Here’s our overview of what’s playing in the St. Louis metropolitan area on regional professional and community theater stages this weekend. See you at a show!
“Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike”
Feb. 15 – 25
Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.
Southampton Presbyterian Church, 4716 Macklind, St. Louis
What It’s About: Vanya and his adopted sister Sonia are living a quiet existence in their family home in Bucks County, Penn. Their B-list celebrity sister, Masha, arrives with boy-toy Spike in tow, and throws their world into comic upheaval. Mayhem ensues, featuring a star-struck neighbor, a soothsaying housekeeper and a very strange costume party.
Director: Rob Corbett
Starring: Jadienne Nolan Davidson, Jackie Wynne Smith, Michelle Girse Beczkala, Jessa Knust, Jonnie Onthespot and Jim Danek.
Of Note: This homage to Chekhov by Christopher Durang won the Tony Award for Best Play in 2013.
Patrick Huber photo
St. Louis Actors’ Studio
Feb. 9 – 25
Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m.; Sundays at 3 p.m.
St. Louis Actors’ Studio
Gaslight Theatre, 358 N. Boyle Ave., 63108
What It’s About: Ray, 56, has a new identity and made a new life for himself, after years in prison. He thinks he can’t be found, but Una, 27, after seeing a photo of Ray in a magazine, shows up at his office, unannounced. They recollect the passionate relationship of 15 years ago – when she was 12 and he was 40. She wants answers. Guilt, rage and raw emotions run high. The play is 80 minutes and runs without an intermission.
Starring: John Pierson, Elizabeth Kirkenmeier
Director: Annamaria Pileggi
Of Note: St. Louis Actors’ Studio has printed a “Trigger Warning” in the program: “Blackbird contains content that explicitly describes a sexual encounter between a minor and an adult, and may be unsuitable or triggering for some audience members. Discretion is advised.”
“Bud, Not Buddy”
Public Performances: Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m. through Feb. 25.
Metro Theatre Company and Jazz St. Louis
Grandel Theatre, 3610 Grandel Square in Grand Center, St. Louis
Tickets: MetroTix online or 314-534-1111
What It’s About: Based on the 2000 Newbery Medal-winning novel by Christopher Paul Curtiss, this play combines eight actors with a 13-piece jazz band, who will perform an original score from Grammy-winning composer Terence Blanchard. The story, set in the 1930s, is about a 10-year-old boy who is looking for his father, and finds a home and a passion for music. It was commissioned by the Kennedy Center and won the Coretta Scott King Award.
Starring: Anthony Terrell, Myke Andrews, Felice Skye Hutchinson, Don McClendon, Reginald Pierre, Carl Overly Jr., Nicholas Kryah and Chris Ware.
Director: Julia Flood
Of Note: Metro Theater Company, celebrating its 45th anniversary, and is the first company in the country to do “Bud, Not Buddy” after its commissioned debut at the Kennedy Center.
Tesseract Theatre Ensemble
Feb. 9 – 18
Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 4 p.m.
3224 Locust, St. Louis
What It’s About: Ellie and Jane, facing the loss of their only child, hunt for hope. Forced to make a choice under unbearable circumstances, faced with the minutiae of everyday life, and taxed by the weirdness of the human brain, this couple comes together, breaks apart, and grapples with the right thing to do in a situation with no guidepost.
Director: Kate McAllister
Starring: Erika Cockeham, Rae Davis and Katie Palazzola
Of Note: This is a new play by Ben Jolivet, and McAllister is a first-time director for Tesseract, which is in its fifth season.
“Dark of the Moon”
The Monroe Actors Stage Company
Friday and Saturday, Feb. 16 and 17, at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 18, at 2:30 p.m.
Historic Capitol Theatre in Waterloo, Ill.
What It’s About: A fantasy set in the Smoky Mountains, this 1945 play by Howard Richardson and William Berney includes witches, conjurers and mountain folks. It includes folk music, humor, superstition and tragedy.
Director: Pat Hunsaker
Starring: Richard Hunsaker, a large cast of young school-age actors, and Dawn Williamson playing guitar.
Of Note: The show is intended for mature audiences.
Act Two Theatre
Friday and Saturday, Feb. 16 and 17, at
Sunday, Feb. 18, at 2 p.m
St. Peters Cultural Arts Centre, 1 St. Peters Centre Blvd., St.Peters 63376.
What It’s About: In the Bible Belt, the beleaguered Turpin family proves that living and dying in the South ae seldom tidy and always hilarious. Other problems overshadow their father’s funeral as an eccentric community of misfits manage to pull together and help each other.
Director: Jacki Goodall
Starring: George Spelvin, Jessie Resimius, Dustin Burton, Laura Singleton, Jay Winkeler, Cara Faries, Tafra Perryman, Rick Kreitner, Avery Reinert, Hank Schupp, Debi Graveman, Dennis Mahlin, Lia Guagliardo and Andee Woolfe.
Of Note: This is the first show of Act Two’s 25th anniversary season.
Kranzberg Arts Center, 501 N. Grand, St. Louis
Fridays through Sundays until Feb. 25
Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 7 p. m., except for Feb. 25, which is at 2 p.m.
What It’s About: A day trader in quarantine delivers a relentless, near-manic monologue that reveals his derailment from the fast track, and the resultant downward, deadly spiral as though he may have contracted some horrible virus from the stock market monitors themselves.
Director: Patrick Siler
Starring: Alan Knoll
Of Note: Albert Ostermaier, one of Germany’s leading poet/playwrights, wrote this psychological study of a man and a society infected by greed. Artistic Director Philip Boehm translated it. This play is a one-act, without an intermission.
“Red Scare on Sunset”
Justin Been photo
Stray Dog Theatre
Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m. until Feb. 24
Matinee on Sunday, Feb. 18, at 2 p.m.
Tower Grove Abbey, 2336 Tennessee Avenue, 63104
What It’s About: In 1950s Hollywood, film star Mary Dale finds the Red Menace invading her Beverly Hills backyard. When she discovers her husband has been lured into the local Communist Party by way of a Method acting class and there is a left wing plot to abolish the star system, Mary wages a private war to save her husband, country, billing over the title. The McCarthy era is turned on its head in this outlandish take on a serious subject.
Starring: Will Bonfiglio, Shannon Nara, Stephen Peirick, Chris Ceradsky, Ariel Roukaerts, Stephen Henley, Gerry Love and Michael Baird
Of Note: The 1991 play is the third Busch play that Stray Dog has mounted since 2008.
West End Players Guild
Friday and Saturday, Feb. 16 and 17 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 18 at 2 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 15, at 8 p.m.
Union Avenue Christian Church
733 Union Boulevard in the Central West End
What It’s About: Inspiring true story of astronomer Henrietta Leavitt, who triumphed over prejudice and personal hardship at the turn of the 20th century to reshape for all time our scientific understanding of our universe and our own place in it.
Hired by Harvard Observatory, she discovers that the Great Refractors telescope is off-limits to women, and original research is not encouraged or allowed.
Cast: Rachel Tibbetts as Henrietta Leavitt, Colleen Backer as Margaret Leavitt; Graham Emmons as Peter Shawl Michelle Hand as Williamina Fleming; and Jamie Pitt as Annie Jump Cannon.
Director: Ellie Schwetye
Of Note: It’s West End Players Guild’s 107th season, and this is the first production of playwright Lauren Gunderson. In a Theatre magazine survey, she was named America’s “Most produced playwright for the 2017-2018 season.”
Chicago Sun-Times review stated: “Leavitt’s story unfolds with a beauty and complexity worthy of the skies she mapped.” …”a gorgeous, inspiring drama that manages to convey both the vastness of an endless world and the subtlest of human emotions.”
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “a luminously beautiful play… A lovingly-crafted period piece… Silent Sky is an intellectual epic told on a human scale.”
The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
Through March 4
Loretto-Hilton Center on the Webster University campus
What It’s About: Three generations of the Blake family have gathered in a dingy New York City apartment for Thanksgiving. Everyone’s trying to make the best of it, but life’s little indignities are piling up. With a mixture of pathos and dark humor, Stephen Karam’s vivid family portrait is nothing but honest.
Director: Steven Woolf
Starring: Brian Dykstra, Darrie Lawrence, Carol Schultz, Kathleen Wise, Lauren Marcus, Fajer Kaisi
Of Note: “The Humans” won four Tony Awards in 2016, including Best Play, Reed Birney as Erik Best Featured Actor, Jayne Houdyshell as Deirdre the Best Featured Actress and David Zinn, Best Scenic Design. It also was a finalist for Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
“Menopause the Musical”
Through March 31
The Playhouse at Westport Plaza
635 West Port Plaza
What It’s About: Four women meet while shopping for a black lace bra at a lingerie sale. After noticing unmistakable similarities among one another, the cast jokes about their woeful hot flashes, mood swings, wrinkles, weight gain and much more.
Starring: Laura Ackerman, Marty K.Casey, Lee Ann Matthews and Rosemary Watts
Director: Seth Greenleaf
Of Note: There are 1.7 million menopausal women worldwide. Nearly 11 million people in 13 countries (more than 350 cities) have attended the performance. It’s the longest running scripted musical in Las Vegas history. Internationally, the show has performed in Australia, Canada, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Philippines, United Kingdom, South Africa and South Korea
“Things My Mother Taught Me”
Clinton County Showcase
Friday, Feb. 16, and Saturday, Feb. 17, at 8 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 18, at 2 p.m.
Avon Theatre, 525 N. Second St., Breese, Ill.
What It’s About: Olivia and Gabe are moving into their first apartment together in Chicago. They’ve driven halfway across the country, and the moving day doesn’t go exactly as planned. Complications arise when both sets of parents show up to help. This romantic comedy takes a generational look at relationships, and how sometimes parents are passing their best lessons on to their children without realizing it.
Director: Lori Kuper
Starring: Lori Kuper, Mason Kuper, Tiesha Klostermann, Ron Maue, Saralyn Voltz, Alexis Strieker
“Who’s in Bed with the Butler?”
Alton Little Theater
Friday and Saturday, Feb. 16 and 17 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 18 at 2 p.m.
2450 N. Henry St. , Alton,
What It’s About: Set in a California winery, a mile-a-minute dialogue and a very twisted plot ensues when a billionaire bequeaths all his assets to his only daughter. But what about the mistress? The loyal housekeeper or even the bumbling detective?
Director: Kevin Frakes
Starring: Alison Beach, Kelly Hougland, Christie Newport, Patrick Anderson, Shawn Chevalier, Claudia Herndon and Brad Kincaid
Of Note: A $100 bottle of California wine will be raffled off. Alton also has expanded their wine and beer bar for patron refreshments.