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New This Week:
My take: The blossoming of local cabaret talent in St. Louis has been a wonderful thing to see over the last several years. The combination of the intensive training offered by Tim Schall's St. Louis Cabaret Conference and the availability multiple performance venues has generated enough attention to give the Mound City its own entry in the Reviews section of Cabaret Scenes magazine. Marsh has been a regular at the Cabaret Project's monthly open mic night (which I host) at Tavern of Fine Arts for a few years now, and I have come to admire both his smooth, old-fashioned crooner's delivery and his sense of humor.
My take: Here's more evidence of the flowering of St. Louis cabaret. Mara Bollini has been a familiar figure on the local theatre scene for a while now, which bodes well for her cabaret debut. I am firmly of the opinion that actors do some of the best cabaret. And you can't go wrong with the team of Tim Schall and Carold Schmidt.
|The Two-Character Play|
My take: The recently-concluded Tennessee Williams festival produced a remarkable variety of performances, including an unconventional take on The Glass Menagerie by Upstream and this "weird but oddly wonderful production" (to quote Mark Bretz of Ladue News) of a late and rarely-seen play. It might not be the playwright's best work, but it's being performed by a pair of actors—Michelle Hand and Joe Hanrahan—who are among the best at their craft. That, for me, means that it deserves serious consideration.
Photo: Eric Woolsey
My take: This "rousing, spirited production" (to quote KDHX critic Tina Farmer) is effectively a world premiere, and I'm a big fan of the idea of bringing new works to local stages. Better yet, New Jewish has assembled a very strong cast for this, headed by Shanara Gabrielle in the title role and Andrew Michael Neiman as her love interest.