New This Week:
My take: This is a rare chance to see a work by a neglected playwright which very likely has never been seen on a local stage. The fact that each act has a different director is also a rare chance to see multiple takes on the same material in the same evening.
My take: When I saw Dean Christopher's "Rat Pack Christmas" show back in December I was, frankly, bowled over by it. . More to the point, I wrote that his Dean Martin impersonation was especially impressive, completely nailing the singer's vocal quality and "drunk act" shtick . Needless to say, I can recommend this show without reservation (although I wouldn't try to see it without a reservation, as it is officially sold out). Call the Blue Strawberry and see if they can fit you in. You won't regret it.
|La fanciulla del west|
Photo by Riq Dilly
My take: As I write in my review for KDHX, this rarely seen Puccini melodrama is an unexpected pleasure. Rarely seen operas by major composers are often rare for good reasons, but La Fanciulla del West is, in many ways, a better piece of theatre than some of Puccini's more popular works. Winter Opera is doing a bang-up job with it as well.
My take: I have missed the previous appearances at the Blue Strawberry by Ms. Hayes, but what I have heard from those who have seen her leads me to believe I have missed a damn fine show. Hence the recommendation.
|The Band's Visit|
Photo by Matthew Murphy
My take: In the era of the jukebox musical, the amusement park musical, the reverse revival musical rewrite , and similar extravaganzas, one occasionally encounters an intimate, small-cast show that stands out like a tiny diamond in a pile of costume jewelry. Reviews, including my own, have been uniformly positive. This is an intimate show that nevertheless fills the huge Fox with heart and warmth.
My take: A St. Louis native who is best known for her "choreopoem" For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow Is Enuf, a work that combines theatre, dance, music and poetry to produce a unique hybrid art form. Her Spell #7 is less well known but, as Calvin Wilson writes at the Post-Dispatch, it nevertheless "conjures a mood of poetic enchantment." "Director Ron Himes and choreographer Heather Beal collaborate impressively," he notes, "coordinating words and movement with seeming effortlessness. And the performances are splendid, capturing the nuances of Shange&'s avant-garde sensibility."