By Lynn Venhaus

One of Tennessee Williams’ most humorous one-act plays, “A Perfect Analysis Given By a Parrot,” will be the next radio play presented by the Tennessee Williams Festival St, Louis on “Something Spoken: Tennessee Williams On the Air.”

It will first air on Saturday, Aug. 8, at 5 p.m. on 107.3 FM. You can listen live or you can listen later through several platforms. It is archived at the station’s website and there is an encore Aug. 13 at 10 p.m. They are available for nearly two weeks before the next one. This third show is sponsored by the Jane and Bruce Robert Foundation.

This one is a charmer. I enjoyed the production when it was first presented during the inaugural TWSTL in May 2016. It was staged at the Curtain Call Lounge, with this same cast, under the direction of Brian Hohlfeld.

Kelley Weber

Intrigued by the title? Set at a dive bar in St. Louis, “A Perfect Analysis Given By A Parrot” follows Flora and Bessie, two proud members of the Women’s Auxiliary of the Sons of Mars, who have traveled from Memphis for the annual convention. All Flora and Bessie want is a good time, but they have been ditched by the conventioneers they have followed. Unfamiliar with the territory, they wonder into a place intent on whooping it up. While drinking fishbowls of beer and listening to sentimental tunes, the pair begin a light-hearted conversation, then loosen up as old memories are stirred. The women, whose relationship could be considered “frenemies,” assess each other’s lives, revealing loneliness and longing.

As I recall, Rachel Tibbetts and Kelley Weber were very good as the two aging Southern Belles, and Bob Harvey, always fun to watch, was the waiter. Always a twinkle in his eye.

This should be a delightful radio play, to hear Williams’ distinctive wordplay, with an amusing display of merriment. Everyone so far has been an excellent listen and so different. This summer series celebrating Williams’ one-act plays is produced by Carrie Houk, artistic director, and programmed every other Saturday. Each episode is introduced by Ken Page, in his signature silky style. Don’t forget to stay afterwards to listen to University of Illinois professor Tom Mitchell provide insights about Williams’ work.

Nisi Sturges as Mrs. Hardwicke-Moore

“The Lady of Larkspur Lotion” was the first, on July 11, sponsored by Mary Strauss, which was terrific in establishing the time, place and characters. Set in a seedy New Orleans boarding house, a delusional long time tenant Mrs. Hardwicke-Moore is convinced that she owns a Brazilian rubber plantation. Shades of Blanche DuBois! (a prototype for sure). The landlady, Mrs. Wire, has always humored her, but when Mrs. Hardwicke-Moore can’t make her rent, the two women start to argue. As if the walls could talk, a young writer steps in, and his dreams are part of the fantasies of those living in this cockroach-infested place.

Williams’ yearning, his desire to fit in, his characters with their fanciful stories — all there. You create these Southern places in your head. The images are vivid, and the production values strong. Nisi Sturges, sublime in last year’s “The Night of the Iguana,” played Mrs. Hardwicke-Moore with impeccable Southern airs, while Rayme Cornell was various degrees of stern as the landlord and Bradley Tejeda intriguing as the mysterious writer (He could have had his own one-act. Maybe he did?).

“This Property is Condemned” was the second one, on July 25. Rising star Elizabeth Teeter, a fine young performer who has appeared in three Broadway shows and starred as Dorothy in the Variety Club’s enchanting “The Wizard of Oz,” played Willie with the right amount of bravado and wistfulness. Tony Merritt II, a Webster Conservatory student, was strong as Tom. It was directed by Tim Ocel, who has beautifully helmed some of the mainstage shows and is guiding five of this summer offering.

Elizabeth Teeter

You might recall “This Property is Condemned” as a 1966 movie starring Natalie Wood and Robert Redford. They play town flirt Alva and out-of-town railroad employee Owen respectively, who meet in Ogden, Miss., during the Depression. Alva dreams of getting out of the two-bit town.

The play, however, is told by Alva’s sister, Willie, who meets a guy, Tom, on the abandoned railroad tracks, and tells the story in flashback — about Alva, her mom, Owen and other characters. Williams’ frequent themes — grass is always greener, exaggerated grandiosity— are there, as are his finely drawn female characters.

Tony Merritt

What makes these radio plays – only about 20 minutes each – so special is that Williams’ voice is so recognizable in each of these one-act plays. He wrote many of them during his formative years here in St. Louis, and it’s interesting to see the progression of his work. What a bright, brilliant mind early on whose life influenced all his writings, from start to finish.

Don’t miss these little gems, featuring some of the best and brightest talents using another ‘muscle’ — their voice. For Aug. 8, if you are unfamiliar with Rachel Tibbetts, she is one of the best and most versatile actresses in town, and veteran actress/teacher Kelly Weber won a St. Louis Theater Circle Award last year for another Tennessee Williams one-act, “A Lovely Sunday in Creve Coeur.”

And it’s just fun to catch the names of the local landmarks.

Rachel Tibbetts

Next up: “Hello from Bertha” Aug. 22 5 p.m., streaming until Sept. 4, one of the “Rooming House Plays” that I adore.
Starring: Anita Jackson, Donna Weinsting and Maggie Wininger, directed by David Kaplan, sponsored by John Russell

“Summer at the Lake,” Sept. 5, streaming until Sept. 18
Starring: Donathan Walters, Rayme Cornell, Kelley Weber; directed by Tim Ocel, sponsored by Mary Strauss

“Mr. Paradise,” Sept. 19, streaming until Oct. 2
Starring: Elizabeth Teeter, J. Samuel Davis, directed by Tim Ocel, sponsored by Terry Schnuck

Anita Jackson. Photo by Ride Hamilton

Listen online through:


Classic 107.3 Apple app:

On Android or Apple app

On demand with SoundCloud:

For more information:

“Waitress,” the Tony nominated musical will be premiering at the Fabulous Fox Theatre on Tuesday, March 26, for a limited engagement and is looking for two young girls to perform the role of “Lulu” for the duration of the engagement.

WAITRESS tells the story of “Jenna”, an
expert pie baker working at a local diner and stuck in a loveless
marriage.   Her salvation comes in the
form of her daughter, “Lulu.”

The character of “Lulu” is a sweet and
carefree 4 to 5-year-old who appears in the production’s finale scene.  Qualified young girls should be shorter than
4’2 and be no older than 5 years and 3 months. 
Individual applicants are welcome, as are sets of twins or siblings.
Space is limited to the first 60 applicants to sign up.

For more information, visit

To sign up, visit

The “Search for Lulu” will take place in St. Louis on Monday, Feb. 11 at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. and will last approximately 2 hours at Curtain Call Lounge (521 North Grand Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63103). The audition will consist of the child reading two lines from the show. If possible, parents should bring a current head shot and resume for each child. Headshot, resume and prior acting experience is not required.

The character of “Lulu” will be cast
locally in each tour market and two girls are chosen to share the role.  Each girl chosen will perform in 4
performances each during the one week engagement.

Brought to life by a groundbreaking all-female
creative team, this irresistible new hit features original music and lyrics by
6-time Grammy nominee Sara Bareilles (“Brave,” “Love Song”), a book by
acclaimed screenwriter Jessie Nelson (“I
Am Sam”) and direction by Tony Award winner Diane Paulus (Finding Neverland, Pippin, Hair).

Inspired by Adrienne Shelley’s beloved
film WAITRESS tells the story of
Jenna – a waitress and expert pie maker, Jenna dreams of a way out of her small
town and loveless marriage.  A baking
contest in a nearby county and the town’s new doctor may offer her a chance at
a fresh start, while her fellow waitresses offer their own recipes for
happiness.  But Jenna must summon the
strength and courage to rebuild her own life.

“It’s an empowering musical of the
highest order!” raves the Chicago Tribune. 
“WAITRESS is a little slice
of heaven!” says Entertainment Weekly and “a monumental contribution to
Broadway!” according to Marie Claire. 
Don’t miss this uplifting musical celebrating friendship, motherhood,
and the magic of a well-made pie.

Tickets are now available for WAITRESS at
the Fabulous Fox by visiting, by calling 314-534-1111 or in person
at the Fabulous Fox Box Office. Ticket prices start at $24. Prices are subject
to change; please refer to for current pricing. WAITRESSis part
of the U.S. Bank Broadway Series.

The Tennessee Williams Festival will present “Confessions of a Nightingale” Nov. 1-4 at Curtain Call Lounge.
In “Confessions of a Nightingale,” Terry Meddows stars as Tennessee Williams, riveting us with untold stories of Williams’ private life and professional challenges. It will be directed by Lana Pepper and presented November 1-4 at the Curtain Call Lounge at the Fox Theatre in the Grand Center Arts District.
The Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis was named 2019 Best Arts Startup by the Arts & Education Council
St. Louis’s own Tennessee Williams, widely considered to be America’s greatest playwright, sat almost four decades ago for an extensive, self-revelatory interview with Charlotte Chandler. She, along with Ray Stricklyn, transformed that interview into a play that provides an unforgettable evening. The play has received rave reviews. The Los Angeles Times calls it “an irresistibly charismatic one-man show.” Time Magazine characterizes it as “ingratiatingly salty,” and the Hollywood Reporter gushes that it is “a thrilling evening.”
As the New York Times said, “This is 90 minutes spent in the company of a born dramatist ineluctably drawn to tell tales out of school.”  Tennessee gossips about Tallulah Bankhead, Truman Capote, Marlon Brando, and Greta Garbo—but in one of many deeply human moments of the play, he confesses that gossip, for him, is way of diverting people from that which is most personal–his work. And how would he like it all to end? ‘If I could choose my spot to die,” he says, “I would like it to be in a Broadway theater on opening night, listening to the wild ovation at the end of my newest play.”
Meddows, who is from Fairview Heights, Ill., and lives in St. Louis, has won acting awards from the St. Louis Theater Circle Award and the Kevin Kline, and been nominated several times. In recent years, he has performed “Grey Gardens” with Max and Louie Productions, “The Diary of Ann Frank” and “Yentl” at the New Jewish Theater, and “Waiting for Godot” at the St. Louis Actors’ Studio. He was in the 2017 Tennessee Williams Festival play, “Will Mr. Merriweather Return from Memphis?”.
Tickets for “Confessions of a Nightingale” go on sale on Friday, Sept. 7 through MetroTix, at the Fox Box Office or at the door. General admission tickets are $30, preferred seating is $35 and students with a valid ID are $25.  Parking available in Grand Center.
The full Tennessee Williams Festival season announcement will be coming soon at
About Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis
Now in its fourth year, the Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis enriches the cultural life of St. Louis by producing an annual theater festival and other artistic and educational events that celebrate the art and influence of Tennessee Williams. The Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis is led by Executive Artistic Director Carrie Houk, a producer,  casting director, actor, and teaching artist. For more information, visit