New This Week:
|My Name is Asher Lev|
Photo by John Gitchoff
My take: Reviews for this one have been good as well, but rather than give you a sampling, here's a longer quote from Michelle Kenyon's review at her blog that seems to sum it up well: "New Jewish Theatre's latest production is a compelling showcase for excellent local actors. It's also a fascinating look at one person's struggle to find his place in two different worlds that seem at odds with one another. My Name is Asher Lev is a well-structured, almost poetic look at an artist's journey of self-discovery, and his relationship with his art, his faith, his family, and the world around him."
|Songs for Nobodies|
Photo by John Lamb
My take: After seeing this last night, I have come to the conclusion that there is nothing Debby Lennon can't do. If she were to walk on water, I would not be surprised. As it is she plays 10 different roles including five legendary singers with unique vocal and performance styles (Judy Garland, Patsy Cline, Edith Piaf, Billie Holiday, and Maria Callas) with uncanny accuracy. Which is pretty close to miraculous. This is one you really should not miss.
My take: Kristen Goodman is a fine singer and solid cabaret artist. I probably won't get to see this myself, but based on what I have seen her do in the past, I have no hesitation recommending this show.
Photo by ProPhotoSTL
My take: The concept behind this show is intriguing, and reviews have generally been quite good. At the Post-Dispatch, for example, Calvin Wilson describes this as a "strange and wonderful comedy...which is not only incredibly imaginative but also outrageously hilarious." KDHX's Jacob Juntunen calls it "a fast-paced, fun, darkly humorous production." It's clearly not a conventional work, but maybe that's all the more reason to go.
Photo by Caroline Guffey
My take: New scripts are always welcome (as our new theatre companies), and a couple of our local critics are very taken with both the show and the production. "Madam," writes Michelle Kenyon on her blog, "takes a look at a once-prominent but now more obscure figure in St. Louis history, fashioning a story around her that proves to be a vehicle for a memorable score and strong performances. Even though some of the plot elements are predictable, it proves to be a thoroughly entertaining theatrical experience." "While the acting is solid," writes Mark Bretz at Ladue News, "what really distinguishes in this production of Madam are the standout vocal performances by the cast. The women in particular have stellar voices which beautifully shape Healy's lyrics and successfully navigate his sometimes intricate melodies."
|The Thanksgiving Play|
Photo by Phil Hamer
My take: The best of intentions can be taken to silly extremes. I have seen it happen in real life, so the premise of this comedy strikes me as fairly plausible. As Ann Lemmons Pollack writes in her blog, playwright Larissa FastHorse is "really tired of how history is so often wrong, being written by the winners, and how strongly people cling to the errors despite information to the contrary. Her attempt to set things straight on the subject of Thanksgiving, rather than a this-is-what-really-happened line, is a comedy to remind us to think more about the real story of Thanksgiving, and, by inference, a lot of other things...Great fun, considerable laughter, and ninety minutes with no intermission. " "FastHorse's satire is incisive but affectionate," writes Calvin Wilson at the Post-Dispatch, "maintaining a tone somewhere between 'Doonesbury' and Dorothy Parker. And her comically flustered characters are at once quirky and recognizable."