St. Louis Theater Reviews
 


BWW Review: STAGES St. Louis's Superb SOUTH PACIFIC BWW Review: STAGES St. Louis's Superb SOUTH PACIFIC
by Chris Gibson - September 18, 2017

STAGES St. Louis ends their season with an wonderfully mounted production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's SOUTH PACIFIC. It's a classic musical absolutely filled to the brim with memorable songs, many of which have become standards. In fact, you'll likely find yourself humming any number of them as you... (more...)
BWW Review: STL Opera Collective Presents TESLA'S PIGEON and TO HELL AND BACK BWW Review: STL Opera Collective Presents TESLA'S PIGEON and TO HELL AND BACK
by Chris Gibson - September 13, 2017

Since our resident opera critic, Steve Callahan, was appearing in one of the pocket operas produced this past weekend (September 8-9, 2017) by the STL Opera Collective, he asked if I would cover the shows, and I was happy to do so. This is a group that is just in their second season, but judging b... (more...)
BWW Review: GREASE at Starlight Theatre BWW Review: GREASE at Starlight Theatre
by Alan Portner - September 09, 2017

Features show built for the huge stage with many local talents... (more...)
BWW Review: New Line Theatre's Lovely OUT ON BROADWAY THE THIRD COMING BWW Review: New Line Theatre's Lovely OUT ON BROADWAY THE THIRD COMING
by Chris Gibson - August 22, 2017

Originally conceived by artistic director Scott Miller over 20 years ago, OUT ON BROADWAY (THE THIRD COMING), is, as titled, the third incarnation of a revue designed to reinterpret songs from an array of classic and offbeat, but brilliant, musicals ( this time with a new song from Jason Robert Brow... (more...)
BWW Review: MAMMA MIA! Has a Grand Farewell at the FOX This Weekend BWW Review: MAMMA MIA! Has a Grand Farewell at the FOX This Weekend
by Chris Gibson - August 01, 2017

MAMMA MIA! officially ended it's farewell tour this past weekend, and it was interesting to see the audience reaction to a show I've seen at least six times. But, I'm a critic. The appeal is obvious really, it's a simple story (book by Catherine Johnson) that allows you to enjoy the undeniably catch... (more...)
BWW Review: The MUNY's Incredible and Heartfelt A CHORUS LINE BWW Review: The MUNY's Incredible and Heartfelt A CHORUS LINE
by Chris Gibson - August 01, 2017

A CHORUS LINE was the creation of Michael Bennett, one of Broadway's finest choreographers, who held a series of workshops in the mid 1970's to explore a way to examine the life that dancers lead. Then book writers James Kirkwood, Jr. and Nicholas Dante crafted a musical from this wealth of material... (more...)
BWW Review: STAGES St. Louis's Hilarious Must-See 9 TO 5 BWW Review: STAGES St. Louis's Hilarious Must-See 9 TO 5
by Chris Gibson - July 29, 2017

It's not surprising that the 1980 film 9 to 5 was turned into a musical, since it's revenge driven farcical plot is a natural fit, and it's a period piece, so it has that going for it as well. Plus, you have Dolly Parton, whose physical attributes sometimes make one forget how great a songwriter she... (more...)
BWW Review: The MUNY's Amazing and Wonderful THE UNSINKABLE MOLLY BROWN BWW Review: The MUNY's Amazing and Wonderful THE UNSINKABLE MOLLY BROWN
by Chris Gibson - July 25, 2017

Dick Scanlan (revised book and additional lyrics) deserves a hand for the long process that led to a reinvigorated and refocused version of Meredith Willson's THE UNSINKABLE MOLLY BROWN. A few years ago he started tinkering with this venerable classic, having workshops and readings before finally hi... (more...)
BWW Review: The MUNY's Engaging and Lively ALL SHOOK UP BWW Review: The MUNY's Engaging and Lively ALL SHOOK UP
by Chris Gibson - July 14, 2017

ALL SHOOK UP, a celebration of music performed by the King, Elvis Presley, is a entertaining mash-up of Shakespeare's TWELFTH NIGHT, combined with some ideas from FOOTLOOSE, and with just a pinch of the movie version of GREASE (book by Joe DiPietro). I know how that sounds, but instead of taking its... (more...)
BWW Review: The MUNY's Uproarious and Delightful A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM BWW Review: The MUNY's Uproarious and Delightful A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM
by Chris Gibson - July 09, 2017

Brimming with painfully amusing puns, by gag writers Larry Gelbart and Bert Shevelove , who bring a bit of borscht belt humor and a sprinkling of vaudeville to the proceedings, and adorned with the wonderful music and lyrics of Stephen Sondheim, A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM is an i... (more...)
BWW Review: The MUNY's Outstanding and Visually Stunning THE LITTLE MERMAID BWW Review: The MUNY's Outstanding and Visually Stunning THE LITTLE MERMAID
by Chris Gibson - June 26, 2017

It's interesting to imagine just what fairy tale author Hans Christian Andersen would think of the musical version of THE LITTLE MERMAID (book by Doug Wright, music by Alan Menken, and lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater) that's now gracing the stage of The MUNY. Though he might quibble with th... (more...)
BWW Review: STAGES St. Louis's Incredibly Fun SEUSSICAL BWW Review: STAGES St. Louis's Incredibly Fun SEUSSICAL
by Chris Gibson - June 26, 2017

There's just something magical about the world of Dr. Seuss and its hold on children. It's the language he uses to tell his fanciful tales. It's re-invented and rhymed in a manner that clearly appeals to children and adults. SEUSSICAL is a catchy and clever musical that adapts various elements from ... (more...)
BWW Review: The MUNY Opens Season with Spectacular JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR BWW Review: The MUNY Opens Season with Spectacular JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR
by Chris Gibson - June 13, 2017

Growing up in the 1970's I can't tell you how many times I came across the boxed LP set, complete with booklet, that housed Tim Rice (lyrics) and Andrew Lloyd Webber's (music) classic, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR. For those of us who grew up on the records, and even the movie version, it was a rock, pop,... (more...)
BWW Review: STAGES St. Louis's Highly Entertaining JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT BWW Review: STAGES St. Louis's Highly Entertaining JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT
by Chris Gibson - June 09, 2017

I've seen several stagings of JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT over the years, and I've always enjoyed the Tim Rice (book and lyrics) and Andrew Lloyd Webber (music) show each time. However, STAGES St. Louis has really outdone themselves with their latest production of this exuberant mus... (more...)
BWW Review: Hugely Fun CIRCUS FLORA - TIME FLIES BWW Review: Hugely Fun CIRCUS FLORA - TIME FLIES
by Chris Gibson - June 09, 2017

Just before Summer arrives each year the iconic red big top of Circus Flora pops up behind Powell Symphony Hall to provide a refreshing (it's air-conditioned inside) and entertaining show that mixes a specific theme with various performing acts. It's a unique kind of circus play that never fails to ... (more...)
BWW Review: New Line Theatre's Smashing SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS BWW Review: New Line Theatre's Smashing SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS
by Chris Gibson - June 09, 2017

There are so many things to love about New Line Theatre's latest production, SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS, that this review is certain to be filled with superlatives. I've watched the 1957 film a number of times, and I like the way John Guare's book for the show uses the first act as a backstory before it... (more...)
BWW Review: The New Jewish Theatre's Funny and Heartfelt 4000 MILES BWW Review: The New Jewish Theatre's Funny and Heartfelt 4000 MILES
by Chris Gibson - May 19, 2017

Amy Herzog's marvelous play, 4000 MILES, draws upon relationships and people from the playwright's own life. The experience of watching these characters interact is undeniably affecting, and definitely warms the heart. It made me wish I had had a grandmother like the one that is portrayed on stage. ... (more...)
BWW Review: Mustard Seed Theatre's Bittersweet DANCING AT LUGHNASA BWW Review: Mustard Seed Theatre's Bittersweet DANCING AT LUGHNASA
by Chris Gibson - April 27, 2017

Parts of playwright Brian Friel's DANCING AT LUGHNASA are joyous, and some are unsettling, mainly because we come to care so much about the Mundy family that inhabits it. I personally found it fascinating and disturbing at the same time. It's that dichotomy that drives the action, and it provides no... (more...)
BWW Review: St. Louis Actors' Studio's Superb and Intense AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY BWW Review: St. Louis Actors' Studio's Superb and Intense AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY
by Chris Gibson - April 27, 2017

Several years ago the Steppenwolf Theatre Company's touring production of AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY touched down at the Fox Theatre and I was blown away by it. I think it spoiled me with its massive set and terrific ensemble. So, when regional theatre companies began staging playwright Tracy Letts' work,... (more...)
BWW Review: The Black Rep's Powerful and Intriguing SEVEN GUITARS BWW Review: The Black Rep's Powerful and Intriguing SEVEN GUITARS
by Chris Gibson - April 13, 2017

August Wilson's SEVEN GUITARS represents the sixth installment in his "Pittsburgh Cycle", this time representing the decade of the 1940's. Apropos of the story, there are seven characters that we encounter in this play, which plays out as a sort of murder mystery. While I haven't yet seen all the wo... (more...)
BWW Review: Stray Dog Theatre's Gloriously Dark and Gruesome SWEENEY TODD BWW Review: Stray Dog Theatre's Gloriously Dark and Gruesome SWEENEY TODD
by Chris Gibson - April 13, 2017

Stephen Sondheim's gloriously dark and enormously tuneful take on the tale of the 'Demon Barber of Fleet Street', SWEENEY TODD, is given a highly entertaining presentation in Stray Dog Theatre's latest production. There have been several different stagings of the musical over the years, one of which... (more...)
BWW Review: MADCO's 40th Anniversary Results in Amazing Production of FREEDOM BWW Review: MADCO's 40th Anniversary Results in Amazing Production of FREEDOM
by Chris Gibson - April 03, 2017

Before the performance of MADCO's FREEDOM took place the four choreographers who created this piece, along with Executive and Artistic Director Stacy West, took the stage to discuss the genesis of their work, and to take questions from the packed audience who gathered to witness these amazing segmen... (more...)
BWW Review: Stunning THE ILLUSIONISTS LIVE FROM BROADWAY at The Fox Theatre BWW Review: Stunning THE ILLUSIONISTS LIVE FROM BROADWAY at The Fox Theatre
by Chris Gibson - April 03, 2017

Magicians have always found a home on stage, whether it was during vaudeville's heyday or on Broadway, and THE ILLUSIONISTS is proof that this association is still going strong (of course, the art of magic goes back many centuries, long before either existed). I have to confess that I've never actua... (more...)
BWW Review: The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis Rocks the House with MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET BWW Review: The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis Rocks the House with MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET
by Chris Gibson - March 27, 2017

I've seen MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET several times, and I've always enjoyed the experience, even though it's a heavily fictionalized version of the day four music icons gathered in the studio that started their careers. If you've ever heard the original recordings that were made you know that Jerry Lee ... (more...)
BWW Review: The New Jewish Theatre's Taut and Intense NEVER THE SINNER BWW Review: The New Jewish Theatre's Taut and Intense NEVER THE SINNER
by Chris Gibson - March 18, 2017

Like a lot of writer John Logan's works NEVER THE SINNER explores the darker side of humanity. It was his first play, but you wouldn't know it by the intensity it spawns as its tale unfolds. The New Jewish Theatre is presenting a taut production of this piece which focuses our attention on Leopold a... (more...)