Saturday, August 06, 2022

St. Louis theatre calendar for the week of August 8, 2022

Now including both on-line and live events during the pandemic. Your event information should be in text format (i.e. not part of a graphic), but feel free to include publicity stills. To get your event listed here, send an email to calendar [at] stageleft.org.

L-R: Laurence Levy,
Professor Longhair
The Blue Strawberry presents Magical Mondays with sleight of hand artist Laurence Levy and the comedy magic of Professor Longhair’s Old Tyme Medicine Show on Monday, August 8, at 7:00 pm.  The Blue Strawberry is at 364 N. Boyle in the Central West End.  For more information: bluestrawberrystl.com.

The Blue Strawberry presents Grayson Jostes in I’m Ready for My Close-Up on Thursday, August 11, at 7:30 pm. “Grayson has been in over 26 musical theatre productions during his career and is the winner of the 2018 Best Duo/Group Performance Award from the Over-Due Theatre Company.  Grayson is a regular at Blue Strawberry’s Open Mic Nights, where he WOW’s the audience with his vivacious performances.” Ron McGowan is pianist and music director for the show, with direction by Tim Schall. The Blue Strawberry is at 364 N. Boyle in the Central West End. The show is also available via streaming video. For more information: bluestrawberrystl.com.

ERA Theatre presents the radio play SHE by Nancy Bell with music by Joe Taylor and Lyrics by Nancy Bell via on-demand streaming  "SHE controls the radio station of the fascist regime in power. SHE's also the star of the broadcast. Her recording studio abounds with music and oysters. But in the nearby government camps full of misfits and would-be revolutionaries, only torture and starvation is thick on the ground. Tonight, however, SHE's realm feels different. The bombs sound closer. Time moves faster. But SHE will finish her radio show, and it will be her finest. If executing every number in the broadcast means some people need to die, so be it; it is a small sacrifice. The citizens need her and she will not let them down." SHE is available on most major platforms including Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music, YouTube, and BandCamp. For more information: www.eratheatre.org

First Run Theatre presents Locked Ward by Amy Crider Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 2 pm, August 12-21. "When the body of a nurse is found late at night in a psychiatric ward, the patients realize they’re all suspects.They must hold themselves together to investigate the mystery as they yearn for connection and normalcy." Performances take place in the black box theatre in the Kranzberg Arts Center in Grand Center. For more information: firstruntheatre.org

The Lemp Mansion Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre and Jest Mysteries present The Comic Book Killer through August 27. "Calling all superheros and villains! There’s trouble afoot for you both! Evil Doctor Weevil is back and he’s trying to erase your very existence! The time has come to join forces against true evil and restore balance to the comic universe. But who will be the hero or heroes and rid this plain of Evil Dr. Weevil forever? Could it be you? Quick…to the Prius! Dawn your cape and spandex and meet us the famously haunted Lemp Mansion for a mystery like no other! Here I come to save the daaaaaay!!!!"  The Lemp Mansion is at 3322 DeMenil Place in south city. For more information: www.lempmansion.com

L-R: Nasia Thomas and Anastacia McCleskey in
The Color Purple Photo: Julie A. Merkle
The Muny presents the musical The Color Purple through August 9 at 8:15 pm.  “Based on Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel and Steven Spielberg’s landmark film, The Color Purple makes its Muny debut! Featuring a Grammy Award-winning score infused with jazz, ragtime, gospel and African blues, this moving tale is a testament to the healing power of love, faith, resilience and sisterhood. Winner of the 2016 Tony Award for “Best Revival of a Musical,” this epic staging promises a joyous evening of courage, hope and healing.” Performances take place on the Muny's outdoor stage in Forest Park. For more information: muny.org.

The Muny presents the musical Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat August 13-18 at 8:15 pm.  “Originally written by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber as a children’s oratorio, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat has, in time, expanded to become one of the most beloved shows ever. The story of Jacob, his 12 sons, and the amazing Technicolor adventures of Joseph features a multi-colored score of favorites including “Any Dream Will Do,” “Go, Go, Go Joseph” and “Close Every Door.” The first Muny production in a decade, audiences are guaranteed a night of big Muny family joy – with, of course, a megamix!” Performances take place on the Muny's outdoor stage in Forest Park. For more information: muny.org.

R-S Theatrics presents While the Ghostlight Burns, a virtual discussion series featuring R-S Artistic Director Sarah Lynne Holt in conversation with St. Louis theatre artists, Mondays at 7 pm.  Conversations will be archived at the R-S Theatrics YouTube channel. For more information: r-stheatrics.com/while-the-ghostlight-burns.html

St. Louis Shakespeare Festival presents free outdoor performances of a new adaptation of Shakespeare’s comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream at area parks nightly at 6:30 pm through August 27. “The Festival’s 20-year-old touring program returns for the second time as the free and outdoor public park tour, TOURCO, throughout Missouri and Illinois with A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The production will be directed by Tre’von Griffith, St. Louis/NYC-based theater artist, composer and founder of WerQfest also known as Tre-G, and featuring costumes by acclaimed local fashion designer Brandin Vaughn. This 90-minute highly musical afro-futurist adaptation will play in 24 different locations starting on opening night at Kiener Plaza in the heart of downtown St. Louis.” For more information: stlshakes.org.

In the Heights
Photo: Phillip Hamer
Stages St. Louis presents Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights through August 21. “IN THE HEIGHTS, the Tony Award Winning Best Musical from the creator of HAMILTON, tells the universal story of a vibrant community in New York’s Washington Heights neighborhood – a place where the coffee from the corner bodega is light and sweet, the windows are always open and the breeze carries the rhythm of three generations of music. It’s a community on the brink of change, full of hopes, dreams and pressures, where the biggest struggle can be deciding which traditions to take with you, and which ones to leave behind.” Performances take place at the Kirkwood Performing Arts Center in Kirkwood, MO. For more information: stagesstlouis.org

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Photo: John Lamb
Stray Dog Theatre presents the musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee Thursdays through Saturdays through August 20. There are additional performances at 2 pm Sunday, August 14 and 8 pm Wednesday, August 17. “An eclectic group of sixth-graders vie for the spelling championship of a lifetime. In hilarious, touching, and catchy songs, each speller reveals their hopes, struggles, and passions as they make their way through the competition. The “Bee” will have you falling in love with its “perspicacious,” “jocular,” and “effervescent” spellers.” Performances take place at Tower Grove Abbey, 2336 Tennessee in Tower Grove East. Tickets are only offered in physically distanced groups of two or four. For more information: www.straydogtheatre.org

Mark Rodgers in
Discover DaVinci and Michaelangelo
The Westport Playhouse presents writer/actor Mark Rodgers in Discover DaVinci and Michaelangelo—the Titans Experience Fridays and Saturdays at 7 pm and Sundays at 2 pm through August 28th.  “Over 100 successful Broadway shows, Includes an art installation and self-guided tour of DaVinci's models, artwork, and more...including our new unique theatrical 40' Video Wall!” The show marks the reopening of the Playhouse after extensive renovation. The Westport Playhouse is in the Westport Plaza Business and Entertainment District. For more information: thewestportplayhouse.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.

Tuesday, August 02, 2022

Opera Review: Union Avenue Opera's "Falstaff" achieves musical perfection in an imperfect space

Now in its 28th season, Union Avenue Opera has, over the decades, presented a wide range of operas—ancient to modern, intimate to grand—with a remarkable degree of success. Despite working with a small stage and a less than ideal acoustic environment in the venerable Union Avenue Christian Church, UAO’s hits far outnumber its misses.

Running through August 6th, the company’s production of Verdi’s “Falstaff” is in some ways the quintessential UAO show. Under the skilled baton of Stephen Hargreaves, the orchestra sounds great, with Verdi's many expressive instrumental details coming through loud and clear. Individual performances range from good to stunning, both musically and theatrically, and the overall experience is immensely satisfying.

L-R Mark Freiman as Pistola. Marc Schapman
as Bardolfo. Robert Mellon as Falstaff
Photo: Dan Donovan

Flawless it isn’t, but what flaws there are can largely be attributed to the physical limitations of the performance space. Transferred to an actual theatre like the Browning Mainstage at the Loretto-Hilton Center or the auditorium of the Kirkwood Performing Arts Center, this “Falstaff” would be darn near perfect. As it is, opera lovers won’t want to miss it, especially since it hasn’t graced a local stage in nearly three decades.

First performed in Milan in February 1893 (just a few months short of Verdi’s 80th birthday), “Falstaff” was the composer’s third Shakespearean opera and second attempt at comedy since his flop “Un giorno di regno” way back in 1840. It’s considered by many, including yours truly, to be his greatest work for the stage, if not the greatest opera of the 19th century.

There are many reasons for that. To begin with, Verdi had the best of all possible librettists in the person of Arrigo Boito, who had worked with Verdi on “Otello” only a few years earlier. A gifted writer and composer (his “Mefistofele” is still the best of the “Faust”-inspired operas, in my view), Boito was, like Verdi, a great admirer of The Bard of Avon. His “Falstaff” libretto ingeniously combines “The Merry Wives of Windsor” with bits of the “Henry IV” plays and even hints at “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” with the faux fairies of the "Herne's" Oak" scene that ends the opera.

L-R Janara Kellerman as Quickly. Brooklyn Snow
as Nannetta. Karen Kanakas as Alice.
Melody Wilson as Meg
Photo: Dan Donovan

Verdi, for his part, produced a score that departed radically from everything he had written previously. Instead of a typical 19th century Italian opera in which the action pauses for arias, duets, and other set pieces, he wrote a fast-paced through composed musical play that moves at the speed of speech. Jokes and puns fly back and forth so quickly that even the original Milanese audience probably didn’t catch them all. The result is a seamless integration of words and music that is often exhilarating.

All of this makes “Falstaff” a challenge to produce. Verdi demanded over sixty rehearsals for his original La Scala cast because of the sheer complexity of the work. The sets are detailed, making scene changes potentially cumbersome. And the principal roles require performers with not only vocal and theatrical skills but comic timing as well.

Union Avenue has, I’m happy to say, a cast that meets and often exceeds those expectations, headed by baritone Robert Mellon in the title role.  His Falstaff roars, boasts, preens, and schemes—all in a big, resonant voice that reaches every corner of the theatre. His Act I “honor” monologue (one of the choice bits Boito lifted from “Henry IV”) is delivered with an authority and comic force that makes it a genuine showstopper. He even manages, in the less boisterous third act, to let us see a bit of the nobility buried under the character’s folly—no easy task, given that he’s lumbered with an absurd fat suit that’s more appropriate to a circus than the stage.

L-R Anthony Heinemann as Caius.
Jacob Lassetter as Ford.
Marc Schapman as Bardolfo.
Mark Freiman as Pistola
Photo: Dan Donovan

Falstaff’s nemesis is Alice Ford, whose sharp wit punctures the absurd schemes of both her husband and Falstaff. Falstaff wants to seduce both her and her friend Meg Page, while Ford arrogantly attempts to keep their daughter Nannetta from her true love Fenton and force her into an unsuitable marriage with the ancient Dr. Caius. Lighting up the role here is soprano Karen Kanakis, whose effulgent voice and impeccable acting have enlivened many roles at both UAO and Winter Opera. Her Alice is all quicksilver wit and irresistible charm.

Mezzo Janara Kellerman is delightful as Dame Mistress Quickly, Alice’s chief co-conspirator. Verdi saw the role as “the most individual and original” of the four women’s parts. The three scenes he wrote for her in Acts II and III are comic gems and Kellerman makes them shine. The part calls for a contralto, but Kellerman sounded perfectly at home in it.

The massive talents of soprano Brooklyn Snow and mezzo Melody Wilson are rather underused in the roles of Nannetta and Meg, respectively, but their finely wrought performances demonstrate the value in putting star performers in supporting roles. Snow also has some charming moments with tenor Jesse Darden’s Fenton as his limpid voice joins with hers in love duets that are invariably interrupted by the plot’s comic complications.

Tenor Marc Schapman and bass Mark Freiman make a first-rate pair of clowns as Falstaff’s wily minions Bardolfo and Pistola. The role of the clueless Dr. Caius offers little opportunity for tenor Anthony Heinemann to display his wide vocal range, but he does get to show off his fine comic timing.

Brooklyn Snow as Nanetta
and Jesse Darden as Fenton
Photo: Dan Donovan

Baritone Jacob Lassetter’s voice packs a serious punch in Ford’s big “revenge” monolog “È sogno o realtà?” ("Is it a dream or reality?") but his acting is a bit monochromatic. Verdi saw Ford as a character “who, in a towering outburst of jealousy, roars, screams, jumps all over”—a larger than life counterpoint to Falstaff. A bigger stage presence was called for, I thought.

The UAO chorus does fine work with some difficult music here thanks to the meticulous direction of company Artistic Director Scott Schoonover. They are not always easily understood, but the blame must rest with the imperfect acoustics of the Union Avenue Christian Church. Indeed, the tendency of the space’s overly resonant acoustics to sometimes turn Verdi’s multi-layered vocal lines to mush, especially in the brilliant fugue that concludes the opera, is probably the production’s biggest flaw. And one that is, alas, entirely out of UAO’s control.

The UAO stage was also an issue, simply because of its small size. The libretto calls for multiple sets, with the most elaborate being the room in Ford’s house where the madcap farce of Act II takes place. Lex Van Blommenstein’s scenic design evokes the feel of Shakespeare’s Globe theatre, with a massive wooden framework supporting painted scrolls that were apparently designed to roll up and down quickly. In practice, doing so required multiple stagehands to laboriously raise and lower each one, resulting in scene changes that seemed to go on forever and killed the forward momentum in the middle of each act.

Even so, stage director Jon Truitt shows the same skill in maneuvering large forces around a small stage that served his Winter Opera production of Puccini's "La Fanciulla del Weat" so well two years ago.

Still, these are relatively minor blemishes in an otherwise outstanding production of Verdi’s final masterpiece. Add in Teresa Doggett’s bright period costumes (that fat suit not withstanding) and you have a “Falstaff” that must be seen.

Performances of Verdi’s “Falstaff” continue through Saturday, August 6th, at the Union Avenue Christian Church on Union in the Central West End. Information on this and the company’s final show of the season, Sondheim’s “A Little Night Music,” are available at the UAO web site.

Sunday, July 31, 2022

St. Louis theatre calendar for the week of July 31, 2022

Now including both on-line and live events during the pandemic. Your event information should be in text format (i.e. not part of a graphic), but feel free to include publicity stills. To get your event listed here, send an email to calendar [at] stageleft.org.

Meghan Kirk
The Blue Strawberry presents a Singers Open Mic Night on Tuesday at 7:00 pm, July 5th. Meghan Kirk  hosts with Ron McGowan at the piano. Singers should bring music in their key. The Blue Strawberry is at 364 N. Boyle. For more information: bluestrawberrystl.com.

ERA Theatre presents the radio play SHE by Nancy Bell with music by Joe Taylor and Lyrics by Nancy Bell via on-demand streaming  "SHE controls the radio station of the fascist regime in power. SHE's also the star of the broadcast. Her recording studio abounds with music and oysters. But in the nearby government camps full of misfits and would-be revolutionaries, only torture and starvation is thick on the ground. Tonight, however, SHE's realm feels different. The bombs sound closer. Time moves faster. But SHE will finish her radio show, and it will be her finest. If executing every number in the broadcast means some people need to die, so be it; it is a small sacrifice. The citizens need her and she will not let them down." SHE is available on most major platforms including Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music, YouTube, and BandCamp. For more information: www.eratheatre.org

The Hawthorne Players present the musical A Chorus Line Friday at 7:30 pm, Saturday at 2 and 7:30 pm, and Sunday at 2 pm through August 7. ” You won't want to miss Hawthorne Players' production of this highly acclaimed musical!  Set on the bare stage of a Broadway theater, A CHORUS LINE is centered on seventeen Broadway dancers auditioning for spots in the dancing chorus.  With music by Marvin Hamlisch, lyrics by Edward Kleban, and a book by James Kirkwood, Jr. and Nicholas Dante, the original Broadway production was an unprecedented box office and critical hit, winning nine Tony Awards, in addition to the 1976 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.” Performances take place in the Florissant Civic Center Theatre in Florissant, MO. For more information: www.hawthorneplayers.info

The Lemp Mansion Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre and Jest Mysteries present The Comic Book Killer through August 27. "Calling all superheros and villains! There’s trouble afoot for you both! Evil Doctor Weevil is back and he’s trying to erase your very existence! The time has come to join forces against true evil and restore balance to the comic universe. But who will be the hero or heroes and rid this plain of Evil Dr. Weevil forever? Could it be you? Quick…to the Prius! Dawn your cape and spandex and meet us the famously haunted Lemp Mansion for a mystery like no other! Here I come to save the daaaaaay!!!!"  The Lemp Mansion is at 3322 DeMenil Place in south city. For more information: www.lempmansion.com

Legally Blonde
Photo: Phillip Hamer
The Muny presents the musical Legally Blonde July 31 and August 1 at 8:15 pm.  “Elle Woods returns! Based on the smash hit movie, Legally Blonde follows the transformation of quintessential blonde Elle Woods from sorority sister to Harvard Law graduate. Her journey of determination, self-discovery and finding true love receives its first Muny production in 11 years. Complete with a chihuahua, a bulldog and a UPS guy, The Muny is ready to ‘Bend and Snap’ for a great time!” Performances take place on the Muny's outdoor stage in Forest Park. For more information: muny.org.

The Muny presents the musical The Color Purple August 3-9 at 8:15 pm.  “Based on Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel and Steven Spielberg’s landmark film, The Color Purple makes its Muny debut! Featuring a Grammy Award-winning score infused with jazz, ragtime, gospel and African blues, this moving tale is a testament to the healing power of love, faith, resilience and sisterhood. Winner of the 2016 Tony Award for “Best Revival of a Musical,” this epic staging promises a joyous evening of courage, hope and healing.” Performances take place on the Muny's outdoor stage in Forest Park. For more information: muny.org.

R-S Theatrics presents While the Ghostlight Burns, a virtual discussion series featuring R-S Artistic Director Sarah Lynne Holt in conversation with St. Louis theatre artists, Mondays at 7 pm.  Conversations will be archived at the R-S Theatrics YouTube channel. For more information: r-stheatrics.com/while-the-ghostlight-burns.html

St. Louis Shakespeare Festival presents free outdoor performances of a new adaptation of Shakespeare’s comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream at area parks nightly at 6:30 pm August 2-27. “The Festival’s 20-year-old touring program returns for the second time as the free and outdoor public park tour, TOURCO, throughout Missouri and Illinois with A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The production will be directed by Tre’von Griffith, St. Louis/NYC-based theater artist, composer and founder of WerQfest also known as Tre-G, and featuring costumes by acclaimed local fashion designer Brandin Vaughn. This 90-minute highly musical afro-futurist adaptation will play in 24 different locations starting on opening night at Kiener Plaza in the heart of downtown St. Louis.” For more information: stlshakes.org

The St. Louis Writers' Group presents a reading of Santa Claus Ain't Coming to Town by Kevin Hester on Tuesday, August 2 at 6:30 p.m.  "What does Santa have in his bag for this not so normal office Christmas party? Unintentional ugly Christmas sweaters, an overly enthusiastic Mrs. Claus, and murder?! A group of coworkers work together to both hide and solve the killing of the jolly old Saint himself (or someone dressed very similar) while trying not to ruin Christmas for the kids in the room next door." The reading takes place at Big Daddy’s, 1000 Sidney in Soulard. For more information, visit the St. Louis Writers' Group Facebook page.

In the Heights
Photo: Phillip Hamer
Stages St. Louis presents Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights through August 21. “IN THE HEIGHTS, the Tony Award Winning Best Musical from the creator of HAMILTON, tells the universal story of a vibrant community in New York’s Washington Heights neighborhood – a place where the coffee from the corner bodega is light and sweet, the windows are always open and the breeze carries the rhythm of three generations of music. It’s a community on the brink of change, full of hopes, dreams and pressures, where the biggest struggle can be deciding which traditions to take with you, and which ones to leave behind.” Performances take place at the Kirkwood Performing Arts Center in Kirkwood, MO. For more information: stagesstlouis.org

Stray Dog Theatre presents the musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee Thursdays through Saturdays August 4-20. There are additional performances at 2 pm Sunday, August 14 and 8 pm Wednesday, August 17. “An eclectic group of sixth-graders vie for the spelling championship of a lifetime. In hilarious, touching, and catchy songs, each speller reveals their hopes, struggles, and passions as they make their way through the competition. The “Bee” will have you falling in love with its “perspicacious,” “jocular,” and “effervescent” spellers.” Performances take place at Tower Grove Abbey, 2336 Tennessee in Tower Grove East. Tickets are only offered in physically distanced groups of two or four. For more information: www.straydogtheatre.org

Falstaff
Photo: Dan Donovan
Union Avenue Opera presents Verdi’s Falstaff Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm through August 6. “Old, lecherous, and down on his luck, Sir John Falstaff can’t resist the ladies. The fool hatches a plan to reverse his ill-fortune and sets his sights on not one, but two married women. Sharper than they look, Alice and Meg discover the odious Falstaff’s plan to unceremoniously seduce them and trick them out of their fortunes. The women band together and with the help of Nannetta and Dame Quickly, they concoct a scheme to teach him a lesson he’ll never forget and to put him in his place once and for all. Add in a jealous husband, a pair of young lovers, and a touch of the supernatural and what ensues is a sophisticated comedy filled with failed plans and botched disguises. Verdi’s riotous romp Falstaff bubbles with irrepressible wit and charm in this adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor.” Performances are sung in Russian with projected English supertitles and take place at Union Avenue Christian Church, 733 Union at Enright in the Central West End. For more information: unionavenueopera.org

Mark Rodgers in
Discover DaVinci and Michaelangelo
The Westport Playhouse presents writer/actor Mark Rodgers in Discover DaVinci and Michaelangelo—the Titans Experience Fridays and Saturdays at 7 pm and Sundays at 2 pm through August 28th.  “Over 100 successful Broadway shows, Includes an art installation and self-guided tour of DaVinci's models, artwork, and more...including our new unique theatrical 40' Video Wall!” The show marks the reopening of the Playhouse after extensive renovation. The Westport Playhouse is in the Westport Plaza Business and Entertainment District. For more information: thewestportplayhouse.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, July 24, 2022

St. Louis theatre calendar for the week of July 25, 2022

Now including both on-line and live events during the pandemic. Your event information should be in text format (i.e. not part of a graphic), but feel free to include publicity stills. To get your event listed here, send an email to calendar [at] stageleft.org.

Broadway Bound
Photo: John Lamb
Clayton Community Theatre presents Neil Simon’s Broadway Bound Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 2 pm throiugh July 31.  “This 1986 semi-autobiographical comedy is the last chapter in Neil Simon’s “Eugene” trilogy. It shows Eugene and his older brother, Stanley, dealing with their parents' relationship falling apart as the brothers work together toward being comedy writers for the radio, and, eventually, television. When their material is broadcast on the radio for the first time, the rest of the family is upset to hear a comedic rendition of their own trials and tribulations. How will Eugene and his brother balance their loyalties to their family and to their art?” Performances take place at the Washington University South Campus Theatre, 6501 Clayton Rd. For more information: www.placeseveryone.org

ERA Theatre presents the radio play SHE by Nancy Bell with music by Joe Taylor and Lyrics by Nancy Bell via on-demand streaming  "SHE controls the radio station of the fascist regime in power. SHE's also the star of the broadcast. Her recording studio abounds with music and oysters. But in the nearby government camps full of misfits and would-be revolutionaries, only torture and starvation is thick on the ground. Tonight, however, SHE's realm feels different. The bombs sound closer. Time moves faster. But SHE will finish her radio show, and it will be her finest. If executing every number in the broadcast means some people need to die, so be it; it is a small sacrifice. The citizens need her and she will not let them down." SHE is available on most major platforms including Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music, YouTube, and BandCamp. For more information: www.eratheatre.org

The Hawthorne Players present the musical A Chorus Line Friday at 7:30 pm, Saturday at 2 and 7:30 pm, and Sunday at 2 pm, July 29 through August 7. ” You won't want to miss Hawthorne Players' production of this highly acclaimed musical!  Set on the bare stage of a Broadway theater, A CHORUS LINE is centered on seventeen Broadway dancers auditioning for spots in the dancing chorus.  With music by Marvin Hamilsch, lyrics by Edward Kleban, and a book by James Kirkwood, Jr. and Nicholas Dante, the original Broadway production was an unprecedented box office and critical hit, winning nine Tony Awards, in addition to the 1976 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.” Performances take place in the Florissant Civic Center Theatre in Florissant, MO. For more information: www.hawthorneplayers.info

The Lemp Mansion Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre and Jest Mysteries present The Comic Book Killer through August 27. "Calling all superheros and villains! There’s trouble afoot for you both! Evil Doctor Weevil is back and he’s trying to erase your very existence! The time has come to join forces against true evil and restore balance to the comic universe. But who will be the hero or heroes and rid this plain of Evil Dr. Weevil forever? Could it be you? Quick…to the Prius! Dawn your cape and spandex and meet us the famously haunted Lemp Mansion for a mystery like no other! Here I come to save the daaaaaay!!!!"  The Lemp Mansion is at 3322 DeMenil Place in south city. For more information: www.lempmansion.com

The Muny presents the musical Legally Blonde July 25-31 at 8:15 pm.  “Elle Woods returns! Based on the smash hit movie, Legally Blonde follows the transformation of quintessential blonde Elle Woods from sorority sister to Harvard Law graduate. Her journey of determination, self-discovery and finding true love receives its first Muny production in 11 years. Complete with a chihuahua, a bulldog and a UPS guy, The Muny is ready to ‘Bend and Snap’ for a great time!” Performances take place on the Muny's outdoor stage in Forest Park. For more information: muny.org.

R-S Theatrics presents While the Ghostlight Burns, a virtual discussion series featuring R-S Artistic Director Sarah Lynne Holt in conversation with St. Louis theatre artists, Mondays at 7 pm.  Conversations will be archived at the R-S Theatrics YouTube channel. For more information: r-stheatrics.com/while-the-ghostlight-burns.html

"St. Louis" from the LaBute New Theatre Festival
Photo: Patrick Huber
The St. Louis Actors’ Studio presents the eighth annual LaBute New Theater Festival through July 31. “STLAS received hundreds of submissions worldwide and selected eight to be produced on the stage at The Gaslight Theater. This year's festival features productions by winners of the 2020 Festival, which, due to the pandemic, were postponed. There will be two artists receptions held in the adjacent West End Grill space on Fridays July 15 and 29. Patrons are encouraged to stay and meet the playwrights, actors and crew.” Performances take place at The Gaslight Theater on North Boyle in the Central West End. For more information: https://www.stlas.org/

Stages St. Louis presents Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights through August 21. “IN THE HEIGHTS, the Tony Award Winning Best Musical from the creator of HAMILTON, tells the universal story of a vibrant community in New York’s Washington Heights neighborhood – a place where the coffee from the corner bodega is light and sweet, the windows are always open and the breeze carries the rhythm of three generations of music. It’s a community on the brink of change, full of hopes, dreams and pressures, where the biggest struggle can be deciding which traditions to take with you, and which ones to leave behind.” Performances take place at the Kirkwood Performing Arts Center in Kirkwood, MO. For more information: stagesstlouis.org

The Tesseract Theatre Company presents All That Remains by JM Chambers Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 4 pm through July 31. “Gary survives a school shooting and isn't dealing with the trauma well. Gary’s wife Elaine is trying her best to hold it all together, take care of Gary, work, pay the bills, and deal with her own sadness. Gary and Elaine can’t go on living this way forever and soon they both reach a breaking point.”  Performances take place at The Marcelle Theatre in Grand Center. For more information: www.tesseracttheatre.com

Union Avenue Opera presents Verdi’s Falstaff Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm, July 29 through August 6. “Old, lecherous, and down on his luck, Sir John Falstaff can’t resist the ladies. The fool hatches a plan to reverse his ill-fortune and sets his sights on not one, but two married women. Sharper than they look, Alice and Meg discover the odious Falstaff’s plan to unceremoniously seduce them and trick them out of their fortunes. The women band together and with the help of Nannetta and Dame Quickly, they concoct a scheme to teach him a lesson he’ll never forget and to put him in his place once and for all. Add in a jealous husband, a pair of young lovers, and a touch of the supernatural and what ensues is a sophisticated comedy filled with failed plans and botched disguises. Verdi’s riotous romp Falstaff bubbles with irrepressible wit and charm in this adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor.” Performances are sung in Russian with projected English supertitles and take place at Union Avenue Christian Church, 733 Union at Enright in the Central West End. For more information: unionavenueopera.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.

Monday, July 18, 2022

St. Louis theatre calendar for the week of July 18, 2022

Now including both on-line and live events during the pandemic. Your event information should be in text format (i.e. not part of a graphic), but feel free to include publicity stills. To get your event listed here, send an email to calendar [at] stageleft.org.

Carol Schmidt
The Cabaret Project and The Blue Strawberry present a Singers Open Mic on Tuesday, June 21st, from 7 to 9:30 pm. “Ken Haller is your host, with pianist and music director Carol Schmidt. If you plan to sing bring sheet music or a chart in your own key, and perform your favorite Broadway, pop, or jazz tunes. Or you can just relax, have a drink and dinner or a snack, and enjoy the music. No admission or cover, but there is always a tip jar! All proceeds go to The Cabaret Project, a 501c3 non-profit dedicated to promoting, developing, and sustaining the art of cabaret in St. Louis."  The Blue Strawberry is at 364 N. Boyle. For more information: thecabaretproject.org.

Jamie Eros and family
The Blue Strawberry presents a This One is For the Women with singer Jamie Eros  on Thursday, July 21st at  7:30 pm. "Jamie Eros performs a one momma cabaret dedicated to moms, wives, sisters, daughters and friends. Perfect for a girls night out or date night away from the kiddos. Come enjoy stories and songs that take you through the journey of an everyday mom of 4!!" The Blue Strawberry is at 364 N. Boyle. For more information: bluestrawberrystl.com.

Clayton Community Theatre presents Neil Simon’s Broadway Bound Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 2 pm, July 21-31.  “This 1986 semi-autobiographical comedy is the last chapter in Neil Simon’s “Eugene” trilogy. It shows Eugene and his older brother, Stanley, dealing with their parents' relationship falling apart as the brothers work together toward being comedy writers for the radio, and, eventually, television. When their material is broadcast on the radio for the first time, the rest of the family is upset to hear a comedic rendition of their own trials and tribulations. How will Eugene and his brother balance their loyalties to their family and to their art?” Performances take place at the Washington University South Campus Theatre, 6501 Clayton Rd. For more information: www.placeseveryone.org

COCA presents Matilda the Musical Friday through Sunday, July 22-24. “Matilda Wormwood, a young girl with extraordinary powers, uses her love of reading and storytelling as an escape from her life with her neglectful and abusive parents. Matilda is sent off to school where she struggles under the reign of the school’s cruel headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, who punishes children for not abiding by her strict rules. Matilda befriends her kind teacher, Miss Honey, who realizes Matilda’s talents and encourages her to embrace her uniqueness. Matilda learns how to stand up to the adults in her life and discovers her own remarkable powers.” Masks are required indoors at COCA. Performances take place on the Berges Mainstage Theatre at COCA in University City. For more information: www.cocastl.org

ERA Theatre presents the radio play SHE by Nancy Bell with music by Joe Taylor and Lyrics by Nancy Bell via on-demand streaming  "SHE controls the radio station of the fascist regime in power. SHE's also the star of the broadcast. Her recording studio abounds with music and oysters. But in the nearby government camps full of misfits and would-be revolutionaries, only torture and starvation is thick on the ground. Tonight, however, SHE's realm feels different. The bombs sound closer. Time moves faster. But SHE will finish her radio show, and it will be her finest. If executing every number in the broadcast means some people need to die, so be it; it is a small sacrifice. The citizens need her and she will not let them down." SHE is available on most major platforms including Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music, YouTube, and BandCamp. For more information: www.eratheatre.org

Assassins
Fly North Theatricals presents Sondheim’s Assassins through July 23. “A multiple Tony Award-winning theatrical tour-de-force, Assassins combines Sondheim's signature blend of intelligently stunning lyrics and beautiful music with a panoramic story of our nation's culture of celebrity and the violent means some will use to obtain it, embodied by America's four successful and five would-be presidential assassins. Bold, original, disturbing and alarmingly funny, Assassins is perhaps the most controversial musical ever written. Assassins lays bare the lives of nine individuals who assassinated or tried to assassinate the President of the United States, in a one-act historical "revusical" that explores the dark side of the American experience. From John Wilkes Booth to Lee Harvey Oswald, writers, Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman, bend the rules of time and space, taking us on a nightmarish roller coaster ride in which assassins and would-be assassins from different historical periods meet, interact and inspire each other to harrowing acts in the name of the American Dream.” Performances take place at .ZACK on Locust in Grand Center. For more information: https://www.flynorthmusic.com

The Lemp Mansion Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre and Jest Mysteries present The Comic Book Killer through August 27. "Calling all superheros and villains! There’s trouble afoot for you both! Evil Doctor Weevil is back and he’s trying to erase your very existence! The time has come to join forces against true evil and restore balance to the comic universe. But who will be the hero or heroes and rid this plain of Evil Dr. Weevil forever? Could it be you? Quick…to the Prius! Dawn your cape and spandex and meet us the famously haunted Lemp Mansion for a mystery like no other! Here I come to save the daaaaaay!!!!"  The Lemp Mansion is at 3322 DeMenil Place in south city. For more information: www.lempmansion.com

Rodney's Wife
Photo: Joey Rumpell
The Midnight Company presents the St. Louis premiere of Rodney’s Wifeby Richard Nelson Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm through July 23. “Rodney’s Wife is set during a steamy summer in Rome, 1962.  It takes place over a day and a half in an Italian Villa full of an extended family and scorching secrets.  Rodney, whose Hollywood stardom is beginning to dim, has arrived to star in one of the first, pre-Eastwood, Spaghetti Westerns.  With him is his second wife, Fay, who, as she arrives, isn’t sure if she can last another day as just “Rodney’s wife.”  And Eva, his sister, once married to Rodney’s agent, but since his death, hanging on to her brother and her lifestyle any way she can. And Lee, his daughter by his first wife, who, after ten years at girls’ schools and college, is now back in the heart of the family.  And Ted, Lee’s fiancee, a surprise to the family and, somewhat, to Lee.  And Henry, his new agent, with a pregnant wife back in the States, and a movie star to care for in Rome.” at The Chapel Venue, 6238 Alexander Drive. For more information: midnightcompany.com

Sweeney Todd
The Muny presents the musical Sweeney Todd July 16-23 at 8:15 pm.  “Stephen Sondheim’s musical thriller Sweeney Todd July 16-23 at 8:15 pm.  “The Broadway legend and American musical masterpiece makes its Muny debut. Set in 19th century London, Sweeney Todd has captivated audiences around the world with its dark wit and haunting tale of love. Sweeney Todd is classified as a ‘horror musical,’ and best suited for older teens and adults.” ” Performances take place on the Muny's outdoor stage in Forest Park.  For more information: muny.org.

R-S Theatrics presents While the Ghostlight Burns, a virtual discussion series featuring R-S Artistic Director Sarah Lynne Holt in conversation with St. Louis theatre artists, Mondays at 7 pm.  Conversations will be archived at the R-S Theatrics YouTube channel. For more information: r-stheatrics.com/while-the-ghostlight-burns.html

The St. Louis Actors’ Studio presents the eighth annual LaBute New Theater Festival through July 31. “STLAS received hundreds of submissions worldwide and selected eight to be produced on the stage at The Gaslight Theater. This year's festival features productions by winners of the 2020 Festival, which, due to the pandemic, were postponed. There will be two artists receptions held in the adjacent West End Grill space on Fridays July 15 and 29. Patrons are encouraged to stay and meet the playwrights, actors and crew.” Performances take place at The Gaslight Theater on North Boyle in the Central West End. For more information: https://www.stlas.org/

Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea
Photo: Phillip Hamer
The St. Louis Black Repertory Company opens its 46th Anniversary Season with Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea through July 23 . “When 18-year-old Dontrell Jones decides to voyage into the Atlantic Ocean in search of an ancestor lost during the Middle Passage, his family struggles with the thought of losing its prized son to the waters of a mysterious and haunting past. Blending poetry, humor, wordplay and ritual, this rhythmic journey is a present-day hero’s quest to explore the lengths and depths we must go to rewrite history’s wrongs.” Performances take place at the Edison Theatre on the Washington University campus. For more information: www.theblackrep.org

The St. Louis Writers' Group presents a reading of Seven Short Plays by Mario Farwell on Tuesday, July 19 at 6:30 p.m. The reading takes place at Big Daddy’s, 1000 Sidney in Soulard. For more information, visit the St. Louis Writers' Group Facebook page.

Stages St. Louis presents Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights July 22 through August 21. “IN THE HEIGHTS, the Tony Award Winning Best Musical from the creator of HAMILTON, tells the universal story of a vibrant community in New York’s Washington Heights neighborhood – a place where the coffee from the corner bodega is light and sweet, the windows are always open and the breeze carries the rhythm of three generations of music. It’s a community on the brink of change, full of hopes, dreams and pressures, where the biggest struggle can be deciding which traditions to take with you, and which ones to leave behind.” Performances take place at the Kirkwood Performing Arts Center in Kirkwood, MO. For more information: stagesstlouis.org

The Department of Theater and Dance and SIU-Edwardsville presents the musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm and Sundays at 2 pm through July 24. “Told entirely through song with the help of a main character Narrator, the musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, follows preferred son Joseph in the reimagining of the Biblical story of Joseph, his father Jacob, eleven brothers and the coat of many colors.  After being sold into slavery by his brothers, Joseph ingratiates himself with Egyptian noble Potiphar, but ends up in jail after refusing the amorous advances of Potiphar's wife.  While imprisoned, Joseph discovers his ability to interpret dreams, and he soon finds himself in front of the mighty but troubled, Elvis-inspired, Pharaoh.  Joseph's solution to Egypt's famine elevates him to Pharaoh's right-hand man and reunites him with his family.” Performances take place at the Dunham Hall Theatre on the campus in Edwardsville, IL. For more information: www.siue.edu

The Tesseract Theatre Company presents All That Remains by JM Chambers Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 4 pm, July 22-31. “Gary survives a school shooting and isn't dealing with the trauma well. Gary’s wife Elaine is trying her best to hold it all together, take care of Gary, work, pay the bills, and deal with her own sadness. Gary and Elaine can’t go on living this way forever and soon they both reach a breaking point.”  Performances take place at The Marcelle Theatre in Grand Center. For more information: www.tesseracttheatre.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, July 10, 2022

St. Louis theatre calendar for the week of July 11, 2022

Now including both on-line and live events during the pandemic. Your event information should be in text format (i.e. not part of a graphic), but feel free to include publicity stills. To get your event listed here, send an email to calendar [at] stageleft.org.

The Blue Strawberry presents magician John Johnson and one-handed juggler Dale Jones on Monday, July 11, at 7:30 pm as part of the Magical Mondays series.  “When you toss sleight-of-hand magic, motorcycles, and martial arts in a blender, out comes dynamic magician John Johnson.  Dale Jones, the first one-handed juggler that history records, invented an entirely new way to juggle to compensate for his atrophied right hand (which he injured severely at age 8." The Blue Strawberry is at 364 N. Boyle. For more information: bluestrawberrystl.com.

The Blue Strawberry presents An Evening of Nat King Cole with Broadway actor and jazz pianist/singer Bryan Eng on Tuesday, July 12, at 7:00 pm. “Eng brings his  swinging trio back to the St. Louis after a sold-out show in December. For  this one-night-only event, Eng leads his trio in honoring the legacy of his hero, Nat King Cole.” The Blue Strawberry is at 364 N. Boyle in the Central West End. For more information: bluestrawberrystl.com.

Bob Wetzel and the band
The Blue Strawberry presents Bob Wetzel in Peasant, Pirate and Poet: The Music of Jimmy Webb Thursday, July 14, at 7:30 pm. “Four-time Grammy Winner Jimmy Webb wrote MacArthur Park, Wichita Lineman, Galveston, Up, Up and Away, All I Know, By The Time I get To Phoenix, Honey, Come Back, and The Worst That Could Happen. His songs were made famous by Frank Sinatra, Glen Campbell, Richard Harris, Barbra Streisand, Elvis Presley, The 5th Dimension, James Taylor, Johnny Cash, Art Garfunkel, Linda Ronstadt, Josh Groban and Donna Summer, among many others. They continue to resonate. In the last year, they were sung on national tours by Toby Keith, Little Big Town, and Guns N’ Roses. And he had a rap hit with Kanye West. Bob Wetzel sings the songs, tells the stories of their creation, and of the man.” Christopher Denny is pianist and music director for the show, which is directed by Lina Koutrakos. The Blue Strawberry is at 364 N. Boyle in the Central West End. For more information: bluestrawberrystl.com.

The Blue Strawberry presents Jeanna de Waal: Musical Theater Songs I Like To Sing Friday, July 15, at 7:30 pm. “Immediately following her run as Mary Poppins at The Muny, Jeanna is thrilled to be returning to the Blue Strawberry for one night. The intimate concert will include songs - new and old - from the Broadway catalog, personal anecdotes from Jeanna’s time in the industry, and general musings she hopes you’ll find amusing.” The show is also available via live video stream. The Blue Strawberry is at 364 N. Boyle in the Central West End. For more information: For more information: bluestrawberrystl.com

ERA Theatre presents the radio play SHE by Nancy Bell with music by Joe Taylor and Lyrics by Nancy Bell via on-demand streaming  "SHE controls the radio station of the fascist regime in power. SHE's also the star of the broadcast. Her recording studio abounds with music and oysters. But in the nearby government camps full of misfits and would-be revolutionaries, only torture and starvation is thick on the ground. Tonight, however, SHE's realm feels different. The bombs sound closer. Time moves faster. But SHE will finish her radio show, and it will be her finest. If executing every number in the broadcast means some people need to die, so be it; it is a small sacrifice. The citizens need her and she will not let them down." SHE is available on most major platforms including Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music, YouTube, and BandCamp. For more information: www.eratheatre.org

Assassins
Fly North Theatricals presents Sondheim’s Assassins through July 23. “A multiple Tony Award-winning theatrical tour-de-force, Assassins combines Sondheim's signature blend of intelligently stunning lyrics and beautiful music with a panoramic story of our nation's culture of celebrity and the violent means some will use to obtain it, embodied by America's four successful and five would-be presidential assassins. Bold, original, disturbing and alarmingly funny, Assassins is perhaps the most controversial musical ever written. Assassins lays bare the lives of nine individuals who assassinated or tried to assassinate the President of the United States, in a one-act historical "revusical" that explores the dark side of the American experience. From John Wilkes Booth to Lee Harvey Oswald, writers, Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman, bend the rules of time and space, taking us on a nightmarish roller coaster ride in which assassins and would-be assassins from different historical periods meet, interact and inspire each other to harrowing acts in the name of the American Dream.” Performances take place at .ZACK on Locust in Grand Center. For more information: https://www.flynorthmusic.com

The Lemp Mansion Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre and Jest Mysteries present The Comic Book Killer through August 27. "Calling all superheros and villains! There’s trouble afoot for you both! Evil Doctor Weevil is back and he’s trying to erase your very existence! The time has come to join forces against true evil and restore balance to the comic universe. But who will be the hero or heroes and rid this plain of Evil Dr. Weevil forever? Could it be you? Quick…to the Prius! Dawn your cape and spandex and meet us the famously haunted Lemp Mansion for a mystery like no other! Here I come to save the daaaaaay!!!!"  The Lemp Mansion is at 3322 DeMenil Place in south city. For more information: www.lempmansion.com

Rodney's Wife
Photo: Joey Rumpell
The Midnight Company presents the St. Louis premiere of Rodney’s Wifeby Richard Nelson Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays (July 17) at 2pm through July 23. “Rodney’s Wife is set during a steamy summer in Rome, 1962.  It takes place over a day and a half in an Italian Villa full of an extended family and scorching secrets.  Rodney, whose Hollywood stardom is beginning to dim, has arrived to star in one of the first, pre-Eastwood, Spaghetti Westerns.  With him is his second wife, Fay, who, as she arrives, isn’t sure if she can last another day as just “Rodney’s wife.”  And Eva, his sister, once married to Rodney’s agent, but since his death, hanging on to her brother and her lifestyle any way she can. And Lee, his daughter by his first wife, who, after ten years at girls’ schools and college, is now back in the heart of the family.  And Ted, Lee’s fiancee, a surprise to the family and, somewhat, to Lee.  And Henry, his new agent, with a pregnant wife back in the States, and a movie star to care for in Rome.” at The Chapel Venue, 6238 Alexander Drive. For more information: midnightcompany.com

Mary Poppins
Photo: Phillip Hamer
The Muny presents the musical Mary Poppins through July 13 at 8:15 pm.  “Based on one of the most popular films in history, Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins is practically perfect in every way. Transporting audiences by umbrella to London at the turn of the last century, this Tony Award-winning stage adaptation features a carpet bag full of classics, including “Chim Chim Cher-ee,” “Step in Time,” “A Spoonful of Sugar” and “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.”” Performances take place on the Muny's outdoor stage in Forest Park.  For more information: muny.org.

The Muny presents the musical Sweeney Todd July 16-23 at 8:15 pm.  “Stephen Sondheim’s musical thriller Sweeney Todd July 16-23 at 8:15 pm.  “The Broadway legend and American musical masterpiece makes its Muny debut. Set in 19th century London, Sweeney Todd has captivated audiences around the world with its dark wit and haunting tale of love. Sweeney Todd is classified as a ‘horror musical,’ and best suited for older teens and adults.” ” Performances take place on the Muny's outdoor stage in Forest Park.  For more information: muny.org.

R-S Theatrics presents While the Ghostlight Burns, a virtual discussion series featuring R-S Artistic Director Sarah Lynne Holt in conversation with St. Louis theatre artists, Mondays at 7 pm.  Conversations will be archived at the R-S Theatrics YouTube channel. For more information: r-stheatrics.com/while-the-ghostlight-burns.html

The St. Louis Actors’ Studio presents the eighth annual LaBute New Theater Festival through July 31. “STLAS received hundreds of submissions worldwide and selected eight to be produced on the stage at The Gaslight Theater. This year's festival features productions by winners of the 2020 Festival, which, due to the pandemic, were postponed. There will be two artists receptions held in the adjacent West End Grill space on Fridays July 15 and 29. Patrons are encouraged to stay and meet the playwrights, actors and crew.” Performances take place at The Gaslight Theater on North Boyle in the Central West End. For more information: https://www.stlas.org/

Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea
Photo: Phillip Hamer
The St. Louis Black Repertory Company opens its 46th Anniversary Season with Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea through July 23 . “When 18-year-old Dontrell Jones decides to voyage into the Atlantic Ocean in search of an ancestor lost during the Middle Passage, his family struggles with the thought of losing its prized son to the waters of a mysterious and haunting past. Blending poetry, humor, wordplay and ritual, this rhythmic journey is a present-day hero’s quest to explore the lengths and depths we must go to rewrite history’s wrongs.” Performances take place at the Edison Theatre on the Washington University campus. For more information: www.theblackrep.org

The Department of Theater and Dance and SIU-Edwardsville presents the musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm and Sundays at 2 pm, July 15-24. “Told entirely through song with the help of a main character Narrator, the musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, follows preferred son Joseph in the reimagining of the Biblical story of Joseph, his father Jacob, eleven brothers and the coat of many colors.  After being sold into slavery by his brothers, Joseph ingratiates himself with Egyptian noble Potiphar, but ends up in jail after refusing the amorous advances of Potiphar's wife.  While imprisoned, Joseph discovers his ability to interpret dreams, and he soon finds himself in front of the mighty but troubled, Elvis-inspired, Pharaoh.  Joseph's solution to Egypt's famine elevates him to Pharaoh's right-hand man and reunites him with his family.” Performances take place at the Dunham Hall Theatre on the campus in Edwardsville, IL. For more information: www.siue.edu

The Length of a Pop Song
Photo: Taylor Gruenloh
The Tesseract Theatre Company presents The Length of a Pop Song by by Taylor Gruenloh Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 4 pm, through July 17. “Lex has no choice but to move back into her parent’s house after another incident of self-harm. Her mother wants to help prepare her for an upcoming trial against an adult website hosting non-consensual videos of Lex, but Lex can’t find a reason to look forward to tomorrow.” Performances take place at The Marcelle Theatre in Grand Center. For more information: www.tesseracttheatre.com

Eugene Onegin
Photo: Dan Donovan
Union Avenue Opera presents Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin Friday and Saturday at 8 pm, July 15 and 16. “Tatyana, a lovesick girl from the countryside, declares her love for Onegin and finds herself spurned by the disenchanted aristocrat. Onegin, indifferent to the feelings of others, disregards Tatyana’s advances to pursue Olga, his friend Lensky’s betrothed. A duel commences and Onegin finds himself victorious albeit deeply tormented. He returns years later to find Tatyana happily married to Prince Gremin. Struck by her beauty, Onegin declares his love for her only to find himself face to face with the folly of his naïveté. Eugene Onegin is a sophisticated and melancholy masterpiece by one of classical music’s most universally beloved composers. Tchaikovsky’s lush melodies are enhanced by the opera’s uniquely Russian folk tunes, infectious waltzes, and passion-soaked arias bringing to life Alexander Pushkin’s verse novel like never before.” Performances are sung in Russian with projected English supertitles and take place at Union Avenue Christian Church, 733 Union at Enright in the Central West End. For more information: unionavenueopera.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.