St. Louis Stage Capsules

Dennis Brown and Paul Friswold suss out the local theater scene

High Fidelity Scott Miller's New Line Theatre staging of the failed Broadway musical by Tom Kitt, Amanda Green and David Lindsay-Abaire salvages most of the charm of Nick Hornby's novel with excellent performances and a careful refocusing of the action on protagonist Rob's emotional growth. Jeffrey M. Wright breathes a rumpled, resentful life into the obsessive Rob, which later gives way to a generosity that is believable and satisfying. Sadly, Hornby's latent sexism still results in underwritten women: Kimi Short's Laura is a one-note moper, seemingly not worthy of Rob's affection. Snarky record clerk Barry (Zachary Allen Farmer), however, is a delightful prick of a character, rude and lovable and always funny. The music is sharp and clever, and the New Line Band performs it all quite rockingly. Through July 5 at Washington University's A.E. Hotchner Studio Theatre, 6445 Forsyth Boulevard (in the Mallinckrodt Student Center), University City. Tickets are $15 to $18 ($10 to $15 for children, students and seniors; $8 rush seats available for students five minutes before showtime). Call 314-773-6526 or visit
— Paul Friswold