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My take: Ben is a familiar face to theatre fans locally, with many shows to his credit at the Rep, Stages, and other professional companies. Reviewing his performance as J. Pierrepont Finch in Stages' How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying last July, for example, I wrote that "Mr. Nordstrom hits exactly the right combination winsomeness and winking slyness, along with a fluid sense of physical comedy." He also did a nice set as part of Neal Richardson's solo cabaret debut last weekend. Expect an entertaining evening.
|The Glass Menagerie|
My take: This radical re-thinking of the Williams classic starts with the assumption that, as a "memory play," it need not concern itself too much with realism. So, in this version, Tom is an elderly man man near the end of his life instead of a younger man still finding himself. Both Tom (J. Samuel Davis) and his mother Amanda (Linda Kennedy) are black while his sister is white, and the sister in this production is actually disabled instead of simply frail. As Steve Callahan writes in his review for KDHX, this doesn't necessarily work at all times. "The Upstream production of The Glass Menagerie will leave you wondering about many things," he says. "But that's good! Do see it. It's well worth your time." And, of course, there's the fact that Davis and Kennedy are very accomplished actors.
KTK Productions presents the comedy Laughing Stock through May 8. "A hilarious backstage farce and genuinely affectionate look into the world of the theatre. When the Playhouse, a rustic New England Summer Theatre, schedules a repertory season of Dracula, Hamlet and Charley's Aunt, comic mayhem ensues. We follow the well-intentioned but over-matched company from outrageous auditions to ego-driven rehearsals through opening nights gone disastrously awry to the elation of a great play well told and the comic and nostalgic season close." Performances take place at Southampton Presbyterian Church, 4716 Macklind. For more information: kurtainkall.org or call 314-351-8984.
My take: In his review for KDHX, Steve Callahan says that, despite less than ideal pacing, KTK's show "is a most enjoyable evening...you'll have a fun and laugh-filled time at KTK's Laughing Stock".
The Cabaret Project presents its annual Trivia Night Fundraiser on Friday, May 6, from 7-10 p.m. "Show us how much trivial knowledge you have stuffed in your brilliant mind! This is our annual fundraiser to support the St. Louis Cabaret Festival in July 2016 and our new educations programs. PRIZES FOR TOP TWO TABLES! RAFFLES, 50/50 and GENERAL FRIVOLITY GUARANTEED.” Hosted by Phil Donato, The Trivia Guy. Contact Tim Schall at info at thecabaretproject.org to join the fun! Doors open 6:30, Trivia begins at 7:00 p.m. Water, soda light snacks provided. For more information: thecabaretproject.org.
My take: Let me be up front here and admit that I'm on the board of The Cabaret Project. But having said that, I should point out that the reason I'm on the board is that TCP is doing important work in promoting, developing, and sustaining the art of cabaret in St. Louis. Right now we do that mainly by sponsoring the monthly open mic night at Tavern of Fine Arts and bringing St. Louis audiences the annual St. Louis Cabaret Festival, but fundraisers like this one will enable us to expand into other areas such as education and audience development. So come on down and show your trivia smarts; we'd love to see you. And you might even wind up sharing a table with some local cabaret stars.
|The Sound of Music|
Photo: Matthew Murphy
My take: I haven't seen any reviews yet and my schedule probably won't allow me to see this, but how can you go wrong with this Rodgers and Hammerstein classic? The original stage show isn't as sentimental as the often-criticized film and a big revival is long overdue. This particular production has been gathering very positive reviews as it makes its way across the USA.
My take: In a review of the original St. Louis University production of this last October, 88.1 KDHX reviewer Sarah Richardson wrote that "[t]he fates that are spun and the lives unwound in this tragedy reach astounding dramatic heights thanks to a marvelous alchemy of all the elements of theatre: design, staging, performance, and text...A delicious, theatrical nightmare par excellence." Reviewing the current version for KDHX, Steve Callahan calls it "a most remarkable evening of theatre." This is a chance to see the play done by the ensemble whose founder, Lucy Cashion, created the piece for St. Louis U. last fall. Ms. Cashion has made a name for herself locally for her ingenious reworkings of classic plays.