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New This Week:
Alton Little Theater presents the musical revue Forbidden Broadway Thursdays through Sundays, September 10-20, at 2450 North Henry in Alton, IL. "In this Off-Broadway hit musical revue, Broadway's greatest musical legends meet Broadway's greatest satirist in this hilarious, loving, and endlessly entertaining tribute to some of theater's greatest stars and songwriters. Hailed a “hilarious and brilliantly wicked” by The New York Times, you do not have to be a Broadway musical fan to enjoy this immensely entertaining show. This fall-down funny roast of Broadway features outrageous costumes and hilarious rewrites of the songs you know and love." For more information, call 618.462.6562 or visit altonlittletheater.org.
My take: I haven't see the ALT production, but I have seen earlier versions of the various Forbidden Broadway revues and they've been pretty consistently hilarious, so you know they're working with good material.
|The Amish Project|
My take: A friend who knows more about the Amish than anyone else I know has critized Dickey's script for trading in misconceptions and stereotypes, but reviews of this production have been very positive. Typical is Mark Bretz at Ladue News, who writes that "Mustard Seed Theatre delivers a powerful, profoundly moving interpretation of Dickey's heart-rending story. With artistic director Deanna Jent's carefully crafted guidance and Amy Loui's luminous portrayal of seven different characters, The Amish Project sets the bar high for upcoming productions in the 2015-16 theater season." Ms. Loui has gotten similar raves elsewhere, so maybe the real reason to see this is her virtuoso performance.
Photo: Michael Young
My take: I'm on the play reading committee at West End Players Guild. We read and considered this one for our coming season but ultimately rejected it, in part, because we thought it might be too technically demanding. it is, however, a wildly innovative concept that raises interesting questions about how legends are born and mutate. R-S is always up to a challenge and it will be interesting to see what they do with this odd little play. Reviews have been good. Tina Farmer calls it "thoroughly enjoyable and refreshingly different production" at KDHX while over at Ladue News, Mark Bretz calls it "a most provocative piece of theatrical terror."
|Tell Me Somethin' Good|
Photo: Stewart Goldstein
My take: This upbeat revue has been a favorite at the Black Rep for some time now. It gets refreshed and rearranged a bit with each new production, so expect some new faces and new songs in this celebration of fifty years and some change of black American musical experience. Black Rep artistic director Ron Himes, quoted in the St. Louis American notes that the show "is the most popular musical in Black Rep history. We've had more people come into the lobby and say, ‘when are you gonna bring tell me something good again?'" When would be now, as the kickoff the the company's 39th season.