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New This Week:
The Performing Arts Department at Washington University presents the A.E. Hotcchner Playwriting Festival Friday and Saturday, featuring new plays by student authors. This year's plays are : We the Congressman by Katie Goldston on Friday, September 25, at 7:00 p.m.; Library Love Story by Rachel Wilson on Saturday, September 26, at 2:00 p.m.; and The Divine Buoyancy of Being by Cary J. Simowitz on Saturday, September 26, at 7:00 p.m. The performances take place in the A.E. Hotchner Studio Theatre in the Mallinckrodt Student Center on the Washington University campus. For more information, call 314-935-6543 or visit pad.artsci.wustl.edu.
My take: Anything that encourages new playwrights is good as far as I'm concerned, and some of the plays from the Hotchner festival have gone on to have lives outside of the festival. Drop by and see what the next generation of authors is producing.
|The Full Monty|
Photo: Peter Wochniak
My take: Not everybody agrees with me, but I think this stage version of the classic British comedy works pretty well, with a book by noted playwright Terrence McNally that respects the original screenplay and a very effective score by David Yazbeck. Stages has demonstrated that they can be relied upon for a professional production, so I have no hesitation in recommending this.
|Venus in Fur|
Photo: John Lamb
My take: Full disclosure: I'm on the board and play reading committee at West End and was a big supporter of this play. I was very impressed by the Rep's production of this smart comedy/drama/fantasy when they did it and I expect good things from this production. I have worked with both of the actors and can personally attest to their skill. Trust me, Paula Stoff Dean was born to play this part.
|All the Way|
Photo: Jerry Naunheim, Jr.
My take: If this play tells us anything, it's that the fight for justice never ends because the forces of hate, fear, and repression never go away. Brian Dyskstra heads a large and impressive cast as LBJ, beset on all sides because he decided to place principle above party and the good of the nation about political expedience by pushing through the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It's hard to imagine a contemporary politician at the national level who would have this kind of courage, which does not bode well for the republic. This is great theatre and a great moral lesson. You will be sorry if you miss it. Performances continue through October 4th.