Thursday, September 10, 2015

Chuck's Choices for the weekend of September 11, 2015

As always, the choices are purely my personal opinion. Take with a grain (or a shaker) of salt.

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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

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.

Held Over:

The Amish Project
Mustard Seed Theatre presents Jessica Dickey's one-woman show The Amish Project through September 13. "Reactions to a school shooting in an Amish community lead us to the crossroads of grief and grace." Performances take place at the Fontbonne Fine Arts Theatre, 6800 Wydown Blvd. For more information, call (314) 719-8060 or visit the web site at

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.

Mr. Burns
Photo: Michael Young
R-S Theatrics presents Mr. Burns: a Post-Electric Play through September 20. " Mr. Burns tells the story of a group of survivors recalling and retelling an episode of the TV show The Simpsons shortly after a global catastrophe, then examines the way the story has changed seven years after that, and finally, 75 years later." Performances take place at The Ivory Theatre, 7620 Michigan in the Caroldelet neighborhood. For more information:

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
The Black Rep presents the musical revue Tell Me Somethin' Good through September 20. "One of the most popular shows ever produced at The Black Rep. This critically acclaimed audience favorite is a stroll down memory lane, beginning with street corner acapella doowop and moving through the 60s, 70s,80s right to hip hop. Nonstop music will have you dancing in your seats and in the aisles. " Performances take place at the Edison Theatre on the Washington University campus. For more information:

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.

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