Go See a Play! What’s Happening Aug. 1 – 7

By Lynn Venhaus
Managing Editor
Rewind, reboot, reimagine. Time to look back and move forward. We have kids young and old: smart kindergartners, sarcastic ’50s high school seniors, defiant ’80s high school dancers, poor struggling college students in Paris and Biblical brothers, munchkins and French rebels.

And it’s not exactly a bed of roses for the adults either — but we have spry seniors in Florida, hardy pioneers seeking fortunes in the California Gold Rush, three possible dads on a Greek island and New Yorkers staying at The Plaza .

Growing up, coming of age, growing old — all universal tales. Get refreshed and renewed — go see a play!

Betsy Bennett and Rick Compton


“Assisted Living: The Musical”

The Playhouse at Westport
Aug. 1-11
Performances are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 2 p.m., Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m.
Tickets may be purchased through MetroTix at www.metrotix.com or by calling 314-534-1111. Tickets are also available at the Playhouse box office one hour prior to show time. Groups of 10 or more should call 314-402-2430 for special rates. For more information, visit www.playhouseatwestport.com

What It’s About: Betsy Bennett and Rick Compton, who wrote it, play 18 different characters who live in a senior living community, Pelican Roost, in Naples, Fla.

“Footloose”
The Hawthorne Players
Aug. 2-3, 9-11
Florissant Civic Center Theatre
314- 921-5678
www. hawthorneplayers.info

What It’s About: The musical is based on the 1984 movie, “Footloose,” and features some of those songs: “Let’s Hear It for the Boy,” “Almost Paradise,” “Holding Out for a Hero” and the title song.  The dance-heavy show is about a new kid in town who clashes with the town minister after he learns dancing and rock music is not allowed.

Photo by ProPhotoSTL

 “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.

 “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”
July 26 – Aug. 4
OverDue 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.

Dress rehearsal on July 23, 2019 for Union Avenue Opera’s production of La bohème.

“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.

Starring: Jesse Donner, Yulia Lysenko, Andrew Wannigman, Cree Carrico, Isaiah Musik-Ayala, Nicholas Ward, E. Scott Levin, Dale Obermark, Randell McGee

Ensemble: Linda Brady, Madeline Buckley, Chasity Cook, David Goldman, Michael Hawkins, Adam Kosberg, Christina Kruger, Randell McGee, Jamison Mckeehan, Elizabeth Ducey Moss, Dale Obermark, Michaele Postell, Ross Rubright, Tina Sayers, Miles Wadlington, Danielle Yilmaz

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

“Les Miserables” School Edition
Goshen Theatre Project
Aug. 1 – 4
Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m.
Sunday at 1:30 p.m.
The Hettenhausen Center for the Performing Arts

“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.

“Matilda”
The Muny
Aug. 5 – 11
Nightly at 8:15 p.m.
Forest Park outdoor stage
www.muny.org

What It’s About: Adaptation of Roald Dahl’s novel about a precocious kindergartener, her special powers, and the kindness shown to her in the face of wicked adults.

Director: John Tartaglia

Starring: Beth Malone (Miss Trunchbull), Conforti (Matilda), Laura Michelle Kelly (Miss Honey), Ann Harada (Mrs. Wormwood), Josh Grisetti (Mr. Wormwood) and Darlesia Cearcy (Mrs. Phelps). The ensemble completing this cast will feature Maya Bowles, Colby Dezelick, Sean Ewing, Ryan Fitzgerald, Berklea Going, Trevor Michael Schmidt, Gabi Stapula and Sharrod Williams, as well as The Muny Kid and Teen youth ensemble.

Of Note: Beth Malone is the first female to play Miss Trunchbull in a professional production of “Matilda.” Mary Engelbreit designed the costumes and set.

Photo by Philip Hamer

 “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), Bobby Conte Thornton (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.

“Plaza Suite”
Act Two Theatre
July 31 – Aug. 11
St. Peters Cultural Arts Centre at 1 St Peters Centre Blvd.
www.act2theater.com.

What It’s About: Neil Simon wrote three one-acts that all take place at The Plaza Hotel in NYC

“Rising Stars Showcase”
The Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation
Sunday, August 4, at 2 p.m.
Sheldon Concert Hall in Grand Center
www.foxpacf.org/event/rising-stars-showcase-2

What It’s About: This free event is open to the public and is an afternoon of amazing talent from the Finalists and Nominees of both the St. Louis Teen Talent Competition and the St. Louis High School Musical Theatre Awards.

“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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