Comedy Night with Steven Taylor

Enjoy an uproarious evening of Stand-up Comedy! Featuring the Talents of Steven Taylor.

Originally a Louisiana native, Stephen moved to Kansas City to escape his traditional southern roots. He's a fast rising talent in the region that has worked with comics like Theo Von, Karlous Miller, and Laurie Kilmartin.

A former teacher, reformed preacher, and political operative, Stephen combines his unique perspective with some interesting stories and some sweet southern charm.

He has been featured on The Breakfast Club, The New York Post, and at San Fransisco Sketchfest. He was recently awarded best performer at the 2023 Cleveland Comedy Festival, is the co-founder of the Barrel of the Bottoms studio in Kansas City, and the co-host of the Set to Destroy Podcast.

This show is for ages 18 and older ONLY.

5th Street Improv

Witty. Silly. Enjoy a hilarious night of improvisational comedy by 5th Street Improv. The performers are unscripted and create the humor off-the-cuff. Audience suggestions make each performance unique.

Rated: PG

Have No Doubt — This’ll Be Fun!

Who can forget Robin Williams’ in the hilarious yet heartfelt hit movie “Mrs. Doubtfire?” He played divorced dad Daniel Hillard, who, unhappy that he doesn’t have more access to his kids, masquerades as an elderly Scottish nanny to be with them.

Photo by Joan Marcus

By Peg Cameron Gill

Reimagined as a musical, “Mrs. Doubtfire” is sure to be a surefire hit with you! Enjoy this campy comedy at The Fabulous Fox in St. Louis now through Jan. 7, 2024. You can catch both matinees and evening performances.

Everyone’s favorite Scottish nanny is spending her holidays in St. Louis! Rob McClure will reprise his Tony-nominated Broadway performance on tour alongside co-star (and real life wife!) Maggie Lakis in this internationally acclaimed hit. 

Musical critics call the show “wonderful, heart-warming, and laugh-out-loud funny” (Manchester Evening News) and “a feel-good, family-friendly comedy that delivers” (The Hollywood Reporter). 

Based on the beloved 1993 film and directed by four-time Tony Award® winner Jerry Zaks, “Mrs. Doubtfire” is  “the lovable, big-hearted musical comedy we need right now,” raves the Chicago Tribune – “one that proves we’re better together.”

You can find more information and tickets here.

Photo by Joan Marcus

About the book that the movie “Mrs. Doubtfire” was based on:

Author Anne Fine based the name of her novel on a 1970s-era second-hand store, "Madame Doubtfire," located at the corner of Howe Street and South East Circus Place in Edinburgh, Scotland. The shop was owned by Annabella Coutts, who named her shop after her first husband, Arthur Cyril Doubtfire.

The novel was published in 1987, and was written for teen and young adult audiences. Although it’s a comedy, it has a serious message: As funny as “Mrs. Doubtfire” is, it's really about the pain of separation and divorce. Serious issues such as the perception that Daniel’s a bad father because he doesn't make a lot of money, and the implied criticism of career mom Miranda, are hidden under a lot of fluff and jokes.

About the 1993 movie:

“Mrs. Doubtfire” won the Academy Award for Best Makeup, and the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. Robin Williams was awarded the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy.

Find out what honor The Fabulous Fox won in 2020 here.

FUn fact about the movie: It took four hours to apply Williams’ makeup and transform him into the character Mrs. Euphegenia Doubtfire. Williams later said he used to walk through San Francisco dressed in full makeup and costume!

Williams starred alongside Sally Field (as his ex Miranda), Pierce Brosnan (as Stuart “Stu” Dunmeyer), Harvey Fierstein (as Uncle Frank Hillard), Polly Holiday (as Gloria Chaney), Matthew Lawrence (as Chris Hillard), Mara WIlson (as Natalie “Nattie” Hilard), Lisa Jakub (As Lydia Hillard), and many more. Do you know the cast even included Martin Mull and Steven Tyler? It did!

For hundreds more events, visit Missouri Life’s Event Calendar.

Improv Theatre Has Many Benefits

Most of us think of improv as being comedy. It really is so much more. Ed Reggi shares his love of this form of theatre in “The Converstion” where we ask questions and Ed enlightens us on the benefits of improv for people of all ages.

Living Without The Script

INTERVIEW by Pam Clifton

Ed Reggi shares the confidence-boosting benefits of improv.

Even at a young age, Ed Reggi was drawn to the life of an entertainer. The native New Yorker would sneak into NBC Studios near his house to watch the goings-on and imagine his future as a performer.

When Ed, fresh out of college at Fontbonne University in the St. Louis suburb of Clayton, took a class at the Chicago improvisational comedy enterprise, Second City, the experience changed his life. He studied under Paul Sills, founder of Second City and son of improvisational theater pioneer Viola Spolin, for almost 10 years.

Ed is an actor and producer. He’s worked alongside such famous names as George Clooney, Amy Poehler, and Keegan-Michael Key, and he appeared on Oprah Winfrey’s Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s. He won an Emmy for his work as a voiceover artist.

He moved back to St. Louis in 2000, drawn there by love. Since then, he has cultivated a satisfying teaching career. He leads courses at the Center of Creative Arts in St. Louis and at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, and he conducts communications workshops for Fortune 500 clients. Yet nothing brings him more joy than seeing students find courage through improv.

Q | What does improvisation mean in the theater world?

A | Improv is working without a script. It’s doing fine arts and just creating. It’s the opposite of what choreography is for a dancer. When you just dance and have a good time at a wedding, that’s improvising. When you jam together with people who play an instrument, that’s improv.

Q | What first drew you, as a performer, to live theater?

A | I found myself in a perfect balance of traditional theater and a live show. I wasn’t really attracted to TV and film (even though I did it). I liked to be in the room with the audience, to hear the people laughing. Improv checked all the boxes.

Q | What do you like best about the art of improvisation?

A | There’s no barrier. In theater, we need a lot: a script, license, stage, set designer, etc. In the world of improv, we have a blank stage, lights, and an audience. Many think improv equals comedy. But improv brings everybody together and builds community. You learn about each other and start to grow, whether it’s five people or 100.

Q | What makes improv a useful tool, even for non-actors?

A | The No. 1 phobia is public speaking. Whether someone speaks in a crowd, in front of the boss, or somewhere else, improv helps them learn to be in the moment. People don’t have to be perfect. Come in and just do it and it’s going to work out. I think anxiety is what worries people. I tell them to just have fun.

Q | Is there an ideal age when it’s easiest to embrace improv?

A | I teach improv to students from kindergarten to adult.

Q | What’s coming up next for you in your career?

A | I just completed my master’s in theater education, so I’m looking forward to transitioning into the classroom full-time. I hope to use all my experiences to mentor the next generation of performers.

Article originally published in the July/August 2023 issue of Missouri Life.

Missouri History Today July 17, 1917: Phyliss Ada Driver is born. We know her as Phyliss Diller.

From her home in Webster Groves, Phyliss Ada Driver performed and became a regular at clubs in the Gaslight Square entertainment district in St. Louis. There, she performed under the stage name Phyliss Diller.  

She would, of course, go on to find fame and hit the big time with Bob Hope and others.

Diller entered the comedy profession in the 1950s. Her outrageous personality and jokes that mocked her looks and hatred of housekeeping were in stark contrast to the typical housewives of the time.

This post was contributed by Ross Malone. A historian and a retired school teacher, Ross has authored many books about Missouri’s history, weird facts, and folk tales. He has also written children’s historical fiction. Visit his website, and buy his books in the Missouri Life store.

Photo credit: PJ Galszabo, Unsplash