Grease - Stages St. Louis

If an evening at Stages is always an intimate treat by virtue of 300 well-staggered seats, its fully enthusiastic audience, and wonderful volunteers, tonight’s well-polished production of Grease became an auditory and visual feast for the sold-out crowd.

So what’s not to like??? In this production of Grease, there were…

…singers and dancers, well-cast and so-very-energetic (even if Sam Harvey visually didn’t reflect the Danny Zuko character we’ve seen in the big-screen version and seemed a bit too clean-cut for the part when compared with John Travolta);

…beloved show tunes, many of which nearly everyone over 40 knows the lyrics;

…flashy costumes; and

…a cleverly-designed set (it never ceases to amaze me to see how much can get done on such a small stage!).

It was all there and more!

Special mentions for performances go to Kendra Lyn Lucas for her fresh and witty Miss Lynch-styled delivery of the evenings’ introductions and welcome (Yes, ma’am! I shut down my cell phone right away!) and who wowed the sold-out audience with her smoky-throated gospel rendition of “Beauty School Dropout”. I am tempted to see this show again just for the sheer pleasure of seeing and hearing Ms. Lucas one more time!

Patrick Mobley as Doody surprised me, pleasantly, with his limber voice and rollicking comedic talent (as was intended) and Betty Rizzo, played by Morgan Cowling, gave a soul-touching performance of “There are worse things I could do”, so flawless and empathy-evoking.

There’s not much time to catch Grease… it’s going to slip away like “Greased Lightning” before you know it. It’s an awesome production by a fantastic company of local and imported talent. Kudos to director Michael Hamilton and the rest of the creative and technical staff.

Production Photos (Click here) coming soon!

Date of run: Jul 19 - Aug 18, 2019

Stages St. Louis, Kirkwood, MO

Reviewed by Isabelle Heidbreder

Reviewed on Jul 24, 2019


Tickets available at:

1023 Chesterfield Pkwy East Chesterfield, MO 63017 M-F 10AM-5PM

111 South Geyer Road St. Louis, MO 63122 M 10AM-5PM T-Sat 10AM-8PM Sun 12-3PM

314.821.2407

StagesStLouis.org

Spring to Dance: 12th Annual Festival 2019

Once a year, Dance St. Louis helps put the “spring back in our step.”

The 12th Annual Emerson Spring to Dance Festival at the Touhill over Memorial Day weekend never disappoints. Once a year for three evenings, dance reigns supreme in St. Louis.

This year, as in the past, fifty companies and over 350 artists performed during the now-traditional holiday weekend event. They come from all over the US and many international locations to give the audience their “all” in the forms of rap, tap, hip-hop, ballet, jazz, modern, etc. and the audience of all ages love it! Each year, a large portion of the audience is comprised of youthful future dance performers and I can’t help but believe this annual event inspires hundreds of kids to work harder to achieve their dreams.

Saturday night, the only night of the busy weekend we could attend, was “my night at the ballet”. Christine Rocas and Rory Hohenstein, both with the Joffrey Ballet, wowed the crowd as they performed a pas de deux, “Duet from After the Rain”, choreographed masterfully by Christopher Wheeldon. The entire audience in the Anheuser-Busch Performance Hall was moved to their feet by this very attractive couple’s interpretation of the piece with sheer elegance, fluidity, romance, and intimacy in one of the most graceful and emotional duets I’ve seen performed.

In spite of – or perhaps because of – repeated warnings about the explicit language in their performance, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago was not to be “Ignore(d)”. Jacqueline Burnett, Alicia Delgadillo, Kellie Epperheimer, Adrienne Lipson, and Connie Shiau delivered an exciting and original performance. A one-line monologue gradually grew one line at a time, interwoven with a repetitive group dance routine that grew one movement at a time, a solo performance by each successive dancer, creating parallel poems of modern dance movement and social commentary.

“Le Corsaire Grand Pas de Trois” was enthrallingly performed by a collaboration of three Cuban dancers who have danced with various ballet companies in Cuba, Spain, Mexico and the United States. Individually and collectively in cheer-worthy performances, they made the entire audience fall in love with classical ballet all over again.

To keep this review brief, I’ve only mentioned three of the outstanding presentations yet every group gave the audiences all they had, spotlighting their particular dance style with flair and professionalism. Each night boasted five dance demonstrations in the lobby of the Touhill by various groups followed by short numbers in the Lee Auditorium, crowned by the featured performances in the A-B Performance Hall.

It seems to me that dancers are not entirely human, they possess abilities of fish and birds, gliding and flying to our amazement and enjoyment and offer us a glimpse of perfection. If you couldn’t make it to Spring to Dance this Memorial Day weekend, make sure to put it on your calendar for 2020!


Date of run: May 23-25, 2019

Touhill Performing Arts Center, DanceStL, UMSL Campus, St. Louis, MO

Reviewed by Isabelle Heidbreder

Reviewed on May 25, 2019

Tickets:

Guys And Dolls - The Muny in Forest Park

Please forgive us… this review of the Muny production of Guys and Dolls was posted but then lost as a result of our ongoing website update process. We will repost it in the coming days. Rest assured, it was another Muny success!

Date of run: June 10 -16, 2019

The Muny 101st Season, Forest Park, St Louis

Reviewed by Isabelle Heidbreder

Reviewed on June 11, 2019