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Reviews of “The Zoo Story” and “The Dumb Waiter” at St. Louis Actors’ Studio

My youth was restored for a couple of hours recently at the Gaslight Theatre by St. Louis Actors’ Studio’s production of two one-acts, “The Zoo Story,” by Edward Albee, and “The Dumb Waiter,” by Harold Pinter…I appreciated seeing them again.

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Review of Dreaming Zenzile at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis

When people ask me what’s at the Rep now, I reply, “A musical about Miriam Makeba.” I have been surprised at how many people have responded, “Who?” Not just people born in this millennium. People not that much younger than me. Boomers. Did they not listen to the radio in the ’50s and ’60s? Watch TV? Read the newspapers?

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Review of 6 Rms Riv Vu at the Theatre Guild of Webster Groves

When it opened on Broadway in 1972, Bob Randall’s play 6 Rms Riv Vu ran for most of a year…A couple of years later, the play was performed on CBS with Carol Burnett and Alan Alda, no less, in the leads; both got Emmy nominations. Watching the current production at The Theatre Guild of Webster Groves, I could only ask myself, “Why?”

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Review of Bloomsday at the West End Players Guild

I thoroughly enjoyed Bloomsday at the West End Players Guild. Explaining why, however, is a challenge. My delight as viewer and difficulty as a reviewer come from the same source: the unusual presentation of time in the play by Steven Dietz. Saying too much about the interpretation I’ve arrived at may prevent others from experiencing the play as I did.

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Review of Sweat at the Black Rep

The Black Rep has found that sting in Lynn Nottage’s play Sweat. She writes about a more recent time when, as Tennessee Williams’ Tom Wingfield says, the huge middle class of America “were having their fingers pressed forcibly down on the fiery Braille alphabet of a dissolving economy.”

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Review of “The Ville: Avengeance!” at St. Louis Shakespeare Festival

This week’s opening of The Ville: Avengeance! is a triumph for St. Louis Shakespeare Festival and its presenting partner, 4theVille. They have proved their resilience and maintained the excellence that has distinguished Shakespeare in the Streets for nearly a decade.

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Review of “Shrek The Musical” at the Kirkwood Theatre Guild

Shrek is not the usual musical theatre stunningly handsome leading man. Shrek is an ogre. He’s big, very big. His skin is green. His head is misshapen. He has something like mushrooms for ears. When he shouts, the earth and its inhabitants tremble. 

How did Shrek become a musical theatre leading man? 

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Review of “Beauty and the Beast” at Vivre Theatre

Vivre Theatre was originally called the Next Generation Theatre Company. Young people mostly in their 20s who had developed an interest in theatre in high school and college wanted to continue the work, perhaps even make it a profession. They had all had some degree of training in acting, singing, dancing, and theatre crafts. The training shows in “Beauty and the Beast.”

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Review of “Chicago” at The Muny

As distinguished as its return to the stage has been, The Muny has saved the best for last with its season finale, the Kander and Ebb masterpiece, “Chicago.” The musical about sensational murders receives a sensational production.

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Review of “The Glass Menagerie” and “You Lied To Me About Centralia” at Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis

Rather like “Our Town,” “The Glass Menagerie” has become in quite a different way an essential American play. This production treats it well.