Newly Reviewed: My Three Angels, at the Gaslight Theater

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Gaslight Theater

358 N. Boyle Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63108

Category: Performing Arts Venues

Region: St. Louis - Central West End

My Three Angels Talk about a lost play! Sam and Bella Spewack's fable about three amiable convicts who influence the lives of a failed merchant and his family on a Caribbean island on Christmas Eve and Day 1910 was a modest success when it debuted on Broadway in 1953. Since then it has faded from view. But St. Louis Actors' Studio has dug it up and dusted it off. If Angels shows its age, it also recalls a time when theatergoers were content to spend two and a half hours listening to civilized talk. As an artifact of a lost era, it continues to charm. Most charming of all is Whit Reichert, who is to the manner born when it comes to playing this leisurely style of comedy. Reichert portrays Joseph, a recovering con artist, with precisely the right amount of laid-back ease, yet he knows just when to underscore a point and move the plot forward. There's also impressive work from Garrett Bergfeld (who resembles a lean George C. Scott) as the convict who murdered his faithless wife. Act Two receives an infusion of energy from Richard Lewis as the play's Scrooge-like villain, and Act Three is immeasurably helped out by Theresa Doggett, who can wring a simple line like, "He's dead," as if it were a washrag. Don't expect big laughs from My Three Angels, but you might find yourself smiling a lot. Through December 18 at the Gaslight Theater, 358 North Boyle Avenue. Tickets are $25 ($20 for students and seniors). Call 314-458-2978 or visit www.stlas.org. (DB)

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Dreamlaw
Dreamlaw

The acting was very good. But this play is forgotten for a reason. It's bad. I offer from a 1985 NY Times review of a local NY production:

"The romantic concept of the kindly criminal who has been thwarted by fate may be beyond the suspension of disbelief for some crime-weary audience members. The concept of the caring, loving, compassionate murderer has fortunately faded from dramatic fiction, and ''My Three Angels'' is nowhere near a strong enough play to make the idea an entertaining one. The plot gets bogged down in a fatuous stew of preposterous, mindless fantasy, and the play is never more than a dull story."

 
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