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Capsule Reviews 

Dennis Brown and Deanna Jent suss out local theater

Dr. Dolittle Previewed in this issue.

From Door to Door Three generations of women in a Chicago family glide through much of the twentieth century in James Sherman's paint-by-numbers, feel-good chronicle that, for all its manipulative sharing and feeling, is the theater's equivalent to Oprah. The evening is filled with poignant Kodak moments in which the viewer is expected to add emotion to scenes that don't provide much on their own. Yet there's much to be admired here. Donna Weinsting brings surprising originality to the immigrant grandmother who in lesser hands might have teetered precariously close to cliché. And as her rebellious granddaughter, Michelle Hand is astonishingly good, refusing to allow the play to hurry her along. In fact, Hand elevates the ephemeral into something of value. Produced by New Jewish Theatre through May 21 at the Jewish Community Center, 2 Millstone Campus, Creve Coeur. Tickets are $22 to $24 ($2 discount for seniors and JCC members). Call 314-442-3283 or visit www.newjewishtheatre.org.
(DB)

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 www .playhouseatwestport.com.
(DJ)

The Ten Commandments Live! Reviewed in this issue.

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