Sunday, 07 May 2017 23:24

St. Louis theatre calendar for the week of May 8, 2017

Written by 
"Dirty Dancing" at the Fox "Dirty Dancing" at the Fox Photo by Matthew Murphy

New this shows this week include a family comedy-drama at New Jewish Theatre, a classic drama at the Webster Groves Theatre Guild, and a new examinatin of the nature of evil at Upstream.

Kirkwood Theatre Guild presents the musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee through May 14. "Winner of the Tony and the Drama Desk Awards for Best Book, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee has charmed audiences across the country with its effortless wit and humor. A fast-paced, funny, and touching story of six awkward and eclectic adolescents who are each striving for the spelling bee championship of a lifetime…all while revealing surprisingly hilarious and touching stories from their own lives. As Putnam County's spelling bee progresses, this eccentric and lovable group of outcasts learn that winning isn't everything and losing a competition doesn't make you a loser in life. A riotous ride complete with audience participation. The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is a delightful den of comedic genius." Performances take place in the Robert G. Reim Theatre of the Kirkwood Community Center, 111 South Geyer Road. For more information, call 314-821-9956 or visit ktg-onstage.org.

4000 Miles
Photo: Eric Woolsey

New Jewish Theater presents 4000 Miles May 11 - 28. "After suffering a major loss while on a cross-country bike trip, 21-year-old Leo seeks solace from his feisty 91-year-old political activist grandmother Vera in her West Village apartment. Her solitary existence is entirely shaken when Leo appears at the door in the middle of the night assuring her that he won't stay long. Leo is in crisis, grieving deeply for his best friend and biking partner, Micah. While Leo seeks solace in his grandmother, Vera finds companionship in another person for the first time since the loss of her husband, Joe. 4000 Miles is a compassionate, intimate, and funny play that examines the love of the family we can choose, the family we can't, and the healing power of trust as these unlikely roommates infuriate, bewilder, and ultimately reach each other. We discover how two outsiders find their way in today's world." Performances take place in the Marvin and Harlene Wool Studio Theater at the Jewish Community Center, 2 Millstone Campus Drive in Creve Coeur. For more information: www.newjewishtheatre.org or call 314-442-3283.

Clayton Community Theatre presents the comedy Born Yesterday Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m., May 11 - 14. "In Garson Kanin's pointed and hilarious Born Yesterday, shady scrap metal king Harry Brock heads to Washington, D.C., determined to take the town by storm and buy his way to a business-friendly Amendment. Harry's only liability is the socially inappropriate behaviour and outrageously ignorant remarks of his showgirl lady friend, Billie Dawn, a beautiful woman with a deceptively simple facade. Harry hires the upright, idealistic newspaper man, Paul Verrall, to educate Billie. As Billie and Paul tiptoe towards a romance, and Billie absorbs Paul's knowledge and ideals, she begins to question the ways Harry has been using her." Performances take place at the Washington University South Campus Theatre. For more information, call 314-721-9228 or visit placeseveryone.org.

The Lemp Mansion Comedy-Mystery Dinner Theater presents Death of a Blackheart through July 29. "Welcome aboard the largest, (and safest), cruise liner ever to sail the low seas. That's right. Welcome aboard the Gigantic! But wait! What do I hear? "Argggghhhhhhh!" Avast ye mateys and get yer gizzard ready to be robbed by the most famous pirate ever to pillage a maiden! Of course, we're talkin' Captain Jack Blackheart! He's the pirate that has cheated more people, emptied more pockets and pillaged more ladies than any politician. Gee. I hope no one kills him off. You'll meet lots of fun characters at this show. In fact audience members will get to play lots of fun characters in this show because it's "chock full" of "Fair Maidens", "Lost Boys", "Rival Pirates", and more. One thing is for sure. If you've ever wanted to stand up and shout out Arggggghhhh!...then "Death of a Blackheart" is the show for you!" The Lemp Mansion is at 3322 DeMenil Place. For more information: lempmansion.com.

The Fox Theatre presents the musical Dirty Dancing-The Classic Story On Stage, based on the popular movie, Friday through Sunday, May 12 - 14 "It's the summer of 1963, and 17-year-old Frances “Baby” Houseman is on vacation in New York's Catskill Mountains with her older sister and parents. Baby discovers her own entertainment when she stumbles upon the staff quarters where an all-night dance party is in full swing. Mesmerized by the raunchy dance moves and the pounding rhythms, Baby can't wait to be part of the scene, especially when she catches sight of Johnny Castle the resort dance instructor. Baby's life is about to change forever as she is thrown in at the deep end as Johnny's leading lady both on-stage and off with breathtaking consequences." The Fox in at 527 North Grand in Grand Center. For more information: fabulousfox.com.

The Theatre Guild of Webster Groves presents John Patrick Shanley's drama Doubt Fridays through Sundays, May 12 - 21. "Father Flynn enjoys a secure appointment and popularity in the community until Sister James suspects him of carrying on an improper relationship with the school's first African-American student. Sister Aloysius, the school's authoritarian principal, sets out to remove Flynn. Gender politics, race relations and the role of the church, questions about personal responsibility, doubt, right and wrong are all brought to bear here. So much in Doubt is about what is left unsaid and continually running beneath the surface." Performances take place in the Guild theatre at Newport and Summit in Webster Groves, MO. For more information: theatreguildwg.org or call 314-962-0876.

A Human Being Died that Night
Photo: ProPhotoSTL

Upstream Theater presents the St. Louis premiere of A Human Being Died That Night Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m., May 12 - 28. "During the 1990s, psychologist Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela interviewed Eugene de Kock, commanding officer of the South African government's death squad stationed at Vlakplaas--a man who had ordered and carried out the torture and murder of dozens of anti-apartheid activists, earning the nickname 'Prime Evil.' De Kock was serving a 212-year prison sentence for crimes against humanity. Nicholas Wright takes us inside the prison where these interviews were conducted for a moving study of remorse, a timely call for truth and accountability, and a remarkable exploration of the power of forgiveness. " Performances take place at the Kranzberg Arts Center, 501 North Grand in Grand Center. For more information, including show times: upstreamtheater.org.

Alton Little Theater presents the musical Man of La Mancha, based on Miguel de Cervantes' Don Quixote, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m., May 12 - 21. "One of the most beautiful story-telling musicals of all time. Miguel de Cervantes, aging and an utter failure as playwright, poet and tax collector, has been thrown into a dungeon in Seville to await trial by the inquisition for an offense against the church. There he is dragged before a kangaroo court of his fellow prisoners, who plan to confiscate his few possessions - including the uncompleted manuscript of a novel, Don Quixote. A timeless and inspirational tale for all those who have faith and believe that love and friendship can right the world." Performances take place at 2450 North Henry in Alton, IL. For more information, call 618.462.6562 or visit altonlittletheater.org.

The Bissell Mansion Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre presents Phantom of the Grand Old Opry through July 30. The Bissell Mansion is at 4426 Randall Place. For more information: bissellmansiontheatre.com.

Small Craft Warnings
Photo: Peter Wochniak

The Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis presents Small Craft Warnings by Tennessee Williams opening through May 14. "An expansion of Tennessee Williams's earlier one-act play, Confessional, Small Craft Warnings is a kaleidoscopic pastiche of monologues delivered in a spotlight by each of the characters as the action around them becomes frozen and muted. Through them they reveal their loneliness and the emptiness of their existence." Performances take place at The .ZACK, 3224 Locust in Midtown. For more information: twstl.org.

The Looking Glass Playhouse presents the musical Titanic running through May 14. "Come aboard the ship of dreams in this Tony Award®-winning Best Musical-a heart-stopping and riveting ride through the final moments of Titanic's fateful journey.” Performances take place at 301 West St. Louis Street in Lebanon, Ill. For more information, visit www.lookingglassplayhouse.com.

The Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis presents Will Mr. Merriweather Return From Memphis? by Tennessee Williams running through May 21. "Local favorite Jef Awada directs the first professional production in fifty years of this intimate, funny, poignant play." Performances take place at Stockton House, 3508 Samuel Shepherd Drive in midtown. For more information: twstl.org.

Looking for auditions and other artistic opportunities? Check out the St. Louis Auditions site.
For information on events beyond this week, check out the searchable database at the Regional Arts Commission's Events Calendar.
Would you like to be on the radio? KDHX, 88.1 FM needs theatre reviewers. If you're 18 years or older, knowledgeable in this area, have practical theatre experience (acting, directing, writing, technical design, etc.), have good oral and written communications skills and would like to become one of our volunteer reviewers, send an email describing your experience and interests to chuck at kdhx.org. Please include a sample review of something you've seen recently.

Media