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Friday, August 15 and Saturday, August 16
The Midnight Company: "The Hunchback Variations"
$10 ($8 for Friends of The Commonspace), all ages, shows at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. each night, 314-773-1503, www.midnightcompany.com
Attendance: 86 people

"The Hunchback Variations" depicts a series of panel discussions between the very old, completely deaf Ludwig Van Beethoven and the very fictional (also completely deaf) Quasimodo, hunchback of Notre Dame. The discussions concern a project they've worked on together to create a "mysterious, impossible sound," the stage direction described by Anton Chekhov in "The Cherry Orchard," written long after Beethoven died or Quasimodo would have died. Throughout the piece, Quasimodo makes sounds with various objects, while Beethoven speaks mainly about himself.

Post-Dispatch theatre critic Judy Newmark named this show the Best Avant-Garde play of 2002, and one of the top five productions of the year. The Post's review proclaimed it "Cerebral, comic and just plain weird."