Sunday, August 21, 2011

THE CONVERSATION • The Black Mirror Theatre Company

There's a new theatre company in town folks, and THE CONVERSATION, written by St. Louisan Dennis Corcoran, is The Black Mirror Theatre Company's inaugural performance.
This play focuses on a discussion between Queen Elizabeth I and Gráinne Ní Mháille, or Grace O'Malley.  Grace was an Irish pirate and chieftain of the Ó Máille clan.  In the 16th century when England was in the process of trying to gain rule over Ireland, many Gaelic chieftains were handing over their land to the monarch and adopting fancy English titles, but Grace was a thorn in England's side -- a "bleeding ulcer" who refused to submit.  Her notorious exploits on the sea also posed a threat to England's purse.  When Grace's son and half-brother were imprisoned by Queen Elizabeth's armies, she sailed to English soil to seek favor and petition their release.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

RESTORATION • St. Louis Shakespeare

Ah, the class system.  It never really goes away, does it?  Whether you're in 18th century England or 21st century America, injustice is a timeless subject that Edward Bond considers in RESTORATION, currently on stage at the Grandel presented by St. Louis Shakespeare.

Sunday, August 7, 2011


Let me just start off by saying, there is some interesting pre-show chatter that goes on sometimes.  "My cousin's uncle got him out of jail".  "Yeah, and the prosecuting attorney was my aunt's brother-in-law".  This was the kind of small talk going on before Max & Louie's opening night performance of Stephen Dolginoff's THRILL ME:  THE LEOPOLD AND LOEB STORY.  This musical is based on the true story of Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb, "thrill killers" who were sentenced to life plus 99 years for the murder of a young boy.  With songs like "Nothing Like a Fire", "Way Too Far" and "Ransom Note", the dark nature of this "crime of the century" seems unlikely material for a musical, but as director Brooke Edwards points out in her notes, this show concentrates less on the crimes and more on the relationship between these two young well-to-do law students from Chicago.