As you might expect, much has changed in the near-month since we last caught you up on the St. Louis theater world’s plans to return after the COVID-19 pandemic. For starters, the pandemic is very much still here, so many of these plans aren’t very solid, and even the ones that purport to be will likely be in flux for quite some time yet. Be sure to check with the venue for the latest information. For now, though, this is what we know.
The Fabulous Fox Theatre (527 N. Grand Blvd.) had high hopes to still bring Hamilton to the stage, but it was announced just this week that Lin-Manuel Miranda’s smash-hit (originally slated to run May 5 to June 7) would have to wait. “We had hoped to find new dates that would enable us to bring the show to St. Louis before the end of this year,” said John O’Brien, the Fox’s Director of Programming. “Those options have closed and we are now looking at new Hamilton dates for the 2021-2022 season.” Single show tickets are being refunded, while season ticketholders will receive separate communication. For more details on a refund, ticket buyers should contact Metrotix. Keep your eyes on fabulousfox.com for new dates once they’re announced.
There have also been some minor shakeups in the 2020-2021 US Bank Broadway Series lineup. The Cher Show has postponed its entire national tour, which includes the Fox dates (originally scheduled November 17-29). In its stead, Jesus Christ Superstar will take over The Cher Show’s dates, which means it’s also expanding from its original one week run to two. Of the shorter run shows, Hairspray has now moved dates (from May 21-23, 2021 to June 4-6, 2021) and Anastasia (originally scheduled for May 14-16) has been postponed.
The new lineup is as follows, with shows included in the season ticket package marked with an asterisk:
- Mean Girls*, 09.22-10.04.20
- My Fair Lady*, 10.14-25.20
- Jesus Christ Superstar*, 11.18-29.20
- A Christmas Carol, 12.03-06.20
- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical, 12.18-19.20
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, 12.22-27.20
- Disney’s Frozen*, 02.10-21.21
- Ain’t Too Proud—The Life and Times of the Temptations*, 03.02-14.21
- Blue Man Group, 03.18-21.21
- The Prom*, 04.06-18.21
- Pretty Woman*, 04.27-05.09.21
- Hairspray, 06.04-06.21
On the concert side of things, last time out we had mentioned that Gladys Knight (June 19) and John Fogerty (July 12) were still in the cards. Both of those shows have now been canceled as well.
The Midnight Company has also announced its upcoming Fall shows. Things kick off in August with the rescheduled dates for their production of the epicly titled Now Playing Third Base for the St. Louis Cardinals…Bond, James Bond, which runs August 12-29 (Thursdays to Saturdays are evening shows, Sundays are matinees) at The Chapel (6238 Alexander Dr.). The play is written and performed by Midnight Company co-founder Joe Hanrahan. Hanrahan will also step into the shoes of Harry S. Truman for Give ‘Em Hell, Harry!, a one-man show about the 33rd President’s life growing up in Missouri and launching his political career. The play runs September 17 to October 3 at the .ZACK Theatre (3224 Locust St.). And lastly, the company will stage Mickle Maher’s It Is Magic, a meta-play about the theater world as told through two sisters awkwardly holding auditions for their first play while a pretentious performance of Macbeth is being held in the same building. The play runs October 29-November 14 at the Kranzberg Black Box Theatre (501 N. Grand Blvd.). For more information, visit midnightcompany.com.
The St. Louis Actors’ Studio (performances at the Gaslight Theater, 358 N. Boyle) continues to make up for the delay in the debut of Neil LaBute’s Comfort with ample streaming LaBute content. Each Monday morning through June 15, the STLAS Twitter account @stlas1 reveals a new link to a new streaming short film written and directed by the famed filmmaker and playwright. The current film is BFF (starring Thomas Sadoski, Gia Crovatin, and Chris Henry Coffey), while 10K (starring Clea Alsip and J.J. Kandel) and Black Chicks (starring Nicole G. Leier and David Cubitt) round out the list.
The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis (various locations) announced an impressively varied 2020-2021 season back in February, ranging from the classic musical Little Shop of Horrors to the psychological thriller of Catherine Butterfield’s Top of the World, from the kid friendly fare of the Imaginary Theatre Company’s performances of A Gnome for Christmas, Puss in Boots, and Tomás and the Library Lady to The Gradient, a satire about a near future rehabilitation center for #MeToo offenders. Now, unfortunately, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Calvin Wilson is reporting that the season is postponed. The season was supposed to launch in July with a special performance of Twisted Melodies, a one-man play on the life and struggles of St. Louisan and soul music legend Donny Hathaway, then kick into full gear in September, but now The Rep is hoping to hold their dates for A Christmas Carol (December 11-30 with previews December 6-10) and continue the season from there. How the rest of the schedule will be shuffled is still to be determined; keep an eye on www.repstl.org for the final word; they also have a dedicated COVID-19 FAQ at repstl.org/covid-faq.
The Black Rep (performances at the Washington University’s Edison Theatre, 6465 Forsyth Ave.) saw its 43rd season truncated when their run of Spell #7 was halted by the pandemic in mid-March, while their production of Marie and Rosetta was first delayed from May to June, then canceled outright. Now, The Black Rep is shuffling around their calendar once again. Bubbling Brown Sugar was meant to start season 44 this September, but now that show will be part of season 45, with the St. Louis American’s Kenya Vaughn reports that season 44’s start is now planned for January 2021. When the lineup is solidified, you’ll find it at www.theblackrep.org.
And last but not least, a reminder that The Muny (1 Theatre Drive) is making the call of whether or not their planned July launch date will hold on Monday, June 8th. Keep an eye on www.muny.org to find out. [UPDATE 06.08.20] The Muny has announced that their entire 2020 summer season has been pushed postponed to 2021. “This is a historic first, and hopefully last, for our beloved theatre,” Muny Board Chair, Louis A. Cella, said in a released statement. “Every member of the organization was hopeful and working on every possible option up until the moment we had to make this difficult decision. The sad reality is that there is simply no way to overcome the obstacles this pandemic has presented while ensuring the safety of our audience, staff, artists and community.” Read the Muny’s full announcement here. | Jason Green