By Lynn Venhaus

Throughout a long and illustrious career as a professional actor and director, Alan Knoll has been a steady and appreciated presence in St. Louis regional productions. This year, he’s as busy as ever, appearing as flawed dads in two plays — “We All Fall Down” and “August: Osage County,” and directing an acclaimed drama — “Red” — later this summer.

Knoll estimates he has been in more than 150 productions, with his current turn as Saul Stein, a retired history professor, in “We All Fall Down,” now playing at New Jewish Theatre through June 16.

“It appears to be around my 153rd show since I started acting ‘professionally’ right after college. That doesn’t include the many shows I did at St. Mary’s High School, St. Louis University, and all those little gigs I took right out of school that didn’t pay a little something,” he said.

The parts of Saul Stein and Charlie Aiken Sr. this year have been enriching, he said. He has moved easily between comedic and dramatic parts, with occasional forays into musicals.

“This is the year of the family dramedy for me, for sure. Playing Saul Stein in ‘We All Fall Down’ at the New Jewish Theatre took me down an unexpected road of reflecting on my own dad and what he went through at the end of his life. Playing Charlie Aiken in ;August: Osage County” gave me the opportunity to reflect on my successes and failures in raising my wonderful son,” he said.

Alan plays retired history professor Saul Stein in “We All Fall Down,” with Jenni Ryan (back) and Bridgette Bassa (right). Photo by Jon Gitchoff.

The New Jewish Theatre’s production will be its first in St. Louis, after it made its debut in 2020 at Boston’s Huntington Theatre. It illustrates the joys and heartaches of growing older, growing up, and growing to understand the value of tradition.

Mindy Shaw plays Saul’s wife Linda, a brilliant but dramatic matriarch, who wanted to bring her secular family together for their first-ever Passover seder. But as the night continues, the occasion goes from funny to poignant. The play reminds us how culture, personal identity, and family are intricately woven.

“Even with my next project, directing “Red” for the New Jewish Theatre, the play has that father-son dynamic. It brings up strong memories of me as both the son and the father,” he said.

A bonus of being in family-centered plays is the connections you make, he noted.

“The secret no one tells you about acting is every time you do a show you gain a family.  And when that show is about a family, those gained relationships can be even more intense,” he said.

As God.

He last appeared on the Wool Studio Theatre in 2018, playing the Almighty in “An Act of God.”

Knoll has worked with multiple companies in St. Louis, including The Black Rep, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, The Muny, St. Louis Actors’ Studio, Upstream Theater and Imaginary Theatre Company, and the defunct Insight Theater Company, Dramatic License Productions, HotCity Theatre, Muddy Waters Theatre Company and Theater Factory..

He has also worked extensively over the years at Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre, which is one of Missouri’s oldest professional regional theatres, and about 160 miles from St. Louis. His wife of 26 years, Laurie McConnell, became the marketing director there in 2023, and they moved from their Dogtown neighborhood to the quaint village of Arrow Rock.

He received Kevin Kline Award acting nominations for “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “Conversations with My Father.” Besides acting, he has been nominated for directing Neil Simon’s autobiographical comedies “Brighton Beach Memoirs” and “Broadway Bound” at New Jewish Theatre by the St. Louis Theater Circle Awards.

He has also appeared in several films, including as a prison warden in 2023’s “Penitentia,” and in the 1998 mini-series “A Will of Their Own” as a reporter, which was shot in St. Louis.

Despite his busy schedule, he graciously gave us his time to answer our Take Ten questionnaire.

With Steve Isom in “Wittenberg” at Upstream Theater.

Take Ten Q&A

1. What is special about your latest project?

“Lila Rose Kaplan’s family comedy/drama is just great. I didn’t realize it would be so special to me, but in rehearsing it, it has become a role that is very close to my heart. It has made me reflect on my own dad and what he was going through toward the end of his life.”

2. Why did you choose your profession/pursue the arts?  

“It was the only thing I felt comfortable doing! As a kid, I was pretty lonely and isolated, not very happy at all. At St. Mary’s High School, I met Rich Contini, the drama teacher, which changed the trajectory of my life. That continued at SLU under the guidance of Alan Hanson, Robert Butler and Wayne Loui.”

3. How would your friends describe you?  

“What friends?
I guess as an easy-going nice guy. I hope so anyway. I have a sense of fairness and I make them laugh. Also, if you need to know who won Best Supporting Actor in 1942, I’m faster than Google.”

Alan Knoll as the U.S. president in “November” at St. Louis Actors’ Studio.

4. How do you like to spend your spare time?

“What is this spare time you speak of? Reading, watching old movies, finding a streaming show for us to become obsessed with, walking our rescue pooch, Truman.”

5. What is your current obsession?

“Abbott Elementary and running from cicadas.” 

6. What would people be surprised to find out about you?

“I’m very shy.”

7. Can you share one of your most defining moments in life? 

“Marrying the best girl in the world, Laurie McConnell.”

8. Who do you admire most? 

“I would have to say my wife, Laurie McConnell. She’s amazingly talented and so sweet to everyone. She always becomes a rockstar at whatever she does, whether it’s in her radio career, her acting career or her marketing career. I don’t know how she does it.”

9. What is at the top of your bucket list? 

“Travel, because I have done very little of it. Touring the UK (or whatever it’s called since Brexit) is a dream of mine.”

Alan and wife Laurie McConnell. Provided photo.

10. How were you affected by the pandemic years, and anything you would like to share about what got you through and any lesson learned during the isolation periods? Any reflections on how the arts were affected? And what it means to move forward?

“2020 was scheduled to be one of my best years.   I had acting and directing gigs lined up all over the place.  None of that happened.  Of course, this nothing compared to the millions who lost their lives.

Laurie and I got through it by teaching ourselves to cook and visiting with our neighbors over the fence in the back yard.  6 feet apart of course.  It reminded us of our inter-connectedness and how we’re not in this alone.

The St Louis arts scene was terribly affected.  All the theatres shut down and some never came back. Patrons got out of the habit ongoing to the the theatre and we’re still trying to fix that.”

11. What is your favorite thing to do in St. Louis?

This is my hometown, but now that I don’t live here, it’s fun to see the city and all it has to offer with fresh eyes.  Forest Park, Ted Drewes, hanging out with my son in the Bevo neighborhood, Imo’s pizza, smelling the hops emanating from the brewery where my Dad worked for forty years.  I love my hometown and the Cardinals…….even this year!

12. What’s next?

“Directing “Red” for the New Jewish Theatre, then performing in “Noises Off” at the Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre, then a long nap.”

Playing a priest in “Flanagan’s Wake” at the Playhouse at Westport. The run was cut short by the pandemic shutdown in March 2020.

More About Alan Knoll

Name: Alan Vincent Stephen Knoll
Age: My wife Laurie says I act like I’m 12
Birthplace: St Louis
Current location: Home base, Arrow Rock, Mo.  Currently working in St Louis.
Family: Laurie McConnell & Ben Knoll
Education: Bachelor’s degree from Saint Louis University
Day job: Dog walker (just mine….unpaid)
First job:  Dishwasher at Al Smith’s restaurant on Grand, 7 Meramec in South St Louis
First play or movie you were involved in or made: My first play was the Caine Mutiny Court Martial.  I was a sophomore in high school.
Dream job/opportunity: I really want to play Willy Loman in “Death of a Salesman”
Awards/Honors/Achievements: The late, great Riverfront Times named me Best Actor as George in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”
A Woody award as a best supporting actor for the Black Rep’s “Intimate Apparel.” A Piglet Award for directing “Putnam County Spelling Bee” for St. Louis University.
Being enough of a working actor to earn a pension from Actor’s Equity.
Favorite quote/words to live by: Dying is easy, Comedy is hard — Edmund Gwenn
A song that makes you happy: “Gimme Shelter” – The Rolling Stones

The ensemble cast of The Rep’s “August: Osage County.” Alan is in the foreground, center.

By Lynn Venhaus

A career path that includes comedy, live theatrical performances and an upcoming Robert DeNiro film has taught Amadeo Fusca to be open to challenges that come your way. Known for his energy and quick wit, the actor says that getting laughs from an audience is always the cherry on top to making a live connection.

Recently in town for “Men Are From Mars Women Are From Venus Live” at the Playhouse at West Port Plaza, Fusca explained the part play-part stand-up comedy based on the 1992 best-selling self-help book by John Gray is a revised version of the one-man show now celebrating its 10th anniversary, the Evolution Tour. He was here before, in 2016, and last year at The Pageant. He will be in other major cities this spring with the revamped version.

Gray’s book exploring the differences between the sexes has sold in excess of 50 million copies, been translated into 40 different languages and is one of the most recognizable titles in the world.

He said you can expect the same delightful, light-hearted comedy that is definitely for adults. Eric Coble, the original writer, and director Mindy Cooper are back to inject new life into the script, ensuring its relevance and resonance with today’s audiences. Moving swiftly through a series of vignettes, Fusca covers everything from dating and marriage to the bedroom. 

Fusca does his homework, using local references, works in ad-libs and improvises, too — he’s so familiar with the material, and how audiences will respond.

He enjoys engaging an audience, hearing all the laughs and giggles, and seeing couples elbow each other as they see themselves on stage. Fusca said it’s a great night out – combining storytelling, comedy and some sage wisdom from the book.

“Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus” at Westport in 2016

Originally from Pittsburgh, Amadeo has now performed “Men are From Mars Women are From Venus Live!” in over 60 cities, across 30+ states and in front of 75,000 people and counting.

In 2013, he won the legendary Friars Club “So You Think You Can Roast?” competition beating out 55 other comedians roasting ‘80s child star Ricky Schroeder and NBA Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman in the process. As the winner, Amadeo was among the dais to roast Jack Black along with comic legends such as “Roastmaster” General Jeff Ross, Sarah Silverman, Amy Schumer, Bob Saget, Jerry Lewis and more!

In addition to his theatrical comedy, Amadeo can also be seen in various television and film productions including: “Princess Cut” on HBO MAX, “NCIS” on CBS, “That Damn Michael Che” on HBO MAX, Marvel’s “Daredevil” on Netflix, “Boardwalk Empire” on HBO, “The Holiday Dating Guide” on Lifetime, “Almost Family” on FOX and “As the World Turns” on CBS.

Sometime this year, you can catch him as Lucky Luciano in the new Robert DeNiro film “Alto Knights” directed by Barry Levinson. 

He had been performing his infamous character World Renowned Conductor Salvatore Giovanni across the globe to roaring reactions in the world’s greatest variety show run by Zach Zucker called “Stamptown,” which played at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

But now, he has developed Salvatore into a solo show that may just play on this stage one day as well…

For more information, please visit his website at

Take Ten Q&A with Amadeo Fusca

1. Why did you choose your profession/pursue the arts?
I grew up in a household where we followed the Oscars very closely every year. I would watch all the best dramas and analyze who I thought should win.  On top of that, we just watched a lot of great TV shows at my house as well. Including classics like Taxi. I always admired the work and felt good doing it. 

2. How would your friends describe you?

3. How do you like to spend your spare time?
Seeing shows, gambling on sports and word games.

4. What is your current obsession?
Fanduel Faceoff – A betting app with games

5. What would people be surprised to find out about you?
I never learned how to ride a bike

6. Can you share one of your most defining moments in life?
When I was awarded the winner of the Friars Club “So You Think You Can Roast?” Competition and got to Roast Jack Black.

7. Who do you admire most?
My Mom for everything she’s endured in life and keeps on persevering through. 

8. What is at the top of on your bucket list?
“Go into Outer Space”

9. What is your favorite thing to do in St. Louis?
Perform (:

10. What’s next?
Heading to London to perform some shows with my World Renowned Conductor Character Salvatore Giovanni and then shows in Davenport, IA, Cincinnati, OH, Burnsville, MN and Sioux Falls, SD.

More About Amadeo

Age: 37
Birthplace: Pittsburgh, PA
Current location: Los Angeles, CA
Education: BA in Acting from Point Park University Conservatory of Performing Arts
Day job: Acting
First job: Busboy
First role: Albert Peterson in “Bye Bye Birdie”
Favorite roles/plays: Jerusalem – Mark Rylance
Dream role/play: Something Funny & Serious that hasn’t been made just yet. 
Awards/Honors/Achievements: Friars Club Roast Competition Winner
Favorite quote/words to live by: “All I know is I don’t know” 
A song that makes you happy: “Good Riddance” by Green Day

The producer of the “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus” Evolution Tour is St. Louis based Emery Entertainment has produced and promoted thousands of events around the globe, including superstar attractions Blue Man Group, David Copperfield and James Taylor. The talented team assembled for this production continues with the award-winning playwright Eric Coble, direction by Broadway veteran Mindy Cooper, and animation & video production by the talented animators at Bazillion Productions.

Westport Playhouse is back, hosting plays, musicals, films, comedy, private events and much more. Enhanced with a new 40-foot video screen backdrop, upgraded lighting and a new sound system, Westport Playhouse is located at 635 Westport Plaza in Maryland Heights. For more information or to see a list of nearby restaurants,

Performance times are February 14-16 at 7:30 p.m.; February 17 at 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.; and February 18 at 2 p.m. Tickets may be purchased through MetroTix at or by calling 314/534-1111.  Additionally, tickets will be available at The Westport Playhouse box office one hour prior to show time. All seats are $67. Use promo code MARS to save half-off.

visit For more information on the tour, visit       

By Lynn Venhaus
Managing Editor

At Pelican Roost, an active senior living community, 70-something is the new 20-something, but with looser skin. “Assisted Living: The Musical” promises the tales that grandma is not going to reveal. Think if the Smothers Brothers and the Golden Girls partnered to produce a show.

 “Imagine a world in which no one expects you to work, no one can get pregnant, and where you get a 20 percent discount just for being alive. That’s ‘Assisted Living,’” said writer-performer Betsy Bennett.

She and Rick Compton, her
creative partner, will be playing 18 characters, each with unique answers to
later-in-life’s questions.

This is not your grandma’s assisted living. Original songs include “Help! I’ve Fallen (For You) and I Can’t Get Up,” “WalkerDude@Facebook.Com” and “The Uplifting Viagra Medley.” The pair will perform “Assisted Living: The Musical” at the Playhouse at Westport from Aug. 1 to 11. They have a different take on aging. “Old age is no more about fixed incomes and disability than youth is about student debt and hangovers,” Compton said. They have been writing and performing together since 1995, mainly political and social satire in and around Naples, Fla.

Bennett is a life-long theatre denizen, starting professionally in summer stock
when she was 15. She has a theatre degree from Albion College, and followed
that with an internship at Playwrights Horizons in New York City. Betsy
co-founded Arcane Theatriks, a professional company in Chicago. She is a member
of The Dramatists Guild and has been cast in more than 90 productions.

Compton leads the creative life since escaping from the corporate world in 1988. Since then, he founded Via Colori®, a small chain of annual street painting festivals, toured Japan as a keyboardist for The Platters, and authored a children’s activity book called The Essential Street Painter (Simon & Schuster).

Rick’s won several regional awards for magazine articles and is a member of The Dramatists Guild. Rick has played piano and synthesizer in the pit for more than a dozen musicals and served as musical director for several more.

“Assisted Living: The Musical” opened in Naples, Fla., in 2010. The Tampa Times said it is “A Joy to savor and savor again.” The San Francisco Examiner called it “wickedly funny.”

Emery Entertainment presents “Assisted Living: The Musical” Aug. 1-11 at the Playhouse at Westport, 635 Westport Plaza. Performances are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 2 p.m., Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets may be purchased through MetroTix at or by calling 314-534-1111. Tickets are also available at the Playhouse box office one hour prior to show time. Groups of 10 or more should call 314-402-2430 for special rates. For more information, visit

Rick Compton as Ben YoungerQUESTIONS WITH BETSY AND RICK 1. Why did you choose your profession/pursue the arts? It really never seemed like a choice.

2. How would your friends describe you? One Stooge short of a comedy classic.

3. How do you like to spend your spare time? Rick works on his land and Betsy enjoys cooking, traveling and watching Star Trek reruns. 4. What is your current obsession? Writing our third Assisted Living: The Musical ® show.

5. What would people be surprised to find out about you? That we aren’t married to each other.

6. Can you share one of your most defining moments in life? Betsy: an internship with Playwright’s Horizons and Andre Bishop    Rick: Leaving the corporate world to live the creative life.

7. Who do you admire most? Professionally: Dan Goggin and Roger Bean

8. What is at the top of on your bucket list? An off-Broadway run.

9. What is your favorite thing to do in St. Louis?  Play the Playhouse at Westport Plaza! 10. What’s next? Rehearse our holiday show: THE HOME…for the holidays!

Betsy Bennett as Naomi More Information About Rick Compton and Betsy Bennett

Name: Rick Compton & Betsy Bennett Age:  Rick: 69  Betsy: 63 Birthplace: Rick is from Ohio. Betsy is from Michigan.

Current location: Naples, Florida Family: Rick lives with his wife, three horses, two Corgis, a peacock and a pig. Betsy has a son. Education: Rick: The Ohio State University     Betsy: Albion College Day job: This is our day job. First job: Betsy: Filing in her father’s office for 50 cents an hour. Rick: Caddy at the Pickaway County Country Club. First role: Rick: Small Dog in Hansel and Gretel in second grade  Betsy: Small Child in The King and I in fourth grade Favorite roles/plays:  Rick: Piano Player in Pump Boys and Dinettes  Betsy: Mama Rose in Gypsy

Dream role/play: Rick: Dream play – to write The Story of Judd
about the dark farm hand in Oklahoma. Betsy: Dream role – Would love to
play Dolly Levi in Hello Dolly
Awards/Honors/Achievements: We had a song on NPR’s Car Talk
Favorite quote/words to live by: “Have more fun!”

A song that makes you happy: William Tell Overture

By C.B. Adams Contributing Writer The title of the play, “Lewis & Tolkien of Wardrobes and Rings” might imply that attendees will be privy to behind-the-scenes factoids about their favorite “Lord of the Rings” and/or “The Chronicles of Narnia” characters. Alas, no revelations here. The two-man play, presented at the Playhouse at Westport Plaza, offers no new insights into Bilbo’s sexuality or Aslan’s origins as a plush toy.

“Lewis & Tolkien” delights in other, more
mature and insightful ways. It’s a buddy play, an even-more-literary “My
Dinner with Andre.” Written and performed by David Payne as C. S. Lewis
with Gregory Welsch as J. R. R. Tolkien, this play lightly examines the lives,
loves, shortcomings and pontifications of these masters of British fantasy as
they age into grumpy, weary, ruminative old men.

With a simple set — two easy chairs, a couple of tables, a
chess set to convey a cozy back room at their favorite pub — the play puts
front and center the true friendship between Tolkien and Lewis — the men, not
the legends. And friendship here is defined as a deep, platonic man-love that
has both nourished and complicated their lives.

 As Tolkien wrote in “The
Fellowship of the Ring,” “All we have to decide is what to do with the
time that is given us.” Payne’s play sets the two characters down to hash out
some of their issues. This approach emphasizes the abilities of the two actors.
In this, Payne and Welsch are as comfortable as well-broken-in loafers. Without
snazzy scenery or sound design, it’s easy to fall into the word- and
idea-filled relationship between them.

Neither Tolkien nor Lewis have any distinctive mannerism or
characteristics, compared to, say, Truman Capote, so there is no burden to
assess how well either actor portrays his man. So, the success of this
performance relies — rightly — on the chemistry and interplay between Payne
and Welsch. In this production, this is achieved well.

 The writers
themselves created fantastical worlds and these actors create a smaller but no
less potent and engaging world of ideas and interpersonal challenges and
triumphs. Plus, they get to dis The Bard himself, Shakespeare. That’s a tall
challenge with pared down theatrical essentials and a stage as intimate as
Westport’s. Despite some small timing and dialogue flubs by Payne, and the
noticeable tape holding the microphones on the cheeks of both actors, they
maintained this world with believability, passion and poignancy.

If this play were a painting, it would be one of those
glowing cottages rendered by Thomas Kinkade. It invites you in for some tea and
a satisfying, stimulating conversation. Taking an algorithmic approach, ala
Pandora or Spotify, if you like these authors’ writings, if you are a regular
Masterpiece Theatre-goer, if you are into tweedy woolen jackets with leather
elbow patches, or if you have an abiding appreciate the “life of the
mind,” then Lewis & Tolkien is for you.

The Playhouse at Westport Plaza presented “Lewis
& Tolkien, of Wardrobe and Rings” for six performances June 13-16. For more
information, visit

By Lynn Venhaus
Managing Editor
Happy Thanksgiving! Shows are dark Thursday so everyone can celebrate what the holiday means. As we pause to give thanks, seeing such diverse offerings on local stages any time of year is a blessing – such an abundance. This Thanksgiving holiday weekend has only a few shows available, but next week will begin a big theatrical push to wrap up the year.
But, there are shows to get you in the holiday spirit – via music and comedy, no matter what you are in the mood for – and you can enjoy this weekend with your family or friends. “A Christmas Story” starts Wednesday at The Rep.
Go See a Play!
“A Christmas Story”
The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
Nov. 28 – Dec. 23
Mainstage, Loretto-Hilton
What It’s About: “You’ll shoot your eye out”! An adaptation of the classic holiday film, “A Christmas Story” is about Ralphie Parker’s quest to get a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas. Filled with small-town family vignettes and colorful characters,
Director: Seth Gordon
Starring: Charlie Matthis, as nine-year-old Ralphie, and Ted Deasy, as the grown-up Ralph who narrates the play.
Brad Fraizer is The Old Man, Laurel Casillo is Mother, Spencer Slavik is younger brother Randy, Jo Twiss is Miss Shields. Tanner Gilbertson, Gigi Koster, Ana McAlister, Rhadi Smith and Dan J. Wolfe are featured child performers.
Of Note: The show had an acclaimed run at The Rep in 2009.
Disney Theatrical Productions under the direction of Thomas Schumacher presents Aladdin, the new musical, music by Alan Menken, lyrrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice, book and additional lyrics by Chad Beguelin at the Ed Mirvish Theatre in Toronto, Canada, starring: Adam Jacobs (Aladdin), James Monroe Iglehart (Genie), Courtney Reed (Jasmine), Brian Gonzales (Babkak), Brandon O’Neill (Kassim), Jonathan Schwartz (Omar), Clifton Davis (Sultan), Don Darryl Rivera (Iago), Merwin Foard (standby Jafar/Sultan), Michael James Scott (standby Genie/Babkak) and Jonathan Freeman (Jafar) directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw“Aladdin”
The Fox Theatre
Nov. 7 – 25
527 N. Grand
MetroTix or Fox box office.
What It’s About: A thrilling new production filled with unforgettable beauty, magic, comedy and breathtaking spectacle. It’s an extraordinary theatrical event where one lamp and three wishes make the possibilities infinite.
Ann K Photography“All Is Calm”
Mustard Seed Theatre
Nov. 15 – Dec. 16
Thursdays through Sundays
Fontbonne Fine Arts Theatre
6800 Wydown
What It’s About:  Celebrate the power of peace in this acapella musical based on the true story of soldiers during World War I who for one night, put down their arms and played soccer instead of exchanging bullets.
Director: Deanna Jent
Starring: Kent Coffel, Anthony Heinmann, Christopher Hickey, Greg Lhamon, Gerry Love, Michael Lowe, Sean Michael, Abraham Shaw, Jeff Wright
Of Note: This is the fifth time the musical has been presented.
“Away in the Basement: A Church Basement Ladies Christmas”
The Playhouse @ Westport
Nov. 8 – Jan. 6, no performance Thanksgiving Day
635 Westport Plaza in Maryland
MetroTix: or 314-534-1111
What It’s About: An all-new holiday show is set in 1959, on the day of the Sunday School Christmas Program. During holiday preparations, the down-to-earth ladies are creating their own memories from Christmases past and present. Content to do things the way they have always been done, yet pondering new ideas, the reality of everyday life hits home as they plan the Sunday School Christmas Program.
As the children rehearse in the sanctuary, several of the ladies are in the kitchen finishing up the treat bags filled with apples, peanuts and ribbon candy while the others put the final touches on the nativity pieces. As they mend old bathrobe costumes, discuss the politics of who’s going to play the various roles, little do the ladies know what surprises are in store for them.
Known for their hilarious antics and subtle charm, they are once again called upon to step in and save the day!
Directors: Lee Anne Mathews and Emily Clinger, with music direction by Joseph Dreyer
Cast: Rosemary Watts, Lee Anne Mathews,
Of Note: Performances are Sundays and Tuesdays at 2 p.m., Thursdays* and Fridays at 2 p.m., Saturdays** and Wednesdays at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Additionally, tickets will be available at the Playhouse @ Westport Plaza box office one hour prior to show time. Groups of 10 or more can call 314-616-4455 for special rates.
All five installments of the musical comedy “Church Basement Ladies” are inspired by the books of author/humorists Janet Letnes Martin and Suzann Nelson, including the bestseller “Growing Up Lutheran.”
“Every Brilliant Thing”
R-S Theatrics
Nov. 16 – Dec. 2
Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 7 p.m.
Kranzberg Arts Center black box theatre
What It’s About: When a six-year-old starts a list of every brilliant thing in life to encourage her despondent mother, little does she know that the list will take on a life of its own and thread its way throughout the girl’s life. Hilarious and heartbreaking, this one-woman show reminds us to celebrate the beauty in our lives and in those we love.
Starring: Nancy Nigh

By Lynn Venhaus
Managing Editor
St. Charles will literally become a ghost town when actors take over the streets during “Legends and Lanterns” this weekend and next. Strange things will be happening not only in neighborhoods but on local stages this week, too.
More Halloween spirit can be found in “Evil Dead: The Musical” at Stray Dog Theatre and “The Zombies of Penzance” at New Line Theatre.
The Bard gets spooky in “Macbeth,” and Rebel and Misfits starts its third Immersive Theatre Project Oct. 24 with a preview of “Macbeth: Come Like Shadows.”
The Bard also gets stormy in “The Tempest,” a gender-swap production from St. Louis Shakespeare.
For fantasy fun, Variety Club celebrates its 10th season with “The Little Mermaid” at the Touhill.
Times, they are a-changing for women in “A Doll’s House, Part 2,” now surprising audiences at The Rep, while a punk-rock, lesbian chef holds court in “Raging Skillet at The New Jewish Theatre.
The LGBTQ community is sharing their stories in “The Coming Out Festival” from the Q Collective. The tragic hate-crime death of Matthew Shepard is explored in “The Laramie Project” at Clayton Community Theatre.
Mustard Seed Theatre offers a provocative look at sin, grief and grace in “The Last Days of Judas Iscariot,” with 13 actors portraying 27 characters.
Fun, fantasy, comedy, drama, spooky or tragic — take your pick, but Go See a Play!

Amanda Brasher rehearses “Weird” by Nicholas Pappas in The Coming Out Festival.The Coming Out Play Festival
The Q Collective
Oct. 19 and 20
Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday at 4:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.
The Monocle on Manchester in the Grove
What It’s About: Six one-act plays that explore the coming out experience.
“A Doll’s House, Part II”
The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
Oct. 11 – Nov. 4
Browning Mainstage, Loretto-Hilton Center
130 Edgar
Michael James Reed as Torvald and Photo by Peter Wochniak, ProPhotoSTL.comWhat It’s About: Lucas Hnath’s audacious sequel was written more than 135 years after Henrik Ibsen’s original. The familial drama remains a foundational piece of theater, with a still-controversial ending in which a married woman chooses to walk out on her family. But in 2017, Hnath took the themes and characters of that familiar classic and flipped them on their heads, imagining what would happen if protagonist Nora Helmer returned home 15 years after her dramatic exit.
Director: Timothy Near
Starring: Caralyn Kozlowski, Andrea Abello, Michael James Reed, Tina Johnson
Photo by John Lamb“Evil Dead: The Musical”
Stray Dog Theatre
Oct. 11 – 27
Thursday through Saturday; Added performance Wednesday, Oct. 24
Tower Grove Abbey
What It’s About: Based on the 1980s cult classic “Evil Dead” films, this campy show bursts with farce and blood. Five college kids take a trip to a remote cabin in the woods and encounter ancient evil spirits and revenge-seeking Candarian demons.
Director: Justin Been, with music direction by Jennifer Buchheit and choreography by Sam Gaitsch.
Starring: Riley Dunn, Dawn Schmid, Maria Bartolotta, Josh Douglas, Stephen Henley, Jennelle Gilreath, Kevin O’Brien, Corey Fraine and Christen Ringhausen.
Of Note: Some performances are sold out, and tickets are predicted to be limited during run. Wait lists will begin nightly at 7 p.m. (when the lobby opens) at the box office for any unclaimed seats and those will be handed out at 7:55 p.m.
The Splatter Zone is considered Signature Seating. With your purchase of a “Splatter Zone” seat you also receive an exclusive T-Shirt with just enough white space for us to create a one-of-a-kind souvenir.
Those adventurous enough to sit in the “Splatter Zone” are encouraged to dress down. Stray Dog Theatre is not responsible for property damage or loss resulting from the “Splatter Zone.”
“The Laramie Project”
Clayton Community Theatre
Oct. 11 – 21
Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.
Washington University South Campus Theatre (old CBC high school)
What It’s About: Based on the true story of gay Matthew Shepard, the 21-year-old victim of a hate crime in 1998 in Laramie, Wy., “The Laramie Project” unfolds through the words of people in Laramie who were interviewed by members of Tectonic Theater Company in the 18 months following Matthew Shepard’s death (Oct. 12, 1998), creating a portrait of the community and key individuals in the aftermath of the event and as the victim’s killers were brought to trial and convicted.
Director: Jim Danek
Starring: Jim Abels, Kelly Hunter, Jack Janssen, Mark Lull, Tim Naegelin, Elizabeth Penny, Tina Renard, Lucy Sappington, Rob Tierney, Johnathon Waller, Chrissie Watkins
Of Note: This is the 20th anniversary of Matthew Shepard’s death.
In connection with its production, Clayton Community Theatre will be hosting post-show discussion of the issues raised in the play on Friday, Oct. 19. These conversations will be hosted by Denny Patterson, who has studied the Shepards, the Matthew Shepard Foundation, and their ongoing legacy.
Chris E. Ware and Jesse Munoz as Judas and Jesus. Ann K Photography“The Last Days of Judas Iscariot”
Mustard Seed Theatre
Oct. 10 – 28
Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m., No Friday
Fontbonne University Fine Arts Theatre
6800 Wydown
What It’s About: Set in Purgatory, the trial to determine Judas’ fate is underway. A defense attorney argues that the disgraced disciple should not be damned for all time, that others are culpable in the greater scheme of things, while an overzealous prosecutor thinks a special place in hell is just fine.
A jury will decide Judas’ fate, but not before a parade of high-profile witnesses take the stand
Director: Adam Flores, resident artist
Starring: Courtney Bailey Parker, Rae Davis, Graham Emmon, Carmen Garcia, Chelsea Krenning, Erick Lindsey, Carl Overby, Chandler Spradling, Arielle Rovinsky, Rachel Tibbetts, Chris E. Ware, and Eric Dean White
Of Note: Mature/adult subject matter, language and content. Not recommended for children.
There are no Friday performances. Thursday evening performances on Oct. 18 and 25 are Pay With A Can/Pay What You Can performances.
Photo by Ann K Photography
“Legends and Lanterns”
Historic Main Street in St. Charles
Oct. 20-21, 26-28
Saturday, Oct. 20 – 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, Oct. 21 – noon to 5 p.m.; Friday, Oct. 26, from 5 to 8 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 27 – 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 28 – noon to 5 p.m.
What It’s About: This Halloween, St. Charles will become literally a ghost town. Historic Main Street will be invaded by a plethora of playful paranormal poltergeists from parts unknown. These notorious and infamous witches, villains, and spirits from lore and legend will unleash the magic of their enchanted lanterns to bring you eerie entertainment. But don’t worry, these friendly ghouls have more treats to offer than tricks, and they enjoy meeting “little monsters” of all ages.
Finding its inspiration from the past, Legends & Lanterns offers the vintage charm of Halloween in the 1910s-1930s, to the historical rituals and customs brought to the holiday by the Druids and Victorians, to the ethereal atmosphere depicted in American ghost stories and Brothers Grimm fairy tales.
As you explore every mysterious nook and cranny of Main Street, you’ll unearth various activities that will bring to “life” the backstories and origins of this beloved holiday, All Hallow’s Eve. It’s a little bit silly. It’s a little bit macabre. But it’s all fun.
Some of the programs include “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” “Writers Block: Unbound,” and “Eerie Jamboree.”
Pick-up your official Legends & Lanterns Passport at the Tourism Center (230 South Main Street), Scarecrow Glen, Hayride Locations, or Plaza del Dia de los Muertos.
The Little Mermaid presented by Variety – Children’s Charity St. Louis at Touhill at University of Missouri – St. Louis on Oct 23, 2014.“The Little Mermaid”
Variety Theatre
Thursday through Sunday, Oct. 18 – 21
Touhill Performing Arts Center
University of Missouri – St. Louis
What It’s About: Sing, dance and swim along as we follow Ariel’s journey to walk on land and find true love. Celebrating its 10th anniversary, Variety Theatre is the country’s only production of its kind. Featuring an inclusive children’s ensemble performing alongside a professional adult cast, this Broadway classic is a must-see event.
Director: Lara Teeter
Starring Terrence Mann as King Triton; Berklea Going as Ariel; David Bryan Johnson as Prince Eric; Joy Boland as Ursula: Drew Humphrey, Alan Knoll, Ian Nolting, Dustin Crumbaugh, Michael Hawkins, Chandler Ford, Will Bonfiglio, Eileen Engel, Larissa White, Whit Reichert, Corbyn Sprayberry, Dena DiGiancina, Allison Newman, Caitlin Witty, JR Pruski, Jimmy Capek and Mason Kelso.
Of Note: In 2018, Variety Theatre was awarded the “Special Award for a Body of Work” by the St. Louis Theater Circle, an honor only presented when it is felt it is truly deserved.
“Macbeth: Come Like Shadows”
Rebel and Misfits Productions
Immersive Theatre Project
Oct. 24 – Nov. 10
Wednesday through Saturday at location patrons are bused to.
What It’s About: Dive into a shocking world and discover the heart and dark underbelly of a story that you have undoubtedly come in contact with before, but never allowed full access to the dripping heat and intimacy pulled along by its characters. This is one of Shakespeare’s boldest and most passionate plays deeply imagined.
Who are the inhabitants?  Why do their souls choose the courses they embark upon?  What is behind the door? Immerse yourself in a world of direct interaction, walk into this complexly-woven tale, wade into its unlocked depths.
Co-Directors: Kelly Hummert, Sean Patrick Higgins with Jordan Woods assisting.
Starring: Sean Patrick Higgins, Jeffrey Cummings, Spencer Sickmann, Reginald Pierre, Paul Cereghino, Shane Signorino, Kelly Hummert, Aarya Locker, Phil Leveling, Patrice Foster, Joel Antony, Hailey Medrano, Tyler Cheatem, Cynthia Pohlson, Ali Linderer, Kevin Corpuz and Jordan Woods
Of Note: We invite you to meet these characters as you never have before. Drink with them.  Dance with them.  Share your secrets with them. They will, in turn, weave you into the fabric of the action. Come and experience this high-octane, dangerous, and sexy world, where nothing is ever quite what it seems.
Pick Up Location: 1615 South Broadway, St Louis, MO 63104 (parking lot near DB’s), buses will transport the audience to and from the location.
“The Naked Magicians”The Playhouse at Westport
Oct. 19-21 (5 shows)
Tickets: MetroTix at or by phone at 314-534-1111. Additionally, tickets will also be available at the box office one hour prior to show time.
What It’s About: The Naked Magicians, the world’s naughtiest and funniest magic show, strips away the top hats and capes to promise full-frontal illusions with magic, muscles and endless laughs.
Starring: Mike Tyler and Christopher Wayne, two of Australia’s most famous magicians, w who have performed in seven countries and 200+cities. “Good magicians don’t need sleeves and great magicians don’t need pants,” Tyler said.
Of Note: They are back by popular demand after their sold-out performances last year. Post-show meet-and-greet tickets for an additional $20.
The show includes coarse language, sexual references and some nudity and is intended for audiences 18+. For more information, go to
“Raging Skillet”New Jewish Theatre
Oct. 4 – 21
JCCA Wool Theatre, Creve Coeur
What It’s About: A tasty adaptation of celebrity Chef Rossi’s autobiographical memoir, “Raging Skillet” – is equal parts book launch, cooking demonstration, heaping helping of comedy and a side of Jewish mother guilt.  When Rossi’s Jewish mother discovers the microwave, home-cooked meals become a thing of the past. What starts as a rebellion against her Orthodox parents, chauvinism in the kitchen and the pressures of conformity ends with Rossi becoming New York’s #1 punk-rock, Jewish, Lesbian caterer. This hilarious and heartfelt new comedy is based on her true-life story.
Director: Lee Anne Mathews
Starring: Sarajane Alverson as Chef Rossi, Kathleen Sitzer as her mother, and Erin Renee Roberts as DJ Skillet, sous chef and part-time DJ.
Of Note: Talkback scheduled for Oct. 18.
There is food.
“Redemption of a Dogg”
Stifel Theatre
Friday, Oct. 19, at 8 p.m.
What It’s About: Je’Carvous Johnson’s new stage play examines the internal battle one man has between preserving his lifelong legacy and losing the love of his life, when he is faced with choosing fame and fortune over faith and family. It is set against a backdrop of Snoop Dogg’s greatest hits.
“The Rocky Horror Show”
Washington University
The Performing Arts Department
Oct. 19 – 28
Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m.
Edison Theatre
What It’s About: Cult classic rock musical. Newlyweds Brad and Janet have blown a tire. They abandon their car and stumble into Frank N Furter’s castle in Transylvania.
“Silent Sky”
Insight Theatre Company
Oct. 19 – Nov. 4
Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.
Kranzberg Arts Center, 510 N. Grand
314 – 556-1293
What It’s About: When Henrietta Leavitt begins work at the Harvard Observatory in the early 1900s, she isn’t allowed to touch a telescope or express an original idea. Instead, she joins a group of women “computers,” charting the stars for a renowned astronomer who calculates projects in “girl hours” and has no time for the women’s probing theories. As Henrietta, in her free time, attempts to measure the light and distance of stars, she must also take measure of her life on Earth, trying to balance her dedication to science with family obligations and the possibility of love.
Director: Maggie Ryan
Cast: Gwen Wotawa, Henrietta Leavitt; Alex Freeman, Peter Shaw; Jennifer Theby-Quinn, Margaret; Jenni Ryan, Willamina; and Chrissy Steele – Abigail.
Of Note: The true story of 19th-century astronomer Henrietta Leavitt explores a woman’s place in society during a time of immense scientific discoveries, when women’s ideas were dismissed until men claimed credit for them. Social progress, like scientific progress, can be hard to see when one is trapped among earthly complications; Henrietta Leavitt and her female peers believe in both, and their dedication changed the way we understand both the heavens and Earth.”
“The Tempest”
St. Louis Shakespeare
Oct. 12 – 21
Ivory Theatre
7620 Michigan
What It’s About: A story of shipwreck and magic, “The Tempest” begins on a ship caught in a violent storm. Alonso, the king of Naples, is on board. On a nearby island, the exiled Duke of Milan, Prospero, tells his daughter, Miranda, that he has caused the storm with his magical powers.
Director: Patrick Siler
“Workers’ Opera”
Bread and Roses
Saturday, Oct. 20
Communications Workers of America Local 6300
Brunch Buffet & Performance Tickets are $20 in advance or at the door
Westport: 2258 Grissom Drive St. Louis, MO 63146
What It’s About: Written and performed by members of Service Employees International Union, Communications Workers of America, United Media Guild, Labor Engagement for the United Way, and others involved in the arts and organized labor.
Every sketch is full of good music, some history and lots of political humor featuring these workers-turned-actors.
Director: Kathryn Bentley, associate professor at SIU-Edwardsville and Artistic Director of the Black Theater Workshop. Music and script editing by Colin McLaughlin.

“The Zombies of Penzance”
New Line Theatre
Sept. 27 – Oct. 20
Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m.
The Marcelle Theater
3310 Samuel Shepard Drive in Grand Arts Center
Tickets: 314-534-1111
What It’s About: The world premiere of the rock musical, “The Zombies of Penzance: At Night Come the Flesh Eaters,” is based on Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Pirates of Penzance.”
Based on the conceit that the original draft, never seen before, was dated December 1878, Major-General Stanley is a retired zombie hunter, who doesn’t want his daughters marrying the dreaded Zombies of Penzance, for obvious reasons.
Co-Directors: Scott Miller and Mike Windsor-Dowdy. Miller has painstakingly reassembled these rediscovered materials into their original form, filling in the gaps with educated guesses based on other G&S shows and drafts. St. Louis composer and orchestrator John Gerdes is reconstructing Sullivan’s music.
Cast: Most of the cast from New Line’s public reading in January will return, with Sean Michael as Frederic, Melissa Felps as Mabel, Zachary Allen Farmer as Major-General Stanley the Zombie Hunter, Dominic Dowdy-Windsor as the Zombie King, with Mara Bollini, Kent Coffel, Robert Doyle, Matt Hill, Lindsey Jones, Tim Kaniecki, Kyle Kelesoma, Melanie Kozak, Sarah Porter, Christina Rios, and Kimi Short.
Of Note: New Line Theatre, “the bad boy of musical theatre,” opens its 28th season of adult, alternative musical theatre. New Line has shocked the music world by discovering a controversial, long-lost first draft by the legendary British team of librettist W.S. Gilbert and composer Arthur Sullivan, who together wrote 14 comic operas between 1871 and 1896.
One of the team’s best-known works, The Pirates of Penzance, originally debuted in New York in 1879, and was revived to great success in the early 1980s with Kevin Kline, Linda Ronstadt, and Rex Smith. What we now know is that there was an earlier, stranger draft of the show, which nobody knew about, with most of the same characters but a somewhat different plot.

By Lynn Venhaus
Managing Editor
Oh, the places you’ll go – the Oklahoma territory in 1906, Buenos Aires, the Emerald City, church, an art gallery, a boarding school, and a comedic mind on pop culture brainwashing. From classic musicals to iconic playwrights, you’ll be transported on adventures. Pick a place and go see a play!
“The Book of Moron”The Playhouse at Westport Plaza
Sept. 13 – 23
What It’s About:  Robert Dubac’s newest Off-Broadway hit “The Book of Moron” has been described as one of the most hilarious, intelligent and scorching satirical attacks on idiocracy since Mark Twain. Having been brainwashed by a culture that worships the Kardashians over character, delusion over truth, and selfies over self-effacement, Dubac begins his journey with a simple question: Who am I? What do I believe? What’s the point?
Okay, that’s three questions but suffice to say, he has no answers. Just voices. Inner voices who come to life with precision and wit. One by one they pull him into a hysterical alternative universe of critical thought in search of the bigger picture. It’s a head trip on a banana peel.”

The Children’s Hour”The Theatre Guild of Webster Groves
Sept. 7 – 16
Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m.
What It’s About:  Longtime friends Karen and Martha run a boarding school for girls. After a malicious youngster starts a rumor about the two women, the rumor soon turns to scandal. As the young girl comes to understand the power she wields, she sticks by her story, which precipitates tragedy for the women. It is later discovered that the gossip was pure invention, but it is too late. Irreparable damage has been done
Director: Barbara Mulligan
Cast: Jessica Johns Kelly, Nori Rhodes, Pepi Parshall, Patrick Ryan, Melanie Klug, Betsy Gasoske, Kaylee Ryan, Lydia Foss, Valletta Thurmon, Adrianna Misra, Sydney McClenning, Jesen Clendennen, Gracie Giles, Gentry Giles, Sophia Leritz and Christian Davis.
Of Note: Tickets are Adults $15, Seniors and Students $12, and are available at the door (cash or check). They do not take advanced reservations.
The Guild is a very old building, historic in fact, but because of this we are not wheelchair or handicap accessible. The Guild has a total of 31 steps.
Robert Stevens photo
“Crowns: The Gospel Musical”The Black Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
Sept. 5 – 23
Edison Theatre at Washington University
Box Office: (314) 534-3807
What It’s About: Crowns refers to hats worn by black women. Hats become a springboard for an exploration of black history and identity as seen through the eyes of a young black woman who has come down South to stay with her aunt after her brother is killed in Brooklyn.
Hats are everywhere, in exquisite variety, and the characters use the hats to tell tales about everything from the etiquette of hats to their historical and contemporary social functions.
Director: Linda Kennedy
Cast: Anita Jackson leads the cast as Mother Shaw, with Maureen Williams as Wanda, Amber Rose as Velma, Leah Stewart as Mabel, Eleanor Humphrey as Jeannette, Myke Andrews as The Man and Tyler White as Yolanda.
Of Note: Director Linda Kennedy says: “The mothers and grandmothers, women of the church, were the glue that held us all together. They helped to raise us and helped make us accountable for our actions. We feared them then but are so grateful to them now. One of the greatest gifts a child can receive is the opportunity to sit and listen to and learn from an elder.” Rounding out the behind the scenes team will be the stage manager, Tracy D. Holliway-Wiggins, set designer, Dunsi Dai, lighting by Joe Clapper, and costumes by Daryl Harris.
“Evita”The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
Sept. 5 – 30
What It’s About:  The incandescent Eva Perón’s rise from poverty to power electrified the world – and made her an iconic political celebrity. Winner of seven Tony Awards, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s tour-de-force musical revels in the glamour, charisma and controversy that defined the First Lady of Argentina. With its unforgettable anthem “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” and kaleidoscope of sights and sounds, “Evita” dazzles with pure passion.
Director: Rob Ruggiero, with music direction by Charlie Alterman and choreography by Gustavo Zajac.
Cast: Michelle Aravena (Eva Perón), Pepe Nufrio (Che), Sean MacLaughlin (Juan Perón), Nicolas Dávila (Augstín Magaldi/Ensemble), Shea Gomez (Perón’s Mistress/Ensemble).
Ensemble: Maria Bilbao, Nathaniel Burich, Ben Chavez, Samuel Druhora, Carmen Garcia, Esmeralda Garza, Samantha Gershman, Julie Hanson, Keith Hines, Jose Luaces, Ben Nordstrom, Waldemar Quinones-Villanueva, April Strelinger and Tim Wessel.
Eric Woolsey Photo
“Oklahoma!”Stages St. Louis
Sept. 7 – Oct. 7
Robert G. Reim Theatre
Kirkwood Community Center, 111 South Geyer Road
What It’s About: Romance, conflict, comedy and colorful characters set in 1906 in the Oklahoma territory.
Director: Michael Hamilton
Starring: Zoe Vonder Haar as Aunt Eller, John Flack as Andrew Carnes, Leah Berry as Bertie Cummings and
Of Note: “Oh, what a beautiful musical! Rodgers and Hammerstein’s timeless first collaboration was, in many ways, their most innovative. And while OKLAHOMA! completely changed the face of American musical theatre 75 years ago, it remains as fresh and vital today as it was then with its loving celebration of the American spirit. A stunning blend of drama, music, and dance, the exhilarating Rodgers and Hammerstein score contains such classics as “People Will Say We’re In Love,” “The Surrey With The Fringe On Top,” “Kansas City,” “I Cain’t Say No,” and the pulsating title tune, “Oklahoma!” A gold standard that set the bar for all great musicals that came after it.
Peter Wochniak Photo
“Social Security”Alfresco Productions
Sept. 14, 15 and 16
7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Sunday at 2 p.m.
Alfresco Arts Center
2041 Delmar Ave., Granite
What It’s About: The comedy focuses on trendy Manhattan art gallery owners Barbara and David Kahn, whose lives is turned upside down when her sister Trudy deposits their eccentric mother Sophie, on the couple’s doorstep, while she and her husband head to Buffalo to rescue their sexually precocious college student from a menage a trois!   Sophie is introduced to Maurice, who offers to paint her portrait and soon begins to brighten her life in ways she never expected, in her twilight years.
Director: Tim Callahan
Cast: Leslie Aerts, Danny Brown, Julie Cox, Nick Drago, John Mefford and Trish Nelke.
Photo Provided
“The Wizard of Oz”
Christ Memorial Productions
Sept. 14 – 23
Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., Sundays at 2:30 p.m.
Christ Memorial Lutheran Church
5252 S. Lindbergh>
What It’s About: L. Frank Baum’s classic tale, with music and lyrics by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg, background music by Herbert Stothart, dance and vocal arrangements by Peter Howard, orchestration by Larry Wilcox. It is adapted by John Kane for the Royal Shakespeare Company, and based upon the classic MGM motion picture owned by Turner Entertainment Company.
Dorothy Gale of Kansas journeys to the Land of Oz, where she encounters the Scarecrow, Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion, and is besieged by the Wicked Witch of the West, all with her beloved Toto by her side. Will she make it back home to Auntie Em and Uncle Henry with The Wizard’s help?
Cast: Grace Wilkinson – Dorothy
Jennifer Kerner – Aunt Em / Chorus
Kathryn Nestor Klein – Glinda / Chorus
Michael Klein – Uncle Henry / Winkie / Chorus
Ray Martin – Tinman / Hickory
Nathan Gallop – Scarecrow / Hunk
John Jauss – Lion / Zeke
Nicky Collett – Wicked Witch of the West / Miss Gulch
Keith Poppitz – Wizard / Professor / Chorus
Lucy – Toto
Victor Landon – Munchkin Mayor / Monkey / Tap & Dancer / Chorus
Elena Adams – Munchkin Barrister / Poppy / Chorus
Abigail Roberts – Munchkin Coroner / Poppy / Chorus
Delaney McCoy – Munchkin Lullaby League / Monkey / Tap Dancer / Chorus
Ella Blasé – Munchkin Lullaby League / Monkey / Tap Dancer
Ginger Cox – Munchkin Lullaby League / Poppy / Chorus
Dakota Davis – Munchkin Lollipop Guild / Nikko
Jackson Ehlen – Munchkin Lollipop Guild / Poppy / Chorus
John McCreary – Munchkin Lollipop Guild / Poppy / Chorus
Of Note: The cast has more than 100 members. If you are interested in a special Sensory Friendly performance on Thursday, Sept. 20. please email for details.