[ {"id":"b701df7c-9208-11e5-8c1b-176a03e75e4b","type":"link","starttime":"1448300160","starttime_iso8601":"2015-11-23T11:36:00-06:00","application":"editorial","title":"Mari de Villa iPad","permalink":"http://www.maridevilla.com/","canonical":"http://www.maridevilla.com/","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"cbc8b20a-9208-11e5-8595-4387ad9bef70","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/png","width":"728","height":"90","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/bc/cbc8b20a-9208-11e5-8595-4387ad9bef70/56534ec7c9538.image.png?resize=728%2C90"},"100": {"type":"image/png","width":"100","height":"12","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/bc/cbc8b20a-9208-11e5-8595-4387ad9bef70/56534ec7c9538.image.png?resize=100%2C12"},"300": {"type":"image/png","width":"300","height":"37","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/bc/cbc8b20a-9208-11e5-8595-4387ad9bef70/56534ec7c9538.image.png?resize=300%2C37"},"1024":{"type":"image/png","width":"1024","height":"127","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/bc/cbc8b20a-9208-11e5-8595-4387ad9bef70/56534ec7c9538.image.png"}}}],"revision":1,"url":"http://www.maridevilla.com/"}, {"id":"06f771f9-2260-5d3f-a70b-a647138a19a6","type":"article","starttime":"1506013200","starttime_iso8601":"2017-09-21T12:00:00-05:00","priority":45,"sections":[{"features":"arts-and-culture/features"}],"application":"editorial","title":"LN Travel: Cape Town","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/arts-and-culture/features/article_06f771f9-2260-5d3f-a70b-a647138a19a6.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/arts-and-culture/features/ln-travel-cape-town/article_06f771f9-2260-5d3f-a70b-a647138a19a6.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/arts-and-culture/features/ln-travel-cape-town/article_06f771f9-2260-5d3f-a70b-a647138a19a6.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":3,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Arthur Hoffman","prologue":"The city dubbed \u201cthe Mother of Africa\u201d opens its arms to all visitors.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["ln travel","cape town","south africa"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"e07e3b94-50db-5def-b6e1-e698caae01e1","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":1763,"hiresheight":1175,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/07/e07e3b94-50db-5def-b6e1-e698caae01e1/59c3e33eb24df.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"507","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/07/e07e3b94-50db-5def-b6e1-e698caae01e1/59c3e33eb0605.image.jpg?resize=760%2C507"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/07/e07e3b94-50db-5def-b6e1-e698caae01e1/59c3e33eb0605.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/07/e07e3b94-50db-5def-b6e1-e698caae01e1/59c3e33eb0605.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"682","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/07/e07e3b94-50db-5def-b6e1-e698caae01e1/59c3e33eb0605.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C682"}}},{"id":"7e58b49c-0d2d-5d1b-87c2-5e8ba79e72eb","description":"","byline":"Photo by Arthur Hoffman","hireswidth":1763,"hiresheight":1175,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/e5/7e58b49c-0d2d-5d1b-87c2-5e8ba79e72eb/59c3e33f3b3ed.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"507","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/e5/7e58b49c-0d2d-5d1b-87c2-5e8ba79e72eb/59c3e33f3a661.image.jpg?resize=760%2C507"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/e5/7e58b49c-0d2d-5d1b-87c2-5e8ba79e72eb/59c3e33f3a661.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/e5/7e58b49c-0d2d-5d1b-87c2-5e8ba79e72eb/59c3e33f3a661.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"682","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/e5/7e58b49c-0d2d-5d1b-87c2-5e8ba79e72eb/59c3e33f3a661.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C682"}}},{"id":"217a33b4-8c5e-5020-89df-ead6ad6f82f9","description":"","byline":"Photo by Arthur Hoffman","hireswidth":1763,"hiresheight":1175,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/17/217a33b4-8c5e-5020-89df-ead6ad6f82f9/59c3e33f8943a.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"507","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/17/217a33b4-8c5e-5020-89df-ead6ad6f82f9/59c3e33f88754.image.jpg?resize=760%2C507"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/17/217a33b4-8c5e-5020-89df-ead6ad6f82f9/59c3e33f88754.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/17/217a33b4-8c5e-5020-89df-ead6ad6f82f9/59c3e33f88754.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"682","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/17/217a33b4-8c5e-5020-89df-ead6ad6f82f9/59c3e33f88754.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C682"}}}],"revision":1,"commentID":"06f771f9-2260-5d3f-a70b-a647138a19a6","body":"
\"615079548\"
615079548

As we ride the elevator down from our Airbnb apartment, a 40-something man gets on. A few floors later, he says: \u201cIt\u2019s nice to hear Americans [talking]. I\u2019m American, too. You will love Cape Town. I\u2019ve been here three years.\u201d

The elevator doors open at the lobby. Our new friend leaves us with a restaurant recommendation and a parting wish: \u201cEnjoy yourselves.\u201d

It\u2019s almost impossible to imagine anyone not enjoying Cape Town, South Africa. The only problem is time \u2013 or a lack thereof. We were coming off a 16-day safari and had only four nights to enjoy the city. That\u2019s not nearly enough for a destination with such diverse attractions. One of the newest is the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, which has its grand opening from Sept. 22 to 25. The more than 100,000-square-foot museum is spread over nine floors of a former grain silo complex and will be the first home for African contemporary art on the continent.

A ferry ride to Robben Island is a must. This is where Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years of imprisonment at the hands of the apartheid government. The prison tour is led by another former political prisoner. As he walks us through the building and answers questions, his experiences and emotions still seem fresh, even though he has been free for decades. The tour is as powerful and emotional an experience as it is educational.

Back on the mainland, one of the biggest attractions is the country’s booming wine industry. South Africa is the world’s seventh-largest producer, with wine grapes growing in the country since the 17th century. U.S. consumers couldn’t buy South African wines until after apartheid ended in 1999. As a result, many Americans know little about them. So when in Cape Town, one definitely should go to some of the districts of the Western Cape Winelands, one of the country’s best wine-producing areas, about an hour’s drive from Cape Town. Hire a driver (my recommendation – Tray Hawley, info@africandestinationtravel.com) and book a lunch with wine tastings. You will find that many varietals are produced, but Pinotage and Chenin Blanc probably dominate. Pinotage, in fact, was created in South Africa in 1925 by crossing French varietals Pinot Noir and Cinsault.

But first, before lunch and wine tastings, stretch your legs on the quaint main street of Franschhoek, originally settled by French Huguenot refugees in 1688. Then go for a tasting at the beautiful La Motte wine estate (la-motte.co.za). A reservation isn\u2019t necessary.

For lunch, we drive a short distance to Stellenbosch and Clos Malverne Wine Estate (closmalverne.co.za). The menu for the four-course lunch with wine pairings stimulates the imagination and appetite. The tab, even with four wines, costs less than $33. Unbelievable. And the view is equally stupendous \u2013 outside floor-to-ceiling windows, the Clos Malverne vineyard stretches into the distance, beautifully framed by the Drakenstein and Stellenbosch mountains.

Once you\u2019ve recovered from wine-country indulgences and are back in Cape Town, there are even more attractions to fit in your schedule.

Shopping, for example. The Victoria & Albert Waterfront has more than 450 retail outlets. However, you can have more fun shopping in the city center\u2019s Green Market, first built in 1696, a former slave market and, later, fruit and vegetable market. Today, vendors have crafts and arts from all over Africa, and everyone negotiates or, more accurately, haggles. With a bit of bargaining, you can find high-quality place mats in the Green Market for about $2, a midsize mask from Ghana for $20 and art on canvas for less than $15.

If you\u2019re feeling a bit peckish from shopping, take a short stroll from Green Market to the venerable Mount Nelson Hotel (belmond.com/mount-nelson-hotel-cape-town) for its traditional high tea. Once restored, you can tour the hotel\u2019s current art exhibition.

The central city offers many historic attractions. One example is the District Six Museum (districtsix.co.za), which preserves the history of the forced eviction by the apartheid government of 60,000 African residents so that whites could move into the area. The museum has historic accounts of the eviction and artifacts from the original black residents.

A popular recreation destination is Cape Point Nature Reserve, about 40 miles southwest of Cape Town. Here is fynbos, a feathered-leaf, heatherlike vegetation found only at the southern tip of Africa. Of the world\u2019s six floral biomes, this is the smallest but richest in number of endemic species. You also might see mountain zebra, antelope and, more likely, baboons.

If you have more time to explore, the Garden Route is about 180 miles long from western to eastern Cape Town. It encompasses 10 nature reserves and a variety of sea life including, from July to December, calving southern right whales, an endangered species.

Cape Town has something for every taste. What the visitor lacks is enough time to experience it all. That\u2019s probably why the American expat from the elevator moved here. And it\u2019s why we\u2019ll definitely return.

Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa

Africa has many talented contemporary artists, but until this month, its major metropolitan areas have lacked truly great museums in which to exhibit their work. The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (zeitzmocaa.museum) will change that when it opens Sept. 22.

With the mission \u201cto collect, preserve, research and exhibit cutting edge contemporary art from Africa and its diaspora, \u2026\u201d the Zeitz has 80 galleries spread across nine floors of what formerly was a grain silo complex on the Victoria and Albert Waterfront.

The British architect who designed the space is Thomas Heatherwick. The Zeitz name comes from founder Jochen Zeitz, who, at 30, was the youngest CEO of a major public corporation (Puma) in Germany and who started collecting African art in 2002. Today, he works with Sir Richard Branson on big-idea projects. The Zeitz certainly qualifies.

\"DSC05082.JPG\"
DSC05082.JPG

WHERE TO STAY

Airbnb offers many possibilities. We stayed in a two-level penthouse apartment with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, $185 a night (airbnb.com/rooms/2480340).

Mount Nelson Hotel, a Belmond property, (76 Orange St., Gardens, 800-237-1236, reservationsmnh@belmond.com) has doubles from $390 a night, plus breakfast.

The Silo Hotel, a Royal Portfolio property (Silo Square, V&A Waterfront, 27 (0) 21 671 5502, reservations@trp.travel), on floors above the Zeitz, has a standard double from about $860 with breakfast, museum entrance and complimentary minibar soft drinks, wine and beer.

WHERE TO EAT

Kloof Street House (30 Kloof St., Gardens, 27 22 423 4413, info@kloofstreethouse.co.za) is fine dining with a brasserie-style menu in a Victorian house and garden.

Pigalle (57A Somerset Road, Green Point, 27 21 421 4343, capetown@pigallerestaurants.co.za) is the place if you fancy live soft jazz and excellent seafood for dinner. The restaurant is situated in an extremely large venue that somehow manages personal and attentive service.

Savoy Cabbage (101 Hout St., 27 21 424 2626, info@savoycabbage.co.za) pays delicious attention to detail in an 18th-century warehouse with exposed brick walls adorned with modern art and cabbage-motif chandeliers. The cooking is European with an emphasis on fresh local produce. The wine list is well curated and features very reasonable price points.

WINERIES TO VISIT

Clos Malverne’s (Devon Road, Stellenbosch, 021 865 2022, info@closmalverne.co.za) four-course tasting menu is excellent, beautifully presented and an incredible value. Executive chef Nadia Louw Smith describes her approach as “world food with earthy sophistication.” She includes some South African game such as spring bok and fish such as snoek found in South African waters. The estate also has a tasting room, day spa and luxury accommodations.

La Motte Wine Estate (R45 regional road, Franschhoek, 27 21 876 8000, info@la-motte.co.za) features lush grounds and a welcoming tasting room serving high-quality wines, as well as a restaurant, farm shop, hiking trail and museum featuring the work of South African artist Jacob Hendrik Pierneef.

ATTRACTIONS

Tickets to District Six Museum (25A Buitekant St., reception@districtsix.co.za) are about $2.50 each or about $3.50 for a tour guided by a former resident of the neighborhood. In the 1960s, more than 60,000 Africans were forcibly evicted from the Sixth Municipal District of Cape Town by the apartheid government so that whites could live in the area. This museum documents that mass eviction with artifacts from former residents and historic accounts.

Robben Island Museum and Ferry has morning and afternoon sailings from Mandela Gateway at the Robben Island Museum on the V&A Waterfront. Tickets are available online or at the museum for about $22. Tours take four hours, including the ferry ride (webtickets.co.za).

[1] View from the balcony at Cape Town City Luxury Apartments booked through Airbnb, photo by Cape Town City Luxury Apartments. [2]Every dish at Clos Malverne Wine Estate outside Stellenbosch is delicious and beautifully presented. [3] Bo Kaap is one of Cape Town\u2019s more colorful neighborhoods. Formerly the Malay Quarter, today it is a multicultural area known for colorful homes and cobblestone streets. [4] The iconic clock tower on Cape Town\u2019s thriving Victoria and Albert Waterfront. Ships come here for repair and renovation, and shoppers and diners flock here for some 450 outlets. [5] Cape Town has preserved distinctive colonial architecture amid modern high rises in its central business district. [6] The South African Cape is blessed with miles of beautiful beaches. [7] The cask room at La Motte Wine Estate in Franschhoek.

\"DSC05096.JPG\"
DSC05096.JPG
"}, {"id":"af510b3a-9d56-11e7-a1c4-fff7563c914e","type":"article","starttime":"1505838120","starttime_iso8601":"2017-09-19T11:22:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1505838727","priority":40,"sections":[{"features":"arts-and-culture/features"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Weinsting's Haunting Performance in 'Unsuspecting Susan' Marks an Auspicious Debut for Inevitable Theatre Company: Review","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/arts-and-culture/features/article_af510b3a-9d56-11e7-a1c4-fff7563c914e.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/arts-and-culture/features/weinsting-s-haunting-performance-in-unsuspecting-susan-marks-an-auspicious/article_af510b3a-9d56-11e7-a1c4-fff7563c914e.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/arts-and-culture/features/weinsting-s-haunting-performance-in-unsuspecting-susan-marks-an-auspicious/article_af510b3a-9d56-11e7-a1c4-fff7563c914e.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":4,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"by Mark Bretz","prologue":"Story: Susan Chester enjoys a tranquil existence in a village removed from the hustle and bustle of London. She is divorced and has one child, a son named Simon who has moved to the big city, where he shares a flat with an Egyptian student named Jemal. They\u2019re just friends splitting expenses, Susan informs us, lest we jump to any wrong conclusions. She hopes that the rudderless Simon will soon find his calling in London and establish a career.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["robert neblett","donna weinsting","the chapel","theater","review","unsuspecting susan","stewart permutt","inevitable theatre company"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"ba8e69ac-9bc6-11e7-bc1d-931dfc646248","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":3000,"hiresheight":2250,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/a8/ba8e69ac-9bc6-11e7-bc1d-931dfc646248/59bea52d603cb.hires.jpg","presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"570","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/a8/ba8e69ac-9bc6-11e7-bc1d-931dfc646248/59bea52d5ea69.image.jpg?resize=760%2C570"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"75","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/a8/ba8e69ac-9bc6-11e7-bc1d-931dfc646248/59bea52d5ea69.image.jpg?resize=100%2C75"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"225","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/a8/ba8e69ac-9bc6-11e7-bc1d-931dfc646248/59bea52d5ea69.image.jpg?resize=300%2C225"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"768","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/a8/ba8e69ac-9bc6-11e7-bc1d-931dfc646248/59bea52d5ea69.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C768"}}},{"id":"8e5e3808-9bc6-11e7-a1a7-c7a8b1e0fcf9","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":2400,"hiresheight":3200,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/e5/8e5e3808-9bc6-11e7-a1a7-c7a8b1e0fcf9/59bea4e33ef64.hires.jpg","presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"570","height":"760","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/e5/8e5e3808-9bc6-11e7-a1a7-c7a8b1e0fcf9/59bea4e33d6cb.image.jpg?resize=570%2C760"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"133","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/e5/8e5e3808-9bc6-11e7-a1a7-c7a8b1e0fcf9/59bea4e33d6cb.image.jpg?resize=100%2C133"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"400","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/e5/8e5e3808-9bc6-11e7-a1a7-c7a8b1e0fcf9/59bea4e33d6cb.image.jpg?resize=300%2C400"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1365","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/e5/8e5e3808-9bc6-11e7-a1a7-c7a8b1e0fcf9/59bea4e33d6cb.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C1365"}}},{"id":"ab082d4c-9bc6-11e7-8bcd-0393212bc6fc","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":3000,"hiresheight":2250,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/b0/ab082d4c-9bc6-11e7-8bcd-0393212bc6fc/59bea513552ee.hires.jpg","presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"570","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/b0/ab082d4c-9bc6-11e7-8bcd-0393212bc6fc/59bea5135397f.image.jpg?resize=760%2C570"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"75","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/b0/ab082d4c-9bc6-11e7-8bcd-0393212bc6fc/59bea5135397f.image.jpg?resize=100%2C75"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"225","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/b0/ab082d4c-9bc6-11e7-8bcd-0393212bc6fc/59bea5135397f.image.jpg?resize=300%2C225"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"768","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/b0/ab082d4c-9bc6-11e7-8bcd-0393212bc6fc/59bea5135397f.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C768"}}},{"id":"9c47699e-9bc6-11e7-acc3-932c671d1d0a","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":2081,"hiresheight":3000,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/c4/9c47699e-9bc6-11e7-acc3-932c671d1d0a/59bea4fa91463.hires.jpg","presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"527","height":"760","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/c4/9c47699e-9bc6-11e7-acc3-932c671d1d0a/59bea4fa8feb0.image.jpg?resize=527%2C760"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"144","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/c4/9c47699e-9bc6-11e7-acc3-932c671d1d0a/59bea4fa8feb0.image.jpg?resize=100%2C144"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"432","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/c4/9c47699e-9bc6-11e7-acc3-932c671d1d0a/59bea4fa8feb0.image.jpg?resize=300%2C432"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1476","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/c4/9c47699e-9bc6-11e7-acc3-932c671d1d0a/59bea4fa8feb0.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C1476"}}}],"revision":4,"commentID":"af510b3a-9d56-11e7-a1c4-fff7563c914e","body":"

Story: Susan Chester enjoys a tranquil existence in a village removed from the hustle and bustle of London. She is divorced and has one child, a son named Simon who has moved to the big city, where he shares a flat with an Egyptian student named Jemal. They\u2019re just friends splitting expenses, Susan informs us, lest we jump to any wrong conclusions. She hopes that the rudderless Simon will soon find his calling in London and establish a career.

Her days consist of caring for her two dogs, gardening and whatnot, as well as savoring an ever-present drink of choice. She enjoys gatherings with her friends from church, even though she considers herself an upper-class sort who endures the gossip and silliness engaged in by some in her social circle. She tells us that her ex-husband Colin was a scoundrel who still has the audacity to ask for money now and then.

Susan has been asked to participate in a community theater production of The Killing of Sister George by a director who has plied his craft in London. It\u2019s a daunting challenge but she is up to the task, even if it means spending time with Jill, a casual friend who drinks entirely too much. Since Susan\u2019s best friend Elaine is dealing with an unfaithful husband and has taken up Buddhism as a sanctuary from her troubles, Susan finds herself spending more time with Jill or the next-door neighbor Louise, a social worker.

Her serene if uneventful life, though, changes dramatically when the police arrive at Susan\u2019s door in the middle of the night and ransack the place for evidence. There\u2019s been a terrorist attack in London and the impressionable Simon, it appears, has fallen in with the wrong people. Susan is stunned not only by the turn of events but by their ugly repercussions, both in London and here in her quiet little village.

Highlights: Inevitable Theatre Company makes an auspicious debut in St. Louis with a touching and revelatory performance by Donna Weinsting in this affecting, one-character drama.

Other Info: Stewart Permutt\u2019s 80-minute, one-act play from 2003 is a sobering character study that focuses on words spoken by its sole character which carefully reveal subtle hints about her shields against unwelcome intrusions of life into her insular world. Her dialogue reveals all too well to an audience what Susan won\u2019t admit, much less acknowledge, about her son\u2019s sexual leanings as well as his unstable mental condition.

Weinsting expertly depicts how the shallow Susan has built walls around her own psyche to protect herself from news she doesn\u2019t want to hear. Under artistic director Robert Neblett\u2019s insightful and precise direction, she carefully selects her words before speaking, as if she\u2019s reconciling any potential problems in Susan's mind before letting us in on her thoughts.

Bruce Bergner\u2019s production design is built around a living room filled with comfortable furniture and an array of photos, including Susan\u2019s dogs and a picture of her ex-husband as well as a photograph of Simon given prominent location on a side table next to the sofa and chair. Lighting designer John \u2018JT\u2019 Taylor paints the room with swaths of sunlight in some scenes or sobering shadows of darkness in others, while costumer Christina Sittser dresses Susan in handsome clothes more suitable for socializing than for home attire to align with the character\u2019s view of her own \u2018elevated\u2019 status.

Unsuspecting Susan is a quiet, tender play for which Weinsting puts her considerable skills to excellent use. She paints a memorable portrait of a lady who has lived life superficially, a woman who puts all of her energy into keeping unpleasant thoughts or realities at bay, regardless of the steep cost she ultimately has to pay.

The work\u2019s title says it all, and Inevitable Theatre\u2019s presentation brings out its pathos and sadness with Weinsting\u2019s haunting performance.

Play: Unsuspecting Susan

Company: Inevitable Theatre Company

Venue: The Chapel, 6238 Alexander Drive

Dates: September 21, 22, 23, 28, 29, 30

Tickets: $15-$25; contact 314-534-1111 or metrotix.com

Rating: A 4 on a scale of 1-to-5.

Photos courtesy of Inevitable Theatre Company

"}, {"id":"2d5bdd8a-9d79-11e7-9787-1ba7ad37ac9f","type":"article","starttime":"1505852940","starttime_iso8601":"2017-09-19T15:29:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1505853504","priority":40,"sections":[{"features":"arts-and-culture/features"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Sarah Ruhl's Poetic Take on 'Eurydice' Opens Bankside Rep's Third Season: Theater Review","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/arts-and-culture/features/article_2d5bdd8a-9d79-11e7-9787-1ba7ad37ac9f.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/arts-and-culture/features/sarah-ruhl-s-poetic-take-on-eurydice-opens-bankside-rep/article_2d5bdd8a-9d79-11e7-9787-1ba7ad37ac9f.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/arts-and-culture/features/sarah-ruhl-s-poetic-take-on-eurydice-opens-bankside-rep/article_2d5bdd8a-9d79-11e7-9787-1ba7ad37ac9f.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":5,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"by Mark Bretz","prologue":"Story: In this modern re-telling of a tale from Greek mythology, Eurydice falls in love with a musician named Orpheus. On her wedding day she steps away from the reception for a moment. While outside, she is approached by a mysterious man who tells her that he has a letter from her late father. Eurydice follows the man to his loft apartment but flees when he attempts to seduce her. While running on some steep steps she falls to her untimely death.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["orpheus","eurydice","greek mythology","sarah ruhl","jacoby arts center","bankside repertory theatre company","alton","theater","review"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"58c208b0-9bc5-11e7-b081-6f825173d1f8","description":"","byline":"Kim Howland","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"608","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/8c/58c208b0-9bc5-11e7-b081-6f825173d1f8/59bea2dbc58ee.image.jpg?resize=760%2C608"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"80","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/8c/58c208b0-9bc5-11e7-b081-6f825173d1f8/59bea2dbc58ee.image.jpg?resize=100%2C80"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"240","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/8c/58c208b0-9bc5-11e7-b081-6f825173d1f8/59bea2dbc58ee.image.jpg?resize=300%2C240"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"819","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/8c/58c208b0-9bc5-11e7-b081-6f825173d1f8/59bea2dbc58ee.image.jpg"}}},{"id":"66b13e96-9bc5-11e7-9349-ffe974b3ffaa","description":"","byline":"Kim Howland","hireswidth":1358,"hiresheight":1086,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/6b/66b13e96-9bc5-11e7-9349-ffe974b3ffaa/59bea2f32eb6f.hires.jpg","presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"608","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/6b/66b13e96-9bc5-11e7-9349-ffe974b3ffaa/59bea2f32dd49.image.jpg?resize=760%2C608"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"80","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/6b/66b13e96-9bc5-11e7-9349-ffe974b3ffaa/59bea2f32dd49.image.jpg?resize=100%2C80"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"240","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/6b/66b13e96-9bc5-11e7-9349-ffe974b3ffaa/59bea2f32dd49.image.jpg?resize=300%2C240"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"819","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/6b/66b13e96-9bc5-11e7-9349-ffe974b3ffaa/59bea2f32dd49.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C819"}}},{"id":"72b1d232-9bc5-11e7-9f8b-db75a9fcb1e5","description":"","byline":"Kim Howland","hireswidth":1214,"hiresheight":971,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/2b/72b1d232-9bc5-11e7-9f8b-db75a9fcb1e5/59bea3074fad5.hires.jpg","presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"608","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/2b/72b1d232-9bc5-11e7-9f8b-db75a9fcb1e5/59bea3074ef61.image.jpg?resize=760%2C608"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"80","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/2b/72b1d232-9bc5-11e7-9f8b-db75a9fcb1e5/59bea3074ef61.image.jpg?resize=100%2C80"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"240","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/2b/72b1d232-9bc5-11e7-9f8b-db75a9fcb1e5/59bea3074ef61.image.jpg?resize=300%2C240"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"819","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/2b/72b1d232-9bc5-11e7-9f8b-db75a9fcb1e5/59bea3074ef61.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C819"}}},{"id":"7e9d89ce-9bc5-11e7-8503-cff780c7492f","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":2048,"hiresheight":1152,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/e9/7e9d89ce-9bc5-11e7-8503-cff780c7492f/59bea31b4fb52.hires.jpg","presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"428","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/e9/7e9d89ce-9bc5-11e7-8503-cff780c7492f/59bea31b4eef1.image.jpg?resize=760%2C428"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"56","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/e9/7e9d89ce-9bc5-11e7-8503-cff780c7492f/59bea31b4eef1.image.jpg?resize=100%2C56"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"169","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/e9/7e9d89ce-9bc5-11e7-8503-cff780c7492f/59bea31b4eef1.image.jpg?resize=300%2C169"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"576","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/e9/7e9d89ce-9bc5-11e7-8503-cff780c7492f/59bea31b4eef1.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C576"}}},{"id":"4ee02e76-9bc5-11e7-9e55-2b4bd2186a90","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"279","height":"298","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/ee/4ee02e76-9bc5-11e7-9e55-2b4bd2186a90/59bea2cb37be0.image.jpg?resize=279%2C298"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"107","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/ee/4ee02e76-9bc5-11e7-9e55-2b4bd2186a90/59bea2cb37be0.image.jpg?resize=100%2C107"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"320","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/ee/4ee02e76-9bc5-11e7-9e55-2b4bd2186a90/59bea2cb37be0.image.jpg"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1094","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/ee/4ee02e76-9bc5-11e7-9e55-2b4bd2186a90/59bea2cb37be0.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":4,"commentID":"2d5bdd8a-9d79-11e7-9787-1ba7ad37ac9f","body":"

Story: In this modern re-telling of a tale from Greek mythology, Eurydice falls in love with a musician named Orpheus. On her wedding day she steps away from the reception for a moment. While outside, she is approached by a mysterious man who tells her that he has a letter from her late father. Eurydice follows the man to his loft apartment but flees when he attempts to seduce her. While running on some steep steps she falls to her untimely death.

Eurydice awakens in the underworld, which is guarded by three talking stones but where she is approached nonetheless by her father. Because she does not speak the language of the dead, he devises a way to speak to his daughter in order to communicate with her and awaken her memories of him. Even as Eurydice eventually reconnects with Father, Orpheus attempts to follow her into the afterlife to be with her.

He uses his remarkable gifts of music and poetry to gain access to her, while she in turn must avoid the sinister overtures of the nether lord, who is disguised as a child. When Orpheus connects with Eurydice, she must decide whether to return to the living with him or remain with her father, and is torn about what to do. Finally, at Father\u2019s urging she decides to go with Orpheus, only to make a fateful mistake which has dire consequences.

Highlights: Sarah Ruhl\u2019s poignant and poetic 2003 play is given a fine rendering by Bankside Repertory Theatre in the opening effort of its 2017-18 season at the Jacoby Arts Center in downtown Alton.

Other Info: Now in its third year, Bankside Rep touts itself as a \u201cprofessional theater company in the Riverbend region of Illinois.\u201d Founded by six theater directors, actors and educators, Bankside Rep became a company in residence at the Jacoby Arts Center in 2015.

One of those six, Caleb King, directs this thoughtful, lyrical production with a light but sure touch. Ruhl\u2019s magical dialogue allows some free interpretation of their meaning by performers, and here King\u2019s cast does affecting work within the modest Jacoby Arts Center accommodations.

Kelsey Whitney brings out the wonder and love of the title character both for her husband and for her father, displaying fine chemistry with both Mason Brown as the musically gifted Orpheus and John O\u2019Hagan as her fiercely devoted father.

Brown works well with Whitney in demonstrating the deep love of the mythological hero for his ill-fated wife. As Father, O\u2019Hagan offers a performance that achingly conveys the older man\u2019s intense efforts to communicate with his beloved daughter despite the constraints of the afterworld. A scene in which he constructs a \u2018room\u2019 for Eurydice out of string, in direct opposition to the rules of Hades, is carried out poignantly with nary a word of dialogue.

The Greek chorus of \u2018stones\u2019 is appealingly portrayed by Geoff Callaway with a lilting accent as the Big Stone, Hunter Hummell as the impish Loud Stone and Brendan O\u2019Hagan as the soft-spoken and agreeable Little Stone. Jack Dearborn effectively portrays the creepiness and insidious evil of the Mysterious Man and Lorian Warford duplicates those feelings in his role as the diabolical Child, aka the devil in disguise.

Alex Hauf-Belden\u2019s set design includes an iron bar which looks like a tree with twisted branches and roots, a green background and blocks with \u2018waves\u2019 upon them, all of which he lights sufficiently enough. Leah McFall provides the interesting costumes, which are highlighted by the black and red combinations favored by the Mysterious Man and the Child, Father\u2019s proper suit and the togas attiring the Greek chorus of stones.

The fabled Greek tale of Orpheus has been adapted through the centuries for wonderfully diverse artistic interpretations. Ruhl\u2019s effort takes an appealing and intriguing look at the ill-fated love of Orpheus and Eurydice from the latter\u2019s perspective in highly poetic and intriguing fashion.

Play: Eurydice

Company: Bankside Repertory Theatre Company

Venue: Jacoby Arts Center, 627 East Broadway, Alton

Dates: September 21, 22, 23

Tickets: Contact 618-462-5222 or www.jacobyartscenter.org

Rating: A 4 on a scale of 1-to-5.

Photos courtesy of Kim Howland and Nadia Moro

"}, {"id":"28051bb4-9cb9-11e7-a40a-371069c432e6","type":"article","starttime":"1505770440","starttime_iso8601":"2017-09-18T16:34:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1506009201","priority":40,"sections":[{"features":"arts-and-culture/features"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Dinner & A Show: South Pacific","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/arts-and-culture/features/article_28051bb4-9cb9-11e7-a40a-371069c432e6.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/arts-and-culture/features/dinner-a-show-south-pacific/article_28051bb4-9cb9-11e7-a40a-371069c432e6.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/arts-and-culture/features/dinner-a-show-south-pacific/article_28051bb4-9cb9-11e7-a40a-371069c432e6.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":7,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Mark Bretz","prologue":"More timely than ever, Rodgers and Hammerstein\u2019s perennially popular\u00a0South Pacific\u00a0is given a strong interpretation by Stages St. Louis to close out the company\u2019s 2017 season on a high note.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["south pacific","james michener","richard rodgers'","oscar hammerstein","stages st. louis","kirkwood community center","reim theatre","stges","stages","musical","review","theater"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"03b70c9e-9bc5-11e7-94de-c703bfd29b50","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":2048,"hiresheight":1365,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/3b/03b70c9e-9bc5-11e7-94de-c703bfd29b50/59bea24d215f8.hires.jpg","presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"507","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/3b/03b70c9e-9bc5-11e7-94de-c703bfd29b50/59bea24d204bb.image.jpg?resize=760%2C507"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/3b/03b70c9e-9bc5-11e7-94de-c703bfd29b50/59bea24d204bb.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/3b/03b70c9e-9bc5-11e7-94de-c703bfd29b50/59bea24d204bb.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"682","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/3b/03b70c9e-9bc5-11e7-94de-c703bfd29b50/59bea24d204bb.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C682"}}},{"id":"143afea4-9bc5-11e7-b737-73ca29ca536a","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":2048,"hiresheight":1396,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/43/143afea4-9bc5-11e7-b737-73ca29ca536a/59bea268cd76b.hires.jpg","presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"518","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/43/143afea4-9bc5-11e7-b737-73ca29ca536a/59bea268ccc6d.image.jpg?resize=760%2C518"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"68","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/43/143afea4-9bc5-11e7-b737-73ca29ca536a/59bea268ccc6d.image.jpg?resize=100%2C68"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"204","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/43/143afea4-9bc5-11e7-b737-73ca29ca536a/59bea268ccc6d.image.jpg?resize=300%2C204"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"698","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/43/143afea4-9bc5-11e7-b737-73ca29ca536a/59bea268ccc6d.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C698"}}},{"id":"244a0c86-9bc5-11e7-ac1a-e333d4bd821b","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":2048,"hiresheight":1365,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/44/244a0c86-9bc5-11e7-ac1a-e333d4bd821b/59bea283c046b.hires.jpg","presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"507","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/44/244a0c86-9bc5-11e7-ac1a-e333d4bd821b/59bea283bf1e6.image.jpg?resize=760%2C507"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/44/244a0c86-9bc5-11e7-ac1a-e333d4bd821b/59bea283bf1e6.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/44/244a0c86-9bc5-11e7-ac1a-e333d4bd821b/59bea283bf1e6.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"682","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/44/244a0c86-9bc5-11e7-ac1a-e333d4bd821b/59bea283bf1e6.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C682"}}},{"id":"dc2c10c0-9bc4-11e7-9e86-9b4297b93aef","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":2048,"hiresheight":1365,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/c2/dc2c10c0-9bc4-11e7-9e86-9b4297b93aef/59bea20ac2387.hires.jpg","presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"507","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/c2/dc2c10c0-9bc4-11e7-9e86-9b4297b93aef/59bea20ac0fff.image.jpg?resize=760%2C507"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/c2/dc2c10c0-9bc4-11e7-9e86-9b4297b93aef/59bea20ac0fff.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/c2/dc2c10c0-9bc4-11e7-9e86-9b4297b93aef/59bea20ac0fff.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"682","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/c2/dc2c10c0-9bc4-11e7-9e86-9b4297b93aef/59bea20ac0fff.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C682"}}},{"id":"eb80cda4-9bc4-11e7-851f-ab7673548219","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"507","height":"760","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/b8/eb80cda4-9bc4-11e7-851f-ab7673548219/59bea2247c6e7.image.jpg?resize=507%2C760"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"150","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/b8/eb80cda4-9bc4-11e7-851f-ab7673548219/59bea2247c6e7.image.jpg?resize=100%2C150"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"450","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/b8/eb80cda4-9bc4-11e7-851f-ab7673548219/59bea2247c6e7.image.jpg?resize=300%2C450"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1536","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/b8/eb80cda4-9bc4-11e7-851f-ab7673548219/59bea2247c6e7.image.jpg"}}},{"id":"f6a59b60-9bc4-11e7-9e6e-7bf48e8416f2","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":2048,"hiresheight":1365,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/6a/f6a59b60-9bc4-11e7-9e6e-7bf48e8416f2/59bea23733d77.hires.jpg","presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"507","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/6a/f6a59b60-9bc4-11e7-9e6e-7bf48e8416f2/59bea23732a4c.image.jpg?resize=760%2C507"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/6a/f6a59b60-9bc4-11e7-9e6e-7bf48e8416f2/59bea23732a4c.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/6a/f6a59b60-9bc4-11e7-9e6e-7bf48e8416f2/59bea23732a4c.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"682","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/6a/f6a59b60-9bc4-11e7-9e6e-7bf48e8416f2/59bea23732a4c.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C682"}}},{"id":"4398210e-9bc5-11e7-9fab-6fa9e004de28","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"507","height":"760","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/39/4398210e-9bc5-11e7-9fab-6fa9e004de28/59bea2b849a62.image.jpg?resize=507%2C760"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"150","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/39/4398210e-9bc5-11e7-9fab-6fa9e004de28/59bea2b849a62.image.jpg?resize=100%2C150"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"450","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/39/4398210e-9bc5-11e7-9fab-6fa9e004de28/59bea2b849a62.image.jpg?resize=300%2C450"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1536","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/39/4398210e-9bc5-11e7-9fab-6fa9e004de28/59bea2b849a62.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":5,"commentID":"28051bb4-9cb9-11e7-a40a-371069c432e6","body":"

Story: Nellie Forbush, a Navy nurse from Little Rock, is assigned to a naval outpost on an island in the South Pacific during World War II. While there she is mutually attracted to an expatriate French plantation owner named Emile de Becque. Eventually she learns that he is a widower and also that his late wife was a Polynesian woman who bore him two children.

The station greets a young Marine, Lt. Joseph Cable, who has been sent to coordinate a dangerous undercover mission to a nearby island that could turn the war against Japan. He is especially welcomed by a feisty, native entrepreneur named Bloody Mary, who sizes Cable up as a suitable husband for her daughter Liat.

Forbush and Cable find themselves challenged by their respective love for de Becque and Liat because Liat and de Becque\u2019s children are dark-skinned, something the Southern Nellie and the Main Line scion Cable from Philadelphia cannot accept because of their own or their society\u2019s prejudices.

When Nellie subsequently turns down de Becque, he volunteers to assist Cable on the dangerous mission, feeling he has less to live for than he had hoped. Their heavy hearts may carry the seeds to the ultimate success of their dangerous mission and the fate of the war in the Pacific theater.

Highlights: More timely than ever, Rodgers and Hammerstein\u2019s perennially popular South Pacific is given a strong interpretation by Stages St. Louis to close out the company\u2019s 2017 season on a high note, led by the glorious voices of Leah Berry as Nellie and Matthew Hydzik as Cable.

Other Info: Stages artistic director Michael Hamilton provides expert direction and musical staging for his company\u2019s second presentation and first in 25 years of one of Broadway\u2019s most successful musicals ever. A strong cast, spirited choreography and smooth pacing make this version of South Pacific an engaging exercise for ensemble and audience alike.

South Pacific\u2019s original run lasted 1,925 performances from its premiere in 1949, winning 10 Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Score, Best Libretto and all four acting categories, the only musical ever to mark such an achievement.

Featuring a score by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and a book by Hammerstein and Joshua Logan, it also enjoyed a revival on Broadway in 2008 which closed just short of 1,000 additional performances.

Berry\u2019s performance is powerful both in her glorious singing and also in her vibrant portrayal of the good-hearted nurse who faces her own prejudices thousands of miles from home and becomes a better person for it. Her full-throated soprano carries the day on I\u2019m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair, A Wonderful Guy and others in the hit-filled score.

She enjoys an easy chemistry with Michael Halling in the role of de Becque, even if he doesn\u2019t appear to match the age of the 44-year-old \u201cancient\u201d de Becque in the Pulitzer Prize-winning story by James Michener. Halling has a pleasing voice, though, making Some Enchanted Evening a lilting pleasure and This Nearly Was Mine a heartfelt ballad.

Hydzik has the looks and the serious countenance to suggest that Cable comes from the patrician stock of a stuffy Eastern family, along with a powerful voice that conveys all the emotion behind the beautiful ballad Younger Than Springtime which Cable sings to Liat. He persuasively intones Hammerstein\u2019s insightful lyrics about bigotry in the wise number, You\u2019ve Got to Be Carefully Taught, as Cable explains the seeds of prejudice to the bewildered de Becque.

Joanne Javien is a spitfire of humor and sass as the irrepressible Bloody Mary, crooning the show standard Bali Ha\u2019i with verve and passion, while equally convincing in her comic badinage with Mark DiConzo as the wheeler-dealer seabee Luther Billis.

Javien and DiConzo share the majority of the show\u2019s laughs with their exuberant portrayals, which balance with the show\u2019s more poignant moments. Local favorites John Flack and Steve Isom carry their share of the comedy as well as Capt. George \u201cIron Belly\u201d Brackett and his second-in-command, Commander William Harbison, respectively.

Elle Wesley and Spencer Jones shine as de Becque\u2019s children Ngana and Jerome, while Sydney Jones makes a touching Liat and William Charles Pendergast serves admirably as de Becque\u2019s butler Henri. David Sajewich does well as Lt. Buzz Adams, pilot assisting in the mission to rescue de Becque and Cable after their mission is completed.

Ellen Isom\u2019s lively choreography is equal to the task on such ensemble efforts as There Is Nothing Like a Dame, Bloody Mary and I\u2019m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair, featuring the talents of Paul Aguirre, Chris Tipp, Paula Landry, Laura Ernst, April Strelinger, Brittany Rose Hammond, Julia Johanos, Kari Ely, Matthew Alexander, Nic Thompson, Cody Heuer, Patrick Graver, Brad Frenette and Keith Boyer.

James Wolk contributes the handsome set design, including a background of a lush Polynesian island, all beautifully illuminated with Sean Savoie\u2019s lighting design. Lisa Cambell Albert provides musical direction, Stuart Elmore adds the orchestral design and Garth Dunbar dresses the players in the Navy\u2019s finest World War II uniforms for the military as well as island garb for Bloody Mary and de Becque\u2019s proper plantation attire.

Hammerstein tackled the injustices of bigotry head-on with his story based on the equally knowledgeable work by Michener. Add Rodgers\u2019s tender ballads and rowdy ensemble pieces and it\u2019s easy to see why South Pacific has stood the test of time so well.

Musical: South Pacific

Company: Stages St. Louis

Venue: Reim Theatre, Kirkwood Civic Center, 111 South Geyer Road

Dates: Through October 8

Tickets: $25-$60; contact 821-2407 or stagesstlouis.org

Rating:\u00a0 A 4.5 on a scale of 1-to-5.

Photos courtesy of Peter Wochniak

\u00a0

"}, {"id":"4d3680c3-4d0f-5c2d-9f9d-de8bf03aab32","type":"article","starttime":"1505408400","starttime_iso8601":"2017-09-14T12:00:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1505410203","priority":45,"sections":[{"features":"arts-and-culture/features"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Booked Solid!","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/arts-and-culture/features/article_4d3680c3-4d0f-5c2d-9f9d-de8bf03aab32.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/arts-and-culture/features/booked-solid/article_4d3680c3-4d0f-5c2d-9f9d-de8bf03aab32.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/arts-and-culture/features/booked-solid/article_4d3680c3-4d0f-5c2d-9f9d-de8bf03aab32.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Bryan A. Hollerbach","prologue":"In roughly a week, readers of all ages and interests may well flock to an ambitious literary event launching in the Central West End.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["bookfest st. louis","author","central west end"],"internalKeywords":["#topstory"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"89b468df-ed04-555e-babd-1c59ccc21090","description":"","byline":"Photo by Sarah Conroy","hireswidth":1804,"hiresheight":1148,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/9b/89b468df-ed04-555e-babd-1c59ccc21090/59baaf409d61f.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"484","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/9b/89b468df-ed04-555e-babd-1c59ccc21090/59baaf409b890.image.jpg?resize=760%2C484"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"64","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/9b/89b468df-ed04-555e-babd-1c59ccc21090/59baaf409b890.image.jpg?resize=100%2C64"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"191","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/9b/89b468df-ed04-555e-babd-1c59ccc21090/59baaf409b890.image.jpg?resize=300%2C191"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"652","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/9b/89b468df-ed04-555e-babd-1c59ccc21090/59baaf409b890.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C652"}}}],"revision":2,"commentID":"4d3680c3-4d0f-5c2d-9f9d-de8bf03aab32","body":"
\"bookfest
bookfest st louis

Although one of our most wearisome bromides cautions against judging a book by its cover, the number and variety of metaphoric covers involved in a literary festival soon making its debut here should boggle area bibliophiles\u2019 minds.

With the exception of two antecedent events, BookFest St. Louis, the festival in question, runs from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sat., Sept. 23, at various venues in St. Louis\u2019 Central West End neighborhood \u2013 and, almost dizzyingly, involves nearly four dozen authors of local, regional or national renown.

\u201cThe Central West End has such a rich literary legacy and is also home to so many creative individuals contributing to the contemporary arts through writing, art and music today,\u201d says Kate Haher, who serves as executive director of the CWE North Community Improvement District, which is sponsoring the event with the city\u2019s revered Left Bank Books and the Left Bank Books Foundation.

\u201cBookFest St. Louis speaks to the neighborhood\u2019s history and charm and provides an opportunity for many to come explore the CWE,\u201d she says. \u201cWe\u2019re excited to provide a backdrop for what we hope will become a signature arts-and-culture event for our city.\u201d

The predominantly free public festival mostly takes place near the neighborhood\u2019s famed Writer\u2019s Corner at McPherson and Euclid avenues, where busts of St. Louis literary lions Kate Chopin, T.S. Eliot and Tennessee Williams (to be joined at some point by William S. Burroughs) eye the streetscape. The event boasts a roster literally ranging from A (Sherman Alexie) to Z (Kat Zhang).

You read that right. Sherman Alexie, the acclaimed Native American \u2013 who shot to prominence two decades ago with The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven and who has since won multiple awards, explored multiple genres and graced the lists of multiple major publishers \u2013 will deliver the festival\u2019s keynote address and otherwise bolster the bibliomaniacal bonanza.

Left Bank\u2019s website sketches the parameters of that bonanza, which includes not only \u201c[f]amily-friendly programming for children and middle readers\u201d but also \u201cpanels highlighting the best of contemporary literary fiction, mystery, poetry, memoir, science fiction, young adult fiction and history.\u201d The website adds that attendees can \u201cpurchase books, listen to live music and visit booths hosted by other St. Louis arts and literary institutions.\u201d

In particular, the festival features an impressive science fiction contingent. More specifically, Charlie Jane Anders, one member of that contingent, just won the 2017 Nebula Award, arguably the field\u2019s highest honor, for her novel All the Birds in the Sky, and St. Louisan Ann Leckie previously landed that laurel and several more for her 2013 novelistic debut, Ancillary Justice.

The festival similarly concludes with a burst of verse-related verve, as a dozen poets celebrate the centennial of Eliot\u2019s Prufrock and Other Observations (commemorated in the June 16 Ladue News) and related works.

\u201cWe wanted to produce an event that is unique to the area, celebrates the neighborhood\u2019s literary history and has the ability to grow over time,\u201d Haher says regarding the festival\u2019s conception. \u201cWith the help and expertise from the team at Left Bank Books, the vision for the festival came together and has taken on a much bigger and more national scope. Certainly, we always hoped to be able to bring in authors of keynote Sherman Alexie\u2019s caliber, but [Left Bank staffers\u2019] tireless efforts really helped turn that dream into a BookFest St. Louis reality.\u201d

Haher adds that planning for the festival started early last year and perforce accelerated early this year \u2013 with certain felicities still to be formalized. \u201cReaders can look forward to details about the vendors planned for our festival zone,\u201d she teases, \u201cplus an exciting announcement about a long-awaited public art installation, coming to our website soon.\u201d

Haher also touches on the potential logistical complexities of organizing a festival involving so many authors. \u201cWith any new event, you want to make sure you explore ideas and opportunities as they come while also staying committed to your core vision,\u201d she says. \u201cWe want to grow the book festival in a thoughtful way so that it is an event people can look forward to for years to come.\u201d

When asked which feature of the festival she personally most anticipates, Haher waffles a bit before replying: \u201cThat\u2019s a hard question to answer \u2013 the schedule for this event is packed with so many great panels and individual events. The team at Left Bank Books has put together some really interesting author events, including a special high tea at Mary Ann\u2019s Tea Room with best-selling mystery author Amy Stewart.

\u201cStewart will discuss and sign copies of her newest book, Miss Kopp\u2019s Midnight Confessions \u2026 I think this just sounds like such a fun event, for book clubs, for mothers and daughters, for anyone who loves historical fiction and/or lighthearted detective novels.\u201d

In sum, figuratively speaking, for bibliophiles throughout the area, the inaugural BookFest St. Louis promises to be a page-turner beyond compare.

BookFest St. Louis, bookfeststl.com

BookFest St. Louis Schedule

The schedule for the first BookFest St. Louis follows in brief, with more details and updates available on the festival\u2019s website.

September 21

6 to 8:30 p.m. | Reception: Mary Engelbreit From the Archives | St. Louis Public Library \u2013 Schlafly Branch

September 22

7 to 9 p.m. | An Evening With Sherman Alexie (ticketed keynote address, limited seating) | The Sheldon Concert Hall & Art Galleries

September 23

10:30 to 11:30 a.m. | Children\u2019s Storytime | Ann Ingalls, Shelley Michael | St. Louis Public Library \u2013 Schlafly Branch

11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. | Middle Readers Meet & Greet | Trenton Lee Stewart, Kat Zhang | St. Louis Public Library \u2013 Schlafly Branch

Noon to 1 p.m. | Young Adult Panel | Sherman Alexie, Zac Brewer, Nina LaCour | The McPherson

12:30 to 1:30 p.m. | Jane Ellen Ibur | 510 N. Euclid

2 to 3 p.m. | Literary Fiction Panel I | Alex George, Edward Kelsey Moore, Robin Sloan | The McPherson

2 to 3 p.m. | Weird Fiction Panel | Leyna Krow, Kea Wilson, Chavisa Woods | 510 N. Euclid

2 to 3 p.m. | Megan Stielstra | The Vino Gallery

3 to 4 p.m. | Michael Kahn | Brennan\u2019s

3:30 to 4:30 p.m. | Literary Fiction Panel II | Shanthi Sekaran, Gabriel Tallent, Whitney Terrell | The McPherson

3:30 to 4:30 p.m. | Memoir Panel | Anne Edelstein, Kathleen Finneran, George Hodgman | 510 N. Euclid

4 to 5 p.m. | Peter Hernon | Gamlin Whiskey House

5 to 6 p.m. | Miss Kopp\u2019s High Tea With Amy Stewart (ticketed) Mary Ann\u2019s Tea Room

5 to 6 p.m. | Science Fiction Panel | Charlie Jane Anders, Ann Leckie, Annalee Newitz, Mark Tiedemann | The McPherson

5 to 6 p.m. | Poetry Panel | Tongo Eisen-Martin, Alison C. Rollins, Treasure Shields Redmond, Roger Reeves | 510 N. Euclid

7 to 8 p.m. | A Special Trust: Remembering Patricia & Fred McKissack | Left Bank Books

8 to 9 p.m. | Prufrock and Other Observations | Jessica Baran, Mary Jo Bang, Katryn Dierksen, Cheeraz Gorman, Eileen G\u2019Sell, Jane Ellen Ibur, Ted Mathys, Alison C. Rollins, Steve Schreiner, Shane Seely, M.K. Stallings, J.R. Tappenden | Dressel\u2019s Pub

"}, {"id":"4beb8214-98ba-11e7-a1a5-cb8c6000019d","type":"article","starttime":"1505331120","starttime_iso8601":"2017-09-13T14:32:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1505332121","priority":40,"sections":[{"features":"arts-and-culture/features"}],"application":"editorial","title":"'Dot' Uses Comedy to Depict a Family's Plight with Dementia in Black Rep Production: Theater Review","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/arts-and-culture/features/article_4beb8214-98ba-11e7-a1a5-cb8c6000019d.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/arts-and-culture/features/dot-uses-comedy-to-depict-a-family-s-plight-with/article_4beb8214-98ba-11e7-a1a5-cb8c6000019d.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/arts-and-culture/features/dot-uses-comedy-to-depict-a-family-s-plight-with/article_4beb8214-98ba-11e7-a1a5-cb8c6000019d.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":11,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"by Mark Bretz","prologue":"Story: Dotty Shealey is looking forward to the Christmas holidays at her West Philadelphia home. It\u2019s a chance for her to reunite with her three adult children and celebrate as a family. This year is a bit different, however, as Dotty\u2019s mind has been slipping precipitously. Eldest daughter and single mother Shelly looks after her mother, often at the expense of her legal career and attention to her son Jason. Middle child Donnie, a struggling music critic and writer who lives in New York City, arrives with his partner Adam two days before Christmas, followed by youngest daughter Averie, an aspiring actress who\u2019s been crashing at her sister\u2019s home while money is tight.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["dementia","alzheimer's","the black rep","edison theatre","colman domingo","dot","theater","review","washington university"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"3e00d3e4-98a5-11e7-a5c7-2bc18b031026","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":1600,"hiresheight":1068,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/e0/3e00d3e4-98a5-11e7-a5c7-2bc18b031026/59b9648184c66.hires.jpg","presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"507","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/e0/3e00d3e4-98a5-11e7-a5c7-2bc18b031026/59b9648183a97.image.jpg?resize=760%2C507"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/e0/3e00d3e4-98a5-11e7-a5c7-2bc18b031026/59b9648183a97.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/e0/3e00d3e4-98a5-11e7-a5c7-2bc18b031026/59b9648183a97.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"684","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/e0/3e00d3e4-98a5-11e7-a5c7-2bc18b031026/59b9648183a97.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C684"}}},{"id":"4d6a45b8-98a5-11e7-a026-4fe35dc9043d","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":1600,"hiresheight":1068,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/d6/4d6a45b8-98a5-11e7-a026-4fe35dc9043d/59b9649b61915.hires.jpg","presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"507","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/d6/4d6a45b8-98a5-11e7-a026-4fe35dc9043d/59b9649b60ab1.image.jpg?resize=760%2C507"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/d6/4d6a45b8-98a5-11e7-a026-4fe35dc9043d/59b9649b60ab1.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/d6/4d6a45b8-98a5-11e7-a026-4fe35dc9043d/59b9649b60ab1.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"684","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/d6/4d6a45b8-98a5-11e7-a026-4fe35dc9043d/59b9649b60ab1.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C684"}}},{"id":"bd0d97f4-98a4-11e7-9673-cbe21fb2fc6f","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":1600,"hiresheight":1068,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/d0/bd0d97f4-98a4-11e7-9673-cbe21fb2fc6f/59b963a930c03.hires.jpg","presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"507","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/d0/bd0d97f4-98a4-11e7-9673-cbe21fb2fc6f/59b963a92ffde.image.jpg?resize=760%2C507"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/d0/bd0d97f4-98a4-11e7-9673-cbe21fb2fc6f/59b963a92ffde.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/d0/bd0d97f4-98a4-11e7-9673-cbe21fb2fc6f/59b963a92ffde.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"684","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/d0/bd0d97f4-98a4-11e7-9673-cbe21fb2fc6f/59b963a92ffde.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C684"}}},{"id":"ce6bf48c-98a4-11e7-8a2e-37b15a01ba9a","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":1600,"hiresheight":1068,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/e6/ce6bf48c-98a4-11e7-8a2e-37b15a01ba9a/59b963c652ff0.hires.jpg","presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"507","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/e6/ce6bf48c-98a4-11e7-8a2e-37b15a01ba9a/59b963c6521b9.image.jpg?resize=760%2C507"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/e6/ce6bf48c-98a4-11e7-8a2e-37b15a01ba9a/59b963c6521b9.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/e6/ce6bf48c-98a4-11e7-8a2e-37b15a01ba9a/59b963c6521b9.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"684","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/e6/ce6bf48c-98a4-11e7-8a2e-37b15a01ba9a/59b963c6521b9.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C684"}}},{"id":"e2d9b814-98a4-11e7-9750-5f8b24a5240d","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":1600,"hiresheight":1068,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/2d/e2d9b814-98a4-11e7-9750-5f8b24a5240d/59b963e895c4b.hires.jpg","presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"507","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/2d/e2d9b814-98a4-11e7-9750-5f8b24a5240d/59b963e894f2a.image.jpg?resize=760%2C507"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/2d/e2d9b814-98a4-11e7-9750-5f8b24a5240d/59b963e894f2a.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/2d/e2d9b814-98a4-11e7-9750-5f8b24a5240d/59b963e894f2a.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"684","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/2d/e2d9b814-98a4-11e7-9750-5f8b24a5240d/59b963e894f2a.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C684"}}},{"id":"f564a7d2-98a4-11e7-b67a-ff9443497cb4","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":1600,"hiresheight":1068,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/56/f564a7d2-98a4-11e7-b67a-ff9443497cb4/59b96407b09ed.hires.jpg","presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"507","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/56/f564a7d2-98a4-11e7-b67a-ff9443497cb4/59b96407afae2.image.jpg?resize=760%2C507"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/56/f564a7d2-98a4-11e7-b67a-ff9443497cb4/59b96407afae2.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/56/f564a7d2-98a4-11e7-b67a-ff9443497cb4/59b96407afae2.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"684","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/56/f564a7d2-98a4-11e7-b67a-ff9443497cb4/59b96407afae2.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C684"}}},{"id":"028af9ac-98a5-11e7-a89f-9bcefac70ca1","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":1600,"hiresheight":1068,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/28/028af9ac-98a5-11e7-a89f-9bcefac70ca1/59b9641dbfcdc.hires.jpg","presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"507","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/28/028af9ac-98a5-11e7-a89f-9bcefac70ca1/59b9641dbec79.image.jpg?resize=760%2C507"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/28/028af9ac-98a5-11e7-a89f-9bcefac70ca1/59b9641dbec79.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/28/028af9ac-98a5-11e7-a89f-9bcefac70ca1/59b9641dbec79.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"684","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/28/028af9ac-98a5-11e7-a89f-9bcefac70ca1/59b9641dbec79.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C684"}}},{"id":"0fe65f1a-98a5-11e7-9f15-57a5822f9ee5","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":1600,"hiresheight":1068,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/fe/0fe65f1a-98a5-11e7-9f15-57a5822f9ee5/59b964342f87e.hires.jpg","presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"507","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/fe/0fe65f1a-98a5-11e7-9f15-57a5822f9ee5/59b964342e8ee.image.jpg?resize=760%2C507"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/fe/0fe65f1a-98a5-11e7-9f15-57a5822f9ee5/59b964342e8ee.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/fe/0fe65f1a-98a5-11e7-9f15-57a5822f9ee5/59b964342e8ee.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"684","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/fe/0fe65f1a-98a5-11e7-9f15-57a5822f9ee5/59b964342e8ee.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C684"}}},{"id":"1dc8a962-98a5-11e7-b83e-6b0043092351","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":1600,"hiresheight":1068,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/dc/1dc8a962-98a5-11e7-b83e-6b0043092351/59b9644b76ee8.hires.jpg","presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"507","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/dc/1dc8a962-98a5-11e7-b83e-6b0043092351/59b9644b76141.image.jpg?resize=760%2C507"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/dc/1dc8a962-98a5-11e7-b83e-6b0043092351/59b9644b76141.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/dc/1dc8a962-98a5-11e7-b83e-6b0043092351/59b9644b76141.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"684","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/dc/1dc8a962-98a5-11e7-b83e-6b0043092351/59b9644b76141.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C684"}}},{"id":"2918e44e-98a5-11e7-958d-076ef1fade5a","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":1600,"hiresheight":1068,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/91/2918e44e-98a5-11e7-958d-076ef1fade5a/59b9645e72ad0.hires.jpg","presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"507","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/91/2918e44e-98a5-11e7-958d-076ef1fade5a/59b9645e719b2.image.jpg?resize=760%2C507"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/91/2918e44e-98a5-11e7-958d-076ef1fade5a/59b9645e719b2.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/91/2918e44e-98a5-11e7-958d-076ef1fade5a/59b9645e719b2.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"684","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/91/2918e44e-98a5-11e7-958d-076ef1fade5a/59b9645e719b2.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C684"}}},{"id":"340ac3b8-98a5-11e7-9ed2-6771d2458ab9","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":1600,"hiresheight":1068,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/40/340ac3b8-98a5-11e7-9ed2-6771d2458ab9/59b96470cb0da.hires.jpg","presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"507","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/40/340ac3b8-98a5-11e7-9ed2-6771d2458ab9/59b96470c9ea8.image.jpg?resize=760%2C507"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/40/340ac3b8-98a5-11e7-9ed2-6771d2458ab9/59b96470c9ea8.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/40/340ac3b8-98a5-11e7-9ed2-6771d2458ab9/59b96470c9ea8.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"684","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/40/340ac3b8-98a5-11e7-9ed2-6771d2458ab9/59b96470c9ea8.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C684"}}}],"revision":4,"commentID":"4beb8214-98ba-11e7-a1a5-cb8c6000019d","body":"

Story: Dotty Shealey is looking forward to the Christmas holidays at her West Philadelphia home. It\u2019s a chance for her to reunite with her three adult children and celebrate as a family. This year is a bit different, however, as Dotty\u2019s mind has been slipping precipitously.

Eldest daughter and single mother Shelly looks after her mother, often at the expense of her legal career and attention to her son Jason. Middle child Donnie, a struggling music critic and writer who lives in New York City, arrives with his partner Adam two days before Christmas, followed by youngest daughter Averie, an aspiring actress who\u2019s been crashing at her sister\u2019s home while money is tight.

Former next-door neighbor Jackie, now living in New York, pops by unexpectedly in the morning to visit while she\u2019s back in town staying in the house she still hasn't sold since her parents\u2019 passing. She\u2019s surprised when Dot appears to welcome her again after Jackie\u2019s been talking with her and Shelly in the kitchen for quite some time. Dotty also exhibits other mannerisms which strike Jackie as odd.

It\u2019s a shock to her siblings, Paul and Jackie when Shelly reveals that Dotty is suffering from Alzheimer\u2019s disease. Because of Dotty\u2019s affliction, Shelly has been employing an immigrant from Kazakhstan named Fidel to serve as caregiver to Dotty when Shelly is unavailable. Shelly also has her own system of dealing with Dotty\u2019s condition which strikes Donnie as misleading. The Shealey family soon realizes this holiday will be unlike any they\u2019ve shared in the past.

Highlights: The Black Rep opens its 41st season with the St. Louis premiere of a comedy by Colman Domingo which depicts one family\u2019s reaction to an aging parent\u2019s slide into dementia.

Other Info: Domingo, who has enjoyed recognition as an actor, has been writing plays for a few years, including Dot, which premiered at The Humana Festival in Louisville in 2015. After that Dot was performed at the Vineyard Theatre in New York City.

The actor/playwright has achieved notable success on Broadway and elsewhere and is still developing his writing skills. Dot is considered a comedy and there are indeed many funny lines in the script. Still, at times Dot strains credulity, such as when Shelly realizes that Jackie, who grew up next door, is Jewish. Huh?

While Dot doubtless has its fans, one could argue that Domingo tries to squeeze too many contemporary topics into his story. There\u2019s the gay marriage of Donnie and Paul, the girl-next-door love of Jackie for Donnie that continues into middle age, and even the apparently illegal status of Fidel, as referenced by Shelly and Averie. Wedging all of this information into one script which supposedly focuses on dementia just seems to dilute the impact of Dot\u2019s condition to a degree.

On the other hand, Domingo offers two compelling scenes in the superior second act, including a stunning segment when Donnie, and by extension everyone else, comes to realize the impediments faced by his mother in her daily life. The set-up for this scene is clever and the payoff is profound.

Dunsi Dai\u2019s scenic design incorporates a realistic kitchen at stage right which adjoins a comfortable, middle-class living room at stage left that is augmented with a towering Christmas tree. Prop designer Kate Slovinski adds a rotary phone, a turntable and some LPs which carry a mood underscored by Kareem Deanes\u2019 eclectic sound design, a combination of soft jazz and holiday tunes.

Joseph Clapper\u2019s lighting design keeps the show in the dark in several scenes set late at night, mostly in the kitchen, while Gregory Horton\u2019s costume design is an effective blend of Averie\u2019s chic look, Jackie\u2019s professional garb and the comfortable attire favored by Dotty, among others.

Black Rep founder and producing director Ron Himes has assembled a cast that can dig for the diamonds in Domingo\u2019s writing, including Thomasina Clarke in the title role. Clarke depicts Dot\u2019s wit and charm as effectively in one scene as she does her confusion and frustration in the next, nary missing a beat in the transformation. Himes uses the entire stage to help shape touching scenes with Dot at their center, surrounded by puzzled family and friends.

Jacqueline Thompson savvily portrays the weary Shelly, who is not above using tricks on her mother to gain some much-needed respite from her responsiblities. As Donnie, Chauncy Thomas finely constructs the son\u2019s fragile personality, whether chafing at his less-than-modest success in his career, his fractious relationship with Adam or his shock at finally realizing his mother\u2019s actual condition.

There\u2019s good work as well by Heather Beal as the jive-talking and self-centered Averie, who has a loving heart even if it\u2019s hidden beneath her short-sighted goals. Ryan Lawson-Maeske brings convincing warmth and humanity to the role of Fidel, who considers Dot as much a friend as a job.

Paul Edwards has a nice turn as Adam in a poignant albeit tragic scene with Dot, while Courtney Brown conveys the compassion and grief of Jackie for a lady she\u2019s known since childhood. Her late scene with Donnie, though, is awkward at best, as Domingo struggles to write realistic dialogue.

Dot uses comedy and pathos to deal with a serious issue which strikes more families every year. If Domingo could remove some of the clutter surrounding the main story it\u2019d be better than it is in the current Black Rep presentation.

Play: Dot

Company: The Black Rep

Venue: Edison Theatre, 6445 Forsyth Blvd. at Washington University

Dates: September 13-17, 20-24

Tickets: $15-$45; contact 534-3810 or www.theblackrep.org

Rating: A 3.5 on a scale of 1-to-5.

Photos courtesy of Phillip Hamer

"}, {"id":"48f0746c-97f1-11e7-9b6c-03a678f362c6","type":"article","starttime":"1505244780","starttime_iso8601":"2017-09-12T14:33:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1505406356","priority":40,"sections":[{"features":"arts-and-culture/features"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Dinner & A Show: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/arts-and-culture/features/article_48f0746c-97f1-11e7-9b6c-03a678f362c6.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/arts-and-culture/features/dinner-a-show-the-curious-incident-of-the-dog-in/article_48f0746c-97f1-11e7-9b6c-03a678f362c6.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/arts-and-culture/features/dinner-a-show-the-curious-incident-of-the-dog-in/article_48f0746c-97f1-11e7-9b6c-03a678f362c6.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":10,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Mark Bretz","prologue":"The Rep drops the curtain on its 51st season with the nation\u2019s first regional theater production of this Tony Award-winning Best Play by Simon Stephens.\u00a0","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["autism","sherlock holmes","mark hatton","mark haddon","simon stephens","the curiious incident of the dog in the night-time","the rep","theater","review"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"c647fbac-97f0-11e7-a480-b7146146e806","description":"TUESDAY, SEPT. 5, 2017 - This is the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis' production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at the Loretto-Hilton Center. \u00a9Photo by Jerry Naunheim Jr.","byline":"Jerry Naunheim Jr. 314-393-0509","hireswidth":5760,"hiresheight":3840,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/64/c647fbac-97f0-11e7-a480-b7146146e806/59b835bb4494f.hires.jpg","presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"507","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/64/c647fbac-97f0-11e7-a480-b7146146e806/59b835bb42709.image.jpg?resize=760%2C507"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/64/c647fbac-97f0-11e7-a480-b7146146e806/59b835bb42709.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/64/c647fbac-97f0-11e7-a480-b7146146e806/59b835bb42709.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"682","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/64/c647fbac-97f0-11e7-a480-b7146146e806/59b835bb42709.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C682"}}},{"id":"dc6caa5e-97f0-11e7-bf57-8fc599538295","description":"TUESDAY, SEPT. 5, 2017 - This is the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis' production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at the Loretto-Hilton Center. \u00a9Photo by Jerry Naunheim Jr.","byline":"Jerry Naunheim Jr. 314-393-0509","hireswidth":5760,"hiresheight":3840,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/c6/dc6caa5e-97f0-11e7-bf57-8fc599538295/59b835e0685ae.hires.jpg","presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"507","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/c6/dc6caa5e-97f0-11e7-bf57-8fc599538295/59b835e066ec7.image.jpg?resize=760%2C507"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/c6/dc6caa5e-97f0-11e7-bf57-8fc599538295/59b835e066ec7.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/c6/dc6caa5e-97f0-11e7-bf57-8fc599538295/59b835e066ec7.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"682","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/c6/dc6caa5e-97f0-11e7-bf57-8fc599538295/59b835e066ec7.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C682"}}},{"id":"f6e7b1da-97f0-11e7-ac04-3f69f31b5405","description":"TUESDAY, SEPT. 5, 2017 - This is the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis' production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at the Loretto-Hilton Center. \u00a9Photo by Jerry Naunheim Jr.","byline":"Jerry Naunheim Jr.","hireswidth":3456,"hiresheight":5760,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/6e/f6e7b1da-97f0-11e7-ac04-3f69f31b5405/59b8360cd12c5.hires.jpg","presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"456","height":"760","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/6e/f6e7b1da-97f0-11e7-ac04-3f69f31b5405/59b8360ccf4b3.image.jpg?resize=456%2C760"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"167","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/6e/f6e7b1da-97f0-11e7-ac04-3f69f31b5405/59b8360ccf4b3.image.jpg?resize=100%2C167"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"500","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/6e/f6e7b1da-97f0-11e7-ac04-3f69f31b5405/59b8360ccf4b3.image.jpg?resize=300%2C500"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1706","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/6e/f6e7b1da-97f0-11e7-ac04-3f69f31b5405/59b8360ccf4b3.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C1706"}}},{"id":"0198b30a-97f0-11e7-b3fe-2f356ba10757","description":"TUESDAY, SEPT. 5, 2017 - This is the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis' production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at the Loretto-Hilton Center. \u00a9Photo by Jerry Naunheim Jr.","byline":"Jerry Naunheim Jr.","hireswidth":5760,"hiresheight":3840,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/19/0198b30a-97f0-11e7-b3fe-2f356ba10757/59b834714868c.hires.jpg","presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"507","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/19/0198b30a-97f0-11e7-b3fe-2f356ba10757/59b83471469b7.image.jpg?resize=760%2C507"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/19/0198b30a-97f0-11e7-b3fe-2f356ba10757/59b83471469b7.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/19/0198b30a-97f0-11e7-b3fe-2f356ba10757/59b83471469b7.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"682","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/19/0198b30a-97f0-11e7-b3fe-2f356ba10757/59b83471469b7.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C682"}}},{"id":"18b00890-97f0-11e7-9752-1bb99d63759c","description":"TUESDAY, SEPT. 5, 2017 - This is the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis' production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at the Loretto-Hilton Center. \u00a9Photo by Jerry Naunheim Jr.","byline":"Jerry Naunheim Jr.","hireswidth":3840,"hiresheight":5760,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/8b/18b00890-97f0-11e7-9752-1bb99d63759c/59b8349809522.hires.jpg","presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"507","height":"760","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/8b/18b00890-97f0-11e7-9752-1bb99d63759c/59b834980784c.image.jpg?resize=507%2C760"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"150","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/8b/18b00890-97f0-11e7-9752-1bb99d63759c/59b834980784c.image.jpg?resize=100%2C150"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"450","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/8b/18b00890-97f0-11e7-9752-1bb99d63759c/59b834980784c.image.jpg?resize=300%2C450"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1536","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/8b/18b00890-97f0-11e7-9752-1bb99d63759c/59b834980784c.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C1536"}}},{"id":"2ee4cbf0-97f0-11e7-9b89-ef5ec2b5c6af","description":"TUESDAY, SEPT. 5, 2017 - This is the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis' production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at the Loretto-Hilton Center. \u00a9Photo by Jerry Naunheim Jr.","byline":"Jerry Naunheim Jr. 314-393-0509","hireswidth":5760,"hiresheight":3840,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/ee/2ee4cbf0-97f0-11e7-9b89-ef5ec2b5c6af/59b834bd4783a.hires.jpg","presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"507","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/ee/2ee4cbf0-97f0-11e7-9b89-ef5ec2b5c6af/59b834bd45b26.image.jpg?resize=760%2C507"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/ee/2ee4cbf0-97f0-11e7-9b89-ef5ec2b5c6af/59b834bd45b26.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/ee/2ee4cbf0-97f0-11e7-9b89-ef5ec2b5c6af/59b834bd45b26.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"682","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/ee/2ee4cbf0-97f0-11e7-9b89-ef5ec2b5c6af/59b834bd45b26.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C682"}}},{"id":"50b423de-97f0-11e7-8d1c-d32ea7d8f9fb","description":"TUESDAY, SEPT. 5, 2017 - This is the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis' production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at the Loretto-Hilton Center. \u00a9Photo by Jerry Naunheim Jr.","byline":"Jerry Naunheim Jr.","hireswidth":5760,"hiresheight":3840,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/0b/50b423de-97f0-11e7-8d1c-d32ea7d8f9fb/59b834f604a96.hires.jpg","presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"507","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/0b/50b423de-97f0-11e7-8d1c-d32ea7d8f9fb/59b834f602a96.image.jpg?resize=760%2C507"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/0b/50b423de-97f0-11e7-8d1c-d32ea7d8f9fb/59b834f602a96.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/0b/50b423de-97f0-11e7-8d1c-d32ea7d8f9fb/59b834f602a96.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"682","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/0b/50b423de-97f0-11e7-8d1c-d32ea7d8f9fb/59b834f602a96.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C682"}}},{"id":"6ec11efe-97f0-11e7-9c3c-3bc411e1ca7b","description":"TUESDAY, SEPT. 5, 2017 - This is the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis' production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at the Loretto-Hilton Center. \u00a9Photo by Jerry Naunheim Jr.","byline":"Jerry Naunheim Jr.","hireswidth":5760,"hiresheight":3840,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/ec/6ec11efe-97f0-11e7-9c3c-3bc411e1ca7b/59b835286a5f0.hires.jpg","presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"507","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/ec/6ec11efe-97f0-11e7-9c3c-3bc411e1ca7b/59b8352868467.image.jpg?resize=760%2C507"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/ec/6ec11efe-97f0-11e7-9c3c-3bc411e1ca7b/59b8352868467.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/ec/6ec11efe-97f0-11e7-9c3c-3bc411e1ca7b/59b8352868467.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"682","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/ec/6ec11efe-97f0-11e7-9c3c-3bc411e1ca7b/59b8352868467.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C682"}}},{"id":"8a807a68-97f0-11e7-a5b6-dbbd58a97782","description":"TUESDAY, SEPT. 5, 2017 - This is the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis' production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at the Loretto-Hilton Center. \u00a9Photo by Jerry Naunheim Jr.","byline":"Jerry Naunheim Jr.","hireswidth":5760,"hiresheight":3840,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/a8/8a807a68-97f0-11e7-a5b6-dbbd58a97782/59b83556f13b2.hires.jpg","presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"507","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/a8/8a807a68-97f0-11e7-a5b6-dbbd58a97782/59b83556ef0c8.image.jpg?resize=760%2C507"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/a8/8a807a68-97f0-11e7-a5b6-dbbd58a97782/59b83556ef0c8.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/a8/8a807a68-97f0-11e7-a5b6-dbbd58a97782/59b83556ef0c8.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"682","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/a8/8a807a68-97f0-11e7-a5b6-dbbd58a97782/59b83556ef0c8.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C682"}}},{"id":"aa7d3f18-97f0-11e7-9594-0f831e3c6365","description":"TUESDAY, SEPT. 5, 2017 - This is the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis' production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at the Loretto-Hilton Center. \u00a9Photo by Jerry Naunheim Jr.","byline":"Jerry Naunheim Jr. 314-393-0509","hireswidth":5760,"hiresheight":3840,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/a7/aa7d3f18-97f0-11e7-9594-0f831e3c6365/59b8358c9f98a.hires.jpg","presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"507","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/a7/aa7d3f18-97f0-11e7-9594-0f831e3c6365/59b8358c9d8a7.image.jpg?resize=760%2C507"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/a7/aa7d3f18-97f0-11e7-9594-0f831e3c6365/59b8358c9d8a7.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/a7/aa7d3f18-97f0-11e7-9594-0f831e3c6365/59b8358c9d8a7.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"682","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/a7/aa7d3f18-97f0-11e7-9594-0f831e3c6365/59b8358c9d8a7.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C682"}}}],"revision":6,"commentID":"48f0746c-97f1-11e7-9b6c-03a678f362c6","body":"

Story: Christopher is alarmed when he finds Mrs. Shears\u2019 dog, Wellington, impaled with a gardening tool in her back yard. Although he loved Wellington, 15-year-old Christopher is accused of slaying his neighbor\u2019s pet.

He insists that he is not guilty. \u201cI did not kill Wellington,\u201d he says, \u201cand I always tell the truth.\u201d He won\u2019t look Mrs. Shears in the eye, because direct eye contact is something he cannot do. Nor does he allow people to touch him, which leads to a confrontation when he strikes an investigating police officer who grabs him.

Christopher determines to solve the mystery of Wellington\u2019s death on his own, following the deductive reasoning of his hero, Sherlock Holmes. This forces Christopher out of his comfort zone, which consists of the home he shares with his dad Ed and his special needs school in Swindon, some 80 miles from London. Ed and Christopher have lived alone since Ed shared the news that Christopher\u2019s mother Judy had died of a heart attack a few years earlier.

Eventually, Christopher uncovers a number of secrets with his sleuthing skills, secrets that may complicate his goal of taking his A-level tests years early. That goal is something that Siobhan, his teacher and mentor at the Swindon special school, knows is of utmost importance to Christopher. Even she, though, may not realized just how vital those tests are to her prized student.

Highlights: The Rep drops the curtain on its 51st season with the nation\u2019s first regional theater production of this Tony Award-winning Best Play by Simon Stephens. Thanks to the guidance and insight of director/choreographer Marcia Milgrom Dodge, Rep audiences can see first-hand a dazzling and intellectually stimulating interpretation of this complex, moody masterpiece, accentuated by Nick LaMedica\u2019s arresting performance in the lead role.

Other Info: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time has a legion of faithful followers who read the original novel by Mark Haddon, which differs somewhat from the play written by Simon Stephens. In his letter to subscribers, Rep artistic director Steven Woolf quotes Haddon as saying \u201cI insist that the novel is about difference, not disability, not just because I want to keep it out of the \u2018issue novel\u2019 ghetto, though I do, but because Christopher\u2019s world is not one defined by constriction and deficit.\u201d

In his program notes Woolf adds that \u201cChristopher also struggles processing some everyday situations and exhibits characteristics and actions that many would associate with autism.\u201d Further, the word \u2018autism\u2019 is in big, bold letters in a display in The Rep\u2019s lobby, and Woolf writes that \u201cTo aid us in preparation and understanding all the issues Christopher\u2019s story presents, we have had...a good deal of support locally from the (Easter Seals) Midwest Autism Division.\u201d

Whatever. Stephens\u2019 play won the Olivier Award for Best New Play in London\u2019s West End in 2013 and the Tony Award for Best Play in 2015. In Stephens\u2019 adaptation, Christopher\u2019s first-hand narrative about his quest to solve Wellington\u2019s murder is enacted as a play-within-a-play, with Siobhan reading Christopher\u2019s journal while other teachers at Christopher\u2019s school play parts.

While The Rep secured the rights to this drama, it could not obtain permission to use the original design concept. Therefore, Dodge and her designers, including scenic designer Narelle Sissons, lighting designer Matthew Richards, sound designer David Bullard and costume designer Leon Wiebers, have created their own imaginative and stylized method for conveying the complexities of Christopher\u2019s mind and psyche.

It\u2019s revealing how Dodge\u2019s moves and Bullard\u2019s background sound are jarring and cacophonous in the first act, becoming more structured and melodious in the second as Christopher continues his quest for truth. Dodge expertly utilizes her entire cast of supporting players to engage in ritualized movements which surround or invade Christopher\u2019s territory. Richards\u2019 abrupt flashes of light introduce different scenes in arresting fashion to underscore story elements.

LaMedica anchors the presentation with an affecting, thoroughly convincing portrayal of Christopher, highlighted by poignant scenes when he is reached as effectively as possible with the touch of fingertips. He conveys the central character\u2019s intensity and fierce focus while also revealing the lad\u2019s need for contact, even if it\u2019s his pet rat Toby. It\u2019s an achingly wrought interpretation.

Amy Blackman does wonderful work as Christopher\u2019s haunted mother Judy and Jimmy Kieffer manages to show both the goodness and violent frustrations of his father Ed. Kathleen Wise shrewdly shows the cool persuasion of Siobhan in her practical answers to Christopher\u2019s queries as well as in her narration.

An ensemble of performers portray a number of minor characters, such as Dale Hodges as kindly neighbor Mrs. Alexander, Laiona Michelle as the angry and bitter Mrs. Shears, Dathan Williams as the head of the Swindon school, Kevin Cutts as neighbor Roger Shears, Michael Baxter as a Swindon police officer and Ka-Ling Cheung as different women approached by Christopher for directions in London.

Especially worthy of note is Sissons\u2019 amazing set design, which is filled on a towering background with mathematical equations, formulas and series of numbers, all of which inhabit Christopher\u2019s brilliant mind, as well as a number of \u201ctoys\u201d which can be configured to represent sundry scenes in the play.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time might conjure memories of Rain Man, A Beautiful Mind or Deanna Jent\u2019s moving drama, Falling. That\u2019s flattering company for this invigorating and poignant portrayal of a singular young man who functions differently but, as Haddon says, \u201csees things of overpowering beauty to which many of us will remain forever blind.\u201d

Play: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Company: Repertory Theatre of St. Louis

Venue: Browning Mainstage, Loretto-Hilton Center, 130 Edgar Road

Dates: Through October 1

Tickets: $18-$89; contact 968-4925 or www.repstl.org

Rating: A 5 on a scale of 1-to-5.

Photos courtesy of Jerry Naunheim Jr.

"}, {"id":"7d3abe69-9c92-55bc-b5ac-a4725e8120e1","type":"article","starttime":"1504803600","starttime_iso8601":"2017-09-07T12:00:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1504805283","priority":45,"sections":[{"features":"arts-and-culture/features"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Dark Colors, Bright Kudos","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/arts-and-culture/features/article_7d3abe69-9c92-55bc-b5ac-a4725e8120e1.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/arts-and-culture/features/dark-colors-bright-kudos/article_7d3abe69-9c92-55bc-b5ac-a4725e8120e1.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/arts-and-culture/features/dark-colors-bright-kudos/article_7d3abe69-9c92-55bc-b5ac-a4725e8120e1.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":3,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Bryan A. Hollerbach","prologue":"The Pulitzer Arts Foundation's current \"Blue Black\" exhibition has received solid-gold praise.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["pulitzer arts foundation","blue black","ellsworth kelly","glenn ligon"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"f401f469-3a3e-5557-9f08-e2a8bfe19ba8","description":"","byline":"Photos by Alise O\u2019Brien Photography","hireswidth":1670,"hiresheight":1241,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/40/f401f469-3a3e-5557-9f08-e2a8bfe19ba8/59b174cf127d8.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"565","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/40/f401f469-3a3e-5557-9f08-e2a8bfe19ba8/59b174cf10ed8.image.jpg?resize=760%2C565"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"53","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/40/f401f469-3a3e-5557-9f08-e2a8bfe19ba8/59b174cf10ed8.image.jpg?crop=1658%2C882%2C3%2C341&resize=100%2C53&order=crop%2Cresize"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"160","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/40/f401f469-3a3e-5557-9f08-e2a8bfe19ba8/59b174cf10ed8.image.jpg?crop=1658%2C882%2C3%2C341&resize=300%2C160&order=crop%2Cresize"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"545","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/40/f401f469-3a3e-5557-9f08-e2a8bfe19ba8/59b174cf10ed8.image.jpg?crop=1658%2C882%2C3%2C341&resize=1024%2C545&order=crop%2Cresize"}}},{"id":"bb05b788-225a-579e-add6-73778404f634","description":"","byline":"Photos by Alise O\u2019Brien Photography","hireswidth":1670,"hiresheight":1241,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/b0/bb05b788-225a-579e-add6-73778404f634/59b174cf714c9.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"565","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/b0/bb05b788-225a-579e-add6-73778404f634/59b174cf7093c.image.jpg?resize=760%2C565"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"74","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/b0/bb05b788-225a-579e-add6-73778404f634/59b174cf7093c.image.jpg?resize=100%2C74"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"223","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/b0/bb05b788-225a-579e-add6-73778404f634/59b174cf7093c.image.jpg?resize=300%2C223"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"761","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/b0/bb05b788-225a-579e-add6-73778404f634/59b174cf7093c.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C761"}}},{"id":"736dc214-31c5-53d1-aac8-2e83c42cd038","description":"","byline":"Photos by Alise O\u2019Brien Photography","hireswidth":1670,"hiresheight":1241,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/36/736dc214-31c5-53d1-aac8-2e83c42cd038/59b174cfccaa9.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"565","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/36/736dc214-31c5-53d1-aac8-2e83c42cd038/59b174cfcbea4.image.jpg?resize=760%2C565"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"74","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/36/736dc214-31c5-53d1-aac8-2e83c42cd038/59b174cfcbea4.image.jpg?resize=100%2C74"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"223","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/36/736dc214-31c5-53d1-aac8-2e83c42cd038/59b174cfcbea4.image.jpg?resize=300%2C223"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"761","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/36/736dc214-31c5-53d1-aac8-2e83c42cd038/59b174cfcbea4.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C761"}}}],"revision":7,"commentID":"7d3abe69-9c92-55bc-b5ac-a4725e8120e1","body":"
\"From
From Mezz_All Lit.jpg

To those of a waggish bent, the publicity surrounding a free exhibition now on display at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation may well suggest a variation of the goofy children\u2019s \u201cnewspaper riddle\u201d: What\u2019s blue and black and re(a)d all over?

\u201cBlue Black,\u201d the exhibition in question, opened June 9 \u2013 yet already, five days earlier, it had enjoyed major ink in the form of a full-page think piece in The New York Times.

Subsequently, among other coverage, \u201cBlue Black\u201d (which runs through Oct. 7) earned a mid-August follow-up from the Times and a noteworthy 2,000-word meditation from Brooklyn, New York\u2019s online Hyperallergic, self-described as \u201ca forum for playful, serious and radical perspectives on art and culture in the world today.\u201d

\u201cWe\u2019re thrilled that \u2018Blue Black\u2019 has resonated with so many people both in St. Louis and at a national level,\u201d says Cara Starke, director of the Pulitzer Arts Foundation. \u201cI\u2019m delighted that the press coverage from such thoughtful writers and editors has shared the project with audiences more broadly.\u201d

Despite its (nontouring) situs in St. Louis, the exhibition owes its origin, ironically enough, to two native New Yorkers, one of them deceased.

The first, painter, sculptor and printmaker Ellsworth Kelly, died less than two years ago, after experiencing acclaim and midlevel success in works often rapturous with bold geometries and primary colors. In 2000, in fact, the Pulitzer commissioned him to create one such, Blue Black, a stunning two-panel construct of aluminum measuring less than 6 feet wide but 28 feet tall and painted, aptly enough, blue (bordering on indigo) and black.

Kelly\u2019s construct subsequently inspired the second, anything-but-deceased New Yorker, \u201cconceptual\u201d artist Glenn Ligon, on a site visit here at Starke\u2019s invitation, according to the Times.

On viewing Blue Black last year, Ligon related to a reporter from that journalistic institution, \u201cI had this very funny aural hallucination where I kept hearing Louis Armstrong\u2019s voice singing, \u2018What did I do to be so black and blue?\u2019\u201d (In Ligon\u2019s aural hallucination, it bears noting, the beloved African-American jazz trumpeter was reprising \u201c(What Did I Do to Be So) Black and Blue,\u201d the 1929 musical standard from Harlem jazz multi-instrumentalist Thomas Wright \u201cFats\u201d Waller with lyrics by Harry Brooks and Andy Razaf.)

\"West
West Gallery wall flat on.jpg

One thing led to another, with Ligon agreeing to guest-curate the present exhibition. \u201cBlue Black,\u201d according to a May press release from the Pulitzer, constitutes a collection of \u201cmore than 50 works ranging from abstraction, to portraiture, to \u2018outsider art,\u2019 experimental film, textiles and more\u201d that \u201cexplores a multiplicity of meanings and uses of the two colors.\u201d

\u201cWorking with Glenn Ligon to develop this exhibition has been an incredible experience, \u2026\u201d Starke says. \u201cFrom the beginning, we\u2019ve seen a highly engaged and vibrant crowd come to see the exhibition, as well as the related public programs. From the artist talk at opening weekend with Glenn and Thelma Golden, director and chief curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem, to the recent performance by the acclaimed composer and pianist Samora Pinderhughes, there have been a number of ways to connect with the exhibition. We continue to see new and returning visitors at the museum \u2026\u201d

In the Times in June, Ligon characterized \u201cBlue Black\u201d as \u201ca meander,\u201d a series of \u201cencounters and collisions.\u201d The Hyperallergic meditation, meanwhile, lauded it as a \u201cliberating voyage taken by and through skin so black, so dark, it coruscates blue,\u201d adding that Ligon \u201corganizes the show less like a curator and more like a poet\u201d \u2013 doing so \u201cwith debilitating force.\u201d

True to Ligon\u2019s own characterization, the exhibition constitutes a blissful cornucopia of often powerful juxtapositions.

Its works range from the touching innocence of Blue Black Boy from 1997 by Carrie Mae Weems, an Oregonian turned New Yorker mainly famed for her photography; through the simplified sidereal splendor of New York painter Ross Bleckner\u2019s Galaxy Painting from 1993; to, almost inevitably, the knowing latter-day La Gioconda smile of Liz #4, a 1963 portrait of film icon Elizabeth Taylor by pop nonesuch Andy Warhol.

\u201cBlue Black\u201d also includes a thought-provoking portrait of an African-American law enforcement officer, Untitled (policeman) from 2015, by Birmingham, Alabama, native turned Chicago painter/sculptor Kerry James Marshall. \u201cThe content of Glenn\u2019s work is incredibly meaningful in the context of St. Louis, being the epicenter of the Black Lives Matter movement,\u201d Starke told the Times in June.

Among the exhibition\u2019s manifold pleasures, though, the museum\u2019s director specifically mentions the inspiration for \u201cBlue Black\u201d coupled with a companion piece, an installation (according to the May release) measuring 6 feet tall and a staggering 66 feet long. \u201cVisitors seem to be connecting with many works in the show,\u201d Starke says, \u201cbut one highlight appears to be the pairing of Ligon\u2019s A Small Band (2015) in our main gallery with Kelly\u2019s Blue Black (2000), the work from which the exhibition was inspired.

\u201cLigon\u2019s monumental neon work fills the room with three words \u2013 \u2018blues,\u2019 \u2018blood,\u2019 \u2018bruise.\u2019 Here Ligon is referencing Steve Reich\u2019s sound piece Come Out, which was commissioned by a civil rights activist in 1966. Reich\u2019s piece quotes the testimony given by Daniel Hamm, one among a group of young residents of Harlem who were wrongfully convicted of a crime in the early 1960s. The pairing of Ligon\u2019s text-based work alongside Kelly\u2019s wall sculpture speaks to the complexities of Ligon\u2019s curatorial thesis in this exhibition.\u201d

Those complexities \u2013 the manifold, vibrant hues of an era whose figurative palette seems increasingly predominated and muddied by clashing complementary colors \u2013 may well resonate with Pulitzer visitors long after they\u2019ve exited \u201cBlue Black.\u201d

Pulitzer Arts Foundation, 3716 Washington Blvd., St. Louis, 314-754-1850, pulitzerarts.org

\"Gallery
Gallery East looking at Guiton prina.jpg
"}, {"id":"b8380dd9-dd3d-552e-9f85-6d31291fa9e4","type":"article","starttime":"1504803600","starttime_iso8601":"2017-09-07T12:00:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1504803904","priority":40,"sections":[{"features":"arts-and-culture/features"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Dinner & A Show: The Black Rep Launches 41st Season with \"Dot\"","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/arts-and-culture/features/article_b8380dd9-dd3d-552e-9f85-6d31291fa9e4.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/arts-and-culture/features/dinner-a-show-the-black-rep-launches-st-season-with/article_b8380dd9-dd3d-552e-9f85-6d31291fa9e4.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/arts-and-culture/features/dinner-a-show-the-black-rep-launches-st-season-with/article_b8380dd9-dd3d-552e-9f85-6d31291fa9e4.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Mark Bretz","prologue":"Ron Himes Who\u2019d have thought a business major would now be celebrating the 41st anniversary of his own theater company? That\u2019s certainly the case, though, with Ron Himes, founder and producer/director of The Black Rep \u2013 formally The St. Louis Black Repertory \u2013 the largest professional African-American theater company in the nation and the largest African-American performing arts organization in Missouri.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["dinner & a show","the black rep","dot"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"e57b32ee-3423-50dd-824f-245ac76b4032","description":"Ron Himes","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"400","height":"400","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/57/e57b32ee-3423-50dd-824f-245ac76b4032/59a981736b82f.image.jpg?resize=400%2C400"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/57/e57b32ee-3423-50dd-824f-245ac76b4032/59a981736b82f.image.jpg?crop=397%2C266%2C0%2C87&resize=100%2C67&order=crop%2Cresize"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"201","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/57/e57b32ee-3423-50dd-824f-245ac76b4032/59a981736b82f.image.jpg?crop=397%2C266%2C0%2C87&resize=300%2C201&order=crop%2Cresize"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"686","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/57/e57b32ee-3423-50dd-824f-245ac76b4032/59a981736b82f.image.jpg?crop=397%2C266%2C0%2C87"}}}],"revision":3,"commentID":"b8380dd9-dd3d-552e-9f85-6d31291fa9e4","body":"
\"Ron

Ron Himes

Who\u2019d have thought a business major would now be celebrating the 41st anniversary of his own theater company?

That\u2019s certainly the case, though, with Ron Himes, founder and producer/director of The Black Rep \u2013 formally The St. Louis Black Repertory \u2013 the largest professional African-American theater company in the nation and the largest African-American performing arts organization in Missouri.

\u201cI majored in business administration at Washington University,\u201d says Himes. \u201cI took a dare in my junior year and acted in a couple of productions there and thought, \u2018This is cool.\u2019 When I graduated, I decided that I didn\u2019t want to go to graduate school and remembered how much fun theater was.\u201d

After performing for a few years with the late, great Theatre Project Company, Himes decided to devote himself full time to developing The Black Rep. \u201cThe Brownsville Raid was our first show after I decided to give it a go,\u201d he says. Eventually, in exchange for classes for kids in the neighborhood, the owner of the former Greeley Presbyterian Church invited The Black Rep to perform at what became known as the 23rd Street Theatre. \u201cWe were there for 10 years,\u201d recalls Himes.

This season, The Black Rep will perform all three of its subscription shows at Edison Theatre on the campus of Washington University in St. Louis, where Himes serves as the Henry E. Hampton Jr. Artist-in-Residence. The season officially opened Wednesday, Sept. 6, with the regional premiere of Dot, a new comedy written by African-American actor and playwright Colman Domingo.

Himes says Dot started at the Humana Festival of New American Plays in Louisville, Kentucky, a few years ago. \u201cI\u2019m a fan of Domingo as an actor,\u201d he says. \u201cHe was in The Scottsboro Boys and in a number of TV films and movies [such as] Dead Man Walking, Lincoln and [The] Birth of a Nation.

\u00a0\u201cHe\u2019s a wonderful actor. Lately, I\u2019ve been following him as a playwright. This is maybe the third play that he\u2019s written. Marjorie Johnson, who\u2019s worked at The Black Rep, originated the role of Dot.\u201d

Dot deals with a problem all too familiar to millions of families: an aging parent whose mind is slipping. Domingo\u2019s play focuses on Dotty Shealey and her three adult children, who are gathering for the holidays at her home. A news release from the troupe states that \u201cDot grapples unflinchingly with aging parents and midlife crises in the heart of a West Philly neighborhood.\u201d

Thomasina Clark stars in the title role, while Jacqueline Thompson, Chauncy Thomas and Heather Beal portray her children. The cast also includes Courtney Elaine Brown, Paul Edwards and Ryan Lawson-Maeske, with Himes directing.

The season continues in January when Ed Smith returns to The Black Rep to direct its new production of Fences by August Wilson. Fences tells the story of a former Negro Baseball League star whose barring from Major League Baseball (because of its \u201ccolor barrier\u201d) wreaked havoc on his life. Fences numbers among Wilson\u2019s 10 plays set individually in a different decade of the 20th century, primarily in Pittsburgh, which constitute his landmark Pittsburgh Cycle.

\u00a0\u201cMaybe 12 companies in America have covered [The Pittsburgh] Cycle,\u201d says Himes, including The Black Rep, now on its second run through the 10 works. \u201cWe\u2019ve done Ma Rainey[\u2019s Black Bottom] twice, Joe Turner[\u2019s Come and Gone] twice and Seven Guitars twice. This will be our second production of Fences.\u201d

A.C. Smith and Linda Kennedy portrayed middle-age couple Troy and Rose in The Black Rep\u2019s original production; this one will feature Himes playing opposite Kennedy.

Wilson ranks among the greatest American playwrights of the 20th century and an important voice in theater. \u201cI think that Wilson fills in a lot,\u201d says Himes, \u201cilluminating the African-American experience decade by decade. He gives voice to the average working class of African-American characters, who in many instances have not had [a] voice onstage, characters which we have not seen on the American stage and stories we have not heard on the American stage.\u201d

The 41st season closes in April 2018 with the world premiere of Torn Asunder by Nikkole Salter, whose drama Lines in the Dust was produced by The Black Rep in 2016.

\u00a0\u201cTorn Asunder is a wonderful, beautiful, touching love story set at the end of the Civil War,\u201d says Himes. \u201cThere are two enslaved people, a couple who are separated by the inhumanity of slavery. They are married and sold apart. The guy, Moses, escapes to Canada and becomes a successful blacksmith. After Emancipation, he heads south looking for his wife for years. When he finds her, that\u2019s [worth] the price of the ticket.\u201d

Himes recently was honored at the National Black Theatre Festival in North Carolina with the Larry Leon Hamlin Producer Award. In his 40 years with The Black Rep, he\u2019s produced hundreds of plays relating to the African-American experience, leading The Black Rep to significant national and international recognition as a major artistic institution.

\u201cAfrican-American theater has been an uphill challenge for many of us,\u201d he says. \u201cIn many instances, it still is. A lot of companies that started in the \u201970s like us are no longer here. They didn\u2019t survive the downturn in the economy, the lack of funding trends with foundations and corporations.

\u201cPart of the challenge we\u2019re facing is finding new sources of funding,\u201d he adds. \u201cWe\u2019re considered a major cultural institution, but in many cases, we\u2019ve never been funded as one. It\u2019s a challenge for institutions of color across the field.\u201d

Dot runs through Sept. 24 at Edison Theatre, with ticket prices ranging from $20 to $45. For more information, visit The Black Rep\u2019s website.

The St. Louis Black Repertory, 6662 Olive Blvd., University City, 314-534-3810, theblackrep.org

"}, {"id":"28b3c0af-7703-5777-a7a5-855f018ff9f6","type":"article","starttime":"1504198800","starttime_iso8601":"2017-08-31T12:00:00-05:00","priority":45,"sections":[{"features":"arts-and-culture/features"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Tennessee's Trickster","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/arts-and-culture/features/article_28b3c0af-7703-5777-a7a5-855f018ff9f6.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/arts-and-culture/features/tennessee-s-trickster/article_28b3c0af-7703-5777-a7a5-855f018ff9f6.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/arts-and-culture/features/tennessee-s-trickster/article_28b3c0af-7703-5777-a7a5-855f018ff9f6.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Bryan A. Hollerbach","prologue":"Some surprising guest artists help a local theater festival stage a colorful, intriguing play by a gent named Williams.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["tennessee williams festival"],"internalKeywords":["#topstory"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"ae7347e4-8bcd-572a-97af-158e3fbae98b","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"507","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/e7/ae7347e4-8bcd-572a-97af-158e3fbae98b/59a82f7a96eb8.image.jpg?resize=760%2C507"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/e7/ae7347e4-8bcd-572a-97af-158e3fbae98b/59a82f7a96eb8.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/e7/ae7347e4-8bcd-572a-97af-158e3fbae98b/59a82f7a96eb8.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"683","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/e7/ae7347e4-8bcd-572a-97af-158e3fbae98b/59a82f7a96eb8.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":3,"commentID":"28b3c0af-7703-5777-a7a5-855f018ff9f6","body":"
\"Ghana01.jpg\"
Ghana01.jpg

Some surprising guest artists help a local theater festival stage a colorful, intriguing play by a gent named Williams.

Kilroy, of the mid-20th-century \u201cKilroy was here!\u201d visual/verbal meme, soon will visit the metro area courtesy of Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis \u2013 with aid from associates not only half the nation away but also half the world away.

From Sept. 8 to 11 at the Grand Center\u2019s .ZACK, the festival will welcome David Kaplan, who co-founded Massachusetts\u2019 Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival, as he directs Africa\u2019s National Drama Company of Ghana in the famed playwright\u2019s Ten Blocks on the Camino Real.

Upfront, Kaplan succinctly addresses the degree to which Ten Blocks resembles more familiar works from Williams (a St. Louis native buried in Calvary Cemetery) like The Glass Menagerie, A Streetcar Named Desire and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

\u201cAll Williams is about the same thing: love, youth, beauty, the summer,\u201d he says. \u201cNone of these last long \u2013 and as a result, they need to be remembered, to be talked about and written about. That\u2019s the imperative for performing the plays. We live knowing we will die, the glass animals will break, the match in the dark will blow out, but while the glass shimmers or the match blazes, we enjoy the light.\u201d

Of course, in that Kilroy (nominally the protagonist of the play in question) constitutes an archetypal trickster, this production involves a few peculiarities. First and foremost? Ten Blocks, which Williams wrote in New Orleans\u2019 French Quarter, predates by the better part of a decade another drama entitled just Camino Real.

\u201cTen Blocks came first as a one-act play that began as episodic scenes worked by Williams\u2019 close collaborator Elia Kazan with actors from the Actors Studio, including Eli Wallach as Kilroy,\u201d Kaplan says. \u201cThe one-act version was finished in 1946. It was experimental work, very different than the usual realism of the [Actors] Studio and different from Kazan\u2019s work directing A Streetcar Named Desire in 1947.

\u201cThe one-act was expanded by Williams into a full-length play with 16 blocks titled simply Camino Real. That opened on Broadway in 1953 and puzzled critics expecting something similar to The Glass Menagerie or Streetcar or Summer and Smoke. Kazan and the actors were very excited to be breaking new ground.

\u201cEli Wallach told me on the phone, in the 1980s, they were shocked after they opened in Washington that not everyone shared their pleasure in it.\u201d

Ultimately, negative reviews led Williams to revise Camino Real for its 1953 publication by the esteemed independent publishing company New Directions \u2013 making Ten Blocks an arcane antecedent of an already lesser-known entry in Williams\u2019 oeuvre.

If Ten Blocks recalls the relationship of F. Scott Fitzgerald\u2019s Trimalchio to The Great Gatsby, though, it similarly has enjoyed more than a little attention over time. In 1966, for example, a television adaptation starred none other than Martin Sheen \u2013 a mere three years into his distinguished film and television career.

Carrie Houk, the local festival\u2019s executive artistic director, describes the level of excitement surrounding the production. \u201cTennessee Williams Festival St. Louis is thrilled to launch the U.S. tour of the National Drama Company of Ghana,\u201d she says. \u201cWe continue to build our friendship with the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival and hope for continued collaboration.\u201d

She also sketches what led the local festival (now observing just its second year of existence) to host Kaplan and the Ghanaians, with a grant from PNC Arts Alive and, from Webster University, housing sponsorship for the visiting 12-member troupe.

\u201cThe Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis believes the work of Tennessee Williams speaks to all cultures and nationalities,\u201d Houk says. \u201cWe thought that this particular production illustrates this for St. Louis audiences and would make his work attractive and stimulating for all.

\u201cWe\u2019re offering this world-class production and workshops for schools and community groups free of charge. We want to make sure that the production is accessible and available to audiences that might not have the opportunity to experience live theater. \u2026

\u201cThe company will also be doing a performance at Webster University, conversations with students who have attended the Webster U campus in Accra [the capital of Ghana] and students who might be interested in studying abroad in the future in Accra. They will also spend an afternoon in workshops with the Webster U Conservatory of Theatre Arts.\u201d

The production, which is free and open to the public, requires no reservations, Houk adds. The company also will present workshops at COCA and Grand Center Arts Academy.

Kaplan, for his part, provides greater detail on the involvement in the production of the National Drama Company of Ghana. \u201cIn 1997, flying back from Uzbekistan after directing King Lear there, I learned about Ghanaian concert party from someone in the Peace Corps who had seen performances in Ghana,\u201d he says. \u201cConcert party is a form of outdoor theater that combines African stock characters, clowning, singing and dance \u2013 and social satire. I love clowning that delivers insight. I thought for years about a suitable text \u2013 and it seemed a perfect fit for performing Ten Blocks on the Camino Real.\u201d

An American actor named Greg McGoon had worked with Abibigromma, the resident drama troupe of the National Theatre of Ghana since 1991. McGoon introduced Kaplan to that ensemble. Ten Blocks, Kaplan continues, \u201cfit their mission, too, performing popular theater as a way to build community.\u201d

Ten Blocks will undergo slight alterations to fit it to a Ghanaian context. Kaplan first directed a concert party production of Ten Blocks in Uruguay, of all places, in 2013.

In sum, Kaplan suggests why the new production \u2013 which he describes as \u201cbrightly colored\u201d and \u201cthe simple story of an innocent man caught up in a city of nets\u201d \u2013 should intrigue local Williams aficionados and other devoted theatergoers. \u201cIn Ten Blocks, Kilroy enters knowing he has a heart so enlarged he will die from one strong kiss,\u201d he says. \u201cNevertheless, he kisses the Gypsy\u2019s daughter.

\u201cFirst though, he must convince her he is sincere. He asks, does she believe him? \u2018For a while,\u2019 she answers. He replies, \u2018Everything\u2019s for a while. For a while is the stuff that dreams are made of, baby!\u2019\u201d

In short, Ten Blocks \u2013 to pay slantwise homage to Williams\u2019 last play, left unfinished at the time of his death in 1983 \u2013 promises to be a masque outrageous and austere.

Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis, .ZACK, 3224 Locust St., 2J, St. Louis, twstl.org

Performance Schedule

Friday, Sept. 8: Strauss Park, 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 9: Soulard Market Park, 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

Sunday, Sept. 10: Strauss Park, 1 and 3:30 p.m.

Monday, Sept. 11: Webster University, noon

"}, {"id":"5bfec716-8dab-11e7-99d9-632375c3eb16","type":"article","starttime":"1504115220","starttime_iso8601":"2017-08-30T12:47:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1504115832","priority":40,"sections":[{"features":"arts-and-culture/features"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Rebel and Misfits Productions' 'Uncle Vanya' Is Immersive in the Best Way: Theater Review","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/arts-and-culture/features/article_5bfec716-8dab-11e7-99d9-632375c3eb16.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/arts-and-culture/features/rebel-and-misfits-productions-uncle-vanya-is-immersive-in-the/article_5bfec716-8dab-11e7-99d9-632375c3eb16.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/arts-and-culture/features/rebel-and-misfits-productions-uncle-vanya-is-immersive-in-the/article_5bfec716-8dab-11e7-99d9-632375c3eb16.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":5,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"by Mark Bretz","prologue":"Story: Guests are welcomed to the patio on Serebryakov\u2019s country estate, where the maid Marina serves drinks and hors d\u2019ouvres. Serebryakov inherited the home and land after the passing of his first wife. He lives as a retired professor in the city with his second wife, young and beautiful Yelena, while his country property is tended by his first wife\u2019s brother Vanya and niece Sonya.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["anton chekhov","uncle vanya","ladue","dielman road","rebel and misfits productions","kelly hummert","theater","review"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"3533a6ee-8c32-11e7-980d-b759881070b6","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":1200,"hiresheight":1200,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/53/3533a6ee-8c32-11e7-980d-b759881070b6/59a4818caafee.hires.jpg","presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"760","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/53/3533a6ee-8c32-11e7-980d-b759881070b6/59a4818caa0f8.image.jpg?resize=760%2C760"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"100","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/53/3533a6ee-8c32-11e7-980d-b759881070b6/59a4818caa0f8.image.jpg?resize=100%2C100"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"300","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/53/3533a6ee-8c32-11e7-980d-b759881070b6/59a4818caa0f8.image.jpg?resize=300%2C300"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1024","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/53/3533a6ee-8c32-11e7-980d-b759881070b6/59a4818caa0f8.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C1024"}}},{"id":"12d6e336-8c32-11e7-b1f9-e781c8369918","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":1200,"hiresheight":1600,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/2d/12d6e336-8c32-11e7-b1f9-e781c8369918/59a481530c35b.hires.jpg","presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"570","height":"760","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/2d/12d6e336-8c32-11e7-b1f9-e781c8369918/59a481530b2c9.image.jpg?resize=570%2C760"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"133","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/2d/12d6e336-8c32-11e7-b1f9-e781c8369918/59a481530b2c9.image.jpg?resize=100%2C133"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"400","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/2d/12d6e336-8c32-11e7-b1f9-e781c8369918/59a481530b2c9.image.jpg?resize=300%2C400"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1365","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/2d/12d6e336-8c32-11e7-b1f9-e781c8369918/59a481530b2c9.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C1365"}}},{"id":"20777dfc-8c32-11e7-aa97-d36c765003e7","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":1200,"hiresheight":1600,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/07/20777dfc-8c32-11e7-aa97-d36c765003e7/59a48169ded65.hires.jpg","presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"570","height":"760","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/07/20777dfc-8c32-11e7-aa97-d36c765003e7/59a48169ddc77.image.jpg?resize=570%2C760"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"133","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/07/20777dfc-8c32-11e7-aa97-d36c765003e7/59a48169ddc77.image.jpg?resize=100%2C133"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"400","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/07/20777dfc-8c32-11e7-aa97-d36c765003e7/59a48169ddc77.image.jpg?resize=300%2C400"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1365","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/07/20777dfc-8c32-11e7-aa97-d36c765003e7/59a48169ddc77.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C1365"}}},{"id":"ec322f38-8c31-11e7-b499-1b5f65822619","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":1600,"hiresheight":1200,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/c3/ec322f38-8c31-11e7-b499-1b5f65822619/59a4811234c53.hires.jpg","presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"570","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/c3/ec322f38-8c31-11e7-b499-1b5f65822619/59a4811233d55.image.jpg?resize=760%2C570"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"75","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/c3/ec322f38-8c31-11e7-b499-1b5f65822619/59a4811233d55.image.jpg?resize=100%2C75"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"225","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/c3/ec322f38-8c31-11e7-b499-1b5f65822619/59a4811233d55.image.jpg?resize=300%2C225"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"768","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/c3/ec322f38-8c31-11e7-b499-1b5f65822619/59a4811233d55.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C768"}}},{"id":"fe2f22ae-8c31-11e7-8959-6f3f54e1b65e","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":1200,"hiresheight":1600,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/e2/fe2f22ae-8c31-11e7-8959-6f3f54e1b65e/59a4813060fa9.hires.jpg","presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"570","height":"760","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/e2/fe2f22ae-8c31-11e7-8959-6f3f54e1b65e/59a481305fc49.image.jpg?resize=570%2C760"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"133","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/e2/fe2f22ae-8c31-11e7-8959-6f3f54e1b65e/59a481305fc49.image.jpg?resize=100%2C133"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"400","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/e2/fe2f22ae-8c31-11e7-8959-6f3f54e1b65e/59a481305fc49.image.jpg?resize=300%2C400"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1365","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/e2/fe2f22ae-8c31-11e7-8959-6f3f54e1b65e/59a481305fc49.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C1365"}}}],"revision":4,"commentID":"5bfec716-8dab-11e7-99d9-632375c3eb16","body":"

Story: Guests are welcomed to the patio on Serebryakov\u2019s country estate, where the maid Marina serves drinks and hors d\u2019ouvres. Serebryakov inherited the home and land after the passing of his first wife. He lives as a retired professor in the city with his second wife, young and beautiful Yelena, while his country property is tended by his first wife\u2019s brother Vanya and niece Sonya.

The impoverished Telegin, nicknamed Waffles because of his pockmarked face, stays on the land, while Vanya\u2019s mother Maria Voynitsky dwells there as well.

Doctor Astrov, a frequent visitor to the estate, bemoans his boring life to Marina. He\u2019s not the only one thinking about what might have been, however. Vanya chafes at his failure to attain greatness, yearning to be the next Tolstoy. Meanwhile, Sonya pines with unrequited love for the restless Astrov, who views her only as a pleasant, and plain, friend.

The arrival of Serebryakov and Yelena livens up the group for a couple of reasons. The professor announces his intention to sell the estate so that he and Yelena can live even more comfortably. Vanya angrily questions what will happen to him, his mother and niece. Also, Vanya is in love with Yelena and regrets that he didn\u2019t marry her when he had an opportunity a decade earlier.

Astrov is infatuated as well with the beguiling Yelena, who alternately spurns and encourages the advances of the men. We follow this group from the patio into the home\u2019s living room, kitchen and study, being careful to stay out of their way and yet also enticed by the complexity of their lives. Can any of them truly find happiness?

Highlights: Rebel and Misfits Productions\u2019 second piece in its \u201cImmersive Theatre Project\u201d is a charming, inspired adaptation of Chekhov\u2019s forlorn story about the unfulfilled lives of Mother Russia\u2019s often lonely citizens.

Other Info: Kelly Hummert, Rebel and Misfits founder and artistic director, utilizes an actual home that is for sale in Ladue as an ideal location for the \u201cimmersive theater\u201d concept. She\u2019s updated Chekhov\u2019s late 19th century drama with references to the environment, climate change and other contemporary concerns. However, the stifled creativity and thwarted passions of these dark Russian characters remain.

Hummert has assembled a first-rate cast who address the frustrations and anguish of Chekhov\u2019s lost souls in arresting fashion, which feels even more acute with an audience in such proximity to the players. Christina Sittser\u2019s costumes convey both the look and social class of the various characters, in both 19th century and more modern outfits, who wend their way through the spacious estate. Set designers Hummert and Jordan Woods integrate the story into actual areas at the home which correspond to scenes in the original play.

For Uncle Vanya, this works exceedingly well, particularly when one is greeted at the manor by Donna Weinsting as the gracious Marina, who extends hospitality to arriving guests and audience alike. Weinsting plays the role to the hilt, sitting quietly in the background knitting when her character isn\u2019t catering to the whims of her employers.

Andrew Neiman fully embodies the restless spirit of Vanya, whether roaming the spacious yard, napping in a nearby swing or leaping at the arrival of the coveted Yelena. He\u2019s affecting as he clamors for the attention of the disarming young woman, who in turn is portrayed in fully convincing fashion by Sophia Brown. As Yelena, Brown flirts knowingly with Vanya and Astrov, satisfying her desire for attention at the expense of the men\u2019s lusting, restless hearts.

Jim Butz presents an Astrov who is frustrated with the lonely ways of the country life, consumed by his passion for the alluring Yelena and yet cruelly oblivious to the yearnings of the long-suffering Sonya. As the quietly lovelorn niece, Francesca Ferrari conveys Sonya\u2019s life of quiet desperation with dignity and the faintest of hope that Astrov will return her love, while dutifully handling the day-to-day chores of running Serebryakov\u2019s fortune, with or without Vanya\u2019s aid.

Peter Mayer rages as the perennially whiny professor, whose thoughts are first and foremost about his own and his wife\u2019s comfort, with anyone else a consideration after the fact. His professor is obsessed with his own aging and mortality but offers little in compassion for others.

Suzanne Greenwald and Kent Coffel complete the highly accomplished cast as Vanya\u2019s unsympathetic mother Maria Voynitsky and the ingratiating Telegin, who knows well his lowly place in the pecking order at the estate and spends his time acceding to the wishes of the others.

Hummert brings a leisurely pace to this presentation while maintaining its allure and whimsy throughout, shrewdly moving the audience into various rooms with an orderly and genial approach. It\u2019s especially enjoyable to sip a vodka cocktail at intermission with the best of Russian civility.

Uncle Vanya is one of Chekhov\u2019s true masterpieces. This new take on his view of universal concepts of love, longing and loneliness is given an invigorating and refreshing approach in Rebel and Misfits' \u201cimmersive\u201d adaptation.

Play: Uncle Vanya: Valiantly Accepting Next Year\u2019s Agony

Company: Rebel and Misfits Productions

Venue: Private residence, 110 Dielman Road

Dates: August 31, September 1, 2, 3

Tickets: $30-$45; visit www.theimmersivetheatreproject.com

Rating: A 5 on a scale of 1-to-5.

Photos courtesy of Rebel and Misfits Productions

"}, {"id":"54562c4a-8c32-11e7-913b-a7796b2f2ef0","type":"article","starttime":"1503953340","starttime_iso8601":"2017-08-28T15:49:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1504200827","priority":40,"sections":[{"features":"arts-and-culture/features"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Dinner & A Show: Titus Andronicus","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/arts-and-culture/features/article_54562c4a-8c32-11e7-913b-a7796b2f2ef0.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/arts-and-culture/features/dinner-a-show-titus-andronicus/article_54562c4a-8c32-11e7-913b-a7796b2f2ef0.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/arts-and-culture/features/dinner-a-show-titus-andronicus/article_54562c4a-8c32-11e7-913b-a7796b2f2ef0.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":7,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Mark Bretz","prologue":"Murder, mayhem and machinations are the order of the day in William Shakespeare\u2019s\u00a0Titus Andronicus, one of his bloodiest tragedies, for sure.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["st. louis shakespeare","ivory theater","suki peters","tom kopp","titus andronicus","william shakespeare","shakespeare","theater","review"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"bf750538-8c31-11e7-8545-cbb2e9b11619","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":1600,"hiresheight":1200,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/f7/bf750538-8c31-11e7-8545-cbb2e9b11619/59a480c725d7f.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"528","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/f7/bf750538-8c31-11e7-8545-cbb2e9b11619/59a480c7251ea.image.jpg?crop=1590%2C1104%2C5%2C78&resize=760%2C528&order=crop%2Cresize"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"69","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/f7/bf750538-8c31-11e7-8545-cbb2e9b11619/59a480c7251ea.image.jpg?crop=1590%2C1104%2C5%2C78&resize=100%2C69&order=crop%2Cresize"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"208","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/f7/bf750538-8c31-11e7-8545-cbb2e9b11619/59a480c7251ea.image.jpg?crop=1590%2C1104%2C5%2C78&resize=300%2C208&order=crop%2Cresize"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"711","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/f7/bf750538-8c31-11e7-8545-cbb2e9b11619/59a480c7251ea.image.jpg?crop=1590%2C1104%2C5%2C78&resize=1024%2C711&order=crop%2Cresize"}}},{"id":"d7d02b30-8c31-11e7-a43c-2310adbe42a4","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":1600,"hiresheight":1200,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/7d/d7d02b30-8c31-11e7-a43c-2310adbe42a4/59a480f0049f8.hires.jpg","presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"570","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/7d/d7d02b30-8c31-11e7-a43c-2310adbe42a4/59a480f003c5d.image.jpg?resize=760%2C570"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"75","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/7d/d7d02b30-8c31-11e7-a43c-2310adbe42a4/59a480f003c5d.image.jpg?resize=100%2C75"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"225","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/7d/d7d02b30-8c31-11e7-a43c-2310adbe42a4/59a480f003c5d.image.jpg?resize=300%2C225"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"768","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/7d/d7d02b30-8c31-11e7-a43c-2310adbe42a4/59a480f003c5d.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C768"}}},{"id":"7816e62a-8c31-11e7-bc1e-5fb68d952925","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":1600,"hiresheight":1200,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/81/7816e62a-8c31-11e7-bc1e-5fb68d952925/59a4804f66ea8.hires.jpg","presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"570","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/81/7816e62a-8c31-11e7-bc1e-5fb68d952925/59a4804f65f3b.image.jpg?resize=760%2C570"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"75","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/81/7816e62a-8c31-11e7-bc1e-5fb68d952925/59a4804f65f3b.image.jpg?resize=100%2C75"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"225","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/81/7816e62a-8c31-11e7-bc1e-5fb68d952925/59a4804f65f3b.image.jpg?resize=300%2C225"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"768","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/81/7816e62a-8c31-11e7-bc1e-5fb68d952925/59a4804f65f3b.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C768"}}},{"id":"8617e616-8c31-11e7-be69-1ba7fa3a2bff","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":1600,"hiresheight":1200,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/61/8617e616-8c31-11e7-be69-1ba7fa3a2bff/59a48066dffad.hires.jpg","presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"570","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/61/8617e616-8c31-11e7-be69-1ba7fa3a2bff/59a48066debc8.image.jpg?resize=760%2C570"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"75","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/61/8617e616-8c31-11e7-be69-1ba7fa3a2bff/59a48066debc8.image.jpg?resize=100%2C75"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"225","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/61/8617e616-8c31-11e7-be69-1ba7fa3a2bff/59a48066debc8.image.jpg?resize=300%2C225"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"768","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/61/8617e616-8c31-11e7-be69-1ba7fa3a2bff/59a48066debc8.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C768"}}},{"id":"96e4bbe0-8c31-11e7-b340-b31531273587","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":1600,"hiresheight":1200,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/6e/96e4bbe0-8c31-11e7-b340-b31531273587/59a4808318ce8.hires.jpg","presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"570","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/6e/96e4bbe0-8c31-11e7-b340-b31531273587/59a4808317f25.image.jpg?resize=760%2C570"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"75","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/6e/96e4bbe0-8c31-11e7-b340-b31531273587/59a4808317f25.image.jpg?resize=100%2C75"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"225","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/6e/96e4bbe0-8c31-11e7-b340-b31531273587/59a4808317f25.image.jpg?resize=300%2C225"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"768","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/6e/96e4bbe0-8c31-11e7-b340-b31531273587/59a4808317f25.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C768"}}},{"id":"a4f309d0-8c31-11e7-9578-07ad618255a4","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":1600,"hiresheight":1200,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/4f/a4f309d0-8c31-11e7-9578-07ad618255a4/59a4809aa713e.hires.jpg","presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"570","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/4f/a4f309d0-8c31-11e7-9578-07ad618255a4/59a4809aa615c.image.jpg?resize=760%2C570"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"75","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/4f/a4f309d0-8c31-11e7-9578-07ad618255a4/59a4809aa615c.image.jpg?resize=100%2C75"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"225","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/4f/a4f309d0-8c31-11e7-9578-07ad618255a4/59a4809aa615c.image.jpg?resize=300%2C225"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"768","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/4f/a4f309d0-8c31-11e7-9578-07ad618255a4/59a4809aa615c.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C768"}}},{"id":"b1b4a26e-8c31-11e7-9229-4f72c5dc6e4f","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":1600,"hiresheight":1200,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/1b/b1b4a26e-8c31-11e7-9229-4f72c5dc6e4f/59a480b014d8b.hires.jpg","presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"570","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/1b/b1b4a26e-8c31-11e7-9229-4f72c5dc6e4f/59a480b013e6d.image.jpg?resize=760%2C570"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"75","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/1b/b1b4a26e-8c31-11e7-9229-4f72c5dc6e4f/59a480b013e6d.image.jpg?resize=100%2C75"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"225","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/1b/b1b4a26e-8c31-11e7-9229-4f72c5dc6e4f/59a480b013e6d.image.jpg?resize=300%2C225"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"768","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/1b/b1b4a26e-8c31-11e7-9229-4f72c5dc6e4f/59a480b013e6d.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C768"}}}],"revision":9,"commentID":"54562c4a-8c32-11e7-913b-a7796b2f2ef0","body":"

Story: Renowned Roman general Titus Andronicus returns victorious from a decade of fighting the Goths just after the death of Rome's emperor. While the emperor\u2019s sons, Bassianus and Saturninus, jockey to take control of Rome, tribune Marcus Andronicus proclaims that the people want his brother Titus to assume the title.

Titus isn\u2019t interested, though. He\u2019s brought back as prisoners Tamora, the Queen of the Goths, her three sons and Aaron the Moor, then kills her eldest son in revenge for the deaths of his own sons in the war. He throws his support to Saturninus.

The new ruler proclaims that he will wed Titus\u2019 daughter Lavinia, even though she\u2019s engaged to his brother Bassianus, who refuses to go along with the new arrangement. Titus kills one of his sons who defends Bassianus, then is stunned when Saturninus instead marries Tamora. She in turn plots her own revenge against the Roman general for killing one of her sons.

Highlights: Murder, mayhem and machinations are the order of the day in William Shakespeare\u2019s Titus Andronicus, one of his bloodiest tragedies, for sure. St. Louis Shakespeare\u2019s new production follows one the company did in the early 1990s at Washington University.

Other Info: Tom Kopp directs with a sure hand this version, which is shortened to just two hours over two acts. If you\u2019re a Titus fan, rest assured that Kopp and company spill enough blood to jump-start the next drive for the American Red Cross.

Ted Drury\u2019s somber sound design, which includes Susan Kopp\u2019s thoughtful, original compositions, portends the ominous thread of developments in this early Shakespearean work, which even includes a \u201cviolence director,\u201d namely Erik Kuhn, in St. Louis Shakespeare's new version.

Meg Brinkley contributes some grisly props that give new meaning to the phrase \u2018lend a hand,\u2019 while Darren Thompson\u2019s lighting enhances Chuck Winning\u2019s fortress-style scenic design. Zahrah Agha offers a costume design which differentiates the Romans from their Gothic and Moorish counterparts.

Titus Andronicus features a large cast who revel in their feats of dismemberment as they spew vile rebukes at their enemies, perceived or otherwise. Chad Little presents the title character as a pensive albeit impulsive type, barely flinching as he kills one of his own sons in one scene, while in another showing Titus\u2019 descent into madness as he literally cooks up a scheme of revenge.

Suki Peters effectively depicts the cunning and bloodthirsty Tamora, who shares a passionate scene with Darrious Varner as her Moorish lover Aaron. Varner mines the contemptuous disdain of Aaron for his Roman captors, while Roger Erb is properly nasty as the self-serving Saturninus.

There\u2019s good work by Britteny Henry as the terribly wronged Lavinia and Chris LaBanca as the dutiful Marcus. Scott McDonald plays the noble Bassianus, while Ted Drury and Michael Pierce portray Tamora\u2019s venomous sons Demetrius and Chiron, respectively.

The cast includes Erik Kuhn as Titus\u2019 eldest son Lucius, Riley James as Titus\u2019 grandson Young Lucius and Brian Rolf as the Roman nobleman Aemilius. Maxwell Knocke, Brennan Eller, Joshua Parrack, Shane Signorino, Joseph Garner, Chuck Winning, Nic Tayborn, Jeff Lovell, Megan Wiegert and Chuck Brinkley capably handle smaller roles.

The Bard doubtless kept his audiences clamoring for more with his bloody, bloody story of The Lamentable Tragedy of Titus Andronicus. St. Louis Shakespeare cuts to the chase, so to speak, with its blood-soaked rendition.

Play: Titus Andronicus

Company: St. Louis Shakespeare

Venue: Ivory Theatre, 7620 Michigan Avenue

Dates: August 31, September 1, 2, 3

Tickets: $15-$20; contact 361-5664 or brownpapertickets.com

Rating: A 4 on a scale of 1-to-5.

Photos courtesy of Ron James

"}, {"id":"5bf1cc9e-3f41-5ca5-beb7-4ce99c2536b8","type":"article","starttime":"1503594000","starttime_iso8601":"2017-08-24T12:00:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1503595036","priority":45,"sections":[{"features":"arts-and-culture/features"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Hammer Time","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/arts-and-culture/features/article_5bf1cc9e-3f41-5ca5-beb7-4ce99c2536b8.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/arts-and-culture/features/hammer-time/article_5bf1cc9e-3f41-5ca5-beb7-4ce99c2536b8.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/arts-and-culture/features/hammer-time/article_5bf1cc9e-3f41-5ca5-beb7-4ce99c2536b8.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":4,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Bryan A. Hollerbach","prologue":"Artist Howard Jones reworks common domestic tools for a delightfully dizzying exhibition opening today in the Delmar Loop.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["howard jones","craft alliance center of art + design","delmar loop","art exhibit"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"70aff457-4235-5610-b23b-0e7ce1244818","description":"","byline":"Photos by Sarah Conroy","hireswidth":1686,"hiresheight":1229,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/0a/70aff457-4235-5610-b23b-0e7ce1244818/599ef6df101c0.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"554","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/0a/70aff457-4235-5610-b23b-0e7ce1244818/599ef6df0e56c.image.jpg?resize=760%2C554"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"73","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/0a/70aff457-4235-5610-b23b-0e7ce1244818/599ef6df0e56c.image.jpg?resize=100%2C73"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"219","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/0a/70aff457-4235-5610-b23b-0e7ce1244818/599ef6df0e56c.image.jpg?resize=300%2C219"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"746","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/0a/70aff457-4235-5610-b23b-0e7ce1244818/599ef6df0e56c.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C746"}}},{"id":"6e60ada8-2f8d-5097-a2c3-4267c68900bf","description":"","byline":"Photos by Sarah Conroy","hireswidth":1267,"hiresheight":1635,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/e6/6e60ada8-2f8d-5097-a2c3-4267c68900bf/599ef6df8efbb.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"589","height":"760","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/e6/6e60ada8-2f8d-5097-a2c3-4267c68900bf/599ef6df8e2d1.image.jpg?resize=589%2C760"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"129","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/e6/6e60ada8-2f8d-5097-a2c3-4267c68900bf/599ef6df8e2d1.image.jpg?resize=100%2C129"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"387","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/e6/6e60ada8-2f8d-5097-a2c3-4267c68900bf/599ef6df8e2d1.image.jpg?resize=300%2C387"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1321","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/e6/6e60ada8-2f8d-5097-a2c3-4267c68900bf/599ef6df8e2d1.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C1321"}}},{"id":"0bcb6f8c-b055-5336-881d-b8748f4bc064","description":"","byline":"Photos by Sarah Conroy","hireswidth":1424,"hiresheight":1455,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/bc/0bcb6f8c-b055-5336-881d-b8748f4bc064/599ef6e0258fe.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"744","height":"760","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/bc/0bcb6f8c-b055-5336-881d-b8748f4bc064/599ef6e024e76.image.jpg?resize=744%2C760"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"102","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/bc/0bcb6f8c-b055-5336-881d-b8748f4bc064/599ef6e024e76.image.jpg?resize=100%2C102"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"307","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/bc/0bcb6f8c-b055-5336-881d-b8748f4bc064/599ef6e024e76.image.jpg?resize=300%2C307"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1046","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/bc/0bcb6f8c-b055-5336-881d-b8748f4bc064/599ef6e024e76.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C1046"}}},{"id":"1a71351b-9f04-55ea-aafe-1525c18a1517","description":"","byline":"Photos by Sarah Conroy","hireswidth":1177,"hiresheight":1760,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/a7/1a71351b-9f04-55ea-aafe-1525c18a1517/599ef6e082fb2.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"508","height":"760","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/a7/1a71351b-9f04-55ea-aafe-1525c18a1517/599ef6e08215f.image.jpg?resize=508%2C760"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"150","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/a7/1a71351b-9f04-55ea-aafe-1525c18a1517/599ef6e08215f.image.jpg?resize=100%2C150"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"449","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/a7/1a71351b-9f04-55ea-aafe-1525c18a1517/599ef6e08215f.image.jpg?resize=300%2C449"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1531","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/a7/1a71351b-9f04-55ea-aafe-1525c18a1517/599ef6e08215f.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C1531"}}}],"revision":2,"commentID":"5bf1cc9e-3f41-5ca5-beb7-4ce99c2536b8","body":"
\"jones01.JPG\"
jones01.JPG

Artist Howard Jones reworks common domestic tools for a delightfully dizzying exhibition opening today in the Delmar Loop.

But for the bonhomie with which he discusses home and garden hardware \u2013 loosely, the inspiration for his new exhibition, \u201cThink Rethink\u201d \u2013 one might be tempted to suspect local artist Howard Jones of waging a vendetta against hammers, rakes and similar implements of destruction, to borrow a trope from troubadour Arlo Guthrie.

\u201cThink Rethink\u201d opens with a 6 p.m. reception this evening, Friday, Aug. 25, at the Craft Alliance Center of Art + Design\u2019s Delmar Gallery and runs till Oct. 22. \u201cWe hope to feature 50 or more works,\u201d says Stefanie Kirkland, the center\u2019s director of exhibitions, of Jones\u2019 \u201cThink Rethink.\u201d \u201cHis work is best considered as a collection or group, and the effect of each piece is magnified by their relationships to one another.\u201d

\"jones04.JPG\"
jones04.JPG

In Jones\u2019 hands, the quotidian turns categorically queer. Case in point \u2013 what looks like a 2-inch paintbrush begins with a dark wooden handle, extends through a battered brass ferrule and then ends not with bristles of one sort or another but with the left hand of a mannequin.

Now, Jones\u2019 website\u00a0establishes his professional bona fides as a printmaker (and, not incidentally, quotes French literary giant Gustave Flaubert, whose 1857 novel Madame Bovary itself made many readers rethink many things). He modestly attributes to \u201ccareful craftsmanship\u201d mind-boggling effects achieved for \u201cThink Rethink\u201d in materials far less malleable than paper.

\u201cAs a former journeyman printer, the trajectory from professional printmaking to object-maker may be straighter than it seems,\u201d Jones says. \u201cFirst of all, I have pretty much always made things. Maybe a bit more pedestrian in the further past, but some pretty rudimentary carpentry skills have developed just from owning an older home, for example.

\u201cPrintmaking \u2013 or the sort of printmaking I was doing \u2013 required a certain amount of knowledge, but more importantly, some discriminating work habits. My efforts in printing for other artists required an invisibility of my hand in the \ufb01nal product. It\u2019s that sort of attention to detail and, again, modestly, invisible craftsmanship, that informs the work I have done ever since.\u201d

\"jones05.JPG\"
jones05.JPG

Beyond the Flaubert quotation and Jones\u2019 self-evident embrace of French nonesuch Marcel Duchamp\u2019s conception of the ready-made, the artist can lay claim to some heavyweight intellectual credentials.

His capsule bio on the center\u2019s website, for example, notes that he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Gambier, Ohio\u2019s distinguished Kenyon College and a Master of Fine Arts from Ohio University. Thereafter, Jones taught at Washington University in St. Louis, among other institutions of higher learning, and Ladue\u2019s John Burroughs School, where he also chaired the art department.

Another case in point from the \u201cThink Rethink\u201d exhibition \u2013 four nailing hammers, their faces facing outward, bend backward toward one another so emphatically that their individual claws vanish into a common center, like Siamese quadruplets joined at their skulls\u2019 dorsa.

Outr\u00e9? Indeed. Helpfully, though, Jones enlarges on the transmutations underlying his \u201cThink Rethink\u201d works.

\u201cThe original function of the object \u2013 hammer, brush handle, shovel \u2013 needs to be maintained while my adjustments may change its meaning,\u201d Jones says. \u201cI have great respect for these \u2018tools\u2019 in their \ufb01rst incarnation as extensions of human effort, so to imagine them \ufb01lling another function, the transformation needs to be, in my mind, seamless and wholly believable. More often than not, the two disparate elements to be joined determine the particular objects used. \u2026

\u201cFor Hammer Cluster, I welded together the hammerheads after cutting off their claws, and fashioned the handles imagining how such a thing might look, but also keeping the proper proportions of a handle for a hammer that size.\u201d

\"jones10.JPG\"
jones10.JPG

The Craft Alliance Center of Art + Design, according to its website, seeks \u201cto reveal the power of craft through bold programming that uncovers craft\u2019s unique qualities, its evolving role and its full potential for innovation. Craft (the making of objects in woods, metals, fibers, glass and clay) is both an ancient tradition and a site for innovation, adapting to new materials and responding to the ever-changing human experience.\u201d

Such works playfully test viewers\u2019 perceptions in various ways, and Jones reflects on the perceptual tests posed by \u201cThink Rethink,\u201d while also making an amusing confession.

\u201cThe most challenging piece, in my estimation, seems to be the one I\u2019m currently working on,\u201d he says. \u201cThat said, the works that have welded pieces in them were fairly challenging, as I think I need to become a better welder. I\u2019m grateful for the support from the Regional Arts Commission in awarding me a grant to acquire welding equipment to make some of the work in this show.

\u201cCurrently, I\u2019m working on a brick piece that I hope will be in the exhibit, so I\u2019m reacquainting myself with shaping brick and tuck-pointing.\u201d

Jones\u2019 imagination, relates Kirkland, inspired the center to exhibit his peculiarly pleasant works.

\u201cMany of his materials are staples for artists and makers of all disciplines, so his manipulations feel rooted in familiar truths,\u201d she says. \u201cAll of us use tools in our everyday lives, and each craftsperson uses special tools to manipulate their material. Howard, however, takes the everyday tool and adds a humorous, Dada-like twist, pushing us to think more deeply about the relationships between objects, their various uses and the act of making.\u201d

Jones\u2019 academic background almost perforce infuses his reflective conclusion about \u201cThink Rethink.\u201d

\u201cI guess the reaction to my work that I would hope for would be some connection that I never thought of, and often, from children, I\u2019ve gained some insight to my work,\u201d Jones says. \u201cFor those of us less unencumbered, I\u2019d hope for a visceral reaction to some part of each piece \u2013 and perhaps a rethinking of a new purpose for a familiar object.

\u201cI\u2019ll mention that these objects began their careers as functioning tools and, for the most part, spent their time satisfying an original purpose. I have suggested a different path for their future.\u201d

Craft Alliance Center of Art + Design, 6640 Delmar Blvd., University City, 314-725-1177, craftalliance.org

"}, {"id":"a9aa616e-884c-11e7-80e6-2bc496a7dc25","type":"article","starttime":"1503524820","starttime_iso8601":"2017-08-23T16:47:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1503526188","priority":40,"sections":[{"features":"arts-and-culture/features"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Offerings from the Sublime to the Silly at Sixth Annual St Lou Fringe Festival: Theater Review","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/arts-and-culture/features/article_a9aa616e-884c-11e7-80e6-2bc496a7dc25.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/arts-and-culture/features/offerings-from-the-sublime-to-the-silly-at-sixth-annual/article_a9aa616e-884c-11e7-80e6-2bc496a7dc25.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/arts-and-culture/features/offerings-from-the-sublime-to-the-silly-at-sixth-annual/article_a9aa616e-884c-11e7-80e6-2bc496a7dc25.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":5,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"by Mark Bretz","prologue":"Story: The sixth edition of the St Lou Fringe Festival kicked off on Friday, August 18 with more than a dozen presentations by local, regional and national companies and artists. By the time the festival concludes on August 26 it will have presented 97 shows from 27 different producers. Highlights: Shows seen last weekend ranged from a stunning one-woman work titled On the Exhale to the simple wisdom behind the silly humor of Liberals vs. Zombies vs. Conservatives.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["st lou fringe festival","kranzberg arts center","duet gallery","grandel theatre","good people theatre","midnight company","equally represented arts","era","lucy cashion","joe hanrahan","because why not theater company","dan viggers","alicen moser","theater","review"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"5c0e986c-884c-11e7-a0a9-cb6a59b6e5dc","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"751","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/c0/5c0e986c-884c-11e7-a0a9-cb6a59b6e5dc/599df77023c55.image.jpg?resize=760%2C751"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"99","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/c0/5c0e986c-884c-11e7-a0a9-cb6a59b6e5dc/599df77023c55.image.jpg?resize=100%2C99"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"296","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/c0/5c0e986c-884c-11e7-a0a9-cb6a59b6e5dc/599df77023c55.image.jpg?resize=300%2C296"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1011","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/c0/5c0e986c-884c-11e7-a0a9-cb6a59b6e5dc/599df77023c55.image.jpg"}}},{"id":"841f1548-884c-11e7-8147-1fbeb632aca0","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"750","height":"499","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/41/841f1548-884c-11e7-8147-1fbeb632aca0/599df7b3589ad.image.jpg?resize=750%2C499"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/41/841f1548-884c-11e7-8147-1fbeb632aca0/599df7b3589ad.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/41/841f1548-884c-11e7-8147-1fbeb632aca0/599df7b3589ad.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"681","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/41/841f1548-884c-11e7-8147-1fbeb632aca0/599df7b3589ad.image.jpg"}}},{"id":"3d3c81c4-884c-11e7-8440-1b45876f57a6","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"401","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/d3/3d3c81c4-884c-11e7-8440-1b45876f57a6/599df73c6b000.image.jpg?resize=760%2C401"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"53","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/d3/3d3c81c4-884c-11e7-8440-1b45876f57a6/599df73c6b000.image.jpg?resize=100%2C53"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"158","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/d3/3d3c81c4-884c-11e7-8440-1b45876f57a6/599df73c6b000.image.jpg?resize=300%2C158"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"540","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/d3/3d3c81c4-884c-11e7-8440-1b45876f57a6/599df73c6b000.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C540"}}},{"id":"47644b96-884c-11e7-9f39-474aa1c8f654","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"401","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/76/47644b96-884c-11e7-9f39-474aa1c8f654/599df74d744b8.image.jpg?resize=760%2C401"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"53","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/76/47644b96-884c-11e7-9f39-474aa1c8f654/599df74d744b8.image.jpg?resize=100%2C53"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"158","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/76/47644b96-884c-11e7-9f39-474aa1c8f654/599df74d744b8.image.jpg?resize=300%2C158"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"540","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/76/47644b96-884c-11e7-9f39-474aa1c8f654/599df74d744b8.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C540"}}},{"id":"51dfd554-884c-11e7-ad81-5b7c4823ecb5","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"401","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/1d/51dfd554-884c-11e7-ad81-5b7c4823ecb5/599df75f0f48a.image.jpg?resize=760%2C401"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"53","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/1d/51dfd554-884c-11e7-ad81-5b7c4823ecb5/599df75f0f48a.image.jpg?resize=100%2C53"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"158","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/1d/51dfd554-884c-11e7-ad81-5b7c4823ecb5/599df75f0f48a.image.jpg?resize=300%2C158"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"540","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/1d/51dfd554-884c-11e7-ad81-5b7c4823ecb5/599df75f0f48a.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C540"}}}],"revision":5,"commentID":"a9aa616e-884c-11e7-80e6-2bc496a7dc25","body":"

Story: The sixth edition of the St Lou Fringe Festival kicked off on Friday, August 18 with more than a dozen presentations by local, regional and national companies and artists. By the time the festival concludes on August 26 it will have presented 97 shows from 27 different producers.

Highlights: Shows seen last weekend ranged from a stunning one-woman work titled On the Exhale to the simple wisdom behind the silly humor of Liberals vs. Zombies vs. Conservatives.

Other Info: When the St Lou Fringe Festival premiered in 2012 under founder Em Piro and others, it was intended to emulate \u201can internationally successful model of connecting cutting-edge performing arts with accessible, affordable performances for audiences.\u201d

Piro was succeeded in 2016 by current executive director Matthew Kerns. This year\u2019s edition has consolidated performances into three specific venues, namely the newly remodeled Grandel Theatre, 3610 Grandel Square; the Duet Gallery at 3526 Washington Avenue; and three performing areas within the Kranzberg Arts Center at 501 North Grand Blvd.

The 2017 Fringe Festival features three \u201cheadline\u201d acts on the renovated Schlafly Mainstage at the Grandel Theatre. The \u201clocal headliner\u201d is an \u201ceclectic and immersive adaptation\u201d of Snow White by Equally Represented Arts (ERA).

The \u201clate-night headliner\u201d features contemporary jazz movements by Ashleyliane Dance Company. And the \u201cnational headliner\u201d is A Song for Vanya, a musical adaptation of Russian playwright Anton Chekhov\u2019s classic play, Uncle Vanya. The musical is making its national debut and is produced by the St Lou Fringe with a cast comprised of local performers.

Below are brief reviews of seven different productions which opened on the first weekend of the St Lou Fringe Festival:

On the Exhale, a solo performance by Elizabeth Ann Townsend receiving its regional premiere at the Kranzberg, is a sobering, one-act drama focused on a college professor who finds herself disturbingly drawn to the specific weapon that was used to commit a senseless crime which changes her life forever.

Townsend begins the 45-minute piece with an ingratiating portrayal of a middle- age professor, a single woman with a heightened perception of the intentions, good or otherwise, of the family, friends and colleagues around her who, consciously or not, try to wedge her behavior into modes of conformity.

Martin Zimmerman\u2019s writing is so polished and superb that the audience only gradually realizes that something much more sinister lies in wait for The Woman. When it happens, we share the despair and anger which sicken her, physically at first and then psychologically as she searches for logical answers to an inherently evil atrocity.

Performing on a bare stage with only shards of light from production designer Benjamin Lewis to accentuate carefully constructed scenes, Townsend delivers a highly affecting performance which resonates with raw emotion and a shattered intellect. Director Seth Gordon meticulously helps shape this tightly paced, absorbing piece which shines a spotlight on contemporary America\u2019s obsession with guns and weapons.

First performed earlier this year at New York\u2019s Roundabout Underground, On the Exhale will leave a scar on one\u2019s psyche like a bullet piercing a body long after its conclusion. It\u2019s the pinnacle of what a Fringe presentation can be.

ERA and its artistic director Lucy Cashion employ their trademark, avant-garde approach to an adaptation of Snow White, which draws upon the traditional fairy tale by The Brothers Grimm as well as the Disney animated film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Donald Barthelme\u2019s \u201cpost-modern\u201d novel, Snow White.

Cashion refers to the one-act work, which runs approximately one hour and 49 minutes, as \u201ca play about identity, not so much who we are, but what we reflect.\u201d In addition to the aforementioned sources, ERA cites in its program notes several other works which helped inspire its immersive bit of whimsy.

I knew as much about ERA\u2019s Snow White before it began as when it concluded. That\u2019s not to say, though, that it\u2019s a waste of time for certain thick-headed sorts who fill a seat or two in the Grandel Theatre, which despite renovations still suffers from poor acoustics.

Stylistically, this Snow White is amusing and intriguing even before the players go through their motions. Each patron upon entering the theater is given a sheet of \u201cInstructions for Watching and/or Hearing This Play.\u201d These are valuable in and of themselves, in that they humorously help explain what one may not understand (\u201cPlot is perhaps the least important of the dramatic components on this planet.\u201d The \u2018planet\u2019 in reference is \u2018Planet Snow White.\u2019).

The instructions might also lead one to discover that the word \u2018blague\u2019 is not included in the Tenth Edition of Merriam Webster\u2019s Collegiate Dictionary but can be found on the internet to mean \u2018humbug\u2019 or \u2018claptrap.\u2019 And that thought \u201cfunctions\u201d on planet Snow White as people \u201cthink about Snow White, America, fairy tales, mirrors and art.\u201d So, there\u2019s that.

Since this version of Snow White meanders mightily for so long, adapter Cashion would be advised to trim 20 to 30 minutes from its eventually tedious trajectory. Beyond that caveat, Cashion directs this mental exercise in whimsical fashion, with her large cast energetically rallying behind its intellectual pursuits.

Cashion\u2019s scenic design enhances the proceedings as well, flanked by a bathtub at stage left and a bed at stage right where the title character often retreats from her travails. A shrewd use of black and white in the characters\u2019 costumes by designer Marcy Wiegert is accentuated by Jane the \u201cevil stepmother\u201d\u2019s arch appearance, replete with cigarette holder. Shannon Tinsley\u2019s lighting in a lush range of colors for the background also is integral to the show\u2019s appearance.

Joe Taylor adds an arresting video design in which characters talk to and beyond themselves, as well as contributing the complementary sound design. The unlisted choreographer deserves credit, too, for the exaggerated but entrancing moves orchestrated by the players throughout the performance.

Maggie Conroy is convincingly attractive albeit nasty and alarming as Jane, at one time \u201cthe fairest of them all,\u201d while Julia Crump fills the bill as the beautiful if vapid title character. Will Bonfiglio makes for a dashing if mentally deficient Prince Charming, aka Paul, and Katy Keating shows that she can deliver the word \u2018dead\u2019 with humorous effect as Snow White\u2019s biological mother and the show\u2019s narrator, complete with harsh German accent.

The Seven Dwarfs each has his own distinct personality and are amusingly represented by Mitch Eagles, Carl Overly Jr., Reginald Pierre, Gabe Taylor, Pete Winfrey, Alex Fyles and Anthony Kramer, all dressed by Wiegert in brown, utilitarian togs. Their personalities vary from aggressive to genial as they bumble along. Randy Brachman provides the ominous voice of the mirror, here given the identity of \u2018Hogo,\u2019 as he banters sarcastically with Jane, Paul or sundry dwarfs.

Snow White is confusing, appealing, frustrating, amusing, thick, intellectual and condescending at various times in its presentation. If you\u2019re so inclined, you can seek revenge by filling out the survey provided with the show\u2019s instructions. But wouldn\u2019t you rather have everyone live happily ever after?

In Good People Theatre Company\u2019s presentation of The Buzzer, a young woman named Ali awaiting a job interview is greeted unexpectedly by an unseen spirit, who informs her that she has the option to alter three instances in her life. There is one exception: She can\u2019t change death. All she has to do is click a \u2018buzzer\u2019 given to her by the spirit which enables this special power.

Naturally, Ali is skeptical. Nevertheless, she experiments in her relationship with her boyfriend Eric to her amusement and then wonderment. Her mood changes quickly, though, when she sees her long-absent brother Will, who has returned from abroad after several years with devastating personal news.

Ali desperately resorts to her buzzer to ameliorate Will\u2019s condition. What if, though, Will isn\u2019t necessarily agreeable to such changes? How much do he and Eric know about what is transpiring in their lives and that of Ali? Is Ali\u2019s newfound power a blessing or a curse?

Writer and director Mollie Amburgey presents these complex thoughts in a charming, engaging style which indicates her glass is decidedly half full in this quick, pleasant little piece. She draws a fine performance from Cara Barresi as the aptly named Ali and nice supporting work by Clayton Bury as Eric, Robert Michael Hanson as Will and Mary Rose Hefner as the spirit.

Using inanimate objects to alter time is also an element of the plot in The Midnight Company\u2019s presentation of The Everest Game. Aging rock \u2018n\u2019 roll fan Gus ambles into a modern-day antiques store and accidentally rubs an old bottle. Sure enough, a genie appears, albeit one considerably more flippant and impatient than Aladdin\u2019s guide to literary fame.

Gus is granted a single wish (\u201cNot three, just one\u201d replies the indifferent genie to Gus\u2019 query) and, being the long-time, devoted musical fan that he is, asks if he can get back to London in 1970. That\u2019s where and when he hopes to convince The Beatles to come together for another album, even though rumors are rampant that the Fab Four have decided to go their separate ways after the release of Abbey Road.

Somehow, Gus lands in a TV studio where self-promoting journalist Brenda Diamond is reporting on the entertainment news of the day. She\u2019s annoyed by the arrival of this schlubby nobody, but becomes intrigued when he reveals private details about the lads that aren\u2019t known to the public.

Using her connections, Brenda and Gus amble over to The Beatles\u2019 recording studio. John is annoyed by the Yank, but Yoko is welcoming to Gus and his message of peace and love among The Beatles and, by extension, their fans and the world at large.

Paul greets Gus in a back-handed sort of way, while Ringo is jovially \u201chail fellow well met\u201d to the stranger. George is OK with Gus\u2019 arrival \u2018cuz it\u2019s cosmic and spiritual and beyond the realm of human understanding.

Sooner than you can say \u2018got to get you into my life\u2019 Gus has convinced the lads to play rehearsal tapes of their individual numbers, even though John, George and Ringo are miffed to learn that Paul already has put together an entire solo album he plans to call McCartney. Still, hearing Imagine, My Sweet Lord, Maybe I\u2019m Amazed and whatever Ringo plays has a unifying affect on the boys, or so it appears. Brenda and Yoko are fine with it, too.

Can Gus actually change the world in 2017 with his retro reclamation project, or is his plan for yesterday just a pipe dream?

The Everest Game (the title may come from what would have been The Beatles\u2019 final album, or perhaps from the brand of cigarettes favored by their engineer) isn\u2019t exactly overflowing with Beatles\u2019 tunes, which is disappointing in itself.

Beyond that, though, it\u2019s a fun little excursion into fantasy concocted by Midnight\u2019s artistic director Joe Hanrahan, who portrays Gus with a boyish enthusiasm that is infectious and contributes to the story\u2019s upbeat feeling. Hanrahan co-directs this ethereal excursion with Kate McAllister, with the two of them generally getting past more sluggish moments to focus on the plot\u2019s whimsy.

It\u2019s also aided by Colleen Backer\u2019s impatience and cavalier attitude as the world- weary genie as well as her portrayal of the sophisticated British insider Brenda, who begins to believe that there may be something in the way Gus thinks.

A very clever element to The Everest Game is the choice of four women to portray the Liverpool Lads. Each, in her own way, resembles just enough of her namesake, whether in hair style (Alyssa Ward as John), cherubic face (Lex Ronan as Paul), lean and lanky physique (Alicen Moser as George) or fun-loving and wide-smiling countenance (Rachel Bailey as Ringo), while delivering winning performances. Erin Struckhoff nails the hippie-dippie glow of Yoko.

From the moment Brenda saw Gus standing there in the studio, The Everest Game demonstrates that all you need is a creative mind and a big heart to look at the world in an entirely new way.

What will happen when the zombie apocalypse hits? Well, zany shenanigans and quirky humor, at least in the case of Liberals vs. Zombies vs. Conservatives, a mini-musical written by Dan Viggers. The composer very well could be a moderate, because he cleverly pokes fun both at the man-bun-wearing Oliver (Matt Pentecost) and his girlfriend, the aggressively liberal Lena (Sarah Porter) as well as the far-right survivalist Ted (Zak Farmer).

Beyond the histrionics in the inflammatory dialogue of the three major characters, though, Viggers sprinkles in several pleasant little tunes that allow each of the three to showcase their singing abilities while he offers musical assistance at a piano off stage right.

Ziggers also has fun getting to the heart of the matter in the nation\u2019s lingering political strife while using his head to make numerous salient points. Farmer, Pentecost and Porter make this wackiness a fun-filled and pleasing piece filled with goofiness but also with an intelligent message.

Liberals vs. Zombies vs. Conservatives is a fun little diversion that is marred primarily by its presence in the Duet Gallery, which has become an ignoble challenger to the Regional Arts Commission's main performance space for worst theater venue in the metro area. Acoustics are decidedly not good at the Duet, which resembles a big, bland box in its design.

That Duet problem is exacerbated to a greater extent in the free-wheeling, geeky delight known as Dead Gothics Society, produced by Alicen Moser. The energy and enthusiasm of Moser\u2019s cast propel this piece about a supernatural game show hosted by Satan himself.

Several famous writers who dabbled in the horror genre, including Dante, Mary Shelley, Goethe, Bram Stoker, Lord Byron, Christopher Marlowe, Horace Walpole and The Brothers Grimm, compete against each other as they present their selections of the grisly and macabre. The winner gets a ticket out of purgatory skyward into heaven, while the loser heads to Hades.

What dialogue can be heard in the confounding Duet acoustical space is often funny and certainly well delivered. The cast includes Moser and several other hard-working artists, but nary a program could be found on the premises for further identification.

An entry into last spring\u2019s Shake 38, Shakespeare\u2019s Women or The Bard\u2019s Broads, offers a probing script by Shannon Geier, artistic director of because why not? theatre company. Taking lines from such Shakespearean \u2018comedies\u2019 as The Taming of the Shrew, A Winter\u2019s Tale, A Midsummer Night\u2019s Dream, Measure for Measure and others, Geier presents a scathing look at the often callous treatment of women in Elizabethan times and beyond.

As Geier notes on The Fringe web site, \u201cRemember that Shakespeare play when the guy verbally and mentally abused his wife so she would submit to him? Wasn\u2019t that funny?!?!\u201d Here, Leerin Campbell walks an audience through several brief vignettes that underscore misogyny, physical and emotional abuse and other less flattering elements from some of The Bard\u2019s best-known and beloved plays.

Unfortunately, beyond Campbell\u2019s incisive deliberations, the cast for Shakespeare\u2019s Women is adequate at best, diluting some of the impact of the script under Elaine Laws\u2019 static direction. Still, Shakespeare\u2019s Women or The Bard\u2019s Broads provides considerable food for thought.

For more information about any of this year’s Festival presentations, visit the St Lou Fringe Festival web site at www.stlouisfringe.com or call 314-643-7853. or check out the St Lou Fringe Festival Facebook page.

Play: St Lou Fringe Festival 2017

Group: National, regional and local companies

Venues: Throughout Grand Center

Dates: August 24, 25, 26

Tickets: From $15-$150 (individual shows up to Festival pass); contact 534-111, purchase at Fringe box office at Kranzberg Arts Center or Grandel Theatre or metrotix.com

Photos courtesy of St Lou Fringe Festival

"} ]