Archive for February, 2012

Great Cast Stands Out In Play That’s Just A Series Of One-Liners At West End Players Guild

February 26, 2012

Thanks heavens for a competent cast- they can sometimes spin gold from straw. Such is the case at West End Players Guild as the world premiere of “Wake Up, Cameron Dobbs” gives us a lot of laughs but some need for character development from young playwright Stephen Peirick. He already has a lot of accomplishments under his belt in the profession, but this one still needs a bit of work.

The most serious complaint I have is lack of credibility. The play centers on two brothers- one who is celebrating his 30th birthday. His older brother has convinced his wife to make a pecan-crusted chicken for the birthday dinner but has failed to remember that his brother is allergic to nuts. After 30 years? As Seth Meyers would say, “Really?” The wife has also clandestinely invited one of her girlfriends from work- hoping the bachelor brother will find her to his liking. On the other hand, the older brother has invited their mother- much to the surprise of his wife who doesn’t want to spoil her plans for a romantic blind date.

It’s all a pretty good premise for lots of laughs but then, besides the nut allergy stretch, the girlfriend and brother hate each other from the start yet wind up sneaking out of the dinner for a night of bar-hopping. Another “Really?”, please. Plus the characters all fail to develop in a believable manner as we already dislike most of them because of their collective selfish and self-centered attitude.

Now to the good stuff. The cast is great- comedy timing from all of them is right on the money. Colleen Backer and Eric Dean White as the almost newlywed couple who still have trouble communicating are both right on the mark. Mr. White reacts as well as he acts so you see some hilarious facial expressions and set-up pauses for the jokes that really bring them home. John Foughty is a perfect patsy as the birthday boy as he would rather suffer than hurt anyone’s feelings.

Jan Meyer is perfectly bossy as the mother. Reminiscent of Allison Janney in films like “Drop Dead Gorgeous,” she has perfect comic timing in delivering one zinger after another. Sarajane Alverson rounds out the cast as the friend who takes control of the milquetoast Cameron and gives us one of the best drunks on stage we’ve seen in some time. Robert Ashton has directed with a flair for comedy and has brought as much out of the characters as possible within the parameters of the script.

Playwright Stephen Peirick obviously has a lot of talent. He really has a turn of phrase and can write Neil Simon-like one-liners with conviction. But a more plausible premise and stronger and more likable character development would enhance this already very funny evening of theatre.

“Wake Up, Cameron Dobbs” plays at West End Players Guild through March 4th. Contact them at for tickets or more information on this show and their upcoming season.

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” + ’70’s Disco = Fun & Fantasy

February 20, 2012

The St. Louis Black Repertory Company has done it again with a winning, filled with fun interpretation of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Still set in the forest, this production reaches into the future (our past) and brings us some disco sounds from the ’70’s as Theseus and Hippolyta plan their nuptials with a little interruption from the dreamy world where they spend some time as Oberon and Titania, rulers of the fairies.

Some of the dialogue is sung or chanted with familiar tunes from that decade while some of the background music also treats us to tunes such as the theme from “Sanford and Son” when the mechanicals enter for their rehearsal. The disco ball hanging high over the forest never drops, but it is a constant reminder that we’re in a very special place. Director Chris Anthony keeps the pace moving with a lot of action and the nimble choreography of Heather Beal enhances the theme. The Dunsai Dai set design evokes the whimsy of the play with an extended monkey bar breaking up the draping moss of the forest. Add the great lighting design of William H. Grant, III and the colorful costumes of Sarita Fellows and you’ve got a complete, concise production that brings laughter and joy to the audience.

Robert Mitchell and Monica Parks shine as the king and queen. As Titania, she is drop dead gorgeous in a white, flowing gown and a sky-high Afro decorated with gold leaves. Mr. Mitchell effuses good will and cheer in his dual roles. The sprightly scamp, Puck, is given an athletic and delightful performance by Daniel D. Hodges, who also doubles up as the secretary to Theseus.

The young star-crossed and double-crossed lovers are simply perfection. With Courtney Brown as a tenacious Hermia, Anthony Peeples as a determined Demetrius, Patrese D. McClain as the loving Helena and Chauncy Thomas as the bewildered Lysander, they make a fighting foursome that are a delight to watch as Puck changes and re-arranges their lives.

Amy Loui is just superb as the leader of the Mechanicals, Peter Quince, as she attempts to prepare them for a play in honor of the king and queen. Her retinue, some who double up as fairies, include Matthew Galbreath in a knock-out performance as Bottom, Ryan Cunnigham who is hysterical in a tutu as the heroine, Thisbe in the little play, Candice Jeanine who doubles as Mustard Seed, Diamond Emelda Skinner who also plays Cobweb and Philip C. Dixon who does double duty as Moonshine. Rounding out the cast is Chad Morris who plays Hermia’s father and then miraculously becomes one of the singing, swinging, ’70’s inspired fairies.

With so many inspired interpretations of Shakespeare’s plays over the years, this ranks up there with the most successful. Translating the forests and its environs to a disco-themed adventure complete with iridescent suits, lots of fringe and some truly funky music, is a real treat for the eyes and ears. You don’t want to miss this one- it’s a play for the ages. “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” plays through March 4th. Contact the Black Rep at 314-534-3810 or at for tickets or more information. Party on!

Rarely Performed “The Maids” Makes For An Off-The-Wall Theatrical Experience

February 18, 2012

Existential playwright Jean Genet created an uproar with most of his plays, most notably with “The Maids.” Now Upstream Theatre has brought this once-banned in America play back to the boards much to the delight of local audiences. It’s an evening you won’t believe and one you won’t be able to forget.

As the play opens, we find the outgoing, precocious maid, Solange, appearing to be role-playing with the mistress of the elegant mansion. As it turns out however, this is the first in an evening of surprises as the other woman is really her sister, fellow maid, Claire. When “mother” arrives, the role-playing seems to continue in a more sinister fashion. As this bizarre, twisted plot unfolds, we’re taken on a journey not many of us could imagine and the reality gets blurred with fantasy as the love-hate relationships of all three women reach unexpected conclusions.

Emily Baker is nothing short of fantastic as the voluptuous yet deranged Solange. Her “breaking point” moment toward the end of the play is astonishing. As her more sedate but no less devious sister, Brooke Edwards delivers a powerful performance as well. As she descends into madness, we are shocked with the final moments of the play. Elizabeth Ann Townsend goes through the emotional wringer as well as she plummets to the depths with the sad news she receives from the maids then rises back to proper haughtiness as her mood swings surprisingly.

The visually stunning aspects of the production are provided by the elegant, yet somehow faded bedroom set of Jason Coale and the intriguing lighting design of Glenn Dunn. While the costumes of Michele Siler add that “faded glory” touch that permeates the story.

Guest director, Wieslaw Gorski captures the plays’ nature beautifully. A veteran of Polish theatre, he has brought Jean Genet’s script to astonishing life. As he explains in his program notes, he has lived through the political and social upheaval that is the basis for Genet’s play and he has captured a rare understanding for the work that can only come from his experience.

In a quick 90 minute one-act, we’re swept into another world. The lives of these three women are nothing short of amazing as this existential masterpiece gives us a glimpse of what art can do to motivate and inspire. See “The Maids” at Upstream Theatre at the Kranzberg Arts Center. Call Upstream at 314-863-4999 for tickets or more information.

“Autobahn” Is A Delightful Evening of A Neglected Art Form- The One-Act Play

February 18, 2012

R-S Theatrics has brought us back to the “forgotten” form of theatre- the one-act play. With Neil LaBute’s “Autobahn,” we’re treated to seven vignettes all captured in the front seat of America’s passion- the automobile. They’re tied together with a great cast playing several roles and by the element of surprise that LaBute brings to each story.

Ellie Schwetye and Janice Mantovani share a "mother-daughter" moment in Neil LaBute's "Autobahn" at R-S Theatrics.

The actress getting the best workout of the evening is Ellie Schwetye. She shares the front seat with two different actors in her two pieces, but she does all the talking. As a wise-cracking teen-ager, she drops some unexpected venom to her mother in an otherwise casual road trip back from re-hab in “Funny” and then has another monologue in the final scene carrying the title one-act, “Autobahn.”

Betsy Bowman delights, particularly as the “Fatal Attraction”-type girlfriend who goes off on Phil C. Leveling as the surprised and nervous boyfriend who has brought her to “break-up” point for something more than making out. Mr. Leveling shows up again as a man hesitant to procure his video game from his ex while Jared Sanz-Agero drives him to Division street in a wildly, manic performance that provides the biggest laughs of the evening.

Mark Abels also does double-duty as a rather creepy teacher who is driving his young student to a remote cabin (what was she thinking?) and then as an upset husband who can’t believe his wife’s story about a break-in at her hotel room while she’s away on a convention. Another classic LaBute punch comes at the end of this one. Caroline Kidwell is great as the innocent and increasingly nervous young girl while Janice Mantovani is a riot as the not so up-front wife.

Caroline Kidwell and Mark Abels in R-S Theatrics "Autobahn."

Four directors tackle these one-acts and some fine work by all including GP Hunsaker, Randy Stinebaker, Nick Moramarco, and Landon Shaw. This is an early work by Neil LaBute (2006) so you don’t encounter some of the mysogynistic and “Mamet-ism” of his later works. As a proponent of the one-act form- my early days in theatre were spent with the Hawthorne Players in North County and we had an annual “Night of One-Acts”- I’m particularly thrilled with “Autobahn.” Like “Almost, Maine” that Citilites produced last year, the one-acts are all related but make up powerful stories all on their own.

R-S Theatrics’ Artistic Director, Christina Rios, also announced before the play that they have found a new home. As you may know, R-S Theatrics and Avalon have both lost their theatres (as have all the other art groups in Crestwood Plaza) with the new ownership of the mall. Although the season itself is still being finalized, R-S Theatrics will be moving into the Black Cat Theatre space in Maplewood.

Right now, enjoy the laughs and surprises that only Neil LaBute can provide in this wonderful production of his one-acts, “Autobahn,” at R-S Theatrics through February 26th. Call them at 314-968-8070 for tickets or more information.

“Race” Crosses The Finish Line With Little Fanfare

February 13, 2012

Remember the classic line that showed a white person didn’t have a drop of prejudice in him? It usually started with “but…” and ended with “some of my best friends are black.” Well, other than Brian Piccolo and Gale Sayers in “Brian’s Song,” that statement usually had no meaning. In “Race,” the current offering on the Mainstage at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, David Mamet shows us how little times have changed.

Jeff Talbot, Morocco Omari and Mark Elliot Wilson in David Mamet's "Race." Photo credit: Jerry Naunheim Jr.

The manifestations of that famous phrase are still around in a different form, but Mamet suggests that the skepticism and distrust between races still exist. After all, don’t forget that most white people were “honkey’s” as well. You’ve got the extremes from hatred and racism to being tolerant to actual friendships, but according to Mamet’s take, there is, always has been and always will be tension between the races.

A solid cast makes “Race” a great evening of theatre. Morocco Omari and Jeff Talbott, partners in a law firm, spar over the merits of taking a highly charged case where an older, rich and influential white man is accused of raping a black maid. This story- “ripped from the headlines,”- revolves around the man’s contention that they are in love and have been carrying on this relationship for some time.

Mark Elliot Wilson plays the accused man but we don’t really see that much of him as he’s relegated to another room where he is basically writing his life story of “crimes and misdemeanors.” But added to the mix is a young black woman who the law firm has brought in to intern played by Zoey Martinson. She becomes the catalyst in this highly charged controversy and plays a key role in a plot that, although easy to follow, is truly complex. The only major flaw in the pivotal point of the plot begs the question, in this day and age aren’t there always crime scene photos? Don’t want to spoil too much, but (giving credit where credit is due) my wife was the first to bring up this subject at our post-theatre discussion.

It’s great to have Timothy Near back and directing a show for the Rep. Her crisp, clear direction makes this unusually timed play (a 35 minute first act and 50 minute second act) run smoothly as we ponder the same questions the actors are wrestling with. The super-polished office space is right on the mark as designed by John Ezell and the Brian Sidney Bembridge lighting design adds to the modern feel. The Rusty Wandall sound design brings us a strong, signature opening to each scene reminiscent of the famous “Law & Order” haunting, two-note catch-phrase.

Zoey Martinson and Jeff Talbot in "Race" at the Rep. Photo credit: Jerry Naunheim Jr.

“Race” is about race and several other eternal ¬†problems, but Mamet’s script often fails to capture a solid thread. In fact, in a peculiar way, it could be called dated. It really comes down to much ado about nothing as the same questions are brought up that we’ve encountered in the past with no resolution (good luck with that) or any new ground being covered. For instance, I think there are more true friendships between the races today than the days of “some of my best friends…” and “honkey.” What “Race” is, is an entertaining evening of theatre with dynamic actors and solid direction. Even if it does cover “warmed over” territory, it’s really worth a trip to once again see strong theatre on the Rep stage. And, of course, there’s always the game of counting the number of times David Mamet uses the “F” bomb (approximately 25 in the first act, 35 in the second). Still not close to his all time record in “American Buffalo.”

Enjoy David Mamet’s “Race” at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis through March 4th. Call them at 314-968-4925 or visit at for more information.

Brecht Meets The Marx Brothers in Stray Dog’s “Urinetown”

February 4, 2012

When Stray Dog’s Artistic Director and co-director of “Urinetown- The Musical,” Gary F. Bell, walked on stage for the pre-curtain speech on opening night, he mentioned he was wearing his Bertolt Brecht outfit- all black. Since this musical satire leans heavily on Brechtian influences, it was more than appropriate. What Mr. Bell really should have done is don Groucho Marx glasses and moustache as well. In this zany interpretation of a show that’s already way out on a comedy limb, slapstick and outrageous sight gags prevail.

The cast of Stray Dog Theatre's "Urinetown- the Musical" confront each other for the right to pee for free. Photo credit: John Lamb

Oddly enough, it all works. Not unlike “Godspell,” “Urinetown” can stand a wide range of “schtick” and modern updates. After all- like stores from the Gospels- corporate greed, revolution and heroes are always in fashion. But “Urinetown” doesn’t stop with a nod to “Godspell-” we’re treated to take-offs on other musicals like “Les Miz,” “West Side Story” and even more obscure references throughout the evening. Mark Hollmann’s music, the witty Greg Kotis book and lyrics by both make this one of the funniest revolutions you’ll ever see- on stage or anywhere.

And keeping with the tradition they started earlier with a wonderful production of “The Who’s Tommy,” Stray Dog puts quality on stage from actors to direction and choreography and even the wild, miscellaneous junk that turns into a brilliant set design. The aforementioned Gary F. Bell and the creative Justin Been have combined to bring every “nuance” of this story to the stage. Each actor has a distinct character- from the leads to the chorus of downtrodden citizens who are forced to pay to use the toilets- have individual idiosyncrasies that they maintain throughout the play. Choreographer J.T. Ricroft has maintained that Marx Brothers style in the musical numbers and Justin Barisonek’s inventive set is complemented with the distinct Tyler Duenow lights and the perfect costume design by Alexandra Scibetta Quigley.

Antonio Rodriguez brings his delightful singing voice and marvelous acting skills into play with a winning interpretation of our young hero, Bobby Strong. Blowing us away with her comedic timing and physical bits, such as dancing while tied to a chair, is Jennifer M. Theby as our young heroine, Hope. ¬†I hope she’s remembered next year when the Kevin Kline’s come around.

Keith Thompson also shines as our narrator for the evening, Officer Lockstock. In another great comedic touch, he constantly reminds us that we’re watching a musical and then informs us that this particular piece of business or another is typical of musical comedy- even to the point of announcing that we’re about to see the Act One finale and “releasing” us for intermission. Berklea Going is delightful as little Sally- who is the lynchpin tying the tyrants and the revolutionaries together and choreographer J.T. Ricroft doubles up as the hilarious Mr. McQueen who tends to have toupee issues throughout the show.

Scene from the hilarious Act One finale of "Urinetown- the Musical" at Stray Dog Theatre. Photo credit: John Lamb

Christopher R. Brenner scores as the corporate monster behind the pay-as-you-pee scam and the mythical Urinetown. Deborah Sharn wows us with her strong arm tactics and powerful singing voice as Penelope Pennywise. Michael Brightman as a corrupt senator, Josh Douglas as Officer Barrel (get it, “Lockstock” and “Barrel?”), Lindsey Jones as our hero’s mother and Jessica Tilghman as a silent but effective secretary round out the major cast. However, the singing and dancing chorus stand out in multiple roles- most notably as the beleaguered citizens. They include Ryan Cooper, C.E. Fifer, Sabra Sellers, Anna Skidis and Jeffrey M. Wright.

Just as “Tommy” became the must-see musical last year, Stray Dog’s “Urinetown-the Musical” has become a big hit for this half of their winter season. Tickets are becoming scarce, so call them now at 314-865-1995 or visit them online at Whatever you do, don’t miss Stray Dog’s “Urinetown-the Musical” playing through February 18th.

“Playland” Brings Multiple Issues Down To One At Mustard Seed’s Powerfully Acted Drama

February 4, 2012

Athol Fugard, South Africa’s most influential playwright, has had his dramas on St. Louis stages many times in the past but we haven’t seen him represented in quite some time. Mustard Seed Theatre has righted that wrong with a powerful production of “Playland.” It crackles with strong dialogue and like so many of the issues in his plays, boils down to a one-on-one confrontation.

Charlie Barron and Erik Kilpatrick in Athol Fugard's "Playland" at Mustard Seed Theatre.

Although issues of Apartheid, the South African Border War and the issues with the South West Africa People’s Organization are driving forces in “Playland,” the heart of the play is about two men and their “coming to an understanding” amid a clash of race and ideologies. Gideon, a veteran of the war that ended in 1989 creating Nambia, wanders into a remote amusement park in South Africa on New Year’s eve, 1989. He confronts the black security guard of the establishment, Martinus, and they immediately spar on several issues.

Martinus extols the virtues of religion- particularly what he refers to as “The Sixth-” the sixth commandment- Thou shalt not kill. Gideon refers to his life as having suffered from a “bad dose of religious indigestion.” What evolves are two stories- the haunting of Gideon by his actions in the war, particularly involving the slaughter of 23 men witnessed by a young woman and her child, and Martinus and his story of breaking “The Sixth” after his wife is brutally raped by a policeman. Although they cannot overcome their differences on the war, race and religion, at the end of the play there is some compromise and a bit of mutual respect.

Erik Kilpatrick gives a wonderfully nuanced performance as Martinus. Without raising his voice, he shows the range of emotions that his character goes through with the loud, brash and disturbed outbursts of Gideon. As the perfect foil, Charlie Barron brings an outward release to those emotions. It’s all brought to life with the strong direction of Mustard Seed’s Artistic Director, Deanna Jent. Playing out on a masterfully designed set by Courtney Sanazaro enhanced by the Bess Moynihan lighting design, “Playland” becomes a dichotomy of emotions for the audience with the bizarre- almost “Twilight Zone” surreal atmosphere of a carnival played out against the highly-charged stories of these two, diverse individuals.

“Playland” brings Athol Fugard back to a St. Louis stage in fine fashion as we wrestle with the myriad of questions the play brings us. It plays at Mustard Seed Theatre at Fontbonne University through February 12th. Call them at 314-719-8060 or visit them at for more information.

Congratulations To Kevin Kline Award Nominees

February 4, 2012

The 2012 Kevin Kline Award nominees have been announced and congratulations to all and, for that matter, congratulations to all of St. Louis theatre for bringing us an outstanding year on stages in our town. Here are the nominees:

Outstanding Production For Young Audiences: “The Giver,” Metro Theater Company and Edison Theatre; “Chanticleer,” Imaginary Theatre Company/St. Louis Rep; “Trail of Tears,” Imaginary; Cruel To Be Kind?,” Shakespeare Festival Education Tour; and “The Elves and the Shoemaker,” Imaginary.

Outstanding New Play or Musical: “Till We Have Faces,” Mustard Seed Theatre; “The Montford Point Marine,” The Black Rep; “Falling,” Mustard Seed; “The Winners,” Hot City Theatre; and “Hit-Story,” OnSite Theatre.

Outstanding Costume Design: Dorothy Marshall Englis, “In The Next Room, or The Vibrator Play,” Repertory Theatre of St. Louis; Garth Dunbar, “Awake and Sing,” New Jewish Theatre; Michele Siler, “The Death of Atahualpa,” Upstream Theatre; Brad Musgrove, “Disney’s 101 Dalmatians,” Stages St. Louis; Teresa Doggett, “The Royal Family,” Act Inc.; Dorothy Marshall Englis, “The Secret Garden,” Stages; Lou Bird, “Victor/Victoria,” Stages; and JC Krajicek, “Palmer Park,” St. Louis Actors’ Studio.

Outstanding Lighting Design: Josh Smith, “The Immigrant,” New Jewish; Matthew McCarthy, “The Secret Garden,” Stages; Phil Monat, “Red,” Rep; Matthew McCarthy, “Victor/Victoria,” Stages; Kirk Bookman and Steve O’Shea, “God of Carnage,” Rep; and Robert M. Wierzel, “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” Rep.

Outstanding Set Design: Scott C. Neale, “Cooking With Elisa,” Upstream; Regina Garcia, “Ruined,” Black Rep; Gianni Downs, “In The Next Room or The Vibrator Play,” Rep; Scott C. Neale, “Awake and Sing,” New Jewish; Scott C. Neale, “The Taming of the Shrew,” Shakespeare Festival; and Michael Ganio, “Red,” Rep.

Outstanding Sound Design: Rusty Wandall, “Macbeth,” Rep; Josh Limpert, “The Immagrants,” New Jewish; Rusty Wandall, “Red,” Rep; Rusty Wandall, “Circle Mirror Transformation,” Rep; and Daniel Baker and Aaron Meicht, “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” Rep.

Outstanding Ensemble of a Play: “In The Next Room or The Vibrator Play,” Rep; The Real McCoy,” Black Rep; “The Immigrant,” New Jewish; “Circle Mirror Transformation,” Rep; and “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” Rep.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Play: Linda Kennedy, “Pericles,” Black Rep; Peggy Billo, “The Immigrant,” New Jewish; Emily Baker, “Just Desserts,” St. Louis Actors’ Studio; Julie Venegoni, “Savage In Limbo,” OnSite Theatre; Linda Kennedy, “Blood Wedding,” Upstream; and Hayley Treider, “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” Rep.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play: Bob Harvey, “The Price,” Avalon Theatre Company; Chauncy Thomas, “The Real McCoy,” Black Rep; Jason Cannon, “Awake and Sing,” New Jewish; Gary Wayne Barker, “The Immigrant,” New Jewish; and Jonathan Foster, “Falling,” Mustard Seed.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play: Andrea Frye, “Ruined,” Black Rep; Kari Ely, “Sirens,” New Jewish; Brooke Edwards, “Danny and the Deep Blue Sea,” Non-Prophet Theatre Company; Michelle Hand, “Falling,” Mustard Seed; and Susan Louise O’Connor, “God of Carnage,” Rep.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play: Gary Wayne Barker, “Shadowlands,” Mustard Seed; J. Samuel Davis, “Ruined,” Black Rep; John Pierson, “Closer,” Actor’s Studio; Bobby Miller, “Awake and Sing,” New Jewish; Bob Thibaut, “The Immigrant,” New Jewish; Brian Dykstra, “Red,” Rep; and Danny McCarthy, “Circle Mirror Transformation,” Rep.

Outstanding Director of a Play: Andrew Moodie, “The Real McCoy,” Black Rep; Edward Coffield, “The Immigrant,” New Jewish; Steven Woolf, “Red,” Rep; Stuart Carden, “Circle Mirror Transformation,” Rep; and Jeremy B. Cohen, “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” Rep.

Outstanding Production of a Play: “In The Next Room or The Vibrator Play,” Rep; “Awake and Sing,” New Jewish; “The Immigrant,” New Jewish; “Red,” Rep; “God of Carnage,” Rep; and Circle Mirror Transformation,” Rep.

Outstanding Musical Direction: Michael Sebastian, “Beehive,” Rep; Charles Creath, “Black Pearl Sings,” Black Rep; Lisa Campbell-Albert, “The Secret Garden,” Stages; Michael Horsley, “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” Muny; and Joe Schoen, “Godspell,” Mustard Seed.

Outstanding Choreography: Kelli Barclay, “Singin’ In The Rain,” Muny; Dana Lewis, “The Secret Garden,” Stages; Pepper Clyde, “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” Muny; Dana Lewis, “Victor/Victoria,” Stages; and Alicia Gbaho, “Black Nativity,” Black Rep.

Outstanding Ensemble in a Musical: “Beehive,” Rep; “Legally Blonde,” Muny; “Singin’ In The Rain,” Muny; “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” Muny; and “Godspell,” Mustard Seed.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical: Jessica Vaccaro, “A Chorus Line,” Stages; Michele Ragusa, “Singin’ In the Rain,” Muny; Julia Cardia, “The Secret Garden,” Stages; Melinda Cowan, “Victor/Victoria,” Stages; and Amy Louis, “Godspell,” Mustard Seed.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical: Curtis Holbrook, “Singin’ In the Rain,” Muny; Ken Page, “Little Shop of Horrors, “Muny; Lewis J. Stadlen, “Bye, Bye Birdie,” Muny; and Steve Jenkins, “Victor/Victoria,” Stages.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical: Lisa Estridge, “Beehive,” Rep; Debra Walton, “Beehive,” Rep; Denise Thimes, “Black Pearl Sings,” Black Rep; Alexis Kinney, “The Secret Garden,” Stages; Alli Mauzey, “Little Shop of Horrors,” Muny; and Jenny Powers, “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” Muny.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical: Leigh Wakeford, “Disney’s 101 Dalmatians,” Stages; Tony Yazbeck, “Singin’ In The Rain,” Muny; James Bleecker, “Thrill Me,” Max & Louie Productions; and David Schmittou, “Victor/Victoria,” Stages.

Outstanding Director of a Musical: Andrea Frye, “Black Pearl Sings,” Black Rep; Rick Conant, “Singin’ In the Rain,” Muny; John Miller-Stephany, “Little Shop of Horrors,” Muny; Mark Schneider, “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” Muny; and Deanna Jent, “Godspell,” Mustard Seed.

Outstanding Production of a Musical: “Singin’ In the Rain,” Muny; “The Secret Garden,” Stages; “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” Muny; “Victor/Victoria,” Stages; and “Godspell,” Mustard Seed.

There they are- the 2012 nominees for the Kevin Kline Awards. Congratulations and “break a leg” to all of the actors and technicians who help make St. Louis theatre great. Join us for the awards ceremony at the Loretto-Hilton Center on April 2nd.