St. Louis Stage Capsules

Dennis Brown and Paul Friswold suss out the local theater scene

 Opening
An Almost Holy Picture Reviewed in this issue.

Ongoing
Eurydice In respinning the legend of Orpheus and Eurydice away from young love and instead paying honor to the undying bond between daughters and fathers, playwright Sarah Ruhl has created a charmed world in which beauty is its own reality. No playwright today possesses a more lyric sense of drama. It's difficult to even imagine this script being confined to the pages of a book. Ruhl's words seem to float on the breeze. If this staging seems less playful than the play intends, still it's an opportunity to see a story by a writer who lives in a world of unbounded imagination. Produced by Orange Girls through March 15 at the Center of Creative Arts (COCA), 524 Trinity Avenue, University City. Tickets are $20 ($18 for students and seniors). Call 314-520-9557 or visit www.orangegirls.org.
— Dennis Brown

A Song for Coretta As mourners stand in the chill outside Atlanta's Ebenezer Baptist Church to pay their final respects to Coretta Scott King, a young freelance reporter (Candace Jeanine) interviews some of the women in line. The first hour of the Black Rep's performance of this intermissionless play is absorbing and well staged by Erik Kilpatrick. The dignity that emanates from the commanding Andrea Frye as a woman who once met Mrs. King is delightfully contrasted by the always-resourceful Rory Lipede as a bimbo who wouldn't know Coretta King from King Creole. But in the final half hour, when playwright Pearl Cleage counterpoints the travails of a Katrina survivor (Cathy Simpson) with those of a soldier (Leah Stewart) on the verge of deserting, their duologue strives for a theatrical lyricism that is strained at best. At this point Coretta is essentially shut out of her own play. Through March 15 at the Grandel Theatre, 3610 Grandel Square; 314-534-3810 or www.theblackrep.org. Tickets are $17 to $43. (DB)

 
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