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Steve Callahan

Steve Callahan

A native Kansan I have a BA (Math and Theatre) and MA (Theatre). I was working on a PhD in Theatre when IBM sniffed my math background and lured me away with money enough to feed my (then two) children. Nevertheless I've been active in theatre all my life--having directed sixty-one productions (everything from opera in Poughkeepsie to Mrozek in Woodstock to musical melodrama in Germany) and I've acted in ninety others. Now that I'm retired I don't have that eight-to-five distraction and can focus a bit more. I've regularly reviewed theatre in St. Louis for KDHX since 1991 and for BWW since 2001.


Review: LA RONDINE at Winter Opera
November 25, 2022

Winter Opera has presented a truly gorgeous production of Puccini's La Rondine (The Swallow). Puccini is the supreme master of romantic melody, and in Rondine he outdoes himself. I love this opera, my heart having been beguiled early by one lilting, gently syncopated romantic waltz refrain that recurs again and again like the memory of a distant sweet infatuation.

Review: THE GOOD SHIP ST. LOUIS at Upstream Theater
November 14, 2022

The world premiere of 'The Good Ship St. Louis' is beautiful, theatrical, stylish, poetic, rich. It's a gracefully told tale of doomed refugees.

Review: A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC at Union Avenue Opera
August 25, 2022

This, Sondheim's most charming work, receives a splendid production at Union Avenue Opera. Yesterday I mentioned to two of my kids that we'd just seen A Little Night Music. Now they had both memorized most of Sweeney Todd some forty years ago while in grade school or junior high, so I was appalled to find that neither of them was familiar with this earlier Sondheim masterpiece. What sort of wretchedly deprived childhood had we given them?!

Review: FALSTAFF at Union Avenue Opera
August 1, 2022

Verdi's Falstaff is another glittering gem in the train of Union Avenue Opera. I'm not a big fan of 're-purposing' classic plays. Poor Shakespeare! He's been subjected to such vandalism over the years with modern 'concept' versions of his works. No, I do not want to go to see a trendy lesbian-Hamlet-on-Mars!

Review: EUGENE ONEGIN at Union Avenue Opera
July 11, 2022

Glorious voices fill Tchaikovsky's masterpiece with beauty. After the tribulations of the pandemic the Union Avenue Opera returns to its lovely home. Here, in the nave of the Union Avenue Christian Church, the company presents first-class opera up-close and intimate. They open their 28th season with a superb production of Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin.

Review: CENTER STAGE at Opera Theatre Of Saint Louis
June 23, 2022

What did our critic think? Center Stage is a great smörgåsbord of opera- No, no, that's far too Swedish and Lutheran and heavy. If the whole OTSL festival is a great feast, then Center Stage is the delicious icing on the top of that final cake. It's all dessert and no vegetables.

BWW Review: A Revised, Dream-Haunted HARVEY MILK at Opera Theatre Of Saint Louis
June 13, 2022

A marvelously theatrical, dream-haunted evening tells of gay-rights activist Harvey Milk’s life and death.

BWW Review: AWAKENINGS at Opera Theatre Of Saint Louis
June 8, 2022

Dr. Oliver Sacks' best seller becomes a fascinating opera with its world premiere at Opera Theatre Saint Louis. Read the review!

BWW Review: THE MAGIC FLUTE at Opera Theatre Of Saint Louis
May 31, 2022

The marvelous Opera Theatre of Saint Louis continues its festival season with perhaps the most popular opera in the world—Mozart’s glorious The Magic Flute! Read our BWW critic's review.

BWW Review: CARMEN at Opera Theatre Of Saint Louis
May 23, 2022

Opera Theatre Saint Louis opens its 47th season with a splendid 'Carmen'. Read our BWW critic's review.

BWW Review: Brilliant Voices in MADAMA BUTTERFLY at Winter Opera in St. Louis
March 29, 2022

Such astonishing voices! Winter Opera, in St. Louis, has been offering splendid singers for 15 seasons now. But I've never heard more brilliant voices than those flourished by the cast in Winter Opera's latest production, Giacomo Puccini's MADAMA BUTTERFLY. These are of truly Olympian quality.

BWW Review: FIREFLIES at The Black Rep
February 14, 2022

'A perfect storm of anguish in the Jim Crow South' 'Fireflies' opens at St. Louis Black Rep

BWW Review: HILLARY AND CLINTON at West End Players Guild
February 11, 2022

A deeply perceptive look at a political campaign (and a political marriage) in crisis. 'Hillary and Clinton' opens at the West End Players Guild.

BWW Review: IPHIGENIA IN SPLOTT at Upstream Theater
January 21, 2022

An astonishingly fierce tour de force blazes at Upstream Theater

BWW Review: THE GONDOLIERS at Winter Opera St. Louis
January 17, 2022

Gina Galati's marvelous Winter Opera company has mounted a delightful production of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Gondoliers. It opened last night at the new Kirkwood Performing Arts Center to a full and warmly responsive audience.

BWW Review: SWEAT At St. Louis' Black Rep
September 15, 2021

Nottage's Pulitzer Prize winning script, 'Sweat', is searing in its portrayal of the human tragedy arising from capitalism unleashed.

BWW Review: Splendid Voices Fill Rossini's BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA at Union Avenue Opera
July 23, 2021

Splendid Voices Fill Rossini's Comic BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA at Union Avenue Opera

BWW Reivew: OTSL Gerdine Young Artists Shine in CENTER STAGE'
June 21, 2021

The Opera Theatre of St. Louis presents their Gerdine Young Artists in a dazzling evening of opera. It's all dessert and no dull vegetables.

BWW Review: Opera Theatre of Saint Louis' I DREAM A WORLD
June 17, 2021

Juneteenth celebrations in Saint Louis got off to an early start on Tuesday, June 15. Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, in collaboration with the Missouri Historical Society, presented a gorgeous cornucopia of music—and a bit of slam poetry—in an early-evening performance on the steps of our History Museum in Forest Park. It was called 'I Dream a World'.

BWW Review: New Works, Bold Voices at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis
June 15, 2021

The glorious Opera Theatre of Saint Louis has opened its New Works, Bold Voices Lab. This is its continuation of a program exploring where the world of opera might go in days ahead. This season’s offerings are three quite different short pieces, together lasting some hour and a quarter.