By CB Adams

The new North American tour of “Hairspray,” which opened at the Fox Theatre on Tuesday, April 5, and runs through Saturday, April 9, is a sly bit musical entertainment.

In its 20-year history, it’s been given eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical, had national tours and foreign productions and been adapted as a 2007 musical film. And let’s not forget the source material: the 1988 film written and directed by the multi-talented, agent provocateur John Waters. It’s got, as they say, legs. They may not be the shapely gams of old, but they can still move – and move an audience.

Despite some naysayers on the “interwebs” who have quibbled that this touring production of “Hairspray” is a bit tired and hasn’t aged as gracefully as it might, the packed audience at the Fox would beg to differ. They came for an energetic, entertaining pop/rock musical and this production delivered two engaging, well-intentioned hours of clapping, tapping, and laughing.

Which brings us back to why “Hairspray” is a sly bit of entertainment. Waters’ story, which drives the book by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan, uses humor and a relatable, satisfying underdog plot with a happy ending to explore the issues of class, race, dreams deferred and body shaming. It’s got, as they say, heart, which it wears on its sequined sleeves.

As Waters has said, “I respect everything I make fun of.” That respect is still vitally apparent, even when wrapped in the delicious — in a cotton candy sort of way — 1960s-style R&B- and dance-infused music by Marc Shaiman and lyrics by Shaiman and Scott Wittman.

Musicians have long used the Trojan Horse approach and wrapped a catchy tune around a serious message. Think, “…a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down” from “Mary Poppins.” Or think Marvin Gaye and “What’s Going On” or Tears For Fears and “Mad World.”

Hear the Bells. Photo by Jeremy Daniel.

So, in between the dance numbers and the sing-along songs, this show offered genuine moments for the audience to respond with consternation to the multiple ism’s and ists as well as with affirmations when the perpetrators receive their comeuppances.

In a stand-out moment, Link Larkin, played by the lanky, Elvis-y Will Savarese, refuses to follow his stuck-up girlfriend, Amber Von Tussle, played by Kaelee Albritton. The audience responded with a wave of affirmative applause that nearly stopped the show.

This level of audience engagement relies on the quality of the production’s elements. But it’s the performances by the entire cast that carry this show. A special call-out to local talent, Albritton, who hails from O’Fallon, Ill., where she was crowned Miss O’Fallon in 2014. Other props to:

• The indominable Niki Metcalf (that girl can move!) as the heroine Tracy Turnblad

• Andrew Levitt as Tracy’s plus-sized diva-in-a-housedress mother, Edna

• Brandon G. Stalling with his slinky-smooth dance moves as Seaweed J. Stubbs

• Sandie Lee for her mama-knows-best portrayal as Motormouth Maybelle

• Emmanuelle Zeesman for playing three roles with limber, Gumby-inspired physicality, and facial contortions worthy of Jim Carrey in his prime

“Hairspray” is 20 years old. Its setting is Baltimore in 1962, making it a sexagenarian! And its themes and messages still go down like that spoonful of sugar. Or maybe more appropriately, like Pop Rocks and soda pop.

Or, as Waters himself has said, “”Nobody likes a bore on a soapbox. Humor is always the best defense and weapon. If you can make an idiot laugh, they’ll at least pause and listen before they do something stupid . . . to you.”

Hair Clutch Commercial. Photo by Jeremy Daniel.

“Hairspray” is presented April 5 – 9 at the Fox Theatre, 527 N. Grand Blvd., in St. Louis, Showtimes are Tuesday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m., with a 1 p.m. matinee on Thursday, April 7.

To purchase tickets, visit MetroTix.com or call MetroTix at 314-534-1111. Ticket prices start at $25. Learn more about the new touring production at www.hairspraytour.com or visit www.fabulousfox.com.

Photo by Jeremy Daniel

The Fabulous Fox Theatre is eager to celebrate its 40th Anniversary with an incredible lineup in the 2022-2023 U.S. Bank Broadway Series! Get ready to open the season with the signature dance moves and silky-smooth harmonies of the legendary quintet in AIN’T TOO PROUD – The Life and Times of The Temptations. Winner of eight 2019 TonyAwards® including Best Musical and the 2020 Grammy® Award for Best Musical Theater Album, HADESTOWN invites you on a hell-raising journey to the underworld and back in October. For the first time in forever, experience Disney’s FROZEN like never before in this unforgettable theatrical experience filled with sensational special effects. To kick off 2023, you’ll lose your head over the new original musical that is the global sensation SIX. All rise in St. Louis for the most successful American play in Broadway history, Harper Lee’s TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRDfollowed by the laugh-out-loud love letter to the theater, TOOTSIE. To close out the seven-show season ticket package in May of 2023, everything will be alright with JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR celebrating its 50th Anniversary. An eight show package is also available to subscribers with the addition of Broadway sensation and St. Louis’ most “popular” musical WICKED when itflies into town in April.

AIN’T TOO PROUD – The Life and Times of The Temptations | September 20 – October 2, 2022

AIN’T TOO PROUD – The Life and Times of The Temptations is the electrifying, new smash-hit Broadway musical that follows The Temptations’ extraordinary journey from the streets of Detroit to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. With their signature dance moves and silky-smooth harmonies, they rose to the top of the charts creating an amazing 42 Top Ten Hits with 14 reaching number one. Nominated for 12 Tony® Awards and the winner of the 2019 Tony Award for Best Choreography, AIN’T TOO PROUD tells the thrilling story of brotherhood, family, loyalty, and betrayal, as the group’s personal and political conflicts threatened to tear them apart during a decade of civil unrest in America.Written by three-time Obie Award winner Dominique Morisseau, directed by two-time Tony Award winner Des McAnuff (Jersey Boys), and featuring the Tony-winning choreography of Sergio Trujillo (Jersey Boys, On Your Feet!), the unforgettable story of this legendary quintet is set to the beat of the group’s treasured hits, including “My Girl,” “Just My Imagination,” “Get Ready,” “Papa Was a Rolling Stone,” and so many more.


HADESTOWN | October 11-23, 2022

BroadwayEva Noblezada, who plays Eurydice, and the Broadway cast of Hadestown.

Come see how the world could be. Welcome to HADESTOWN, where a song can change your fate. Winner of eight 2019 TonyAwards® including Best Musical and the 2020 Grammy® Award for Best Musical Theater Album, this acclaimed new show from celebrated singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell and innovative director Rachel Chavkin (Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812) is a love story for today… and always. HADESTOWN intertwines two mythic tales — that of young dreamers Orpheus and Eurydice, and that of King Hades and his wife Persephone — as it invites you on a hell-raising journey to the underworld and back. Mitchell’s beguiling melodies and Chavkin’s poetic imagination pit industry against nature, doubt against faith, and fear against love. Performed by a vibrant ensemble of actors, dancers and singers, HADESTOWN is a haunting and hopeful theatrical experience that grabs you and never lets go.

Disney’s FROZEN | November 2-13, 2022

From the producer of The Lion King and AladdinFROZEN, the Tony®-nominated Best Musical, is now on tour across North America and the critics rave, “It’s simply magical!” (LA Daily News). Heralded by The New Yorker as “thrilling” and “genuinely moving,” FROZEN features the songs you know and love from the original Oscar®-winning film, plus an expanded score with a dozen new numbers by the film’s songwriters, Oscar winner Kristen Anderson-Lopez and EGOT winner Robert Lopez. Oscar winner Jennifer Lee (book), Tony and Olivier Award winner Michael Grandage (director), and Tony winner Rob Ashford (choreographer) round out the creative team that has won a cumulative 16 Tony Awards. An unforgettable theatrical experience filled with sensational special effects, stunning sets and costumes, and powerhouse performances, FROZEN is everything you want in a musical: It’s moving. It’s spectacular. And above all, it’s pure Broadway joy. Presented by Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation.

SIX | January 24 – February 5, 2023

Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived. From Tudor Queens to Pop Princesses, the SIX wives of Henry VIII take the mic to remix five hundred years of historical heartbreak into an exuberant celebration of 21st century girl power! This new original musical is the global sensation that everyone is losing their head over. The New York Times says SIX “TOTALLY RULES!” (Critic’s Pick) and The Washington Post hails SIX as “Exactly the kind of energizing, inspirational illumination this town aches for! The Broadway season got supercharged!” Written by Toby Marlow & Lucy Moss.

Harper Lee’s TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD | February 28 – March 12, 2023

All rise for Academy Award® winner Aaron Sorkin’s adaptation of Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning masterwork. The New York Times Critic’s Pick TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRDis “the most successful American play in Broadway history.” (60 Minutes). Rolling Stone gives it 5 stars, calling it “an emotionally shattering landmark production of an American classic,” and New York Magazine calls it “a real phenomenon. Majestic and incandescent, it’s filled with breath and nuance and soul.” With direction by Tony Award® winner Bartlett Sher, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD — “the greatest novel of all time” (Chicago Tribune— has quickly become “one of the greatest plays in history” (NPR).

TOOTSIE | March 21 – April 2, 2023

Call it “musical comedy heaven” (Rolling Stone). Call it “the most uproarious new musical in years!” (The Hollywood Reporter). Call it TOOTSIEThis laugh-out-loud love letter to the theater tells the story of Michael Dorsey, a talented but difficult actor who struggles to find work until one show-stopping act of desperation lands him the role of a lifetime. Featuring a hilarious Tony®-winning book by Robert Horn and an outrageously clever score by 2018 Tony-winner David Yazbek (The Band’s VisitDirty Rotten Scoundrels), this New York Times Critic’s Pick is “a joyful delight” (The Washington Post) that’s “so packed with punchlines, it should be called a jokebox musical!” (Bloomberg). “In these turbulent times, when the world seems out of balance, we need a place to let the good times roll,” raves Rolling Stone. “TOOTSIEis it!”

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR | May 9-21, 2023

Celebrating its 50th Anniversary, a new mesmerizing production of the iconic musical phenomenon returns to the stage. Originally staged by London’s Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and helmed by the acclaimed director Timothy Sheader (Crazy for YouInto the Woods) and cutting-edge choreographer Drew McOnie (King KongStrictly Ballroom), this production won the 2017 Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival garnering unprecedented reviews and accolades. Appealing to both theater audiences and concert music fans, this production pays tribute to the historic 1971 Billboard Album of the Year while creating a modern, theatrical world that is uniquely fresh and inspiring. With lyrics and music by Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony winners Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTARis set against the backdrop of an extraordinary series of events during the final weeks in the life of Jesus Christ as seen through the eyes of Judas. Reflecting the rock roots that defined a generation, the legendary score includes ‘I Don’t Know How to Love Him’, ‘Gethsemane’ and ‘Superstar’.

WICKED I April 12 – May 7

So much happened before Dorothy dropped in. WICKED, the Broadway sensation, looks at what happened in the Land of Oz…but from a different angle.  Long before Dorothy arrives, there is another young woman, born with emerald-green skin—smart, fiery, misunderstood, and possessing an extraordinary talent. When she meets a bubbly blonde who is exceptionally popular, their initial rivalry turns into the unlikeliest of friendships…until the world decides to call one “good,” and the other one “wicked.” From the first electrifying note to the final breathtaking moment, WICKED—the untold true story of the Witches of Oz—transfixes audiences with its wildly inventive story that USA Today cheers is “a complete triumph! An original musical that will make you laugh, cry, and think.”Presented by Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation.

Series Specials

Seven additional Broadway shows will be offered as specials to 2022–2023 season ticket holders for priority seating before their public on-sale dates.  One of the world’s most beloved and timeless stories, Nebraska Theatre Caravan’s A CHRISTMAS CAROL, is a holiday tradition at the Fox and will play December 1-4, presented by the Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation. The longest running and highest rated holiday television special, RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER, will fly into St. Louis December 11. CIRQUE DREAMS HOLIDAZE will light up the stage in the popular and dazzling family holiday spectacular December 16-17. Embrace you inner elf when the modern day Christmas classic ELF The Musical plays at the Fox just in time for the holidays December 20-24. BEAUTIFUL – The Carole King Musical, the Tony® and Grammy® Award-winning inspiring true story of King’s remarkable rise to stardom, returns to the Fox January 6-8. Cameron Mackintosh presents the acclaimed production of Boublil and Schönberg’s Tony Award® winning musical phenomenon LES MISÉRABLES January 17-22 and will be welcomed by Saint Louis Ballet.Featuring pulsing, original music, custom-made instruments, surprise audience interaction and hilarious absurdity, join BLUE MAN GROUP in a joyful experience that unites audiences of all ages February 9-12.

New seven and eight show season ticket packages will go on sale June 6 at 10 a.m. Current U.S. Bank Broadway season ticket holders will receive their renewal information in the coming weeks. On-sale dates for individual shows will be announced later. For more information, please call the Fox Subscription office at 314-535-1700.

Six

2022 – 2023 U.S. Bank Broadway Series Shows and Specials:

(The Season Ticket Package shows are in bold)

AIN’T TOO PROUD – The Life and Times of The Temptations * September 20 – October 2, 2022

HADESTOWN * October 11-23, 2022

Disney’s FROZEN * November 2-13, 2022

A CHRISTMAS CAROL * December 1-4, 2022

RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER * December 11, 2022

CIRQUE DREAMS HOLIDAZE * December 16-17, 2022

ELF The Musical * December 20-24, 2022

BEAUTIFUL – The Carole King Musical * January 6-8, 2023

LES MISERABLES * January 17-22, 2023

SIX * January 24 – February 5, 2023

BLUE MAN GROUP * February 9-12, 2023

Harper Lee’s TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD * February 28 – March 12, 2023

TOOTSIE * March 21 – April 2, 2023

WICKED * April 12 – May 7, 2023

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR * May 9-21, 2023

The Fabulous Fox Theatre has announced the postponement of the remaining shows on its 2020-2021 Broadway season ticket package due to the continuing Covid-19 pandemic.

This includes Disney’s FROZEN, originally February 10-21, 2021; AIN’T TOO PROUD – THE LIFE AND TIMES OF THE TEMPTATIONS, originally March 2-14, 2021; THE PROM, originally April 6-18; and PRETTY WOMAN: The Musical originally April 27- May 9, 2021.  In addition, these specials are postponed: BLUE MAN GROUP, originally March 19-21, 2021 and HAIRSPRAY, originally May 21-23, 2021.

The next U.S. Bank Broadway season is expected to begin in the late summer or early fall of 2021 and will include the return of HAMILTON in the spring of 2022. The remainder of the season will be filled with a combination of shows selected from the pool of those postponed earlier this year, the above titles and new titles. 

“Our Broadway producers have expressed their desire to get shows back into rehearsals and touring again as soon as possible. Titles and dates are shifting across the country as new routes are booked and that unfortunately includes all of the shows originally on our spring schedule,” said Fox director of programming John O’Brien. 

“We will announce a new schedule for what will now be the 2021-2022 U.S. Bank Broadway Season as soon as it is prudent to do so. The good news is that our subscribers are already renewed for that season which will now include the return of HAMILTON in the spring of 2022.”

Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation (FPACF) is pleased to announce online registration is now open for the 11th Annual St. Louis Teen Talent Competition for high school students in the bi-state St. Louis Metropolitan area.  There are no fees to participate or register. This year the Preliminary Round of the competition will be conducted solely by video submissions.

Students will be vying forscholarships, special awards, prizes, and the opportunity to compete in the Finals on the Fabulous Fox Theatre stage. This event showcases the most talented teens in our region who excel in the performing arts. Past Finalists have performed on tour with Hamilton, on NBC’s The Voice, American Idol, in The Muny, with the Chamber Music Society of St. Louis, at the Sheldon Concert Hall, Shakespeare Festival St. Louis, at Gateway Grizzlies & St. Louis Cardinals games, and area festivals.

Contestants must be enrolled in the 9th, 10th, 11th or 12th grade in the 2020-2021 school year and must attend a high school/home school within a 50-mile radius from the St. Louis Gateway Arch. Acts may be a solo or up to six students performing as a group. Performing arts categories include (but are not limited to): singers, dancers, actors, musicians, comedians, ventriloquists, and circus skill artists. Acts may perform original or published material. High school students can respond to the “Call for Entries” and register on-line at www.foxpacf.org.

Executive Director Judith Cullen noted, “This year, talented teens can compete in our first round by simply registering and submitting a video; there is not another scholarship opportunity as easy as this anywhere in our St. Louis area.”

Finalists in past years have included aerialists, classical and pop singers, a whistler, pianists, a harpist, ukulele artists and other musicians, dancers, jugglers, bands, and baton twirlers. The 2020 winner of the competition was freestyle, hip hop dancer DemBari Taneh from Kirkwood High School who won a $8,000 scholarship and a dance intensive scholarship.

Each round of the competition will have a panel of at least three judges who will adjudicate performances and advance acts to the next round. Judges for the Preliminary and Semi-final rounds are arts professionals from the St. Louis region who are asked to give each act constructive, verbal feedback following each performance. The Finalists will compete on the Fabulous Fox stage.

Students placing First, Second and Third will win college scholarships. Contestants who advance to the Semi-final Round will be eligible for various prizes, special awards, and scholarships. A complete list is available at www.foxpacf.org.  Finalists will also be provided unique performance opportunities within the St. Louis area arranged by FPACF and by request.

“We are always gratified and happy with the response to this event from students, parents, arts organizations and the community. We are thrilled to provide the opportunity for students to perform at the Fox and on other stages around St. Louis. We are pleased that we are able to put talented young people in the spotlight,” said Mary Strauss, FPACF Board President and creator of the St. Louis Teen Talent Competition.

Call for Entries

11th Annual St. Louis Teen Talent Competition

DEADLINE: Dec. 31, 2020

Register on-line: https://www.foxpacf.org/programs/teen-talent-competition/

Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation fosters, promotes, and encourages young people in the
St. Louis region to discover and participate in the joy and wonder of live performances.

In addition to the St. Louis Teen Talent Competition, the Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation
also produces a variety of other performing arts programs including
Kids’ Night at the Fabulous Fox, Broadway Master Classes, Educational Encores,
and is a producing partner of the 5th Annual St. Louis High School Musical Theatre Awar

St. Louis Theater Circle Awards Ceremony Cancelled, AFL’s Theatre Mask Awards Moved to July

By Lynn Venhaus

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, productions scheduled in March, April and May at New Jewish Theatre, St. Louis Actors’ Studio, Tennessee Williams Festival, Upstream Theater, West End Players Guild and the Playhouse at Westport have announced postponements, some with new dates and others to be determined.

The Kranzberg Arts Foundation has closed all its venues.

St. Louis Theater Circle has cancelled the March 30 Awards Ceremony and Arts For Life has pushed back its annual Theatre Mask Awards. Metro Theatre Company has announced some changes in scheduling.

Here is the most up-to-date information available, and updates will be happening as we get word.

The companies are following the U.S. Centers for Disease Control guidelines for social distancing, which has recommended limiting gatherings of no more than 50 for the next eight weeks. St. Louis City and St. Louis County have banned such public gatherings.

On Monday, the White House advised the public to avoid groups of more than 10 and urged older people to stay at home for the next 15 days in a set of new guidelines designated to fight a spreading coronavirus outbreak.

Kranzberg Arts Foundation
They announced Tuesday that they have followed the recommendations and guidelines put in place by our government and health officials and have moved to shut down all Kranzberg Arts Foundation venue operations. This includes theatres, galleries, clubs, restaurants, cafes, and libraries. For the time being, our tenant and resident organization offices remain open. These closures will remain in place until at least May 11:

  • The Grandel Theatre
  • The Marcelle
  • The Kranzberg Studio, Black Box, and Gallery
  • .ZACK Theatre
  • High Low
  • Sophie’s Artist Lounge
  • The Dark Room

To ticket holders, MetroTix will be reaching out and instructing guests to respond with “refund” or “donate”.
“While this is a difficult time for everyone, arts organizations and artists will be particularly impacted by COVID-19 and the disruption to their jobs. We’re asking for guests, as they are able to, to consider donating to the organizations instead of asking for a refund,” Executive Director Chris Hansen said.

“We will continue to work with our funding partners and local government agencies to find ways to help support artists and arts organizations through these unprecedented times and to make sure the arts are still felt and present in people’s daily lives,” he said.

“We will stay connected through social media and other digital platforms and will share resources, updates, and next steps as frequently as possible,: Hansen said.

West End Players Guild
West End Players Guild said Monday that Steven Dietz’s “Bloomsday,” originally scheduled for April 17 – 26, has been cancelled as the season’s final show but will be rescheduled in September as the first show of the 2020-2021 season.

WEPG said online ticket purchasers will receive an automatic full refund through Brown Paper Tickets.  “Please allow two weeks for the refund to be posted to your credit card.  Season ticket holders will be advised of refund options this week by email,” the statement said. 

Photo by Greg Lazerwitz

New Jewish Theatre
New Jewish Theatre has moved “We Are the Levinsons” to May 6 0 17. The St. Louis premiere had been scheduled to open this Thursday and run from March 19 to April 5. 

A comedy that tugs on your heart, it centers on Rosie, a divorced fiftyish TV writer with an insufferable 21 year-old daughter, who suddenly finds herself responsible for her father’s care. This thoughtful and earnest play delves into some difficult but universal passages of life. We all must give up the insolence of youth and take on the mantle of adulthood. Along the way are opportunities to love and to pursue our dreams. We are the Levinsons teaches us how we should cherish these moments with tenderness and with laughter.

Fox Theatre

At the Fox Theatre, the touring production of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” which had been set to open Tuesday, March 17 and run through, has been postponed but a new date has not been announced.

“We are working with the producers of the show to reschedule for dates in the near future and I will be sure to keep you updated!” Publicity Manager Megan Ketcherside said.

“We appreciate your support and please know that the health and safety of our guests is always our top priority. We will continue to look to our government and health professionals for guidance as we work through this unprecedented time in our history.,” she said.

As of March 17 announcement, “Cats” scheduled for April 7-19 and Chaka Khan scheduled for April 24 are postpone until a future date can be determined.

The Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation’s 10th annual St. Louis Teen Talent Competition Finals are being moved from Saturday, April 4, to a later date, to be determined.

In the spirit of fostering the emerging talent in the St. Louis performing arts community, the Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation is proud to underwrite and produce an adjudicated competition showcasing the talented teens of the St. Louis region. Students are competing for college scholarships, cash awards, prizes, and public appearance opportunities

The Playhouse @ Westport

All March events are presently cancelled, including Flanagan’s Wake due to the updated information and recommendations implemented to regarding Covid-19. “Flanagan’s Wake” had been extended through April 11, with a special St. Patrick’s Day performance March 17.

John Denver Tribute May 7-10 and Rockin’ Chair June 5 and 6 are still scheduled.

Refunds are available at point of purchase.

St. Louis Actors’ Studio

The St. Louis Actors’ Studio has postponed its world premiere of Neil LaBute’s “Comfort,” that was to run from April 17 to May 3 at the Gaslight Theatre, but is providing an offer for online content.

“STLAS to offer Neil LaBute’s 10 x 10 series as exclusive streaming content for its current subscribers (new subscribers to the 20/21 season) and ticket holders and will postpone the world premiere of LaBute’s play “Comfort,” said William Roth, founder and artistic director.

“While we wait at home for the virus to settle, Neil and I quickly put our heads together to see how we could entertain our best patrons as we figure out how to navigate these ever-changing waters. Neil has been so very generous to us and he truly appreciates, as I do, our ongoing collaboration as well as the patrons and artists of St. Louis.” Roth said.

Each of the 10-minute films features one actor telling their story directly to the viewer. The first five feature Frederick Weller (In Plain Sight, The Good Wife), St. Louisan Jenna Fischer (The Office), Louisa Krause (Martha Marcy May Marlene, Young Adult), Richard Kind (Luck, Burn Notice, Curb Your Enthusiasm) and Judith Light (Other Desert Cities, Assembled Parties).

Weller’s character is a man who relays the story of an encounter he had with a woman sitting next to him on a flight. Fisher portrays a woman telling about the abuse she suffered at the hands of her husband and about her new life partner. Krause’s character is a young woman who discusses the way in which she takes control of her sexual destiny. Kind portrays a man discussing his feelings about his long-time marriage and his views on same-sex marriage as well. Light becomes a woman remembering the ‘man who got away’ while discussing her former marriage and her new boyfriend.

The second five feature Adam Brody (Some Girls), Maggie Grace (Taken; Taken 2), Jason Patric (Your Friends and Neighbors), Amy Madigan (Gone Baby Gone) and Bill Pullman (While You Were Sleeping). Each film explores the nature of human relationships, specifically themes of love and lust, told by characters at different stages in their lives.

Brody portrays a young man bemoaning his impending hair loss and talking about his ‘ideal’ woman. Grace’s character is a woman talking about a friend who was killed in a car accident while texting her boyfriend. Patric embodies a man recounting the tale of a fight between parents that he was involved in at a little league game. Madigan plays a woman confessing to slowly having lost her will to live and asks a visitor for some spiritual help. Pullman becomes a man considering the ever-changing culture around him and his evolving views on love and life

LaBute explains, “The series was initially written as exclusive content for DIRECTV’s  ‘AUDIENCE CHANNEL’ and has been rarely seen since its initial  airing on television. 10 X 10 is a collection of original monologues— five men, five women—that are performed directly to the camera and in real time, meaning there is no editing or camera trickery. It is all about the material and the actor, bringing each piece to the audience at home as purely and directly as possible.”

The 10 x 10 videos will be released weekly to STLAS patrons via email with password a protected link. They will also be providing in-home entertainment from the Gaslight courtesy of St. Louis Actors’ Studio as it can be generated and as regulations permit.

Details for the new dates for “Comfort” will be announced soon. The new LaBute play is about a mother and son meeting after some time apart to see if their relationship can survive the past and two new book deals.

Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis
Executive Artistic Director Carrie Houk said the multiple activities of the fifth annual Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis would be moved to summer. It had been scheduled for May 7 – 17 in the Grand Center.

“After careful deliberation, we find it necessary to push the 5th Annual Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis to summer due to the outbreak of COVID-19. Our first commitment is to keeping the company and community safe.The show WILL go on. We will be announcing new dates shortly,” she said.
.
The multi-award-winning Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis headliner is The Rose Tattoo.  There will be more than a dozen separate elements, scheduled so that attendees may attend every one during the eleven-day run, all held in the Grand Center Arts District and on The Hill. Events include:

  • 3 productions: The Rose TattooThe St. Louis Rooming House Plays, Amor Perdido
  • Academic series, “Tennessee Williams and his Midwest Experiences”
  •  “Williams Playwriting Initiative”
  • A staged reading of Glass
  • screenings of Italian-themed The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone and Boom
  • Public Discussion Panels
  • La Dolce Vita Pool Party at the Last Hotel
  • Bus Tour of important Williams’ sites
  • “Tennessee Williams Tribute”
  • “TW Jam”

“In the meantime, love deeply, be kind, eat, drink, be merry and smell the roses. Lots and lots of roses!: Houk said.

Upstream Theater

Upstream Theater is postponing “Iphigenia in Splott,” set from April 17 to May 3, until the fall, Oct. 9 – 25.The regional premiere by Welsh playwright Gary Owen stars Jennifer Theby-Quinn and is directed by Patrick Siler. If you have purchased single tickets or a season passport they will honor your ticket at that time.

Stumbling around Cardiff’s gritty Splott neighborhood at 11:30 AM drunk, Effie is the kind of person you’d avoid eye contact with. You think you know her, but you really don’t—because here is someone whose life spirals through a mess of drink, drugs and drama every night, and a hangover worse than death the next day … until one night gives her a chance to be something more. Inspired by the Greek myth about a young woman offered as a human sacrifice, Gary Owen’s Iphigenia in Splott is a blisteringly poetic monologue that drives home the high price people pay for society’s shortcomings …

.Metro Theatre Company
As of March 18, MTC’s artistic and administrative staff will go to a remote work model. Their physical office in Grand Center will be closed.

Their spring gala, After Dark, originally scheduled for May 7 will now be held Sept. 24. Tickets will automatically transfer to the new date. The Golden Ticket raffle will still happen digitally on May 7.
 
 In light of school closures, for the time being MTC’s in-school arts-integrated curriculum work is paused. While we cannot be present in person in schools, our talented education team is developing digital resources to help parents supporting their children’s learning needs while they are home. Look for some of these digital resources via email and on our Facebook page in the weeks ahead, said executive director Joe Gfaller.
 

At this time we anticipate that our summer camps will proceed as planned, starting in June. Middle SchoolGrand Theater Camp is June 1-12; Advanced Middle School Grand Theater Camp is June 15-26; High School Grand Theater Camp is July 6-10; and Creative Arts Camp for Pre-K through 5th Grade is offered July 27-August 1 and August 3-7. 

“Even as you engage in social distancing in the weeks and months ahead, we encourage you to find ways to continue to support those businesses and artists who make St. Louis such a rewarding community in which to live and raise a family. COVID-19 impacts our friends in travel and tourism, restaurants, entertainment, and small business – not to mention scores of working artsts across St. Louis,” Gfaller said.

St. Louis Theater Circle Awards

President Mark Bretz issued this statement on March 13:
“In consideration of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as well as decisions in the last few days by the City of St. Louis, St. Louis County, the State of Missouri, Major League Baseball and many others, the upcoming St. Louis Theater Circle Awards presentation has been canceled, effective immediately.

Brown Paper Tickets said that those who already had purchased tickets to the gala, which was scheduled for Monday, March 30, will receive full refunds after contacting Brown Paper Tickets.

“We hope soon to reveal our alternative plan for announcing this year’s award recipients in each of our 34 categories. Thank you for your patience and understanding,” Bretz said.



12th Natya Indian Dance Festival – April 24- 26 – POSTPONED, Date TBD

Wydown Auditorium

Dedicated to Indian Classical dance, music and theatre, this year’s festival will include a special presentation of SAMARPAN-2, the 3.5 hour long story of India’s struggle for freedom from 16th-20th century through dance, music and drama with artists from India.

Arts For Life

AFL President Mary McCreight has suspended all public activities of the Arts For Life organization effective March 16 until at least May 1, 2020. This includes all judging activities of the Theatre Recognition Guild (TRG). The Theatre Mask Awards Ceremony has been rescheduled for July 18. The Best Performance Awards are not yet affected by this suspension as they are scheduled to take place in mid-June.

“We will continue to base our decisions on the best information available in this rapid evolving situation, recognizing the need for timely notifications. All of this uncertainty poses challenges, and we will endeavor to communicate about our plans and share decisions promptly and transparently,” she said.

“It is apparent most shows scheduled before May 1 would likely not be allowed to be open anyway given the restrictions on event/gathering sizes put in place by local authorities this weekend. We ask that all participating groups keep us apprised as to their individual decisions regarding cancellations and/or postponements as soon as possible. We know that the various licensing houses (MTI, Concord and others) are are offering generous low- and no-penalty options for groups to either postpone and/or cancel productions. Please check with your respective licensors,” she said.


Other Companies

As previously reported, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis has postponed “Dreaming Zenzile” and hopes to reschedule this summer. “The Cake” in the Studio ran over the weekend, but beginning March 16, the production was suspended.

New Line Theatre closed “Head Over Heels” early because of the St. Louis City and County mandates about crowd size.

The Fabulous Fox Theatre announced today that seats in the first rows of the orchestra section will be available for $24 for every performance of RENT, the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning musical.   The $24 tickets are available for in-person cash only purchases at the Fox Box Office, located at 531 N. Grand Blvd, on the day of each performance only, two hours prior to the show. The $24 tickets are limited to two tickets per person. 

The tradition of these tickets began in 1996 in New York when the show moved to Broadway after a sold-out run in a small downtown theatre. The producers of the show are committed to continuing the tradition of offering these orchestra seats in each city the show will play.

RENT performs at the February 21-23. Performance times are Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2:00 p.m., and Sunday at 1:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

For general ticket information, visit MetroTix.com or by calling 314-534-1111.

Visit RentOnTour.netfor more information.

The Third Annual St. Louis High School Musical Theatre Awards winners were announced Sunday, June 2 at the Fabulous Fox Theatre.

The ceremony was hosted by KTVI Fox 2’s Mandy Murphey and directed by Tony Parise.

The winners were named in 14 categories (plus WOW! Performance Awards and Special Recognition Awards) including the Outstanding Lead Actress and the Outstanding Lead Actor who will go on to compete in the Jimmy Awards/National High School Musical Theatre Awards on Monday, June 24 at the Minskoff Theatre in New York City, presented by The Broadway League Foundation.

The pair going on to The Jimmy Awards were in Cor Jesu Academy’s “42nd Street” — Anna Gassett, who played Peggy Sawyer, and Michael Harp, who played Billy Lawlor. Anna is a recent graduate of Cor Jesu who plans to major in musical theatre at Texas State University. Michael will be a senior at Althoff Catholic High School in Belleville. He lives in Swansea.

Outstanding Lead Actress:

Anna
Gassett | Cor Jesu Academy

Outstanding Musical – Level 1
Budget:

Timberland High School, The Addams Family

Outstanding Supporting Actress:

Abi Mirikitani | Lafayette High
School

Outstanding Musical Direction:

Cor Jesu Academy

Outstanding Ensemble:

Westminster Christian Academy

Outstanding Choreography:

Kirkwood High School

Outstanding Technical Execution:

Cor Jesu Academy

Outstanding Lead Actor:

Michael Harp | Cor Jesu Academy

Outstanding Musical – Level 2
Budget:

Westminster Christian Academy, Meet Me In St. Louis

Outstanding Supporting Actor:

Kyle Rehme | Timberland High School

Outstanding Direction:

Chaminade College Prep

Outstanding Scenic Design &
Execution:

Central Visual and Performing Arts

Outstanding Costume Design &
Execution:

Timberland High School

Outstanding Orchestra:

Kirkwood
High School

Special Recognition Awards and
WOW! Performance Awards for outstanding work in support of the production were
also given out.

The Extra Mile:                                                                          Behind the Curtain:                                                                                                                       
                                                  

St.
Dominic High School, Les Misérables                                  Lindbergh
High School, Legally Blonde

Westminster
Christian Academy, Meet Me In St. Louis

Spirit of Theatre:                                                                                                                                                                             Union High School, Big Fish   

WOW! Moment:

Awarded for an outstanding performance in a
role not eligible for a nomination.

Ethan Budge | Rockwood Summit                                               
Brooke Hance | First Baptist Academy

Grant Morgan | Jerseyville
Community High School                  Hannah Wozniak | Lafayette High School

About
The St. Louis High School Musical Theatre Awards

The St. Louis High School Musical Theatre Awards (SLHSMTA) are produced by The Fabulous Fox, The Muny and The Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation. This program is designed to celebrate outstanding achievement in high school musical theatre. Participating schools will have their productions evaluated by a panel of theatre professionals.

The year-long adjudication process culminates in an awards ceremony modeled on the Tony Awards©. The winners of the Outstanding Actress and Outstanding Actor categories will travel to New York (all expenses paid) to compete in the National High School Musical Theatre Awards (Jimmy Awards©) program and to participate in a week-long professional development experience

About
The Jimmy Awards® / National
High School Musical Theatre Awards®

The Jimmy Awards®/The National High School Musical
Theatre Awards® (NHSMTA®) program impacts more than 100,000 students who
participate in high school musical theatre competitions sponsored by presenters
of Touring Broadway productions throughout the United States. Presented by the
Broadway League Foundation, the program sends a Best Actress and Best Actor
winner from each of these competitions to New York for a week-long theatre
intensive of coaching and rehearsals with industry professionals in preparation
for a one-night-only talent showcase on Broadway. Named for Broadway impresario
James M. Nederlander, the program has been the catalyst for more than
$2,000,000 in educational scholarships. The eleventh annual Jimmy Awards will
take place on Monday, June 24, 2019 at the Minskoff Theatre on Broadway.
Coaching and rehearsals for this one-of-a-kind event will be held Monday, June
17, 2019 through Monday, June 24, 2019 in New York City. For more information,
please visit www.JimmyAwards.com.

About The
Thomas A. Kooyumjian Foundation

The Thomas A. Kooyumjian Foundation is a not-for-profit
corporation organized and operated exclusively for charitable purposes and in
particular to preserve Armenian Culture of Americans of Armenian descent and support
other educational and charitable organizations.

*pronounced [coo-YUM-jun]