Go See a Play! What’s Happening July 25 – 31

By Lynn Venhaus
Managing Editor
A variety of classics old and new are currently on local stages. Opening this weekend are “Paint Your Wagon” at The Muny and “La Boheme” at Union Avenue Opera, with community theater productions of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” “The Wizard of Oz,” and “Mamma Mia!”, a college production of “Catch Me If You Can” and youth productions of “Carrie,” “Frozen Jr.,” “Seussical” and “Into the Woods.”

An annual tradition, “The Rocky Horror Show,” is performed twice each evening on Friday and Saturday at the Looking Glass Playhouse in Lebanon.

Continuing on regional stages are “Grease,” “Jaws the Parody: Live” and the second leg of the LaBute New Theater Festival.

“Carrie” at Debut Theatre

Whatever your plans on this last weekend in July, go see a play!


“Carrie”
Debut Theatre Company
July 26-28
Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m.
The Olive Tree, 1211 S. Newstead Ave., St. Louis
https://debuttheatreco.weebly.com/

What It’s About: Based on the Stephen King novel and Brian DePalma movie, Carrie White is bullied in high school and her religious fundamentalist mother doesn’t want her going to the prom. Carrie has telekinesis and all hell will break loose.

Starring: Carrie White-MacLean Blanner, Margaret White-Isabel Cecilia Garcia, Sue Snell-Jessica Watts, Tommy Ross-Charlie Wehde, Chris Hargensen-Gabby Anderson, Billy Nolan-Sam Guillemette, Ms. Gardner-Ally Wukitsch, Norma-Emma Gulovsen, Helen-Gabby DeRennaux, Frieda-Allison Crandall, Claudia-Savannah Lamb, -Thomas Molen, Freddy-Nathan Hakenworth and Stokes-Santino Bono. Also Featuring Ginger Cox-Young Carrie, Children’s Ensemble- Tatum Douglas, Chloe Grieshaber, and Riley Kummer.

“Catch Me If You Can”
July 24-28
St. Charles Community College
FAB Theater in the Donald D. Shook Fine Arts Building
4601 Mid Rivers Mall Drive in Cottleville, Mo
636-922-8050
www.stchas.edu/events

What It’s About: Based on the hit film and the incredible true story, “Catch Me If You Can” is a musical comedy about chasing your dreams without getting caught. Seeking fame and fortune, precocious teenager, Frank Abignale Jr., runs away from home to begin an unforgettable adventure. With nothing more than his boyish charm, a big imagination and millions of dollars in forged checks, Frank successfully poses as a pilot, a doctor and a lawyer – living the high life and winning the girl of his dreams. When Frank’s lies catch the attention of FBI agent, Carl Hanratty, though, Carl pursues Frank across the country to make him pay for his crimes

“Frozen Jr.”
Rock Show Productions
Thursday, July 25 at 7 p.m., Friday, July 26 at 7 p.m., Saturday, July 27 at 7 p.m.
The Grandel Theatre, 3610 Grandel Square, St. Louis, MO 63103
www.rockshowproductions.org

What It’s About: Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tale, “The Snow Queen,” based on the Disney animated musical adaptation.

“Beauty School Dropout”

“Grease”
Stages St. Louis
July 19 – Aug 18
Robert G. Reim Theatre at the Kirkwood Community Center
111 South Geyer Road in Kirkwood
www.stagesstlouis.org

What It’s About: Welcome to Rydell High where Danny Zuko and his gang of Burger Palace Boys and Pink Ladies rule the school! Bursting with explosive energy and 1950’s nostalgia, GREASE blends an irresistible mix of adolescent angst and All-American teen spirit to create a high-octane, pop-culture phenomenon.

Director: Michael Hamilton

Starring: Sam Harvey, Summerisa Bell Stevens, Morgan Cowling, Jessie Corbin, Patrick Mobley, Collin O’Connor, Frankie Thams, Julia Knitel, Lucy Moon and Brooke Shapiro.

“Into the Woods”
COCA
July 26-27
Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 1 and 5 p.m.
Edison Theatre on the Washington University campus
www.cocastl.org

What It’s About: An epic fairytale about wishes, family and the choices we make. James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim take everyone’s favorite storybook characters and bring them together for a timeless, and relevant, piece.

Director: Jim Butz, with music direction by Colin Healy and choreography by Christopher Page-Sanders

Of Note: Ages 9 and up.

Great White Shark scares

“Jaws The Parody: Live!”
St. Louis Shakespeare’s Magic Smoking Monkey Theatre
July 19 – July 27
Wednesday and Thursday, July 24 and 25, 8 p.m.
Friday and Saturday, July 26 and 27, at 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.
 Regional Arts Commission in University City
www.stlshakespeare.org

What It’s About: A spoof of the 1975 movie about the killer shark that terrorized a New England beach community, Amity Island, based on Peter Benchley’s 1974 bestseller.

Director: Donna Northcott

Starring: Ryan Glosemeyer as Chief Brody, James Enstall as Matt Hooper, Rob McLemore as Quint, Shannon Nara as Ellen Brody, Dylan Comer as Mayor Vaughn and playing multiple roles are CeCe Day, Jack Janssen, Maya Kelch, Deanna Massie, Bethany Miscannon, and others.

“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”
July 26 – Aug. 4
Over Due Theatre
Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.
Olivette Community Center
9723 Grandview Drive, Olivette, MO
314-210-2959
www.overduetheatrecompany.com

What It’s About: Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2019, “Joseph” is one of the most enduring shows of all time and reimagines the biblical story of Joseph, his father Jacob, eleven brothers and the coat of many colors.

“La Boheme”

“La Boheme”
Union Avenue Opera
July 26 – Aug. 2
Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m.
Union Avenue Christian Church
733 Union at Enright
314-361-2881
www.unionavenueopera.org

What It’s About: Puccini’s opera about a group of poor artists and their search for love and happiness.

Of Note: The opera is sung in Italian with projected English text.

LaBute New Theater Festival
July 19-28
Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 3 p.m.
The Gaslight Theatre
358 N. Boyle, St. Louis
www.stlas.org
314-458-2978
Box Office: www.ticketmaster.com, 800-982-2787; will also be available at the theater box office one hour prior to performances

What It’s About: New previously unproduced one-act play submissions of 45 minutes or less are juried and selected. They must not have more than four characters and be able to

 Six plays were chosen: One group was performed in the first two weeks of July, the final group in the second two weeks. “Great Negro Works of Art,” a Midwest Premiere from Mr. LaBute, will be performed every night for the run of the festival.

Set 2 includes:

 “Great Negro Works of Art” by Neil LaBute, Directed by John Pierson, starring Carly Rosenbaum and Jaz Tucker

“Predilections” by Richard Curtis, directed by Wendy Renee Greenwood, starring Kim Furlow and Tielere Cheatem

 “Henrietta” by Joseph Krawczyk, directed by Wendy Renee Greenwood, starring Carly Rosenbaum and Chuck Brinkley

“Sisyphus and Icarus a Love story” by William Ivor Fowkes, directed by Wendy Renee Greenwood, starring Colleen Backer, Shane Signorino and Tielere Cheatem

“Mamma Mia!”
July 26 – Aug. 4
Hard Road Theatre Productions
Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.
Highland Elementary School auditorium in Highland, Ill.
www.hardroad.org

What It’s About: ABBA songs on a Greek isle. Three possible dads, a wedding, and Donna and the Dynamos.

 “Overdone” by David Hamley and “Screaming at Optimum Pitch” by Peg Flach
First Run Theatre
July 19 – 28
Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.
Theatre Guild of Webster Groves, 517 Theatre Lane in Webster Groves, Mo.
www.firstruntheatre.com.

“Paint Your Wagon”
The Muny
July 27 – Aug. 2
Nightly at 8:15 p.m.
Forest Park outdoor stage
www.muny.org

What It’s About: A reimagined version of a 1951 Lerner and Loewe musical set in the California gold rush. It’s a moving tale of ambition, love and home that features such songs as “They Call the Wind Mariah,” “I Talk to the Trees” and “Wand’rin’ Star.” This adaptation has a revised book by Jon Marans. It’sproduced in association with On the Wagon Productions and Garmar Ventures.

Director: Josh Rhodes, also choreographer, with

Starring: Bogart (Ben Rumson), Mamie Parris (Cayla Woodling), Omar Lopez-Cepero (Armando), Mark Evans (William), Maya Keleher (Jennifer Rumson), Allan K. Washington (Wesley), Andrew Kober (Jake), Austin Ku (Ming-Li), Raymond J. Lee (Guang-Li), Rodney Hicks (H. Ford) and Michael James Reed (Craig Woodling). A golden ensemble completes this cast, including Akilah Ayanna, Juan Caballer, Matthew Davies, Richard Gatta, Sally Glaze, Michael Milkanin, Trina Mills, Pascal Pastrana, Michael Seltzer and Cooper Stanton. The company will also be joined by the Muny Teen youth ensemble.

Russ Reidelberger as Dr. Frank N. Furter


“The Rocky Horror Show”
Looking Glass Playhouse
Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., July 26 and 27
301 W. St. Louis St. in Lebanon, Ill.
www.lookingglassplayhouse.com

What It’s About: In this cult classic, sweethearts Brad and Janet, stuck with a flat tire during a storm, discover the eerie mansion of Dr. Frank-N-Furter, a transvestite scientist. As their innocence is lost, Brad and Janet meet a houseful of wild characters, including a rocking biker and a creepy butler. Through elaborate dances and rock songs, Frank-N-Furter unveils his latest creation: a muscular man named “Rocky.

“Seussical the Musical”
DaySpring Arts
July 26-27 at 7 p.m.; July 28 at 3 p.m.
DeSmet High School, 222 N. Ballas Road, St. Louis
dayspringarts.org

What It’s About: The musical by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens brings Dr. Seuss’ beloved characters to life, including Cat in the Hat, Gertrude McFuzz and Horton the Elephant.

“The Wizard of Oz”
Alton Little Theater
July 25 – Aug. 4.
Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.
2450 North Henry in Alton, Ill.
618-462-6562
www.altonlittletheater.org

What It’s About: Based on the books by L. Frank Baum, Dorothy needs to find her way home after following the yellow brick road and making her way to the Emerald City.

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