Capsule Reviews

Dennis Brown, Paul Friswold and Deanna Jent suss out local theater

Some Americans Abroad Richard Nelson's acid account of ugly American intellectuals on a university-sponsored theater gorge through England is an intriguing if nasty piece. Not that Nelson is too hard on the academic phonies he's harpooning; he's just so relentless. Jim Sala's direction only scratches the surface of this satire, which makes a play that needs to live in its nuances merely one-note. Joe Wegescheide conveys the insufferable department head's cowardice without letting us see how he got this job to begin with. But the set design by Ryan Tiffany is ingenious: Photos convey the locales, while books hang from the ceiling throughout the auditorium like fish hooks, suggesting perhaps that learning is everywhere to those who are willing to bite. Produced by St. Louis Community College-Forest Park through March 4 at the Mildred E. Bastian Center for the Performing Arts, 5600 Oakland Avenue. Tickets are $4 ($2 for students and seniors). Call 314-644-9388.

The Heidi Chronicles, through March 4 at the Loretto-Hilton Center.
Jerry Naunheim Jr
The Heidi Chronicles, through March 4 at the Loretto-Hilton Center.

Standing on My Knees Catherine (Meghan Maguire) is a poet hoping to rid herself of schizophrenia, but not at the cost of her creativity. Interesting premise, but what begins as an absorbing character study soon becomes a conventional romance between the free-spirited Catherine and a straitlaced investment counselor (Nicolas Pavros). Anyone remember Two for the Seesaw? It might help if you don't. Audiences seem to like John Olive's well-intentioned play, but don't peer too closely. Produced by Orange Girls through March 4 at the COCA Black Box, 524 Trinity Avenue, University City. Tickets are $20 ($18 for students and seniors). Call 314-520-9557 or visit

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