New This Week:
|Dress the Part|
Photo by Phillip Hamer
My take: What can I say? This sounds like great fun and apparently it is. "Do yourself a favor," writes Judy Newmark, "and be part of the crowd for one of the wildest, wittiest sharpest comedies you've seen in ages." "It's not necessary to be a fan of hip-hop or Shakespeare to enjoy this richly imaginative and off-the-charts experience," writes Calvin Wilson at the Post-Dispatch. "To paraphrase legendary jazz trumpeter and Alton native Miles Davis, 'Dress the Part' is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on."
Photo by Jennifer A. Lin
My take: Metro has a long history of presenting children's theatre that can appeal to adults as well while still delivering powerful messages. Plus, the script is by Idris Goodwin, whose hip-hop play How We Got On so impressed me at the Humana Festival in 2012. At Ladue News, Mark Bretz calls this "enchanting, persuasive tale of a modern kid with contemporary problems."
|My Name is Asher Lev|
Photo by John Gitchoff
My take: Reviews for this one have been good as well, but rather than give you a sampling, here's a longer quote from Michelle Kenyon's review at her blog that seems to sum it up well: "New Jewish Theatre's latest production is a compelling showcase for excellent local actors. It's also a fascinating look at one person's struggle to find his place in two different worlds that seem at odds with one another. My Name is Asher Lev is a well-structured, almost poetic look at an artist's journey of self-discovery, and his relationship with his art, his faith, his family, and the world around him."
|The Thanksgiving Play|
Photo by Phil Hamer
My take: The best of intentions can be taken to silly extremes. I have seen it happen in real life, so the premise of this comedy strikes me as fairly plausible. As Ann Lemmons Pollack writes in her blog, playwright Larissa FastHorse is "really tired of how history is so often wrong, being written by the winners, and how strongly people cling to the errors despite information to the contrary. Her attempt to set things straight on the subject of Thanksgiving, rather than a this-is-what-really-happened line, is a comedy to remind us to think more about the real story of Thanksgiving, and, by inference, a lot of other things...Great fun, considerable laughter, and ninety minutes with no intermission. " "FastHorse's satire is incisive but affectionate," writes Calvin Wilson at the Post-Dispatch, "maintaining a tone somewhere between 'Doonesbury' and Dorothy Parker. And her comically flustered characters are at once quirky and recognizable."
Photo by ProPhotoSTL
My take: The concept behind this show is intriguing, and reviews have generally been quite good. At the Post-Dispatch, for example, Calvin Wilson describes this as a "strange and wonderful comedy...which is not only incredibly imaginative but also outrageously hilarious." KDHX's Jacob Juntunen calls it "a fast-paced, fun, darkly humorous production." It's clearly not a conventional work, but maybe that's all the more reason to go.