Go See a Play: What’s Happening This Weekend March 23

Oh, it’s March Madness all right. Marching, Watching, Listening, Cultivating and Cheering — that’s what we’re doing inside and outdoors this weekend. Why not experience a live theater connection to top off a jam-packed Spring-Has-Sprung weekend? Our enthusiasm won’t dampen for underdogs and passionate voices. Here’s what’s happening on local stages.

OPENING

“Stiff: A Fast-Paced Story About Moving Slow”
March 22 – April 1
Inevitable Theatre Company
Kranzberg Arts Center, 501 N. Grand
www.inevitabletheatre.org

What It’s About: Award-winning Dallas actress Sherry Jo Ward chronicles her struggle with Stiff Person Syndrome, an incredibly rare disease which impairs her mobility and causes her unexplained pain. Part stand-up comedy, part PowerPoint presentation. “STIFF” is from the Risk Theatre Initiative. It is a first-person account of what it means to re-assess one’s own goals and ambition when confronted with a life-altering diagnosis.

Of Note: “STIFF” is presented in partnership with Paraquad, a local nonprofit organization whose mission is to empower people with disabilities to increase their independence through choice and opportunity.
 ITC and Paraquad will be sponsoring a series of post-show talkbacks after each performance on March 25, 29, and 30 will also feature Risk Theater Initiative Artistic Director Marianne Galloway.

Photo Mark Oristano

 

CONTINUING
“Anything Goes”

Sold-out March 22-24
Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m.
New Line Theatre
Marcelle Theatre, 3310 Shepard Drive
www.newlinetheatre.org
Box Office: MetroTix.com, 314-534-1111

What It’s About: It’s 1934 and we’re going on a wild transatlantic cruise full of sex, booze, God, and gangsters. Welcome to the S.S. American, where anything can happen, and it usually does in this mashup of musical comedy, gangster movie, screwball comedy, and social satire, because even in terms of form, anything goes!

Director: Scott Miller and Mike Dowdy-Windsor

Starring: Sarah Porter, Evan Fornachon, Eileen Engel, Kimmie Kidd-Booker, Aaron Allen, Sarah Gene Dowling, Zachary Allen Farmer, Jeffrey Wright, Dominic Dowdy-Windsor, Will Pendergast, Clayton Humburg, Jason Blackburn, Michelle Sauer, Larissa White, Alyssa Wolf and Sara Rae Womack.

Of Note: New Line returns Cole Porter’s rowdy, naughty, subversive masterpiece of musical comedy to its wild, wacky roots, and its stinging satire of Americans’ habit of turning religion into show business and criminals into celebrities, along the way skewering Wall Street, Prohibition, the Brits, class, and several other ripe targets.

Photo Jill Ritter Lindberg

“As It Is in Heaven”

March 16 – 31
Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m.
Mustard Seed Theatre
Fontbonne Fine Arts Theatre, 6800 Wydown Blvd.
314-719-8060
www.mustardseedtheatre.com

What It’s About: The tranquility of women living in an 1830’s Shaker community in Kentucky is threatened by the arrival of newcomers claiming to see angels.

Director: Deanna Jent

Starring: Amy Loui, Jennelle Gilreath, Patrice Foster, Alicia Reve Like, Laurie McConnell, Mary Schnitzler, Christina Sittser, Amanda Wales and Leslie Wobbe

Photo John Lamb

“Born Yesterday”

©Photo by Jerry Naunheim Jr.

March 16 – April 8
The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
Loretto-Hilton Center on Webster University campus
www.repstl.org

What It’s About: Junkyard tycoon Harry Brock swaggers into Washington, D.C., determined to buy a senator or two. The monkey wrench in his schemes is Billie Dawn, his seemingly dim-witted ex-showgirl girlfriend. But when Brock hires a reporter to tutor Billie, she rapidly comes into her own as a force to be reckoned with. This sharp and snappy comedy hilariously skewers Beltway corruption.”

Director: Pamela Hunt
Starring: Ruth Pferdehirt, Andy Prosky, Aaron Bartz, Maison Kelly, Michael Cassidy Flynn, Randy Donaldson, Michelle Hand, Ted Deasy, Ryan

“Caught”
March 9 – 25
The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
Emerson Studio
www.repstl.org

What It’s About: In the era of “fake news,” “Caught” creates a bracingly unique experience that will keep you wondering what’s real and what’s theatre. An art exhibition by a Chinese dissident is the first phase of a multi-layered puzzle, which presents the audience with an ever-changing set of rules. Christopher Chen’s piece deftly examines the blurred lines between truth and artifice, both in the theatre and in life

Director: Seth Gordon
Starring: Kenneth Lee, Rachel Lin, Jeffrey Cummings, Rachel Fenton

Photo: Peter Wochiak

“The Color Purple”

March 20 – April 1
Fox Theatre
www.fabulousfox.com
MetroTix: 314-534-1111

What It’s About: Based on Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning 1982 novel and the 1985 film that garnered 11 Oscar nominations, the Broadway musical tells the story of African-American women’s struggles during the 1930s in Georgia.

The musical adaptation opened on Broadway in 2005, produced by Quincy Jones, Oprah Winfrey and Harvey Weinstein, and ran for 910 performances, closing in 2008. An acclaimed Tony-winning revival in 2015, which closed in 2017, is now on national tour.

The book is by Marsha Norman, the Tony-nominated and Grammy-winning score by Brenda Russell, Allee Wilson and Stephen Bray.

Director: John Doyle (Tony-winning revival of “Company”)Starring: Adrianna Hicks, Carla R. Stewart, Carrie Compere, Gavin Gregory, J. Daughtry and N’Jameh Camara.

Of Note: Cast members from the 2016 Broadway revival lead the touring company – Hicks, Stewart and Compere.

The score’s composers are connected to some of the biggest pop hits ever. Brenda Russell wrote “Get Here,” Allee Willis wrote “I’ll Be There for You” (the ‘Friends’ theme) plus songs for Earth, Wind and Fire (“September,” “Boogie Wonderland”) and Stephen Bray was a longtime collaborator with Madonna, co-wrote “Like a Prayer.”

The leading actresses of both the original Broadway production and the revival won Tony Awards for Best Actress – LaChanze and Cynthia Erivo.

“Exit Laughing”
March 16 – 25
Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m.
Alton Little Theatre, 2450 North Henry, Alton, Ill.
618-462-6562
www.altonlittletheater.org.

What It’s About: “Exit Laughing” by Paul Elliott has been likened to be part “Golden Girls” and part “Designing Women” in that it relies on characters who are well – ‘characters’. And yes, the play’s initial premise is that we lose good friends and things can get difficult in the later years of life – but wait – the play is not at all about death but about living life to the fullest. When the biggest highlight of your life for the past thirty years has been your weekly card night out with the girls, what do you do when one of your foursome inconveniently dies? If you’re Connie, Leona and Millie, three southern ladies from Birmingham, Ala., you do the most daring thing you’ve ever done. You “borrow” the ashes from the funeral home for one last card game and the wildest, most exciting night of their life begins with a police raid, a stripper, mega-laughs and a whole new way of looking at all the fun you can have when you’re truly living. And it turns out that the departed Mary has a lot to say through messages and gifts she has arranged to arrive after her death—she sets in motion a new beginning for her friends and even a recalcitrant daughter comes to understand the difference between living and just existing.

“The Great Gatsby”

March 16 – 25
Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m.
O’Fallon Theatre Works
O’Fallon Municipal Centre, 100 N. Main St., O’Fallon, Mo.
www.ofallon.mo
636-379-5606

What It’s About: Based on the classic American novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the breathtaking glamour and decadent excess of the Jazz Age come to life in this brilliant adaptation by Simon Levy, approved by the Fitzgerald Estate. Self-made millionaire Jay Gatsby passionately pursues the elusive Daisy Buchanan, and Nick Carraway, a young newcomer to Long Island, is drawn into their world of obsession, greed and danger.

Director: Katy Fry
Starring: Colin Dowd, Rebecca Loughridge, Andrew Woodard, Kellen Green, Tori Stukins, Mark Killmer, Stefanie Kluba, Andrew Woodard, Kathy Fugate, Dave Rush, Danielle Sherman, Ryan Elizondo

Of Note: This production has an original soundtrack by Jeremy Melton.

“The Odd Couple”
March 16-18, 23-25
Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m.
The Alpha Players of Florissant
Florissant Civic Center, 1 James J. Eagan Drive, Florissant, Mo 63033
Tickets: Box-office 314-921-5678 or visit https://florissantmo.thunertix.com
www.alphaplayers.org

What It’s About: What do you get when you put an opera-loving, wine-drinking neat freak and a beer-guzzling slovenly sportswriter together as roommates in a small New York apartment?
Neil Simon’s smash hit comedy has been turned into a popular movie, TV show and a reboot. This is where it all began.

Director: Thomas Stone
Starring: Patrick Brueggen, Todd Micali, Vic Porcelli, Anthony Norton, Bill Miller, George Lewandowski, Payton Gilliam, Nori Rhodes

“Purple Heart City”


March 16 -25
Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 4 p.m.
Tesseract Theater Company
The .ZACK, 3224 Locust
www.tesseracttheatre.orgz
MetroTix: 314-534-1111

What It’s About: Taylor Gruenloh’s new play is based on true events happening in North Country St. Louis with Cold Water Creek.

Nobody has seen Daniel in eighteen months. When he suddenly returns home, hoping to pick life up where he left it, he finds a family hesitant to forgive him and a community that is tired and haunted by a past of having nuclear waste contaminating its creeks and backyards.

Director: Brittanie Gunn
Starring: Kelvin Urday, Darrious Varner, Ashley Netzhammer

“The Ruby Sunrise”
March 16 – 25
Kirkwood Theatre Guild
Robert G. Reim Theatre, Kirkwood Community Center, 111 S. Geyer Road.
314-821-9956
www.ktg-onstage.org.

What It’s About: Illuminating two fascinating moments in America’s cultural and political history, the play sets off from a farm in Indiana in 1937, as a young girl named Ruby struggles to turn her dream of the first all-electrical television system into a reality. Move to 1957, to a McCarthy-era New York TV studio as Lulu, Ruby’s daughter, attempts to get her mother’s story told through the medium of television. Rinne Groff’s script is filled with humor and irony as the story charts the course of the phenomenon of television: from early idealism and sparks of genius to promises fulfilled and compromises brokered, and beyond.”

Director: Sarah Holt
Starring: Stephanie Voteau, Isaac Weaver, Mara Bollini, Tanya Badgley, Jeff Kargus, Scott De Broux and Denise Chappell.

 “Menopause the Musical”

Through March 31
The Playhouse at Westport Plaza
635 West Port Plaza
www.playhouseatwestport.com

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

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *