Best Bets: What’s Happening This Weekend

By Lynn Venhaus
Managing Editor
Treat Mom to a play or musical this weekend? Or next weekend! Any time is the right time to Go See a Play! Here’s what is happening now.  And make time for the Tennessee Williams Festival! Only once a year, and the time is now!

“Biloxi Blues”
Clayton Community Theatre
May 2-12
Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m.; Sunday at 2 p.m. but no performance May 10
Washington University South Campus Theatre

What It’s About: The second in “The Eugene Trilogy,” Neil Simon’s semi-autobiographical comedy centers on the contest of wills between a drill sergeant and an intellectual recruit at an Army base in Biloxi, Miss., in 1943. Along the way, he loses his innocence in many ways.

“Death Tax”
Mustard Seed Theatre
May 9 – 19
Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.
Fontbonne Fine Arts Theatre

What It’s About:  by Lucas Hnath “As Maxine nears the end of her life she is certain of three things: Death, Taxes and the Greed of her daughter who wants her to die quickly. A desperate nurse vows to keep her alive, but at what cost? Darkly comic, the play explores morality and forgiveness.” Performances take place at the Fontbonne Fine Arts Theatre, 6800 Wydown Blvd. For more information, call (314) 719-8060 or visit the web site at

“Dear Mr. Williams”
The Tennessee Williams Festival
Friday at 8:30 p.m. and Saturday at 3:30 and 8:30 p.m., May 10 and 11
Curtain Call Lounge

What It’s About: The blue devils of sex, alcohol, and mendacity take center stage in this tender and funny coming-of-age story of a young gay artist. With the great American playwright as his compass, writer and performer Batt takes us on a thrilling and very personal journey out of the shadows into a bright light of self-discovery. The tumultuous-and sometimes treacherous-journey from adolescence to adulthood is one we all must take, but Batt’s one-man tour de force proves that it’s oh so much more fascinating and fun with Tennessee Williams as your guide.

“Freaky Friday”
Curtain’s Up Theater Company
May 10-12
Thursday and Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m.
Dunham Theatre, SIUE

What It’s About: Based on the Disney movie, “Freaky Friday” is a musical about a mother and daughter changing places to comical effect.

“A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur”
The Tennessee Williams Festival
May 11- 19
Saturdays and Sundays at 1 and 5 p.m.

What It’s About: Four eccentric and unforgettable women fry chicken, plan a picnic to Creve Coeur Lake, and cope with loneliness and lost dreams in an efficiency apartment on Enright Avenue in the Central West End circa the mid-1930s. Williams gives us more laughs than usual, but no less poetry or poignancy. Williams believed that growing up in St. Louis was essential to the shape of his work. A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur is one of his few plays set here, and was the inspiration behind TV’s “The Golden Girls.

Director: Kari Ely

Starring: Kelly Weber, Ellie Schwetye,  

Madea’s Farewell Play Tour
May 10 – 12
Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 3 and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 3 and 7:30 p.m.
The Fabulous Fox Theatre

What It’s About: Tyler Perry’s 21st stage play

Starring: Tyler Perry, Tamela Mann, David Mann and Cassi Davis Patton

“Mamma Mia!”
Alton Little Theater
May 10-19
Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.
2450 N. Henry in Alton

What It’s About: Love, mishaps, and music by ABBA will have audiences dancing in the aisles again as they feel transported to the Greek Island of Kalokairi on the eve of a wedding.

“Mamma Mia!”
Looking Glass Playhouse
May 2 – 12
Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.
301 W. St. Louis St., Lebanon, Ill.

What It’s About: Through ABBA’s hits, a romantic comedy tell the hilarious story of a young woman’s search for her birth father. This sunny and funny tale unfolds on a Greek island paradise. On the eve of her wedding, a daughter’s quest to discover the identity of her father brings three men from her mother’s past back to the island they last visited 20 years ago. A mother. A daughter. Three possible dads.

“Nice Work If You Can Get It”
Kirkwood Theatre Guild
May 3-5, 9-12
Evenings at 8 p.m., Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.
Robert G. Reim Theatre

What It’s About: A screwball comedy set in the Prohibition era with songs by George and Ira Gershwin. Elegant socialists and boorish bootleggers clash, when playboy Jimmy Winter meets a female bootlegger, Billie Bendix, on the weekend of his third or fourth wedding.

“The Night of the Iguana”
Tennessee Williams Festival
May 9 – 19
The Grandel Theatre

What It’s About: based on Williams’ 1948 short story, which was then developed into three acts for Broadway production in 1961. A Tony nominee for Best Play, it was adapted into a 1964 movie, directed by John Huston, that starred Richard Burton, Ava Gardner and Deborah Kerr. The play focuses on a former minister, barred from his church for defaming God, who works as a tour guide. He is accused of statutory rape of a 16-year-old girl in his tour group.

Director: Tim Ocel

Starring: James Andrew Butz, Lavonne Byers, Hannah Sturgis, Harry Weber, Spencer Sickmann, Greg Johnson, Victor Mendes, Luis Aguilar.

“Over the Tavern”
The Theatre Guild of Webster Groves
May 3 – 11
Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.

What It’s About: In that most idealized period of 20th-century America, the Eisenhower years of the 1950s, the Pazinski family has a lot going on in their cramped Buffalo apartment. The youngest of the bunch, 12-year-old Rudy, is a smart, wise-cracking kid who’s starting to question family values and the Roman Catholic Church. When Rudy goes up against the ruler-wielding Sister Clarissa and announces that instead of being confirmed he’d rather shop around for a more “fun” religion, all hell breaks loose.” Parental discretion is advised.

Director: Warren Frank

Starring: Henry Alverson, Jimmy Hall, Andrea Jacobson, Tracy Murphy, Pepi Parshall, Declan Ryan, Patrick Ryan

“Salt, Root and Roe”
Upstream Theatre
April 26 – May 12
Shows at 8 p.m. except Sundays at 7 p.m. but May 12 at 2 p.m.
Kranzberg Arts Center

What It’s About: Tim Price’s play is about the nature of change, the comfort of home and the eternal bond of love, set against the mythical backdrop of the Pembrokeshire coast in western Wales. Identical twins Iola and Anest, who are devoted to age other and aging fast. Anest’s daughter, Menna, rushes to her long-abandoned childhood home where her own ideas of love and compromise are tested to the limit.

Director: Kenn McLaughlin

Cast: Donna Weinsting, Sally Edmundson, Eric Dean White, Amy Loui

Of Note: A U.S. premiere in co-production with Stages Repertory Theatre of Houston.

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