Playwright William Inge has a star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame, right in front of the Commerce Bank. Two years ago, the biographical plaque became loose and then disappeared for a period until it could be re-set. For a few weeks, Inges star was an anonymous memorial to the Pulitzer Prize winner, a strange bit of symmetry for the former Washington University professor who had four consecutive hit plays in the ´50s but then fell out of favor with a fickle public. The Avalon Theatre Company helps restore some luster to Inges legacy with its production of Bus Stop, the third of Inges major plays. Set in a rural Kansas roadside diner, Bus Stop reveals eight characters pursuing love with various degrees of success while a blizzard rages outside. Backwoods beauty Cherie is hounded by rowdy cowboy Bo, who just cant take no for an answer. Professor Lyman drunkenly courts the illegal-in-48-states-aged Elma, whos flattered by the attentions of such an intelligent man. Even the pragmatic trucker Carl looks for something sweet -- and brief -- with Grace, the diners owner. Inges meditation on the various shapes love takes is powered by his unadorned, realistic language and a strong understanding of human foible. Avalon Theatre Company presents Bus Stop at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday (October 12 through 21) at Union United Methodist Church (3543 Watson Road; 314-351-6482 or www.avalontheatre.org). Tickets are $20 to $25.
Thursdays-Sundays. Starts: Oct. 12. Continues through Oct. 21, 2007