Go See a Play! What’s Happening Jan. 25 – 30

By Lynn Venhaus
Managing Editor
As barren as the outdoors is of life, inside the walls of our theatrical spaces, large and small, are full of life. There are 15 shows available to audiences this weekend!
There is something for every taste — pick one or two or three! And Go See a Play!

Accelerando – A Circus Spy Thriller
Circus Harmony
Jan. 26 at noon and 2 p.m. and Jan. 27 at 2 p.m.
www.circusharmony.org/accelerando

What It’s About: The annual show features their famous flying children with new acts, including Chinese Pole and Hoop Diving.

Photo by Jon Gitchoff

“Alabama Story”
Jan. 2 – 27
The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
www.repstl.org

What It’s About: A determined librarian and a segregationist senator face off over an innocent children’s book in 1959 Montgomery. Depicting the marriage of two rabbits – who happen to have different-colored fur – the story has Sen. E.W. Higgins calling for a book ban. But even as the pressure mounts, librarian Emily Wheelock Reed refuses to yield to censorship. Inspired by true events.

Directed by Paul Mason Barnes

Starring: Larry Paulsen, Jeanne Paulsen, Carl Howell, Carl Palmer, Corey Allen, Anna O’Donoghue

“Avenue Q”
The Playhouse at Westport Plaza
Jan. 25 – March 3
www.playhouseatwestport.com

What It’s About: Part flesh, part felt and packed with heart, “Avenue Q” is a laugh-out-loud musical telling the story of Princeton, a college grad who moves into the city with big dreams and a tiny bank account. He and his Avenue Q neighbors struggle to find jobs, dates and their life’s purpose.

Director: Lee Anne Mathews, with Music Director Charlie Mueller

Starring: Andrew Keeler, Brent Ambler, Jennifer Theby-Quinn, Kevin O’Brien, Grace Langford, Illeana Kirven, April Strelinger

Of Note: For mature audiences. “Avenue Q” won Tony Awards, including

“Canfield Drive”
The Black Rep
Jan. 9 – 27
Edison Theatre on the campus of Washington University
www.theblackrep.org

What It’s About: The world premiere production is about two high-powered news reporters from across the aisle who are thrown together during the national coverage of the aftermath following the Michael Brown shooting death in Ferguson, Mo., in summer 2014.

As they untangle facts, they struggle to keep their private lives out of the spotlight.

Directed by Ron Himes

Starring: Kristen Adele Calhoun, Christopher Hickey, Amy Loui, Eric Conners

Of Note: Created from diverse interviews of people from around the corner and around the world, Canfield Drive was written by Kristen Adele Calhoun and Michael Thomas Walker. It is a National Performance Network Creation and Development Fund Project co-commissioned by 651 Arts in partnership with The St. Louis Black Repertory Company, and NPN.

Photo by Eric Woolsey

“District Merchants: An Uneasy Comedy”
New Jewish Theatre
Jan. 24 – Feb. 10
Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 2 and 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m.
Wool Studio Theater
Jewish Community Center, 2 Millstone Campus Drive
www.newjewishtheatre.org
314-442-3283

What It’s About: Love, litigation, deep passions and predatory lending are taken to a new level. The play wades fearlessly into the complexities of life in America. It is set among Black and Jewish populations in an imagined time and place, simultaneously Shakespearean and post- Civil War Washington, D.C.

Directed by Jacqueline Thompson

Cast: Gary Wayne Barker, J. Samuel Davis, Karl Hawkins, Ron White, Rae Davis

Of Note: In Aaron Posner’s reimagining, the play becomes less about the quality of mercy and more about how flexible a supposedly egalitarian society can be to the varied tribes struggling to find partners in America. Aaron Posner expertly blends humor, emotional truths and topics that make people think. He is able to create characters who are deeply flawed, like we are. In his “uneasy” comedy, he wants us to look at a snapshot in time, the Reconstruction Era, but what he has written is relevant to audiences today.

Fiddler on the Roof


“Fiddler on the Roof”

Fox Theatre
Jan. 29 –

“L’Italiana in Algeri”
Winter Opera St. Louis
Jan. 25 at 8 p.m. and Jan. 27 at 3 p.m.
The Skip Viragh Center for the Arts at Chaminade
425 S. Lindbergh

“Jekyll & Hyde”
Next Generation Theatre Company
Jan. 26 – Feb. 2
Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m.
James J. Eagan Center, Florissant
http://www.nextgenerationtheatre.company/jekyll/

What It’s About: An evocative tale of two men – one, a passionate doctor; the other, a terrifying madman – and two women, both in love with the same man and both unaware of his dark secret. Murder and chaos is pitted against love and virtue.

Starring: Keith Boyer as Dr. Henry Jekyll

Of Note: Rated PG-13 for violence.

Jesus Christ Superstar”
Looking Glass Playhouse
Jan. 24 – Feb. 3
Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.
301 West St Louis Street in Lebanon, Ill.
www.lookingglassplayhouse.com

What It’s About: The Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice musical is a timeless work set against the backdrop of a Biblical series of events but seen through the eyes of Judas Iscariot.

“Love, Linda”
Max and Louie Productions
Jan. 18 – Jan. 27
Marcelle Theatre in Grand Arts Center
www.maxandlouie.com

What It’s About: Linda Lee Thomas was the Southern beauty who married and was the driving force behind legendary song writer Cole Porter at the dawn of the roaring twenties. Though Cole Porter was gay, their companionship and love lasted through 35 years of marriage and a spectacular, glamour-filled life.

Through innovative jazz arrangements, the music and lyrics of Cole Porter examine the darker sides of their life while also celebrating the deep love that blossomed through their unconventional relationship.

Directed by Ken Page, Music Director Greg Schweizer

Starring Debby Lennon

The Marvelous Wonderettes”
Hard Road Theatre Productions
Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.
Highland Elementary School auditorium in Highland, Ill.
www.hardroad.org

What It’s about: The pop doesn’t stop in this musical about a high school prom in 1958 and, in the second act, a 10-year reunion in 1968, with a soundtrack that includes big hits from both decades.  

Photo by Jill Ritter Lindberg

“The Motherf*cker with The Hat”
R-S Theatrics
Jan. 25 – Feb. 1
Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 7 p.m.
.Zack, 3224 Locust
www.r-stheatrics.com

What It’s About: How do you know where you’re going…if you don’t know who has been in your home? The seriocomedy explores how 5 people in New York navigate loyalty, trust, and duty through friendship, love and the challenges of adulthood. And how no one should ever underestimate the importance of cleaning up their accessories.

Directed by:

Starring: Adam Flores, Sofia Lidia, Jesse Munoz, Aaron Dodd, Taleesha Caturah

“On Golden Pond”
Alton Little Theater
Jan. 25 – 27
Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.
Alton Little Theater, 2450 N. Henry in Alton, Ill.
618-462-6562
www.altonlittletheater.org

What It’s About: At a summer lake home, the play focuses on a daughter’s turbulent relationship with her father, and also the trails of a loving couple in the twilight years of a long marriage.

“Wittenberg”
Upstream Theater
Jan. 25 – Feb. 10
Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.; Sunday at 7 p.m. except Feb. 10 at 2 p.m.
Kranzberg Arts Center
www.upstreamtheater.org

What It’s About: It’s October 1517, and the new fall semester at the University of Wittenberg finds certain members of the faculty and student body at personal and professional crossroads. Hamlet (senior, class of 1518) is returning from a summer in Poland spent studying astronomy, where he has learned of a revolutionary scientific theory that threatens the very order of the universe, resulting in psychic trauma and a crisis of faith for him. His teacher and mentor John Faustus has decided at long last to make an honest woman of his paramour, Helen, a former nun who is now one of the Continent’s most sought-after courtesans. And Faustus’ colleague and Hamlet’s instructor and priest, Martin Luther, is dealing with the spiritual and medical consequences of his long-simmering outrage at certain abusive practices of the Church.

Directed by: Philip Boehm

Starring: Casey Boland, Steve Isom, Alan Knoll and Caitlin Mickey.

Of Note: St. Louis premiere.

Photo by Jon Gitchoff

“The Wolves”
The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
Jan. 18 – Feb. 3
Studio Theatre
Loretto-Hilton Center on the Webster University campus
www.repstl.org

What It’s About: Nine teenage girls prepare for battle on a soccer field. As they stretch and warm up together, the teammates’ nonstop banter reveals how a collection of disparate personalities bonds to form a team.

Directed by Melissa Rain Anderson

Starring: Cassandra Lopez, Cecily Dowd, Colleen Dougherty, Cece Hill, Maya J. Christian, Mary Katharine Harris, Esmeralda Garza, Rachael Logue, Keaton Whittaker, Nancy Bell,

Of Note: St. Louis premiere

“Workers’ Opera”
Bread and Roses
Sunday, Jan. 27
Missouri History Museum
1 to 2:30 p.m.
Free and open to the public
www.breadandrosesmo.gov

What It’s About: Bread and Roses presents these vignettes of new and revised sketches about laborers, unions, and workers’ rights in the past and the present. Every sketch is full of good music, some history and lots of political humor.

Director: Kathryn Bentley, associate professor at SIU-Edwardsville and Artistic Director of the Black Theater Workshop.

Music and script editing by Colin McLaughlin.

Of Note: Written and performed by members of Service Employees International Union, Communications Workers of America, United Media Guild, Actors Equity, Asbestos Workers, and others involved in the arts and organized labor.

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