New Line Theatre is proud to present a Very Special Event to open the company’s 30th Anniversary Season, with just two New Line actors, Chris Kernan and Jeffrey M. Wright, along with artistic director Scott Miller on keyboard, in one of the most intimate evenings of musical theatre in the company’s 30 year history, telling a story all about stories, and the effect we have on other lives, usually without realizing it.
Neil Bartram and Brian Hill’s THE STORY OF MY LIFE follows the friendship of Alvin and Thomas, two lifelong friends from a small town who are reunited after Alvin’s mysterious death. Thomas struggles to write Alvin’s eulogy, so Alvin shows up to help the two of them take an amazing journey back through the story of their friendship, as Alvin searches through the manuscripts and stories in Thomas’ mind. And though Thomas is trying to write about his best friend, he ends up finding his own story in the process and coming to terms with the past.
The show opened on Broadway in 2009, after productions in Toronto and the Goodspeed Opera House, and it was nominated for four 2009 Drama Desk Awards, including Outstanding Musical. Since its Broadway run, the show has had regional productions throughout the U.S., and in South Korea, Belgium, Austria, and Denmark.
New Line’s THE STORY OF MY LIFE will be directed by Scott Miller, with scenic design by Rob Lippert and lighting design by Kenneth Zinkl.
All patrons will be required to wear masks in the lobby and theatre. The stage area will be safely distanced from the audience. In addition, the Kranzberg Arts Foundation now requires all patrons 12 years or older to show proof of their full COVID-19 vaccination or negative COVID-19 test upon entry for all ticketed events at all KAF indoor performance venues, including the Marcelle Theater.
THE STORY OF MY LIFE runs Sept. 30-Oct. 23, 2021, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, all at 8:00 p.m., at the Marcelle Theater, 3310 Samuel Shepard Drive, three blocks east of Grand, in the Grand Center Arts District. Sept. 30 is a preview.
Tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for students/seniors on Thursdays; and $30 for adults and $25 for students/seniors on Fridays and Saturdays. To charge tickets by phone, call MetroTix at 314-534-1111 or visit the Fox Theatre box office or the MetroTix website.
DISCOUNTS: HIGH SCHOOL DISCOUNT: Any high school student with a valid school ID can get a $10 ticket for any performance, with the code word, posted only on New Line’s Facebook page. COLLEGE FREE SEATS: Ten free seats for every performance, open to any college student with a valid student ID. EDUCATORS DISCOUNT: New Line offers all currently employed educators half price tickets on any Thursday night, with work ID or other proof of employment. MILITARY DISCOUNT: New Line offers all active duty military personnel half price tickets on any Thursday night, with ID or other proof of active duty status. All offers not valid in connection with other discounts or offers, available only at the door, and subject to availability.
HEAD OVER HEELS Marcelle Theater Mar. 3-26, 2022 Click Here for Tickets! Head Over Heels may be the weirdest mashup Broadway has ever seen, a crazy, joyful celebration of the full variety of human experience, a bold, sexy new comedy from the stage visionaries that rocked Broadway with American Idiot, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Avenue Q, and Spring Awakening. This wild, subversive love story follows a royal family on a journey to save their kingdom from extinction, only to discover the key to their survival lies in their own willingness to change with the times. New Line opened this show in 2020 to rave reviews, but it was shut down halfway through the run due to the pandemic. So we’ll be back to finish what we started.
URINETOWN Marcelle Theater,3310 Samuel Shepherd Drive, St. Louis, 63103 June 2-25, 2022 Click Here for Tickets! Mark Hollmann and Greg Kotis’ Urinetown is an outrageous musical fable of greed, corruption, love, revolution, and urination, set in a time when water is worth its weight in gold and there’s no such thing as a free pee. In this near-future dystopian Gotham, a severe 20-year drought has led to a government-enforced ban on private toilets. Citizens are forced to use public “amenities” now, regulated by a single malevolent corporation that profits from one of humanity’s most basic needs. But from the ruins of Democracy and courtesy flushes, an unlikely hero floats to the top, who decides he’s held it long enough, and he launches a People’s Revolution to lead them all to urinary freedom! New Line produced the show in 2007 to rave reviews.
Article originally appeared in Arts For Life’s Feb. 18 newsletter. Article written by Kim Klick and Lynn Venhaus
After working as a professional actor and singer for more than 30 years in Las Vegas, including performing opera at the Venetian Hotel on the Strip, Kimmie decided to move back to her hometown.
To leave her comfort zone and start over at 45 years old was daunting.
“More than a few people thought I must have been crazy!” she said.
But she knew it was time for a change and she did have support.
She was hired to work at Nordstrom Department Stores and found an apartment in Valley Park.
“I thought I’d be satisfied with all of that, but I wasn’t. Frankly, I was quite miserable. I was lonely, broke and terribly homesick! Most of all, I missed performing.”
However, things slowly fell into place. She not only found her way into the St. Louis theatre scene but reconnected with childhood friends, settled down here and married Gregg Booker. They grew up in the same neighborhood, and found each other on Facebook.
She started researching St. Louis theater companies, sending out letters and headshots, hoping to be acknowledged, but no response.
One day in 2012, she came across an audition for an upcoming production of August Wilson’s “Fences” at Hawthorne Players.
“I hadn’t even heard of August Wilson! Can you believe that? Someone like me, who has done theatre her entire life, had not heard of August Wilson?”
She showed up, prepared but “terrified.”
“A little-known fact about me is that I had never done a ‘straight play’ before! I had always done musical theatre. So, to put myself in a position where I had to just ACT, well, it was unchartered territory for me, to say the least!”
She was offered the part of Rose, the long-suffering wife who is married to the lead character, Troy.
“It’s one of the most important, historical, emotional, heartfelt roles to exist in American Theatre. I thought, ‘What the hell did I get myself into?’” she said. She did not need to fret.
“This was one of the best and most fulfilling theater experiences of my career,” she said.
For the record, August Wilson was not only an African American playwright, but also was an amazingly talented award-winning playwright who died too soon at the age of 60, Kidd-Booker explained.
“Fences” is part of Wilson’s celebrated “Pittsburgh Cycle,” sometimes called “The Century Cycle,” in which he wrote 10 plays, each set in a certain decade of the 20th century.
Set in the 1957, it is the sixth play of the cycle, premiered in 1985, and like the others, explores the evolving African American experience and among other themes, examines race relations.
Troy is a Negro Baseball League player who now works as a garbageman – but can’t be a driver (yet). His bitterness is apparent and affects his family – wife Rose and sons Lyons and Cory, and disabled brother Gabriel.
“Fences” won the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony Award for Best Play. “I am honored and privileged to say I performed in an August Wilson play! Being in an August Wilson play was both thrilling and terrifying. The context is historic and genuine and dramatic. His words are thoughtful and compelling and emotional,” she said.
While “Fences” is her only August Wilson play to date, she said she is optimistic that moving forward, there will be more opportunities to educate, perform, explore and share the African American experience with everyone.
“Black History Month is just a drop in the bucket. But it is certainly a start. My hope moving forward is that we can continue to gain an understanding of each other and continue a dialogue and put fears to rest. We have many differences, but we must continue to be reminded that we are more alike than we’d like to think,” Kimmie said.
Before she debuted in “Fences,” after a year here, she was considering returning to Las Vegas.
But once she started rehearsals with the cast and crew, then bonding with everyone, she decided to stay.
“My love for theatre kept me here in St. Louis. As I began to meet other theatre people and make more and more theatre connections, I knew that this is where I belonged. These are my People!” she said.
Kimmie recently became part of the AFL Board of Directors. She has won two Best Performance Awards for Best Featured Actress as Glinda in “The Wiz” at Hawthorne Players in 2014 and as Estonia Dulworth in “Nice Work If You Can Get It” at the Kirkwood Theatre Guild in 2019.
She was nominated as Best Actress in a Featured Role as Sister Mary Hubert in “Nunsense” at Hawthorne Players in 2015 and as The Witch in “Into the Woods” at Curtain’s Up Theater in 2018.
Among her roles in regional professional theater, she played Tom Robinson’s wife in “To Kill a Mockingbird” at The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, as Lady Bird in Stray Dog Theatre’s “Spellbound: A Musical Fable”and in the ensemble of “Sweeney Todd,” as “Aunt Missy” in The Black Rep’s “Purlie” and as Evangeline Harcourt in “Anything Goes” at New Line Theatre. In January 2020, she starred as brothel owner and philanthropist Eliza Haycraft in the original musical, “Madam.”
About August Wilson
Wilson was born Frederick August Kittel in Pittsburgh, Penn., on April 27, 1945. His mother, Daisy Wilson, was of African American heritage. His father, Frederick Kittel, was a German immigrant.
As a child, Kittel attended St. Richard’s Parochial School. When his parents divorced, he, his mother and his siblings moved from the poor Bedford Avenue area of Pittsburgh to the mostly white neighborhood of Oakland. After facing the relentless bigotry of his classmates at Central Catholic High School, he transferred to Connelly Vocational High School, and later to Gladstone High School.
When he was 15 years old, Wilson pursued an independent education at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, where he would earn his high school diploma.
Following his father’s death in 1965, a 20-year-old Wilson adopted the pen name “August Wilson” — reportedly an homage to his mother — and declared himself a poet. In 1968, Wilson and a friend, Rob Penny, co-founded the Black Horizon Theater.
Wilson remained primarily focused on making it as a poet — largely to no avail — until moving to St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1978.
Wilson wrote his first notable play in 1979,” Jitney,” for which he earned a fellowship at the Minneapolis Playwright Center.
The following year, his new play, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” was accepted at the Eugene O’Neill Playwright’s Conference. The year 1982 was particularly fruitful for Wilson, as it marked his introduction to Lloyd Richards, who went on to direct Wilson’s first six Broadway plays.
“Joe Turner,” the second part of the cycle, opened on Broadway in 1988.He took home another Pulitzer Prize in 1990, this time for The Piano Lesson, following its Broadway premiere.
Wilson died of liver cancer on Oct. 2, 2005, in Seattle. His new play, “Radio Golf,” had opened in Los Angeles just a few months earlier.
The COVID-19 pandemic presents a multitude of obstacles to overcome for organizations of all types, and theater groups are no exception. Sharon Hunter, Artistic Director-Producer of Moonstone Theatre Company, aims to help address some of the virus-related challenges that the St. Louis theatre community faces by forming the St. Louis Theatre Community Task Force.
“As I was thinking about how to proceed with my own company in the wake of the pandemic, I started thinking it would be helpful to get a lot of the theaters to sit down via Zoom and discuss concerns, ideas and solutions for moving forward as we navigate the future of theatre in St. Louis,” Hunter explains.
The Task Force will address concerns including conducting safe auditions, rehearsals and performances, finding new ways to seat audiences, maintaining the visibility of the St. Louis theatre community, new ways to offer theatre experiences and recommendations for the use of personal protective equipment.
Hunter said the Task Force, which is the first of its kind in the St. Louis area, welcomes local theatre groups of all sizes. In addition to these organizations, representatives from the St. Louis County Department of Health and the Center For Disease Control have also been invited to the first online meeting to address questions and concerns.
Theatre companies invited to participate include R-S Theatrics, The Q Collective, The Midnight Company, Slightly Askew Theatre Ensemble, Upstream Theater, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, COCA, Shakespeare Festival STL, Black Rep, Stray Dog Theatre, Stages St. Louis, St. Louis Actors’ Studio, The Muny, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, New Jewish Theatre, Cherokee Street Theatre, The Cabaret Project of St. Louis, Max & Louie Productions, Black Mirror Theatre, Young Liars, West End Players Guild, Tennessee Williams Festival St Louis, New Line Theatre, ERA Theatre Company, STL Fringe Festival, St Louis Shakespeare, Metro Theatre Company, That Uppity Theatre Company and the Tesseract Theatre Company.
The initial meeting of the Task Force is scheduled for Thursday, April 23, at 7 p.m. Theatre groups interested in interested in participating should contact Hunter at [email protected] to get access to the Zoom link. For more info, check their Facebook page for updates: https://www.facebook.com/STLTheatre/.
Greetings! This is a people, places and events column about local and
national showbiz items that will appear regularly. Feel free to message me with
Today we provide some ways to fill your
quarantine days and nights, a list of resources for artists, updates on the
Theatre Proms and more.
MRS. AMERICA: St. Louis anti-feminist icon Phyllis Schlafly was an Alton, Ill. housewife when she gained national attention in conservative politics, fighting the Equal Rights Amendment and founding the Eagle Forum in 1972. She’s the subject of a nine-part miniseries, “Mrs. America,” which starts Wednesday, April 15 on Hulu. The first three episodes: “Phyllis,” “Gloria” and “Shirley” will air then, then each week through May 27, depicting the battles between Schlafly and the leaders of the women’s movement in the 1970s.
The cast includes Cate Blanchett as Schlafly, Tracey Ullman as Betty Friedan, Rose Byrne as Gloria Steinem, Margo Martindale as Bella Abzug and Uzo Aduba as Shirley Chisholm.
Fun fact: I saw Schlafly debate Betty Friedan on the ERA during college. Phyllis came up to the podium, looking like Betty Crocker, and said: “How many women want to get drafted?” A guy in the audience yelled out: “How many men do?” When Betty came up, in a mumu, she clearly had the crowd on her side. Illinois State University, 1973.
*** THEATER PROMS: Springtime is awards season for the theater community, but this year, the mandatory Shelter-in-Place doesn’t allow gatherings of 10 or more. Therefore, events have been cancelled, rescheduled and rebooted
Often referred to as “Theater Prom,” the eighth annual St. Louis Theater Circle Awards ceremony was to take place on March 30 at the Loretto-Hilton Center on the campus of Webster University, but the event had to be cancelled. Local theater critics still honored outstanding regional professional theater.
Instead, HEC provided a streamcast of the awards on
Tuesday, April 7, at 7 p.m. on their Facebook page. The event was downscaled
reading of the nominations and awards, but hey, it’s #TCA20. You can still see
it! Here is the YouTube link:
The theater critics recorded the nominations, and their voice-overs ran over photos. Then HEC announcer Rod Milam announced the winner. There were 34 categories to give awards in, which cover dramas, comedies and musicals. All in a half hour.
Many thanks to HEC Media, including Dennis Riggs, total pro announcer Rod Milam and ace producer Paul Langdon. Thanks to our theater buddy Andrea Torrence for the work on the graphics – the photos really made the virtual. event “pop.” I applaud your sharp professional skills and your devotion to local theater.
A special award was given to Ken and Nancy Kranzberg for their tremendous support and commitment to the arts. Where would St. Louis arts be without the Kranzbergs?
Congratulations to the winners AND the nominees, and
everyone who gave of their heart and soul to produce live regional professional
theater with such passion and panache in 2019.
It truly was a fantastic year, especially for drama, and
what a crowded field of talent among the 125 artists nominated and 51 shows
from 25 different companies.
It is a privilege to see such a variety of theater during
the year, and as a founding member of the St. Louis Theater Circle, it has been
a real joy these past eight years.
In due time, we’ll be back in darkened theaters watching
people create magic. We’ll get to hug and laugh again, and marvel at this thing
called art that connects us all.
Even virtually for one evening — that was a welcome respite
from the sad, terrifying and anxious daily news, wasn’t it, in what’s become
the norm in our current global pandemic. People really seemed to enjoy it,
lifted spirits – some casts had Zoom parties.
I look forward to seeing you all again, in the “After
In community theater, the Arts For Life board of directors
presents two awards events each year, the Best Performance Awards honor musical
theater and youth productions, and the Theatre Mask Awards honor straight
The fifth annual Theatre Mask Awards, which honors both dramas and comedies, was to take place at a brunch on Saturday, April 4, at The Atrium Center at Christian Hospital. However, it has been rescheduled for July 18.
The 21st annual Best Performance Awards is scheduled for Sunday, June 14, at 2 p.m. at the Skip Viragh Center for the Performing Arts at Chaminade. However, the AFL board of directors will decide shortly on whether the event will be moved. Stay tuned.
For more information and to see lists of nominations, visit
You can get tickets to both events for the special price of $40. Visit www.artsforlife.org for
more information and to see a complete list of nominees.
Emcees are Donna Northcott, a theater professor at Lindenwood University – St. Charles, for the TMAs, and local singer-actress Karen Fulks for the BPAs.
disclosure: I am a founding member of the St. Louis Theater Circle and I am on
the Board of Directors of Arts For Life).
HELP IS HERE: How can you help all the artists around the region and homebound folks around the region? During this unprecedented time of isolation, Stay-at-Home mandate, social distancing to #flattenthecurve, here are some resource links:
This fund will provide short term monetary relief to
employees and owners of independent bars, restaurants, and shops in the St.
Louis area affected by closures and other circumstances brought about by the
Broadway may be dark, but today you can be a light for the
Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS launched the COVID-19
Emergency Assistance Fund to help those onstage, backstage and behind the
scenes during and after the coronavirus pandemic. Through your donation to this
special fund, administered by The Actors Fund, you can ensure entertainment
professionals get the health care, emergency financial assistance and
counseling they need.
THE SHOW MUST GO ON: OverDue Theatre Company had to cancel “My Fair Lady” this spring but has put together a Quarantine Concert for Facebook Live on Friday, April 17, at 7 p.m. Special guests include Kaitlyn Mayse, Lauren Molina and Nikki Snelson. Featuring Kimmie Kidd, Eleanor Humphrey and Kay Love, there are 17 performers from the OverDue family who will perform too.
SOME GOOD NEWS: You know him, you love him from “The Office,” the immortal Jim Halpern of the Jim and Pam office romance. Actor John Krasinski has started his own web series, “Some Good News,” and the first episode on March 29 was such a hit, he has produced two more, all dropping on Sunday nights. It’s both inspiring and distracting.
You can follow his page on Facebook for updates and a link
to submit good news.
*** CINEMA STL: Like everyone else, Cinema St. Louis has rescheduled some events. Here are the new dates/information: Classic French Film Festival: Working to move to late July/early August; St. Louis Science Fiction and Fantasy Short Film Festival: Moving from May 1 to hopefully this summer; QFest: Moving from mid-May to possibly July; Filmmaking camps: Camps slated for June and July will continue as scheduled for now; I Love Movies Trivia Night: Still scheduled for Friday, June 5, with backup dates of Friday, Aug. 28, or Friday, Sept. 4; St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase: This event is currently scheduled to go on as planned in July – deadline May 31; Golden Anniversaries: Films of 1970: The six-film fest is now slated for the following Saturday-Sundays: Aug. 22-23, Aug. 29-30, and Sept. 5-6 at the St. Louis Public Library’s Central Library; SLIFF: Hoping to go as scheduled in November.
*** TEAM LEGEND: About a year ago, singer-guitarist Joanna Serenko won the St. Louis Teen Talent Showcase, sponsored by the Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation. Now she’s a contestant on “The Voice.”
The poised and talented 2019 Kirkwood High School graduate had
a four-chair judges’ turn for her blind audition during Feb. 24 night’s season
premiere. She sang Amy Winehouse’s R&B rendition of The Beatles’ classic
“All My Loving,” and new judge Nick Jonas fought for her to be on his team.
Here’s her performance link:
The Battle Rounds began March 23, and Joanna was paired
with Roderick Chambers to sing Billie Eilish’s “When the Party’s Over.” Here is
Kelly Clarkson described their duet as “effortless and
beautiful and passionate,” and coach Nick called her a “flawless singer” but
picked Rod as the winner — then John Legend stole Joanna, so she advances to
the Knockout Rounds on Team Legend. EGOT Legend said she had a lot of “style
and grace” in her voice.
Both the Battle and Knockout Rounds were taped earlier, so
they aren’t affected by the virus shutdown. However, the live shows in May
might be, which follows the Knockout Rounds. Go Joanna! (Tune in April 13).
For the first show, a viewing party took place at the Marcus
Des Peres Cinema. Due to the pandemic, that can’t happen now. If it starts up again,
I’ll let you know.
She used to sing in the choir at Kirkwood’s United
Methodist Church and moved here from Cleveland in 2010.
AND THAT’S A WINNER: Sports commentator and hometowner Joe Buck is reaching out to sports fans, asking them to send videos so he can provide a “play-by-play” of what they’re doing while staying at home — perhaps dribbling in place? Just be careful what you send him.
*** HARRY POTTER INTERACTION: Want to escape to fantasy worlds during this global pandemic? “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling has launched a new website called Harry Potter at Home – a free magical resource to keep readers of all ages entertained while staying at home. In addition to the existing interactive features on WizardingWorld.com, the site creators have added new activity kits, “nifty magical craft videos,” quizzes, puzzles, and more. You can also listen to the first book on Audible for free or download and read it from a digital library.
*** AND HE SCORES! Congratulations to Tom Calhoun, one of the nice guys in local media and the St. Louis Blues announcer for 33 years, who was recognized with three honors by the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame. He was recently inducted, presented with the President’s Choice Award and given a commemorative 1500th-game plaque at the fourth annual Illinois Enshrinement Dinner.
A veteran of KMOX, WIBV and other stations, he is currently an adjunct communications professor at Southwestern Illinois College and general manager of its campus radio station, Blue Storm. He has never missed a Blues game since 1987 — until the global pandemic sidelined the team and the NHL cancelled the season. (Just think: a year ago, on April 10, we won the first of the 16 games we needed to win in the Stanley Cup Playoffs).
Cutline: Pictured, left to right, Tom Calhoun, head of the St. Louis National Hockey League Off-Ice Crew Tom Morris and St. Louis Blues inspiration and “super-fan” Laila Anderson. Photo by Bill Greenblatt
APPLAUSE, APPLAUSE:The Black Rep was awarded the August Wilson American Century Cycle Award by Christopher Rawson of the Pittsburgh Gazette on its opening night of “Two Trains Running.”
In 2008, they were the third company in America to complete
the 10-play American Century cycle and are currently two-thirds of the way
through it for the second time. Each of the 10 plays are set in a different
decade of the 20th century.
Rawson, the newspaper’s senior
theater critic and an August Wilson House board member, made the presentation
Jan. 10. The award was established only recently, so presentations are being
made gradually to the 15 qualifying companies.
“August is still alive, first, in the people,
places and stories from what we call August Wilson’s Hill, and second, in the
theaters around the country that bring them to life. This award, presented
jointly by his hometown newspaper and his childhood home, celebrates the
conjunction of these two. It says that we are all connected in August’s work,
through our recognition of its rich humanity and spiritual passion,” he said.
Wilson’s widow, Constanza Romero Wilson, sent thanks to The Black Rep “for your ongoing support of his legacy and for continuing to tell the stories for many generations to come. You ‘belong to the band’!” The quotation comes from Wilson’s “Gem of the Ocean,” where “the band” refers to those who struggled to free black Americans from slavery and Jim Crow.
*** IN THE CREDITS: Meadow Nguy of O’Fallon, Ill., makes an appearance in the seventh episode of the new Amazon Series “Hunters” starring Al Pacino. She was seen in “Law and Order: SVU” last November, and has been on “Madam Secretary” and “The Blacklist.” She moved to New York after graduating from Indiana University with a degree in musical theater. She appeared on stages in St. Louis, including the 2012 “Spring Awakening” at Stray Dog Theatre and their world premiere of “Spellbound,” and in the metro-east during her high school years. She won the Illinois Musical Theater Award, her ticket to the Jimmy Awards in 2012.
*** BOOKSHELF: New Line Theatre Artistic Director Scott Miller is also a prolific writer. His latest, “Idiots, Heathers, and Squips,” digs into a new batch of original, interesting musicals produced the first 15 years of the millennium.
He does deep dives into these 11 that represent “the astonishing variety and fearlessness of this new Golden Age: Urinetown, Sweet Smell of Success, Jerry Springer the Opera, Passing Strange, Cry-Baby, Next to Normal, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, American Idiot, Heathers, and Be More Chill.
LISTEN IN: MK Andersen’s“The First Hundred Days.” She is inspired by the idea that if the first hundred days of a presidency are the most pivotal and important, then the first hundred days of X,Y and Z must also be important. New ones are released every Tuesday: https://yourdaybymk.com/podcast-first-hundred-days : MK, who operates a wedding planning business, is a graduate of University of Notre Dame with a bachelor’s degree in political science. For the podcast she has talked to a writer at Netflix, a former university president and others. In episode 2, a fascinating talk with former FCC Chairman Newton Minow (1961-1963) is here. Minow, 94, served under President Kennedy. He practices telecommunications law in Chicago and in 2016, received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barack Obama.
Fun fact: “Gilligan’s Island” creator Sherwood Schwartz named the tiny ship that took that fateful trip for Minow because he thought he had ruined television. Minow is noted for a speech in which he called American television a “vast wasteland.”
*** REEL TIMES TRIO: Of course I’m going to plug my own, Reel Times Trio podcast, which is Carl “The Intern” Middleman, myself and a rotating guest to discuss the latest movie releases, what’s out on DVD and streaming, what’s new in Hollywood and Broadway, what’s happening locally, good TV and more.
We’re on iTunes and SoundCloud, and have a Facebook page where we post episodes each week. We also are posted here at PopLifeSTL.com During the pandemic, after a brief layoff, we have transitioned to Zoom. Find us here: https://soundcloud.com/lynn-zipfel-venhaus
*** ICYMI: Need something to do? HBO has unlocked the vault on nine popular series that you can watch for free on HBO Now or HBO Go, or if you have cable TV, now through May 31. The shows are: Barry, Big Little Lies, The Wire, The Sopranos, Succession, Veep, Silicon Valley, Six Feet Under, True Blood and Ballers.
Need to know where you can find a movie to watch, whether
it’s streaming or not? Check out www.justwatch.com or
download the app on your phone.
Did you miss Andrea Bocelli’s free streaming concert from Milan on Easter Sunday? Here is the YouTube link to the half-hour concert, featuring the famed opera singer performing “Ave Maria,” “Santa Maria” and “Amazing Grace”: https://youtu.be/huTUOek4LgU
He told NBC News: “I believe in the strength of praying
together. I believe in the Christian Easter, a universal symbol of rebirth that
everyone – whether they are believers or not – truly needs right now. Thanks to
music, streamed live, bringing together millions of clasped hands everywhere in
the world, we will hug this wounded earth’s pulsing heart…”
One of the best ads yet on staying safe for the good of a city, Here’s Doner Advertising Agency’s uplifting message to Detroit: https://youtu.be/JJzlXhXrD7I
*** WORD: “The world needs artists more than ever to remind us what truth and beauty and kindness really are.” — Terence McNally (1938-2020), in his Lifetime Achievement Award speech at last year’s Tony’s.
As a regional surge in COVID-19 cases grips the area, more local arts and entertainment events have either been cancelled or postponed in the St. Louis metropolitan area. The month-long “Hamilton” national tour stop at the Fox is now postponed, the Opera Theatre of St. Louis has cancelled its festival season and people are now moving dates from spring to either later in the year or 2021.
Based on the Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization’s recommendations on social distancing and against large group gatherings, St. Louis city and county, St. Charles County and Illinois put a public health emergency plan in place. They have shutdown gatherings of 10 or more, encouraged social distancing and ordered everyone to Stay-at-Home. Announced dates: St. Louis quarantine is through April 22; Illinois is through April April 30; Missouri is through April 24; and the nation is recommended until April 30.
Here is a round-up of the latest on community theater, regional professional theater, national touring shows, certain events and venues. If alternate programming has been put into place, it’s mentioned. As everyone knows by now, things change daily, so check with websites to see the latest. I’ll update as groups provide new information.
Kranzberg Arts Foundation
All Kranzberg Arts Foundation venue operations have been temporarily shut down.
This includes theatres, galleries, clubs, restaurants, cafes, and libraries.
These closures will remain in place until at least May 11.
This includes the Kranzberg Arts Center, The Marcelle
Theatre, The .Zack Theatre, The Big Top, The Grandel Theatre, The Dark Room,
Sophie’s Artist Lounge and the High-Low building.
Fox Theatre Performances at the Fabulous Fox have been postponed through April 30 and tours have been cancelled through June 7.
On April 10, the Fox announced that “Hamilton” has been postponed but no date has been set yet. It was scheduled to play at The Fox May 5 – June 7.
“The Fox is in discussion with the HAMILTON producers to reschedule the engagement and hopes to announce that information soon. said spokesman Megan Ketcherside.
Ticket holders should
keep their tickets until new dates are announced. More information will be
available once new dates are secured.
The Fabulous Fox Theatre hopes to bring the show to St. Louis in 2020, but as with all things related to COVID-19 and the social distancing necessary to keep guests and associates safe, theatre management will follow the lead of government and health officials in this matter> Ketcherside said.
The other shows that have been postponed: “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” originally scheduled for March 17-29; Teen Talent Competition originally scheduled for April 4; “Cats,” originally scheduled for April 7-19; Celtic Woman has been rescheduled for April 20, 2021; and Chaka Khan, originally scheduled for April 24.
“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” will now be Dec. 22 – 27. “Cats” can’t be rescheduled for 2019-2020 but Fox is working on a future date.
Plans to reschedule other postponed shows are currently underway. Ticket holders should hold on to their tickets – they will be honored on the new dates.
Decisions about other future shows will be made as we
follow the evolving situation with the COVID-19 virus and the City of St.
Louis’ determination of the length of this prohibition, public relations
manager Megan Ketcherside said.
Operational hours are subject to change based on the
COVID-19 situation. For now, the Fox Box Office is temporarily closed. The MetroTix
314-534-1111 phone hours are now from Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.,
closed on Saturday and Sunday.
Visit the website, www.fabulousfox.com/coronavirus
As of March 25, the Family Arena and The Family Arena Box
Office is closed to the public until such time as the limit on public
gatherings is lifted in St. Charles County.
Tickets are still available for purchase at
Manager Tom O’Keefe said if you purchased tickets at the
box office for an upcoming rescheduled event that you would like a refund for,
please hold on to your tickets until they re-open and they will refund your
tickets at that time.
They have partnered with Ticketmaster to address all fan
questions regarding the cancellation and rescheduling of live events. Visit the
Ticketmaster Help Center for guidance and check back regularly for additional
information and status updates, www.familyarena.com.
The Stifel Theatre and Enterprise Center Box Offices will
not open until further notice. For guests who purchased tickets to an upcoming
show through the box office that has been cancelled, please hold on to your
tickets until we re-open and are able to assist with your questions.
These events at Stifel Theatre have been postponed. Ticket
holders should hold on to their tickets, as all tickets will be honored on the
Here are rescheduled dates:
Gabriel Iglesias, from March 13 to Oct. 15 and from March 15 to Oct. 14; Franco
Escamilla, from March 14 to Nov. 13; Bob Weir and Wolf Brothers from March 18
to Oct. 14; Nathaniel Rateliff from March 19 to Nov. 14; Ron White from March
20 to Sept. 11; Bert Kreischer from April 5 to July 30; Iliza: The Forever Tour
from April 23 to Sept. 24; and Trolls LIVE! From May 15-17 to Oct. 2-4.
The following events have been cancelled and refunds will
be available at original point of purchase:
“Sesame Street Live,” March 27-29; TD Jakes, April 10; The
Color Purple, April 11; Variety Children’s Charity featuring Steely Dan, April
23; The Spongebob Musical, May 2-3; and Mother’s Day Soul Jam, May 8.
Decisions about other future shows will be made as they continue
to monitor this rapidly evolving situation. Visit www.stifeltheatre.com
The arena is closed until further notice and in an abundance of caution, the
venue will be thoroughly cleaned while closed.
They are currently working to reschedule all impacted
events and will provide updates as quickly as possible. We ask all current
ticket-holders to retain their tickets for these events until such time when a
new date is determined as your current ticket will be valid for the new date. “Please
be patient and hang tight as we work through this unprecedented time,” a
Additionally, they have partnered with Ticketmaster to
address all fan questions regarding the cancellation and rescheduling of live
events. Visit the Ticketmaster Help Center by clicking here for guidance and
check back regularly for additional information and status updates as they
Impacted Events: Festival Of Laughs from March 20 to Sept.
26; Sturgill Simpson from March 21 to TBD; Gateway Blues Festival from March 28
to TBD; AEW Dynamite from April 8 to Oct. 7; NF from April 11 to Aug. 15;
Legends of Hip Hop, from April 17 to Nov. 7; The Millennium Tour, from April 24
to Aug. 8; Three 6 Mafia, from May 23 to Oct. 2; and Lauren Daigle, from May 29
The Playhouse at Westport
All March/April events were cancelled, including “Flanagan’s Wake,” which had
been extended to mid-April.
John Denver Tribute May 7-10 and Rockin’ Chair June 5-6 remain
EVERYONE is encourage to participate–kids, adults, teachers, students, artists, people who don’t yet identify as artists! You read or watch the prompt and then respond immediately in the art form of your choice. We work with amazing collaborators to shape your responses in to a new work and have actors record it. We make a video of our brand new, collaborative work!
New prompts each week, so you can keep generating material while we work on new scripts. We want to hear from you.
Muny administrative offices and box office are closed through late April.
Ticketing services for the 2020 season are available online at any time.Ticketing
related questions can be sent to [email protected]
“We are closely monitoring all developments regarding the
COVID-19 outbreak and will continue to follow the guidance of health and
government officials with the goal of keeping our staff and community as safe
and healthy as possible,” the Muny statement reads on their website.
“With the start of our 2020 season still months away, we
remain optimistic that the season will proceed as planned and hope the
restrictions on gatherings are lifted in early May, as scheduled. If that
changes, we will adjust accordingly. Meanwhile, we continue communicating with
health officials on all levels to stay fully informed and responsive to this
unprecedented situation,” the statement reads.
Given the Stay at Home order for St. Louis City and County,
and for the health and safety of our team, The Muny Offices are currently
closed and some ticketing dates have changed. However, we’re still busy getting
ready for the 2020 summer season, and we can’t wait to meet you at The Muny
Ticketing Update as of March 26 – These dates are subject
Muny Season Tickets will be mailed in early May
Season Ticket Exchanges: May 26 – 29
Single Ticket on Sale: June 1
To purchase new season tickets, or pay a current balance on
existing season tickets, please visit:
To purchase season tickets with a gift card you currently
have in-hand, please email The Muny Box Office at [email protected] and a Muny
Ticketing agent will contact you to process
your request. If you wish to purchase a gift card, it will not be mailed until
the restrictions on gatherings have been lifted.
Also, if you are looking for a way to stay entertained
during these “quiet days,” we encourage you to enjoy a specially curated set of
video clips from our previous productions on our social media channels. You can
follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
The Repertory Theatre had to cancel the run of “The Cake,”
which began in the Studio Theatre on March 14, but was forced to be shutdown
March 16, and to postpone our Mainstage world premiere of “Dreaming Zenzile” from
March 21, with the goal of mounting it this summer.
An online stream of “The Cake” has been made available to all
Studio Theatre patrons who previously purchased tickets at no additional cost.
There are a limited number of streaming tickets available
for purchase for those who are interested in viewing the final performance of the
Steve Woolf Studio Series this season. That is available through April 24.
Additionally, The Rep is collaborating with a national
group of theatres to commission a series of short plays specifically developed
to spark joy and connection among people who are sheltering in place. These
initiatives are designed to keep the art alive and vital, even in a time of
“Keep an eye out for more entertaining content and
educational resources from The Rep and our local and national partners by
following us on social media,” spokesman Jeremy Goldmeier said.
On March 27, The Rep announced that they have honored the entire contracts of
the guest artists who devoted their talents to “Dreaming Zenzile” and “The
Cake,” despite their runs being delayed or cut short.
“In these uncertain times, The Rep felt it was imperative
that these artists, whose livelihoods depend on their contracts, not bear the
additional burden of lost wages in this pandemic,” a statement said.
“As you know, The Rep has an extraordinarily talented and
dedicated staff that works year-round to support the productions, education,
and community initiatives to serve the greater St. Louis region. We have
continued to pay the full salaries of our full-time, year-round administrative
staff, with no furloughs or other lapses in pay. We have moved our
administrative and box office teams to work remotely to serve you during this
period,” a statement said.
Play at Home
The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis has teamed with
Baltimore Center Stage, Long Wharf Theatre, The Public Theater and Woolly
Mammoth Theatre Company to present Play at Home, a series of micro-commissioned
short plays from some of the American theatre’s most exciting and prominent
These new plays – which all run 10 minutes or less – are
available for the public to download, read and perform at home for free at
In the wake of widespread event cancellations following the
spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the participating theatres conceived Play
at Home as a way to support artists, connect people to theatre, and to ignite
imagination and joy in these uncertain times.
Each organization commissioned multiple playwrights – most
of whom had plays canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak – to create new
works that were big, joyful and not bound by the constraints of what might be
“possible” on a traditional stage.
The Rep’s commissioned playwrights feature:
Regina Taylor (playwright of The Rep’s 2020-2021 production
Karen Zacarias (playwright of The Rep’s 2020-2021
production of Native Gardens)
Steph Del Rosso (playwright of The Rep’s 2020-2021 world
premiere of The Gradient)
Guadalís Del Carmen (who appeared at The Rep as an actor in
2020’s Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles)
Tre’von Griffith (a St. Louis performer and playwright,
co-founder of TLT Productions)
These plays are meant to be read at home among family and friends, and we highly encourage readers to share photos or videos of their home performances on social media using the hashtag #playathome.
Max and Louie Productions
Estelle Siteman of Max & Louie Productions said they optimistically look forward to bringing the second play of our 2020 season,”Looking for Normal” by Jane Anderson to the Marcelle. “This beautiful ,moving play full of wit and wisdom opens July 16 through the 26.2020,” she said.
Moonstone Theatre Company Sharon Hunter said Moonstone Theatre Company has postponed their July opening of “The House of Blue Leaves” to July of 2021 at the Wool Studio Theatre at the J. They will announce our season shortly. which will now begin in November 2020 with a Neil Simon comedy.
The Midnight Company Midnight Artistic Director Joe Hanrahan has moved his one-man play from May 28 – June 13 to a June 4 – 20 run. This is the premiere of the full version of “Now Playing Third Base for the St. Louis Cardinals…Bond, James Bond,” which will be at The Chapel, 4238 Alexander Drive, 63105. Performances are Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m., with a matinee on Sunday at 2 p.m.
It was performed in a shortened version at the 2018 St. Louis Fringe Festival, and audiences responded enthusiastically and critics raved. Snoops Theatre Thoughts said “A delightful show that’s part personal memoir, part history lesson, part nostalgia, and all fascinating. A difficult show to describe but what it is is excellent.” Limelight said “Hanrahan jumps from omniscient narrator to 15-year old movie fanatic to baseball and theatre historian, the audience hanging on every word. The Cardinals are the talk of the town again. This show should be the talk of the town, too!” Hanrahan said, “There’s never been a play we’ve done that’s received such enthusiastic, visceral reaction, due, surely, to the St. Louis history of the show. At the Fringe, productions are limited to one-hour playing time, and this new version will allow us to incorporate new material that should make the show ever more entertaining and informative.” “Now Playing Third Base for the St. Louis Cardinals…Bond, James Bond,” concerns a teen-age boy in 1964. JFK’s assassination still casts a pall on the nation. The Beatles’ emergence in February of ’64 starts to lighten the mood of the nation. The Cardinals continue the good times in St. Louis with a mad dash toward the pennant. And when a new movie hero hits the screens that summer, a bunch of boys on a baseball field have their first theatre experience when one of their gang offers a 30-minute one-man show of “From Russia with Love.” Throughout, the playwright draws links between what’s happened and happening – from JFK to James Bond, from segregation in St. Louis to segregation in baseball’s Southern Leagues and Florida stadiums where The Beatles were supposed to play, from WWII to British film production crews and JFK hit squads, from the first cave man who stood up by the fire to the theatre musings of Peter Brook…all of it swirling in front of the eyes of a young boy, and the memory of that time. Shane Signorino will direct the show as he did at The Fringe (Shane just received a Theatre Critics Circle nomination as Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy for Midnight’s POPCORN FALLS), Kevin Bowman will serve as Production Designer, Michael B. Perkins will design video support (as he did for Midnight productions of A MODEL FOR MATISSE, JUDGMENT AT NUREMBERG, and LITTLE THING BIG THING), and Elizabeth Henning will be Stage Manager.
There will also be a concurrent exhibit in The Chapel lobby of memorabilia from 1950’s/60’s baseball and James Bond films, presented by George Venegoni.
New Line Theatre
New Line managed to get two weekends of performances of “Head Over Heels” before the local government mandates of crowd size forced it to close early in mid-March.
Its June production of “Urinetown” has been cancelled.
Stray Dog Theatre
“Annie,” which was to open April 9, has been postponed,
with dates to be announced.
“We will honor all tickets already purchased to any of the
new performance dates once they are announced. To purchase tickets to any other
future productions, please call our box office directly at (314) 865-1995.
“We are currently planning to hold the remainder of the
2019-2020 season as scheduled. Any changes or additional information will be
shared as soon as possible. If you have any questions, please feel free to
contact us,” said Artistic Director Gary F. Bell.
“We would like to thank everyone for the hard work they’ve
already put into the production and we would like to thank you for your
patience as we work to bring you the quality story telling you, our family,
deserve. Annie is that bit of light we all need right now, ‘the sun will come
out tomorrow’ and we will overcome anything,” Bell said.
“We know we are not the only organization dealing with
these difficult decisions and we stand with them, ready to come back stronger.
Your continued support of all arts organizations is always appreciated but
never more than in times like these. We look forward to seeing you soon,” he
said. “Please stay safe and be kind to one another.”
Kenneth Lonergan’s “Lobby Hero” is set to run June 4
– June 20
“However, due to the extreme strain currently being faced
by many organizations we have made the decision to halt online sales of
upcoming productions. We will resume online sales once matters have settled and
the timeline of events moving forward becomes more defined,” Bell said.
“You may continue to purchase tickets for upcoming shows by calling our Box
Office at (314) 856-1995 or emailing us at [email protected] Thank
you for your patience and your continued support as we manage these unfortunate
Neil LaBute’s Ten X Ten Series 2nd Week free Video is now availalbe! Check our Twitter account for the link (http://twitter.com/STLAS1)LaBute’s Ten X Ten Series is offered as free content weekly via @STLAS1. It is a collection of original monologues initially written for AUDIENCE CHANNEL#LaBute10x10
This is in response to the cancellation of LaBute’s new play, “Comfort,” which STLAS was to stage this spring.
New Jewish Theatre
Initially, New Jewish rescheduled “We Are the Levinsons”
from March 19 to May, but now they have pushed it back, along with their
Sondheim musical revue, “Putting It Together.” They would like to reschedule later this
All activities at the JCCA have been suspended during the
public health crisis.
For more information, please contact them by email or by
Opera Theatre of St. Louis
Opera Theatre of Saint Louis has canceled its season. On April 7, Andrew Jorgensen, general director of Opera Theatre, announced the cancellation of the 2020 festival season that was to open May 23 and run through June 28 with this repertory: the world premiere of Tobias Picker and Aryeh Lev Stollman’s Awakenings, Bizet’s gripping opera Carmen, Strauss’ effervescent comedy Die Fledermaus, and the long-awaited company premiere of Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah.
Unfortunately, due to the size of seasonal staff required to produce each opera season, it is not possible for us to assemble the same casts, creative teams, and backstage artisans at any other point in the next several months. Even if we could postpone our season by a month, we simply don’t know when it will be safe for groups to gather again.
At this time, there is no active plan in place to move any of the 2020 productions into the 2021 Festival Season. However, they are still evaluating various options and scenarios — stay tuned for more!
For a complete list of all affected programs and public events, including information on whether an event is canceled or postponed, visit the website and scroll down for a complete list:
This page will be updated frequently in the weeks ahead as new information becomes available regarding the status of events, including possible rescheduling or digital streaming.
“As always, our highest priority is the health of the entire OTSL family — patrons, staff, and artists,” the statement reads.
Shakespeare Festival St. Louis
The 2020 Shakespeare in the Park production of “Much Ado
About Nothing” has been moved to Aug. 12 – Sept. 6. Producing Artistic Director
Tom Ridgely said it was in order to provide the best possible chance of safely
gathering artists and audiences for its 20th anniversary season. It
is to be directed by Bruce Longworth.
“For the past 20 years in St. Louis, the opening of
Shakespeare in the Park has helped to mark the unofficial start of summer,” Ridgely
said. “This year it’s clear that the only way to care for our actors, crew,
volunteers and community is to give as much time as possible for social distancing
measures to take effect and hope to be one of the ways we all bring our summer
2020 to a much happier close.”
The previously announced creative team of Matt Pace &
Brien Seyle (Original Music), Josh Smith (Scenic Design), Dorothy Englis
(Costume Design), John Wylie (Lighting Design) and Kathy Ruvuna (Sound Design)
remains the same.
In response to the widespread cancellation of live events,
the Festival has already shifted to generating a full schedule of new and
original content for the online and social media platforms under the umbrella
These include the previously aired “watch party” of its
canceled regional tour of Cymbeline, a live reading of “Venus and Adonis”
(which Shakespeare wrote during a plague-induced theater closure) and a
five-night reading of Albert Camus’ postwar masterpiece “The Plague.” Together
they’ve already been viewed 10,000 times.
Now through May 29 on ShakespeareTV, which can be accessed
on their Facebook page:
THE ZOOM PLAYS: a weekly series of 20- to 30-minute
original plays written especially to be performed live over the
videoconferencing app Zoom. Created and performed by local playwrights,
directors and actors.
GREEN SHOW MONDAYS: an eclectic variety program featuring
music, comedy and performance from Festival favorites.
SHAKESPEARE AND CHILL: a special selection of
Shakespeare-inspired movies featuring live commentary from artists and
scholars, co-curated by Cinema St. Louis.
Other one-night only events to be announced.
May 29 – June 21 is SHAKE20
A 20th anniversary reboot of the beloved engagement program
SHAKE38 featuring community responses to 20 of Shakespeare’s plays streaming on
Facebook and Instagram Tuesdays through Sundays 8 p.m. during the Festival’s
originally scheduled run, May 29-June 21.
Like the original, SHAKE20 will be a region-wide
collaboration involving artists and organizations including SHAKE38 alumni:
Slightly Askew Theater, Prison Performing Arts: The Alumni Group, RS-Theatrics,
Poor Monsters and Theater Nuevo. More details about the program and how to
apply will be shared soon.
“In the meantime, we
hope that you and yours stay well. We have planned an incredible season of free
Shakespeare, and we cannot wait to share it with you. It’s an interesting time
to be in the business of live theatre and touring productions, but the Festival
is committed to paying our artists and staff throughout this crisis,” Ridgely
So, if you have ever considered becoming a member, know
that we are always grateful for your support—but especially so at this time,” he
“During this crisis, we feel more connected to Shakespeare
and his contemporaries than ever before. Biographer Jonathan Bate wrote, ‘The
Plague was the single most powerful force shaping [Shakespeare’s] life and
those of his contemporaries.’ During times of quarantine, Shakespeare wrote
some of his most important sonnets and plays,” Ridgely said.
“We can’t claim to have his genius, but we will take
inspiration from his dedication and from artists around the world that are
stepping up to create, facilitate, and share stories in new and exciting ways.
Stay tuned for updates on new and existing Festival programs,” he said.
For more information, visit the website sfstl.com and on
social media. Visit https://www.facebook.com/shakesfestSTL
Stages St. Louis
While Stages St. Louis continues to follow guidance from the CDC as well as
mandates from both local and national government, for the time being, they have
made no adjustments to the schedule for our upcoming 2020 Season.
However, here are some changes regarding tickets, activities
Single tickets for the 2020 Season will now go on sale
beginning Monday, April 27.
All in-person activities with the Stages Performing Arts
Academy will be canceled until the start of our Summer Semester on Monday, June
The Stages administrative, production, and academy offices
will remain closed until Thursday, April 23.
In the meantime, the Box Office is still open for questions
or subscription ticket sales online at www.StagesStLouis.org or by phone at
The Stages Performing Arts Academy will continue to offer
digital and streaming content in order to continue performing arts education
for students at home and can answer any and all questions by phone at (636)
Shows are: “A Chorus Line,” May 29 – June 28; Disney’s Alice in Wonderland,” June 16 – June 28, “La Cage Aux Folles,” July 17 – Aug. 16; and “Always…Patsy Cline,” Sept. 4 – Oct. 4.
Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis
Executive Artistic Director Carrie Houk said after careful deliberation, they 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 dates were May 10-17.
The Tesseract Theatre Company Plans are underway to present the 2020 Festival of New Plays June 11 – 28 at the .Zack Theatre. The four plays are “Last Night” by Rachel Lynett, “All That Remains” by J.M. Chambers, “Feast” by Megan Gogerty and “The Length of a Pop Song” by Taylor Gruenloh.
For more information, contact: [email protected] or visit the website, www.tesseracttheatre.com
That Uppity Theatre Company Joan Lipkin said they we had hoped to do a new devised piece Crossing Borders/Chasing Freedom May 2-3, “but of course that is on hold. We are still planning to do Dance the Vote Sept 26 at the Missouri History Museum,” she said.
Upstream Theater In keeping with the evolving response to the current public health crisis, Upstream Theater is postponing our premiere of IPHIGENIA IN SPLOTT until next season. The play is now scheduled to run from October 9-25.If you have purchased single tickets or a season passport we will be happy to honor your ticket at that time.
West End Players Guild
Steven Dietz’s “Bloomsday” set to open April 17 and run through
April 26 has been cancelled. It was the final production of the group’s 109th
“As our country copes with the growing threat of the
Coronavirus, one of the most important steps we must take to protect ourselves
and each other is the kind of “social distancing” that is impossible at a
theatrical production. Our Board of Directors believes it is highly unlikely
that the need for social distancing will be any less in April than it is today,
and decided that the best course of action for our company and our patrons was
to act now to cancel the show,” a statement reads.
Patrons who have purchased advance tickets through Brown
Paper Tickets will be issued automatic refunds. WEPG will reach out to season
ticket holders in the near future with refund options.
WEPG will begin its 110th season in September.
Alfresco Productions Auditions
for “Hairspray Jr.” will be by video for the Granite City community theater
production. The show is to run July 24-26 and deadline for video submissions is
April 19. The age limit is from 6th grade to 18 years old. For more
information, visit: https://www.alfrescoproductions.org/auditions
Alton Little Theatre
All productions and concert events through May 1 have been
cancelled. Ticket holders for “Holy Laughter” and Todd Oliver and
“Broadway Salutes America” may be refunded or transferred. Call
618-462-3205 for options.
“Brigadoon” has been moved from May to June, with plans for
a June 5 opening, with eight performances through June 14. Season ticket
holders can follow the same schedule but can call the office at 618-462-3205 anytime
“Shrek” auditions have been rescheduled for Saturday, May
10, at 10 a.m. and Sunday, May 3, at 2 p.m. Director Kevin Frakes will be casting
at least 30 characters. The show will run July 31-Aug. 9 for eight
Clayton Community Theatre “The
Philadelphia Story” was to run March 12-22 but was cancelled after opening
They hope to premiere “Broadway Bound” July 9 -14
Curtain’s Up Theater Company
The group based in Edwardsville has postponed its production of “1776” for a
future date in 2020, to be determined, and cancelled March 28 auditions. The musical
was to be performed June 26-28 at The Wildey Theatre in Edwardsville. To keep
informed of updates, visit www.curtainsuptheater.com
Kirkwood Theatre Guild
Kirkwood Theatre Guild cancelled its remaining two shows: “On Golden Pond” and “Shrek:
The Musical,” which were set to run in April and May.
The run of “Picnic,” set for March 27, 28 and April 3-5, was cancelled.
Auditions for “A Chorus Line,” which were scheduled March 29 have been put on
hold. More information will be forthcoming. Please follow or check out website
www.HawthornePlayers.com for any further announcements.
Looking Glass Playhouse
LGP began the March 12-22 run of “It’s Only a Play” but was forced to cancel it
after state and local mandates due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
They have cancelled the rest of the season, including “Rock
of Ages” in May and have moved it to the opening slot in the fall.
“We are reaching out to the publishers to reschedule and are hopeful that we
will be able to still perform the show in September,” he said.
They hope to announce the full season soon and for patrons
who renew their season tickets for next year, they will receive a 10 percent
“Currently, we are still planning our summer youth
production “Alice in Wonderland Jr.” and summer fundraiser “The Rocky Horror
Monroe Actors Stage Company
The current production of “Watch Over the Rhine,” which was to run April 17-19
and 24-26, has been postponed.
Due to the current health crisis in our area, all MASC rehearsals and
activities at the Capitol Theater have been postponed effective Monday, March
“The MASC Board will be discussing the plan of action
moving forward regarding Watch on the Rhine, the current show in production,
and the remainder of the 2019-2020 season, as we monitor the progression of
this crisis. Specific information regarding these two shows will be sent out
accordingly. The health and safety of our membership and patrons is our highest
priority,” a statement read.
O’Fallon Theatre Works
The group cancelled “Man from Earth” in March.
“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime” is planned for July, and auditions
were recently handled by video.
Over Due Theatre Company
The group in Olivette has postponed “My Fair Lady.” It was
to run April 24-26 and May 1-3.
For the time being, they are still planning on holding auditions for “Bye Bye
Birdie” May 9 and 10. The show is set for July 24-26 and July 31, Aug. 1 and 2.
The Theatre Guild of Webster Groves
They have postponed our May production of “Rehearsal for Murder.”
“We are hopeful and fully intend to mount this production
at a later date,” a statement read.
St. Louis Theater Circle
Often referred to as “Theater Prom,” the eighth annual St. Louis Theater Circle
Awards were to take place on March 30 at the Loretto-Hilton Center on the
campus of Webster University, but the event has been cancelled. Local theater
critics will still honor outstanding regional professional theater, however.
Instead, HEC will provide a streamcast of the awards on
Tuesday, April 7, at 7 p.m. on their Facebook page. So, instead of fancy
outfits and schmoozing, the event will be downscaled reading of the nominations
The theater critic members of the St. Louis Theater Circle
have recorded the nominations, and their voice-overs will run over photos of
the nominees. Then HEC announcer Rod will announce the winner. There are 34
categories to give awards in, which cover dramas, comedies and musicals. A
special award is being given to Ken and Nancy Kranzberg for their tremendous
support and commitment to the arts.
Visit the Theater Circle’s Facebook page for more
If you would like to see who was nominated, here is the
Arts For Life
In community theater, the Arts For Life board of directors
presents two awards events each year, the Best Performance Awards honor musical
theater and youth productions, and the Theatre Mask Awards honor straight
The fifth annual Theatre Mask Awards, which honors both
dramas and comedies, was to take place at a brunch on Saturday, April 4, at The
Atrium Center at Christian Hospital. However, it has been rescheduled for July
The 21st annual Best Performance Awards is scheduled for
Sunday, June 14, at 2 p.m. at the Skip Viragh Center for the Performing Arts at
Chaminade. However, the AFL board of directors will decide shortly on whether
the event will be moved. Stay tuned.
For more information and to see lists of nominations, visit
You can get tickets to both events for the special price of
$40. Visit www.artsforlife.org for more information and to see a complete list
Emcees are Donna Northcott, a theater professor at
Lindenwood University – St. Charles, for the TMAs, and local singer-actress
Karen Fulks for the BPAs.
AFL President Mary McCreight has suspended all public
activities of the AFL organization, effective until at least May 1. This
includes all judging activities of the Theatre Recognition Guild.
“As our world, our nation and our region face a major
health threat, it falls upon us as a community to adopt measures that will both
foster the protection of those who work and ‘play’ in Metro St. Louis community
theatre and ultimately allow AFL to continue our charitable mission of service
and recognition once the threat passes,” she said.
(Full disclosure: I am a founding member of the St. Louis Theater Circle and I am on the Board of Directors of Arts For Life).
ST LOUIS HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL THEATRE AWARDS
In partnership with The Fabulous Fox, The Muny and The Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation, the St. Louis High School Musical Theatre Awards announced today the shift from in-person celebrations to virtual for their 2019-2020 season.
The new date for this year’s medallion ceremony, also known as the nomination ceremony, will be April 28, 2020 with the awards ceremony slated for May 24, 2020. Both streamed live online at no charge, these virtual celebrations will honor each of the 42 participating schools in the 2019-2020 season, including the schools who were unable to produce their productions due to the unprecedented circumstances associated with COVID-19. Exact times and streaming information will be released at a later date.
ARTS CENTERS AND CONCERT HALLS
The Hettenhausen Center for the Arts
All events and performances scheduled through June 1 have
been cancelled at “The Hett,” which is located on the campus of McKendree
“TAO Drum” has been
rescheduled from March 24 for 7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 14; and “Ishmael Beah”
has been rescheduled from April 15 for 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 4, 2021.
The ReMINDers has been cancelled for April 6.
They are offering patrons the possibility of applying their
tickets to a future event at the Hett, donating the ticket value to the
University or contacting them for a full refund, less any original mailing
fees. Please contact the box office during operating hours to discuss ticket
disposition at 618-537-6863. The box office is open from noon to 4 p.m.
Hettenhausen Center for the Arts is located at 701 College Road in Lebanon. For
more information, please contact [email protected].
St. Louis Symphony Orchestra
All performances through April 12 are postponed or
canceled. For information regarding tickets and schedules, visit slso.org.
The Sheldon Concert Hall & Art Galleries
All Sheldon-presented concerts and other events through May
10 have been postponed or canceled. Plans to reschedule are underway, and
ticket buyer should retain their current tickets – they will be honored for the
new dates. Additional information will be provided to ticket buyers as events
are rescheduled. Affected concerts include: Ian Walsh and Kevin Buckley,
“Keepin’ It Reel,” March 17-18; Honoring Our Own, Miz Renee Smith, March 17;
David Halen, violin, April 1; Brothers Lazaroff, April 4. Scheduling changes
for events presented by non-Sheldon promoters will be handled on a case by case
basis. All updates can be found at TheSheldon.org or at MetroTix.com.
The Sheldon is located at 3648 Washington Blvd., St. Louis.
Fair Saint Louis
Fair Saint Louis and America’s
Birthday Parade events have been canceled this year due to concerns about the
Fair Saint Louis was set to run July 2-4 at the Gateway Arch
with concerts, air show, and fireworks each night.
“While we are saddened to cancel two of our region’s most
popular and free Fourth of July celebrations, the safety of our community is of
utmost importance to us,” said David Estes, Chairman, Fair Saint Louis. “Fair
Saint Louis and America’s Birthday Parade embody the prideful spirit of our
city, and over the past few weeks, we’ve seen that spirit shine so brightly
within our community as we face this unthinkable challenge together.”
This year would have marked the 40th Fair Saint Louis and 138th
America’s Birthday Parade.
“We look forward to returning to downtown St. Louis and celebrating
with our community in the future when the time is right,” said David Plufka,
Chairman, America’s Birthday Parade.
Pandemic Results in Production Streamcast by HEC Media
New Jewish Theatre led the way with six awards at the eighth annual St. Louis Theater Circle Awards ceremony on Tuesday, April 7, 2020. Max & Louie Productions’ performance of Indecent garnered five awards, followed by four awards to The Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis for its production of A Lovely Sunday forCreveCoeur.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Circle’s gala event for this year’s award ceremony, originally scheduled for March 30, 2020 at the Loretto-Hilton Center, was canceled. Instead, HEC Media produced a version of the ceremonies that was streamcast on HEC Media’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/hectv/live/) as well as telecast on Spectrum channel 989 and AT&T U-verse channel 99. Here is the YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/embed/tCo0AFHbChE
Awards were given in 31 categories covering comedies, dramas
and musicals as well as two categories for opera. In addition, Ken and Nancy
Kranzberg received a special award for their philanthropic contributions to the
arts and theater in the St. Louis area, including many developments in Grand
Center. The awards honored outstanding achievement in locally produced professional
theater for the calendar year 2019.
A total of 21 productions and 14 companies were recognized by the awards, including eight individuals who have received honors in previous years. Will Bonfiglio, honored as Outstanding Actor in a Comedy for his performance in New Jewish Theatre’s production of Fully Committed, received an award for the third time in the last four years.
The 2020 presentation featured nominees from two companies,
Black Mirror Theatre and The Q Collective, which were represented for the first
time in consideration of St. Louis Theater Circle Awards. Each company received an award for
In all, 25 local companies received nominations in 33
categories for comedy, drama, musical and opera, as well as 125 individuals up
for awards. Honorees who have previously received St. Louis Theater Circle
Awards include Will Bonfiglio, J. Samuel Davis, Kari Ely, Michael Hamilton,
Patrick Huber, Sean M. Savoie, Margery and Peter Spack, and Maggie Wininger.
The mission of the St. Louis Theater Circle is simple: To
honor St. Louis professional theater. Other cities around the country, such as
Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco and
Washington D.C., pay tribute to their own local theatrical productions with similar
Nominations for the St. Louis Theater Circle Awards were
divided into categories for musicals, dramas, comedies and operas. More than 120 local professional theatrical
productions were staged in the St. Louis area in 2019.
Honorees of the eighth annual St. Louis Theater Circle
Ensemble in a Comedy
Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur, Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis
Supporting Actress in a Comedy
Kelley Weber, A Lovely Sunday for Creve
Coeur, Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis
Supporting Actor in a Comedy
Patrick Blindauer, Love’s Labors Lost, Shakespeare Festival St. Louis
Actress in a Comedy (tie)
Katie Kleiger, Pride and Prejudice, Repertory Theatre
of St. Louis
Maggie Wininger, A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur, Tennessee Williams Festival St.
in a Comedy
Will Bonfiglio, Fully Committed, New Jewish Theatre
Director of a Comedy
Kari Ely, A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur,
Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis
Production of a Comedy
Beach Memoirs, New Jewish Theatre
Ensemble in a Drama
Max & Louie Productions
Supporting Actress in a Drama
Carly Uding, Translations,
Black Mirror Theatre
Supporting Actor in a Drama
J. Samuel Davis, District Merchants,
New Jewish Theatre
Actress in a Drama
Donna Weinsting, Salt, Root and Roe,
in a Drama
Gary Wayne Barker, District Merchants, New Jewish
Director of a Drama
Joanne Gordon, Indecent, Max &
Production of a Drama
Max & Louie Productions
Design in a Play
Margery and Peter Spack, Brighton Beach Memoirs,
New Jewish Theatre
Costume Design in a Play
Felia Davenport, District Merchants,
New Jewish Theatre
Lighting Design in a Play
Indecent, Max & Louie Productions
Phillip Evans, Indecent, Max &
Design in a Musical
Mary Engelbreit and Paige Hathaway, Matilda, The Muny
Costume Design in a Musical
Sarah Porter, La Cage aux Folles, New
Lighting Design in a Musical
Sean M. Savoie, Man of La Mancha,
Stages St. Louis
Charles Creath, Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t
Cope, The Black Rep
Dexandro Montalvo, Such Sweet Thunder, Shakespeare
Festival St. Louis,
Big Muddy Dance Company, Jazz St. Louis, Nine
Network of Public Media
Ensemble in a Musical
Supporting Actress in a Musical
Taylor Louderman, Kinky Boots, The
Supporting Actor in a Musical
Tielere Cheatem, La Cage aux Folles,
New Line Theatre
Actress in a Musical
Kendra Kassebaum, Guys and Dolls, The
in a Musical
Luke Steingruby, Hedwig and the Angry
Inch, The Q Collective
Director of a Musical
Michael Hamilton, Man of La Mancha,
Stages St. Louis
Production of a Musical
Sweet Thunder, Shakespeare Festival St. Louis,
Big Muddy Dance Company, Jazz St. Louis, Nine
Network of Public Media
Nonsense and Beauty, by Scott C.
Sickles, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
Achievement in Opera (tie)
Terence Blanchard and Kasi Lemmons, Fire
Shut Up in My Bones, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis
Roland Wood, Rigoletto, Opera Theatre
of St. Louis
Production of an Opera
Boheme, Union Avenue Opera
Ken and Nancy Kranzberg
Members of the St. Louis Theater Circle include Steve Allen,
stagedoorstl.com; Mark Bretz, Ladue News;
Bob Cohn, St. Louis Jewish Light;
Tina Farmer, KDHX; Michelle Kenyon, snoopstheatrethoughts.com; Gerry Kowarsky, Two on the Aisle (HEC Media); Chuck
Lavazzi, KDHX; Sarah Bryan Miller, St.Louis
Post-Dispatch; Judith Newmark, judyacttwo.com; Ann Lemons Pollack,
stlouiseats.typepadcom; Tanya Seale,
Broadwayworld.com; Lynn Venhaus, PopLifeSTL.com;
Bob Wilcox, Two on theAisle (HEC Media); and Calvin Wilson, St.
Mullin, local actress and arts supporter, is the group’s administrator.
For more information, contact [email protected]
or ‘like’ The St. Louis Theater Circle on Facebook.
The eighth annual St. Louis Theater Circle Awards are taking place in cyberspace on Tuesday, April 7, rather than at the Loretto-Hilton Center on the campus of Webster University. That March 30 event was cancelled because of the current public health crisis. The COVID-19 global pandemic has affected the St. Louis region, with government quarantine orders in both St. Louis city and county through April 22.
The awards honoring excellence in professional regional theater for the 2019 season are being made available by the Higher Education Channel at 7 p.m. on their platforms. Their link is: Higher Education Channel TV (HEC-TV)
The streamcast will be able to be seen on HEC Media’s Facebook page, channel 989 on Spectrum (Charter) and channel 99 on AT&T U-verse.
HEC Announcer Rod Milam will state the winner after the Circle members voice-over the nominations in 33 categories. It is expected to take a half-hour.
The Muny, now in its second century of performances at its outdoor amphitheater in Forest Park, leads the way with a total of 25 nominations, followed by 24 for The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis (The Rep) and 21 for New Jewish Theatre. Stages St. Louis follows with 13 nominations, West End Players Guild with 10 and Stray Dog Theatre with a total of eight nominees.
In all, 25 local professional companies received nominations for 51 different shows. Lighting designer Sean M. Savoie leads all nominees with three different nominations out of a total of 125 nominated artists, including six who received two nominations apiece. The awards honor outstanding achievement in locally produced professional theater for the calendar year 2019.
More than 120 locally produced professional theatrical productions were presented in the St. Louis area last year.
Ken and Nancy Kranzberg will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of their long-standing commitment to the arts and theater in St. Louis, including Grand Center.
The official hashtag for the event, to be used on Twitter and Facebook, is: #TCA20
The St. Louis Theater Circle would like to thank the folks at HEC Media, including Dennis Riggs, Boyd Pickup, Rod Milam, Paul Langdon, Christina Chastain and their colleagues, for stepping up and making this streamcast production possible after the COVID-19 pandemic caused the cancellation of our eighth annual gala.
The St. Louis Theater Circle includes Calvin Wilson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch; Tanya Seale, Broadway World; Judith Newmark, Judy’s Second Act: Mark Bretz, Ladue News; Tina Farmer, KDHX; Gerry Kowarsky, “Two on the Aisle” HEC; Bob Wilcox “Two on the Aisle” HEC: Ann Lemons Pollack, St Louis Eats; Steve Allen, Stage Door STL; Chuck Lavazzi, KDHX; Michelle Kenyon, Snoop’s Theatre Thoughts; Bob Cohn, St. Louis Jewish Light; and Lynn Venhaus, PopLifeSTL.com. Eleanor Mullin is the administrator.
For more information, visit the Circle’s Facebook page.
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 Kranzberg Studio, Black Box, and Gallery
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.
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.
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 Tattoo, The 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”
“In the meantime, love deeply, be kind, eat, drink, be merry and smell the roses. Lots and lots of roses!: Houk said.
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
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.
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.
As concerns for public health grows as the Coronavirus spreads in the U.S.,
many arts and entertainment events have been cancelled in the metropolitan St.
Louis area. Some will be rescheduled. While others, in smaller venues,
St. Louis City banned events with crowds bigger than 1,000
Thursday and St. Louis County announced Friday it is preventing crowds bigger
than 250, effective immediately, until further notice.
Slowing the spread of COVID-19 is the utmost importance in
making these decisions. Governors of Missouri and Illinois have declared states
of emergency, as had the U.S. President on Friday.
Nationally, Broadway went dark and its 31 theatres
announced they would be closed through Easter, which is April 12.
Dramatists Play Service, which holds the rights to many shows, has announced
refunds to companies who have to cancel and also information regarding possibly
live-streaming shows. For further information, visit https://www.dramatists.com/text/covid19cancellationpolicy.asp
Here is a list of what’s the latest news from local
companies and venues, with the most up-to-date information as possible. It is
best to check with a group before heading out as news can change fast.
Most companies released statements about how they have
stepped up cleaning efforts and encouraging those feeling sick to stay home.
They have also offered refund information. Check their social media and
websites for current information.
On Thursday, the Fox Theatre announced postponement of all
performances and tours through March 31.
“The Bachelor Live on Stage, scheduled for Friday, March 13
and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory scheduled for March 17-29 will both be
postponed. Plans to reschedule are
currently underway. Ticket holders should hold on to their tickets – they will
be honored on the new dates,” statement said.
Decisions about other future shows will be made as they
follow the evolving situation with the COVID-19 Virus and the City of St.
Louis’ determination of the length of this prohibition, a spokesman said.
The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, on the campus of
Webster University, is opening “The Cake” in the Studio Theatre March 13, and Friday
evening announced that they would suspend all performances beginning Monday,
March 16. They are postponing the opening of “Dreaming Zenzile,” set to open
March 20, with hopes of rescheduling this summer.
This is a reversal of their announcement Wednesday that all
their performances would continue. Here is the new statement:
“Following the declaration of a state of emergency in St. Louis County
surrounding the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), The Repertory Theatre of St.
Louis must place the safety of its patrons, staff and artists above all other
Based on the Centers for Disease Control and World Health
Organization’s recommendations against large group gatherings, The Rep has
decided to cancel all performances and events beginning Monday, March 16
through the end of the season. We plan to postpone our Mainstage world premiere
of Dreaming Zenzile, with the goal of mounting it this summer.
“We do not take this decision lightly, knowing that the
communal connections made at public arts events are some of the strongest tools
against the fears and anxieties of this moment. As we ride out this turbulent
time together, we remain resolutely committed to the power of storytelling to
change lives and uplift our shared humanity. Thank you for your understanding
and for being a part of our Rep family. We look forward to welcoming you home
again this summer.
We will be reaching out to ticketholders shortly via email,
phone and/or text with more details regarding ticket options. For additional
updates, stay tuned to repstl.org and our Facebook and Twitter feeds,” the
The Playhouse at Westport continues “Flanagan’s Wake”
performances as planned. However, the company that owns the venue released a
statement explaining their efforts.
“Our efforts in cleaning the venue have been stepped up and
we will be disinfecting each seat, handrail and surface within the theatre
prior to opening doors for each performance. Our bartenders will be wearing
gloves, which will be changed frequently through the evening.
“In addition, Cushman & Wakefield, the property
management for Westport Plaza has increased their efforts to assist in
providing a safe environment for those that visit the Plaza. All public
surfaces, from elevator buttons to escalator rails, to door handles and
bathrooms are all being heavily sanitized multiple times throughout each day.
We, along with, many of you, are closely following and
monitoring all reports issued from the CDC as well as our local and state
governmental agencies and will adjust any and all protocol accordingly. At this
time, all shows are playing as scheduled,” explained Sue Silverstein, vice president
/ general manager, Playhouse @ Westport Plaza
The Moolah Shrine have announced plans to reschedule the
annual circus March 19-22 at Family Arena. Here is their statement:
For more than 78 years, the Moolah® Shriners have provided family entertainment
to St Charles and St Louis region. As always, our focus has been the safety and
well-being of families. After consulting with government health professionals
and the Family Arena, We have decided to take strong but necessary actions to
protect the health and well-being of all who plan on attending our circus.
As Shriners, we are about compassion and love; we help heal
the sick, care for those in need. Our plans, for now, are to reschedule our
78th Moolah Shrine Circus for later this year. Thank you for your support, and
we look forward to seeing you all later this year.
For further information, please refer to Moolah.org on
Monday, March 16,” they noted.
William Roth, founder and artistic director of St. Louis
Actors’ Studio, said they would offer their black box theater, The Gaslight
Theatre, to performers in need of space during this pandemic.
“Many performers and band members have lost their incomes.
The 100- seat Gaslight Theatre, based on availability, is offering itself up to
bands whose gigs have been canceled. This offer is, of course, based on
availability and the daily health regulations posted by the CDC and the local
governments. As long as it’s legal we are an available venue,”
Roth said. He can be reached by email at [email protected]
THE SHOW MUST GO ON “Clybourne Park” at Alpha Players at the Florissant Civic Center Theatre this Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. The audience is limited to 200.
Note: “We are constantly disinfecting common surfaces as
much as we can. We ask that high risk individuals (as defined by the CDC) or
those that are exhibiting symptoms to refrain from entering the premises.”
“It’s Only a Play” at Looking Glass Playhouse in Lebanon,
Ill. this Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.
Note: “As of 12 March 2020 we have no intention to cancel
any performances for It’s Only a Play. If we do, every effort will be made to
give a minimum notice of 24 hours.”
Also, cleaning efforts stepped up and ticket refunds
“Flanagan’s Wake” at The Playhouse at Westport continue
performances as planned, extended through April 11, with a special St.
Patrick’s Day performance Tuesday.
Note: “Please be aware of your own health. If you are sick,
or even questioning you are sick, please stay home. We will be happy to
exchange your tickets for another performance. The top priority at the
Playhouse @ Westport is the safety and the well-being of our guests, casts and
“Love Sex and the IRS” at Theatre Guild of Webster Groves
this Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. at their theatre,
Newport and Summit.
“On Golden Pond” at Kirkwood Theatre Guild this Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.
and Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Robert G. Reim Theatre, 111 S. Geyer Road.
“The Philadelphia Story” at Clayton Community Center
cancelled their opening night, March 12, but continue performances March 13 and
14 and at 2 p.m. March 15 in the Washington University South Campus Theatre.
“Return to Forbidden Planet” at KTK Productions in the St. John the Baptist
gymnasium, 4200 Delor, this weekend and next (Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
and Sunday at 2 p.m.)
“Head Over Heels” at New Line Productions at The Marcelle Theatre this Friday
and Saturday at 8 p.m., sold out, and continuing Thursday through Saturday
until March 28.
Note: “We hope to run as scheduled through March 28, but
we’ll continue to monitor the news and re-assess as the situation evolves. If
anyone has purchased tickets but is not feeling well, please stay home, rest
up, and contact MetroTix for a refund. The usual “no refund” rule
will not apply.”
POSTPONED “The Bachelor Live on Stage” tour at The Fox Theatre March 13. Plans to be rescheduled.
“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” tour at The Fox Theatre March 17 – 29. To be rescheduled.
10th Annual St. Louis Teen Talent Competition
April 4 at The Fox Theatre. To be rescheduled.
CANCELLED The Black Rep “Spell #7” at the A.E. Hotchner Studio Theatre. They had extended the run through this weekend, but cancelled it in light of the COVID-19 developments.
The Hettenhausen Center for the Arts at McKendree University All events and performances (internal, hosted or rented) scheduled through June 1. This includes: Shakespeare Festival St. Louis “Cymbeline” (March 16), Young People’s Concert (March 19), TAO DRUM (March 24), The ReMINDers (April 6), and speaker, Ishmael Beah (April 15).
Patrons are offered the possibility of applying their
tickets to a future event at the Hett, donating the ticket value to the
University or contacting them for a full refund, less any original mailing
Please contact the box office, during operating hours, to
discuss your ticket disposition. The box office is open Monday – Friday from noon
to 4 p.m.
College Performances Cancelled
“Cabaret” at Lindenwood University – St. Charles.
Representatives will contact ticket holders on refunds.
“A Doll’s House” at Missouri Baptist University. Will transition to streaming.
More information to follow.
Or, Theater interrupted by life…or something like that. Awards and reflections on the year.
By Lynn Venhaus Often times, the wise words of others are in a loop playing in my head.
“I want life to imitate art,” Carrie Fisher wrote in
“Postcards from the Edge,” and I often share that same sentiment. Particularly
in 2019, which will always be labeled an “annus horribilis” for personal
Although John Lennon is attributed to have said “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans,” he really just quoted it in one of his songs on “Double Fantasy.” That one I put in regular rotation.
When times were really rough last year, I thought of
Courtney Love’s band Hole and their album cover “Live Through This,” which was
made after Kurt Cobain died. I kept repeating that phrase over and over.
Now 65, I know all too well the ebbs and flows of life, but last year seemed unusually mired in the deep end. You see, without going into lengthy details, I lost my cherished oldest son in December 2018 and my only surviving brother, who was terminally ill, Labor Day weekend on his 57th birthday; my two sisters and I lost our other brother years ago. Life is filled with loss, and I made it through all the ‘firsts’ with a lot of help from my friends and family. But pain, anguish and sorrow were/are unfathomable and the tsunami of grief is as unpredictable as anything in life.
As Matt went steadily downhill last summer, I decided I
would spend more time with him, and I was already cooking his meals. So that
meant missing some theater, and I have no regrets on that decision.
We all must prioritize what’s important in our lives. Theater
has always brought me great joy and illuminated life in an exhilarating way,
and last year, sometimes it was a lifeline.
I am grateful for the opportunities to see so much
worthwhile theater, and I appreciate the theater community for being so understanding
and patient last year on my circumstances and my crazy work schedule.
The upside to tragedy is the outpouring of kindness and
concern from people – it was a comforting blanket I wrapped myself in, and was
able to get up and get going because I knew I wasn’t alone, and that there were
so many others to lean on and raise me up.
I can’t thank people enough and I am forever grateful – it means so much. Now, back to work. Words matter – I’m a writer, after all. A few years ago, as I was dropping Tim off at Union Station to visit some out-of-town friends after a break-up blindsided him, I mentioned ye olde chestnut about using what you learn at a later time, and he replied: “Like you say, Mom, everything’s copy.” I learned that from Nora Ephron. And it’s true.
Well maybe some day. Right now, I prefer to immerse myself in other’s words. Seeing how people take fresh pages of a script, how eloquent it can be, how well it can be interpreted – that is the task of the creative souls. And it’s so fun to see what can be crafted on a stage in town, whether it’s a small black box or the immense Muny stage.
Sitting in the dark, sharing a moment – that’s what it’s all about, and we sure shared some outstanding moments in 2019. The eternal optimist, I am looking forward to another exciting year.
And as we all know, there will be more times we’re knocked down. And being helped up is one of the best things in life. And when you open yourself up — be it in conversation, writing or on stage, you feel human and whole.
How art enriches us is truly inspiring. 2019 was a good year for theater, particularly dramas, which were often inspired. It was important to have somewhere to go and something else to think about, as I continue to marvel at the accomplishments – passionate people behind their visions, strong talent and a desire to do good work, that it is about the work.
I like when people take risks, when they present new ways of doing things, and don’t rely on the same-old casting. My biggest pet peeves are miscasting and lack of character development/prep work/vision. If you are going to invest the time and want people to give up their time and money, then do the work, go above and beyond, and not just slide by. Hire who is right for the part, not just because they are a friend.
OK, off my soapbox.
I have now launched my longtime-coming website, and we
should be full speed ahead in 2020, www.PopLifeSTL.com. I haven’t launched its
daily and weekly features yet, but reviews and news releases are up. All in due
So, my awards this year are based on the 79 regional
professional plays I did see, and not the touring shows nor community theater. That
would add about 16 more shows. There is no way to see everything.
This is the year I gave up reviewing opera and let another
reviewer go in my place. I needed to make some changes, and sadly, that had to
be dropped. Maybe another work. I have been in awe of what Opera Theatre of St.
Louis, Union Avenue Opera and Winter Opera achieve year after year.
My brother’s memorial service was the weekend of Shakespeare in the Streets, so I had to cancel, and he died the weekend I had RSVP’d for “The 39 Steps.” I saw “The Night of the Iguana” but left the next day to spend Mother’s Day with my youngest son in New York City, so missed “A Lovely Sunday Afternoon for Creve Coeur” and the other programming. I was on my way to the final matinee of “Death Tax” when an accident closed three lanes of I-64. Life…
I also traveled quite a bit this year, some for work, some for play. Tim was working on his MFA in screenwriting at DePaul University at the time of his death. He was home on holiday break. His professors named an award for him at their annual film festival, so I went up to Chicago the first weekend in June to see it happen.
However, I was fortunate to spend Mother’s Day watching
Jeff Daniels as Atticus Finch in “To Kill a Mockingbird” in the sold-out
acclaimed Bartlett Sher-Aaron Sorkin production in the Shubert Theatre. You
could have heard a pin drop and the standing ovation was immediate, loud and
long. Meeting the star afterwards was an unexpected thrill.
The week I was in NYC I also saw the fabulous and fun “The Prom,” which was produced by local folks and had a book and lyrics by Centralia’s own Chad Beguelin, who I had the good fortune to meet in 2010 and have been writing about his triumphs ever since.
I did something new, too — I revised my late son’s last script, a comedy short that his DePaul professor raved about, A for the trimester. And we had a team shoot it in late September over a weekend, a real challenge and labor of love. As Eleanor Roosevelt said: “You must do the thing you think that you cannot do.”
Unfortunate, but sadly not considered in voting here: “The Revolutionists” and “Shakespeare in Love” at Insight; “Equivocation,” “Exit, Pursued by a Bear” and “Cricket on a Hearth” at West End Players Guild; “Such Sweet Thunder,” Shakespeare Festival St. Louis; “Nina Simone: Four Women” and “Milk Like Sugar,” The Black Rep; Black Mirror Theatre’s “Translations”; ERA’s “Never Let Go”; “Salt, Root and Roe,” Upstream Theatre; “Karmatic” TLT Productions; “The Merchant of Venice” and “The 39 Steps” at St. Louis Shakespeare; “Leaving Iowa” and “Travels with My Aunt” at Act Inc.; “The Hundred Dresses” at Metro Theatre Company; “Disenchanted” at Stray Dog, the parodies of “Jaws” and ‘Gremlins,” and the second leg of the LaBute New Play Festival at St. Louis Actors’ Studio.
Without further ado, I present my annual “LOTTIES,” which is Lynn’s Love of Theatre Awards, for 2019. These are my opinions alone. As in previous years, I usually name 10 my lists, but this year because of missing what I did, it’s either 8 or 9. Eventually, I will post my other ones, since 2014, in archives. And I intend to archive all the Circle Awards/Nominations for reference.
If you are wondering about the St. Louis Theater Circle
Awards nominations, they will be announced on KWMU around noon on Friday, Feb.
7, with the press releases embargoed until 1 p.m. You can see the nominations
here on PopLifeSTL.com in the afternoon.
I did not want my awards to coincide with the Circle, but
it was not to be this year. However, these are my traditional annual awards, reflect
my personal take on the year that was.
I am a Circle founding member; we began in 2012. The awards
will be presented on Monday, March 30, at the Loretto Hilton Center on the
campus of Webster University, (the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis’ home). More
information will be forthcoming.
The 2019 LOTTIES* (LYNN’S LOVE OF THEATER AWARDS)
PRODUCTION OF THE YEAR: “Angels in America, Parts I and 2.”
Talk about ambitious. But oh, so worthwhile. The Repertory
Theatre of St. Louis’ first show under new artistic director Hana Sharif was an
absolute stunning visceral and artistic work and raised the bar. Not only did
it take risks but its heavyweight cast delivered on its promise.
“Part I: Millennium Approaches” and Part 2: Perestroika”
required a commitment of time but the investment was worth it. How interesting,
too that a 30 year old play could be so relevant today.
COMPANY OF THE YEAR: New Jewish Theatre.
From start to finish, 2019 was a banner year for NJT under
new artistic director Edward Coffield. “District Merchants,” “Time Stands
Still,” “I Now Pronounce,” “Brighton Beach Memoirs” and “Fully Committed” were
extremely well done with outstanding casts and production values.
ARTIST OF THE YEAR: Ellie Schwetye.
One of the most versatile and accomplished women in town, she’s been honored and nominated by the St. Louis Theater Circle year in and year out. But this year might be her finest – and perhaps busiest – on record. She directed “Photograph 51” at West End Players Guild, “A Model for Matisse” for the Midnight Company and “Fully Committed” at New Jewish Theatre. She acted in “Classic Mystery Game” and “Antigone: Requiem for Patriarchus” at SATE. She did sound for “The Night of the Iguana” at the Tennessee Williams Festival and “The Women of Lockerbie” at SATE. She was involved in SIUE’s Summer Play Festival, with “As You Like It.” Her choices of music for any show are impeccable. I’m likely missing a few things too. She’s always excelled at being a collaborator but she deserves an award all it’s own.
BEST TOURING SHOWS: “Come from Away” and “Dear Evan Hansen,” both at the Fox.
BEST NEW PLAYS: 1. “Nonsense and Beauty,” Scott C. Sickles, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis 2. “Canfield Drive,” Kristen Adele Calhoun and Michael Thomas Walker, The Black Rep 3. “It’s a Wonderful Life,” John Wolbers, Metro Theatre Company 4. “Feeding Beatrice,” Kristen Greenidge, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis 5. (tie) “Kim Jong Rosemary,” Carter Lewis, LaBute New Play Festival, St. Louis Actors’ Studio 5. (tie) “A Model for Matisse,” Barbara F. Freed and Joe Hanrahan, The Midnight Company
FIVE TO WATCH: Summer Baer Tristan Davis Caleb Miofsky Tateonna Thompson Jordan Wolk
12 ACTING MVPS (For their noteworthy range of work in 2019, and not only St. Louis professional in some cases) Nicole Angeli Will Bonfiglio Kevin Corpuz Eileen Engel Wendy Greenwood Stephen Henley Keating Ryan Lawson-Maeske Stephanie Merritt Alicen Moser Spencer Sickmann Jennifer Theby-Quinn
Gary Wayne Barker and J. Samuel Davis, “District Merchants,” New Jewish Theatre
Jacob Flekier and Spencer Kruse, “Brighton Beach Memoirs,” New Jewish Theatre
Will Bonfiglio and John Wolbers, “Photograph 51”
Eli Mayer and Khailah Johnson, “Footloose,” The Muny
Kevin O’Brien and Sara Rae Womack, “Guys and Dolls,” Stray Dog Theatre
Ryan Lawson-Maeske and William Roth, “A Life in the Theatre”
Joe Hanrahan and Shane Signorino, “Popcorn Falls,” Midnight Company
Erin Kelley and J. Samuel Davis, “The Agitators,” Upstream Theatre
Jeffrey Heyenga and Robbie Simpson, “Nonsense and Beauty,” The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
Joe Hanrahan and Rachel Hanks, “A Model for Matisse,” Midnight Company
JUVENILE PERFORMANCE AWARDS
Millie Edelman, Abby Goldstein and Lydia Mae
Foss as the flower girls, “I Now Pronounce,” New Jewish Theatre
Leo Taghert as 10 year old Tommy in “The Who’s
Tommy,” Stray Dog Theatre
SPECIAL TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENT: Michael B. Perkins for his exquisite video projection design in “Love, Linda” and “A Model for Matisse.”
COMEDY AWARDS Best Actress in a Comedy
Jane Paradise, “Brighton Beach Memoirs,” New
Laura Sohn, “Love’s Labors Lost,” Shakespeare
Festival St. Louis
Kea Trevett, “Love’s Labors Lost,” Shakespeare
Festival St. Louis
Susie Lawrence, “Sylvia,” Stray Dog Theatre
Keating, “Well,” Mustard Seed Theatre
Sofia Lidia, “The MotherF**cker with the Hat,”
Perri Gaffney, “The Lifespan of a Fact,” The
Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
Colleen Backer, “Color Timer,” LaBute New Play
Festival, St. Louis Actors’ Studio
Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy
Laurie McConnell, “Brighton Beach Memoirs.” New Jewish Theatre
Melissa Harlow, “Sylvia,” Stray Dog
Frankie Ferrari, “I Now Pronounce,” New Jewish Theatre
Delaney Piggins, “I Now Pronounce,” New Jewish Theatre
Lori Adams, “Well,” Mustard Seed Theatre
Ka-Ling Cheung, “The Play That Goes Wrong,” The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
Michelle Hand, “Pride and Prejudice,” The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
Taleesha Caturah, “The MotherF**with the Hat,” R-S Theatrics
Caitlin Mickey, “Wittenberg,” Upstream Theatre
Best Actor in a Comedy
Will Bonfiglio, “Fully Committed,” New Jewish
Isaiah DiLorenzo, “True West,” St. Louis
Jacob Flekier, “Brighton Beach Memoirs,” New
Steve Isom, “Wittenberg,” Upstream Theatre
Michael Cassidy Flynn, “Classic Mystery Game,”
Adam Flores, “The MotherF**ker with the Hat,”
Griffin Osborne, “The Lifespan of a Fact,” The
Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
Alan Knoll, “Wittenberg,” Upstream Theatre
Joe Hanrahan, “Charlie Johnson Reads All of
Proust,” Midnight Company
Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy
1. Spencer Kruse, “Brighton Beach Memoirs,” New Jewish Theatre 2. Patrick Blindauer, “Love’s Labors Lost,” Shakespeare Festival St. Louis 3. Shane Signorino, “Popcorn Falls,” Midnight Company 4. Aaron Dodd, “The Motherf**ker with the Hat,” R-S Theatrics 5. Jesse Munoz, The Motherf**ker with the Hat, R-S Theatrics 6. Michael McGloin, “The Play That Goes Wrong,” The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis 7. Chuck Brinkley, “Brighton Beach Memoirs,’ New Jewish Theatre 8. Michael James Reed, “Pride and Prejudice,” The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
Best Director of a Comedy
Alan Knoll, “Brighton Beach Memoirs,” New
Tom Ridgely, “Love’s Labors Lost,” Shakespeare
Festival St. Louis
Melissa Rain Anderson, “The Play That Goes
Wrong,” The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
Ellie Schwetye, “Fully Committed,” New Jewish
William Whitaker, “True West,” St. Louis Actors
Meredith McDonough, “The Lifespan of a Fact,” The
Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
Philip Boehm, “Wittenberg,” Upstream Theatre
Best Ensemble in a Comedy
The Play That Goes Wrong, The Repertory Theatre
of St. Louis
Brighton Beach Memoirs, New Jewish Theatre
Love’s Labors Lost, Shakespeare Festival St.
It’s a Wonderful Life, Metro Theatre Company
(tie) The MotherF**ker with the Hat, R-S
(tie) Well, Mustard Seed Theatre BEST COMEDY PRODUCTION
Brighton Beach Memoirs, New Jewish Theatre
Love’s Labors Lost, Shakespeare Festival St.
The Play That Goes Wrong, The Repertory Theatre
of St. Louis
True West, St. Louis Actors’ Studio
6. Fully Committed, New Jewish Theatre
Best Actress in a Drama
Nicole Angeli, “Photograph 51,” West End
Wendy Greenwood, “Time Stands Still,” New
Jeanne Paulsen, “Alabama Story,” The Repertory
Theatre of St. Louis
Kristen Adele Calhoun, “Canfield Drive,” The
Zoe Farmingdale, “Indecent,” Max and Louie
Julie Layton, “Fifty Words,” St. Louis Actors’
Best Supporting Actress in a Drama
1. Nisi Sturgis, “The Night of the Iguana,” Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis 2. Eileen Engel, “Time Stands Still,” New Jewish Theatre 3. Rae Davis, “District Merchants,” New Jewish Theatre 4. Donna Weinsting, “Nonsense and Beauty,” The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis 5. Rachel Hanks, “A Model for Matisse,” Midnight Company 6. Sophia Brown, “Fefu and Her Friends,” Theatre Nuevo 7. Miranda Jagels-Felix, “Antigone: Requiem for Patriarchus,” SATE
Best Actor in a Drama 1. James Andrew Butz, “The Night of the Iguana,” Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis 2. Barrett Foa, “Angels in America,” The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis 3. Gary Wayne Barker, “District Merchants,” New Jewish Theatre 4. Graham Emmons, “The Crucible,” Stray Dog Theatre. 5. Spencer Sickmann, “Farragut North,” St. Louis Actors’ Studio 6. Jim Poulos, “Oslo,” The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
Best Supporting Actor in a Drama
J. Samuel Davis, “District Merchants,” New Jewish Theatre
Carl Howell, “Alabama Story,” The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
David Wassilak, “Farragut North,” St. Louis Actors’ Studio
Karl Hawkins, “District Merchants,” New Jewish Theatre
David Ryan Smith, “Angels in America,” The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
Ryan Lawson-Maeske, “Photograph 51,” West End Players Guild
John Feltch, “Nonsense and Beauty,” The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
Gerry Love, “The Crucible,” Stray Dog Theatre
Ben Ritchie, “The Crucible,” Stray Dog Theatre
Ben Cherry, “Angels in America,” The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis (tie) Peter Freschette, “Angels in America,” The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis (tie) Taylor Gruenloh, “Two Degrees,” Tesseract Theatre
Best Director of a Drama
1. Joanne Gordon, “Indecent,” Max and Louie Productions 2. Anthony Speciale, “Angels in America,” The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis 3. Jacqueline Thompson, “District Merchants,” New Jewish Theatre 4. Gary F. Bell, “The Crucible,” Stray Dog Theatre 5. Ellie Schwetye, “Photograph 51,” West End Players Guild 6. Lucy Cashion, “Antigone: Requiem for Patriarchus,” ERA/SATE 7. Steve Woolf, “Oslo,” The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis 8. Seth Gordon, “Nonsense and Beauty,” The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
Best Ensemble in a Drama Production
Angels in America, Parts 1 and 2, The Repertory
Theatre of St. Louis
District Merchants, New Jewish Theatre
Photograph 51, West End Players Guild
Indecent, Max and Louie Productions
Antigone: Requiem for Patriarchus, ERA and SATE
The Crucible, Stray Dog Theatre
The Women of Lockerbie, SATE
Nonsense and Beauty, The Rep
Time Stands Still, New Jewish
Best Dramatic Production
Angels in America, The Rep
District Merchants, New Jewish
The Crucible, Stray Dog
Photograph 51, West End Players Guild
Indecent, Max and Louie Productions
Nonsense and Beauty, The Rep
The Night of the Iguana, Tennessee Williams
Festival St. Louis
Oslo, The Rep
Time Stands Still, New Jewish
North, St. Louis Actors’ Studio
Best Musical Director 1. Ryan Fielding Garrett, “Kinky Boots,” The Muny 2. Jennifer Buchheit, “The Who’s Tommy,” Stray Dog Theatre 3. Nicolas Valdez, “Cry-Baby,” New Line Theatre 4. Charles Creath, “Don’t Both Me I Can’t Cope,” The Black Rep 5. Nicolas Valdez, “Be More Chill,” New Line Theatre 6. Scott Schoonover, “Daddy Long Legs,” Insight Theatre 7. Holly Barber, “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” The Q Collective
Best Choreographer (and not just in musicals)
1. Kirven Douthit-Boyd, “Don’t Bother Me I Can’t Cope,” The Black Rep 2. Mike Hodges, “Guys and Dolls,” Stray Dog Theatre 3. Rusty Mowery, “Kinky Boots,” The Muny 4. Ellen Isom, “Indecent,” Max and Louie Productions 5. Tony Gonzalez, “Grease,” Stages St. Louis 6. Heather Beal, “Feeding Beatrice,” The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
Best Supporting Actress in a Musical
Taylor Louderman, “Kinky Boots,” The Muny
Michelle Ragusa, “The Boy from Oz,” Stages St.
Sarah Gene Dowling, “Hedwig and the Angry
Inch,” The Q Collective
Kendra Lynn Lucas, “Grease,” Stages St. Louis
Khalia Johnson, “Footloose,” The Muny
Eleanor Humphrey, “Dreamgirls,” Stray Dog
Laura Michelle Kelley, “Matilda,” The Muny
Grace Langford, “Avenue Q,” The Playhouse at
Jenny Powers, “1776,” The Muny
10. Tateonna Thompson, “Dreamgirls,” Stray Dog
10. Denise Thimes, “Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope,” The Black Rep
Best Actress in a Musical
Ebony Easter, “Dreamgirls,” Stray Dog Theatre
Jennifer Theby-Quinn, “Daddy Long Legs,”
Mattea Conforti, “Matilda,” The Muny
Kendra Kassebaum, “Guys and Dolls,” The Muny
Mamie Parris, “Paint Your Wagon,” The Muny
Sarah Rae Womack, “Guys and Dolls,” Stray Dog
Brittany Bradford, “Guys and Dolls,” The Muny
Best Actor in a Musical 1. Zachary Allen Farmer, “La Cage Aux Folles,” New Line Theatre 2. J. Harrison Ghee, “Kinky Boots,” The Muny 3. David Elder, “The Boy from Oz,” Stages St. Louis 4. Luke Steingruby, “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” The Q Collective 5. Caleb Miofsky, “Cry-Baby,” New Line Theatre 6. James Patterson, “Man of La Mancha,” Stages St. Louis 7. Mark Kelley, “A Man of No Importance,” R-S Theatrics
Best Supporting Actor in a Musical
Omega Jones, “Dreamgirls,” Stray Dog Theatre
Kevin Corpuz, “Be More Chill,” New Line Theatre
Omar Lopez-Cepero, “Paint Your Wagon,” The Muny
Tristan Davis, “The Who’s Tommy,” Stray Dog
Eli Mayer, “Footloose,” The Muny
Ryan Cooper, “Man of La Mancha,” Stages St.
Ken Page, “Guys and Dolls,” Stages St. Louis
Mike Wells, “Guys and Dolls,” Stray Dog Theatre
Patrick John Moran, “Man of La Mancha,” Stages
Stefaniak, “Guys and Dolls,” Stray Dog Theatre
(tie) Ben Davis, “1776,” The Muny
Best Director of a Musical
1. Mike Dowdy-Windsor and Scott Miller, “Be More Chill,” New Line Theatre 2. DB Bonds, “Kinky Boots,” The Muny 3. Justin Been, “Dreamgirls,” Stray Dog Theatre 4. Lee Anne Mathews, “Avenue Q,” The Playhouse at Westport 5. Jordan Woods, “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” The Q Collective 6. Ron Himes, “Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope,” The Black Rep
Best Ensemble in a Musical 1. “Kinky Boots,” The Muny 2. “Dreamgirls.” Stray Dog Theatre 3. “Avenue Q,” The Playhouse at Westport 4. “Be More Chill,” New Line Theatre 5. “A Man of No Importance,” R-S Theatrics 6. . Don’t Bother Me I Can’t Cope,” The Black Rep 7. “Man of La Mancha,” Stages St. Louis 8. “Cry-Baby,” New Line Theatre
Best Musical Production
1.“Kinky Boots,” The Muny 2. “Dreamgirls.” Stray Dog Theatre 3. “Be More Chill,” New Line Theatre 4. “Avenue Q,” The Playhouse at Westport 5. “Don’t Bother Me I Can’t Cope,” The Black Rep
Best Costume Design of a Musical
1. Sarah Porter, “La Cage Aux Folles,” New Line Theatre 2. Julian King, “Dreamgirls,” Stray Dog Theatre” 3. Mary Engelbreit and Leon Dobkowski, “Matilda,” The Muny 4. Brad Musgrove, “101 Dalmatians,” Stages St. Louis 5. Brad Musgrove, “Grease,” Stages St. Louis 6. Eileen Engel, “The Who’s Tommy,” Stray Dog Theatre 7. Gregg Barnes and Lindsay McWilliams, “Kinky Boots,’ The Muny
Best Lighting Design in a Musical
1. Tyler Duenow, “The Who’s Tommy,” Stray Dog 2. Joe Clapper, “Don’t Bother Me I Can’t Cope,” The Black Rep 3. Rob Lippert, “Be More Chill,” New Line Theatre 4. John Lasiter, “Paint Your Wagon,” The Muny 5. Tyler Duenow, “Dreamgirls,” Stray Dog Theatre 6. Sean M. Savoie, “The Boy from Oz,” Stages St. Louis
Best Set Design in a Musical
1. Mary Engelbreit and Paige Hathaway, “Matilda,”
2. James Wolk, “Man of La Mancha,” Stages St. Louis
3. Josh Smith, “The Who’s Tommy,” Stages St. Louis
4. Michael Schweikardt, “Paint Your Wagon,” The Muny
5. Peter and Margery Spack, “Don’t Bother Me I Can’t Cope,” The Black Rep
Best Sound Design of a Play
Broken Chord, Angels in America, The Rep
Ellie Schwetye, The Night of the Iguana,
Tennessee Williams Festival
David Samba, Feeding Beatrice, The Rep
Kareem Deanes, Fully Committed, New Jewish
Philip Evans, Indecent, Max and Louie
6. Justin Been, The Crucible, Stray Dog Productions
Best Costume Design in a Play
Michele Friedman Siler, Brighton Beach Memoirs,
Melissa Trn, Love’s Labors Lost, Shakespeare
Festival St. Louis
Felia Davenport, District Merchants, New Jewish
Andrea Robb, A Life in the Theater, St. Louis
Laura Hanson, Wittenberg, Upstream Theatre
Best Set Design in a Play
Peter and Margery Spack, The Play That Goes Wrong, The Rep
Dunsi Dai, The Night of the Iguana, Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis
Peter and Margery Spack, Brighton Beach Memoirs, New Jewish
Kristin Cassidy, “Photograph 51,” West End Players Guild
William Bloodgood, ‘Alabama Story,’ The Rep
David Blake, “District Merchants,” New Jewish
Lawrence E. Moten III, +Feeding Beatrice,” The Rep 8. Patrick Huber, “True West,” St. Louis Actors’ Studio
Best Lighting Design in a Play
Jon Ontiveros, “The Night of the Iguana,” Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis
Xavier Pierce, “Angels in America,” The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
Patrick Huber, “Indecent,” Max and Louie Productions
Jason Lynch, “Feeding Beatrice,” The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
Sean Savoie, “District Merchants,” New Jewish Theatre
Photo Credits: Phillip Hamer, Jon Gitchoff, JPatrick Huber, Joey Rumpell, Peter Wochniak and Jerry Naunheim Jr.