Sunday, March 27, 2016

MOLLY’S HAMMER • The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis (Studio Theatre)

In the 1980’s, the threat of nuclear war hung heavy over the country like radioactive ash. That threat, and Liane Ellison Norman's book, Hammer of Justice, inspired Tammy Ryan’s play, receiving its world premiere, thanks to the Rep’s Ignite! New Play Festival last season.

The story follows Molly Rush, a member of a group of peace advocates called the Plowshares Eight. In 1980, they entered the General Electric Re-entry Division in Pennsylvania, damaged nuclear nose cones and drenched blueprints and documents in blood. Ryan’s play focuses in on Molly Rush, a mother of six whose faith drives her and others to do what they feel is a moral responsibility, and Nancy Bell beautifully holds the center as Molly.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Fourth Annual St. Louis Theater Circle Awards • Skip Viragh Center for the Arts

Another St. Louis Theater Circle Awards ceremony has come and gone, and the award recipients, as well as the impressive bevy of nominees, are a testament to the talent we’re lucky enough to have in “the Lou.” Here’s the list of the nominees, with the award recipients in red. Congrats to all! And a huge thanks to those who attended, watched at home, and came out to see the enormous variety of theatre on offer each and every year.
Yay, theatre!!!
(If you missed it, you can stream the show courtesy of HEC-TV.)

Outstanding Ensemble in a Comedy
Bad Jews, New Jewish Theatre
Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play, R-S Theatrics
The 39 Steps, Slightly Askew Theatre Ensemble
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, St. Louis Actors’ Studio
Wild Oats, St. Louis Shakespeare

Saturday, March 12, 2016

AMERICAN IDIOT • New Line Theatre

The fury that simmers within generations of young adults is nothing new, but New Line’s current production of Green Day’s American Idiot, adapted from the band’s 2004 concept album of the same name, is painted in sharp-edged, pop-punk strokes that strike a familiar chord, particularly now. With the country in the midst of a divisive political season, Billie Joe Armstrong and Michael Mayer’s rock opera about coming of age in a post 9/11 world of uncertainty, taps into an angry restlessness that’s as palpable today as it’s ever been.

The show’s opening sets the tone with an eruption of its title number, “American Idiot.” Three disillusioned twenty-somethings, Johnny (Evan Fornachon), Tunny (Frederick Rice) and Will (Brendan Ochs), are sick of the monotony of suburbia, and plan to head off to New York City, answering a call in search of... something. Anything. As long as it’s away from where they are now.