St. Louis Stage Capsules

Dennis Brown and Paul Friswold suss out the local theater scene

Johnny A. Cannon II: Johnny Descending Don't let that Roman numeral throw you — Kyle Kratky's pop culture-packed play is a sequel, but the first play is rehashed for your convenience before the action starts. This current play is also rehashed later in the evening, because you may have missed some plot points owing to the abundance of silly jokes, West Wing parodies and interpretive dance sequences. Titular hero Johnny A. (Ryan Cook) is a Keanu-Reeves-in-the-Matrix-type messiah (dim and effective) caught up in political intrigue he can't understand. Kratky stepped in ably as the charismatic but confusing Dark Horse on opening night, and Matt Heckman was very funny as his political opponent, President President. The script makes some obvious points about America's propensity for mythmaking, and these sometimes bring the show almost to a halt; Johnny A. Cannon is much better when the anarchic silliness runs rampant, such as lovely Ms. Briston Ashe's demented turn as Danny DeVito, cowboy crime lord. Presented by the Immediacy Theatre Project through August 30 at the Tin Ceiling, 3159 Cherokee Street. Tickets are $10. Visit or call 314-374-1511. — Paul Friswold

King Lear Reviewed in this issue.

The Sunset Limited Reviewed in this issue.

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