Wednesday, July 31, 2013

LEGALLY BLONDE, THE MUSICAL • Stages St. Louis

"Legally Blonde, The Musical" was adapted from the 2001 film and premiered on Broadway in 2007 after a San Francisco tryout.  This female empowerment flavored confection about Elle Woods, a Malibu sorority girl who gains admission to Harvard Law School in an attempt to win her ex-boyfriend back, capitalizes on the popular girl power themes that charged the 2003 sensation, "Wicked", and wraps its central theme within high-octane choreography and lots of valley-girl pink.  Pinkness.  Pink-ti-tude?

The driving force behind the current Stages production is the tireless Michelle London as Elle.  She's got strong pipes, dances wonderfully, looks perfect, and brings a great deal of personality to a demanding role.  After the opening number, one of the show's most memorable, "Omigod You Guys",  Elle prepares for a proposal of marriage from her self-absorbed boyfriend, Warner Huntington III (Brandon Davidson).  What she gets, is dumped.  Warner needs a "serious girl" and Elle doesn't fit the bill.  Buoyed by her Delta Nu sisters, particularly her own personal Greek chorus -- Margot (Melinda Cowan), Serena (Julia Johanos) and Pilar (Sarah Rolleston), Elle decides to follow Warner into Harvard Law to prove that she can be more brains and less bombshell.

Michelle London (Elle Woods) and Company.
Photo credit: Peter Wochniak
With the help of her sorority pals, cheerleaders and a marching band, this fashion merchandising major wins over the admissions committee and is accepted.  She gets advice and encouragement along the way from Paulette (Heather Jane Rolff), a local hairdresser who becomes a good friend.  Paulette listens to Enya when she gets blue over the dog that remains with her ex-boyfriend, and Rolff wins over the audience with her rendition of "Ireland", where she dreams of a big hunky guy she can dance with -- Riverdance style, without moving their arms.  Elle also meets Emmett Forrest (Ben Nordstrom), a scrappy, corduroy blazer wearing hard worker who hasn't had anything handed to him.  Nordstrom adds an authentically likable quality to Emmett, who is an intern of Professor Callahan's (a perfectly callous David Schmittou).  When fitness queen, Brooke Wyndham (Nicolette Hart), is found with blood on her hands and a dead, rich husband, it's up to Callahan and his young law students to win her case.

Michelle London (Elle Woods)
and Heather Jane Rolff (Paulette).
Photo credit: Peter Wochniak
The company is a vigorous bunch and everyone turns in first-rate performances.  In addition to Rolff, who is a standout in the role of Paulette, Cowan, Johanos and Rolleston all do great work as Elle's Greek chorus, and Nicolette Hart is commanding as Brooke Wyndham with some crazy jump-roping skills.  Great work also from Steve Isom, who admirably pulls off a number of roles, and Laura Ernst, who makes a humorous impression as Elle’s mother, wearing an indelible, toothy, "Real Housewives of Orange County" grin.  Also, I couldn't help making those noises you make when you see cute dogs for Jose and Romeo as Bruiser and Rufus.  Rusty Mowery thoroughly recreates Jerry Mitchell's original choreography, and while Lou Bird's costume design complements the characters, Matthew McCarthy's lighting bathes James Wolk's set with vibrant color.

So, if you're in the mood to sit back, be entertained, and get your sugar rush on, head over to Stages before the 18th!


Michelle London (Elle Woods)
and Brandon Davidson (Warner Huntington III).
Photo credit: Peter Wochniak
LEGALLY BLONDE, THE MUSICAL

Book Heather Hach
Music/lyrics by Nell Benjamin and Laurence O'Keefe
Directed by Michael Hamilton
The Robert Reim Theatre, 111 South Geyer Road
through August 18 | tickets: $20 - $55
Performances Tuesday to Saturday at 8pm, Saturdays at 4pm, selected Wednesdays at 2pm, selected Sundays at 2pm and 7:30pm

Cast:
Becca Andrews* (Kate/Chutney), Stephen Barnowski (Lowell/Bailiff), Adam Brown* (Jason/Kiki), Melinda Cowan* (Margot), Patrick David* (Nick), Brandon Davidson* (Warner Huntington III), Laura Ernst (Elle’s Mom/Boutique Manager/Whitney), Gaby Gamache* (Leilani), Joe Grandy* (Chad/Carlos), Scott Guthrie* (Dewey/Kyle), Brittany Rose Hammond* (Gabby/Mousey Client/Stenographer), Nicolette Hart* (Shandi/Brooke Wyndham), Austin Hohnke* (Aaron/Guard), Steve Isom* (Elle’s Dad/Winthrop/T.V. Reporter), Julia Johanos* (Serena), Erik Keiser* (Padamadan/Nikos), Jonathan Kwock (Paul), Michelle London* (Elle Woods), Natalie Newman* (Cece/D.A. Joyce Riley), Ben Nordstrom* (Emmett Forrest), Shannon O’Boyle* (Vivienne Kensington), Pamela Reckamp* (Courtney/Judge), Heather Jane Rolff* (Paulette), Sarah Rolleston* (Pilar), Kathleen Rooney* (Kristine), David Schmittou* (Professor Callahan) Katy Tibbets* (Enid Hoopes), Jose (Bruiser) and Romeo (Rufus).
* Member Actors' Equity Association

Heather Jane Rolff (Paulette), Scott Guthrie (Kyle)
and Romeo (Rufus).
Photo credit: Peter Wochniak
Creative:
Choreography recreated by Rusty Mowery; musical direction by Lisa Campbell Albert; scenic design by James Wolk; costume design by Lou Bird; lighting design by Matthew McCarthy; stage manager, Stacy A. Blackburn.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

LABUTE NEW THEATER FESTIVAL II • St. Louis Actors' Studio

Part two of the LaBute New Theater Festival started last Friday with the second set of four new plays that will run until the 28th, along with LaBute's "The Possible", written especially for the festival.

When Hank (David Wassilak) has the chance to meet his favorite actor (Paul Cooper) from his favorite tv show, he's beside himself.  In his cabin in the woods, this park ranger gets to talk to his idol, the guy who plays "Lyle" on a show called "Blood Brothers".  Never mind that the young actor is initially bound and gagged.  Hank just wants to hang out, that's all.  And talk.  Hank's intimate familiarity with every episode of every season of this series provides the humor.  Something I could never identify with.  Ha!  Kidding…  (Downton Abbey?  The Walking Dead?  Anybody?)  But there's a nice dose of tension in there too once the depths of Hank's obsessive connection with the show bubble to the surface and the young actor's aggravation with the position he's put in by the baggage of celebrity come to a head.  Directed by Wayne Solomon and written by Rachel Fenton, who is also featured in, "The Possible" and "Present Tense", "Blood Brothers" is a perfect start to the evening with fine performances from Cooper and Wassilak.

Paul Cooper (Young Man) and David Wassilak (Hank).
Photo credit: John Lamb
The second offering for the night is LaBute's "The Possible" that has run every night of the festival.  You can read about that here.  One neat thing I learned -- Neil LaBute gave Fenton's character a list of choices to pick from for the last line of the play.  Kinda cool, right?

"Cut", by Daniel Damiano and directed by Steve Woolf, opens with a conversation between Jerry (Wassilak), a prison barber, and Raymond (Tom Lehman), a young inmate.  While Jerry gives Raymond a haircut, he considers how, or if, circumstances and upbringing affect a person's fate.
David Wassilak (Jerry) and Tom Lehman (Raymond).
Photo credit: John Lamb
Having already served thirty years of a life sentence, Jerry's words of wisdom to Raymond come from a man who's had more than a couple dozen years to settle into the realities of life in prison, while Raymond's priorities are bent more on intimidation and survival.  Their exchange is simple enough, with a little revelation near the end, but it proves interesting to see how prison narrows the focus of these two, and how different priorities color their perspectives.

Francesca (Laura Sexauer) and Simon (Nathan Bush) are trying to make a little magic happen in Joshua Thomas's "Kink".  During a more and more inventive succession of role-playing schemes to satisfy each other, there are hesitant endeavors and exuberant attempts.
Nathan Bush (Simon) and Laura Sexauer (Francesca).
Photo credit: John Lamb

After a while, you wonder if after the vampire, salesmen and bunny paraphernalia is put away, these two will get what they want.  Directed by Milton Zoth, the performances from Sexauer and Bush have a clumsy but determined authenticity that sells the piece, and provide laughter of all kinds -- genuine, nervous and thoughtful.

The last piece, "Present Tense", written by Peter Grandbois and Nancy Bell, positions its sexual encounters against the backdrop of "sexting", and its consequential effects.  Walter (Aaron Orion Baker) and Debra (Rachel Fenton) met at a conference, and have been "virtually" carrying on ever since.  They now have the opportunity to meet each other in the flesh, and find themselves completely out of their depth.  When their physical connection fails, their laptops and cell phones intervene, and under Wayne Salomon's carefully paced direction, the interactions between Baker and Fenton hit the perfect note.

Aaron Orion Baker (Walter) and
Rachel Fenton (Debra).
Photo credit: John Lamb
This round of nicely crafted plays leave you with food for thought that sits just under the surface of the humor and personally, I liked some of these a little better.  And no, it's not because most of the playwrights were local talent.  For me, many of these one acts offered more of a sense of completion, while still laying out engaging interactions between the characters.  The performances have remained very strong throughout, and I'm already looking forward to next year's festival!  It's gone after tomorrow, so check it out.


LABUTE NEW THEATER FESTIVAL

"The Possible" by Neil LaBute • Directed by Milton Zoth
Cast: Rachel Fenton (One) and Wendy Greenwood (Two).

Finalists (July 5 - 14):

"Cleansing Acts" by Carlos Perez, Kansas City • Directed by Steve Woolf
Cast: Justin Ivan Brown (William), Andra Hawkins (Maxine) and Jackie Manker (Star).

"Pinky Swear" by Tyler Vickers, Los Angeles, California • Directed by Linda Kennedy
Cast: Tom Lehman (Jeremy) and Aaron Orion Baker (Dave).

"The Elephant in the Room" by Alexis Clements, Brooklyn, New York • Directed by Linda Kennedy
Cast: Wendy Greenwood (Georgi) and Suki Peters (Elephant).

"Two Irishmen Are Digging a Ditch" by GD Kimble, Bronx, New York • Directed by Steve Woolf
Cast: Nathan Bush (Haggerty), Justin Ivan Brown (Doyle) and Aaron Orion Baker (Evans).

Finalists (July 19 - 28):

"Blood Brothers" by Rachel Fenton, St. Louis • Directed by Wayne Solomon
Cast: Paul Cooper (Young Man), David Wassilak (Hank) and Aaron Orion Baker (Radio).

"The Possible" by Neil LaBute • Directed by Milton Zoth
Cast: Rachel Fenton (One) and Wendy Greenwood (Two).

"Cut" by Daniel Damiano, New York, New York • Directed by Steve Woolf
Cast: David Wassilak (Jerry) and Tom Lehman (Raymond).

"Kink" by Joshua Thomas, St. Louis • Directed by Milton Zoth
Cast: Laura Sexauer (Francesca), Nathan Bush (Simon).

"Present Tense" by Peter Grandbois, Granville, Ohio, and Nancy Bell, St. Louis • Directed by Wayne Salomon
Cast: Aaron Orion Baker (Walter) and Rachel Fenton (Debra).

High School Finalists (July 6):

"The Summit of the Gods" by Aidan Murphy, Adlai E. Stevenson High School, Lincolnshire, Illinois
Cast: Nancy Bell* (Vishnu), Joshua Thomas (Jesus), Rusty Gunther (Flying Spaghetti Monster), Wendy Greenwood (Satan), Bobby Miller* (Jehova), Betsy Bowman (Internet) and Milton Zoth (Narrator).

"Imagination" by Laura Townsend, Clayton High School, St. Louis
Cast: Betsy Bowman (The girl), Bobby Miller* (Demon) and Nancy Bell* (Narrator).

"Stand Up to Bullying" by Annie Kopp, Ladue High School, St. Louis
Cast: Annie Kopp and Wendy Greenwood.

"Little Star in the Sky" by Laurel Button, Mary Institute–Country Day School, St. Louis
Cast: Wendy Greenwood (Sophie), Rusty Gunther (Mark), Bobby Miller* (Narrator) and Joshua Thomas (Soldier).

"Wordless" by Amanda Ehrmann, Adlai E. Stevenson High School, Lincolnshire, Illinois
Cast: Rusty Gunther (Lane), Betsy Bowman (Delaney), Nancy Bell* (Louise) Joshua Thomas (Aaron) and Bobby Miller* (Narrator).
* Member Actors' Equity Association

The Gaslight Theater, 358 N. Boyle Ave.
through July 28 | tickets: $25 - $30 ($50 for opening weekend)
Performances Thursday to Saturday at 8pm, Sundays at 3pm

Creative:
Scenic and lighting design by Jim Burwinkel; sound design by Robin Weatherall; costume design by Carla Landis Evans; dialect coach, Sigrid Sutter, stage manager, Amy J. Paige.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS • Stray Dog Theatre

Roger Corman's 1960 low-budget cult classic about a nebbishy flower shop employee named Seymour who raises a carnivorous plant, inspired a long-running off-Broadway production with book and lyrics by Howard Ashman and music by Alan Menken.  This spawned another popular film adaptation in 1986 and a 2003 Broadway revival.  Under Justin Been's direction, it's getting a scrumptious treatment at Stray Dog, closing out its tenth season with another solid production.

The cast is led by a marvelous Ben Watts who plays Seymour Krelborn, the orphan stuck in Mr. Mushnik's Skid Row flower shop.  As the unlikely hero of this dark comedy, Watts brings his vocal talents and ability to deftly disappear into any role.  Love him.  Our Greek chorus -- Chiffon (Jamie Lynn Marble), Crystal (Maria Bartolotta) and Ronette (a priceless Mark Saunders in drag), all equipped with good voices and attitude, kick off the show with a rousing "Little Shop of Horrors" and appear throughout, commenting on and engaging in the action.

Lindsey Jones (Audrey), Christopher R. Brenner (Mr. Mushnik)
and Ben Watts (Seymour Krelborn).
Photo credit: John Lamb
Business at the flower shop isn't going too well and Mr. Mushnik (Christopher R. Brenner), is considering closing up shop, but Seymour has an idea to help perk up sales.  He brings out a plant he's been cultivating after it appeared following an eclipse of the sun, and places it in the front window.  Nobody has seen anything like this flytrap looking oddity, and it immediately starts to draw some attention.  Seymour has named the plant Audrey Two, after the co-worker he longs for.  Lindsey Jones is endearingly sweet with a beautiful voice as Audrey, a blonde wide-eyed ingĂ©nue who dreams of having her own little patch of the world in a nice sub-division someday.

(top left) Mark Saunders (Ronette), (bottom left)
Jamie Lynn Marble (Chiffon), Maria Bartolotta (Crystal) and
Ben Watts (Seymour Krelborn)
Photo credit: John Lamb
Unfortunately, she's dating an asshole named Orin Scrivello (Keith Thompson).  Thompson gives this sadistic, nitrous oxide sniffing, leather jacket clad dentist enough swagger to add a rock-star quality to his number, "Dentist!", and is abusive enough to make you savor his eventual demise.  Seymour soon learns that the plant is after more than fertilizer.  Audrey Two, smoothly voiced by Jeremy Sims, wants flesh and blood.  As the plant's voracious appetite grows, so does her size, and the shop becomes well-known.  After Seymour is courted by television execs and botanical bigwigs, Mr. Mushnik knows that if Seymour and Audrey Two leave the shop, he'll be ruined.  Brenner shines in "Mushnik and Son", where he offers to adopt Seymour and make him a business partner.  Will Seymour succumb to the trappings of fame and Audrey Two's blood-thirsty demands in a quest for world domination?  You'll have to see for yourself!

Maria Bartolotta (Crystal), Jamie Lynn Marble (Chiffon)
and Mark Saunders (Ronette).
Photo credit: John Lamb
The ensemble members, playing various roles, sound strong in numbers like, "Skid Row (Downtown)" and the show's finale, "Don't Feed the Plants", and Marble's choreography adds a great deal of flair to the show.  Costume designer Alexandra Scibetta Quigley keeps our trio of street urchins decked out in an array of dresses and the rest of the cast in nicely appointed attire.  David Blake's scenic design includes a set that rotates to show the interior of the flower shop, and makes good use of the space onstage with sharp attention to detail -- all carefully lit by Tyler Duenow.  Michelle Sauer and Justin Been designed the Audrey Two puppets that get more and more hilarious as it grows.  (Audrey Two actually looks a lot more herbaceous than the photo.)  The band, under the direction of Chris Petersen, was tight and easily handled the 1960's rock and Motown flavored score.

I'd never seen this musical before, and I'm glad I got the chance to check it out.  You should, too!  It's playing until August 3rd.


(center) Keith Thompson (Orin Scrivello). (l to r)
Mark Saunders (Ronette), Jamie Lynn Marble (Chiffon)
and Maria Bartolotta (Crystal).
Photo credit: John Lamb
LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS

Book/lyrics by Howard Ashman
Music by Alan Menken
Directed by Justin Been
Tower Grove Abbey, 2336 Tennessee Ave.
through August 3 | tickets: $18 - $20
Performances Thursday to Saturday at 8pm, final Saturday at 2pm & 8pm

Cast:
Lindsey Jones (Audrey), Ben Watts (Seymour Krelborn), Keith Thompson (Orin Scrivello), Christopher R. Brenner (Mr. Mushnik), Jamie Lynn Marble (Chiffon), Maria Bartolotta (Crystal), Mark Saunders (Ronette), Jeremy Sims (Voice of Audrey Two), Evan R. Fornachon (Ensemble), Corey Fraine (Ensemble), Amelia Morse Kolkmeyer (Ensemble) and Kimberly Still (Ensemble).

Creative:
Scenic design by David Blake; lighting design by Tyler Duenow; costume design by Alexandra Scibetta Quigley; makeup and wig design by Priscilla Case; plant operator, Dan Jones; style consultant to Mr. Saunders, Jeffrey Salger; Audrey Two makeup design by Michelle Sauer and Justin Been; music and vocal direction by Chris Petersen; choreography by Jamie Lynn Marble; stage manager, Justin Been.

Little Shop Band:
Director/keyboard, Chris Petersen; drums/percussion (July 18 - 20) Clarence Newell; drums/percussion (July 25 - August 3) Bob McMahon; electric bass, Michael Monsey; guitar (acoustic and electric) Adam Rugo; synthesizer, Sallie Du Maine.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

LABUTE NEW THEATER FESTIVAL I • St. Louis Actors' Studio

Tony-nominated playwright and screenwriter Neil LaBute's plays include, "In the Company of Men", "The Shape of Things", "Fat Pig", "reasons to be pretty" and "Reasons to Be Happy", that just closed off-Broadway.  His film credits include "Nurse Betty", "The Wicker Man", and "Death at a Funeral".  His body of work is often characterized as misanthropic, but with a style that is relatable, carrying weight in his words and unflinching honesty -- he calls it like he sees it. 

William Roth, founder and producing director for the St. Louis Actors' Studio, initially connected with LaBute when STLAS staged “The Shape of Things" in 2010 followed by a collection of his short plays called "Just Desserts" the next year.  LaBute agreed to lend his name to a festival of premiere one-acts -- The LaBute New Theater Festival, and submissions were accepted last October, with eight finalists and five high school finalists selected.  The festival kicked off this past Friday at the Gaslight Theater with the first four finalists.  These will run from the 5th to the 14th.  The second set of four will run from the 19th to the 28th.  The high school finalists were presented as readings on July 6th.  Submissions for next year's festival will be accepted from October 1 - December 31, 2013.

Wendy Greenwood (Two) and Rachel Fenton (One).
Photo credit: John Lamb

LaBute's "The Possible" was written especially for the festival and will be included at every performance.  It's a cat and mouse game featuring Rachel Fenton (One) and Wendy Greenwood (Two).  Greenwood's character  has just told Fenton that she has seduced her boyfriend.  She didn't do it to be with him though.  She did it to get to Fenton.  Straight and in love with her boyfriend, Fenton's objections are calmly discounted by an assured and confident Greenwood.  She's presumably bisexual, but not really into labels -- just Fenton.  Under Milton Zoth's direction, their back-and-forth harbors a frankness that makes a predictable end intriguing, and it starts the evening off nicely.

Justin Ivan Brown (William) and Jackie Manker (Star).
Photo credit: John Lamb
"Cleansing Acts", written by Carlos Perez and directed by Steve Woolf, introduce us to William (Justin Ivan Brown) and his mom, Maxine (Andra Hawkins).  She's making cookies for a girl she thinks is her son's girlfriend.  Really, Star (Jackie Manker) is an unhappy hooker paying a visit to a disconnected William.  They're both at the end of their ropes, looking for a way out of their lives, and while William soaks in the bathtub they share with each other their individual damage.  Manker slowly allows Star's vulnerability to bubble up to the surface, and Brown's emptiness as William is touching and real.  These two win you over, making you want to root for them, as they look for a little solace with each other for a time.

Tom Lehman (Jeremy) and Aaron Orion Baker (Dave).
Photo credit: John Lamb
"Pinky Swear" by Tyler Vickers starts with Jeremy (Tom Lehman) talking to a duffel bag hanging from a hook, and ends with Jeremy talking to his buddy Dave (Aaron Orion Baker) about some infidelity concerns he has with his wife.  Dave is happy to advise Jeremy, too agitated to think clearly, about how to rationally approach the situation, and Jeremy is grateful for it.  "Pinky Swear", directed by Linda Kennedy, plays out in reverse order making the episodic developments more interesting, with strong performances by Lehman and Baker.

Wendy Greenwood (Georgi) and Suki Peters (Elephant).
Photo credit: John Lamb
"The Elephant in the Room", written by Alexis Clements, features Suki Peters as, well, the elephant in the room, and Wendy Greenwood as Georgi, an artist.  While they talk to each other about their history together, appraisals are made along the way -- about each other and themselves.  Greenwood and Peters turn in engaging performances, but as promising as the road seemed, for me the anticlimax rendered the journey a little aimless.

In GD Kimble's "Two Irishmen Are Digging a Ditch", two men try to find a little levity in the face of imminent demise.  The first man, Haggerty (Nathan Bush), is naked, battered, bruised, and defending his life before us -- his captors, before his execution, and Bush delivers a strong performance, making you hang on his every word.  You get the feeling that the second man, Doyle (Justin Ivan Brown), is digging more than just a ditch.  Trying unsuccessfully to distract his interrogator, Evans (Aaron Orion Baker), from the business that's got to be done, his approach is different from the first guy who tells the joke, but no less compelling.

Nathan Bush (Haggerty).
Photo credit: John Lamb
Jim Burwinkel's scenic design accommodated all of the plays with a pair of swivel walls and a few set pieces.  He also lit the plays, with Robin Weatherall providing the sound design and Carla Landis Evans providing the costume design.

It's a varied night of one-acts, offering a nice range of interesting plays with the first set wrapping up this weekend, and the second set starting on the 19th.


LABUTE NEW THEATER FESTIVAL

"The Possible" by Neil LaBute • Directed by Milton Zoth
Cast: Rachel Fenton (One) and Wendy Greenwood (Two).

Finalists (July 5 - 14):

"Cleansing Acts" by Carlos Perez, Kansas City • Directed by Steve Woolf
Cast: Justin Ivan Brown (William), Andra Hawkins (Maxine) and Jackie Manker (Star).

"Pinky Swear" by Tyler Vickers, Los Angeles, California • Directed by Linda Kennedy
Cast: Tom Lehman (Jeremy) and Aaron Orion Baker (Dave).

"The Elephant in the Room" by Alexis Clements, Brooklyn, New York • Directed by Linda Kennedy
Cast: Wendy Greenwood (Georgi) and Suki Peters (Elephant).

"Two Irishmen Are Digging a Ditch" by GD Kimble, Bronx, New York • Directed by Steve Woolf
Cast: Nathan Bush (Haggerty), Justin Ivan Brown (Doyle) and Aaron Orion Baker (Evans).

Finalists (July 19 - 28):

"Blood Brothers" by Rachel Fenton, St. Louis • Directed by Wayne Solomon
Cast: Paul Cooper (Young Man), David Wassilak (Hank) and Aaron Orion Baker (Radio).

"Cut" by Daniel Damiano, New York, New York • Directed by Steve Woolf
Cast: David Wassilak (Jerry) and Tom Lehman (Raymond).

"Kink" by Joshua Thomas, St. Louis • Directed by Milton Zoth
Cast: Laura Sexauer (Francesca), Nathan Bush (Simon).

"Present Tense" by Peter Grandbois, Granville, Ohio, and Nancy Bell, St. Louis • Directed by Wayne Salomon
Cast: Aaron Orion Baker (Walter) and Rachel Fenton (Debra).


High School Finalists (July 6):

"The Summit of the Gods" by Aidan Murphy, Adlai E. Stevenson High School, Lincolnshire, Illinois
Cast: Nancy Bell* (Vishnu), Joshua Thomas (Jesus), Rusty Gunther (Flying Spaghetti Monster), Wendy Greenwood (Satan), Bobby Miller* (Jehova), Betsy Bowman (Internet) and Milton Zoth (Narrator).

"Imagination" by Laura Townsend, Clayton High School, St. Louis
Cast: Betsy Bowman (The girl), Bobby Miller* (Demon) and Nancy Bell* (Narrator).

"Stand Up to Bullying" by Annie Kopp, Ladue High School, St. Louis
Cast: Annie Kopp and Wendy Greenwood.

"Little Star in the Sky" by Laurel Button, Mary Institute–Country Day School, St. Louis
Cast: Wendy Greenwood (Sophie), Rusty Gunther (Mark), Bobby Miller* (Narrator) and Joshua Thomas (Soldier).

"Wordless" by Amanda Ehrmann, Adlai E. Stevenson High School, Lincolnshire, Illinois
Cast: Rusty Gunther (Lane), Betsy Bowman (Delaney), Nancy Bell* (Louise) Joshua Thomas (Aaron) and Bobby Miller* (Narrator).
* Member Actors' Equity Association

The Gaslight Theater, 358 N. Boyle Ave.
through July 28 | tickets: $25 - $30 ($50 for opening weekend)
Performances Thursday to Saturday at 8pm, Sundays at 3pm

Creative:
Scenic and lighting design by Jim Burwinkel; sound design by Robin Weatherall; costume design by Carla Landis Evans; dialect coach, Sigrid Sutter, stage manager, Amy J. Paige.

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