Outstanding Actress in a Comedy nominee Justine Salata, star of The Rep’s “Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley” photo by Jerry Naunheim Jr.

The spotlight will shine on the best of local theater later this month at the sixth annual St. Louis Theater Circle Awards. Leading the pack with nine nominations is Stray Dog Theatre’s production of “Ragtime,” a musical that chronicles prejudice and class conflicts in early 20th-century America. The New Jewish Theatre’s presentation of “Intimate Apparel,” the story of a quiet African-American seamstress in New York City circa 1905, received eight nominations.

Other top contenders for awards include “First Impressions” at Slightly Askew Theatre Ensemble, “Lizzie” at New Line Theatre, “Souvenir” at Max & Louie Productions and “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” at The Rep, each garnering seven nominations.

Of the 27 local theater companies nominated, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis garnered the most nominations at 23, followed by 17 for Stray Dog Theatre, 16 for The Muny and 11 for New Line Theatre. Stages St. Louis and The Black Rep each have 10 nominations.

The awards ceremony, which honors outstanding achievement in locally produced professional theater, will be held on Monday, March 26, at the Loretto-Hilton Center.

 

Big news from Opera Theatre of Saint Louis: Next year, OTSL will present the world premiere of “Fire Shut Up in My Bones,” based on acclaimed New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow’s best-selling memoir about growing up poor in a segregated Louisiana town.

Librettist Kasi Lemmons

Composer Terence Blanchard photo by Greg Miles

The new opera was commissioned by OTSL as part of its “New Works, Bold Voices” series. Multi-Grammy Award-winning artist Terence Blanchard, whose first opera, “Champion” launched the series in 2013, is slated to compose; St. Louis native, actress and director Kasi Lemmons (“Eve’s Bayou”) will write the libretto. OTSL is hosting a workshop of the opera later this month.

 

St. Louis Symphony music director designate Stéphane Denève

Highlights of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra’s 2018-2019 season include four programs conducted by music director designate Stéphane Denève, world premieres of two SLSO-commissioned works, and two weeks of concerts by Leonard Slatkin to mark the 50th year of his debut in St. Louis. Denève, who will succeed David Robertson as the orchestra’s 13th music director beginning with the 2019-2020 season, will conduct a repertoire featuring works by Berlioz, Brahms, Lieberson, Mozart, Prokofiev, Ravel and Wagner. Conductor laureate Leonard Slatkin leads two weeks of concerts, including a program of Leonard Bernstein’s “Kaddish” Symphony—the SLSO’s first performance of the work in more than 50 years. The world premieres of Christopher Rouse’s Bassoon Concerto and a composition by Jeff Beal, along with a U.S. premiere by Lotta Wennäkoski, are also in the lineup. The season runs Sept. 22 through May 12, 2019.

 

An award-winning journalist recognized for her media leadership and for promoting diversity, Trish Muyco-Tobin has more than 20 years of experience in print and broadcasting. She is also a dedicated community volunteer, and proudly serves on the boards of the St. Louis Press Club, Friends of Character Plus, and the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis.