Paternity Test

Orphans ask, "Who's your daddy?"

Treat may be an orphan, but he's not complaining. He's too busy taking care of his younger brother, Philip, whom he keeps under house arrest to ensure his safety. Treat's concept of "safe" may be suspect, since he engages in petty theft to make ends meet -- and he may have just crossed the line from petty to major by "kidnapping" a well-heeled drunk for an imagined ransom. It turns out that Harold the abductee is actually Harold the Chicago mobster, and he could teach the boys quite a bit about making ends meet, about family and about life itself. The Midnight Company presents Lyle Kessler's black comedy Orphans at HH Studio (2500 Manchester Avenue, Maplewood; 314-487-5305 or www.midnightcompany.com) at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday (July 15 through 24), with an additional performance at 8 p.m. July 21. In an interesting bit of casting, real-life brothers Peter and Travis Hanrahan play stage brothers Treat and Philip, respectively. Tickets are $15, and reservations are recommended. -- Paul Friswold

Crazy Ain't So Bad

In the good old insensitive days, bored south siders would take a bench seat outside the Arsenal Street asylum to laugh at the patients roaming its grounds. That macabre amusement has passed, but Stray Dog Theatre's production of Jean Giraudoux's The Madwoman of Chaillot pits a crazy-but-wise Parisienne against an array of greedy, powerful types such as The President and The Baron. Will her honest eccentricity triumph over the cunning conventionality of the establishment? Can she save Paris and the world from their predations? Do lunatics really say the darndest things? Find out at the A.E. Hotchner Studio Theatre at Washington University (Forsyth and Skinker boulevards). Performances are at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday (July 15 through August 7). Tickets range from $10 to $18 with children younger than ten admitted free on Sunday. Call 314-531-5923 or see www.straydogtheatre.org to find out more. -- Jason Toon

Mommy Issues
Dad's Hang-Ups

Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Momma's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feeling So Sad is the sort of title that immediately grabs your attention. How can a play live up to such a cumbersome name? By bursting at the gills with bellhops, plants, a live piranha and laughs, that's how. The mother and son in Arthur Kopit's award-winning play create chaos and comedy as they take over a hotel with their mountain of luggage and ridiculous accusations and actions. Clayton Community Theatre performs Oh Dad at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday (July 15 through 31) at Clayton High School (1 Mark Twain Circle, Clayton; 314-854-6646 or www.placeseveryone.org). Tickets are $12 to $15. -- Paul Friswold

 
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