msmlogoMy own experience with this mega-talented group began years ago, when my husband and I saw their version of “Girl Happy,” which paid homage to the movie career of the late, great Elvis Presley.

Magic Smoking Monkey Theatre only does one show each year, so if you miss one year’s madness, you have to wait a seemingly long time for the next round. John and I have missed them only when got behind on our mail, e-mails, newspapers, etc., and didn’t see the announcement about an upcoming performance.

girlhappyelvispMagic Smoking Monkey Theater is the alter-ego of St. Louis Shakeaspeare Theatre, as you can see from the logo. John and I saw their production of Girl Happy in a high school auditorium on DeBaliviere. I think there were about 10 of us in the audience for that particular show, but it was early in the development of the Magic Smoking Monkey Theatre, and the buzz about them was in its early stages. We actually hadn’t heard of them, but stumbled upon the information about “Girl Happy” on the night of the last performance.

The idea of the show was so bizarre, the venue so out-of-the-way, and the troupe’s name so funny, we jumped in the car and headed to the show. I can tell you they deserved a bigger audience for that performance, the buzz has grown, and they now have a deservedly large following.

loveboat3I also saw them do “Love Boat Live!” at a black-box theater on Washington Avenue a few years ago, and they used one of the real scripts from the show. I have never seen better stagecraft. They do a lot with a little, and that gives the acting a chance to shine through. It’s all in good fun, and it may seem to non-actors that there’s not a lot of acting needed in campy versions of campy movies and television shows, but you would be wrong to think that.

John just ordered our tickets to “The One-Hour Lord of the Rings Trilogy: Live!” and now that we have our tickets confirmed, I’m sharing the info with you about this final weekend’s performances at the Regional Arts Center on Delmar. Two performances each night on Friday and Saturday, and then we wait till next year.

Gandalf

Gandalf

Here’s a > link < to Magic Smoking Monkey Theatre’s Web site.

Here’s a > link < to the review of the performance by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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