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New This Week:
|The cast of Company|
Photo: Joe Angeles
My take: You can't go wrong with Sondheim and particularly with this show, with its trenchant and yet touching take on the difficult business of cobbling together romantic relationships. The Washington U. students are apparently doing well by this material, to judge by what our critic Sarah Richardson had to say over at KDHX. "Annamaria Pileggi does a fine job directing this enjoyable production", she writes. "The singing is strong and moving...The cast performs admirably...this is a great opportunity to see a delightful and moving production."
Photo: John Lamb
My take: Based on the 1991 movie of the same name, Dogfight juxtaposes the personal cruelty of a contest in which three Marines each try to find the ugliest girl to take to a dance in hopes of winning the prize for having the biggest "dog" of a date with the impersonal cruelty of the Vietnam war. Writing for the Ladue News, Mark Bretz notes that the "youthful cast expertly conveys all the emotions of the time. Seeing that bravado so genuinely portrayed on stage makes the memories of history all that more painful and powerful". I'll admit to being a bit biased in Stray Dog's favor, having done a number of shows with them over the years, but my experience has been that you can usually count on them for professional work and innovative programming.
Photo: Jill Ritter Lindberg
My take: New Line is in a new space and judging from the reviews it's a big improvement over their old digs at the Washington University South Campus Theatre on Clayton. "The company's new space is comfortable," writes Tina Farmer at KDHX, "and offers good views from every seat in the house, a bonus when watching a show with such a strong ensemble." The show is just the kind of edgy material that Scott Miller and New Line have made a speciality for many years now.
My take: The program for this show includes the following quote from the playwright: "Sometimes people discover heir purpose, their dignity, not in happiness, but in a twist of fate". As someone who found happiness as an indirect result of what most people would probably consider to be an unpleasant twist of fate, I could not agree more. Notices for the local premiere of this two-character play have been good, demonstrating that Upstream has once again demonstrated that taking on risky material can be very rewarding.
|One Too Many|
My take: These guys came to the open mic night I host for The Cabaret Project at the Tavern of Fine Arts a few months ago and just knocked everybody out. Is the cabaret tent big enough to include a cappella? I'd say so, and I'd say this is just the group to prove it.
The Tavern of Fine Arts presents singers Tim Schall, Deborah Sharn, and Bridgette Kossor, with pianist Rocky Tucker, in an evening of jazz standards and sophisticated pop on Friday, October 16, at 8 p.m. The Tavern of Fine Arts is at 313 Belt in the Debaliviere Place neighborhood. For more information: tavern-of-fine-arts.blogspot.com.
My take: Speaking of the Tavern of Fine Arts, here they are presenting an evening of great singing by some of the area's top vocalists. The Tavern's performance space is cozy and decorated with a regularly-changing array of local art, and their food and wine list has much to offer.