Chris Gibson

Chris has been active in the local theatre scene for over 30 years. In addition to his acting work, he's also contributed as a director, writer and composer. Though, initially a film buff, he grew tired of the sanitized, PG-13 rated blockbusters that were being continually shoved down his throat by the studios. An opportunity to review theatre in St. Louis has grown exponentially with the sudden explosion of venues and talent in the region. He now finds himself obsessed with witnessing those precious, electric moments that can only happen live, on stage.
MOST POPULAR ARTICLES
LAST 30 DAYS

BWW Reviews: The Rep's Inspiring Production of SOUPS, STEWS AND CASSEROLES: 1976BWW Reviews: The Rep's Inspiring Production of SOUPS, STEWS AND CASSEROLES: 1976
Posted: Mar. 18, 2014


BWW Reviews: Energetic and Fun Production of WE WILL ROCK YOU Plays the Fox TheatreBWW Reviews: Energetic and Fun Production of WE WILL ROCK YOU Plays the Fox Theatre
Posted: Mar. 20, 2014


BWW Reviews: Stray Dog Theatre's Finely Rendered Production of CABARETBWW Reviews: Stray Dog Theatre's Finely Rendered Production of CABARET
Posted: Apr. 9, 2014


BWW Reviews: The Rep's Incredibly Funny Production of NOISES OFFBWW Reviews: The Rep's Incredibly Funny Production of NOISES OFF
Posted: Mar. 26, 2014


BWW Reviews: Preview of Upcoming MADCO Show LIQUID ROADSBWW Reviews: Preview of Upcoming MADCO Show LIQUID ROADS
Posted: Apr. 8, 2014


BWW Reviews: New Jewish Theatre's Powerful Production of THE PRICEBWW Reviews: New Jewish Theatre's Powerful Production of THE PRICE
Posted: Mar. 26, 2014


BWW Reviews: West End Player's Guild's Amusing Production of RXBWW Reviews: West End Player's Guild's Amusing Production of RX
Posted: Apr. 9, 2014


LAST 365 DAYS

BWW Reviews: Rep Opens Season with Sexy and Captivating Production of CABARETBWW Reviews: Rep Opens Season with Sexy and Captivating Production of CABARET
Posted: Sep. 16, 2013


BWW Reviews: New Line Theatre's Wonderful Production of RENTBWW Reviews: New Line Theatre's Wonderful Production of RENT
Posted: Mar. 10, 2014


BWW Reviews: The Muny's Captivating Production of LES MISERABLESBWW Reviews: The Muny's Captivating Production of LES MISERABLES
Posted: Jul. 18, 2013


BWW Reviews: Upstream Theater's Brilliant DIARY OF A MADMANBWW Reviews: Upstream Theater's Brilliant DIARY OF A MADMAN
Posted: Oct. 9, 2013


BWW Reviews: NUNSENSE Muny StyleBWW Reviews: NUNSENSE Muny Style
Posted: Jul. 3, 2013


BWW Reviews: Playful and Energetic GODSPELL at the Peabody Opera HouseBWW Reviews: Playful and Energetic GODSPELL at the Peabody Opera House
Posted: Nov. 16, 2013


BWW Reviews: Splendid Production of LEGALLY BLONDE by Stages St. LouisBWW Reviews: Splendid Production of LEGALLY BLONDE by Stages St. Louis
Posted: Jul. 28, 2013


BWW Reviews: MADCO Impresses with LIQUID ROADSBWW Reviews: MADCO Impresses with LIQUID ROADS
April 15, 2014

I have to thank the Artistic Director of MADCO, Stacy West, for allowing me to see the first full-run through of LIQUID ROADS. I was completely captivated by the union of music and dance I experienced, and found the piece thoroughly entertaining. And, I wondered how it would all come together on stage with a live band accompanying the performers. Well, naturally, it was even better than I'd imagined, adding another level of excitement to the proceedings.
BWW Reviews: ONCE Charms at The Fabulous Fox TheatreBWW Reviews: ONCE Charms at The Fabulous Fox Theatre
April 15, 2014

ONCE, the Oscar-winning film ("Falling Slowly"), has a lot of qualities to it that don't immediately make you think it should transition well to the stage. It's a simple story that deals mostly with two main characters, and it doesn't have an "in your face" type of score, or mood about it. And yet, somehow writer Enda Walsh (book) is able to maintain that intimate intensity without sacrificing its charms. It helps that Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova have crafted a subtle, but fine collection of tunes that really work well to assist in telling the story, even on a big stage. The current production gracing the Fox Theatre is wonderfully directed (John Tiffany), and makes for a perfect "date night" out. This Tony Award winner is deserved of its praise and delivers must-see entertainment.
BWW Reviews: West End Player's Guild's Amusing Production of RXBWW Reviews: West End Player's Guild's Amusing Production of RX
April 9, 2014

There's always a risk involved in becoming a test subject for a new drug. It's a necessary process for the pharmaceutical companies since it reveals the benefits and detriments of their latest discovery. But, the people who undertake these studies are often desperate for something that will help them, and there's a definite drive to see them succeed. But, at what costs? That's one of the questions playwright Kate Fodor explores in RX, a kind of romantic comedy that also touches on a serious subject matter. Though it remains a bit uneven in tone, it's likable and engaging as well. The current production by the West End Players Guild is certainly worth checking out, and provides plenty of food for thought.
BWW Reviews: Stray Dog Theatre's Finely Rendered Production of CABARETBWW Reviews: Stray Dog Theatre's Finely Rendered Production of CABARET
April 9, 2014

Stray Dog Theatre tackles another classic musical, bringing Kander and Ebb's CABARET to the stage at the Tower Grove Abbey on this occasion. and It's a splendid rendition that combines a strong cast with incisive direction. Some bench seats have even also been removed to allow for a group of smaller club tables to surround an extended stage that puts the show right in your lap. I like that. I'm always a fan of any presentation where the audience can actually feel the intensity that the actors are putting forth. This production is definitely worth seeing, and judging by the large crowds, tickets will go fast.
BWW Reviews: Preview of Upcoming MADCO Show LIQUID ROADSBWW Reviews: Preview of Upcoming MADCO Show LIQUID ROADS
April 8, 2014

I was lucky enough to be invited to the first full run through of MADCO's (the Modern American Dance Company, led by artistic director Stacy West) latest production, LIQUID ROADS and even in the unfinished state I saw it in, it promises to be a lively and wonderful presentation. Choreographer Gina Patterson has created a 90 minute work that focuses our attention on the music that has traveled the length of the Mississippi River, providing us with a collection of classic blues and original works that captures the flavor of that experience.
BWW Reviews: HotCity Theatre's RED LIGHT WINTERBWW Reviews: HotCity Theatre's RED LIGHT WINTER
April 8, 2014

Though this review is late in arriving, I wanted to publish it anyway because I found HotCity Theatre's production of playwright Adam Rapp's RED LIGHT WINTER so intriguing. This is a raw and edgy work that doesn't pull any punches. It's adult in its themes, and filled with rough language that initially shocks in its frankness. Though it's tone is often uneven, and some of the relationships seem a bit odd, HotCity's presentation is very well performed and skillfully directed. If you missed it, then you missed a fascinating piece of theatre that manages to get under your skin.
BWW Reviews: New Jewish Theatre's Powerful Production of THE PRICEBWW Reviews: New Jewish Theatre's Powerful Production of THE PRICE
March 26, 2014

Writer Arthur Miller's THE PRICE is a powerful and engaging work that uses a simple set up to discuss the "price" everyone pays for the decisions they make in life. Each choice we make makes an impact on those around us, often deeper than we're aware of. Though emotionally charged and dramatic, this is also a play that is quite funny at times. The current production by The New Jewish Theatre crackles with the kind of bristling energy we've come to associate with Miller's work, and with exceptional theatre. The Price is definitely worth checking out.
BWW Reviews: The Rep's Incredibly Funny Production of NOISES OFFBWW Reviews: The Rep's Incredibly Funny Production of NOISES OFF
March 26, 2014

The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis closes another wonderful season with playwright Michael Frayn's hilarious farce within a farce, NOISES OFF. Frayn's work is just downright funny, but it's especially amusing to anyone who's ever taken part in a stage production sometime in their life. The Rep's presentation is excellent, with a talented cast that seems to be having a blast playing this material. It's a marvelous way to bring the season to an end, and it's a must-see production.
BWW Reviews: Energetic and Fun Production of WE WILL ROCK YOU Plays the Fox TheatreBWW Reviews: Energetic and Fun Production of WE WILL ROCK YOU Plays the Fox Theatre
March 20, 2014

If there's any 'jukebox' musical that should be wildly over the top it would have to be one connected with the 70's and 80's rock group Queen. It just makes sense. Their music always had a sort of 'larger than life', heroic quality to it to begin with. So, it's only natural that WE WILL ROCK YOU (book by Ben Elton), the stage adaptation, delivers a perfectly cheesy science fiction plot that forecasts a dystopian future where instruments and composers have become outlawed. With a thumping ten-piece band pumping out the score, this amusing and undeniably wacky production is rockin' the Fabulous Fox Theatre.
BWW Reviews: The Rep's Inspiring Production of SOUPS, STEWS AND CASSEROLES: 1976BWW Reviews: The Rep's Inspiring Production of SOUPS, STEWS AND CASSEROLES: 1976
March 18, 2014

A graduate of the Rep's Ignite! Play Festival (the 2014 festival takes place this week), playwright Rebecca Gilman's work, SOUPS, STEWS AND CASSEROLES: 1976, is currently receiving it's world premiere in the Studio Theatre of the Loretto-Hilton. This is a smart and funny piece with a message that still resonates today, and I found myself genuinely moved by it. Having been a teen during the year 1976 when this action takes place, I can readily identify with the themes and values presented here. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
BWW Reviews: ELAINE STRITCH: SHOOT MEBWW Reviews: ELAINE STRITCH: SHOOT ME
March 14, 2014

While you watch ELAINE STRITCH: SHOOT ME, you'll hear the legendary lady described in a variety of ways. She can at turns be feisty, ferocious, headstrong, independent, tough as nails, one of kind, and any other adjective you can think. And she can also be vulnerable. Actress and icon Elaine Stritch has already left a legacy of work on Broadway, film and television for generations to continue to discover, but she's a restless spirit, determined to soldier on and keep the entertainment cooking. Retirement seems a dim possibility.
BWW Reviews: Delightful PETER AND THE STARCATCHER at the Peabody Opera HouseBWW Reviews: Delightful PETER AND THE STARCATCHER at the Peabody Opera House
March 10, 2014

Local author Ridley Pearson, along with Dave Barry, crafted an interesting 'prequel' to the story of Peter Pan with their entertaining novel PETER AND THE STARCATCHER. The stage production of this tale, written by Rick Elice, is a similarly imaginative effort that utilizes a relatively small cast, with just about everyone playing multiple roles, and a frenetic pace that captures the same qualities that distinguished the original work. An engaging touring production with a very talented cast played the Peabody Opera House this weekend (March 7-9, 2014), and it was well worth the trip.
BWW Reviews: New Line Theatre's Wonderful Production of RENTBWW Reviews: New Line Theatre's Wonderful Production of RENT
March 10, 2014

If you think you've seen RENT before, you really haven't. The touring companies with adults in the lead roles never really worked for me. They all seemed too old and mature to be portraying what is basically a 'coming of age' story. That's where New Line Theatre's current production really gets it right, and why you have to check it out immediately. A very talented, enthusiastic, and youthful cast brings Jonathan Larson's (book, music and lyrics) work to life in vibrant, intimate fashion that makes you actually care about these characters and their situation. This is a must-see show, and I cannot recommend it highly enough.
BWW Reviews: JERSEY BOYS is a Blast at the Fox TheatreBWW Reviews: JERSEY BOYS is a Blast at the Fox Theatre
February 25, 2014

I don't think there's any "jukebox musical" that's as entertaining and interesting as JERSEY BOYS, and there are a lot of musicals out there that rely on classic rock, pop, country and blues for their score. What sets JERSEY BOYS apart from the rest is the fact that it actually has a story to tell (book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice), and it integrates these timeless tunes seamlessly (music by Bob Gaudio and lyrics by Bob Crewe, although a plethora of other songwriters contribute as well) by examining how they were created and recorded. The current touring production playing the Fabulous Fox Theatre is a nostalgic blast that's sharply performed and staged.
BWW Reviews: Mustard Seed Theatre's Fascinating Production of GEE'S BENDBWW Reviews: Mustard Seed Theatre's Fascinating Production of GEE'S BEND
February 20, 2014

Quilting is truly an art form, and though a lot of the quilts made over the years were made strictly out of necessity, a lot of them now hang in art museums. Playwright Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder uses this fact to tell the story of the Pettway women from Gee's Bend, Alabama. Now, if you're thinking that quilting is all this play is about, you'd be mistaken. It's certainly a part of the picture, but Wilder let's us view the family as they age and confront the changes that occur to them against the backdrop of our history. GEE'S BEND is a fascinating piece that's deserving of your time and attention, and Mustard Seed Theatre has put together a very fine production.
BWW Reviews: The Rep's Revealing Production of OTHER DESERT CITIESBWW Reviews: The Rep's Revealing Production of OTHER DESERT CITIES
February 19, 2014

Playwright Jon Robin Baitz has crafted an engaging an entertaining dramatic work with his play, OTHER DESERT CITIES. This isn't your typical 'coming home for the holidays' type of story, and the emotional toll that it takes on its characters resonates. The fact is, the details of the plot would probably ring true for any number of families who have had their life revealed in print by one or more of their offspring. It's the kind of tale that requires an excellent ensemble to truly bring it to life, and happily, the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis has assembled a superb one.
BWW Reviews: Stray Dog Theatre's Consistently Amusing Production of THE LITTLE DOG LAUGHEDBWW Reviews: Stray Dog Theatre's Consistently Amusing Production of THE LITTLE DOG LAUGHED
February 19, 2014

In our current celebrity-obsessed world, Hollywood is still a dream factory inhabited by people who are held to a higher standard, even though they're just as screwed up and insecure as the rest of us. We're all searching for happiness of some sort, but we're often too willing to sell out what our heart's desire if it stands any chance of jeopardizing our current success. Douglas Carter Beane examines this paradoxical behavior in his brilliant comedic work THE LITTLE DOG LAUGHED, and Stray Dog Theatre continues their fine season with a very good production of this timely work.
BWW Reviews: Upstream Theater's Heart-Breaking FORGET ME NOTBWW Reviews: Upstream Theater's Heart-Breaking FORGET ME NOT
February 6, 2014

FORGET ME NOT by playwright Tom Holloway explores a story torn from the tragic practice of "child migration" that was utilized during times of war and unrest in Great Britain since the 1600s. This is a poignant, touching and, ultimately, heart-breaking tale of one family's journey to reconnect. The acting and direction are simply superb, and you'd have to be a pretty tough person not to be moved by it. Upstream Theater's intimate production will linger in your memory long after the lights come up.
BWW Reviews: The New Jewish Theatre's Powerful Production of THE WHIPPING MANBWW Reviews: The New Jewish Theatre's Powerful Production of THE WHIPPING MAN
February 6, 2014

Playwright Matthew Lopez's THE WHIPPING MAN is a genuinely intriguing look at religion and the aftereffects of emancipation that is set in the days following the end of the Civil War. It examines a subject unfamiliar to most, and that's the fact that there were slaves on plantations that were raised in the Jewish faith. Informative and powerful, it's been given a wonderful staging by the New Jewish Theatre.
BWW Reviews: New Line Off Line's Lively Cabaret, WHAT THE HELL ARE WE DOING HERE?BWW Reviews: New Line Off Line's Lively Cabaret, WHAT THE HELL ARE WE DOING HERE?
January 30, 2014

I've seen a great deal of cabaret shows over the years, and some are lively and enjoyable, while others are so serious and studied that it's sometimes work just to sit through them. But, New Line Off Line's Cabaret, WHAT THE HELL ARE WE DOING HERE?(January 25th at the Kranzberg), is a kind of cat indeed. It's a cabaret with attitude. Fresh and full of cool, the show offers a plethora of offbeat material that deserves to be heard by an audience. In director Mike Dowdy's more than capable hands, performers Ryan Foizey and Marcy Wiegert blasted their way through about an hour of songs and personal patter to the absolute delight of a sold out crowd.


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