Nancy Bell, left, is interviewed by Willis Ryder Arnold and Nancy Fowler.
Stephanie Zimmerman

Nancy Bell has enjoyed a thriving soap-opera career and nabbed top TV gigs including “Law and Order" and “Star Trek." So what's she doing in St. Louis, reworking the words of none other than Shakespeare?

It all started five years ago, when Saint Louis University lured Bell away from the big time, with a teaching job. Now, she's a regular player in the local theater scene.

Fox Smith and Ben Nordstrom star in White to Gray.
John Lamb

Forty-eight hours after the ocean liner S.S. Lurline left Honolulu for San Francisco, the sun rose on “a day that will live in infamy.” In a new drama based on this real-life voyage that began two days before the attack on Pearl Harbor, a young couple is caught in the crossfire.

From Left, Frank Schwaiger, Nancy Fowler, Willis Ryder Arnold, Bruno David and Leslie Laskey
Donna Korando | St. Louis Public Radio

This week, St. Louis Public Radio debuts its first arts podcast,"Cut & Paste."

We invite local visual and performing artists to tell stories. Who inspires them? What are their successes? Where have they stumbled along the way? Sometimes, in the conversation, it's us doing the stumbling! But we always have fun. We hope you will, too.

Anderson Matthews, as Matt Drayton, and Richard Prioleau, as John Prentice Jr., perform in The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis' 'Guess Who's Coming to Dinner.'
Jerry Naunheim Jr. / The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis

There are a lot of similarities between “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” the movie and “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” the play.

“The iconic moments are all there,” said Seth Gordon, associate artistic director of The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis.

It’s still an interracial love story. It’s still set in the 1960s. The play, adapted for the stage in 2012 by playwright Todd Kreidler, includes many of the movie’s memorable moments and monologues. But there also are some differences.

Reena Hajat Carroll, executive director of the Diversity Awareness Partnership, says the number of diversity training requests have "been crazy."
Provided by the Diversity Awareness Partnership

Many older Americans were introduced to their first interracial couple in 1967 by the Sidney Poitier classic featuring what was then a shocking pairing, on-screen or off. 

But today, especially when even same-sex interracial couples can marry in St. Louis, we don’t care who’s coming to dinner — right?

HotCity Theatre's 'Reality'
HotCity Theatre

The HotCity Theatre will close with a bit of "Reality."

“Reality” by playwright Lia Romeo is a dark comedy that goes behind the scenes of the reality TV show “Looking for Love.” The play opens with a proposal, then the reality show cast is secreted away for several weeks while the rest of the world catches up with the show, one episode at a time.

Marty Stanberry
Provided by HotCity

When singer Kenny Rogers croons that you’ve got to “know when to fold 'em,” it strikes a chord with the artistic director of St. Louis’ HotCity Theatre, Marty Stanberry.

Stanberry will close the company after the run of its Dec. 5-20 play, called “Reality.” Reality is also something Stanberry’s struggled with during his 17 years on the local theater scene.

“I’m at the point where the daily battles of running a theater company have just outweighed the fun,” Stanberry said.

Actress Susie Wall plays Dr. Ruth Westheimer in the New Jewish Theatre's one-woman play.
New Jewish Theatre

Actress Susie Wall is talking about sex. On stage. As Dr. Ruth. But she’s not impersonating Dr. Ruth Westheimer.

“The issue is for it not to be an impersonation,” said Jerry McAdams, who is directing Mark St. Germain’s one-woman play “Becoming Dr. Ruth” at the New Jewish Theatre. “The most important thing is she is so well known that if you try to be Dr. Ruth in kind of a cartoonish sense, you’ll lose the audience. This is a terrific actress who’s doing a really good script.”

The Black Rep

The Black Rep is bringing the iconic 1950s drama “A Raisin in the Sun” back to St. Louis.

This is the first time the company will stage “A Raisin in the Sun,” although 10 years ago it presented “Raisin,” a musical adaptation of Lorraine Hansberry’s drama about a black family’s experiences in Chicago.

“It is an American story. It is definitely about dreams and living life on the American landscape for the African-American and the quest for the piece of pie,” said actress Andrea Frye, who plays “Mama” Lena Younger.

Mustard Seed Theatre

When you think of World War I heroes, you likely picture generals and fighter pilots. But a playwright who penned Mustard Seed Theatre’s upcoming production wanted to salute a group of men in the trenches.

Provided by Repertory Theatre of St. Louis

When playwright Daniel Pearle was a preschooler in the late 1980s, he was fascinated by a classic fairy-tale character dressed in pink.

“I did have a fondness for all things Cinderella,” Pearle said.

Pearle brings his childhood experiences to his play “A Kid Like Jake,” now on stage at The St. Louis Repertory Theatre.“Jake” is the story of two New York City parents, worried about their 4-year-old son’s dress-up play and whether he can get into the “right” kindergarten.

David Bazemore

Click through slideshow to view Edison offerings through the years.

Where’s a not-quite-ready-for-The-Fox performer supposed to break a leg in St. Louis? For four decades, it’s often been the Edison Theatre at Washington University.

The Muny

The St. Louis Muny has announced its 2015 season, which includes three shows that are new to its stage.

Upstream Theater presents Antigone 2014
Peter Wochniak

The themes of Sophocles' "Antigone" are timeless. They're also timely, resonating with issues around a Ferguson police officer shooting and killing unarmed teenager Michael Brown this past August.

Kara Campbell, Kirsten Wylder, and husband James, Scott De Broux, look on at son Thomas, Robin Stricklin as he learns to feel the music.
Provided by Gaslight Theatre

Parents face many twists and turns as they forge through the mystery of their child’s autism. An updated local play about autism also involves unraveling a thorny thriller.

John Lamb

A dark comedy, "Quills" imagines the final days of French aristocrat and writer Marquis de Sade “somewhat fictionalized to my own nefarious purposes,” said playwright Doug Wright.

“It is a play that tackles provocative literature and sexuality and a host of other taboo topics in, I hope, a way that audiences find fiendishly entertaining.”

The marquis was confined to an asylum in Charenton, France.

Peter Wochniak

St. Louis native Shepherd Mead used his own experiences to write his satirical best-seller “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.” His work was then turned into a musical, and Stages St. Louis is bringing it back to St. Louis.

Cast members Heather Ayers, Betsy Dilellio and Ben Nordstrom talked about the musical comedy, in which window washer J. Pierrepont Finch (played by Nordstrom) moves up to vice president of advertising at the World Wide Wicket Co.

Nancy Fowler | St. Louis Public Radio

Coming away with a new favorite song is part of the Muny tradition for thousands of St. Louis families. But some families are taking home more than a catchy tune — they’re also leaving with paychecks.

Five members of the Heet family have worked at the Muny as ushers. Two are still on the job. Alex Heet, 21, is a college student in her fifth summer at the Muny. Her sister, Sarah, 18, is ushering for a third year.

Zoe Vonder Haar and Jacqueline Petroccia as Louise Seger and Patsy Cline in Stages' presentation of “Always…Patsy Cline.”
Peter Wochniak | Pro Photo STL

From the minute Patsy Cline’s biggest fan demands “How y’all doin’?” you just know it’s just a matter of time before she’s side-by-side with the singer, doing the swim to “Stupid Cupid.” Watch out, front row and bald-headed men, the spotlight's headed your way too.

Kelsey Proud

Originally published Monday, April 14. Updated Friday, April 18 after Cityscape to include audio from the show and the Name the Dog quiz.

Does your dog enjoy the spotlight? Can he or she endure a few flying monkeys and a simulated tornado?

Congratulations – you may be the proud pet parent of not only a special pup but the next Toto, too. Southern Illinois University Edwardsville is seeking a dog to play Dorothy’s canine sidekick in its summer production of “The Wizard of Oz.”