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My take: I see cabaret as a form of musical theatre, and Kay is an accomplished musical theatre actress of long standing locally. I don't see how you can go wrong with her show.
The Presenters Dolan present Gina Otto in The Lovers, the Dreamers, and Me on Thursday, April 9, at 8 PM as part of the Gaslight Cabaret Festival. "Jazzy standards segue into pop, Broadway and sassy, Western Swing. An accomplished local singer, sharp and funny and endearing, steps into the cabaret scene." The performance takes place at the Gaslight Theater, 358 North Boyle. For more information: gaslightcabaretfestival.com.
My take: Gina Otto is new to the local cabaret scene, but I've been hearing good things about this show.
My take: Ken's musical tribute to his late mother is a charming show, filled with great songs and memories. And, yes, there will be Sondheim. Reviewing the premiere of this show last November for KDHX, Katie McGrath praised it as "touching, over-too-soon glimpse into his history with stories about small moments that had huge impact on his life."
|The Mystery of Edwin Drood|
Photo: John Lamb
My take: This clever show-within-a-show musical has always been a favorite of mine. If your only exposure to Holmes' music has been his big tacky hit "Escape (The Piña Colada Song)," you're in for a surprise with this show with it's clever mock-Victorian score and witty lyrics. There's a good reason why it won the 1985 Tony Award. Reviews have described it as a rowdy good time. Typical is Mark Bretz's review at Ladue News, which describes this as "a clever, ingratiating production that is filled with verve and panache."
|Stephen Peirick and Maggie Conroy|
in Off the Record
My take: OnSite has an unusual mission: site-specific theatre. "From hotels to public restrooms," says their web site, "site-specific theatre takes the theatergoers out of their seats and thrusts them into the setting of the play. This form of theatre emphasizes stories and events that reveal the relationship between our physical environment and us." The site in this case is a bus; specifically, a school bus that plays the role of the campaign bus on which the play takes place. "Director Tom Martin masters the several unique technical difficulties of the venue," writes Steve Callahan at KDHX, "and leads his cast to a brisk and bright performance."
|Jeremy Webb in Buyer and Cellar|
©Photo by Jerry Naunheim Jr.
My take: One-man shows can be risky propositions, but this one is apparently a success. "If you are a Streisand fan (and who among us isn't?)," writes Bob Cohn at St. Louis Jewish Light, "'Buyer & Cellar' is a double treat. Not only is the play itself highly amusing and satisfying, it also contains enough Streisand trivia to satisfy an entire season of questions on 'Jeopardy.'" "Jonathan Tolins is a very clever writer," says Bob Wilcox at KDHX. "Jeremy Webb is a very smart actor. Put them together, with some inventive guidance from director Wendy Dann, and you get a quite enjoyable ninety minutes or so in the Studio Theatre at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis."
|Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike|
©Photo by Jerry Naunheim Jr.
My take: This starts out as a broad, noisy parody of Chekov but finishes as something much more deep and satifying. "Playwright Christopher Durang," writes Tina Farmer at KDHX, "won a Tony Award for this insightfully hilarious look at aging and modern life through a lens tinted with Chekhov and Greek tragedy. The actors in The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis' production of Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike bring these characters to life convincingly, emphasizing their quirks, vanities and flaws in a production layered with humor and pathos, second questions and, perhaps, second chances." I couldn't agree more. Director Michael Evan Haney can be proud of this one.