Live Entertainment

Wed
06
Dec

WrestlePro - December 9 Preview and Predictions

Huge weekend for WrestlePro coming up.  They have shows on Friday and Saturday, and both shows are going to feature a huge dose of Impact Wrestling on top of the amazing WrestlePro regulars.

 

Thu
30
Nov

The King and I Shows Why You Can Always Rely On The Classics

Jose Llana and Laura Michelle Kelly in Rodgers and Hammerstein's "The King and I."  Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy

I enjoy seeing new, contemporary theatre, which St. Louis has in abundance.  I also have a deep appreciation for the classics, and sometimes the comfort of seeing Anything Goes or South Pacific is exactly what I want after a stressful week. On November 28, 2017, I finally got to check off a classic from my to-do list that has been “a puzzlement” to me for too long. I guess I always put off watching one of the several Hollywood film versions of the venerable Rodgers & Hammerstein classic The King and I—and I own the one starring Chow Yun-Fat on DVD, still wrapped in plastic—because I wanted to see the pageantry of the stage production first. I’m glad I did. Ace director Bartlett Sher’s Tony Award-winning revival toured to the Fabulous Fox Theatre for a Nov 28- Dec 10, 2017 run that might just be the show to see at the Fox.

Tue
07
Nov

Hawthorne Players' THE SPITFIRE GRILL Serves An Excellent Slice of Small Town Intrigue

Stefanie Kluba, Kathy Fugate and Melanie Kozak in The Hawthorn Player's Production of The Spitfire Grill. Photo Credit: The Hawthorn Players/Ken Clark

One of the best parts of being a theatre critic is the joy of discovering new venues and new shows. On Nov. 3, 2017, I corrected a long overdue oversight. I grew up in North St. Louis County and lived in Florissant for ten years, yet had managed to somehow never set foot in the James Egan Center, aka the Florissant Civic Center. Thus I had never set foot in the spacious Hawthorne Players home at the Florissant Civic Center Theatre before either. The seats rise high and steep enough to see well over anyone’s head in front of you, but not so steep to be problematic for folks like myself with mild mobility issues. The reasonably large stage boasted a gorgeous set designed by Director Ken Clark, built by Master Carpenter/Technical Director Dennis Dudenhoeffer and assisted by the cast and crew of The Spitfire Grill,  the musical I was about to see for the first time.

Sun
29
Oct

Buckingham/McVie Are Still Finger Picking Good

Lindsey Buckingham/Christine McVie played the Fox Theatre on 10/28/17. Photo from www.buckinghammcvie.com

I grew hearing Fleetwood Mac on the radio, but really became aware of them when MTV ran videos for their Tango In the Night hits “Everywhere”, “Seven Wonders,” “Big Love,” and  “Little Lies.” Singer/guitarist Lindsey Buckingham’s “Go Insane” and singer/Keyboardist Christine McVie’s “Got A Hold On Me” were also frequently on MTV in those halcyon days of actual music videos. I remember thinking that Buckingham was a little bit odd, possibly due to his shock of dark curly hair over piercing eyes that seemed to bore into my soul through the television. His voice often seemed somewhat odd too, at least to me. I always thought he’d play a really cool version of the Devil in a long form video or perhaps on Broadway, or maybe even attempt to breakout into film. McVie, on the other hand, seemed much more the wallflower, bashfully sticking to the sidelines while her band mates made the bigger waves.  Those notions were both somewhat accurate and wildly wrong.

Fri
27
Oct

Disney's THE LION KING, the Broadway Musical, is a Roaring Success!

Lion King Broadway

Hakuna Matata! It means no worries! And that's exactly what you'll have when you go see the off-broadway production of Disney's THE LION KING.

On tour, to bring this brilliant musical production to a city near you, it is currently in Syracuse, NY for 3 weeks. At the vintage, and beautiful, Landmark Theater, I wasn't quite sure if it could accomodate a show with large set pieces and near life-size elephant costumes.

But they pulled it off.

Thu
12
Oct

In Saint Louis, Halloween Means The Dave Glover Show

The DGS Halloween Show 2017

Who doesn't love Halloween? Some cultures love it so much, it's not a night but a three-day celebration. Some towns, like Rutland, Vermont, hold a huge parade. And almost everywhere, kids dress up in costumes and go begging for candy. (Here at Critical Blast, we love it so much we dedicate a monthly feature just to people who put on costumes all year long!

For Saint Louis, Missouri, the tradition for almost two decades now has been the Dave Glover Halloween Show, on FM 97.1. Dave and his cohorts, Mark Klose, Rachel Zimmerman, and Tony Colombo, comprise the cast of the consistently number one rated radio show in the market, and the Halloween episode is a huge draw.

Tue
10
Oct

WrestlePro - Blood, Sweat, And Barbed Wire Preview

Before I start, WrestlePro Owner Pat Buck has launched his own podcast, The Pat Buck WrestlePro Show.  His old show, “The Pat Buck Show,” was actually the first podcast I ever listened to (and these days I listen to way too many podcasts these days, so I guess you can blame Pat for ruining my life). 

The first episode is features a terrific interview with Impact’s Fallah Bahh, plus some great insight into the training aspect of wrestling.  

Thu
05
Oct

THE BODYGUARD: THE MUSICAL Opens The Fabulous Fox Broadway Series

Deborah Cox in THE BODYGUARD: THE MUSICAL, Playing the Fox Theatre 10/3-10/15. Photo Credit: Fox Theatre

Hollywood is a funny place. Where else would you go to find a movie like 1992’s The Bodyguard starring cinema superstar Kevin Costner and pop diva Whitney Houston, which somehow manages to be mediocre at best but still manages to have the best selling soundtrack of all time? I know where else: Broadway. There isn’t a single property in Tinseltown that someone, somewhere, isn’t writing a book or songs for to turn that film into the next smash hit in Manhattan. Some of them work reasonably well—Bring It On and Sister Act were both pretty entertaining. Others, like Dirty Dancing and A Christmas Story, well, the less said about those the better. I’m not sure why someone thought The Bodyguard: The Musical would succeed where the film fell short, but nonetheless someone did and now its national tour has arrived to kick off the Fox Theatre’s 2017-2018 Broadway Series.

Mon
02
Oct

New Line Theatre's LIZZIE Is The Rock Musical At Its Absolute Best

Anna Skidis Vargas, Kimi Short and Marcy Wiegert in New Line Theatre's LIZZIE, 9/28 - 10/21, 2017. Photo credit: Jill Ritter Lindberg

Greatest all-female rock band ever... go! The Bangles? Nope. The Go-Gos? Nah. Bananarama? Really? The Spice Girls? You’re not even trying. Pussycat Dolls? Not even close. Jem and the Holograms? Oooh, now you’re getting warmer. Jem and the Holograms' arch enemies, The Misfits? Hotter! The Runaways, which included Joan Jett and Lita Ford? Well OK, probably, but if the cast of New Line Theatre's hard rock musical Lizzie was an actual band they'd be number one with a bullet...or more accurately a hatchet. 

Mon
18
Sep

Heroes and Villains Exposed at Fan Fest in New Jersey

HVFF

According to the Heroes and Villans Fan Fest website, they hope to "revolutionize the comic con landscape". Boasting that "it's not just fandom, it's family", the two-day event is full of like-minded fans swarming to one location where their favorite actors and actresses await to meet them.

For a price.

Arriving about an hour after the event started, for non-VIP pass holders, my family and I were eager to get inside. Living in upstate New York, the opportunity to see celebrities doesn't come along very often. So our expectations were pretty high. I've heard stories about how nice the actors are. There's quotes from fans on the website about how they'll just come up to you and start interacting.

Mon
11
Sep

Spirits Moving Musically: Edgar / Alice / Purple Rock the Hollywood Casino Amphitheater

Edgar Alice Purple concert

Edgar Allen Poe once penned a line, “Quoth the raven, ‘Nevermore.’” Well, last Friday night in Maryland Heights, MO, three of classic rock’s most talented and prolific stars from the 1960’s to present, whom I deem “Edgar Allen Purple,” came together once more, for an outdoor concert at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheater.

Sun
10
Sep

WrestlePro Results - September 9, 2017

Pretty big night of wrestling at this months WrestlePro show in Rahway, NJ!  Two big title changes, and a great card top to bottom.  The Rahway Rec Center was jam packed for this great show...


  • Preshow: Chris Payne won a four way with Joey Keys, Delroy, and Talon

  • Mario Bokara/Fallah Bahh def. The Heavenly Bodies

Wed
06
Sep

Predictions for WrestlePro's September 9 show in Rahway, NJ

WrestlePro is back at the Rahway Rec Center for a huge show on Saturday September 9th.  The card is shaping up to be awesome.  You can get your tickets at WrestleProonline.com.

I did notice that there is no WrestlePro title match on the card.  Guess that coward Bobby Wayward is taking the night off.  I am still predicting that someday real soon Bobby Wayward is going to be losing that title to his “friend” Chris Avery Queling.  There is only so much crap CAQ is going to be able to take before he snaps and gets that gold he so righteously deserves.

Tue
05
Sep

DragonCon Interview with Nasa Astronaut Garrett Reisman

Earlier today we interviewed NASA astronaut Garrett Reisman who was a member of expedition 16 and 17 on the international space station. He discussed what inspired him to become an astronaut and what space flight is like.

 

Sat
02
Sep

Us the Duo Elevates Pentatonix Show at the Fox Theatre

Pentatonix at the Fox Theatre, September 1, 2017. Photo Credit John Gitchoff, St. Louis Post Dispatch

I’ve always enjoyed a cappella music. I’ve covered Straight No Chaser numerous times at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis. The harmonies are always nice, but the recreation of instrumental sounds strictly by the dexterity of vocal cords is a real treat. When I heard Pentatonix was coming to town I was excited for the chance to cover them and to get a different style and range of song and showmanship than what I’ve grown accustomed to by Straight No Chaser.

The show began with an opening act, Us the Duo. Comprised of husband and wife Michael and Carissa Alvarado, the talented twosome quickly won over the audience with their charisma and skill. Carissa charmed with her smile and warmth, singing beautifully, while handsome Michael played the guitar or keyboard.  They were delightful and earned a deserved standing ovation at the end of their set.

Thu
10
Aug

OUT ON BROADWAY: THE THIRD COMING Is A Celebration Of Love And Life For All

New Line Theatre's OUT ON BROADWAY: THE THIRD COMING runs through Aug 19, 2017. From left: Sean Michael, Ken Haller, Keith Thompson, Dominic Dowdy-Windsor and Mike Dowdy-Windsor with Nate Jackson on piano. Photo Credit: Jill Ritter Lindberg

I’ve been covering New Line Theatre for several years running, and the one thing I can always count on is to expect the unexpected. When I heard that director Scott Miller closing his 26th season with Out On Broadway: The Third Coming, I thought to myself, “Hmmm…never heard of the first two comings but I assume it’s about gay actors on Broadway?” and yep, that’s pretty much it. Five musical veterans: Dominic Dowdy-Winsor, his real-life husband Mike Dowdy-Windsor, Ken Haller, Sean Michael, and Keith Thompson, along with Nate Jackson on the piano, cover a range of songs from a wide variety of musicals. It’s not a musical in and of itself as it doesn’t have a plot; it’s more of a revue, a five-part cabaret without the introspection between numbers. It’s as stripped down to the bone as a New Line production will likely ever get, and that’s perfectly fine, because the music is pretty great.

Mon
31
Jul

SIRENA - "Stealing Your Heart and a Whole Lot of Soul"

That's not just the tagline of their latest album, "Of a Sister Sky", it's a reality. Like waves on a shore, SIRENA brings music and theater crashing together, creating a majestical performance that would make Poseidon proud.
 
Together, Amanda Ellis, Sam Nolte, and Tegan Elliott Cast Off to bring their talents to the stage and studio once again.
 
Even though they took a hiatus, fans can rest easy that the sirens aren't ready for their swan song yet. The time away from their popular show seems to have brought them Much Closer. Their friendship shines in their smiles and their love for each other is expressed in their closeness. When asked what brought them back together, Tegan immediately pulled Sam and Amanda in for a warm embrace, "These ladies", she said with a smile.
 
Mon
17
Jul

The Sounds of SIRENA Will Captivate You

The Sterling Renaissance Festival is a 7 week long event, that takes place on the weekends, featuring street actors, artisans, and stage performances meant to immerse visitors in the 1500's.

One such performance, by a trio of Triton's temptresses, will captivate you. I'm talking about:

SIRENA

Sirena is a musical/theatrical, experience that takes you back to mythical times where the sirens call would lure in shipwrecked lovers. Sailors both loved and feared them as they would become hypnotized by their song and lose their souls in the process.

Wed
07
Jun

WrestlePro Predictions for June 10 show in Keyport, NJ

WrestlePro is going to be at St. Joe’s Church in Keyport, NJ this Saturday.  There are more matches to be announced (I will likely be adding to this as we get closer to show time), and Hardcore Holly and Fake News Bennett (FKA Bad News Barrett) will also be at this show!  It’s going to be a big one!  You also get to see hometown hero (and huge friend of this column) Coach Dylan Stiffwood make his triumphant return to Keyport!

Tickets available here!

Tue
06
Jun

Family Friendly Comic Convention Takes Flight with Debut of Kid-Kon

Kid-Kon 2017

Maybe you've been attending comic conventions for a few years now. If so, you've established your expectations of what you'll see there, the good, the bad, the ugly, and enticing.

But maybe you've been going long enough that you've mutated -- it sneaks up on you -- into those creatures know as parents. If so, you may find yourself visiting your familiar convention environs one summer with a younger human being in tow for the first time, and find yourself suddenly thinking differently about some of the revealing cosplay, the nude superheroine prints, and the bloody special effects makeup and masks. If you've encountered this uncomfortable feeling already, or if you're just lookign for something that will better engage your young offspring (of which it is your duty to raise properly in the ways of the Force, the Prime Directive, truth justice and the American way, and with great responsibility).

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