Live Entertainment

Thu
16
May

COME FROM AWAY Will Be Your New Favorite Musical

The cast and band of COME FROM AWAY, May 14-26, 2019 at the Fox Theatre. Photo Credit: The Fox Theare

Some of life’s biggest pleasures come from the most unexpected sources. One such pleasant surprise is Come From Away making it’s St. Louis debut at the Fabulous Fox Theatre May 14-26, 2019. It is a rare production without an obvious lead actor—it’s essentially an “all ensemble” show where every actor has a multitude of parts to play. Everyone in the cast is delightful, the music catchy, the vibe surprisingly upbeat for a story about the terror attacks of 9/11. That's right--somebody made a musical about 9/11 and it's brilliant!

Mon
29
Apr

MISS SAIGON Misses The Mark At The Fox Theatre

The Helicopter Scene during "Kim's Nightmare" in MISS SAIGON, Apr 23 - May 5, 2019 at the Fox Theatre, St .Louis. Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy and Johan Persson

The first time I saw the Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil classic Les Misérables, I wasn’t particularly happy. If I recall, I called my experience “very miserable indeed.” Over time and with the encouragement of my brilliant lady, I now greatly enjoy that sung-through musical tale of a failed French revolution. With my recent conversion to being a Les Misérables fan I assumed my first foray into Boublil and Schönberg’s revered Miss Saigon, which made its St. Louis debut when the National tour stopped at the Fabulous Fox Theatre for an April 23 – May 5, 2019, run, that I’d enjoy it right from the start. Perhaps my expectations were too high; perhaps I have developed certain sensibilities about language and attitudes towards different sexes and races that might be appropriate for the time but aren’t quite so acceptable today.

Fri
29
Mar

WAITRESS Serves Up A Decent But Underwhelming Slice of Life

Steven Good and Christine Dwyer in the National Tour of WAITRESS, 3/26/19-4/7/19 at the Fox. Photo Credit Philicia Endelman

Waitress, the musical, premiered on Broadway eight years after the film on which it is based debuted at the Sundance Film Festival, which itself was three months after the shocking death of writer and director Adrienne Shelly. The film was a hit, starring Keri Russell as a beat-down pie slinger in an abusive relationship. Her costars included Nathan Fillion as her new hunky OB/GYN and Andy Griffith as the cantankerous owner of Joe’s Pie Diner. In 2016, the film was adapted on Broadway and the U.S. Tour has arrived at the Fabulous Fox Theatre for a two-week engagement, March 26 – April 7, 2019.

Mon
25
Mar

Monsieur Farmer est Incroyable dans La Cage aux Folles!

Zachary Allen Farmer as Albin/Zaza, in LA CAGE AUX FOLLES, New Line Theatre, 2019. Photo credit: Jill Ritter Lindberg.

The bad boy of musical theatre, St. Louis' New Line Theatre doesn't shy away from edgy material. They also perform musical classics, uncovering the fundamental truth of a given production that sometimes gets buried after years of revivals and reinterpretations. 

Mon
18
Mar

Bill Forness and One More Round Perform Johnny Cash's FOLSOM PRISON EXPERIENCE At Police Fundraiser

Bill Forness as Johnny Cash, playing the FOLSOM PRISON EXPERIENCE at the Liuna Event Center in south St. Louis March 16 and 17, 2019. Image courtesy of Bill Forness.

Johnny Cash was a legend in country music and pop culture. His deep baritone voice grabbed the listener’s attention like a fire and brimstone preacher. He sang romantic ballads, colorful yarns about life on the road, somber ditties of crime and punishment, and witty tunes about life’s oddities, such as the strange names peculiar parents sometimes saddle upon their children.

Thu
14
Mar

BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL Spotlights The Most Influential Woman In Modern Music

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical runs 3/12/19 to 3/17/19 at The Fabulous Fox Theatre.

Carole Klein was born in Brooklyn, New York, just a couple of months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. She grew up playing the piano with her parents, who could tell at an early age that she was gifted with perfect pitch. By the time she reached high school, Carole changed her name to King and began writing songs with a friend from the neighborhood, a kid by the name of Paul Simon. You might have heard of him--he did all right. Carole was only sixteen when she entered Queens College. She was going to be a teacher, but yearned to make songs that would make listeners feel the amazement and joy that she felt listening to the hits of the era over the family radio. She soon broke into the music business in 1958 with “The Right Girl.”  Carole King could write the music, but her lyrics needed work. Enter a young man named Gerry Goffin, a drama major who had a knack for words.

Mon
11
Mar

Is There a Way to Beat Roulette?

(Article Image: "Roulette" (CC BY 2.0) by Sonny Side Up!)

Roulette is one of the most famous and iconic casino games on the planet, and even people uninterested in staking money on things are familiar with the table game. Ever since the spinning wheel was invented by Blaise Pascal way back in 18th century France, people have been trying to work out ways to beat it and fix the result so that they can win money. But no matter what the cunning tricksters try, it’s usually the game and the house which prevail. So what are the methods that have been used? Are any actually viable?

Fri
08
Mar

Anime Matsuri "Stands With Vic"

Anime Matsuri

If you're even slightly aware of anime and have a social media account, you've no doubt seen the hashtags #KickVic, #IStandWithVic, and #VicKicksBack. The hashtag battles refer to the allegations against popular voice actor, Vic Mignogna, whose work is front-and-center in the recent release, DRAGON BALL SUPER: BROLY, as well as a former regular on the anime series, RWBY

Fri
22
Feb

2CELLOS String Together Another Memorable Performance

2CELLOS play beautiful songs. They are very romantic.

My third time seeing 2CELLOS, aka Stjepan Hauser and Luka Šulić, at the Fabulous Fox Theatre was every bit as exciting as my first time. The Croatian sensations took the internet by storm back in 2011 with their GQ model looks, unassuming charm, and their virtuosity with their instruments. They attack the strings with reckless abandon, welding classical and pop/metal into an unforgettable sonic experience.

Seeing 2CELLOS live is even better than watching them on YouTube. Šulić and Hauser playfully interact with the audience between songs, whipping the ladies into a frenzy with their sexy European accents. The guys in the audience don’t mind because once the lads start playing AC/DC covers the men have no choice but to headbang and air jam in their seats. It’s genetic. Trust me.

Mon
18
Feb

Did Pensacon's Threat Report Just Blow Up in Their Face?

Pensacola Image

The tale of voice talent VIC MIGNOGNA is fascinating in and of itself. But it's one of the spin-off stories that has taken turns more bizarre than the decomposing Jussie Smollett saga.

It's seems that a Florida fan convention, PENSACON, took umbrage at fans who prepared online to stand up for Mignogna, and threatened anyone doing so verbally with arrest. This incensed several people in the fan community, who took to Twitter and YouTube with their own message of support and/or outcry. One of these was comic book artist and upstart YouTube personality  ETHAN VAN SCIVER, whose statements earned replies from the convention itself, stating that they were concerned about far more than just fans saying they were going to question scheduled guest MONICA RIAL, one of those currently accusing Mignogna of sexual misconduct.

Thu
31
Jan

FIDDLER ON THE ROOF Receives Strong Ovation At Fox Theatre

Fiddler on the Roof plays the Fox Theatre Jan 29 - Feb 10. Photo Credit: The Fox Theatre

Fiddler on the Roof is the sort of musical that everyone knows, or is at least aware of. My mother used to play “Sunrise, Sunset” on the family record player when I was a kid. Somehow, the rest of the music and the context for that famous song had eluded me until now. Fiddler on the Roof plays the fabulous Fox Theatre January 29 – February 10, 2019, bringing the Joseph Stein, Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick production that first bowed in 1964 back to St .Louis. For many of the show’s fans, it will be a joyous occasion. For me, it wasn’t bad, just not what I was expecting. I wasn’t even aware this was a Russian story. I’ve never watched the film version, or even perused the Wikipedia entry. I assumed it would be more along the lines of Zorba! My ignorance aside, Fiddler on the Roof is a sparsely staged but deeply moving production.

Wed
30
Jan

Check Your Political Correctness At The Door for AVENUE Q

Jennifer Theby-Quinn as Kate Monster and Andrew Keeler as Princeton in AVENUE Q, Jan 25 - Mar 3 at The Playhouse@Westport Plaza (Photo Credit: John Flack)

The first time you see Avenue Q, a musical parody of Sesame Street written by Jeff Whitty with music and lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, you'll either be laughing uncontrollably or seething with indignation. The story of how a puppet character with a Bachelors of Arts in English interacts with the humans, puppets and monsters of Avenue Q in search of his "purpose" is one of the least politically correct musicals there is. If you're the type of person who gets easily offended by jokes about....anything, pretty much... go at your own risk. If you are the type of person who can put whatever personal crusades you believe in aside for a couple of hours and laugh at yourself, you're going to love it. 

Tue
29
Jan

Next Generation Theatre Company's JEKYLL & HYDE: A Sensational Show With A Tragically Short Run

Keith Boyer in Next Generation Theatre Company's JEKYLL AND HYDE, Photo Credit: J. Merkle Photography

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera is beloved by many, but there is a portion of the theatre-going public who believe it’s severely overrated. For those of you who fall into the latter category, there’s a wonderful production performing an all-too-short run at the Florissant Civic Center right now that might be the perfect alternative for the Phantom- weary audience. The Next Generation Theatre Company’s production of Jekyll and Hyde is a tremendously engaging show, but the final curtain for this run will fall on February 2, 2019, so you had better get your tickets as soon as possible.

Thu
27
Dec

Anastasia Is A Joyless, Discordant Mess At The Fox Theatre

Lila Coogan (Anya), Stephen Brower (Dmitry) and the company of the National Tour of ANASTASIA. Photo by Evan Zi

Anastasia is a newer musical, opening on Broadway in 2017 and currently on the road for its first U.S. Tour. It’s playing at the Fabulous Fox Theatre December 26, 2018 – January 6, 2019. Based loosely on the Don Bluth-directed animated feature from 1997, the musical adapts the myth of the Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna, daughter of the last Russian Tsar Nicholas II. In gossip that grew into national folklore, young Anastasia somehow survived the brutal massacre of her family at the hands of the Bolshevik Revolution. Don Bluth’s animated version changed some of the more gruesome details for the sake of the children that would comprise much of his audience. The musical does not, and while it doesn’t recreate the last moments of the Russian Royal Family’s terrible demise in gory detail, it could be a little unsettling for small children.

Tue
25
Dec

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer Is Just As Fun On Stage As On Screen

Santa meets Baby Rudolph in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: the Musical, Dec 22-23, 2018. Photo Credit: The Fabulous Fox Theatre

Since 1964, the Rankin/Bass animated film Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer has been a holiday staple for several generations. Featuring Burl Ives as Sam the Snowman, who regaled the viewers watching at home with his unmistakable voice on classics like “A Holly Jolly Christmas,” “Silver and Gold,” and of course the title track, the show was an instant classic. In the last few years, the show has been adapted for the theatrical stage by playwright Robert Penola and uses the original lyrics and score by Johnny Marks.  Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: the Musical played the Fabulous Fox Theatre in St. Louis December 22 – 23, 2018.  

Thu
20
Dec

Straight No Chaser's "One Shot" Tour Is A Holiday Tradition In St. Louis

Straight No Chaser on the "One Shot Tour" played the Fox Theatre  on December 18, 2018. Photo Credit: The Fabulous Fox

Who doesn’t love the tradition of the holidays? Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, crazy lines at department stores, Charlie Brown, the Grinch, Rudolph and Frosty…and live a cappella music to delight the mind and warm the heart. For as many years as Straight No Chaser has been coming to the Fabulous Fox Theatre to perform around the holidays, I’ve had the privilege to attend and review their show. It’s always a fun evening of new and classic pop songs and holiday favorites.   This year, Straight No Chaser is on tour to promote their seventh full length album, One Shot.

Wed
12
Dec

LES MISÉRABLES National Tour Triumphantly Returns To The Fox Theatre

The company of LES MISÉRABLES performs “One Day More" at the Fox Theatre. Photo by Matthew Murphy

Victor Hugo’s enormous novel about a failed student uprising in post-Revolution France would seem an unlikely source for a much beloved musical theatre production. Nonetheless, Les Misérables has run continuously in London’s famous West End theatre district since it premiered in 1985, and has had tremendous staying power the world over. The Les Misérables National Tour has arrived in St. Louis for a sadly too brief stay at the Fabulous Fox Theatre. Running only from December 11 through December 16, 2018, this production was a bit different from my first experience with the show and largely much better for it.

Wed
05
Dec

"Wonderland: Alice's Rock & Roll Adventure" Cranks Carroll's Classic Up To 11

Sankofa B. Soleil as Alice and Patrick Blindauer as Cheshire Cat. Photo Credit: Metro Theatre Company

Wonderland: Alice’s Rock & Roll Adventure is a hybrid of the traditional Lewis Carroll tale of a young girl trying to make sense of her crazy world and modern rock concert. It doesn’t try to completely emulate the beloved Disney animated film that so many us remember fondly from our youth. With a modest but effective set design and a bevy of jams to give the old standards a kick in the pants, this Metro Theatre Company production turns the volume and the energy up to 11.

Mon
12
Nov

Disney's "Aladdin" Demonstrates the Magic of Stagecraft

The excellent ensemble cast of Disney's "Aladdin" playing at the Fox Theatre Nov 7-25, 2018. Photo Credit: The Fabulous Fox Theatre

Disney's Aladdin brings the usual splendor and fun you've come to expect from a Disney Broadway production with its limited St. Louis premiere engagement at the fabulous Fox Theatre, running November 7 - 25, 2018. Please note that an early version of Aladdin played the Muny in Forest Park back in 2012, and this show is from the Broadway script, not the earlier production. 

Sat
10
Nov

Carol Burnett Warms Hearts with "An Evening of Laughter and Reflection"

Carol Burnett was live at the Stiefel Theatre in St. Louis Nov. 8, 2018.

Carol Burnett is a national treasure. Her groundbreaking television variety show "Carol Burnett and Friends" propelled her to super-stardom. Now 84, the legendary performer returned to St. Louis, Mo, where she once graced the stage of The Muny opposite Rock Hudson in "I Do! I Do!" This time she had the Stiefel Theatre stage all to herself for "Carol Burnett, an Evening of Laughter and Reflection."

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