INVENTING VAN GOGH Opens West End Players Guild's 102nd Season Tonight, 10/5

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The West End Players Guild's 2012-13 season – the troupe's number 102- will be all new to St. Louis theatre-goers, featuring four St. Louis premieres. The season opens tonight, October 5 with Steven Dietz's Inventing Van Gogh, followed in November by Chloe Moss's This Wide Night. In February, the troupe will present John Morogiello's Engaging Shaw. The season wraps in April with Michael Hollinger's Opus.

Inventing Van Gogh, directed by Steve Callahan, will be presented tonight, October 5-14. It is a story about finding truth in art, fraud in art and truth in art fraud. The action flows back and forth between Van Gogh's studio in late 19th century France and the present-day studio of Patrick Stone, an artist hired to perpetrate the colossal fraud of creating Van Gogh's long-sought "lost" final self portrait.

This Wide Night, directed by Sean Ruprecht-Belt, will be presented November 9-18. This Wide Night is a tender portrayal of two damaged women trying to repair their broken lives. On her release from prison, Lorraine heads straight to her former cellmate Marie's apartment. On the inside they shared everything, but the friendship that once protected them now threatens to smother the fragile freedom they have found.

Engaging Shaw, directed by Robert Ashton, will be presented February 8-17. The story follows the real-life courtship of George Bernard Shawand Charlotte Payne-Townshend, the woman he pursued until she caught him. The play brims with the wit and ego of Shaw, creating what the New York Times called "a charming romantic comedy featuring four razor-sharp tongues. If there's a minute of the play that's less than clever, you'll be hard-pressed to find it."

Director Jerry McAdams will bring down the curtain on the 102nd season with Opus, running April 5-14. In this tale of sex, drugs and chamber music, a world-class string quartet takes a chance on a gifted but relatively inexperienced young woman. With only a few days to rehearse a grueling Beethoven masterpiece, the four struggle to prepare their highest-profile performance ever-a televised ceremony at the White House. Their rehearsal room becomes a pressure-cooker as passions rise, personalities clash, and The Players are forced to confront the ephemeral nature of their life's work. Opus premiered on Broadway in 2007 and won numerous outstanding new play awards.

All shows will be performed Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. in the theatre at the Union Avenue Christian Church, 733 Union Blvd. (just north of Delmar). The church offers ample free parking at the rear of the building, near the theatre entrance. Season tickets as well as individual tickets for all shows can be purchased on-line at www.WestEndPlayers.org.

Actors note: Auditions for Inventing Van Gogh and This Wide Night will be held on Saturday, July 7, at 12:00 noon at the Union Avenue Christian Church. For more information on the auditions, including plot synopses and character descriptions, visit www.WestEndPlayers.org or check our notice on http://www.stlauditions.com.

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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.


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