Capsule Reviews

Dennis Brown and Deanna Jent suss out local theater

Menopause The Musical

The Barber of Seville Reviewed in this issue.

Bleacher Bums Hard to believe Bleacher Bums is 29 years old — so old that this celebration of baseball fandom (mercifully) even predates the Wave. Otherwise, that surely would be included along with all the other baseball clichés that fill these 80 energetic minutes. The show's framework is a Cubs-Cardinals game at Wrigley Field back in the era of Willie McGee and Ozzie Smith. The bleachers are filled with a rogue's gallery of compulsive gamblers, along with a blind play-by-play sports commentator and a sexy sunbather. Nicholas Kelly probably loses five pounds a performance as the manic Cheerleader. But without exception the entire cast, under the bullwhip direction of Richard Strelinger Jr., is so terrifically spontaneous, you'd think they wrote the show last week. Expect to have a joyful time (and don't forget to wear red). Performed by Hydeware Theatre through June 3 (the weekend the Cubs are in town!) at the COCA Black Box, 524 Trinity Avenue, University City. Tickets are $15 ($10 for students and seniors). Call 314-368-7306 or visit

Buried Child Reviewed in this issue.

Doctor Dolittle In musical theater there's no substitute for a star, and no star shines with the amiable incandescence of Tommy Tune. This show, loosely based on the dreary 1967 movie dud about a misanthropic doctor who talks to animals, ambitiously has adopted a form alien to most American theatergoers. It's modeled after an English Christmas pantomime, where anything goes and nonsense reigns supreme. Those looking for a message or even a moral are bound to be disappointed, but anyone who is willing to give himself over to the beguiling wiles of a master entertainer is likely to leave the theater with a smile almost as wide as Tune's. Though there's still work to be done here, if you've never been in London in December, this is the next best thing. Through May 28 at the Fox Theatre, 527 North Grand Boulevard. Tickets are $18 to $56. Call 314-534-1111 or visit

Menopause The Musical This sassy musical revue parodies songs of the '60s and '70s, focusing on issues of aging and hormone imbalance (to give you an idea: A disco medley includes "Night Sweating" and "Stayin' Awake"). Sandra Benton is a powerhouse singer whose Tina Turner brings down the house. Brooke Davis scores with "Puff the Magic Dragon" and Lee Anne Mathews delivers a sultry "Tropical Hot Flash," while Rosemary Watts has fun with the raciest number, a tribute to self-love. The only problem with music director Joe Dreyer's slick 90 minutes is that it's too loud. Open-ended run at the Playhouse at West Port Plaza, 635 West Port Plaza (second level), Page Avenue and I-270, Maryland Heights. Tickets are $44.50. Call 314-469-7529 or visit

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