know that an ominous curse is about to take its toll. When the Duke seduces Gilda, only to then abandon her, the enraged father swears vengeance. Set to some of Verdi's most powerful music, this tale of innocence lost is wrenchingly poignant and all too human." The opera runs approximately two hours with one intermission and is performed in English with English supertitles. Performances take place at the Loretto-Hilton Center at 135 Edgar Road on the Webster University campus. For more information: experienceopera.org call 314-961-0644.

The Cabaret Project presents its weekly Singers Open Mic Night on Wednesday, June 17, from 7 to 9 pm. Drop by and enjoy a night of great music from St. Louis cabaret artists, backed up by pianist and music director Carol Schmidt with special guest MC Ken Haller. 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 event takes place at the Dark Room in the Grandel Theatre in Grand Center. For more information: thecabaretproject.org.

The Looking Glass Playhouse presents the musical Singin' in the Rain Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 pm and Sundays at 2 pm, June 20-23. "The "Greatest Movie Musical of All Time" is faithfully and lovingly adapted by Broadway legends, Betty Comden and Adolph Green, from their original award-winning screenplay in Singin' in the Rain. Each unforgettable scene, song and dance is accounted for, including the show-stopping title number, complete with an onstage rainstorm! Hilarious situations, snappy dialogue and a hit-parade score of Hollywood standards make Singin' in the Rain the perfect entertainment for any fan of the golden age of movie musicals. " Performances take place at 301 West St. Louis Street in Lebanon, Ill. For more information, visit www.lookingglassplayhouse.com.

Stray Dog Theatre presents Sylvia Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 pm through June 22. "Greg brings home a dog he found in Central Park - or that has found him - bearing only the name "Sylvia" on her collar. She offers Greg an escape from the frustrations of his job and the unknowns of middle age. To his wife Kate, however, Sylvia becomes a rival for affection. This touching comedy celebrates our love of mans best friend." Performances take place at The Tower Grove Abbey, 2336 Tennessee. For more information, visit straydogtheatre.org or call 314-865-1995.

Mariposa Artists presents A Taste of New York on Saturday, June 22, at 8 pm. The evening features performances by cabaret artists Lisa Yaeger, Ruth Carlin, Mary Sue Daniels, and Diane D'angelo. Rick Jensen is pianist and music director for the show, which is directed by Lina Koutrakos. The performance takes place at the Kranzberg Arts Center, 501 N. Grand in Grand Center. For more information: metrotix.com

Act Inc presents Travels with My Aunt by Graham Green, adapted by Giles Havergal, Saturday at 7:30 pm and Sunday at 2 pm, June 22 and 23. "Retired bank manager, Henry Pulling's life is so quiet that he muses, "I found myself agreeably excited by my mother's funeral." From that inauspicious beginning Henry finds his life turned topsy turvy by the arrival of his eccentric, Aunt Augusta. A cross between "Auntie Mame" and Mata Hari, she spirits him around the globe encountering all sorts of intoxicating characters and exhilarating adventures along the way." Performances take place in the Emerson Black Box Theatre at the J. Scheidegger Center for the Arts on the Lindenwood campus in St. Charles, MO. For more information, visit actincstl.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.

Monday, June 10, 2019

St. Louis theatre calendar for the week of June 10, 2019

New shows this week include a world premiere at Opera Theatre, a classic musical at the Muny, and a new duet cabaret show at the Kranzberg.

Be More Chill
Photo by Jill Ritter Lindberg
New Line Theatre presents the musical Be More Chill Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 PM through June 22. "The Breakfast Club meets Little Shop of Horrors, as New Line closes its season by bringing you the new sci-fi rock musical BE MORE CHILL -- currently breaking records on Broadway! -- with music and lyrics by Joe Iconis and book by Joe Tracz, based on the bestselling novel by Ned Vizzini. It's an honest, fearless, funny look at life in the digital age, exploring teen depression, bullying, and other current issues through the comic lens of sci-fi films of the 50s, horror flicks of the 80s, and teen movies of the 90s. The show has been selling out everywhere it runs. Jeremy is just an average, nothing-special teenage nerd -- until he finds out about the Squip ("Super Quantum Unit Intel Processor"), a tiny Japanese supercomputer in a convenient pill, which promises to "upgrade" him and bring him everything he desires most: a date with Christine, an invite to the coolest party of the year, and a chance to survive life in his suburban New Jersey high school." Performances take place at the Marcelle Theater, 3310 Samuel Shepard Drive, three blocks east of Grand, in Grand Center. For more information, visit newlinetheatre.com or call 314-534-1111.

Stages St. Louis presents the musical The Boy From Oz through June 30. "Dazzling and hilarious as the legendary Peter Allen himself, THE BOY FROM OZ follows the Australian singer-songwriter from his humble beginnings performing in backcountry pubs to his international stardom beside such Hollywood icons as Judy Garland and her daughter Liza Minnelli. " 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.

Circus Flora presents its new show, The Caper on Aisle 6 through June 30 under the air-conditioned, red-and-white, big top tent in Grand Center. "A trip to the grocery store is not usually the most exciting part of our day. But the market is a place of intrigue and excitement in "The Caper in Aisle 6." An ancient and powerful substance, long thought to be gone from the Earth, is found in the unlikeliest of places: aisle six of the local grocery store. What secrets does aisle six hold, and what adventures will it set in motion?" For more information: circusflora.org.

The Midnight Company presents the St. Louis premiere of the one-person show Charlie Johnson Reads All of Proust Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 pm through June 15. "Charlie Johnson Reads All Of Proust, which premiered in Chicago in January, 2019, at the Den Theatre, tells the story of an older man taking a break from Christmas shopping with his family at a Starbucks. Hungry for dinner, he tides himself over with the purchase of a small package of soft, spongy cookies. When he dips one in his coffee, his snooty daughter-in-law asks him if he's having his "Madeleine moment," and then proceeds to lecture him about Marcel Proust and Remembrance of Things Past - the classic multi-volume novel inspired by the narrator dipping a madeleine cake into tea, with the taste bringing back memories of his boyhood, and leading to a retelling of his time in 19th/20th century aristocratic France. Charlie decides he's going to read that book (not realizing it's seven books) and be able to talk about it with his daughter-in-law next Christmas. And along the way, he discovers the epic that is his own life. " Performances take place at the Kranzberg Center, 501 N. Grand in Grand Center. For more information: midnightcompany.com.

CSZ St. Louis presents The ComedySportz Show on Saturday nights at 7:30 pm. The show is "action-packed, interactive and hilarious comedy played as a sport. Two teams battle it out for points and your laughs! You choose the winners the teams provide the funny!" Performances take place on the second floor of the Sugar Cubed, 917 S Main St. in St Charles, Mo. For more information: www.cszstlouis.com.

The Coronation of Poppea
Photo by Eric Woolsey
Opera Theatre of St. Louis presents Monteverdi's The Coronation of Poppea through June 28. "The fight for the throne is never dignified. Poppea will stop at nothing to become Empress, no matter who she has to blackmail, betray, or kill. And Emperor Nero, who is infatuated with Poppea, is not thinking with his head. Separately, they're bad enough. Together, they will turn Rome upside down. Sexy, bloodthirsty, and unapologetic, this opera is the best kind of political thriller." The opera runs approximately two hours and 50 minutes with one intermission and is performed in English with English supertitles. Performances take place at the Loretto-Hilton Center at 135 Edgar Road on the Webster University campus.  For more information: experienceopera.org call 314-961-0644.

The HIlton St. Louis Frontenac presents The Dinner Detective Murder Mystery Dinner Show through July 27. "Solve a hilarious crime while you feast on a fantastic dinner. Just beware! The culprit is hiding in plain sight somewhere in the room, and you may find yourself as a Prime Suspect before you know it!" For more information: https://www.thedinnerdetective.com/st-louis

The Monroe Actors Stage presents the comedy The Dixie Swim Club Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 and Sundays at 2:30 pm through June 19. "Five Southern women, whose friendships began many years ago on their college swim team, set aside a long weekend every August to recharge those relationships. Free from husbands, kids and jobs, they meet at the same beach cottage on North Carolina's Outer Banks to catch up, laugh and meddle in each other's lives. The play focuses on four of those weekends and spans a period of thirty-three years." Performances take place in the Historic Capitol Theatre in downtown Waterloo, Illinois. For more information, visit www.masctheatre.org or call 618-939-7469.

Opera Theatre of St. Louis presents Fire Shut Up My Bones by Terence Blanchard and Kasi Lemmons, based on the memoir by columnist Charles Blow, opening on Saturday, June 15, at 8 pm and running through June 29. "One moment can change everything. When Charles discovers that his cousin has returned to his Louisiana hometown, he races home from college to confront his past. Memories and shadows surround Charles as he strives to move beyond a cycle of violence and forge a brave new path. Terence Blanchard, composer of OTSL's sold-out hit Champion, teams up with screenwriter Kasi Lemmons (Eve's Bayou) for a haunting, powerful, and tender coming-of age story inspired by a memoir celebrated as "stunning" (Essence), "riveting" (Chicago Tribune), and "exquisite" (The New York Times)." The opera runs approximately two hours and 25 minutes with one intermission and is performed in English with English supertitles. Performances take place at the Loretto-Hilton Center at 135 Edgar Road on the Webster University campus. All performances are sung in English with projected English text. For more information: opera-stl.org call 314-961-0644.

The Bissell Mansion Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre presents Flaming Saddles through July 28 The Bissell Mansion is at 4426 Randall Place. For more information: bissellmansiontheatre.com

The Muny presents Frank Loesser's Guys and Dolls opening on Monday, June 10, at 8:15 p.m. and running through Sunday, June 16. "Considered by many to be the perfect musical comedy, Guys and Dolls gambles with luck and love during a time when Broadway was rampant with wise guys, mission girls, and Lindy's cheesecake. This all-time Broadway classic features a royal flush of a score, including "Luck Be a Lady," "If I Were a Bell" and "Sit Down, You're Rocking the Boat." With this Muny favorite, everyone's a winner!" Performances take place on the Muny's outdoor stage in Forest Park. For more information: muny.org.

Act Inc presents Leaving Iowa by Tim Clue and Spike Manton Friday and Saturday at 7:30 pm and Sunday at 2 pm, June 14-16, and again Friday at 7:30 pm and Saturday at 2 pm, June 21 and 22. "Remember the family road trip? Sure do! Mom, Dad and the kids all packed up in the car with maps and snacks. Road games, billboards, gift shops and the ultimate rest stops and Motel 6. Giggles and battles, smiles and tears. Those were the days! Columnist, Don Browning, decides to bury his Dad's ashes at the old family farm. When he discovers that the homestead is now the site of a supermarket he embarks upon a journey of reconciliation and discovery in his quest for the perfect resting place for Dad in the middle of the USA. If you are interested in the perfect "staycation" look no further. Leaving Iowa is a delightful "postcard" that will leave you with a smile on your face and a spring in your step." Performances take place in the Emerson Black Box Theatre at the J. Scheidegger Center for the Arts on the Lindenwood campus in St. Charles, MO. For more information, visit actincstl.com.

The Playhouse at Westport Plaza presents Lewis and Tolkien, of Wardrobe and Rings Thursday and Friday at 8 pm, Saturday at 4 and 8 pm, and Sunday at 2 and 6 pm, June 13-16. "LEWIS & TOLKIEN, OF WARDROBE & RINGS is a play set in Oxford's Eagle & Child pub. Aging and legendary authors, J.R.R. Tolkien and his great friend C.S. Lewis, meet for what turns out to be the very last time. They were lions of 20th century British fantasy, giants of a literary genre that reached millions of readers, young and old alike, with mystifying adventures to entertain and deep truths to move people's hearts. C.S. Lewis (The Chronicles of Narnia) and J.R.R. Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings) were also distinguished faculty members at Oxford University and participants in a literary group known as the Inklings. Their robust philosophical discourse served an uncommon friendship that was not without its differences. Life's circumstances and, sometimes, unresolved disagreements forced an uncomfortable season of estrangement. In LEWIS & TOLKIEN, OF WARDROBE & RINGS we join "Jack" and "Tollers," as they knew each other, at Oxford's historic Eagle and Child pub for one last visit, tempered by thawing humor, confession and reconciliation." The Playhouse at Westport Plaza is at 635 West Port Plaza. For more information: playhouseatwestport.com.

Shakespeare Festival St. Louis presents the comedy Love's Labors Lost nightly except for Mondays through June 23. "Belonging to Shakespeare's "lyrical" period, which also included Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night's Dream, the play tells the story of the Princess of France and her ladies who arrive on a diplomatic mission to Navarre only to be met by a young king and his lords who have taken a vow not to see women. Affairs of state give way to affairs of the heart as Shakespeare reveals with great humor and compassion the way our culture sometimes doesn't fully prepare us for the realities of love and intimacy. A feast of language and theatrical virtuosity, Love's Labors Lost shimmers with all the passion and promise of a first kiss." Beginning at 6:30 the Green Show presents pre-play entertainment a variety of local performers on multiple stages. The play begins at 8 p.m. Performances take place in Shakespeare Glen next to the Art Museum in Forest Park. For more information, visit shakespearefestivalstlouis.org.

Shirley Aschinger and
Donna Weinsting
The Presenters Dolan present Say Yes! with Donna Weinsting and Shirley Aschinger on Saturday, June 15, at 8 pm. "Donna Weinsting is widely known as one of our town's most accomplished actresses. Shirley Aschinger has been successfully showcasing for a while now among a tighter circle of cabaret fans, students and practitioners. They are each deft comediennes with different styles. Shirley leans to the wry and deadpan, and while Donna does everything, she is particularly gifted at the broad and physical. (I remember the longtime music director for a famous, NY-based cabaret singer who, heaving in laughter, all but lost a few buttons in his tux shirt during Donna's master-class routine.) Shirley and Donna are teaming up, for the first time, to bring us a show that promises to be as funny as it is wise." The performance takes place at the Kranzberg Arts Center, 501 N. Grand in Grand Center. For more information: metrotix.com

The Marriage of Figaro
Photo by Eric Woolsey
Opera Theatre of St. Louis presents Mozart's comedy The Marriage of Figaro running through June 29. "Life at court is about to get complicated. The maid Susanna is determined to wed her fiancé, Figaro, while the Count is equally determined to add her to his list of conquests. But Susanna and Figaro won't allow one self-entitled nobleman to ruin their happy ending! They each hatch their own plots to teach their master a lesson. What follows is a whirlwind day of romantic intrigue, cunning schemes, and uproarious fun. One of Mozart's most beloved masterpieces, The Marriage of Figaro reminds us all that love will always prevail, and forgiveness is always within reach." The opera runs three hours and ten minutes with one intermission and is sung in English with English supertitles. Performances take place at the Loretto-Hilton Center at 135 Edgar Road on the Webster University campus. For more information: opera-stl.org call 314-961-0644.

The Lemp Mansion Comedy-Mystery Dinner Theater presents Muurder in Maaaybury! through July 27. The Lemp Mansion is at 3322 DeMenil Place. For more information: lempmansion.com.

A Call to Conscience Interactive Theater for Social Change and Jazz St. Louis present Next to Normal: The Thelonius Monk Story, a play written by Mariah L. Richardson and directed by Fannie Belle Lebby. Starring Phillip Graves as Thelonius Monk. "Next to Normal: The Thelonious Monk Story will tackle the issues of mental illness as it relates to disparities in health care, police interaction, education, and social acceptance. Not only will we celebrate the musical genius of Thelonious Sphere Monk, but we will explore the pervasive misdiagnosis and discriminatory practices toward him and the societal stigma that plagued his career and continues to carry on in today's society. We will also celebrate the importance of creative self-expression through the arts and how Monk stood firm to pursue his art without compromise." Performance are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 pm, June 12 and 13, at The Jazz Bistro, 3536 Washington in Grand Center. For more information: www.eventbrite.com

Rigoletto
Photo by Eric Woolsey
Opera Theatre of St. Louis presents Verdi's Rigoletto running through June 30. "There is no purer love than that of a father for his daughter - and no more impossible task than protecting her from the world. Rigoletto is a bitter court jester who serves the Duke of Mantua, a lecherous womanizer. Together, they are despised throughout the city. But alone, Rigoletto is all tenderness when it comes to his innocent young daughter, Gilda. Little does he know that an ominous curse is about to take its toll. When the Duke seduces Gilda, only to then abandon her, the enraged father swears vengeance. Set to some of Verdi's most powerful music, this tale of innocence lost is wrenchingly poignant and all too human." The opera runs approximately two hours with one intermission and is performed in English with English supertitles. Performances take place at the Loretto-Hilton Center at 135 Edgar Road on the Webster University campus. For more information: experienceopera.org call 314-961-0644.

Stray Dog Theatre presents Sylvia Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 pm through June 22, with an additional 2 pm matinee on Sunday, June 16 "Greg brings home a dog he found in Central Park - or that has found him - bearing only the name "Sylvia" on her collar. She offers Greg an escape from the frustrations of his job and the unknowns of middle age. To his wife Kate, however, Sylvia becomes a rival for affection. This touching comedy celebrates our love of mans best friend." Performances take place at The Tower Grove Abbey, 2336 Tennessee. For more information, visit straydogtheatre.org or call 314-865-1995.

Amanda Kocher
The Monocle presents Amanda Kocher: This Imposible Year at 8 pm on Wednesday, June 12. 'You can take the girl out of St. Louis, but you can't take the mental illness out of the girl! A year and a half after receiving a bipolar II diagnosis, and a year after moving to the Big Apple, Amanda Kocher returns to the Emerald Room to share stories of her struggles, self-discovery, recovery, and, most importantly, finding hope. Join Amanda on her intimate rollercoaster of laughs, heartache, and triumph. The production is directed by Ari Axelrod with music direction by Sarah Nelson." The performance takes place in the Emerald Room at The Monocle on Manchester in The Grove. For more information: themonoclestl.com

Act Inc presents Travels with My Aunt by Graham Green, adapted by Giles Havergal, Saturday at 7:30 pm and Sunday at 2 pm, June 22 and 23. "Retired bank manager, Henry Pulling's life is so quiet that he muses, "I found myself agreeably excited by my mother's funeral." From that inauspicious beginning Henry finds his life turned topsy turvy by the arrival of his eccentric, Aunt Augusta. A cross between "Auntie Mame" and Mata Hari, she spirits him around the globe encountering all sorts of intoxicating characters and exhilarating adventures along the way." Performances take place in the Emerson Black Box Theatre at the J. Scheidegger Center for the Arts on the Lindenwood campus in St. Charles, MO. For more information, visit actincstl.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.

Sunday, June 02, 2019

St. Louis theatre calendar for the week of June 3, 2019

This week's calendar includes new shows from Act Inc and Stray Dog, scandalous Monteverdi opera at Opera Theatre, and the latest from Circus Flora.

Be More Chill
Photo by Jill Ritter Lindberg
New Line Theatre presents the musical Be More Chill Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 PM through June 22. "The Breakfast Club meets Little Shop of Horrors, as New Line closes its season by bringing you the new sci-fi rock musical BE MORE CHILL -- currently breaking records on Broadway! -- with music and lyrics by Joe Iconis and book by Joe Tracz, based on the bestselling novel by Ned Vizzini. It's an honest, fearless, funny look at life in the digital age, exploring teen depression, bullying, and other current issues through the comic lens of sci-fi films of the 50s, horror flicks of the 80s, and teen movies of the 90s. The show has been selling out everywhere it runs. Jeremy is just an average, nothing-special teenage nerd -- until he finds out about the Squip ("Super Quantum Unit Intel Processor"), a tiny Japanese supercomputer in a convenient pill, which promises to "upgrade" him and bring him everything he desires most: a date with Christine, an invite to the coolest party of the year, and a chance to survive life in his suburban New Jersey high school." Performances take place at the Marcelle Theater, 3310 Samuel Shepard Drive, three blocks east of Grand, in Grand Center. For more information, visit newlinetheatre.com or call 314-534-1111.

Stages St. Louis presents the musical The Boy From Oz through June 30. "Dazzling and hilarious as the legendary Peter Allen himself, THE BOY FROM OZ follows the Australian singer-songwriter from his humble beginnings performing in backcountry pubs to his international stardom beside such Hollywood icons as Judy Garland and her daughter Liza Minnelli. " 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.

Circus Flora presents its new show, The Caper on Aisle 6, June 6-30 under the air-conditioned, red-and-white, big top tent in Grand Center. "A trip to the grocery store is not usually the most exciting part of our day. But the market is a place of intrigue and excitement in "The Caper in Aisle 6." An ancient and powerful substance, long thought to be gone from the Earth, is found in the unlikeliest of places: aisle six of the local grocery store. What secrets does aisle six hold, and what adventures will it set in motion?" For more information: circusflora.org.

The Midnight Company presents the St. Louis premiere of the one-person show Charlie Johnson Reads All of Proust Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 pm through June 15. "Charlie Johnson Reads All Of Proust, which premiered in Chicago in January, 2019, at the Den Theatre, tells the story of an older man taking a break from Christmas shopping with his family at a Starbucks. Hungry for dinner, he tides himself over with the purchase of a small package of soft, spongy cookies. When he dips one in his coffee, his snooty daughter-in-law asks him if he's having his "Madeleine moment," and then proceeds to lecture him about Marcel Proust and Remembrance of Things Past - the classic multi-volume novel inspired by the narrator dipping a madeleine cake into tea, with the taste bringing back memories of his boyhood, and leading to a retelling of his time in 19th/20th century aristocratic France. Charlie decides he's going to read that book (not realizing it's seven books) and be able to talk about it with his daughter-in-law next Christmas. And along the way, he discovers the epic that is his own life. " Performances take place at the Kranzberg Center, 501 N. Grand in Grand Center. For more information: midnightcompany.com.

CSZ St. Louis presents The ComedySportz Show on Saturday nights at 7:30 pm. The show is "action-packed, interactive and hilarious comedy played as a sport. Two teams battle it out for points and your laughs! You choose the winners the teams provide the funny!" Performances take place on the second floor of the Sugar Cubed, 917 S Main St. in St Charles, Mo. For more information: www.cszstlouis.com.

Opera Theatre of St. Louis presents Monteverdi's The Coronation of Poppea opening on Sunday, June 9, at 7 pm and running through June 28. " The fight for the throne is never dignified. Poppea will stop at nothing to become Empress, no matter who she has to blackmail, betray, or kill. And Emperor Nero, who is infatuated with Poppea, is not thinking with his head. Separately, they're bad enough. Together, they will turn Rome upside down. Sexy, bloodthirsty, and unapologetic, this opera is the best kind of political thriller." The opera runs approximately two hours and 50 minutes with one intermission and is performed in English with English supertitles. Performances take place at the Loretto-Hilton Center at 135 Edgar Road on the Webster University campus. All performances are sung in English with projected English text. For more information: experienceopera.org call 314-961-0644.

The HIlton St. Louis Frontenac presents The Dinner Detective Murder Mystery Dinner Show through July 27. "Solve a hilarious crime while you feast on a fantastic dinner. Just beware! The culprit is hiding in plain sight somewhere in the room, and you may find yourself as a Prime Suspect before you know it!" For more information: https://www.thedinnerdetective.com/st-louis

The Monroe Actors Stage presents the comedy The Dixie Swim Club Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 and Sundays at 2:30 pm through June 19. "Five Southern women, whose friendships began many years ago on their college swim team, set aside a long weekend every August to recharge those relationships. Free from husbands, kids and jobs, they meet at the same beach cottage on North Carolina's Outer Banks to catch up, laugh and meddle in each other's lives. The play focuses on four of those weekends and spans a period of thirty-three years." Performances take place in the Historic Capitol Theatre in downtown Waterloo, Illinois. For more information, visit www.masctheatre.org or call 618-939-7469.

St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley presents An Evening of One-Acts Thursday through Sunday, June 7-9. Performances take place in the Fisher Theatre on the campus at 3400 Pershall Road. For more information, www.stlcc.edu/fv/ or call 314-644-5522.

The St. Louis Writers' Group presents An Evening of One-Act Plays on Monday, June 3, at 6:30 pm. "Plays can be on any subject, you may select your own actors and bring them, or ask if you would like the group to provide actors. If you want to bring a script, then preferably let us know that you are coming. though as we do not have many confirmed we can accept submissions on the night. There are no selection criteria other than "first come first served" and no playwrights or plays have been pre-selected. " The event takes place upstairs at Big Daddy's, 1000 Sidney in Soulard. For more information: www.stlwritersgroup.com.  

The Bissell Mansion Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre presents Flaming Saddles through July 28 The Bissell Mansion is at 4426 Randall Place. For more information: bissellmansiontheatre.com

Shakespeare Festival St. Louis presents the comedy Love's Labors Lost nightly except for Mondays through June 23. "Belonging to Shakespeare's "lyrical" period, which also included Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night's Dream, the play tells the story of the Princess of France and her ladies who arrive on a diplomatic mission to Navarre only to be met by a young king and his lords who have taken a vow not to see women. Affairs of state give way to affairs of the heart as Shakespeare reveals with great humor and compassion the way our culture sometimes doesn't fully prepare us for the realities of love and intimacy. A feast of language and theatrical virtuosity, Love's Labors Lost shimmers with all the passion and promise of a first kiss." Beginning at 6:30 the Green Show presents pre-play entertainment a variety of local performers on multiple stages. The play begins at 8 p.m. Performances take place in Shakespeare Glen next to the Art Museum in Forest Park. For more information, visit shakespearefestivalstlouis.org.

The Marriage of Figaro
Photo by Eric Woolsey
Opera Theatre of St. Louis presents Mozart's comedy The Marriage of Figaro running through June 29. "Life at court is about to get complicated. The maid Susanna is determined to wed her fiancé, Figaro, while the Count is equally determined to add her to his list of conquests. But Susanna and Figaro won't allow one self-entitled nobleman to ruin their happy ending! They each hatch their own plots to teach their master a lesson. What follows is a whirlwind day of romantic intrigue, cunning schemes, and uproarious fun. One of Mozart's most beloved masterpieces, The Marriage of Figaro reminds us all that love will always prevail, and forgiveness is always within reach." The opera runs three hours and ten minutes with one intermission and is sung in English with English supertitles. Performances take place at the Loretto-Hilton Center at 135 Edgar Road on the Webster University campus.  For more information: opera-stl.org call 314-961-0644.

The Lemp Mansion Comedy-Mystery Dinner Theater presents Muurder in Maaaybury! through July 27. The Lemp Mansion is at 3322 DeMenil Place. For more information: lempmansion.com.

Opera Theatre of St. Louis presents Verdi's Rigoletto running through June 30. "There is no purer love than that of a father for his daughter - and no more impossible task than protecting her from the world. Rigoletto is a bitter court jester who serves the Duke of Mantua, a lecherous womanizer. Together, they are despised throughout the city. But alone, Rigoletto is all tenderness when it comes to his innocent young daughter, Gilda. Little does he know that an ominous curse is about to take its toll. When the Duke seduces Gilda, only to then abandon her, the enraged father swears vengeance. Set to some of Verdi's most powerful music, this tale of innocence lost is wrenchingly poignant and all too human." The opera runs approximately two hours with one intermission and is performed in English with English supertitles. Performances take place at the Loretto-Hilton Center at 135 Edgar Road on the Webster University campus.  For more information: experienceopera.org call 314-961-0644.

The Presenters Dolan present Summer Vacation of Song with soprano Elizabeth Kennedy on Saturday, June 8, at 8 pm. "Elizabeth Kennedy brings her lush, striking and bell-like soprano from New York to welcome summer in her hometown - with American classical and popular songs. Works by Samuel Barber, George Gershwin and Victor Herbert evoke porch swings, ice cream and summer romance. Prominently featured is Barber's breathtaking Knoxville Summer of 1915. Summer-themed songs from shows such as Porgy and Bess, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Grey Gardens, Street Scene, and She Loves Me evoke a mix of nostalgia, inspiration and silly summer fun Elizabeth brings her longtime NYC collaborator and frequent vacation companion of choice, pianist Paul Lincoln to help stir up some summer fun! The program encounters the magic of summer . . . the childhood comforts of home, the ways we renew and recharge, and quench our lust for adventure, travel, and hijinx." The performance takes place at the Kranzberg Arts Center, 501 N. Grand in Grand Center. For more information: www.metrotix.com

Stray Dog Theatre presents Sylvia Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 pm, June 6-22, with an additional 2 pm matinee on Sunday, June 16 "Greg brings home a dog he found in Central Park - or that has found him - bearing only the name "Sylvia" on her collar. She offers Greg an escape from the frustrations of his job and the unknowns of middle age. To his wife Kate, however, Sylvia becomes a rival for affection. This touching comedy celebrates our love of mans best friend." Performances take place at The Tower Grove Abbey, 2336 Tennessee. For more information, visit straydogtheatre.org or call 314-865-1995.

Act Inc presents Travels with My Aunt by Graham Green, adapted by Giles Havergal, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 pm and Sunday at 2 pm, June 7-9, and again on Saturday at 7:30 pm and Sunday at 2 pm, June 22 and 23. "Retired bank manager, Henry Pulling's life is so quiet that he muses, "I found myself agreeably excited by my mother's funeral." From that inauspicious beginning Henry finds his life turned topsy turvy by the arrival of his eccentric, Aunt Augusta. A cross between "Auntie Mame" and Mata Hari, she spirits him around the globe encountering all sorts of intoxicating characters and exhilarating adventures along the way." Performances take place in the Emerson Black Box Theatre at the J. Scheidegger Center for the Arts on the Lindenwood campus in St. Charles, MO. For more information, visit actincstl.com.

The Sheldon Concert Hall presents Wendy L. Gordon and Friends: Honoring Our Own on Tuesday, June 4, at 7:30 pm. "Paying tribute to Jeanne Trevor (1st Lady of Song) Linda Kennedy (actress/dancer/storyteller) and Fred Walker (Saxy Jazz). Wendy L. Gordon & special guests that includes Zella Price, Arvell Keithley, Joe Mancuso, Diane Vaughn, J. Samuel Davis, Deborah Sharn, Renee Smith, Marty Abdulah, Andrea Purnell, Evann Debose & a few surprise guests. Also, a host of STL's finest musicians and radio personalities. Come out and show your love and support for the honorees." TC Chandler is music director for the show. The Sheldon Concert Hall is on Washington just west of the Fox in Grand Center. For more information: thesheldon.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.

St. Louis classical calendar for the week of June 3, 2019

It's a short calendar this week, featuring the St. Louis Symphony and the Friends of Music.

Eliot Unitarian Chapel presents a Friends of Music concert on Tuesday, June 4, at 7:30 pm. . The program will feature string quartets performed by young artists participating in the Arianna Chamber Music Festival (ACMF), an international summer festival in St. Louis dedicated to the intensive study of chamber music under the guidance of the Arianna String Quartet. The concert takes place at Eliot Unitarian Chapel is at 100 South Argonne in Kirkwood. For more information: fomcstl.org

Kevin McBeth
Kevin McBeth conducts the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra in An Evening With Ledisi on Friday, June 7, at 7:30 pm. "American R&B and jazz recording artist Ledisi joins the SLSO for an inspired evening spotlighting her unique sound and "amazing vocal gift" (Rolling Stone). Nominated for twelve Grammy Awards and a mainstay on Billboard's R&B charts, the prolific New Orleans native artfully channels gospel, blues and funk influences with style. This program also features a special celebration of the incomparable Nina Simone and her enduring influence over Ledisi and a generation of artists." The performance takes place at Powell Symphony Hall, 718 North Grand in Grand Center. For more information: stlsymphony.org.

Kevin McBeth conducts the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra in Unforgettable: Nat and Natalie on Sunday, June 9, at 3 pm. "Two legendary performers-father and daughter. One incredible afternoon of timeless hits with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. Nat King Cole and Natalie Cole put their stamp on the jazz and pop music of their day, winning multiple Grammys along the way. Enjoy an “Unforgettable” concert featuring vocalists Denzal Sinclaire and Dee Daniels as they join the SLSO to perform the best of Nat and Natalie Cole." The performance takes place at Powell Symphony Hall, 718 North Grand in Grand Center. For more information: stlsymphony.org.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Preview: Donna and Shirley invite you to "Say Yes."

L-R: Shirley Aschinger and Donna Weinsting
On Saturday June 15th at 8 pm, The Presenters Dolan offers "Say Yes," an unusual if not downright unique cabaret evening featuring actress Donna Weinsting and storyteller Shirley Aschinger. St. Louis cabaret luminary Ken Haller directs the show, with music direction by Webster University's Carol Schmidt. The performance takes place at the Kranzberg Arts Center in Grand Center. I talked with them about their upcoming cabaret adventure.


Chuck Lavazzi (CL): You two have very different backgrounds as far as performing goes. Donna has a long career here as a stand-up comic and actress but Shirley just got the performing bug relatively recently. How did you meet?

Shirley Aschinger (SA): Chuck, I met you and Donna in the 2008 Cabaret Conference. You sang "The Vatican Rag" and Donna sang "The Way We Were". I sang "I Whistle A Happy Tune". It was my first time on stage since college. Like Donna, I had been singing, dancing and performing all of my life, but in my case it was to my overflowing imaginary audience. After I did the patter, and sang "Whistle", my friend of thirty years said, "I didn't know you did stand-up!" My answer, "I've been doing stand-up for years, but at four foot ten inches, who knew?"

CL: What made you decide to team up for a cabaret show?

Donna Weinsting (DW): When we met at the Cabaret Conference, I immediately felt Shirley was a kindred spirit and a fellow "golden oldie". I knew Shirley would like to break free and have her own cabaret and I thought doing it together would be a great way to break the ice and be a whole lot of fun for us both.

SA: The idea for this show began November 9, 2018. We were at the West End Grill having dinner, awaiting Katie Dunne McGrath's "Favorite Aunt of the Year" show at the Gaslight Theatre. Donna pulled up a chair next to me, sat down and said, "It's Hell to get old." I said, "I'm way older than you are and I feel fine." We talked a bit about getting older, and then she said, "We ought to do a show together!" I looked behind me to see who she was talking to. Oh, my goodness, Donna was talking to me. Even then, I thought that was just something to say pre-cabaret show, like "Let's do lunch", but a few weeks later I found out she was serious.

WOW! It has been a ball getting to know Donna better, and with Ken Haller, and Carol Schmidt, what could possibly go wrong?

CL: Yeah, Carol is a pretty amazing music director and arranger. I've known Ken for years as an actor and singer. What's he like as a director?

SA: This is my first experience with any show director, so I have no one to compare him to, other than the conference directors, - then again, as all of us know, Ken is beyond compare. Ken is organized, a quick problem solver, a pro on and off stage, and engaging with an eager smile, and facial expressions that would fill a phone book. He understands comedy, and how and why it works. Ken Haller and fun seem to go together nicely. I couldn't be happier working with Ken.

I can't remember when I started working with Carol - always a joy to have her get me ready for the Cabaret Conferences.

DW: Ken is a delight as a director. We have fun and he has great ideas that help make us better. He is a caring and excellent pediatrician and can use that bedside manner in handling a couple of women in their second childhoods. Lastly, as a seasoned and very talented cabaret performer he knows how to craft a show to showcase talent in the best possible way. Love our Ken!

CL: The title of the show is "Say Yes." Who picked that title and what does it mean for each of you?

DW: "Say Yes" is a song Shirley has In her repertoire and seemed perfect to us as life affirming and a battle cry as we enter the last leg of our journeys. We are saying yes to life, challenges and making dreams come true.

SA: Originally, I chose the song to sing as a solo. The lyrics spoke to me, because I was saying YES to so many things I never dreamed of even saying MAYBE to. I was saying yes to Cabaret, to Open Mike Night, to storytelling, to writing patter, to writing a story about my father that was published in Joe Holleman's book in 2009 called "Rollin' On The River - The Story Of The Admiral In St. Louis." By their actions on one evening cruise, in 1943, the Admiral saved my father's life.

In a similar way, I believe Cabaret saved mine, or certainly expanded it in a spectacular fashion. My surviving cancer gave me the courage to say YES to life in so many ways. I began at seventy-three, saying YES to the next song, the next Cabaret Conference, and knowing and partying with so many lovely people.

Most people my age are searching for a funeral director, so finding a show director named Ken, and playing with Carol, Donna and Ken in the Cabaret Sandbox, sounded much more exciting. Ken chose "Say Yes" as the show title, and thought it would be great as a duet. We agreed.


For more information on "Say Yes," visit Metrotix.com.

Monday, May 27, 2019

St. Louis theatre calendar for the week of May 27, 2019

This week's crowded calendar includes musicals from New Line and Stages, a Verdi opera at Opera Theatre, and a new one-man show by The Midnight Company.

Be More Chill
Photo by Jill Ritter Lindberg
New Line Theatre presents the musical Be More Chill Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 PM, May 30 - June 22. "The Breakfast Club meets Little Shop of Horrors, as New Line closes its season by bringing you the new sci-fi rock musical BE MORE CHILL -- currently breaking records on Broadway! -- with music and lyrics by Joe Iconis and book by Joe Tracz, based on the bestselling novel by Ned Vizzini. It's an honest, fearless, funny look at life in the digital age, exploring teen depression, bullying, and other current issues through the comic lens of sci-fi films of the 50s, horror flicks of the 80s, and teen movies of the 90s. The show has been selling out everywhere it runs. Jeremy is just an average, nothing-special teenage nerd -- until he finds out about the Squip ("Super Quantum Unit Intel Processor"), a tiny Japanese supercomputer in a convenient pill, which promises to "upgrade" him and bring him everything he desires most: a date with Christine, an invite to the coolest party of the year, and a chance to survive life in his suburban New Jersey high school." Performances take place at the Marcelle Theater, 3310 Samuel Shepard Drive, three blocks east of Grand, in Grand Center. For more information, visit newlinetheatre.com or call 314-534-1111.

Stages St. Louis presents the musical The Boy From Oz May 31 through June 30. "Dazzling and hilarious as the legendary Peter Allen himself, THE BOY FROM OZ follows the Australian singer-songwriter from his humble beginnings performing in backcountry pubs to his international stardom beside such Hollywood icons as Judy Garland and her daughter Liza Minnelli. ” 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.

The Midnight Company presents the St. Louis premiere of the one-person show Charlie Johnson Reads All of Proust Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 pm, May 30 - June 15. "Charlie Johnson Reads All Of Proust, which premiered in Chicago in January, 2019, at the Den Theatre, tells the story of an older man taking a break from Christmas shopping with his family at a Starbucks. Hungry for dinner, he tides himself over with the purchase of a small package of soft, spongy cookies. When he dips one in his coffee, his snooty daughter-in-law asks him if he's having his “Madeleine moment,” and then proceeds to lecture him about Marcel Proust and Remembrance of Things Past - the classic multi-volume novel inspired by the narrator dipping a madeleine cake into tea, with the taste bringing back memories of his boyhood, and leading to a retelling of his time in 19th/20th century aristocratic France. Charlie decides he's going to read that book (not realizing it's seven books) and be able to talk about it with his daughter-in-law next Christmas. And along the way, he discovers the epic that is his own life. " Performances take place at the Kranzberg Center, 501 N. Grand in Grand Center. For more information: midnightcompany.com.

CSZ St. Louis presents The ComedySportz Show on Saturday nights at 7:30 pm. The show is "action-packed, interactive and hilarious comedy played as a sport. Two teams battle it out for points and your laughs! You choose the winners the teams provide the funny!" Performances take place on the second floor of the Sugar Cubed, 917 S Main St. in St Charles, Mo. For more information: www.cszstlouis.com.

The HIlton St. Louis Frontenac presents The Dinner Detective Murder Mystery Dinner Show through July 27. "Solve a hilarious crime while you feast on a fantastic dinner. Just beware! The culprit is hiding in plain sight somewhere in the room, and you may find yourself as a Prime Suspect before you know it!" For more information: https://www.thedinnerdetective.com/st-louis

The Monroe Actors Stage presents the comedy The Dixie Swim Club Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 and Sundays at 2:30 pm, May 31 - June 19. "Five Southern women, whose friendships began many years ago on their college swim team, set aside a long weekend every August to recharge those relationships. Free from husbands, kids and jobs, they meet at the same beach cottage on North Carolina's Outer Banks to catch up, laugh and meddle in each other's lives. The play focuses on four of those weekends and spans a period of thirty-three years." Performances take place in the Historic Capitol Theatre in downtown Waterloo, Illinois. For more information, visit www.masctheatre.org or call 618-939-7469.

The Bissell Mansion Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre presents Flaming Saddles through July 28 The Bissell Mansion is at 4426 Randall Place. For more information: bissellmansiontheatre.com

The Monocle presents The Hush-Hush Cabaret at 10 pm on Saturday, June 1. "Anything can happen at the HUSH HUSH, and you never know what sort of exciting acts you'll see! Booking a diverse line up of variety, burlesque, comedy, and so much more, Mimi Le Uke, the Madame of Mischief at the Monocle, guarantees to satisfy! " The performance takes place in the Emerald Room at The Monocle on Manchester in The Grove. For more information: themonoclestl.com.

I Now Pronounce
Photo by John Gitchoff
New Jewish Theater presents the St. Louis premiere of the comedy I Now Pronounce Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 pm, Saturdays at 2 and 8 pm, and Sundays at 2 pm through June 2. "A play that mines disconnections. After Adam and Nicole's wedding culminates in an awkwardly timed fatality, the reception spins into an increasingly strange evening that leaves the bride and groom questioning just what it is they're celebrating. But there's no stopping the festivities: the flower girls are running amuck, the bridal party members are preoccupied with their own flailing relationships, and everyone needs to stop ordering the blue drinks. Comedies end in marriage. Tragedies end in death. This play begins with both." 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: newjewishtheatre.org.

The Kranzberg Center presents Jamie Sauerberger in Ironic, her first solo cabaret, on Saturday, June 1, at 8 pm. Ron McGowan is pianist and music director for the show, with Keith Bowman on drums and Black Mickens on bass. Meghan Kirk directs. The performance takes place at the Kranzberg Center, 501 N. Grand in Grand Center. For more information: https://www.metrotix.com/events/detail/annie-sauerburger-ironic.

Shakespeare Festival St. Louis presents the comedy Love's Labors Lost nightly except for Mondays, May 31 - June 23. "Belonging to Shakespeare's “lyrical” period, which also included Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night's Dream, the play tells the story of the Princess of France and her ladies who arrive on a diplomatic mission to Navarre only to be met by a young king and his lords who have taken a vow not to see women. Affairs of state give way to affairs of the heart as Shakespeare reveals with great humor and compassion the way our culture sometimes doesn't fully prepare us for the realities of love and intimacy. A feast of language and theatrical virtuosity, Love's Labors Lost shimmers with all the passion and promise of a first kiss." Beginning at 6:30 the Green Show presents pre-play entertainment a variety of local performers on multiple stages. The play begins at 8 p.m. Performances take place in Shakespeare Glen next to the Art Museum in Forest Park. For more information, visit shakespearefestivalstlouis.org.

The Marriage of Figaro
Photo by Eric Woolsey
Opera Theatre of St. Louis presents Mozart's comedy The Marriage of Figaro running through June 29. "Life at court is about to get complicated. The maid Susanna is determined to wed her fiancé, Figaro, while the Count is equally determined to add her to his list of conquests. But Susanna and Figaro won't allow one self-entitled nobleman to ruin their happy ending! They each hatch their own plots to teach their master a lesson. What follows is a whirlwind day of romantic intrigue, cunning schemes, and uproarious fun. One of Mozart's most beloved masterpieces, The Marriage of Figaro reminds us all that love will always prevail, and forgiveness is always within reach." The opera runs three hours and ten minutes with one intermission and is sung in English with English supertitles. Performances take place at the Loretto-Hilton Center at 135 Edgar Road on the Webster University campus.  For more information: opera-stl.org call 314-961-0644.

The Lemp Mansion Comedy-Mystery Dinner Theater presents Muurder in Maaaybury! through July 27. The Lemp Mansion is at 3322 DeMenil Place. For more information: lempmansion.com.

Nina Simone: Four Women
Photo by Philip Hamer
The Black Rep presents Nina Simone: Four Women running through June 2. "Nina Simone's velvet voice was unafraid to sing lyrics that cut right to the truth. Her music and her life were a personal exploration branded in the kiln of the civil rights movement; so, in the aftermath of the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church and the tragic loss of the four little girls her powerful anthems, MISSIPPIPPI GODDAM, SINNERMAN, AND OLD JIM CROW, fueled the Civil Rights movement and changed her public persona from songstress to activist. From the iconic 'I PUT A SPELL ON YOU&" to FOUR WOMEN, of the title, Simone's lyrics weave a story of four women alienated from themselves and one another due to the color of their skin." Performances take place at the Edison Theatre on the Washington University campus. For more information: theblackrep.org.

LifeLight Youth Theatre presents Peter Pan Junior Thursday and Friday at 7 pm and Saturday at 2:30 and 7 pm, May 30 - June 1. "PETER PAN jr, based on the high-flying Tony© Award-winning Broadway musical, follows the adventures of Peter Pan and his mischievous fairy sidekick, Tinkerbell, as they visit the nursery of the Darling children late one night. With a sprinkle of pixie dust, they begin a magical journey across the stars that none of them will ever forget. From ticking crocodiles, to fierce warriors, bungling pirates and the villainous Captain Hook himself, this fun classic will delight all ages." Performances take place at Westminster Christian Academy, 800 Maryville Centre Drive in Town and Country. For more information: lifelightyouththeatre.com.

Opera Theatre of St. Louis presents Verdi's Rigoletto opening on Saturday, June 1, at 8 pm and running through June 30. "There is no purer love than that of a father for his daughter - and no more impossible task than protecting her from the world. Rigoletto is a bitter court jester who serves the Duke of Mantua, a lecherous womanizer. Together, they are despised throughout the city. But alone, Rigoletto is all tenderness when it comes to his innocent young daughter, Gilda. Little does he know that an ominous curse is about to take its toll. When the Duke seduces Gilda, only to then abandon her, the enraged father swears vengeance. Set to some of Verdi's most powerful music, this tale of innocence lost is wrenchingly poignant and all too human." The opera runs approximately two hours with one intermission and is performed in English with English supertitles. Performances take place at the Loretto-Hilton Center at 135 Edgar Road on the Webster University campus. All performances are sung in English with projected English text. For more information: experienceopera.org call 314-961-0644.

The Fabulous Fox presents the St. Louis Musical High School Theatre Awards on Sunday, June 2, at 4 pm. The St. Louis High School Musical Theatre Awards are designed to celebrate outstanding achievement in high school musical theatre. Participating schools' musical productions are evaluated by a panel of theatre professionals.The June 2 awards ceremony will include exciting performances by talented young local artists selected from 37 area high schools. Award recipients will be announced in 14 categories (plus WOW! Moment and Special Recognition) including an Outstanding Actress and an Outstanding Actor who will go on to compete in The Jimmy Awards® / National High School Musical Theatre Awards® in New York City, presented by The Broadway League. The Fabulous Fox is at 527 N. Grand in Grand Center. For more information: fabulousfox.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.