Chris Gibson

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 Review: Remarkable FINDING NEVERLAND at The FOXBWW Review: FINDING NEVERLAND
Posted: Dec. 16, 2016


BWW Review: New Jewish Theatre's Excellent DRIVING MISS DAISYBWW Review: DRIVING MISS DAISY
Posted: Dec. 8, 2016


BWW Review: The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis's Timeless Classic A CHRISTMAS CAROLBWW Review: The REP's Timeless Classic A CHRISTMAS CAROL
Posted: Dec. 16, 2016


LAST 365 DAYS

BEST OF 2015 by Chris GibsonBest of 2015 by Chris Gibson
Posted: Jan. 4, 2016


BWW Review: Shakespeare Festival St. Louis' Fantastic A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAMBWW Review: Shakespeare Festival St. Louis' Fantastic A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM
Posted: Jun. 18, 2016


BWW Review: THE WIZARD OF OZ Wows at The MUNYBWW Review: THE WIZARD OF OZ Wows at The MUNY
Posted: Jun. 17, 2016


BWW Review: Remarkable FINDING NEVERLAND at The FOXBWW Review: FINDING NEVERLAND
Posted: Dec. 16, 2016


BWW Review: The MUNY Closes with Exceptional AIDABWW Review: The MUNY Closes with Exceptional AIDA
Posted: Aug. 11, 2016


BWW Review: OTSL and Alarm Will Sound Present Harrowing THE HUNGER at the TouhillBWW Review: OTSL and Alarm Will Sound Present Harrowing THE HUNGER at the Touhill
Posted: Sep. 21, 2016


BWW Review: The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis Presents Inspired Production of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRDBWW Review: The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis Presents Inspired Production of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD
February 16, 2017

The Repertory Theatre of St Louis is presenting Christopher Sergel's adaptation of Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize winning novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, and it's a stunning production that is sure to be a smash hit. The addition of a representative group of African Americans referenced in the program as 'The Community' improves the experience immeasurably. The play itself has only a couple of characters of color, and in previous productions I've seen this presented a problem for me, given that the story is about injustice. This seemed to me to be a sort of injustice in and of itself. The basic story was there, of course, but something was missing that would further enhance a clearer understanding of the atmosphere and period. Now I can't imagine a staging that shouldn't follow this lead. This is a powerful and timely show that qualifies impressively as must-see entertainment.

BWW Review: STAGES Triple Threat Teens Perform Memorable THE THEORY OF RELATIVITYBWW Review: STAGES Triple Threat Teens Perform Memorable THE THEORY OF RELATIVITY
February 14, 2017

STAGES' Triple Threat Teens presented THE THEORY OF RELATIVITY this past weekend, and it was not only the Midwestern premiere, but also the first time the musical had been put on by a youth group. That's especially significant because this work (music and lyrics by Neil Bartram with book by Brian Hill) is all about the things that young adults go through as they grow and mature. The Triple Threat Teens live up to their name in this truly entertaining and amusing piece of theatre. It was a very enjoyable experience, and I look forward to more presentations by this highly talented group!

BWW Review: Brilliantly Funny SOMETHING ROTTEN! at The Fox TheatreBWW Review: Brilliantly Funny SOMETHING ROTTEN! at The Fox Theatre
February 11, 2017

I know that some critics will probably refer to Monty Python's Flying Circus or the work of Mel Brooks when they try to explain the appeal of SOMETHING ROTTEN!. There are some similarities to both, but the fact is, this show (book by Karey Kirkpatrick and John O'Farrell with Music and Lyrics by Wayne and Karey Kirkpatrick) is actually something uniquely original. Sure a lot of contemporary musicals have taken the opportunity to crack wise while parodying musical theatre tropes before, but never as thoroughly and hilariously. The current touring show at The Fox Theatre is just great fun, and I highly recommend that you attend!

BWW Review: Upstream Theater's Extraordinarily Imaginative Production of THE YEAR OF THE BICYCLEBWW Review: Upstream Theater's Extraordinarily Imaginative Production of THE YEAR OF THE BICYCLE
February 3, 2017

I always look forward to every show by Upstream Theater, because I know I will transported somewhere I've never been before. It may be another country, or it may be a state of mind. Whatever the case, I know it will be a magical place that will take me far beyond any expectations I may have. With playwright Joanna Evans' THE YEAR OF THE BICYCLE, we're taken to places that fall into both categories. Acted with passion and energy, and brimming with an extraordinary sense of visual style, this production explores relations in South Africa between whites and blacks, while also giving us a glimpse of the afterlife. It's only about an hour or so long, but it leaves a lasting impression. This is what Upstream Theater consistently does; provide must-see productions that challenge and invigorate.

BWW Review: The New Jewish Theatre's Thoughtful and Thought-Provoking Production of INTIMATE APPARELBWW Review: The New Jewish Theatre's Thoughtful and Thought-Provoking Production of INTIMATE APPAREL
February 2, 2017

The New Jewish Theatre's production of playwright Lynn Nottage's INTIMATE APPAREL is a very engaging work that presents the audience with layers of text and subtext to chew on. It's primarily about the pursuit of a dream, and the events that occur that may delay or derail that dream, but not to the point where the protagonist ever gives up hope. Though set in New York at the turn of the last century, there are a lot of issues brought forth that will ring true for a modern audience. In these especially difficult times, it's a reminder of the way people of color were treated then, something we have to work vigilantly to make sure doesn't happen again. Drawing on the experiences of her great-grandmother, Nottage has written a wonderfully touching, and ultimately hopeful, work that is brought to life with an incredibly well done production by The New Jewish Theatre. I recommend it highly!

BWW Review: The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis Presents a Myriad of Possibilities with CONSTELLATIONSBWW Review: The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis Presents a Myriad of Possibilities with CONSTELLATIONS
January 30, 2017

Playwright Nick Payne takes an unusual approach to his work, CONSTELLATIONS, crafting a simple story that's made more complex by the way in which he allows it to unfold. It's a interesting and engaging piece of theatre that the less open minded might find a bit frustrating due to the very nature of its construction. The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis had put together a fascinating production of this work, which is graced with two excellent performances and sharp direction that fully seeks to explore the world that is created. I found it thoroughly engaging, and I think it's a play that deserves your time and attention.

BWW Review: Gloriously Rendered AN AMERICAN IN PARIS at The Fox TheatreBWW Review: Gloriously Rendered AN AMERICAN IN PARIS at The Fox Theatre
January 23, 2017

The 1951 film, AN AMERICAN IN PARIS, was recently broadcast on Turner Classic Movies, and I had a chance to watch it before attending the recent musical adaptation that is currently playing the Fox Theatre. The film is a classic, and I'm happy to report that the new musical version is an excellent take on the story. Filled with wonderful "triple threat" (acting, dancing, singing) performances that do more than justice to the original work, this is an uplifting, amusing, and immensely entertaining production that I cannot recommend highly enough. The opportunity to hear such lush orchestrations of George Gershwin's (lyrics by Ira Gershwin) music, combined with some extraordinary dance sequences and a compelling story, is one that should not be missed.The 1951 film, AN AMERICAN IN PARIS, was recently broadcast on Turner Classic Movies, and I had a chance to watch it before attending the recent musical adaptation that is currently playing the Fox Theatre. The film is a classic, and I'm happy to report that the new musical version is an excellent take on the story. Filled with wonderful "triple threat" (acting, dancing, singing) performances that do more than justice to the original work, this is an uplifting, amusing, and immensely entertaining production that I cannot recommend highly enough. The opportunity to hear such lush orchestrations of George Gershwin's (lyrics by Ira Gershwin) music, combined with some extraordinary dance sequences and a compelling story, is one that should not be missed.

BWW Review: The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis's Compelling ALL MY SONSBWW Review: The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis's Compelling ALL MY SONS
January 17, 2017

It's hard to believe that award-winning playwright Arthur Miller crafted ALL MY SONS as a last ditch effort to produce a commercially successful work after his initial offering failed after less than a week of performances. Based upon a true story, Miller's work is a compelling story that succeeded and sent him on his way to writing some of the most powerful plays of the twentieth century. For the second half of their 50th anniversary season, the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis produces an excellent rendering that features stellar direction and an excellent cast. I highly recommend this show.

BWW Review: The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis's Timeless Classic A CHRISTMAS CAROLBWW Review: The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis's Timeless Classic A CHRISTMAS CAROL
December 16, 2016

Perhaps the best way to approach Dickens' venerable A CHRISTMAS CAROL is straight-forward, with a generous helping of music, sterling performances, and some cool effects to liven up the proceedings. After all, the story, which dates from 1843, has been reworked, parodied, and used as a device by nearly every sitcom and animated show ever made. So, what's old seems new again in The Repertory of St. Louis' current presentation for the holidays. And, what a treat it is. David H. Bell's adaptation is faithful to the spirit and language of the story, which occurs when the industrial revolution has wreaked havoc on the lives of both the old and young. Filled with energy and enthusiasm, this is an absolute must-see for the Christmas season!

BWW Review: Remarkable FINDING NEVERLAND at The FOXBWW Review: Remarkable FINDING NEVERLAND at The FOX
December 16, 2016

If you're looking for spectacular entertainment that fills you with wonder then look no further; FINDING NEVERLAND is the show for you. This would be a very good show based solely on the book (James Graham) and music (music and lyrics by Gary Barlow and Eliot Kennedy) that it features, but it goes far beyond that in conjuring up an absolutely remarkable theatrical experience. Based on THE MAN WHO WAS PETER PAN, by Allan Knee, as well as the eponymous motion picture, this is a marvelously cast, tune-filled excursion into the imagination of J.M. Barrie. It's really a must-see show, so catch it while you can!

BWW Review: New Jewish Theatre's Excellent DRIVING MISS DAISYBWW Review: New Jewish Theatre's Excellent DRIVING MISS DAISY
December 8, 2016

Playwright Alfred Uhry's Pulizter Prize winning work, DRIVING MISS DAISY, is the latest offering by The New Jewish Theatre, and it's an excellent production. Over the years this play has provided a lot of famous actors and actresses with the opportunity to bring these wonderful characters to life, and of course, there's a very well known film version as well. But forget all that and just enjoy the intimacy and immediacy of live theatre. This is a delightful 90 minute show, and I highly recommend it.

BWW CD Review: David Lanz's Lovely NORWEGIAN RAINBWW CD Review: David Lanz's Lovely NORWEGIAN RAIN
November 21, 2016

The incredibly accomplished pianist David Lanz continues to deliver imaginative and creative works, and they've come at time in his life when he seems positively re-energized; making vital, emotional, and personal compositions with Kristin Amarie Lanz that are simply a pleasure to listen to. NORWEGIAN RAIN continues the tradition with a collection of songs that conjure up images of Norway in all its seasonal and cultural splendor. Inspired by trips to Norway, and the musical relationship he formed with his wife's grandfather's upright piano, Lanz has produced a truly special work well worthy of your time and attention. I highly recommend it!

BWW Review: Amazing FUN HOME at the Fox TheatreBWW Review: Amazing FUN HOME at the Fox Theatre
November 21, 2016

I was book shopping a while back and stumbled across the graphic novel FUN HOME by Alison Bechdel. I sat down and read through it, appreciating Bechdel's artistic style, but also thoroughly engaged in the glimpses into her life that filled the pages. The musical version (music by Jeanine Tesori, with book and lyrics by Lisa Kron) definitely captures the essence of Bechdel's work, and that's really important when something is adapted for the stage. The current touring production of this show is playing at the Fox Theatre and I highly recommend this 2015 Tony Award winner.

BWW Review: Mustard Seed Theatre's Splendidly Rendered ALL IS CALM - THE CHRISTMAS TRUCE OF 1914BWW Review: Mustard Seed Theatre's Splendidly Rendered ALL IS CALM - THE CHRISTMAS TRUCE OF 1914
November 16, 2016

Mustard Seed Theatre has brought back their popular staging of ALL IS CALM - THE CHRISTMAS TRUCE OF 1914 (for what they say is the last time, at least, for a while), which premiered in 2013, and it remains a piece of theatre that's worthy of your time and attention. Originally broadcast on Minnesota Public Radio, but later turned into a moving and compelling theatrical experience. The creators of this amazing work are Peter Rothstein, Erick Lichte, and Timothy C. Takach. If you haven't see it then you need to make sure you do so during its current run, and even if you have see it before, I don't have to tell you that it's well worth seeing again.

BWW Review: The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis's Taut MOTHERS AND SONSBWW Review: The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis's Taut MOTHERS AND SONS
November 15, 2016

Few playwrights tackle the subject of HIV/AIDS like Terrence McNally. Watching a generation wither away before his eyes has led him to explore the impact it has had in a number of works. One is ANDRE'S MOTHER, a short play which he was asked to expand. But, McNally opted to continue the story into the present day, and that choice acts to remind us that those left behind still suffer the pain of having lost a loved one, no matter how much time has passed, or how much things have changed medically and culturally. The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis opens their Studio Theatre season with an intimate and moving production of MOTHERS AND SONS, and it's driven by an exceptional cast and thoughtfully conceived direction.

BWW Reviews: The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis' Gripping UNTIL THE FLOODBWW Reviews: The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis' Gripping UNTIL THE FLOOD
October 27, 2016

The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis continues their 50th season with the powerful and thought-provoking one person play UNTIL THE FLOOD by Dael Orlandersmith, who also stars. This is the world premier of a work specifically commissioned by The Rep. While focusing on the events surrounding and following the death of Michael Brown, who was shot by a policeman in Ferguson, MO, the characters we meet will no doubt resonate with people in many communities around the country. This is gripping theatre that gives us a group of composite characters who all affected in one way or another by the situation that occurred. It's also a must-see show that will have a profound effect on everyone who views it.

BWW Review: Stray Dog Theatre's Rousing and Arousing THE ROCKY HORROR SHOWBWW Review: Stray Dog Theatre's Rousing and Arousing THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW
October 26, 2016

I can recall viewing The Rocky Horror Picture Show at the old Varsity Theatre in the Delmar Loop before it closed its doors many years ago. There was a mood generated by the grungy atmosphere of that old movie house, with fans packed in like sardines, and dressed in various character costumes for the occasion, that's impossible to recreate when you can just pop in the DVD or Blu-Ray and watch it at home by yourself. Besides, it's always more fun to see it with an enthusiastic crowd. Happily, Stray Dog Theatre is presenting an enjoyable and thoroughly engaging production of the original musical the film was based upon, THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW, and they encourage audience participation (within reason). Go and have an absolute blast!

BWW Review: Upstream Theaters Tense and Intense SUSPENDEDBWW Review: Upstream Theaters Tense and Intense SUSPENDED
October 20, 2016

Upstream Theater opens their new season with a work by playwright Maya Arad Yasur called SUSPENDED. It's a fascinating piece of theater that touches on the issue of immigrants, and the challenges they face. Many cling to their old beliefs and ways, while some try to completely immerse themselves in our culture because they seek to blend in rather than stand out. These two points of view are discussed at length as a pair of window washers address the world that exists behind the glass they clean. At the same time, a link between the gentleman emerges that reveals some painful truths as to what went on before they actually came to this country. Once again, Upstream Theater has given us something that timely, and which will provide plenty to chew on. It's an engaging and entertaining 75 minute presentation that demands to be seen.

BWW Review: The New Jewish Theatre's Fascinating GOLDA'S BALCONYBWW Review: The New Jewish Theatre's Fascinating GOLDA'S BALCONY
October 14, 2016

After playwright William Gibson's GOLDA fizzled he reworked the material to form the one woman show GOLDA'S BALCONY. It's been a big success for the actresses who have undertaken the role, and we're lucky to have one of St. Louis' finest portraying this historically important figure. The New Jewish Theatre's current production, which opens their 20th season, gives Lavonne Byers the opportunity to, once again, thoroughly engage and enthrall an audience, while giving us insights into Golda Meir's fascinating life story. This is an incredibly well crafted presentation that definitely deserves your attendance.

BWW Review: New Line Theatre's Fantastic CELEBRATIONBWW Review: New Line Theatre's Fantastic CELEBRATION
October 13, 2016

Though I'm extremely familiar with Tom Jones' (words) and Harvey Schmidt's (music) most popular work, THE FANTASTICKS, I had never seen their follow up, CELEBRATION. What I'd read while doing research was that it really fizzled once it was on Broadway. However, after seeing it I can understand why; it's a smaller scaled show that requires just the right venue to succeed. That's why I'm so glad New Line Theatre opened their 26th season with this fanciful and tune-filled musical. Through their superlative efforts we're able to see the premiere of a version that's been revised by Tom Jones. I'm not sure what was changed, but what we're privy to is a very engaging and entertaining production that will make you wonder why it isn't performed with more regularity. The score itself is gorgeous, and I cannot recommend this neglected gem highly enough.



...
1