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New This Week:
|Anthony and Cleopatra|
My take: As I write in my review for OnSTL.com, Shakespeare Festival St. Louis is producing a deftly edited and superbly acted production of this late Shakespeare tragedy/comedy/history. This isn't the easiest play to do, and other companies have stubbed their toes on it in the past, but under Mike Donahue's expert direction this fine cast does very well with material that is dramatically complex and open to a wide variety of interpretations. You can sit on the grass for free, but personally I recommend springing for one of the $20 reserved seats. That's still plenty cheap for theatre of this quality.
|Emily Fons as Rosina and|
Dale Travis as Dr. Bartolo
Photo: Ken Howard
My take: As I write in my review for KDHX, everyone connected with this production can congratulate themselves on a job well done. Taking as his point of departure the animated and colorful films of Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar, Mr. Shell has produced a loopy, slightly surreal, and highly engaging take this comic opera classic. The updated bits are always funny and sometimes inspired. And there aren't so many of them that they pull focus from the singers and the text and score of the opera. This is a production that respects the intelligence of its audience and doesn't assume that we need to be constantly distracted in order to be entertained.
My take: As I say in my preview article, a well-constructed cabaret act is ultimately a kind of one-act play, which is why actors—who have the advantage of understanding dramatic form—often create some of the best cabaret. Mr. Watts has shown that he can do both comedy and drama, and his appearances at The Cabaret Project's open mic nights (which I host) have been very impressive. And, of course, Tim Schall and Carol Schmidt are cabaret pros of considerable standing themselves. This is likely to be an auspicious debut.
|My Mother's Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding|
Photo: Eric Woolsey
New Jewish Theater presents the musical My Mother's Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding May 7-31. "The surprise hit of both the Toronto Fringe Festival and New York Musical Theater Festival, My Mother's Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding is the sweet, tuneful and true story of the journey of the playwright's mother as she discovered her true self. Despite its specific title, MMLJWW is a universal story about parents and children, falling in love, and finding out who you are. It has heart and soul and in today's political climate, it couldn't be more timely - plus, it's a TRUE STORY!" 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: www.newjewishtheatre.org or call 314-442-3283.
My take: As I wrote in my review for KDHX, David Hein and Irene Sankoff's unapologetically autobiographical musical is a pleasant and pleasing little show. It's so light that a stiff breeze would blow it away, but its heart is in the right place, which counts for a great deal. Ed Coffield has assembled a great cast and directed them well. Sets and costumes are bright and colorful and the on-stage band is solid. When I saw it on its opening weekend it was sold out, so you might want to order tickets sooner rather than later.