Capsule Reviews 

Dennis Brown and Deanna Jent suss out local theater

Defending the Caveman Reviewed in this issue.

A Picasso Reviewed in this issue.

Schoolhouse Rock Live! What were you doing on Saturday mornings between 1973 and 1985? If you were home watching Schoolhouse Rock on TV, this musical is for you. Or if not you, how about your kids? The premise here, as it was on television, is very simple: Learning should be fun. Fun is very much in abundance as this children's show works through a 45-minute set of the show's greatest hits. English, math, science and social studies are explained with delightful clarity. Even if you think you already know your nouns, adjectives and conjunctions, you're sure to be charmed by such infectious good harmony, especially if you experience it through the eyes of a child. Performed by the peripatetic DramaRama Theatre Company as follows: November 6 and 7 at the Jewish Community Center, 2 Millstone Campus Drive, Creve Coeur; November 13 at Soulard Theatre, 1921 South Ninth Street; November 20 and 21 at the West County YMCA, 16464 Burkhardt Place, Chesterfield. Call 314-605-7788 for info on all venues. (Dennis Brown)

Triple Espresso Move over, Nunsense and Forever Plaid. Here comes another crowd-pleasing phenom that's shamelessly determined to make you laugh. As this reunion of a 1970s musical trio plays out at the Triple Espresso nightclub, the evening is not so much a play as a series of set pieces. Some are more amusing than others, but if you ever wondered how the Three Stooges would attack Chariots of Fire, this is the show for you. In their determination to amuse, the three performers (Patrick Albanese, John Bush and J.C. Cutler) effect a take-no-prisoners approach to the material. A viewer's best response is simply to surrender early and laugh along with the crowd. Through December 28 at the Grandel Theatre, 3610 Grandel Square. Call 314-534-1111. (DB)

Twelfth Night Think "Shakespeare meets Springsteen" and you'll understand director Edward Stern's concept, which plays out marvelously on Joseph P. Tilford's watery scenic design. The singing fool Feste (a blue-jeaned Kevin Orton) functions as emcee and stage manager for this comedy of mistaken identities and mismatched lovers. Stern's attention to character detail, beautiful stage pictures and true appreciation for Shakespeare's humor make this production a treat. Served up by the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis through November 12 at the Loretto-Hilton Center, 130 Edgar Road, Webster Groves. Call 314-968-4925. (Deanna Jent)

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