Go See a Play! What’s Happening Aug. 15 – 21

By Lynn Venhaus
Managing Editor
For something really different, check out the St. Louis Fringe Festival, which is taking over Grand Center the next four days. Check out what’s happening with a list of shows here.

More collaborations are on stage through the ‘Lou and up the river. SATE and ERA have joined forces, along with Prison Performing Arts and Saint Louis University, for a fresh take on “Antigone.”

Union Avenue Opera is premiering “Glory Denied,” and author Tom Cipullo will be here opening night for a talk-balk.

In Hannibal, Bluff City Theatre will open the world premiere of Colin Healy’s musical, “Madam!” (Fly North Theatricals will stage it here in January at the .Zack.)

Shows continuing include “A Man of No Importance,” “Grease” and “Guys and Dolls.”

It may be the dog days of August, but you can cool off at a local theater — GO SEE A PLAY.

The seven “Antigones” Photo by Joey Rumpell

“Antigone: Requiem per Patriarchus”
Aug. 14 – 31 (Wednesday – Saturday) at 8 p.m.
The Chapel
6238 Alexander Drive, St Louis
Tickets: Brown Paper or box office

What It’s About: For the third production of its Season of Ritual, SATE is collaborating with ERA to co-produce Antigone: requiem per Patriarchus; a fresh perspective on the Sophocles classic workshopped in a collaboration between Saint Louis University Theatre and Prison Performing Arts. Antigone explores themes of fidelity, citizenship, civil disobedience, and the struggles and consequences the characters within the world of the play encounter as a result of their choices

Director: Lucy Cashion

Starring: Alicen Moser, Ellie Schwetye, Laura Hulsey, Miranda Jagels Félix, Natasha Toro, Taleesha Caturah and Victoria Thomas, with Marcy Ann Wiegert providing live percussion accompaniment.

In 2017, Prison Performing Arts began a collaboration with St. Louis University Department of Fine and Performing Arts. Lucy Cashion, Assistant Professor of Theatre and ERA Artistic Director, and PPA Director of Youth Programs and SATE Artistic Director Rachel Tibbetts, taught weekly poetry, playwriting, and development workshops with PPA participants at Women’s Eastern Reception, Diagnostic, and Correctional Center in Vandalia, Mo.

The group studied, explored, and wrote about the Ancient Greek Princess Antigone. Antigone’s story of fighting civic law to obey divine law became famous in the Classical Greek tragedy “Antigone,” which premiered in Athens in 441 B.C. Since then, scholars, poets, and playwrights have written their own translations, adaptations, and critiques of the Antigone story, each from a different point of view. The continuation of this tradition resulted in a new version of “Antigone,” which was performed in October 2017 by SLU theatre majors in St. Louis and then with a performance by PPA participants at WERDCC in March 2018. The collaboration now continues with this ERA/SATE co-production in St. Louis.

 photography by Joey Rumpell
Please call (314) 827-5760, email rachel@slightlyoff.org

Public relations photo shot on August 6, 2019 for the upcoming Union Avenue Opera production of Glory Denied.

“Glory Denied”
Union Avenue Opera
Aug. 16-17 and Aug. 23-24 at 8 p.m.
Union Avenue Christian Church
733 Union at Enright

What It’s About: America’s longest-held prisoner of war dreams of coming home. But home is a place he will not recognize. Follow the gut-wrenching saga of Col. Jim Thompson as he transitions from the jungles of Southeast Asia to the tree-lined streets of suburban America. This true story explores the unimaginable bravery asked of soldiers and the nature of home itself. It is a story of a nation divided and a country that changed significantly in the decade of his imprisonment.

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

Each night following the performance, UAO will host an intimate talk-back session with members of the artistic team and cast, including special guest, Tom Cipullo, the composer and director Dean Anthony following the opening night performance (Aug. 16).

Photo by ProPhotoSTL

Stages St. Louis
July 19 – Aug 18
Robert G. Reim Theatre at the Kirkwood Community Center
111 South Geyer Road in Kirkwood

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 Johanos, Lucy Moon and Brooke Shapiro.

Photo by John Lamb

“Guys and Dolls”
Stray Dog Theatre
Aug. 8 – 24
Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m., with additional performances at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 18, and 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 24.
Tower Grove Abbey, 2336 Tennessee

What It’s About: “Guys & Dolls” takes us from the heart of Depression-era Times Square, to the cafés of Havana, and into the sewers of New York City to give us what some have called the perfect musical comedy. This timeless tale follows ruthless gamblers, sexy nightclub performers, and the hot-tempered law enforcers who keep them all in line.

Director: Gary F. Bell

Starring: Jayde Mitchell, Kevin O’Brien, Sarah Rae Womack, Angela Bubash, Mike Wells

Bluff City Theatre
Aug. 15 – 24
Bluff City Theater, 212 Broadway, Hannibal, Mo

What It’s About: Eliza Haycraft is dying and hates men. She is owner of five brothels and the richest woman in the city of St. Louis who once empowered her employees by giving them the right to refuse service to anyone, but while the passage of The Social Evils Act of 1870 made her business legitimate, it also took away her right to say “no.”

“Madam!” is a new musical based loosely on real events that tells the story of her search for an heir to her sex empire while also taking a romp through first-wave feminism and sexism in America during Reconstruction told through the lens of Eliza’s courtesans. The music, lyrics and book are by Colin Healy.

Director: Sydnie Grosberg-Ronga

Starring: Eileen Engel, Kimmie Kidd, Larissa White, Rosemary Watts,

 “A Man of No Importance”
R-S Theatrics
Aug. 9 – 25
Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 7 p.m.
The Marcelle
3310 Samuel Shepard Drive in Grand Center

What It’s About: The show has music by Stephen Flaherty, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens and a book by Terrence McNally, based on the 1994 Albert Finney film, of the same title. It tells the story of an amateur theatre group in Dublin and their leader, who is determined to stage a version of “Salome” at his church, despite the objections of church authorities.

Director: Christina Rios

Starring: Mark Kelley, Kellen Green, Kent Coffel, Stephanie Merritt, Marshall Jennings, Jennifer Theby-Quinn, Jodi Stockton, Dustin Allison, Michael B. Perkins, Lindy Elliott, Nancy Nigh, Kay Love and Curtis Moeller

St. Louis Fringe Festival
Aug. 13 – 18
Venues in Grand Center
Grid Schedule PDF: https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/03b713_0374464860b54fb7bb2daff290494e83.pdf

“Adios Aliens”
By LightsUp Productions
Kranzberg Black Box Theatre
Aug. 16 at 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 17 at 4 p.m.
Aug. 18 at 6 p.m.

What It’s About: “Adios Aliens” is a work of fiction based on non-fiction. While the names and characters are fictitious creations of the author, the play is inspired by the real events pertaining to anti-immigrant legislation and court judgment that occurred across small town America in the years 2006-2007. They had real consequences for real people. Over the past 12 years the anti-immigrant sentiment has gained momentum, raising the threats against the immigrant population.

“Adventures on the Horizon”
presented by Aspire Youth Performing Arts
.ZACK Theatre
Aug. 16 at 6 p.m.
Aug. 17 at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.

​What It’s About: This performance will showcase the dramatic and musical talents of youth in a scripted play, and in musical /dance numbers.

Headline Act:
“Check In” by because why not? Theatre company
.Zack Theatre, 3224 S. Locust
Aug. 15 at 6 p.m.
Aug. 16 at 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 17 at 6 p.m.
Aug. 18 at 1:30 p.m.
What It’s About: Allie and Danielle have been together 4 years, living a happy, All America life with their son and Allie’s mother. But Allie’s a Dreamer, and in the current political climate, her monthly government “Check In” may be far less simple and safe than her family has come to expect. A new play by Shannon Geier.

“Crawling with Monsters
presented by Latino Theater Initiatives
Kranzberg Black Box Theatre
Aug. 15 at 9 p.m.
Aug. 17 at 1 p.m.
Aug. 18 at 7:30 p.m.

What It’s About: This is a multimedia stage documentary that reveals what life is like inside the war-torn communities along the US-Mexico border.

“Creatively Seeking”
presented by Sunday Jones, Mo, and Becky
The Olive Tree in the Grove
Aug. 15 at 8 p.m.
Aug. 16 at 8 p.m.
Aug. 17 at 2 p.m.

What It’s About: “Creatively Seeking” is an investigation of how varied artists access work and expression through examining their inner truths. Spend an hour onstage with a painter, life coach, aerialist and photographer and participate in creation. Firmly based in the concept that “we are the art”, these women walk the walk and talk the talk to bring out the humanity in artistic connection.

Debut Cabaret Favorites
presented by Debut Theatre Company
Kranzberg Arts Center Black Box Theatre
Aug. 15 at 6 p.m.
Aug. 17 at noon
Aug. 18 at noon

What It’s About: This all-kid company is coming back to the fringe and will feature the talents of St Louis’ brightest up and coming stars in a musical theatre cabaret.

An Improvised Musical Fairy Tale
303 Pop Up @ The .ZACK
Aug. 16 at 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 17 at 9 p.m.
Aug. 18 at 6 p.m. 8/16/2019 @ 7:30pm

What It’s About: We get the audience’s favorite fairytale or fable and improvise one, or two “Fragmented Fables” with our musical accompaniment.

“I k(NO)w”
presented by Showgirl Awakening
Kranzberg Arts Center Studio Theater
Aug. 15 at 7: 30 p.m.
Aug. 17 at 1 p.m.
Aug. 18 at 6 p.m.

What It’s About: How do we know when we can’t “no”? Knocked flat repeatedly by ulcerative colitis, veteran showgirl Kellita comes to know herself through burlesque, and “NO’s” herself into autoimmune recovery. She leaves her clothes on and lays her heart bare in this warm telling of her unsettling partnership with her own powerful, eloquent, recalcitrant body. Finding unexpected revelations in an airplane potty, a New Orleans nightclub, and in a spacious room at SF General – sipping coconut water – Kellita begs the question of her audience: in what ways do we force ourselves to digest the indigestible?  And what happens when we stop? With two decades of international burlesque performance under her shimmy belt, this is Kellita’s first full-length autobiographical-storytelling show. “I K(noW” focuses on mental, emotional and physical health in a way that’s not just a storytelling device but also an interactive learning platform.

* “I K(no)W” is not a burlesque show *

What genre is it?

Think intimate-chat-with-a-friend meets TED Talk meets secure attachment and autoimmume recovery lab.

What they’re saying about “I K(no)W” in San Francisco: “There are shows that are engaging or entertaining. There are shows that you talk about right after you see them but don’t ever think about again. And then there are shows that start you thinking of everyone you can send to see the show. Kellita engaged my heart, soul, gut and brain.  I K(no)W is a soul baring show.”

“InHERitance: the stories we carry”
presented by Byrd’s World – Heather “Byrd” Roberts
Kranzberg Arts Center Gallery
Aug. 16 at 9 p.m.
Aug. 17 at 4 p.m.
Aug. 18 at 7:30 p.m.8/16/2019 @ 9:00pm

What It’s About: inHERitance is a response to the historical, environmental, and familial influences along with a demonstration in the quest for freedom.

“Lady Warrior”
presented by Good People Theater Company
Kranzberg Arts Center Gallery
Aug. 15 at 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 17 at 6 p.m.
Aug. 18 at 3 p.m.

What It’s About: Lady Warrior is a one-woman show about a woman on a journey she creates with her own step system to find her voice and identity.

Matthew Marcum Hymns & Oscillations
National Headline Act
Kranzberg Black Box Theatre
Aug. 16 at 9 p.m.
Aug. 17 at 6 p.m.
Aug. 18 at 3 p.m.

“The closest thing to a breakout star that the American performance sect has seen in decades.”   -The New York Journal

“The Medicine Show”
presented by Ken Haller
Kranzberg Arts Center Studio Theater
Aug. 15 at 6 p.m.
Aug. 17 at 9 p.m.
Aug. 18 at 4:30 p.m.

What It’s About: In this 60-minute show of stories and songs, cabaret singer and pediatrician looks at what captivated him about medicine and the realization that being a doctor is not the same thing as being a healer.

“My Infinite Sadness”
presented by Darrious Varner
Kranzberg Arts Center Studio Theater
Aug. 16 at 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 17 at 4 p.m.
Aug 18 at 1:30 p.m.

What It’s About: When left alone in one’s own mind, who is it that you are really talking to? Step into the subconscious of a person suffering with Depression. See the ups and downs, the twists and turns, the aches and pains that are living with mental illness. Playwright Darrious Varner introduces you to a whole new view of Depression with My Infinite Sadness.

“Nora’s Numbers”
presented by Two Are We
Kranzberg Arts Center Studio Theater
Aug. 16 at 9 p.m.
Aug. 17 at 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 18 at 3 p.m.

What It’s About: This one-woman show tells the tale of Nora Petrowski, a recent widow hobbled by a bunion. Ever the cheapskate, she keeps her husband’s ashes in an old coffee pot. With her meager budget running out and in jeopardy of losing her home, Nora starts raising money the only way she knows how—by running an illegal BINGO den in her living room.  Written and directed by Analicia Kocher and 2015 St. Louis Fringe Meister, Panagiotis Papavlasopoulos.

“Rhythm, Rhyme & Reason”
presented by Poetic Storyteller Oba William King
303 Pop Up @ The .Zack
Aug. 16 at 9 p.m. Adults Only
Aug. 17 at 2:30 p.m.
Aug. 18 at 3 p.m.

What It’s About: Interactive Storytelling. The fusion of Spoken Word, Theatre, Poetry and the Traditional Art Form. It’s Storytelling Time!

“Screaming at Optimum Pitch”
First Run Theatre
By Peg Flach
Directed by David Houghton
Cast: Kaitlyn Chotrow, Melanie Klug, Gwynneth Rausch, Nicole Gonnerman, Joshua Teoli.
Kranzberg Black Box Theatre
Aug. 15 at 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 17 at 2:30 p.m.
Aug. 18 at 4:30 p.m.

What It’s About: Optimum pitch. A tool that speech-language pathologists use to determine a person’s natural voice is to speak as if in polite agreement, “mm hmm.” Three generations tell their story.

“Secrets of the Bower House”
Chapter 1
.Zack Theatre
Aug. 15 at 9 p.m.
Aug. 17 at 2:30 p.m.
Aug. 18 at 6 p.m.

What It’s About: “Secrets of Bower House” is a collaborative production inspired by the concept of “home.” The work challenges traditional forms of performance and invites you on an immersive adventure through time, memory, fantasy, and absurdity.

And join us on Saturday, Aug. 17 at 1 p.m. for a free InterPlay workshop before our show. InterPlay is an active, creative way to unlock the wisdom of the body. Located at Artica’s outdoor installation space across from .ZACK Theatre, 3225 Locust.

“Revival: A Southern Gothic Gospel Cabaret”
presented by The Q Collective
Kranzberg Black Box Theatre
Aug. 16 at 6 p.m.
Aug. 17 at 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 18 at 1:30 p.m.

What It’s About: REVIVAL: A SOUTHERN GOTHIC GOSPEL CABARET is a storytelling adventure that blends candid storytelling with dynamic music. Revival is the theatrical unpacking of writer Bobby Britton Jr’s Texas upbringing, experience with the Southern Evangelical Church, and his time in conversion therapy. Revival began in late 2017, after Bobby’s first show, “Closed for Repairs,” returned from the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. Since that time, Revival has featured the talents of many of Bobby’s friends and classmates from the Theatre Education Masters Program at Emerson College. Revival does not seek to preach or convert. Our only goal is to be honest.

“When Women Were Birds: An Integration of Female Voice and Gravity Defying Movement”
Inspired by a novel authored by Terry Tempest Williams
presented by St Louis Aerial Artistry
.Zack Theatre
Aug. 15 at 10:30 p.m.
Aug. 16 at 10:30 p.m.
Aug. 17 at 10:30 p.m.
Aug. 18 at noon

“A Wild and Weird Sky in the Lou”
presented by SKY
303 Pop Up @ The .ZACK
Aug. 16 at 6 p.m.
Aug. 17 at 4 p.m.
Aug. 18 at 7:30 p.m.

What It’s About: Sky will be presenting three nights of some of her most ambitiously weird and honest pieces to date at 2019’s St. Lou Fringe Festival, located in the Grand Center Arts District. There will be her scarf, roses, some water spillage, projections, and a chance to hear Sky talk about her work. It will be an intimate, inclusive environment open to questions and lively discussions about the challenges of creating art. Also, don’t forget to support all your local artists and check out the impressive line-up of local talent at this year’s one and only St Lou Fringe Festival!

“Politely Angry: An Hour of Socially Conscious Comedy”
presented by Krish Mohan
Kranzberg Arts Center Gallery
Aug. 16 at 6 p.m.
Aug. 17 at 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 18 at 4:30 p.m.

What It’s About: Krish Mohan uses his quirky attitude and charming personality to address some of our toughest issues using his unique brand of comedy.

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