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St. Louis Stage Capsules 

Dennis Brown and Paul Friswold suss out the local theater scene

Harlem Duet A prequel to Shakespeare's Othello, Djanet Sears' Harlem Duet imagines the dissolution of Othello's (Kingsley Leggs) marriage to African-American grad student Billie (Cherita Armstrong), freeing him up to marry his white co-worker, Mona (Nicole Fabbri). With a narrative split across three time periods (the 1860s, the 1920s and the late 1990s), the story is at times choppy. But the import of the play — a pull-no-punches examination of interracial marriages — is never lost. Presented by the Black Rep through May 18 at the Grandel Theatre, 3610 Grandel Square. Tickets are $17 to $43 ($5 discount for students and seniors; $10 rush seats available for students 30 minutes before showtime). Visit www.theblackrep.org or call 314-534-3810. — Paul Friswold

Jersey Boys Although this saga about the rise and fall of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons is masquerading as a Broadway musical, it also exploits the mass hysteria of a rock & roll concert, emits the echoing sounds of a studio recording session and employs the spare, minimalist dialogue of a lean motion-picture script to serve up a hybrid entertainment with the power of a thunderclap. As wildly satisfying as Act One is, this primer about ego and vanity doesn't kick into high gear until Act Two. The production is as polished as a shiny gold record, and the cast is sensational. Technology makes Jersey Boys an exhilarating experience; the four lead actors — Erik Bates, Steve Gouveia, Christopher Kale Jones and Andrew Rannells — make that experience human and deeply moving. Through May 18 at the Fox Theatre, 527 North Grand Boulevard. Tickets are $28 to $130. Visit www.fabulousfox.com or call 314-534-1678. — Dennis Brown

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