Sunday, December 04, 2016

St. Louis theatre calendar for the week of December 5, 2016

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The University of Missouri at St. Louis presents 1984, adapted from the George Orwell novel by by Michael Gene Sullivan, Friday and Saturday a 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m., December 9 - 11. "1984 brings us the story of Winston Smith, a cog in the giant machine state of Oceania. Physically and mentally under the omnipresent eye of Big Brother, Winston has been caught struggling for scraps of love and freedom in a world awash with distrust and violence. With the brutal "help" of four Party Members, Winston is forced to confess his Thoughtcrimes before an unseen inquisitor, and the audience -- which acts as a silent witness to his torture. A ferocious and provocative adaptation of one of the most prescient works of literature of the last century." The performances take place at the Kranzberg Center at Grand and Olive in Grand Center. For more information,

Tesseract Theatre Company presents the St. Louis premiere of Artistic Director Taylor Gruenloh's Adverse Effects, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sundas at 4 p.m., December 9 - 11. "After the unexpected death of their daughter, Phil (Carl Overly Jr.) and Jessica (Musa Gurnis) must find a balance in their marriage while struggling with being middle class in the Midwest while battling against the interests of pharmaceutical reps, medical researchers, and a local journalist looking for the truth. Richard (Phil Leveling), a university scientist, is being paid by a pharmaceutical company to put his name on studies he didn't conduct. Allysa (Julianne King), the representative of the pharmaceutical company, wants a more lavish life. Maurice (Maurice Walters II), the local reporter for a small town online newspaper, wants to connect some dots." Performances take place at The .ZACK, 3224 Locust in Midtown. For more information:

All is Calm
Photo: John Lamb
Mustard Seed Theatre presents the a cappella musical All is Calm Thursdays through Sundays through December 11. "Join us in celebrating the power of peace in this acapella musical based on the true story of soldiers during World War I who for one night, put down their arms and played soccer instead of exchanging bullets." 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

St. Louis Actors' Studio presents David Mamet's American Buffalo through December 18. "This volatile drama starred Robert Duvall in the original Broadway production and has seen revivals with Al Pacino most recently on Broadway . In a Chicago junk shop three small time crooks plot to rob a man of his coin collection, the showpiece of which is a valuable “Buffalo nickel”. These high-minded grifters fancy themselves businessmen pursuing legitimate free enterprise. But the reality of the three- Donny, the oafish junk shop owner; Bobby, a young junkie Donny has taken under his wing and “Teach”, a violently paranoid braggart- is that they are merely pawns caught up in their own game of last-chance, dead-end, empty pipe dreams." Performances take place at the Gaslight Theatre, 358 North Boyle For more information, call 314-458-2978 or visit

Will Bonfiglio in Buyer and Cellar
Photo: John Lamb
Stray Dog Theatre presents the one-man comedy Buyer and Cellar through December 17. “Underemployed Los Angeles actor, Alex More, is hired to work in a faux shopping mall created by superstar, Barbra Streisand in the basement of her Malibu home. One day, the Lady Herself comes below to play. It soon feels like real bonding downstairs, but will their relationship ever make it upstairs? Buyer & Cellar is a comedic tour-de-force, fictionally drawn from fact, which explores the price of fame, the cost of things, and the oddest of odd jobs." Performances take place at The Tower Grove Abbey, 2336 Tennessee. For more information, visit or call 314-865-1995.

The Gateway Men's Chorus presents A Celebration of the Season on Friday and Saturday, December 9 and 10, at 8 p.m. GMC unwraps their 30th anniversary season with a night of beautiful music, campy carols, and holiday favorites, including John Rutter's "Gloria" with a full brass and percussion ensemble and pipe organ. The concert takes place at Union Avenue Christian Church, 733 Union at Enright in the Central West End. For more information:

Concord Concerts presents: A Charlie Brown Christmas - Live! Friday at 11 a.m., 5 p.m., and 7 p.m. and Saturday at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., December 9 and 10. "Join Charlie Brown on his quirky journey as he tries to direct the school Christmas pageant. While everyone is acting materialistic, he tries to restore the holiday spirit with a ragged little fir tree. Experience the power of this wonderful story live onstage as Charlie Brown turns to his best friend Linus to learn the seasons real meaning. Performances take place at Concord Trinity United Methodist Church, 5275 S. Lindbergh Blvd. For more information:

A Christmas Carol
Photo: Jerry Naunheim, Jr.
Through December 24, the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis presents A Christmas Carol, adapted by David H. Bell from the novel by Charles Dickens. "On Christmas Eve, the miser Ebenezer Scrooge is given a chance at redemption as he's visited by four ghosts - his old partner Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future - who teach him it's never too late to change." Performances take place at the Loretto-Hilton Center on the Webster University campus. For more information:

The Playhouse at Westport Plaza presents the bawdy interactive comedy Dixie's Tupperware Party through December 18. "After a final meeting with her parole officer, this ex-con mother of three from a trailer park in Alabama straighten out her life by selling the iconic plastic bowls. She quickly became the hottest seller in the country by throwing the kind of parties you won't soon forget. With her booze-filled sippy cup, Dixie shares many alternative uses for what she calls "the most fantastic plastic crap on the planet" which made THE TODAY SHOW cheer, "This is not your grandmother's Tupperware Party." The show is bawdy and interactive and you can actually buy some Tupperware along the way. ADULT CONTENT." The Playhouse at Westport Plaza is at 635 West Port Plaza. For more information:

Driving Miss Daisy
Photo: Eric Woolsey
New Jewish Theater presents Driving Miss Daisy through December 18. "In 1948 Atlanta, Daisy Werthan, a rich, sharp-tongued, Jewish, 72-year-old widow has just demolished another car. Her son Boolie informs her that he will from this point on be hiring a chauffeur for her. Thus begins the 25-year relationship between Daisy and Hoke Colburn, her driver. She regards him with disdain and he is not impressed with her patronizing tone and latent prejudice. But despite their differences, they grow closer and more dependent on each other over time. The once contentious relationship blossoms into a profound, life-altering friendship that transcends all the societal boundaries placed between them. An iconic tale of pride, changing times and the transformative power of friendship." Performances take place in the Marvin and Harlene Wool Studio Theater at the Jewish Community Center, 2 Millstone Campus Drive in Creve Coeur. For more information: or call 314-442-3283.

Finding Neverland
Photo: Carol Rosegg
The Fox Theatre presents the musical Finding Neverland running through December 18. "Directed by visionary Tony®-winner Diane Paulus and based on the critically-acclaimed Academy Award®-nominated film starring Johnny Depp, Finding Neverland tells the incredible story behind one of the world's most beloved characters: Peter Pan. Playwright J.M. Barrie struggles to find inspiration until he meets four young brothers and their beautiful widowed mother. Spellbound by the boys' enchanting make-believe adventures, he sets out to write a play that will astound London theatergoers. With a little bit of pixie dust and a lot of faith, Barrie takes this monumental leap, leaving his old world behind for Neverland, where nothing is impossible and the wonder of childhood lasts forever. The magic of Barrie's classic tale springs spectacularly to life in this heartwarming theatrical event." The Fox is on North Grand in Grand Center. For more information:

Webster University's Conservatory of Theatre Arts presents the musical The Glorious Ones Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m., December 9-11. “In sixteenth-century Italy, a new form of comedic theatre is forming at the hands of Flaminio Scala: Commedia Dell'arte. Flaminio gathers a group of lowlifes together to create an acting troupe that specializes in improvisational comedy with masked characters. From the creators of Seussical and Ragtime comes a beautiful tribute to an important moment in theatre history and to the highs and lows of being an actor, then and now. Prepare yourselves for jokes that are as bawdy as they are old and as silly as they are sweet.” Performances take place in the Stage III Auditorium in Webster Hall on the Webster University campus. For more information, or call 314-968-7128.

The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis's Imaginary Theatre Company presents the children's musical A Gnome for Christmas opening on Saturday, December 17, with performances at 11 am and 3 pm, and running through December 23. There is also a special online livestream performance on Saturday, December 10, at 11 a.m. "When Lulu's quirky father fails to sell yet another of his odd inventions, the pair must pack their bags and move to more meager accommodations. All they can afford is a rundown old farmhouse where the fence needs mending and the landlord's cranky, even at Christmastime! Lulu's about ready to give up, but when mysterious and magical things start happening, it seems that this farm might be home to more than meets the eye. This warm-hearted holiday musical reminds us of the importance of helping others and the happiness found in friends." Performances take place in the Heagney Theatre at Nerinx Hall High School, 530 East Lockwood Avenue, Webster Groves. For more information:

Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville presents A Good Woman an adaptation of Bertolt Brecht's The Good Soul of Szechuan by Chuck Harper and the cast and featuring original poetry by Kenny Coleman, through December 11. "A Good Woman explores what it takes to be good in a world that is not so good. Says Chuck Harper, the Director, 'It is a play that I have always wanted to work on, more because I wanted to figure it out than because I had an idea of what I wanted to do with it. In our adaptation we've rewritten the play based on several translations. It is simple in its presentation, but the situations and questions are quite complex. This is a fascinating play.' Mr. Harper also noted that this version is not for children due to the adult language used throughout the show." Performances take place in the Metcalf Theater on the campus in Edwardsville, IL. For more information, call 618-650-2774 or visit

The St. Peters Cultural Arts Center presents singer Tim Schall in A Holiday Celebration on Friday, December 9, at 7 p.m. Carol Schmidt is the music director for this evening of seasonal favorites. The St. Peters Cultural Arts Center is at One St. Peters Centere Blvd in St. Peters, MO. For more information:

The Bissell Mansion Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre presents It's a Wonderful Death through January 8, 2017. The Bissell Mansion is at 4426 Randall Place. For more information:

The Making of the Star Wars Holiday Special
St. Louis Shakespeare's Magic Smoking Monkey Theatre presents The Making of the Star Wars Holiday Special Friday and Saturday at 8 and 10:30 p.m. December 9 and 10. "Hop aboard the Millennium Falcon and help Luke, Leia, Han, Artoo, and Threepio get Chewbacca home in time to celebrate Life Day with his Wookie family! Originally airing just once in 1978, Magic Smoking Monkey brings this galactic and cosmically bizarre spectacular back to life, and takes you behind the curtain to witness its creation. Featuring a kitschy cavalcade of 70s superstars like Bea Arthur, Art Carney, Charles Bronson, and other surprises - your holiday season will never be the same! Costume contest nightly - come as your favorite member of the Rebel Alliance or Wookie or Droid or Representative of the Galactic Empire or 1970's TV personality and win! (braggin' rights and a cheap prize!)" Performances take place at the Regional Arts Commission in University City. For more information:

Metro Theatre Company and the Missouri History Museum present The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane December 9 - 30. "Edward Tulane is a toy who cares for nobody but himself. Ripped from the arms of the little girl who adores him, this privileged china rabbit is thrown into a life-changing adventure. From the depths of the ocean to the top of a garbage heap, Edward discovers what it means to love others on his extraordinary journey home. With themes of family, empathy, home and redemption, this play is the perfect way to celebrate the warmth of the holiday season." Performances take place in the Lee Auditorium at the Missouri History Museum in Forest Park. For more information:

Southampton Church presents Parkside by St. Louis playwright Jim Danek Friday and Saturday at 8 pm and Sunday as 2 pm, December 9-11. Southampton Church is at 4716 Macklind in South St. Louis City. For more information, email darriousvarner at

Santa's Helpers Inc. presents Songs of Peace and Joy: The Music of Christmas on Sunday, December 11, at 3 p.m. "Merry Keller and her singing friends, Bob Becherer, Brian Derton, Paul MacFarlane, Katie McGrath, Angie Nicholson, and Dionna Raedeke will delight and entertain you with all your favorite holiday music! Ron Bryant is at the piano and Paul McFarlane will be on guitar. This concert will donate net proceeds to Santa's Helpers, Inc. providing the spirit of Santa to thousands of St. Louis families for over 48 years." The performance takes place at the Sun Theatre, 3625 Grandel Square in Grand Center. For more information:

Looking for auditions and other artistic opportunities? Check out the St. Louis Auditions site.
For information on events beyond this week, check out the searchable database at the Regional Arts Commission's Events Calendar.
Would you like to be on the radio? KDHX, 88.1 FM needs theatre reviewers. If you're 18 years or older, knowledgeable in this area, have practical theatre experience (acting, directing, writing, technical design, etc.), have good oral and written communications skills and would like to become one of our volunteer reviewers, send an email describing your experience and interests to chuck at Please include a sample review of something you've seen recently.

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