Capsule Reviews

Dennis Brown and Deanna Jent suss out local theater

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American Odyssey: Lewis & Clark Historyonics speeds us along the explorers' trail with energetic scenes of white-water rapids, pursuits of prairie dogs and Christmas dance celebrations, performed by an excellent cast of actors and musicians. John Flack moves easily from fun drinking songs to haunting ballads. Christopher Hickey and R. Travis Estes play Lewis and Clark, with Magan Wiles as Sacagawea. John White Antelope and Tommy Martin add excellent Native American flute and fiddle music. The play bogs down when the expedition does, in repetitive scenes of translated discussions with various Indian chiefs. But it ends on a nicely ironic note -- while the members of the expedition rejoice in their success, the Native Americans sense the impending doom of the future. Look for a series of fun period hats provided by costumer Michele Siler. Presented by Historyonics through May 9 at the Des Lee Auditorium in the Missouri History Museum, corner of DeBaliviere Avenue and Lindell Boulevard. Call 314-361-5858. (DJ)

Falsettos Reviewed in this issue.

Movin' Out Reviewed in this issue.

Pretty Fire Linda Kennedy mines theatrical gold from Charlayne Woodard's autobiographical story in a production that exemplifies the adage "less is more." Taking us on a tour of her first twelve years in the world, touching on topics from premature birth to prejudice to church choirs, Kennedy pulls out all the stops. Deeply rooted in Christian faith, Charlayne's memorable family provides plenty of material for humorous and heartfelt stories, all energetically performed by Kennedy with spot-on detail. Director Elizabeth Van Dyke melds exacting character choices with powerful vocal work, wisely using Kennedy's strengths as an actress and storyteller. A tribute to the strength of family love and the power of faith, Pretty Fire would make a great Mother's Day outing. Through May 16 at the Grandel Theatre, 3610 Grandel Square. Call 314-534-3810. (DJ)

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