St. Louis Stage Capsules

Dennis Brown and Paul Friswold suss out the local theater scene

Also Reviewed
A Doll's House Reviewed in this issue.

Five Guys Named Moe As the show begins, our lovesick hero (Anthony Tarvin Jr.) sits beside a radio tuned to a station "for night owls who have got the blues." He's nursing a bottle of beer, and he also must be smoking a little something, because suddenly, in a hallucinogenic haze his radio fills the stage. Out of this elephantine radio (cleverly designed by Chris Pickart) emerge five rejects from Nathan Detroit's permanent floating craps game. Each calls himself Moe; together, they spend the rest of the high-voltage, finger-snapping, suspender-plucking evening singing songs by R&B pioneer Louis Jordan. In no time at all, the blues give way to hoedowns, calypso sing-alongs (when's the last time you were in a conga line?) and choo-choo boogies. Even if you've never heard of Jordan, these five Moes — Drummond Crenshaw, Herman Gordon, Horace E. Smith, Gary E. Vincent, Sean Walton — will make sure that you have a high-stompin' romp. And when they slow down long enough to blend their voices on "Is You Is or Is You Ain't Ma' Baby," the sound is downright sublime. Directed by Ron Himes and performed by the Black Rep through April 25 at the Grandel Theatre, 3610 Grandel Square. Tickets are $17 to $43. Call 314-534-3810 or visit www.theblackrep.org. — Dennis Brown

Outlying Islands Reviewed in this issue.

 
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