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|One Flea Spare|
Photo: Joey Rumpell
My take: Slightly Askew has once again brought local audiences a local premiere that has critics buzzing. "Slightly Askew Theatre Ensemble," write Mark Bretz at Ladue News, "currently offers a brilliant interpretation for the St. Louis premiere of this powerful and poignant story about the dangers that wreak ruin not only on the human body but its fragile psyche as well." "In their latest production," says the Snoop's Theatre Thoughts blog, "the SATE team uses their usual performance space at The Chapel to its fullest potential, presenting an intense, disturbing and remarkable production that’s sure to keep audiences thinking." And, of course, The Chapel provides its venue free of charge to the artists, so every dime you spend goes right to SATE.
Gordon's Entertainment presents St. Louis Legends on Sunday, August 30, at 3 p.m. The show is a cabaret performance the pays tribute to some of the celebrated performers "who have graced the stages of St. Louis with songs, dance, musical compositions, poetry, [and] comedy". Narrated by Linda Kennedy, the show stars Joe Mancuso, Uvee Hayes, Davey Dave, Wendy L. Gordon, Jeanne Trevor, Tish Haynes Keys, J. Samuel Davis, and KDHX's own Deborah Sharn. The performance takes place at the James Egan Theatre in the Florissant Civic Center in Florissant, MO. For more information: florissantmo.thundertix.com or call 314-921-5678
My take: I know enough of these performers, personally and/or professionally, to predict that this will be a killer evening of local jazz and cabaret all-stars. 'Nuff said.
Photo: Kim Carlson
My take: This seems to be St. Louis Shakespeare's season for parody. First we had the wittily revisionist Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler, and now comes a revisionist take by James McClure on a 1791 comedy by the Irish dramatist John O'Keeffe. Moved to the Wild West, the show is aims for broad comedy and appears to be succeeding. At the Belleville News Democrat, Lynn Venhaus writes that "St. Louis Shakespeare has produced a daffy delight, a refreshing tonic at summer’s end." "Wild Oats rolls from bit to bit and from scene to scene on sheer laughter, plus a little song," writes Judy Newmark at Stltoday.com. "Don’t hesitate to join in."
|Alexandra Walker LoBianco as Brünnhilde|
My take: Union Avenue's ambitious presentation of Wagner's complete Ring cycle concludes with this final opera in the series. The company is using reduced versions of the opera prepared by British composer Jonathan Dove and director Graham Vick, but even so this has been a very big and very risky project for them, and it deserves our support. Chicago's Lyric Opera starts another Ring cycle next year, but it's unlikely that you will see another one in St. Louis, reduced or not, for a long time. Happily, as I note in my review for KDHX, it's a strong production, thanks to tremendous performances by the singers and clear, focused stage direction by Karen Coe Miller. Yes, I miss the big moments only a full-size orchestra can provide, but to a certain extent the lack of theatrical flash sharpens the focus on the plot, the characters, and their implicit commentary on matters of morality and power. Which is a good thing.