Rebirth and renewal are themes as the Easter holiday takes place April 1, the first Sunday after the first full moon of the spring equinox. No shows open this weekend, but a few continue — and interestingly enough reinforce the rebirth and renewal themes, as well as resilience, as a soggy March gives way to inevitable growth. Passover starts Friday and continues until April 7. And a little show called “Hamilton” comes to town Tuesday.
“As It Is in Heaven”
March 29 – 31
Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., No performance Easter Sunday
Mustard Seed Theatre
Fontbonne Fine Arts Theatre, 6800 Wydown Blvd.
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
March 29 – April 8
The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
Loretto-Hilton Center on Webster University campus
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 Lawson-Maeske
“Stiff: A Fast-Paced Story About Moving Slow”
March 29 – April 1
Inevitable Theatre Company
Kranzberg Arts Center, 501 N. Grand
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, and on March 29 and 30 will also feature Risk Theater Initiative Artistic Director Marianne Galloway.
Photo Mark Oristano
“The Color Purple”
March 29 – April 1
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.
“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