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My take: Ms. Johnson has made several appearances at The Cabaret Project's open mic nights, and has consistently impressed me with her talent and professionalism. Plus, The Stage at KDHX is a great cabaret venue, wiith top notch lights and sound. The adjoining Magnolia Cafe has a good assortment of drinks and munchies as well.
|Sex With Strangers|
My take: Reviews of this show have been mixed, but the unusual choice of venue and provocative nature of the play make it worth a look, in my view. "Set in an appropriately appointed private space in the Central West End," writes Tina Farmer at KDHX, "love and attraction are explored intellectually, physically, and in close proximity to the audience. In this space, the intimacy, manipulation, and intensity of the fractured relationship are clearly visible and the emotional arc reverberates with immediacy...For me, the compelling show is thoughtful and provocatively authentic. If you enjoy nighttime cable television drama and are comfortable with the situations presented, you are likely to enjoy the immediacy and intensity of Sex With Strangers and the uninhibited, persuasive performances from [cast members Kelly] Hummert and [Christopher] Tipp."
Photo: John Lamb
My take: I suppose I shouldn't be including this. It's not that the reviews haven't been great; exactly the opposite in fact. Tina Farmer at KDHX seems to be speaking for the majority. "Gleefully discordant and filled with strong performances," she writes, "anchored by outstanding leads from Jon Hey and Lavonne Byers, the tragically comic musical is fantastic and fun." No, the reason I probably shouldn't include this is that all performances are now sold out. Still, people do cancel and I expect they'll be happy to put you on a waiting list. A good production of this rattling great yarn is worth waiting for, in my book.
My take: The Black Rep has always done well by the deep, literate works of August Wilson, and this production appears to be no exception. "As always with Wilson," writes Bob Wilcox at KDHX, "Seven Guitars satisfies with its rich language and its deep humanity." In her review at stltoday.com, Judy Newmark praises the acting ensemble and singles out Black Rep founder Ron Himes as "giving the performance of his career."