New This Week:
My take: When I saw an earlier edition of this show back in 2005, I was impressed by Ms. Lemon's musical talent but thought the show itself needed a bit of fine tuning to work in a cabaret setting. At the time I wrote the following: "Ms. Lemon strikes me a bright enough to learn from experience and talented enough to make use of what she learns, so it should be interesting to see what the future brings in this area." Well, the future is here, and if I weren't already committed for Saturday night I'd definitely be on hand to see what changes the ensuing 15 years have wrought in the show, which was fundamentally sound, informative, and entertaining even back then.
|Three Tall Women|
Photo by John Lamb
My take: Albee's plays are not always the most approachable form of theatre, but Three Tall Women is pretty compelling if done well. At the Post-Dispatch, Calvin Wilson calls this a "compelling and wonderfully performed production". "Stray Dog artistic director Gary F. Bell," writes Mark Bretz at Ladue News, "is meticulous in adhering not only to Albee’s script but also to the show’s mood and tempo." "This well-directed production," says Tina Farmer at KDHX, "is a marvelous opportunity to introduce the play to any unfamiliar St. Louis audiences. For spectators already acquainted with the script, the production's quality makes it a worthwhile occasion to refamiliarize one's self."
|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."