Donna Parrone has been involved with St Louis theater since moving here in the 1980's. She is one of the founders of HotHouse Theatre (now HotCity) and has been an actor, a producer, a director and an educator.
If you are looking for some toe-tapping entertainment this Thanksgiving, Sister Act, which opened Tuesday at the Fabulous Fox, is everything a musical should be. From the electric, shiny audition number at the top of the show, to the glitterfest at the end, Sister Act is tons of fun, shiny, sparkly fun!
At the beginning of Pippin, the Leading Player speaks to the audience and tells them “We have magic to do.” It’s what you hope for every time you see theater. It’s what keeps us acting, directing, designing, dancing and attending, the hope that tonight all the elements will come together and enthrall us, creating a bit of magic in an ordinary world. Last week, the Repertory Theatre of St Louis gave us some magic as they opened Fly, written by Trey Ellis and Ricardo Khan.
New Jewish Theatre opens their 17th season with Neil Simon’s The Good Doctor. More of a sketch comedy piece than a true play, the small vignettes of Anton Chekov’s short stories, represent slices of Russian life at the turn of the last century and are quilted together by a narrator, a writer who is auditioning some of his characters for us. David Wassilak plays the narrator and involves himself in several of the stories (either as the narrator character or as a specific character, it’s a bit unclear.)
I know everyone is probably making the same pun, but Stages St Louis’ closing show of their season, My Fair Lady is, without any doubts, absolutely “loverly.” The moment you enter the theater James Wolk’s set draws you in and sets you down in a London market street circa 1910. Costumes by Dorothy Marshall Englis are exquisite thorough-out, but the opening sets the tone so you are holding your breath to see what Eliza wears at her transformation.
Last year, Ron Conner led Black Rep casts in four out of five productions, and from the first, became one of my favorite actors to watch. This year he leads the Black Rep away from its twenty-six year home at the Grandel Theater to the A.E. Hotchner Studio Theater on the campus of Washington University and opens the new season with a sizzling one man show, Emergency. (The Black Rep was recently unceremoniously dumped from their long-time home. Hotchner will not be a permanent space for them, but was the perfect space for this particular show.)