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Story: Professor Henry Higgins roams the streets of Edwardian London to chronicle the dialects of people in various parts of the city. The ardent phoneticist is convinced of the importance of good speech in conveying upper-class society. So much so that he makes a wager with his new-found friend Colonel Pickering that he can transform a thickly-accented Cockney flower girl named Eliza Doolittle and then present her as a lady of means by teaching her proper diction.
Story: Elle Woods has her life buttoned down and mapped out. She’s a proud Delta Nu sorority girl who has just graduated with a degree in fashion design from UCLA and fully expects to marry her long-time boyfriend, Warner Huntington III. So, it’s a shock to the system when Warner takes her to a fancy restaurant, where he informs her that he is dumping her in order to be with a more “serious” woman, Vivienne Kensington. The two of them are enrolled in Harvard Law School, so Elle is relegated to the past.
With the sold-out success of Always…Patsy Cline and a new rehearsal and administrative building, STAGES St. Louis has been thrust into the national spotlight. When LN recently caught up with executive producer Jack Lane, co-founder of the 27-year-old nonprofit theater company, he was gushing—for good reason—about the overwhelming achievements of the latest season and all the new initiatives in store for STAGES as it blossoms into its next 25 years.
Story: Louise Seger, a Houston homemaker with a husband and two children, becomes an instant fan of rising young country singer Patsy Cline when she hears the latter perform on The Arthur Godfrey Talent Show on CBS in 1957. She soon pesters the local disk jockey regularly with requests for tunes by Cline. In 1961, when she learns that Cline will be performing at Houston’s Esquire Ballroom, she and her husband and boss arrive 90 minutes early for the concert.
Story: Homer Smith has received his honorable discharge from the Army in 1949 and has decided to see the USA, specifically the American Southwest. He has enough money saved that he can afford to take this scenic vacation, picking up odd jobs along the way for extra cash. While traveling through New Mexico, he happens upon a village where a group of nuns from East Germany lives just outside the city limits, on a hardscrabble farm where they grow their own crops.
Story: Ralph takes the same walk every day, same park, same path, same familiarity. One day he goes crazy, changes his routine and becomes smitten with a beautiful woman strolling with her dog in the city’s dog park. Suddenly, the retired widower has a new spark and aggressively befriends the reluctant Carol.
Story: It’s a traumatic time for Gaynelle Verdeen Bodeen. Her husband has run off with his girlfriend and, in retaliation, Gaynelle has “accidentally” run her car into the double-wide trailer home of that man-stealing woman. Gaynelle subsequently faces various legal charges as well as being observed by a court-appointed psychologist checking on her sanity. All of this happens shortly before the annual Verdeen family reunion in Sweetgum, Texas, usually presided over by Gaynelle’s overbearing Aunt La Merle.
Story: It’s 1927, and barnstorming pilot Billy Buck Chandler has his sights on being the first aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. While preparing for his anticipated fling with fame, Billy falls hard for Edythe Herbert, a one-time swimmer of the English Channel who now toils in the International Aquacade overseen by supposed Russian Prince Nicolai Erraclyovitch Tchatchavadse.
Friday 3 through Saturday 4
Story: Maria, a young novitiate at an Austrian abbey in the late 1930s, seems to be uncertain about her vows to be a nun. Observing this, the Mother Abbess sends Maria to the home of Austrian naval war hero Captain Georg von Trapp to be governess for the widower’s seven children. At first disapproving of Maria’s buoyant spirit and her passion for music, which he has disallowed in his home since his late wife’s death, von Trapp warms to Maria when he sees her positive effect on his children.
Story: Despite the objections of his clergyman father, Thomas “Fats” Waller decided on a life as an entertainer in the early 20th century. A classically trained musician and a lover of Bach organ preludes, Waller became renowned as a jazz pianist and composer who hit the top of the pop charts in the 1920s and ‘30s. That was no mean feat for a black man, but Waller often received a pittance for compositions that later became huge popular hits for white producers and performers.
Story: Lawrence Jameson has made a very good living as a con artist on the French Riviera. He has a palatial estate not far from the casino where he plies his trade, with the assistance of local police inspector Andre. While relaxing at a café, he notices a loud American doing a cheap swindle on an unsuspecting tourist. He mildly chastises the Yankee, Freddy Benson, and compares his debonair style with Freddie’s blunter approach. Intrigued, Freddy asks Lawrence to mentor him.
John Patrick Shanley’s drama won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony Award for Best Play in 2005, and it’s easy to see why. It features just four characters, but each of them plays an integral role in the controversial plot.
Story: A troupe of actors is on the road with its production of Nothing On, a sex comedy set in “a delightful 16th century posset mill” by its author, Robin Housemonger. It’s now been restored to a fashionable retreat owned by Philip and Flavia Brent, who spend most of their time living abroad to avoid paying taxes. When the Brents sneak back to their estate, they unknowingly are joining realtor Roger Tramplemain, who is showing the place to a sexy Inland Revenue agent named Vicki. The Brents’ housekeeper, Mrs. Clackett, does an indifferent job keeping up the abode, which is about to be burglarized by a senior thief as well as visited by a sheikh who looks a lot like Philip and is interested in renting out the home.
Musical: “A Chorus Line”
Play: “The Heiress”
Play: “Perfect Wedding”
St. Louis is blessed with many nonprofits dedicated to serving a broad range of needs. Below, we salute a number of local organizations that are celebrating milestone anniversaries.
Play: “State Fair”
When…St. Louis’ newest charter elementary school, Carondelet Leadership Academy, opened Aug. 23? The school, located at 7604 Michigan Ave. in the historic Carondelet neighborhood, has a total enrollment of 225 students, kindergarten through fifth grade.
Play: “Promises, Promises”
Play: “Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”
Play: “High Society”