Capsule Reviews

Dennis Brown and Deanna Jent suss out local theater

Menopause The Musical

Bombay Dreams Reviewed in this issue.

Menopause The Musical This sassy musical review 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

The Sugar Syndrome This account of the unlikely friendship between a bulimic teenager straight out of the hospital and a middle-aged pedophile straight out of prison is an absorbing, darkly amusing reminder of just how gripping and immediate theater can be. Lots of plays chronicle the loneliness of young people, but few are as authentically here-and-now as this one, which was written with an urgent passion by 22-year-old Lucy Prebble. Magan Wiles and Terry Meddows make for a riveting odd couple: she is all energy; he is stillness personified. Together they create a memorable evening. Performed by Echo Theatre Company through April 15 at the Tin Ceiling Theater, 3159 Cherokee Street. Tickets are $18 ($15 for students and seniors). Call 314-995-2123 or visit

Witness for the Prosecution Isn't it ironic that Agatha Christie's most famous title owes its celebrity not to the play itself (which is almost never staged) but rather to the droll 1957 film version directed by Billy Wilder, who knew how to make mystery fun? As in any Christie whodunit, there are surprises in this account of the murder trial of a young man accused of bludgeoning his patroness. But it's a long wait and a lot of talk before the payoff arrives. Most of the evening is dull stuff, executed by a playwright who knew a lot less about stage structure than she thought she did. Produced by the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis through April 14 at the Loretto-Hilton Center, 130 Edgar Road, Webster Groves. Tickets are $13 to $61 (rush seats available for students and seniors, $8 and $10, respectively, 30 minutes before showtime). Call 314-968-4925 or visit


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