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St. Louis Stage Capsules 

Dennis Brown and Paul Friswold suss out the St. Louis theater scene

Crumbs from the Table of Joy Set in the early 1950s, a time in America when the rantings of Sen. Joseph McCarthy could be drowned out in a dark movie theater by the ravings of Joan Crawford and Bette Davis, this early offering by Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage revolves around seventeen-year-old Ernestine Crump (Alexis White), who is still reeling from the culture shock of having moved from Florida to Brooklyn. Nottage's multilayered memory play deals both with racial prejudice between black and white Americans and the post-World War II residue of fear between Americans and aliens. Mustard Seed Theatre's staging is energized through vital performances by Chauncy Thomas as Ernestine's austere father and Patrese McClain as her hedonistic aunt. Through September 12 at the Fontbonne University Fine Arts Center Theatre, 6800 Wydown Boulevard, Clayton. Tickets are $20 to $30 ($15 for students and seniors). Call 314-719-8060 or visit www.mustardseedtheatre.com. — Dennis Brown

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