Ongoing The Fall of HeavenNovelist Walter Mosley's first play takes us from Harlem to Heaven and nearly to Hell. After New York City street hustler Tempest Landry is mistakenly gunned down by police for a crime he did not commit, Saint Peter condemns him to spend his eternity in damnation. When Tempest says hell no, he won't go, he is returned to Earth to see the errors of his ways — at which point the play settles into a series of debates about imponderables like good and evil. Novelist Mosley has a deft hand with dialogue; novice playwright Mosley does not yet appreciate the distinction between dialogue and action. His play could benefit from a little less talk and a little more drama. Performed by the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis through January 30 at the Loretto-Hilton Center, 130 Edgar Road, Webster Groves. Tickets are $18.50 to $70. Call 314-968-4925 or visit www.repstl.org.
— Dennis Brown
The Giver Time is suspended in this engaging one-hour stage adaptation of Lois Lowry's prize-winning science-fiction novel set in a futuristic world without choices, where sameness is the order of the day. Twelve-year-old Jonas is selected by his community's elders to become the next Receiver of Memory. But as the heretofore-brainwashed boy receives stimuli he never knew existed — a knowledge of books and colors, an introduction to joy and suffering — he discovers that even a little learning can be a dangerous commodity in a world of sameness. Once again, Metro Theater and the Edison Theatre have joined together to provide an evening of thoughtful entertainment for audiences young and old. Produced by Washington University and Metro Theater Company through January 23 at the Edison Theatre, 6445 Forsyth Boulevard (on the Washington University campus). Tickets are $16 ($12 for students, children and seniors). Call 314-935-6543 or visit www.edison.wustl.edu. (DB)