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My take: Porter's hit-laden score and the breezy (and often revised book) combine for great fun, and it looks like Stages is doing it justice. "Every song, every character, every step, every gesture, every tiny comic bit is perfect," writes Steve Callahan at KDHX. "Every single moment of this show is a delight."
|Into the Woods|
My take: I'm astonished that it has taken the Muny this long to mount this remarkable (if flawed) Sondheim masterpiece. Go and wonder at this inventively revisionist take on classic fairy tales.
My take: In addition to performing in the Caberet Festival, Ms. Ebersole is also teaching in the St. Louis Cabaret Conference, which runs concurrently with the Festival. Her musical intelligence and theatrical insight have been impressive, so you can expect to be mightily entertained by her at the Sheldon. Spring for a VIP ticket and you can attend the private champagne reception with the star after the show.
|The Skin of Our Teeth|
Photo: John Lamb
My take: Wilder's classic fantasy isn't seen that often these days, so a new production is always welcome. At KDHX, Steve Callahan says the CCT staging "is crafted with love and it touches the heart of this wonderful play. And it will touch your heart."
|The Killing of Sister George|
My take: Marcus's 1964 play was considered pretty scandalous in its day, mostly because of the implied (but never explicitly stated) lesbian relationship between the two main characters (a relationship made more manifest in the 1968 film version). It looks less shocking these days, but it still plays out as pretty dark farce. The Max and Louie production has apparently not downplayed any of that. "Director Brooke Edwards," writes Tina Farmer at KDHX, "neither shies away from nor overemphasizes the cruelty inherent in the women's relationship or June's apparent dislike of nearly everyone who crosses her path..The show is a dark farce, almost a play of very bad manners, and the humor helps to keep the tone light and the action moving forward, and I very much enjoyed the performances while appreciating, if not quite embracing, each character's choices."
My take: Joe Hanrahan has become something of a one-man theatre company over the past several years, taking one-character plays to unusual venues including the St. Lou Fringe (where his House was a highlight this year). Herbie's Vintage 72 certainly qualifies as non-traditional theatre space: an upscale French brasserie-style restaurant that has been a fixture in the Central West End for decades now.
St. Nicholas is the story of an alcoholic theatre critic who becomes enamored of a not-overly-talented actress, only to find himself sucked into a cult of vampires. "The plot and action represent, in many ways, a rather straightforward tale of redemption in the making" writes Tina Farmer at KDHX. "It is Hanrahan's skillful interpretation that compels us to lean in and listen to his tale. Through inflection, movement and direct invitation, he lures us in then wanders, pontificates and weaves this strangely satisfying and textured story." The Good Thief is the story of a Dublin burglary that goes wrong and erupts into a gun battle with multiple casualties. "The episode he recounts is so violent that at times," writes Judy Newmark at stltoday.com, "you might find yourself covering your eyes or your mouth — only to realize that, of course, there's nothing to see but a small man who has to use his fingers to make a “gun.” That's the power of good storytelling."