Live Entertainment

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."

Mon
08
Oct

The Illusionists Live From Broadway 2018 Tour Is Still A Magical Experience

The Illusionists Live From Broadway 2018 North American Tour - Ah Ha Lim - Photo Credit: ©Claudia James

Magic. Some people can't stand to be fooled. Others thrill at having their expectations toyed with. Having seen The Illusionists Live from Broadway tour last year I thought this time is know what to expect. Perhaps I'd catch their expert slight of hand technique falter and figure out how their trick was done. 

Despite having seen the tour twice now, I'm still flummoxed! I have a theory or two, but there's a reason why these guys are masters of their craft. They're phenomenally good.

Sun
30
Sep

Scott Miller's "The Zombies of Penzance" Has Heart and Brains

Zachary Allen Farmer, Dominic Dowdy-Windsor and Sean Michael in New Line Theatre's "Zombies of Penzance" -- Photo Credit Jill Ritter Lindberg

It was the last evening of 1879 when Gilbert and Sullivan's comic opera The Pirates of Penzance debuted to great success. Now, just a few months shy of an even 140 years, New Line Theatre has debuted a "long lost early draft" where Gilbert had a different kind of scurvy-ridden, rotted-toothed, snarling adversary in mind for a Modern Major General and his darling daughters. 

Sat
22
Sep

"Love Never Dies" Is A Strange, Lifeless Start to the 2018-2019 Broadway Series at the Fox Theatre

Meghan Picerno (“Christine Daaé”) and Bronson Norris Murphy (“The Phantom”) star in Love Never Dies. Photo: Joan Marcus.

"The Phantom of the Opera" is, unfathomably, they longest running Broadway musical of all time. It's also a disturbing gothic rape fantasy, for which Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote a masterful score. When the Fox Theatre in St. Louis, Missouri, announced that Webber's sequel "Love Never Dies" would open the 2018-2019 Broadway Series, the thought off sitting through another long, sung-through, gothic rape fantasy chased with a double shot of stalker fantasy all set to more Webber orchestration was not one of love. Of course, there was always the possibility that Webber's music paired with Glenn Slater lyrics and Ben Elton's book would raise this continuing tale of unlikable Parisians above its overachieving predecessor. 

Fri
14
Sep

Ringo Starr 2018 All Starr Band U.S Tour Proves You're Never Too Old To Rock & Roll

Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band 2018 U.S. Tour - Photo Credit: Scott Robert Ritchie

Calling the Beatles "influential" to rock and roll is an understatement. They were as essential to music as oxygen is to life. I was seven years old when John Lennon was taken from the world, forever ending any chance of a Fab Four reunion. As time marched on, seeing at least one Beatle perform live had become a "bucket list" item. Thanks to Ringo Starr, that box is finally checked.

At 78 years of age, you might think Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band would be a show that relies on nostalgia over musicianship. Rest assured, Ringo, aka Sir Richard Starkey, is still the infectiously charming performer he's been since the Beatles early days. As a drummer he's been immensely influential and inconceivably still underrated by "experts" in such matters. All of Ringo's many talents were on display as the thirteenth iteration of the All-Starr Band played a lively show at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis.

Mon
13
Aug

At Gencon 2018, Game Designers Do It For Their Kids

Gencon 2018 Game Development for Children

It was my very first convention. I do not do well around crowds, nor am I a people person. Much like James Halliday, I prefer the solitude of a book, video game, movie, or SyFy television show. The convention center seemed to be a fictional reality like the Oasis. I saw all sorts of things that sparked the imagination; my boyhood dreams came to life. What Easter Eggs could I find in a center filled with tens of thousands of eager game enthusiasts? Would I likely find love, like Wade Watts? Absolutely -- in fellow game designers sharing the same passion: creating games for the children.

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