Live Entertainment

Thu
09
Feb

Preview of February 10th WrestlePro Show @ Starland Ballroom

There’s a big WrestlePro show Friday Night (February 10) at Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, New Jersey and on Saturday night in Brooklyn at St Pat’s CYO.  Starland Ballroom is one of my favorite places to catch a wrestling show (or concert), and I’ve had my tickets for this one for a long time now.

Here are our predictions on how the Starland show plays out!


Ryback Vs Brian Cage

Wed
08
Feb

SOMETHING ROTTEN! Is Sweeter Than A Rose By Any Other Name

Something Rotten plays the Fabulous Fox Theatre Feb 7-19. Image Credit: The Fabulous Fox Theatre

Hark! What is this vision which dances before me? Is it Drama personified, grounding us with her stories of maidens, men and honored beasts? Nay! ‘tis Brother Comedy in his smiling mask of gold, sustained by the richness of my laughter. SOMETHING ROTTEN! ‘tis a rose by another name, but sweeter than the forbidden fruit of Eden, for the gods of jests and conspiracies have transported my soul upon the stage of the Fabulous Fox Theatre, and given voice to a belief most fundamental to my divine spirit: “God, I Hate Shakespeare!”

Fri
20
Jan

CLOSER Takes You Outside Your Comfort Zone at the .ZACK Theatre

Closer runs Jan 12-22, 2017 at the .ZACK Theatre.

CLOSER is a play by Patrick Marber that was made into a feature film in 2004 starring Julie Roberts, Natalie Portman, Jude Law and Clive Owen. I’m a fan of all four of those actors, and I own the DVD, but I somehow have yet to actually watch it. Thus when I arrived at the lovely .ZZCK Theatre for Theatre Lab’s production of the play, directed by Tom Martin, Produced by Ryan Scott Foizey and co-produced by Rey Arceno, Scott Seibert and Colin Barlow, I actually wasn’t sure what to expect. It was about three or four scenes into the performance where it dawned on me that I knew the plot from trailers I saw thirteen years ago. Better late to a party than never, right?

Sat
24
Dec

Hip Hop Hooray For The Hip Hop Nutcracker

The Hip Hop Nutcracker

The year was 1991. My girlfriend at that time dropped some not so subtle hints that she’d like for me to take her to see THE NUTCRACKER at the Fabulous Fox Theatre. I’d always heard the Fox was an amazing venue, and I had just finished my senior year of high school where I had developed a late interest in theatre. I saved all my tip money from waiting tables at Pizza Hut for a few weeks and then bought us the best seat I could afford. When we get there I’m absolutely blown away by the intricacies of the “Siamese Byzantine” décor.  The house lights fade to dark, the orchestra began to launch into the first verse and the ensemble bounded onto the stage. My jaw dropped, and I looked at my girlfriend with a suspicious stare. “You didn’t tell me this was a ballet!” We broke up about a week later.

Fri
09
Dec

Charming Cast Makes FINDING NEVERLAND Magical

FINDING NEVERLAND at the Fabulous Fox Theatrer. Photo Credit: FabulousFox.com

Why do you suppose “magic” is so popular these days? From stage acts like Penn & Teller and guerrilla magicians like David Blaine, to books, television programs and films based on J.K. Rowling’s boy wizard Harry Potter or George R. R. Martin’s GAME OF THRONES, and Marvel’s DOCTOR STRANGE, people can’t seem to get enough of magic. I think there’s a pretty simple explanation for that—the human experience in so-called “real life” is devoid of magic, be it artificial trickery, metaphysical mysticism or otherwise. Show me the magic in working in a dreary cubicle, churning out another spreadsheet to go over in another soul-crushingly boring meeting. Show me the magic in choosing from two of the least popular political candidates in the history of the United States. Show me the magic eating out of a box filled with products grown in a Monsanto lab rather than soil and sunlight. Cell phones are as addictive as cigarettes, but probably cause more accidents, and some may even explode.

Sun
04
Dec

ADVERSE EFFECTS Powers Tesseract Theatre's Debut At The New .ZACK Theatre

ADVERSE EFFECTS plays the .ZACK Theatre Dec 2 - 11, 2016.

I have to imagine that for a parent there can be no greater worry than the loss of your child. Imagine having to dwell on that over and over again, revisiting your worst fears over and over. How would you grieve? Would you be angry about the circumstance and want justice or tried to move on with your life, grieving silently and privately? For three years, The Tesseract Theatre’s Artistic Director and playwright Taylor Gruenloh did exactly that. His own daughter is perfectly fine, don’t fear. No, he had to inhabit a scenario that he wouldn’t wish upon anyone and find answers to as many difficult questions as his brain could come with. He spent three long years exploring the deeply affecting and life-altering possibility of life after tragic loss.

Thu
17
Nov

How Successful Has Comic Con Been in Las Vegas?

Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con

The Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con is the one place for Nevada’s pop culture community to get together and bond with their fellow geek. What started out as a small little get together has been getting bigger and better every year, with this year drawing in a great crowd of passionate fans. But, this year there were a couple of pretty big changes that managed to mix it up. How does ALVCC compare to other conventions?

Mon
14
Nov

Syracuse Comic-Con Draws Crowd With Cosplay and Activities

Syracuse Comic Con

On Sunday, November 13th 2016 the Syracuse Comic Con took place at the SRC Arena, drawing in hundreds of gamers, cosplayers, vendors and even a few cars! Critical Blast was there to share the experience with you, our readers.

The organizers at Syracuse Nerd must firmly believe in the mantra 'go big or go home' because targeting a 60,000 square foot arena for it's first event was certainly a bold choice. Often you find young conventions using a more intimate setting, such as what you may find at a hotel. However, they clearly had a vision on what they wanted this convention to be about: Activities.

Fri
11
Nov

ANDERSON, RABIN and WAKEMAN Celebrates Classic YES at the Fox Theatre

If you read my concert reviews regularly you’ll notice a trend—I much prefer the older acts, the classic rock and roll bands that are now regulated to “oldies” stations. The best shows I’ve ever seen have consistently been by veteran talents. ARW, consisting of Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin and Rick Wakeman of the seminal progressive rock band Yes, proved once again that terrific bands, like fine wine, only get better with age. Why Yes isn’t already in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame I can’t even begin to fathom.

Wed
09
Nov

STRAIGHT NO CHASER "I'll Have Another...20th Anniversary Tour."

STRAIGHT NO CHASER played the Fabulous Fox Theatre on Nov. 6, 2016.

I’ve seen STRAIGHT NO CHASER so many times now I’ve lost count—it’s either been five or six after their last performance at the Fabulous Fox Theatre in St. Louis on Sunday, November 6, 2016. That show was a bit unusual in that they historically have played here much closer to the holiday and that the show started mid-afternoon. Of course, watching STRAIGHT NO CHASER is a joy any day, anytime.

Fri
04
Nov

Strong Singing Can't Overcome Weak Production In Love Jones: The Musical

“There will be no music, dialogue or poetry from the film Love Jones in this production,” said MC Lyte. “Now sit back and enjoy the LOVE JONES: THE MUSICAL.”

Say what? There’s certainly no shortage of musicals adapted from hit films: SISTER ACT, DIRTY DANCING, A CHRISTMAS STORY and THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY have all graced the stage of the Fabulous Fox Theatre in St. Louis, with varying degrees of success. SISTER ACT was fantastic. The others were…well, SISTER ACT was fantastic! LOVE JONES certainly wasn’t as horrible as some reviews have made it out to be – I was entertained by it. Yet I do agree that there’s no real reason to name this production after the film if it eschews most of what made the film resonate with its audience.

Fri
28
Oct

Carey 'Means' Business at the Syracuse Comic-Con

The latest announcement out of the Syracuse Comic-Con brings Adult Swim voice actor and veteran, Carey Means, to the heart of New York.

Most famously known for the voice behind AQUA TEEN HUNGER FORCE character, 'Frylock', Means has done a number of other projects over the years. His other work includes 'Catman' on 6 episodes of PERFECT HAIR FOREVER and on THE BRAK SHOW he was in 22 episodes as 'Thundercleese'. The announcement of his attendance comes 16 days ahead of the convention. Other notable guests include writer Ron Marz and writer/artist Mike Garland.

Tue
18
Oct

Comic Book Writer, Ron Marz, to Attend Syracuse Comic-Con

The Syracuse Comic-Con is growing. Bringing in top talent is the best way to draw the attention of out-of-town con goers, ultimately increasing attendance and notoriety.

According to a tweet, posted to Ron Marz's official twitter account, he will be attending the Syracuse Comic-Con.

Having long-time comic book writer, Ron Marz, in attendance will certainly help. Known for his work on Silver Surfer and Green Lantern, Marz has tackled many different projects for both DC and Marvel. As versatile as he is creative, he has found himself writing for lesser-known publishers as well.

Wed
05
Oct

New Line Theatre's World Premiere of CELEBRATION Features Fantastic Performances

The cast of CELEBRATION by New Line Theatre, Sept 29-Oct 22, 2016. Photo Credit: Jill Ritter Lindberg

The always adventurous New Line Theatre in St. Louis kicked off their 26th season with the world premiere of the recently revised show, CELEBRATION, a musical by the team of Tom Jones (no, not that one) and Harvey Schmidt. The team also wrote the book, lyrics and music for the better known show THE FANTASTICKS. The show has been revived off and on since its debut in 1969, and never really seemed to find its audience. Writer Tom Jones revised the ending and that’s the version New Line Co-Directors Scott Miller and Mike Dowdy-Windsor are presenting through October 22, 2016 at the Marcelle Theatre in St. Louis’ Grand Center.

Sat
17
Sep

A GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE TO LOVE & MURDER Launches the 2016-2017 Broadway Series at the Fox Theatre

Kristen Beth Williams, Kevin Massey and Adrienne Eller in A GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE TO LOVE & MURDER. Photo Credit:Fox Theatre

The 2016 - 2017 Broadway Series at the Fabulous Fox Theatre in St. Louis got underway with the national tour of the Tony Award-winning A GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE TO LOVE & MURDER. The story comes from a novel written by Roy Horniman way back in 1907 called ISRAEL RANK: THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A CRIMINAL. That tales was the basis of film called KIND HEARTS AND CORONETS starring Sir Alec Guinness. The production clearly has a classic pedigree, and yet, I didn't like the Robert L. Freedman and Steven Lutvak, production, directed by Darko Tresnjak, as much as I'd expected to. Maybe my expectations were too high. Maybe I'm getting harder to please in my old age. Maybe you'll absolutely love it and I'm completely fine with that!

Tue
13
Sep

AM I BLACK ENOUGH YET? Takes A Humorous Approach To A Serious Subject

Nathan Maul, Sherard E. Curry and Anna Drehmer in AM I BLACK ENOUGH YET? Directed by Bre Love. Photo Credit:Tesseract Theatre Company

I have a roommate named Lex. He generally keeps to himself but he can be a little demanding at times. For the most part, we get along pretty well. I like all kinds of music, but he generally prefers hip-hop, from Outkast to Beastie Boys, Ludacris to Method Man, Killer Mike to Snoop Dogg. His number one jam is “Boyz in the Hood” by Eazy-E, but he’s happy with anything from the N.W.A. He loves football, he watches WWE wrestling so much he often refers to himself in the third person like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson would in his colorful promos. His favorite curse word is the same as Samuel L. Jackson’s, and if you’ve seen any Samuel L. Jackson movies you can probably guess that it’s four syllables long and printed on his wallet. Lex is pretty mellow but he does not like being called a chicken—he’ll get right in your face instantly, ready to throw down. He has a bit of a lisp, like Iron Mike Tyson, but the ladies think it’s cute.

Mon
12
Sep

Harry Potter in Concert - An Amazing Experience

Harry Potter Live Concert Series

I got the chance to see the Harry Potter Concert Series live at Powell Hall last Friday, and it was a fantastic experience! 

One of the best parts of the Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone movie is the iconic score composed by the incomparable John Williams. I remember first seeing the film when it came out and getting chills during "Hedwig's Theme." For such a popular franchise with such great characters, intense action, and magic, I'm so happy John Williams was able to lend his immeasurable talent to the score. 

But the only thing better than seeing the movie in theaters is seeing it on an equally big screen while the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra plays the score live below. The movie Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone plays on a massive screen, but with the music removed - the soundtrack is instead played live by the orchestra.

Fri
09
Sep

Justin Freer and the Sorcerer's Stone: Bringing Harry Potter's Musical Magic to Life

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Film Concert Series

Justin Freer is performing stage magic. No, he's not pulling rabbits from his hat or sawing women into two pieces. It's much more enchanting than that.

Freer is a conductor and producer of film music, as well as the founder and president of CineConcerts, a company dedicated to the preservation and concert presentation of film, TV and media performances live with film. His current project, HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE, is currently playing at the St. Louis Symphony as part of a mind-blowing concept that blends film with live music.

Tell our readers what sets what you're doing apart from your standard afternoon at the symphony.

Fri
19
Aug

Sarah Porter Is Pure Magic In Andrew Lloyd Webber's TELL ME ON A SUNDAY

Sarah Porter in New Line Theatre's production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's TELL ME ON A SUNDAY, Photo Credit: Jill Ritter-Lindberg/New Line Theatre

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a big fan of Andrew Lloyd Webber. I don’t typically enjoy sung-through musicals. I thought EVITA had all of the warmth and depth of Eva Perón’s Wikipedia page, PHANTOM OF THE OPERA is a grossly overrated love story with no characters to like much less love, and I’m highly allergic to CATS. There is, however, this one short little gem of Webber’s that is equally funny and heart-wrenching, hopeful and melancholy. The show is called TELL ME ON A SUNDAY, and while I can’t predict what day it is that you find yourself reading this, I can predict that you’ll find this one-woman show as heartfelt and surprisingly affecting as I did.

Tue
12
Jul

World Premiere of TRICK AND ANOTONIA Is a Hot Cold War Affair

TRICK AND ANOTONIA runs July 8-10 and 15-17 at the Thomas Hunter Theatre.

The world of spies and foreign intelligence has always intrigued me. I suppose it comes from growing up in the Cold War era, with the Watergate scandal, President Reagan telling Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall, and that suave, debonair secret agent of British intelligence, James Bond, in regular rotation on early cable. Even though “my” Bond will always be Roger Moore, I was hooked from the first moment. Gadgets, hidden weapons in secret compartments, remote listening devices, enigmatic codes, I devoured everything I could find on the subject of spycraft. I soon learned that the life is not nearly as glamorous as Hollywood makes it out to be. Maintaining relationships based on trust is difficult when your very life hinges on the fact that you can trust no one.

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