Best Place to Go for a Spin and Watch a Play

Carousel House at Faust Park

Truth be told, St. Louis is not blessed with an abundance of great theater spaces. The Fabulous Fox is more fabulous in décor than in intimacy, and the Edison must have been designed by a contortionist. How else to account for a section of seats that barely even faces the stage? St. Louis used to have a premier venue downtown -- no, not the Kiel Opera House -- the gorgeous American Theatre. That superstructure survives, but its interior is falling into disrepair. Among conventional theaters, the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, in Webster Groves, is still the best place to watch a play. But if you think outside the box -- way outside -- you'll discover a gem. When the Curtain Call Repertory Theatre lost its home at the West County YMCA, the troupe moved to Faust Park in Chesterfield. The improvised theater there is no theater at all, just a carved-out corner of the building that houses the 80-year-old Forest Park Highlands carousel. But on show nights, park officials keep the carousel up and running. Before and after the performance -- even during intermission -- Curtain Call patrons enjoy complimentary rides on this beautifully restored relic. You might not think it, but a play can really be enhanced by a carousel ride. It's one serendipitous combination.
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