Live Entertainment

Tue
10
Mar

New Line Theatre's hilarious HEAD OVER HEELS should not be missed!

Melissa Felps (let) as Princess Philoclea, Clayton Humburg as the Amazon Cleophila, and the Arcadians, singing "Our Lips Are Sealed," in New Line Theatre's HEAD OVER HEELS, 2020. Photo credit: Jill Ritter Lindberg.

If you've never attended a New Line Theatre musical, Head Over Heels, a fun “jukebox” musical conceived and written by Avenue Q's Jeff Whitty and adapted by James Magruder, would be a great place to start. It's based on a 16th century book called The Countess of Pembroke’s Arcadia, by Sir Philip Sidney, and while never wildly popular itself, it has endured to influence even the Bard himself, William Shakespeare (or whoever really wrote King Lear). After reading it in college, Whitty had a flash of inspiration. He conceived of a mash-up, that modern day concept of combining two things you wouldn't think would work together yet magically do just that. You can spend hours browsing song mash-ups on YouTube. Whitty took it to a whole new level, mashing 16th century prose with the music of 80s punk-pop favorites, The Go-Go's.

Wed
12
Feb

Colin Healy's MADAM Sets A High Bar With Inaugural Production

The Cast of Fly North Theatricals' MADAM. Photo Credit: Caroline Guffey

Madam, a new musical from Colin Healy, recently ended it's inaugural production at the .Zack Theatre in St. Louis. I was fortunte to catch the closing show of the shor trun. Healy is in the zone creatively, as his previous effort The Gringo headlined last year's St. Louis Fringe Festival and garnered rave reviews. Madam is an another strong effort featuring a wonderful cast and interesting characters, some of which come directly out of St. Louis history that you might not have known much about before this show.

Mon
03
Feb

Cena Leads Laughs in Family Comedy Playing With Fire, Now on Blu-ray

Playing with Fire DVD and Blu ray

Wrestler-turned-actor John Cena headlines this fun, family-friendly action comedy as Superintendent Jake Carson, the head of a team of smoke jumpers. When they rescue three siblings from a burning cabin, they find that returning them to their parents is harder than expected, and end up sheltering them at the station until things shake out.

Naturally, when you have a princess-loving toddler, an inquisitive kid, and a sullen teenage girl together in a he-man cave like their outpost, conflict is bound to arise, slapstick will occur naturally, and unexpected (Editor's note: they were totally expected) bonds will be formed.

Thu
30
Jan

A GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER Kills At Florissant Civic Center

Gary Frank and Jayde Mitchell in Vivre Theatre's A GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER. Photo Credit: Julie Merkle/Vivre Theatre

Vivre Theatre's production of A Gentlemen's Guide to Love & Murder, playing at the Florissant Civic Center Theatre January 24 - February 1, 2020, features some of the best veteran and upcoming theatre talent in St. Louis. It also suffered from some technical issues which hopefully will be ironed out by their final weekend.

Sat
18
Jan

SUMMER Turns Up The Heat At The Fox Theatre

Dan’yelle Williamson ( Diva Donna ), Alex Hairston ( Disco Donna ), Olivia Elease Hardy ( Duckling Donna ) and the Company of SUMMER © Matthew Murphy for MurphyMade

The holidays are finally over. 2019 is in the history books. For some people, probably more than you might expect, the winter months can be pretty tough to bear. After putting so much energy into the holidays you're now facing several months of cold weather, seasonal colds, bare trees, the tedium of getting back to five-day work weeks, and no real social holidays until the weather starts to warm up, Depressing, isn't it? What can you do about it? 

Thu
19
Dec

One Small Elf Changes the World at Stifel Theater in St. Louis

Elf on the Shelf Christmas Musical

An optimistic scout elf is ready to bring Christmas joy and magic to the family that has adopted him. But upon his arrival he finds a single mom with her hands full with two rambunctious boys and a sullen teenaged daughter who misses her father. When the grandfather comes to visit for the Christmas holidays, bringing the Elf on the Shelf with him to start a new family tradition, his plans never seem to hit all the right notes with the kids.

It's up to Tatertot the scout elf to instill Christmas magic into this family once again. But that could be impossible, especially when he finds himself in a situation where is own magic is suddenly diminished after a roughhousing incident with the boys!

Sun
08
Dec

It's Not Naughty To See WICKED During the Holidays!

L-R: Allison Bailey as Glinda and Talia Suskauer as Elphaba in the National Tour of WICKED, playing the Fox Theatre Dec 4 - 29, 2019. Photo Credit: Fox Theatre

One of the greatest joys of reviewing live theatre comes from seeing a show for the first time. From Gilbert and Sullivan to Andrew Lloyd Webber to Lin Manuel, you always wonder “Is this show going to live up to the hype? I can’t wait to see my favorite performer in this cast! I heard it bombed on Broadway, and since critics are always wrong I’m sure it’s gonna be great!” Most of the time there is lots to love, particularly with a large national tour. The next time that tour stops in town, you know how you felt about the production last time. Does that grade still h old up? You might be inclined to do a little people watching—spotting reactions that give an indication of how the show is going over. \But the fourth time you review a production, what do you do? You’ve explained the plot three times already. You struggled not to sing along with what are now familiar favorites. How do you keep from repeating yourself?

Tue
03
Dec

CIRQUE DREAMS HOLIDAZE Brings The Magic Of The Season To Life

The Cast of CIRQUE DREAMS HOLIDAZE, at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis November 29-30, 2019. Photo Credit: Fabulous Fox Theatre

Ah, Christmastime. What fond memories does that word recall for you? Chestnuts roasting on an open fire? The long car ride to visit relatives across town, across the state, or across the country? Perhaps it’s the surprise and delight of opening presents, or the heartwarming scent of hot cider and cinnamon to wash down Grandma’s legendary Snickerdoodle cookies that you wait all year to enjoy? Maybe it’s the annual broadcasts of “Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!” “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “Frosty the Snowman,” “A Christmas Carol,” “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” or even the needless 24 hour marathon of “A Christmas Story.” Good grief! For me, it’s the circus. “Wait…what? The circus? Explain!” Gladly! You see, it all started four years ago…

Tue
26
Nov

MANNHEIM STEAMROLLER CHRISTMAS 35th ANNIVERSARY TOUR Flattens Expectations

Mannheim Steamroller Christmas 35th Anniversary Tour played the Fabuluos Fox Theatre in St. Louis on November 23, 2019. Photo Credit: The Fabulous Fox

There are certain performers that when you hear their name you automatically think of Christmas. Andy Williams. Burl Ives. Straight No Chaser.  Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Manheim Steamroller. Thirty five years ago, Manheim Steamroller's founder and composer Chip Davis went against the advice of trusted colleges and released Mannheim Steamroller Christmas to popular acclaim and ushered in a new subgenre of holiday music style and presentation. A mix of New Age and Renaissance Festival applied to Christmas classics--what could go wrong?

Thu
21
Nov

IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE Makes For A Wonderful Live Radio Drama

The cast of Metro Theatre Company's IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE. Photo Credit: Jennifer A. Lin

Legendary move director Frank Capra was probably only ever completely surprised twice in his life, and both times for the same film. Arguably his best known work today, It’s a Wonderful Life was not a great box office hit when it opened in 1946. The film starred one of America’s most beloved actors in Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey, a fellow far too nice for his career in the building and loan industry nearing the end of his rope. Lionel Barrymore played the unscrupulous Mr. Potter who tries to put Bailey out of business--during the Christmas holiday, no less! I'm sure the icy reception of his film by its first audience came as a surprise to the one of the most respected directors of his day. Thirty years later in 1976, the film runs on television during the holidays and--according to Capra himself in an interview conducted late in his life--it was, surprisingly, a huge hit! I can't say for certain but it's very likely aired on one network or another every year since. 

Sat
09
Nov

Knives Out Takes A Good Stab At "Whodunit?" Genre

Rian Johnson's Knives Out opens in theaters on Wednesday, Nov 27, 2019. What better way to wait for your turkey to thaw?

Before we talk about Knives Out, the new film written, produced and directed by Rian Johnson, I feel it's important to mention that I went into this movie fully intending to hate it. Is that unprofessional for a movie critic? Sure, probably, but I still get intensely angry during any discussion of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The original trilogy is as much a part of me as my lungs, spleen and heart. Are we clear on this? The Hulk rage was simmering just below my skin (it's all Disney now, so I can mix pop culture references with reckless abandon, right?), and I was sure I would explode in my seat within the first ten minutes.

I sat. I watched. At times I stroked my chin as I do when I'm really concentrating. And I watched. I chuckled. I nodded. I liked it. I liked it a lot!

Damn you, Rian Johnson!

Fri
25
Oct

DEAR EVAN HANSEN Makes Strong St. Louis Debut At Fox Theatre

Steven Christopher Anthony as Evan Hansen, with John Hemphill, Claire Rankin and Stephanie La Rochelle as the Murphys in the 2019 National Tour of DEAR EVAN HANSEN, photo credit: the DEAR EVAN HANSEN Tour

Dear Even Hansen made its St. Louis debut at the Fabulous Fox theatre as part of their first North American Tour, which runs October 22 to November 3, 2019. It’s a favorite of the Broadway set and a critical darling, winning six Tony Awards in 2017 including Best Musical. It’s even made waves in the music industry, garnering a 2018 Grammy for Best Musical Theatre album, and a #1 song on Billboard’s Dance Chart with the remix of “Waving Through a Window,” the first musical theatre song to achieve the feat and only the second song from a cast act as opposed to a dedicated musical group (the first being “Stomp”” by Quincy Jones and The Cast of Stomp). Are you excited yet? Are you ready for a rip-roaring good time?

Sat
19
Oct

Escape to Margaritaville by Way of St. Louis

Escape to Margaritaville

The national tour of Escape to Margaritaville has arrived at the Fabulous Fox Theatre for an all too brief weekend run, October 18-20, 2019. If you're a true Parrothead, as Jimmy Buffett fans are known, you probably already have tickets. If you don't, or you're on the fence about it, I strongly recommend giving it a try. The show is quite fun and you'll surely know at least one of the songs by heart. 

Fri
18
Oct

Tyson Fury Looking to Enter the Weird and Wonderful World of WWE

Tyson Fury Returns!

The British lineal heavyweight champion, Tyson Fury, is embarking on a short-term career in the world of WWE wrestling. Fury, who is currently out of boxing training as he recovers from a bruising victory over Sweden’s Otto Wallin, doesn’t seem to be capable of putting his feet up during his downtime as he seeks to dabble in the whacky world of WWE. It all started at SmackDown a couple of weeks ago, when Fury was spotted ringside and quickly became embroiled in a storyline involving himself and towering inferno, Braun Strowman.

Fury is on the line-up for WWE Crown Jewel

Sun
13
Oct

THE WHO'S TOMMY Rocks Hard To Open Stray Dog Theatre's 17th Season

Eileen Engle, Kevin Corpuz and Tristan Davis in Stray Dog Theatre's production of THE WHO'S TOMMY, Oct 10-26, 2019. Photo Credit: Stray Dog Theatre

In 1969, future Rock & Roll Hall of Famer The Who released Tommy, their fourth studio album. Conceived as a rock opera by Pete Townshend, the band’s guitarist, it featured a few tracks that have stood the test of time on classic rock radio, but as concept albums go it wasn’t the tightest story-wise. Nonetheless, the infamous British film director Ken Russell turned the album into a movie in 195 which featured the likes of Ann-Margaret, Oliver Reed, Tina Turner, Elton John, Eric Clapton, Jack Nicholson, and of course The Who, with vocalist Roger Daltrey playing the title character. It was weird, trippy, incoherent, and yet reasonably successful. Such was cinema in the 70s. Jump ahead to the 90s and Townshend joins forces with Jersey Boys Broadway director Desmond McAnuff, who wrote the book for the stage musical, The Who’s Tommy.

Mon
07
Oct

HELLO, DOLLY! Launches Fox Theatre Broadway Series In Style

Carolee Carmello in HELLO, DOLLY! 2019 National Tour, photo credit: Fox Theatre Website

The Fabulous Fox Theatre kicked off their 2019-2020 US Bank Broadway Series with one of the most popular and enduring classics of the genre in Hello Dolly! Since the curtain first rose on this show back in 1964, launching headliner Carol Channing's career into orbit, the Michael Stewart (book) and Jerry Herman (music and lyrics) sensation has earned the admiration of millions of fans the world over. First-timers and longtime fans alike cheered and clapped enthusiastically throughout the performance at the Fox.

Mon
07
Oct

Dream Theatre Rocks The Stifel With DISTANCE OVER TIME Tour

Dream Theatre at the Stifel Theatre, St. Louis, Oct 2, 2019. Photo Credit: The Stifel Theatre

Ever heard of progressive metal? Think of a progressive rock band such as Rush or Yes with soaring vocals and prominent bass, keyboards and synthesizers, and then toss liberally with heavy metal guitar and drums ala Metallica. That’s how an associate of mine described the sub-genre for which Dream Theatre and Queensrÿche are the best known examples. They played the Stifel Theatre in St. Louis on October 2, 2019, right next door to the home opener for the defending Stanley Cup Champions, the St. Louis Blues. Even against such a crowd next door, Dream Theatre’s “Distance Over Time Tour” filled the venue reasonably well.

Sat
28
Sep

New Line Theatre's 29th Season Starts With Hilarious CRY-BABY

The company singing "Nothing Bad's Ever Gonna Happen Again" in CRY-BABY, New Line Theatre, 2019. Photo credit: Jill Ritter Lindberg

John Waters’ film Cry-Baby hit theaters in 1990 to modest fanfare despite an eclectic cast featuring then-rising stars Johnny Depp and Willem Dafoe, punk rocker Iggy Pop, future talk show host Ricki Lake, and former adult film actress Traci Lords. It became a cult classic over the years, and spawned a rather unsuccessful musical adaptation in 2007, lasting less than two months on Broadway. Five years later, Scott Miller’s New Line Theatre bought the rights to the show and produced a smaller scale production that ran to strong acclaim. With their well-earned reputation as a theatre troupe that is willing to take on challenging material or Broadway misfires, Miller and company are presenting the second run of Cry-Baby in St. Louis from September 28th – October 19, 2019 to opening their 29th season.

Sun
08
Sep

Hilltop Walking Dead Walk Highlight of Bubbafest 2019

Bubbafest Walking Dead Hilltop Walk

Another BubbaFest has gone into the books, and one of this year's highlight's was a chance for attendees to enter the world of THE WALKING DEAD and participate in a photo shoot that put them right into the thick of the series.

Entering the walk put attendees alongside Rick Grimes (portrayed by Cecil Grimes Cosplay) and Negan (Negan Unchained Cosplay), as they encounter the serie's "Hilltop Kid," played by series actress Kaylie Turner.

Our sometimes guest-contributor, That Umbrella Guy, was among the attendees, and brings us this video of his meeting with the folks who brought THE WALKING DEAD... to life.

Sun
28
Jul

The Great Train Show Chugs Into Belleville for Model Enthusiasts

Great Train Show

The Great Train Show made a stop in Belleville, Illinois this weekend, bringing with it something for train enthusiasts of all ages -- from wooden tracks and LEGO to modern and antique HO scale locomotives.

Vendors displayed their wares up and down the length of the Belle-Clair Expo Center, with something in a price range for everyone. You could pick up display pieces for as little as a dollar, or drop several hundred on a rare engine or a brand new set. And beyond the vendors, several St. Louis area train clubs were on hand with their highly detailed arrays of tracks and scenery, as well as a few surprises we didn't expect, including some video producers who catered to trainspotters with DVDs and Blu-rays.

Click the video below for a virtual experience and meet some of the people behind the event.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Live Entertainment