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She is divorced and has one child, a son named Simon who has moved to the big city, where he shares a flat with an Egyptian student named Jemal. They\u2019re just friends splitting expenses, Susan informs us, lest we jump to any wrong conclusions. 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Story: Susan Chester enjoys a tranquil existence in a village removed from the hustle and bustle of London. She is divorced and has one child, a son named Simon who has moved to the big city, where he shares a flat with an Egyptian student named Jemal. They\u2019re just friends splitting expenses, Susan informs us, lest we jump to any wrong conclusions. She hopes that the rudderless Simon will soon find his calling in London and establish a career.

Her days consist of caring for her two dogs, gardening and whatnot, as well as savoring an ever-present drink of choice. She enjoys gatherings with her friends from church, even though she considers herself an upper-class sort who endures the gossip and silliness engaged in by some in her social circle. She tells us that her ex-husband Colin was a scoundrel who still has the audacity to ask for money now and then.

Susan has been asked to participate in a community theater production of The Killing of Sister George by a director who has plied his craft in London. It\u2019s a daunting challenge but she is up to the task, even if it means spending time with Jill, a casual friend who drinks entirely too much. Since Susan\u2019s best friend Elaine is dealing with an unfaithful husband and has taken up Buddhism as a sanctuary from her troubles, Susan finds herself spending more time with Jill or the next-door neighbor Louise, a social worker.

Her serene if uneventful life, though, changes dramatically when the police arrive at Susan\u2019s door in the middle of the night and ransack the place for evidence. There\u2019s been a terrorist attack in London and the impressionable Simon, it appears, has fallen in with the wrong people. Susan is stunned not only by the turn of events but by their ugly repercussions, both in London and here in her quiet little village.

Highlights: Inevitable Theatre Company makes an auspicious debut in St. Louis with a touching and revelatory performance by Donna Weinsting in this affecting, one-character drama.

Other Info: Stewart Permutt\u2019s 80-minute, one-act play from 2003 is a sobering character study that focuses on words spoken by its sole character which carefully reveal subtle hints about her shields against unwelcome intrusions of life into her insular world. Her dialogue reveals all too well to an audience what Susan won\u2019t admit, much less acknowledge, about her son\u2019s sexual leanings as well as his unstable mental condition.

Weinsting expertly depicts how the shallow Susan has built walls around her own psyche to protect herself from news she doesn\u2019t want to hear. Under artistic director Robert Neblett\u2019s insightful and precise direction, she carefully selects her words before speaking, as if she\u2019s reconciling any potential problems in Susan's mind before letting us in on her thoughts.

Bruce Bergner\u2019s production design is built around a living room filled with comfortable furniture and an array of photos, including Susan\u2019s dogs and a picture of her ex-husband as well as a photograph of Simon given prominent location on a side table next to the sofa and chair. Lighting designer John \u2018JT\u2019 Taylor paints the room with swaths of sunlight in some scenes or sobering shadows of darkness in others, while costumer Christina Sittser dresses Susan in handsome clothes more suitable for socializing than for home attire to align with the character\u2019s view of her own \u2018elevated\u2019 status.

Unsuspecting Susan is a quiet, tender play for which Weinsting puts her considerable skills to excellent use. She paints a memorable portrait of a lady who has lived life superficially, a woman who puts all of her energy into keeping unpleasant thoughts or realities at bay, regardless of the steep cost she ultimately has to pay.

The work\u2019s title says it all, and Inevitable Theatre\u2019s presentation brings out its pathos and sadness with Weinsting\u2019s haunting performance.

Play: Unsuspecting Susan

Company: Inevitable Theatre Company

Venue: The Chapel, 6238 Alexander Drive

Dates: September 21, 22, 23, 28, 29, 30

Tickets: $15-$25; contact 314-534-1111 or metrotix.com

Rating: A 4 on a scale of 1-to-5.

Photos courtesy of Inevitable Theatre Company

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Story: In this modern re-telling of a tale from Greek mythology, Eurydice falls in love with a musician named Orpheus. On her wedding day she steps away from the reception for a moment. While outside, she is approached by a mysterious man who tells her that he has a letter from her late father. Eurydice follows the man to his loft apartment but flees when he attempts to seduce her. While running on some steep steps she falls to her untimely death.

Eurydice awakens in the underworld, which is guarded by three talking stones but where she is approached nonetheless by her father. Because she does not speak the language of the dead, he devises a way to speak to his daughter in order to communicate with her and awaken her memories of him. Even as Eurydice eventually reconnects with Father, Orpheus attempts to follow her into the afterlife to be with her.

He uses his remarkable gifts of music and poetry to gain access to her, while she in turn must avoid the sinister overtures of the nether lord, who is disguised as a child. When Orpheus connects with Eurydice, she must decide whether to return to the living with him or remain with her father, and is torn about what to do. Finally, at Father\u2019s urging she decides to go with Orpheus, only to make a fateful mistake which has dire consequences.

Highlights: Sarah Ruhl\u2019s poignant and poetic 2003 play is given a fine rendering by Bankside Repertory Theatre in the opening effort of its 2017-18 season at the Jacoby Arts Center in downtown Alton.

Other Info: Now in its third year, Bankside Rep touts itself as a \u201cprofessional theater company in the Riverbend region of Illinois.\u201d Founded by six theater directors, actors and educators, Bankside Rep became a company in residence at the Jacoby Arts Center in 2015.

One of those six, Caleb King, directs this thoughtful, lyrical production with a light but sure touch. Ruhl\u2019s magical dialogue allows some free interpretation of their meaning by performers, and here King\u2019s cast does affecting work within the modest Jacoby Arts Center accommodations.

Kelsey Whitney brings out the wonder and love of the title character both for her husband and for her father, displaying fine chemistry with both Mason Brown as the musically gifted Orpheus and John O\u2019Hagan as her fiercely devoted father.

Brown works well with Whitney in demonstrating the deep love of the mythological hero for his ill-fated wife. As Father, O\u2019Hagan offers a performance that achingly conveys the older man\u2019s intense efforts to communicate with his beloved daughter despite the constraints of the afterworld. A scene in which he constructs a \u2018room\u2019 for Eurydice out of string, in direct opposition to the rules of Hades, is carried out poignantly with nary a word of dialogue.

The Greek chorus of \u2018stones\u2019 is appealingly portrayed by Geoff Callaway with a lilting accent as the Big Stone, Hunter Hummell as the impish Loud Stone and Brendan O\u2019Hagan as the soft-spoken and agreeable Little Stone. Jack Dearborn effectively portrays the creepiness and insidious evil of the Mysterious Man and Lorian Warford duplicates those feelings in his role as the diabolical Child, aka the devil in disguise.

Alex Hauf-Belden\u2019s set design includes an iron bar which looks like a tree with twisted branches and roots, a green background and blocks with \u2018waves\u2019 upon them, all of which he lights sufficiently enough. Leah McFall provides the interesting costumes, which are highlighted by the black and red combinations favored by the Mysterious Man and the Child, Father\u2019s proper suit and the togas attiring the Greek chorus of stones.

The fabled Greek tale of Orpheus has been adapted through the centuries for wonderfully diverse artistic interpretations. Ruhl\u2019s effort takes an appealing and intriguing look at the ill-fated love of Orpheus and Eurydice from the latter\u2019s perspective in highly poetic and intriguing fashion.

Play: Eurydice

Company: Bankside Repertory Theatre Company

Venue: Jacoby Arts Center, 627 East Broadway, Alton

Dates: September 21, 22, 23

Tickets: Contact 618-462-5222 or www.jacobyartscenter.org

Rating: A 4 on a scale of 1-to-5.

Photos courtesy of Kim Howland and Nadia Moro

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Story: Nellie Forbush, a Navy nurse from Little Rock, is assigned to a naval outpost on an island in the South Pacific during World War II. While there she is mutually attracted to an expatriate French plantation owner named Emile de Becque. Eventually she learns that he is a widower and also that his late wife was a Polynesian woman who bore him two children.

The station greets a young Marine, Lt. Joseph Cable, who has been sent to coordinate a dangerous undercover mission to a nearby island that could turn the war against Japan. He is especially welcomed by a feisty, native entrepreneur named Bloody Mary, who sizes Cable up as a suitable husband for her daughter Liat.

Forbush and Cable find themselves challenged by their respective love for de Becque and Liat because Liat and de Becque\u2019s children are dark-skinned, something the Southern Nellie and the Main Line scion Cable from Philadelphia cannot accept because of their own or their society\u2019s prejudices.

When Nellie subsequently turns down de Becque, he volunteers to assist Cable on the dangerous mission, feeling he has less to live for than he had hoped. Their heavy hearts may carry the seeds to the ultimate success of their dangerous mission and the fate of the war in the Pacific theater.

Highlights: More timely than ever, Rodgers and Hammerstein\u2019s perennially popular South Pacific is given a strong interpretation by Stages St. Louis to close out the company\u2019s 2017 season on a high note, led by the glorious voices of Leah Berry as Nellie and Matthew Hydzik as Cable.

Other Info: Stages artistic director Michael Hamilton provides expert direction and musical staging for his company\u2019s second presentation and first in 25 years of one of Broadway\u2019s most successful musicals ever. A strong cast, spirited choreography and smooth pacing make this version of South Pacific an engaging exercise for ensemble and audience alike.

South Pacific\u2019s original run lasted 1,925 performances from its premiere in 1949, winning 10 Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Score, Best Libretto and all four acting categories, the only musical ever to mark such an achievement.

Featuring a score by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and a book by Hammerstein and Joshua Logan, it also enjoyed a revival on Broadway in 2008 which closed just short of 1,000 additional performances.

Berry\u2019s performance is powerful both in her glorious singing and also in her vibrant portrayal of the good-hearted nurse who faces her own prejudices thousands of miles from home and becomes a better person for it. Her full-throated soprano carries the day on I\u2019m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair, A Wonderful Guy and others in the hit-filled score.

She enjoys an easy chemistry with Michael Halling in the role of de Becque, even if he doesn\u2019t appear to match the age of the 44-year-old \u201cancient\u201d de Becque in the Pulitzer Prize-winning story by James Michener. Halling has a pleasing voice, though, making Some Enchanted Evening a lilting pleasure and This Nearly Was Mine a heartfelt ballad.

Hydzik has the looks and the serious countenance to suggest that Cable comes from the patrician stock of a stuffy Eastern family, along with a powerful voice that conveys all the emotion behind the beautiful ballad Younger Than Springtime which Cable sings to Liat. He persuasively intones Hammerstein\u2019s insightful lyrics about bigotry in the wise number, You\u2019ve Got to Be Carefully Taught, as Cable explains the seeds of prejudice to the bewildered de Becque.

Joanne Javien is a spitfire of humor and sass as the irrepressible Bloody Mary, crooning the show standard Bali Ha\u2019i with verve and passion, while equally convincing in her comic badinage with Mark DiConzo as the wheeler-dealer seabee Luther Billis.

Javien and DiConzo share the majority of the show\u2019s laughs with their exuberant portrayals, which balance with the show\u2019s more poignant moments. Local favorites John Flack and Steve Isom carry their share of the comedy as well as Capt. George \u201cIron Belly\u201d Brackett and his second-in-command, Commander William Harbison, respectively.

Elle Wesley and Spencer Jones shine as de Becque\u2019s children Ngana and Jerome, while Sydney Jones makes a touching Liat and William Charles Pendergast serves admirably as de Becque\u2019s butler Henri. David Sajewich does well as Lt. Buzz Adams, pilot assisting in the mission to rescue de Becque and Cable after their mission is completed.

Ellen Isom\u2019s lively choreography is equal to the task on such ensemble efforts as There Is Nothing Like a Dame, Bloody Mary and I\u2019m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair, featuring the talents of Paul Aguirre, Chris Tipp, Paula Landry, Laura Ernst, April Strelinger, Brittany Rose Hammond, Julia Johanos, Kari Ely, Matthew Alexander, Nic Thompson, Cody Heuer, Patrick Graver, Brad Frenette and Keith Boyer.

James Wolk contributes the handsome set design, including a background of a lush Polynesian island, all beautifully illuminated with Sean Savoie\u2019s lighting design. Lisa Cambell Albert provides musical direction, Stuart Elmore adds the orchestral design and Garth Dunbar dresses the players in the Navy\u2019s finest World War II uniforms for the military as well as island garb for Bloody Mary and de Becque\u2019s proper plantation attire.

Hammerstein tackled the injustices of bigotry head-on with his story based on the equally knowledgeable work by Michener. Add Rodgers\u2019s tender ballads and rowdy ensemble pieces and it\u2019s easy to see why South Pacific has stood the test of time so well.

Musical: South Pacific

Company: Stages St. Louis

Venue: Reim Theatre, Kirkwood Civic Center, 111 South Geyer Road

Dates: Through October 8

Tickets: $25-$60; contact 821-2407 or stagesstlouis.org

Rating:\u00a0 A 4.5 on a scale of 1-to-5.

Photos courtesy of Peter Wochniak

\u00a0

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\"bookfest
bookfest st louis

Although one of our most wearisome bromides cautions against judging a book by its cover, the number and variety of metaphoric covers involved in a literary festival soon making its debut here should boggle area bibliophiles\u2019 minds.

With the exception of two antecedent events, BookFest St. Louis, the festival in question, runs from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sat., Sept. 23, at various venues in St. Louis\u2019 Central West End neighborhood \u2013 and, almost dizzyingly, involves nearly four dozen authors of local, regional or national renown.

\u201cThe Central West End has such a rich literary legacy and is also home to so many creative individuals contributing to the contemporary arts through writing, art and music today,\u201d says Kate Haher, who serves as executive director of the CWE North Community Improvement District, which is sponsoring the event with the city\u2019s revered Left Bank Books and the Left Bank Books Foundation.

\u201cBookFest St. Louis speaks to the neighborhood\u2019s history and charm and provides an opportunity for many to come explore the CWE,\u201d she says. \u201cWe\u2019re excited to provide a backdrop for what we hope will become a signature arts-and-culture event for our city.\u201d

The predominantly free public festival mostly takes place near the neighborhood\u2019s famed Writer\u2019s Corner at McPherson and Euclid avenues, where busts of St. Louis literary lions Kate Chopin, T.S. Eliot and Tennessee Williams (to be joined at some point by William S. Burroughs) eye the streetscape. The event boasts a roster literally ranging from A (Sherman Alexie) to Z (Kat Zhang).

You read that right. Sherman Alexie, the acclaimed Native American \u2013 who shot to prominence two decades ago with The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven and who has since won multiple awards, explored multiple genres and graced the lists of multiple major publishers \u2013 will deliver the festival\u2019s keynote address and otherwise bolster the bibliomaniacal bonanza.

Left Bank\u2019s website sketches the parameters of that bonanza, which includes not only \u201c[f]amily-friendly programming for children and middle readers\u201d but also \u201cpanels highlighting the best of contemporary literary fiction, mystery, poetry, memoir, science fiction, young adult fiction and history.\u201d The website adds that attendees can \u201cpurchase books, listen to live music and visit booths hosted by other St. Louis arts and literary institutions.\u201d

In particular, the festival features an impressive science fiction contingent. More specifically, Charlie Jane Anders, one member of that contingent, just won the 2017 Nebula Award, arguably the field\u2019s highest honor, for her novel All the Birds in the Sky, and St. Louisan Ann Leckie previously landed that laurel and several more for her 2013 novelistic debut, Ancillary Justice.

The festival similarly concludes with a burst of verse-related verve, as a dozen poets celebrate the centennial of Eliot\u2019s Prufrock and Other Observations (commemorated in the June 16 Ladue News) and related works.

\u201cWe wanted to produce an event that is unique to the area, celebrates the neighborhood\u2019s literary history and has the ability to grow over time,\u201d Haher says regarding the festival\u2019s conception. \u201cWith the help and expertise from the team at Left Bank Books, the vision for the festival came together and has taken on a much bigger and more national scope. Certainly, we always hoped to be able to bring in authors of keynote Sherman Alexie\u2019s caliber, but [Left Bank staffers\u2019] tireless efforts really helped turn that dream into a BookFest St. Louis reality.\u201d

Haher adds that planning for the festival started early last year and perforce accelerated early this year \u2013 with certain felicities still to be formalized. \u201cReaders can look forward to details about the vendors planned for our festival zone,\u201d she teases, \u201cplus an exciting announcement about a long-awaited public art installation, coming to our website soon.\u201d

Haher also touches on the potential logistical complexities of organizing a festival involving so many authors. \u201cWith any new event, you want to make sure you explore ideas and opportunities as they come while also staying committed to your core vision,\u201d she says. \u201cWe want to grow the book festival in a thoughtful way so that it is an event people can look forward to for years to come.\u201d

When asked which feature of the festival she personally most anticipates, Haher waffles a bit before replying: \u201cThat\u2019s a hard question to answer \u2013 the schedule for this event is packed with so many great panels and individual events. The team at Left Bank Books has put together some really interesting author events, including a special high tea at Mary Ann\u2019s Tea Room with best-selling mystery author Amy Stewart.

\u201cStewart will discuss and sign copies of her newest book, Miss Kopp\u2019s Midnight Confessions \u2026 I think this just sounds like such a fun event, for book clubs, for mothers and daughters, for anyone who loves historical fiction and/or lighthearted detective novels.\u201d

In sum, figuratively speaking, for bibliophiles throughout the area, the inaugural BookFest St. Louis promises to be a page-turner beyond compare.

BookFest St. Louis, bookfeststl.com

BookFest St. Louis Schedule

The schedule for the first BookFest St. Louis follows in brief, with more details and updates available on the festival\u2019s website.

September 21

6 to 8:30 p.m. | Reception: Mary Engelbreit From the Archives | St. Louis Public Library \u2013 Schlafly Branch

September 22

7 to 9 p.m. | An Evening With Sherman Alexie (ticketed keynote address, limited seating) | The Sheldon Concert Hall & Art Galleries

September 23

10:30 to 11:30 a.m. | Children\u2019s Storytime | Ann Ingalls, Shelley Michael | St. Louis Public Library \u2013 Schlafly Branch

11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. | Middle Readers Meet & Greet | Trenton Lee Stewart, Kat Zhang | St. Louis Public Library \u2013 Schlafly Branch

Noon to 1 p.m. | Young Adult Panel | Sherman Alexie, Zac Brewer, Nina LaCour | The McPherson

12:30 to 1:30 p.m. | Jane Ellen Ibur | 510 N. Euclid

2 to 3 p.m. | Literary Fiction Panel I | Alex George, Edward Kelsey Moore, Robin Sloan | The McPherson

2 to 3 p.m. | Weird Fiction Panel | Leyna Krow, Kea Wilson, Chavisa Woods | 510 N. Euclid

2 to 3 p.m. | Megan Stielstra | The Vino Gallery

3 to 4 p.m. | Michael Kahn | Brennan\u2019s

3:30 to 4:30 p.m. | Literary Fiction Panel II | Shanthi Sekaran, Gabriel Tallent, Whitney Terrell | The McPherson

3:30 to 4:30 p.m. | Memoir Panel | Anne Edelstein, Kathleen Finneran, George Hodgman | 510 N. Euclid

4 to 5 p.m. | Peter Hernon | Gamlin Whiskey House

5 to 6 p.m. | Miss Kopp\u2019s High Tea With Amy Stewart (ticketed) Mary Ann\u2019s Tea Room

5 to 6 p.m. | Science Fiction Panel | Charlie Jane Anders, Ann Leckie, Annalee Newitz, Mark Tiedemann | The McPherson

5 to 6 p.m. | Poetry Panel | Tongo Eisen-Martin, Alison C. Rollins, Treasure Shields Redmond, Roger Reeves | 510 N. Euclid

7 to 8 p.m. | A Special Trust: Remembering Patricia & Fred McKissack | Left Bank Books

8 to 9 p.m. | Prufrock and Other Observations | Jessica Baran, Mary Jo Bang, Katryn Dierksen, Cheeraz Gorman, Eileen G\u2019Sell, Jane Ellen Ibur, Ted Mathys, Alison C. Rollins, Steve Schreiner, Shane Seely, M.K. Stallings, J.R. Tappenden | Dressel\u2019s Pub

"}, {"id":"31039258-8d23-542d-9e63-b5805817706c","type":"article","starttime":"1505408400","starttime_iso8601":"2017-09-14T12:00:00-05:00","priority":40,"sections":[{"dining":"arts-and-culture/dining"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Dinner & A Show: Toasty Subs","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/arts-and-culture/dining/article_31039258-8d23-542d-9e63-b5805817706c.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/arts-and-culture/dining/dinner-a-show-toasty-subs/article_31039258-8d23-542d-9e63-b5805817706c.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/arts-and-culture/dining/dinner-a-show-toasty-subs/article_31039258-8d23-542d-9e63-b5805817706c.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Mabel Suen","prologue":"Despite its name, Toasty Subs serves more than just sandwiches \u2013 much more.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["toasty subs","maplewood"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"41802a6a-34d2-5e74-a289-21e93913633a","description":"","byline":"Photo by Mabel Suen","hireswidth":1763,"hiresheight":1175,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/18/41802a6a-34d2-5e74-a289-21e93913633a/59b024f023eb9.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"507","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/18/41802a6a-34d2-5e74-a289-21e93913633a/59b024f0222e8.image.jpg?resize=760%2C507"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/18/41802a6a-34d2-5e74-a289-21e93913633a/59b024f0222e8.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/18/41802a6a-34d2-5e74-a289-21e93913633a/59b024f0222e8.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"682","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/18/41802a6a-34d2-5e74-a289-21e93913633a/59b024f0222e8.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C682"}}}],"revision":5,"commentID":"31039258-8d23-542d-9e63-b5805817706c","body":"
\"ToastySubsHiRes-01.jpg\"
ToastySubsHiRes-01.jpg

Despite its name, Toasty Subs serves more than just sandwiches \u2013 much more.

The casual restaurant, which debuted in Maplewood in June, offers not only its namesake on freshly baked bread but also sushi (believe it or not), salads, soups, bubble tea and smoothies. The 2,500-square-foot establishment features counter service, 50 seats inside and additional patio seating.

Toasty Subs comes from Alex and Lily Liu. The Chinese husband-and-wife duo immigrated to the United States approximately 20 years ago and has since gained plenty of experience preparing the food they serve today. More specifically, the couple previously owned a local franchise of a national sandwich chain, and Lily Liu also owned and operated her own St. Louis area-based catering company, Sushi Kitchen.

Initially, the Lius intended to open Toasty Subs as a sandwich-only shop a few years ago. Over time, though, they decided to include Lily Liu\u2019s hand-rolled sushi on the menu, as well. The idea of adding bubble tea \u2013 to round out a unique, diverse menu \u2013 came from the couple\u2019s daughter.

\u201cEverything here is made fresh to order,\u201d Alex Liu says. \u201cWe\u2019re family-owned, and that\u2019s the backbone of our business. We truly care about the customers and think of quality first.\u201d

From the menu, patrons can choose among sandwiches that include turkey, chicken, beef, veggie options and more. All are available on either white or wheat Fazio\u2019s Bakery bread. One of the most popular items, an Italian combo, comes with pepperoni, salami, capocollo, ham, provolone, black olives, tomatoes, onions, lettuce and red-wine vinaigrette.

Additional selections include a create-your-own option, a meatball sub and a tuna sub with tuna salad, provolone, lettuce, tomatoes, onions and mayo. Broccoli cheddar soup, tomato soup, chicken Caesar salad and a house salad are also available, as well as chips for a classic meal combination.

Alternatively, customers can opt for sushi. The sushi list includes a dozen different rolls made to order, such as a crunchy roll with white tuna, avocado, French-fried onions, eel sauce, masago and spicy mayo; a tiger roll with imitation crabmeat and eel, topped with avocado, eel, masago and spicy mayo; and a tempura-fried Philly roll with salmon, cream cheese and sesame seeds.

Whether customers enjoy a sushi roll, a signature soup or a sandwich from Toasty Subs, all of its dishes sound like decadent delights before an investigation into The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time from The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis.

To sate a late-summer thirst, finally, Toasty Subs offers fountain drinks, bottled drinks, canned jasmine tea, fruity slushes, bubble tea (as noted), flavored tea and smoothies. Bubble tea flavors include jasmine, chocolate, strawberry, coffee, Thai and mocha.

Toasty Subs, 3001 S. Big Bend Blvd., Maplewood, 314-833-3277, stltoastysub.wixsite.com/toastysubs

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Story: Dotty Shealey is looking forward to the Christmas holidays at her West Philadelphia home. It\u2019s a chance for her to reunite with her three adult children and celebrate as a family. This year is a bit different, however, as Dotty\u2019s mind has been slipping precipitously.

Eldest daughter and single mother Shelly looks after her mother, often at the expense of her legal career and attention to her son Jason. Middle child Donnie, a struggling music critic and writer who lives in New York City, arrives with his partner Adam two days before Christmas, followed by youngest daughter Averie, an aspiring actress who\u2019s been crashing at her sister\u2019s home while money is tight.

Former next-door neighbor Jackie, now living in New York, pops by unexpectedly in the morning to visit while she\u2019s back in town staying in the house she still hasn't sold since her parents\u2019 passing. She\u2019s surprised when Dot appears to welcome her again after Jackie\u2019s been talking with her and Shelly in the kitchen for quite some time. Dotty also exhibits other mannerisms which strike Jackie as odd.

It\u2019s a shock to her siblings, Paul and Jackie when Shelly reveals that Dotty is suffering from Alzheimer\u2019s disease. Because of Dotty\u2019s affliction, Shelly has been employing an immigrant from Kazakhstan named Fidel to serve as caregiver to Dotty when Shelly is unavailable. Shelly also has her own system of dealing with Dotty\u2019s condition which strikes Donnie as misleading. The Shealey family soon realizes this holiday will be unlike any they\u2019ve shared in the past.

Highlights: The Black Rep opens its 41st season with the St. Louis premiere of a comedy by Colman Domingo which depicts one family\u2019s reaction to an aging parent\u2019s slide into dementia.

Other Info: Domingo, who has enjoyed recognition as an actor, has been writing plays for a few years, including Dot, which premiered at The Humana Festival in Louisville in 2015. After that Dot was performed at the Vineyard Theatre in New York City.

The actor/playwright has achieved notable success on Broadway and elsewhere and is still developing his writing skills. Dot is considered a comedy and there are indeed many funny lines in the script. Still, at times Dot strains credulity, such as when Shelly realizes that Jackie, who grew up next door, is Jewish. Huh?

While Dot doubtless has its fans, one could argue that Domingo tries to squeeze too many contemporary topics into his story. There\u2019s the gay marriage of Donnie and Paul, the girl-next-door love of Jackie for Donnie that continues into middle age, and even the apparently illegal status of Fidel, as referenced by Shelly and Averie. Wedging all of this information into one script which supposedly focuses on dementia just seems to dilute the impact of Dot\u2019s condition to a degree.

On the other hand, Domingo offers two compelling scenes in the superior second act, including a stunning segment when Donnie, and by extension everyone else, comes to realize the impediments faced by his mother in her daily life. The set-up for this scene is clever and the payoff is profound.

Dunsi Dai\u2019s scenic design incorporates a realistic kitchen at stage right which adjoins a comfortable, middle-class living room at stage left that is augmented with a towering Christmas tree. Prop designer Kate Slovinski adds a rotary phone, a turntable and some LPs which carry a mood underscored by Kareem Deanes\u2019 eclectic sound design, a combination of soft jazz and holiday tunes.

Joseph Clapper\u2019s lighting design keeps the show in the dark in several scenes set late at night, mostly in the kitchen, while Gregory Horton\u2019s costume design is an effective blend of Averie\u2019s chic look, Jackie\u2019s professional garb and the comfortable attire favored by Dotty, among others.

Black Rep founder and producing director Ron Himes has assembled a cast that can dig for the diamonds in Domingo\u2019s writing, including Thomasina Clarke in the title role. Clarke depicts Dot\u2019s wit and charm as effectively in one scene as she does her confusion and frustration in the next, nary missing a beat in the transformation. Himes uses the entire stage to help shape touching scenes with Dot at their center, surrounded by puzzled family and friends.

Jacqueline Thompson savvily portrays the weary Shelly, who is not above using tricks on her mother to gain some much-needed respite from her responsiblities. As Donnie, Chauncy Thomas finely constructs the son\u2019s fragile personality, whether chafing at his less-than-modest success in his career, his fractious relationship with Adam or his shock at finally realizing his mother\u2019s actual condition.

There\u2019s good work as well by Heather Beal as the jive-talking and self-centered Averie, who has a loving heart even if it\u2019s hidden beneath her short-sighted goals. Ryan Lawson-Maeske brings convincing warmth and humanity to the role of Fidel, who considers Dot as much a friend as a job.

Paul Edwards has a nice turn as Adam in a poignant albeit tragic scene with Dot, while Courtney Brown conveys the compassion and grief of Jackie for a lady she\u2019s known since childhood. Her late scene with Donnie, though, is awkward at best, as Domingo struggles to write realistic dialogue.

Dot uses comedy and pathos to deal with a serious issue which strikes more families every year. If Domingo could remove some of the clutter surrounding the main story it\u2019d be better than it is in the current Black Rep presentation.

Play: Dot

Company: The Black Rep

Venue: Edison Theatre, 6445 Forsyth Blvd. at Washington University

Dates: September 13-17, 20-24

Tickets: $15-$45; contact 534-3810 or www.theblackrep.org

Rating: A 3.5 on a scale of 1-to-5.

Photos courtesy of Phillip Hamer

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Story: Christopher is alarmed when he finds Mrs. Shears\u2019 dog, Wellington, impaled with a gardening tool in her back yard. Although he loved Wellington, 15-year-old Christopher is accused of slaying his neighbor\u2019s pet.

He insists that he is not guilty. \u201cI did not kill Wellington,\u201d he says, \u201cand I always tell the truth.\u201d He won\u2019t look Mrs. Shears in the eye, because direct eye contact is something he cannot do. Nor does he allow people to touch him, which leads to a confrontation when he strikes an investigating police officer who grabs him.

Christopher determines to solve the mystery of Wellington\u2019s death on his own, following the deductive reasoning of his hero, Sherlock Holmes. This forces Christopher out of his comfort zone, which consists of the home he shares with his dad Ed and his special needs school in Swindon, some 80 miles from London. Ed and Christopher have lived alone since Ed shared the news that Christopher\u2019s mother Judy had died of a heart attack a few years earlier.

Eventually, Christopher uncovers a number of secrets with his sleuthing skills, secrets that may complicate his goal of taking his A-level tests years early. That goal is something that Siobhan, his teacher and mentor at the Swindon special school, knows is of utmost importance to Christopher. Even she, though, may not realized just how vital those tests are to her prized student.

Highlights: The Rep drops the curtain on its 51st season with the nation\u2019s first regional theater production of this Tony Award-winning Best Play by Simon Stephens. Thanks to the guidance and insight of director/choreographer Marcia Milgrom Dodge, Rep audiences can see first-hand a dazzling and intellectually stimulating interpretation of this complex, moody masterpiece, accentuated by Nick LaMedica\u2019s arresting performance in the lead role.

Other Info: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time has a legion of faithful followers who read the original novel by Mark Haddon, which differs somewhat from the play written by Simon Stephens. In his letter to subscribers, Rep artistic director Steven Woolf quotes Haddon as saying \u201cI insist that the novel is about difference, not disability, not just because I want to keep it out of the \u2018issue novel\u2019 ghetto, though I do, but because Christopher\u2019s world is not one defined by constriction and deficit.\u201d

In his program notes Woolf adds that \u201cChristopher also struggles processing some everyday situations and exhibits characteristics and actions that many would associate with autism.\u201d Further, the word \u2018autism\u2019 is in big, bold letters in a display in The Rep\u2019s lobby, and Woolf writes that \u201cTo aid us in preparation and understanding all the issues Christopher\u2019s story presents, we have had...a good deal of support locally from the (Easter Seals) Midwest Autism Division.\u201d

Whatever. Stephens\u2019 play won the Olivier Award for Best New Play in London\u2019s West End in 2013 and the Tony Award for Best Play in 2015. In Stephens\u2019 adaptation, Christopher\u2019s first-hand narrative about his quest to solve Wellington\u2019s murder is enacted as a play-within-a-play, with Siobhan reading Christopher\u2019s journal while other teachers at Christopher\u2019s school play parts.

While The Rep secured the rights to this drama, it could not obtain permission to use the original design concept. Therefore, Dodge and her designers, including scenic designer Narelle Sissons, lighting designer Matthew Richards, sound designer David Bullard and costume designer Leon Wiebers, have created their own imaginative and stylized method for conveying the complexities of Christopher\u2019s mind and psyche.

It\u2019s revealing how Dodge\u2019s moves and Bullard\u2019s background sound are jarring and cacophonous in the first act, becoming more structured and melodious in the second as Christopher continues his quest for truth. Dodge expertly utilizes her entire cast of supporting players to engage in ritualized movements which surround or invade Christopher\u2019s territory. Richards\u2019 abrupt flashes of light introduce different scenes in arresting fashion to underscore story elements.

LaMedica anchors the presentation with an affecting, thoroughly convincing portrayal of Christopher, highlighted by poignant scenes when he is reached as effectively as possible with the touch of fingertips. He conveys the central character\u2019s intensity and fierce focus while also revealing the lad\u2019s need for contact, even if it\u2019s his pet rat Toby. It\u2019s an achingly wrought interpretation.

Amy Blackman does wonderful work as Christopher\u2019s haunted mother Judy and Jimmy Kieffer manages to show both the goodness and violent frustrations of his father Ed. Kathleen Wise shrewdly shows the cool persuasion of Siobhan in her practical answers to Christopher\u2019s queries as well as in her narration.

An ensemble of performers portray a number of minor characters, such as Dale Hodges as kindly neighbor Mrs. Alexander, Laiona Michelle as the angry and bitter Mrs. Shears, Dathan Williams as the head of the Swindon school, Kevin Cutts as neighbor Roger Shears, Michael Baxter as a Swindon police officer and Ka-Ling Cheung as different women approached by Christopher for directions in London.

Especially worthy of note is Sissons\u2019 amazing set design, which is filled on a towering background with mathematical equations, formulas and series of numbers, all of which inhabit Christopher\u2019s brilliant mind, as well as a number of \u201ctoys\u201d which can be configured to represent sundry scenes in the play.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time might conjure memories of Rain Man, A Beautiful Mind or Deanna Jent\u2019s moving drama, Falling. That\u2019s flattering company for this invigorating and poignant portrayal of a singular young man who functions differently but, as Haddon says, \u201csees things of overpowering beauty to which many of us will remain forever blind.\u201d

Play: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Company: Repertory Theatre of St. Louis

Venue: Browning Mainstage, Loretto-Hilton Center, 130 Edgar Road

Dates: Through October 1

Tickets: $18-$89; contact 968-4925 or www.repstl.org

Rating: A 5 on a scale of 1-to-5.

Photos courtesy of Jerry Naunheim Jr.

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Hollerbach","prologue":"The Pulitzer Arts Foundation's current \"Blue Black\" exhibition has received solid-gold praise.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["pulitzer arts foundation","blue black","ellsworth kelly","glenn ligon"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"f401f469-3a3e-5557-9f08-e2a8bfe19ba8","description":"","byline":"Photos by Alise O\u2019Brien Photography","hireswidth":1670,"hiresheight":1241,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/40/f401f469-3a3e-5557-9f08-e2a8bfe19ba8/59b174cf127d8.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"565","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/40/f401f469-3a3e-5557-9f08-e2a8bfe19ba8/59b174cf10ed8.image.jpg?resize=760%2C565"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"53","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/40/f401f469-3a3e-5557-9f08-e2a8bfe19ba8/59b174cf10ed8.image.jpg?crop=1658%2C882%2C3%2C341&resize=100%2C53&order=crop%2Cresize"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"160","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/40/f401f469-3a3e-5557-9f08-e2a8bfe19ba8/59b174cf10ed8.image.jpg?crop=1658%2C882%2C3%2C341&resize=300%2C160&order=crop%2Cresize"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"545","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/40/f401f469-3a3e-5557-9f08-e2a8bfe19ba8/59b174cf10ed8.image.jpg?crop=1658%2C882%2C3%2C341&resize=1024%2C545&order=crop%2Cresize"}}},{"id":"bb05b788-225a-579e-add6-73778404f634","description":"","byline":"Photos by Alise O\u2019Brien Photography","hireswidth":1670,"hiresheight":1241,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/b0/bb05b788-225a-579e-add6-73778404f634/59b174cf714c9.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"565","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/b0/bb05b788-225a-579e-add6-73778404f634/59b174cf7093c.image.jpg?resize=760%2C565"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"74","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/b0/bb05b788-225a-579e-add6-73778404f634/59b174cf7093c.image.jpg?resize=100%2C74"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"223","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/b0/bb05b788-225a-579e-add6-73778404f634/59b174cf7093c.image.jpg?resize=300%2C223"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"761","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/b0/bb05b788-225a-579e-add6-73778404f634/59b174cf7093c.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C761"}}},{"id":"736dc214-31c5-53d1-aac8-2e83c42cd038","description":"","byline":"Photos by Alise O\u2019Brien Photography","hireswidth":1670,"hiresheight":1241,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/36/736dc214-31c5-53d1-aac8-2e83c42cd038/59b174cfccaa9.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"565","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/36/736dc214-31c5-53d1-aac8-2e83c42cd038/59b174cfcbea4.image.jpg?resize=760%2C565"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"74","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/36/736dc214-31c5-53d1-aac8-2e83c42cd038/59b174cfcbea4.image.jpg?resize=100%2C74"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"223","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/36/736dc214-31c5-53d1-aac8-2e83c42cd038/59b174cfcbea4.image.jpg?resize=300%2C223"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"761","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/36/736dc214-31c5-53d1-aac8-2e83c42cd038/59b174cfcbea4.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C761"}}}],"revision":7,"commentID":"7d3abe69-9c92-55bc-b5ac-a4725e8120e1","body":"
\"From
From Mezz_All Lit.jpg

To those of a waggish bent, the publicity surrounding a free exhibition now on display at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation may well suggest a variation of the goofy children\u2019s \u201cnewspaper riddle\u201d: What\u2019s blue and black and re(a)d all over?

\u201cBlue Black,\u201d the exhibition in question, opened June 9 \u2013 yet already, five days earlier, it had enjoyed major ink in the form of a full-page think piece in The New York Times.

Subsequently, among other coverage, \u201cBlue Black\u201d (which runs through Oct. 7) earned a mid-August follow-up from the Times and a noteworthy 2,000-word meditation from Brooklyn, New York\u2019s online Hyperallergic, self-described as \u201ca forum for playful, serious and radical perspectives on art and culture in the world today.\u201d

\u201cWe\u2019re thrilled that \u2018Blue Black\u2019 has resonated with so many people both in St. Louis and at a national level,\u201d says Cara Starke, director of the Pulitzer Arts Foundation. \u201cI\u2019m delighted that the press coverage from such thoughtful writers and editors has shared the project with audiences more broadly.\u201d

Despite its (nontouring) situs in St. Louis, the exhibition owes its origin, ironically enough, to two native New Yorkers, one of them deceased.

The first, painter, sculptor and printmaker Ellsworth Kelly, died less than two years ago, after experiencing acclaim and midlevel success in works often rapturous with bold geometries and primary colors. In 2000, in fact, the Pulitzer commissioned him to create one such, Blue Black, a stunning two-panel construct of aluminum measuring less than 6 feet wide but 28 feet tall and painted, aptly enough, blue (bordering on indigo) and black.

Kelly\u2019s construct subsequently inspired the second, anything-but-deceased New Yorker, \u201cconceptual\u201d artist Glenn Ligon, on a site visit here at Starke\u2019s invitation, according to the Times.

On viewing Blue Black last year, Ligon related to a reporter from that journalistic institution, \u201cI had this very funny aural hallucination where I kept hearing Louis Armstrong\u2019s voice singing, \u2018What did I do to be so black and blue?\u2019\u201d (In Ligon\u2019s aural hallucination, it bears noting, the beloved African-American jazz trumpeter was reprising \u201c(What Did I Do to Be So) Black and Blue,\u201d the 1929 musical standard from Harlem jazz multi-instrumentalist Thomas Wright \u201cFats\u201d Waller with lyrics by Harry Brooks and Andy Razaf.)

\"West
West Gallery wall flat on.jpg

One thing led to another, with Ligon agreeing to guest-curate the present exhibition. \u201cBlue Black,\u201d according to a May press release from the Pulitzer, constitutes a collection of \u201cmore than 50 works ranging from abstraction, to portraiture, to \u2018outsider art,\u2019 experimental film, textiles and more\u201d that \u201cexplores a multiplicity of meanings and uses of the two colors.\u201d

\u201cWorking with Glenn Ligon to develop this exhibition has been an incredible experience, \u2026\u201d Starke says. \u201cFrom the beginning, we\u2019ve seen a highly engaged and vibrant crowd come to see the exhibition, as well as the related public programs. From the artist talk at opening weekend with Glenn and Thelma Golden, director and chief curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem, to the recent performance by the acclaimed composer and pianist Samora Pinderhughes, there have been a number of ways to connect with the exhibition. We continue to see new and returning visitors at the museum \u2026\u201d

In the Times in June, Ligon characterized \u201cBlue Black\u201d as \u201ca meander,\u201d a series of \u201cencounters and collisions.\u201d The Hyperallergic meditation, meanwhile, lauded it as a \u201cliberating voyage taken by and through skin so black, so dark, it coruscates blue,\u201d adding that Ligon \u201corganizes the show less like a curator and more like a poet\u201d \u2013 doing so \u201cwith debilitating force.\u201d

True to Ligon\u2019s own characterization, the exhibition constitutes a blissful cornucopia of often powerful juxtapositions.

Its works range from the touching innocence of Blue Black Boy from 1997 by Carrie Mae Weems, an Oregonian turned New Yorker mainly famed for her photography; through the simplified sidereal splendor of New York painter Ross Bleckner\u2019s Galaxy Painting from 1993; to, almost inevitably, the knowing latter-day La Gioconda smile of Liz #4, a 1963 portrait of film icon Elizabeth Taylor by pop nonesuch Andy Warhol.

\u201cBlue Black\u201d also includes a thought-provoking portrait of an African-American law enforcement officer, Untitled (policeman) from 2015, by Birmingham, Alabama, native turned Chicago painter/sculptor Kerry James Marshall. \u201cThe content of Glenn\u2019s work is incredibly meaningful in the context of St. Louis, being the epicenter of the Black Lives Matter movement,\u201d Starke told the Times in June.

Among the exhibition\u2019s manifold pleasures, though, the museum\u2019s director specifically mentions the inspiration for \u201cBlue Black\u201d coupled with a companion piece, an installation (according to the May release) measuring 6 feet tall and a staggering 66 feet long. \u201cVisitors seem to be connecting with many works in the show,\u201d Starke says, \u201cbut one highlight appears to be the pairing of Ligon\u2019s A Small Band (2015) in our main gallery with Kelly\u2019s Blue Black (2000), the work from which the exhibition was inspired.

\u201cLigon\u2019s monumental neon work fills the room with three words \u2013 \u2018blues,\u2019 \u2018blood,\u2019 \u2018bruise.\u2019 Here Ligon is referencing Steve Reich\u2019s sound piece Come Out, which was commissioned by a civil rights activist in 1966. Reich\u2019s piece quotes the testimony given by Daniel Hamm, one among a group of young residents of Harlem who were wrongfully convicted of a crime in the early 1960s. The pairing of Ligon\u2019s text-based work alongside Kelly\u2019s wall sculpture speaks to the complexities of Ligon\u2019s curatorial thesis in this exhibition.\u201d

Those complexities \u2013 the manifold, vibrant hues of an era whose figurative palette seems increasingly predominated and muddied by clashing complementary colors \u2013 may well resonate with Pulitzer visitors long after they\u2019ve exited \u201cBlue Black.\u201d

Pulitzer Arts Foundation, 3716 Washington Blvd., St. Louis, 314-754-1850, pulitzerarts.org

\"Gallery
Gallery East looking at Guiton prina.jpg
"}, {"id":"81e01aa5-b437-5001-bfde-761a06922b69","type":"article","starttime":"1504803600","starttime_iso8601":"2017-09-07T12:00:00-05:00","priority":40,"sections":[{"dining":"arts-and-culture/dining"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Dinner & A Show: Seoul Garden","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/arts-and-culture/dining/article_81e01aa5-b437-5001-bfde-761a06922b69.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/arts-and-culture/dining/dinner-a-show-seoul-garden/article_81e01aa5-b437-5001-bfde-761a06922b69.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/arts-and-culture/dining/dinner-a-show-seoul-garden/article_81e01aa5-b437-5001-bfde-761a06922b69.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Mabel Suen","prologue":"SeoulGardenHiRes-01.jpgDevotees of Korean cuisine received good news in July when St. Ann\u2019s Seoul Garden opened a sister venue in Creve Coeur, featuring all-you-can-eat Korean barbecue and far more. The family-owned and -operated business comes from Sean Moon with his parents, Kyung and Dong Moon, who collectively have decades of experience in hospitality, with roots in a large-scale restaurant in Seoul, South Korea. The family, which immigrated to the United States in the early \u201990s, also has run a number of businesses in Los Angeles and elsewhere domestically.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["dinner & a show","seoul garden","creve coeur"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"9b0da37e-a2f1-5cde-bd0b-65f8748a64d1","description":"","byline":"Photo by Mabel Suen","hireswidth":1763,"hiresheight":1175,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/b0/9b0da37e-a2f1-5cde-bd0b-65f8748a64d1/59a6f29dc168d.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"507","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/b0/9b0da37e-a2f1-5cde-bd0b-65f8748a64d1/59a6f29dbf49a.image.jpg?resize=760%2C507"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/b0/9b0da37e-a2f1-5cde-bd0b-65f8748a64d1/59a6f29dbf49a.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/b0/9b0da37e-a2f1-5cde-bd0b-65f8748a64d1/59a6f29dbf49a.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"682","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/b0/9b0da37e-a2f1-5cde-bd0b-65f8748a64d1/59a6f29dbf49a.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C682"}}}],"revision":5,"commentID":"81e01aa5-b437-5001-bfde-761a06922b69","body":"
\"SeoulGardenHiRes-01.jpg\"
SeoulGardenHiRes-01.jpg

Devotees of Korean cuisine received good news in July when St. Ann\u2019s Seoul Garden opened a sister venue in Creve Coeur, featuring all-you-can-eat Korean barbecue and far more.

The family-owned and -operated business comes from Sean Moon with his parents, Kyung and Dong Moon, who collectively have decades of experience in hospitality, with roots in a large-scale restaurant in Seoul, South Korea. The family, which immigrated to the United States in the early \u201990s, also has run a number of businesses in Los Angeles and elsewhere domestically.

In 2008, the Moons took over the St. Ann Seoul Garden. A year and a half later, in Chesterfield, they opened the fast-casual Kimcheese, with a second location following in 2015. That second location (fans of whose Asian-fusion cuisine can still enjoy it at the flagship restaurant) closed in June to accommodate this new Seoul Garden.

\u201cWe\u2019re over capacity at the St. Ann Seoul Garden on the weekends, so we wanted to expand,\u201d Sean Moon says. \u201cThis seemed like a great location for it.\u201d

The approximately 3,000-square-foot Creve Coeur space seats around 70 and largely maintains the rustic aesthetic of its former identity, complete with wooden booths and minimal decorative components like a wall of traditional Korean fermentation jars. The addition of larger tables encourages group dining.

\u201cOur food, by nature, is traditionally communal food,\u201d Moon continues. \u201cBack at home, we\u2019ll have one big pot of soup and little side dishes for everyone to share. It\u2019s the same here \u2013 we have one stove so everyone can grill and eat meat together. We really wanted to emphasize that side of Korean food.\u201d

The Creve Coeur menu generally resembles St. Ann\u2019s, albeit with one entr\u00e9e exclusive to the new location: spicy pork ribs. \u201cThat one is phenomenal \u2013 I like it a lot,\u201d Moon says. \u201cWe butcher all our meats here, and many of them are marinated for 24 to 36 hours. They\u2019re longtime family recipes.\u201d

Moon recommends the all-you-can-eat Korean barbecue option for the best experience. Guests can choose from \u201coriginal\u201d meats, including beef bulgogi, pork belly, chicken kalbi and rib-eye, or opt for the \u201cpremium\u201d category, which features additional cuts such as LA short ribs, whole-cut rib-eye and spicy pork ribs. Soup options include radish, soybean and spicy tofu.

Additional offerings include a variety of bibimbap bowls, dumplings, seafood pancakes, yook gae jang (beef soup), a kimchi pork belly entr\u00e9e with tofu, and japchae \u2013 rice noodles with your choice of chicken, beef or pork.

Any one or more of those dishes should put you in a receptive mood to enjoy a production from The St. Louis Black Repertory \u2013 so why not end the summer on a combined culinary/theatrical high note?

Seoul Garden, 10441 Olive Blvd., Creve Coeur, 314-569-4123, koreanbbqstl.com

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\"succotash-5.jpg\"
succotash-5.jpg

September marks summer\u2019s last hurrah \u2013 with succotash the best way to celebrate. Sweet corn and lima beans form the foundation of a traditional succotash. The version spotlighted here combines my favorite late-summer foods, including peaches, summer basil and cucumbers, to form a fresh mix of raw and grilled vegetables with herbaceous and vinegary flavors.

Another perk of this easy-to-assemble succotash: You don\u2019t have to turn on your oven. Simply grill the corn and peaches, then allow them to cool. Dice the cherry tomatoes and cucumbers, and whisk together the dressing. Serve the succotash either as a light main course or as a side dish with grilled meat or seafood.

GRILLED PEACH AND CORN SUCCOTASH

If you prefer lima beans, substitute them for the black beans, using 1 cup in lieu of the \u00bd cup specified.

Serves 4 to 6

| Preparation | Brush ears of corn and halved peaches lightly with olive oil. Grill until tender and browned, about 7 to 10 minutes. Cut corn off cobs, and dice peaches. Reserve in a bowl until ready to finish succotash.

In a medium-sized bowl, thoroughly combine cherry tomatoes, cucumber, shallots, cooked black beans and basil.

In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, combine corn and peaches with cherry tomato mixture, and toss to combine. Slowly pour dressing into succotash, tossing as you go to evenly coat ingredients. Season with more salt and pepper if desired. Chill succotash for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Serve.

Sherrie Castellano is a former health coach turned food writer, photographer and pop-up chef based in St. Louis. A collection of Sherrie\u2019s recipes, stories and images can be found on her Saveur Blog Award-nominated website, With Food + Love. Sherrie is currently the marketing director for Midwest-based Big Heart Tea Co.

"}, {"id":"b8380dd9-dd3d-552e-9f85-6d31291fa9e4","type":"article","starttime":"1504803600","starttime_iso8601":"2017-09-07T12:00:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1504803904","priority":40,"sections":[{"features":"arts-and-culture/features"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Dinner & A Show: The Black Rep Launches 41st Season with \"Dot\"","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/arts-and-culture/features/article_b8380dd9-dd3d-552e-9f85-6d31291fa9e4.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/arts-and-culture/features/dinner-a-show-the-black-rep-launches-st-season-with/article_b8380dd9-dd3d-552e-9f85-6d31291fa9e4.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/arts-and-culture/features/dinner-a-show-the-black-rep-launches-st-season-with/article_b8380dd9-dd3d-552e-9f85-6d31291fa9e4.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Mark Bretz","prologue":"Ron Himes Who\u2019d have thought a business major would now be celebrating the 41st anniversary of his own theater company? That\u2019s certainly the case, though, with Ron Himes, founder and producer/director of The Black Rep \u2013 formally The St. Louis Black Repertory \u2013 the largest professional African-American theater company in the nation and the largest African-American performing arts organization in Missouri.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["dinner & a show","the black rep","dot"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"e57b32ee-3423-50dd-824f-245ac76b4032","description":"Ron Himes","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"400","height":"400","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/57/e57b32ee-3423-50dd-824f-245ac76b4032/59a981736b82f.image.jpg?resize=400%2C400"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/57/e57b32ee-3423-50dd-824f-245ac76b4032/59a981736b82f.image.jpg?crop=397%2C266%2C0%2C87&resize=100%2C67&order=crop%2Cresize"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"201","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/57/e57b32ee-3423-50dd-824f-245ac76b4032/59a981736b82f.image.jpg?crop=397%2C266%2C0%2C87&resize=300%2C201&order=crop%2Cresize"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"686","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/57/e57b32ee-3423-50dd-824f-245ac76b4032/59a981736b82f.image.jpg?crop=397%2C266%2C0%2C87"}}}],"revision":3,"commentID":"b8380dd9-dd3d-552e-9f85-6d31291fa9e4","body":"
\"Ron

Ron Himes

Who\u2019d have thought a business major would now be celebrating the 41st anniversary of his own theater company?

That\u2019s certainly the case, though, with Ron Himes, founder and producer/director of The Black Rep \u2013 formally The St. Louis Black Repertory \u2013 the largest professional African-American theater company in the nation and the largest African-American performing arts organization in Missouri.

\u201cI majored in business administration at Washington University,\u201d says Himes. \u201cI took a dare in my junior year and acted in a couple of productions there and thought, \u2018This is cool.\u2019 When I graduated, I decided that I didn\u2019t want to go to graduate school and remembered how much fun theater was.\u201d

After performing for a few years with the late, great Theatre Project Company, Himes decided to devote himself full time to developing The Black Rep. \u201cThe Brownsville Raid was our first show after I decided to give it a go,\u201d he says. Eventually, in exchange for classes for kids in the neighborhood, the owner of the former Greeley Presbyterian Church invited The Black Rep to perform at what became known as the 23rd Street Theatre. \u201cWe were there for 10 years,\u201d recalls Himes.

This season, The Black Rep will perform all three of its subscription shows at Edison Theatre on the campus of Washington University in St. Louis, where Himes serves as the Henry E. Hampton Jr. Artist-in-Residence. The season officially opened Wednesday, Sept. 6, with the regional premiere of Dot, a new comedy written by African-American actor and playwright Colman Domingo.

Himes says Dot started at the Humana Festival of New American Plays in Louisville, Kentucky, a few years ago. \u201cI\u2019m a fan of Domingo as an actor,\u201d he says. \u201cHe was in The Scottsboro Boys and in a number of TV films and movies [such as] Dead Man Walking, Lincoln and [The] Birth of a Nation.

\u00a0\u201cHe\u2019s a wonderful actor. Lately, I\u2019ve been following him as a playwright. This is maybe the third play that he\u2019s written. Marjorie Johnson, who\u2019s worked at The Black Rep, originated the role of Dot.\u201d

Dot deals with a problem all too familiar to millions of families: an aging parent whose mind is slipping. Domingo\u2019s play focuses on Dotty Shealey and her three adult children, who are gathering for the holidays at her home. A news release from the troupe states that \u201cDot grapples unflinchingly with aging parents and midlife crises in the heart of a West Philly neighborhood.\u201d

Thomasina Clark stars in the title role, while Jacqueline Thompson, Chauncy Thomas and Heather Beal portray her children. The cast also includes Courtney Elaine Brown, Paul Edwards and Ryan Lawson-Maeske, with Himes directing.

The season continues in January when Ed Smith returns to The Black Rep to direct its new production of Fences by August Wilson. Fences tells the story of a former Negro Baseball League star whose barring from Major League Baseball (because of its \u201ccolor barrier\u201d) wreaked havoc on his life. Fences numbers among Wilson\u2019s 10 plays set individually in a different decade of the 20th century, primarily in Pittsburgh, which constitute his landmark Pittsburgh Cycle.

\u00a0\u201cMaybe 12 companies in America have covered [The Pittsburgh] Cycle,\u201d says Himes, including The Black Rep, now on its second run through the 10 works. \u201cWe\u2019ve done Ma Rainey[\u2019s Black Bottom] twice, Joe Turner[\u2019s Come and Gone] twice and Seven Guitars twice. This will be our second production of Fences.\u201d

A.C. Smith and Linda Kennedy portrayed middle-age couple Troy and Rose in The Black Rep\u2019s original production; this one will feature Himes playing opposite Kennedy.

Wilson ranks among the greatest American playwrights of the 20th century and an important voice in theater. \u201cI think that Wilson fills in a lot,\u201d says Himes, \u201cilluminating the African-American experience decade by decade. He gives voice to the average working class of African-American characters, who in many instances have not had [a] voice onstage, characters which we have not seen on the American stage and stories we have not heard on the American stage.\u201d

The 41st season closes in April 2018 with the world premiere of Torn Asunder by Nikkole Salter, whose drama Lines in the Dust was produced by The Black Rep in 2016.

\u00a0\u201cTorn Asunder is a wonderful, beautiful, touching love story set at the end of the Civil War,\u201d says Himes. \u201cThere are two enslaved people, a couple who are separated by the inhumanity of slavery. They are married and sold apart. The guy, Moses, escapes to Canada and becomes a successful blacksmith. After Emancipation, he heads south looking for his wife for years. When he finds her, that\u2019s [worth] the price of the ticket.\u201d

Himes recently was honored at the National Black Theatre Festival in North Carolina with the Larry Leon Hamlin Producer Award. In his 40 years with The Black Rep, he\u2019s produced hundreds of plays relating to the African-American experience, leading The Black Rep to significant national and international recognition as a major artistic institution.

\u201cAfrican-American theater has been an uphill challenge for many of us,\u201d he says. \u201cIn many instances, it still is. A lot of companies that started in the \u201970s like us are no longer here. They didn\u2019t survive the downturn in the economy, the lack of funding trends with foundations and corporations.

\u201cPart of the challenge we\u2019re facing is finding new sources of funding,\u201d he adds. \u201cWe\u2019re considered a major cultural institution, but in many cases, we\u2019ve never been funded as one. It\u2019s a challenge for institutions of color across the field.\u201d

Dot runs through Sept. 24 at Edison Theatre, with ticket prices ranging from $20 to $45. For more information, visit The Black Rep\u2019s website.

The St. Louis Black Repertory, 6662 Olive Blvd., University City, 314-534-3810, theblackrep.org

"}, {"id":"28b3c0af-7703-5777-a7a5-855f018ff9f6","type":"article","starttime":"1504198800","starttime_iso8601":"2017-08-31T12:00:00-05:00","priority":45,"sections":[{"features":"arts-and-culture/features"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Tennessee's Trickster","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/arts-and-culture/features/article_28b3c0af-7703-5777-a7a5-855f018ff9f6.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/arts-and-culture/features/tennessee-s-trickster/article_28b3c0af-7703-5777-a7a5-855f018ff9f6.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/arts-and-culture/features/tennessee-s-trickster/article_28b3c0af-7703-5777-a7a5-855f018ff9f6.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Bryan A. Hollerbach","prologue":"Some surprising guest artists help a local theater festival stage a colorful, intriguing play by a gent named Williams.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["tennessee williams festival"],"internalKeywords":["#topstory"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"ae7347e4-8bcd-572a-97af-158e3fbae98b","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"507","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/e7/ae7347e4-8bcd-572a-97af-158e3fbae98b/59a82f7a96eb8.image.jpg?resize=760%2C507"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/e7/ae7347e4-8bcd-572a-97af-158e3fbae98b/59a82f7a96eb8.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/e7/ae7347e4-8bcd-572a-97af-158e3fbae98b/59a82f7a96eb8.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"683","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/e7/ae7347e4-8bcd-572a-97af-158e3fbae98b/59a82f7a96eb8.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":3,"commentID":"28b3c0af-7703-5777-a7a5-855f018ff9f6","body":"
\"Ghana01.jpg\"
Ghana01.jpg

Some surprising guest artists help a local theater festival stage a colorful, intriguing play by a gent named Williams.

Kilroy, of the mid-20th-century \u201cKilroy was here!\u201d visual/verbal meme, soon will visit the metro area courtesy of Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis \u2013 with aid from associates not only half the nation away but also half the world away.

From Sept. 8 to 11 at the Grand Center\u2019s .ZACK, the festival will welcome David Kaplan, who co-founded Massachusetts\u2019 Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival, as he directs Africa\u2019s National Drama Company of Ghana in the famed playwright\u2019s Ten Blocks on the Camino Real.

Upfront, Kaplan succinctly addresses the degree to which Ten Blocks resembles more familiar works from Williams (a St. Louis native buried in Calvary Cemetery) like The Glass Menagerie, A Streetcar Named Desire and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

\u201cAll Williams is about the same thing: love, youth, beauty, the summer,\u201d he says. \u201cNone of these last long \u2013 and as a result, they need to be remembered, to be talked about and written about. That\u2019s the imperative for performing the plays. We live knowing we will die, the glass animals will break, the match in the dark will blow out, but while the glass shimmers or the match blazes, we enjoy the light.\u201d

Of course, in that Kilroy (nominally the protagonist of the play in question) constitutes an archetypal trickster, this production involves a few peculiarities. First and foremost? Ten Blocks, which Williams wrote in New Orleans\u2019 French Quarter, predates by the better part of a decade another drama entitled just Camino Real.

\u201cTen Blocks came first as a one-act play that began as episodic scenes worked by Williams\u2019 close collaborator Elia Kazan with actors from the Actors Studio, including Eli Wallach as Kilroy,\u201d Kaplan says. \u201cThe one-act version was finished in 1946. It was experimental work, very different than the usual realism of the [Actors] Studio and different from Kazan\u2019s work directing A Streetcar Named Desire in 1947.

\u201cThe one-act was expanded by Williams into a full-length play with 16 blocks titled simply Camino Real. That opened on Broadway in 1953 and puzzled critics expecting something similar to The Glass Menagerie or Streetcar or Summer and Smoke. Kazan and the actors were very excited to be breaking new ground.

\u201cEli Wallach told me on the phone, in the 1980s, they were shocked after they opened in Washington that not everyone shared their pleasure in it.\u201d

Ultimately, negative reviews led Williams to revise Camino Real for its 1953 publication by the esteemed independent publishing company New Directions \u2013 making Ten Blocks an arcane antecedent of an already lesser-known entry in Williams\u2019 oeuvre.

If Ten Blocks recalls the relationship of F. Scott Fitzgerald\u2019s Trimalchio to The Great Gatsby, though, it similarly has enjoyed more than a little attention over time. In 1966, for example, a television adaptation starred none other than Martin Sheen \u2013 a mere three years into his distinguished film and television career.

Carrie Houk, the local festival\u2019s executive artistic director, describes the level of excitement surrounding the production. \u201cTennessee Williams Festival St. Louis is thrilled to launch the U.S. tour of the National Drama Company of Ghana,\u201d she says. \u201cWe continue to build our friendship with the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival and hope for continued collaboration.\u201d

She also sketches what led the local festival (now observing just its second year of existence) to host Kaplan and the Ghanaians, with a grant from PNC Arts Alive and, from Webster University, housing sponsorship for the visiting 12-member troupe.

\u201cThe Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis believes the work of Tennessee Williams speaks to all cultures and nationalities,\u201d Houk says. \u201cWe thought that this particular production illustrates this for St. Louis audiences and would make his work attractive and stimulating for all.

\u201cWe\u2019re offering this world-class production and workshops for schools and community groups free of charge. We want to make sure that the production is accessible and available to audiences that might not have the opportunity to experience live theater. \u2026

\u201cThe company will also be doing a performance at Webster University, conversations with students who have attended the Webster U campus in Accra [the capital of Ghana] and students who might be interested in studying abroad in the future in Accra. They will also spend an afternoon in workshops with the Webster U Conservatory of Theatre Arts.\u201d

The production, which is free and open to the public, requires no reservations, Houk adds. The company also will present workshops at COCA and Grand Center Arts Academy.

Kaplan, for his part, provides greater detail on the involvement in the production of the National Drama Company of Ghana. \u201cIn 1997, flying back from Uzbekistan after directing King Lear there, I learned about Ghanaian concert party from someone in the Peace Corps who had seen performances in Ghana,\u201d he says. \u201cConcert party is a form of outdoor theater that combines African stock characters, clowning, singing and dance \u2013 and social satire. I love clowning that delivers insight. I thought for years about a suitable text \u2013 and it seemed a perfect fit for performing Ten Blocks on the Camino Real.\u201d

An American actor named Greg McGoon had worked with Abibigromma, the resident drama troupe of the National Theatre of Ghana since 1991. McGoon introduced Kaplan to that ensemble. Ten Blocks, Kaplan continues, \u201cfit their mission, too, performing popular theater as a way to build community.\u201d

Ten Blocks will undergo slight alterations to fit it to a Ghanaian context. Kaplan first directed a concert party production of Ten Blocks in Uruguay, of all places, in 2013.

In sum, Kaplan suggests why the new production \u2013 which he describes as \u201cbrightly colored\u201d and \u201cthe simple story of an innocent man caught up in a city of nets\u201d \u2013 should intrigue local Williams aficionados and other devoted theatergoers. \u201cIn Ten Blocks, Kilroy enters knowing he has a heart so enlarged he will die from one strong kiss,\u201d he says. \u201cNevertheless, he kisses the Gypsy\u2019s daughter.

\u201cFirst though, he must convince her he is sincere. He asks, does she believe him? \u2018For a while,\u2019 she answers. He replies, \u2018Everything\u2019s for a while. For a while is the stuff that dreams are made of, baby!\u2019\u201d

In short, Ten Blocks \u2013 to pay slantwise homage to Williams\u2019 last play, left unfinished at the time of his death in 1983 \u2013 promises to be a masque outrageous and austere.

Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis, .ZACK, 3224 Locust St., 2J, St. Louis, twstl.org

Performance Schedule

Friday, Sept. 8: Strauss Park, 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 9: Soulard Market Park, 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

Sunday, Sept. 10: Strauss Park, 1 and 3:30 p.m.

Monday, Sept. 11: Webster University, noon

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In St. Louis\u2019 Southampton neighborhood, a family of first-time restaurant owners hopes to introduce visitors to a variety of Asian flavors at MK\u2019s Asian Persuasion.

The restaurant, which debuted in June, features healthy Asian-fusion food, fruit smoothies and more, courtesy of M.K. Vongnarath and his daughters, Maya Vongnarath and Lisa Bobo. M.K. Vongnarath previously owned and operated MK\u2019s Rolls and Wraps, a food truck that rolled out in 2014 but was subsequently sold to make way for the new brick-and-mortar, full-service restaurant.

\u201cThe great thing about the food-truck community was being exposed to so many traditions and cultures,\u201d M.K. Vongnarath says. \u201cBeing around all these different types of food inspired us to do Asian fusion. It\u2019s not based on one nationality. We want to give everybody a bit of variety.\u201d

MK\u2019s Asian Persuasion fills a space previously occupied by Oasis Shisha Lounge, with a capacity for 90 guests inside and an additional 20 on its patio. The interior features a simple, modern design with black-and-white tables and chairs, a corrugated ceiling, bar stools and a few lounge seats.

\u201cGrowing up in Laos, I would help my mother make food in the village to take to the local monastery,\u201d says M.K. Vongnarath, who started honing his cooking skills at an early age. \u201cSince coming to St. Louis in 1981 after taking refuge in Thailand, I\u2019ve done a lot of things such as karaoke and driving trucks \u2013 but there\u2019s nothing better than owning your own business.\u201d

In the kitchen, M.K. Vongnarath cooks a small menu of fresh appetizers and entr\u00e9es. Options include everything from homemade crab Rangoon and egg rolls to build-your-own options such as a pad thai wrap. Protein options include chicken, beef, imitation crab, tofu and shrimp in fried rice, stir fry, a salad, pad thai or a wrap.

Additional specialties include Vietnamese pho and Thai gang phet, a red-curry dish with coconut cream, carrots, snow peas, baby corn, sweet basil, potato and your choice of protein. Laap is a Laos-inspired dish made with spicy seasoned steak, lime, cilantro, powdered rice, chili pepper, bean sprouts, green onions and mint, served with rice. All of those offerings sound like delectable options before catching Titus Andronicus from St. Louis Shakespeare.

To drink, guests can choose from Pepsi products, Thai tea, jasmine tea, black tea, coffee and fruit smoothies with the option to add boba for $1. They also can choose from smoothie flavors including pi\u00f1a colada, mango and \u201cwildberry.\u201d

\u201cWe want this to be a place the neighborhood can call its own,\u201d M.K. Vongnarath says. \u201cGive us a try.\u201d

MK’s Asian Persuasion, 6417 Hampton Ave., St. Louis, 314-669-9036, mksasianpersuasion.org

"}, {"id":"d92f4709-1104-5932-9581-6ddc1c32e7b8","type":"article","starttime":"1504198800","starttime_iso8601":"2017-08-31T12:00:00-05:00","priority":35,"sections":[{"columns":"arts-and-culture/columns"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Art & Soul: Ron McIlvain","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/arts-and-culture/columns/article_d92f4709-1104-5932-9581-6ddc1c32e7b8.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/arts-and-culture/columns/art-soul-ron-mcilvain/article_d92f4709-1104-5932-9581-6ddc1c32e7b8.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/arts-and-culture/columns/art-soul-ron-mcilvain/article_d92f4709-1104-5932-9581-6ddc1c32e7b8.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Bryan A. Hollerbach","prologue":"With its titular geographic reference,\u00a0A Dublin Cityscape\u00a0by Kirkwood\u2019s Ron McIlvain almost perforce calls to mind that most iconic of Dubliners, 20th-century literary giant James Joyce.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["art & soul","ron mcilvain"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"e3175f90-cbf7-5778-99b3-e9128243f124","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":1642,"hiresheight":1262,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/31/e3175f90-cbf7-5778-99b3-e9128243f124/599f17a89ed16.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"584","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/31/e3175f90-cbf7-5778-99b3-e9128243f124/599f17a89cda3.image.jpg?resize=760%2C584"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"77","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/31/e3175f90-cbf7-5778-99b3-e9128243f124/599f17a89cda3.image.jpg?resize=100%2C77"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"231","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/31/e3175f90-cbf7-5778-99b3-e9128243f124/599f17a89cda3.image.jpg?resize=300%2C231"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"787","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/31/e3175f90-cbf7-5778-99b3-e9128243f124/599f17a89cda3.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C787"}}}],"revision":8,"commentID":"d92f4709-1104-5932-9581-6ddc1c32e7b8","body":"
\"Art
Art and Soul September 2017 image

With its titular geographic reference, A Dublin Cityscape by Kirkwood\u2019s Ron McIlvain (shown here) almost perforce calls to mind that most iconic of Dubliners, 20th-century literary giant James Joyce, and for most folks, any Joycean reflection probably ends, in one way or another, with some thought of Finnegans Wake.

That seems apt. After all, arguably few works \u2013 in any medium \u2013 can match the oneiric impact of that literary behemoth, and A Dublin Cityscape seemingly communicates in the vernacular of dreams.

McIlvain relates that he painted the 4- by 3-foot oil abstract on canvas in the spring of 2015. \u201cIt\u2019s based on a photograph that I took of the city of Dublin, Ireland, from the top of the Guinness Tower while visiting there with my daughter,\u201d he says.

\u201cAlthough I haven\u2019t always based paintings on photographs, lately I\u2019ve found that subjects like the outside of City Museum and inside of Union Station provide challenges when photographed that offer interesting opportunities to explore the relationship of lines, space, color, form, texture and composition.

\u201cSome of these elements, of course, may be included in most paintings regardless of whether the paintings are representational or abstract. I\u2019m primarily interested in how they relate to abstraction.\u201d

Since retiring almost a decade ago, in fact, McIlvain has devoted himself to painting abstracts like A Dublin Cityscape.

Prior to his retirement, in 1963, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in education and fine arts from Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau. Then came a Master of Arts degree in painting and bronze casting from the University of Kansas in 1972.

For a time thereafter, McIlvain taught art in the Jennings and Ritenour school districts before entering the corporate world to leverage skills in design, photography, filmmaking and production.

From 1974 through 2008, he served at various concerns in the publishing industry, managing creative, design, photographic, product development, marketing, sales and media consulting organizations. Ultimately, McIlvain retired after a 17-year stint as a divisional vice president/general manager at a mixed financial services, information technology and media/news company.

A Dublin Cityscape, he notes, has landed various laurels in its brief existence. As a JPG file, for instance, it earned the Award of Distinction last October at ViewPoint 48, a national juried art competition sponsored by Ohio\u2019s Cincinnati Art Club, whose website characterizes it as the \u201csecond oldest continually operating organization of its kind west of the Allegheny Mountains.\u201d Prior to that, the painting also earned acceptance into the St. Louis Artists\u2019 Guild\u2019s Missouri and Illinois juried \u201cMOVE! All Media Exhibition\u201d in June 2015.

Returning to its Finnegans Wakefulness, A Dublin Cityscape, as noted, commands attention for its seeming dreaminess.

Predominated by shifting grays, it \u201cfeels\u201d foggy, perhaps also ashen, like a chill Irish night inadequately but still invasively heated by peat. Amid those grays, other colors \u2013 a disquieting splash of scarlet, wisps of cobalt, a small but emphatic emerald daub \u2013 invite a retreat to Freud\u2019s concept of sekund\u00e4re \u1e9eearbeitung (\u201csecondary revision\u201d) and the imposition, right or wrong, of some sort of narrative. Do human faces peer from the fog \u2013 and if so, what do their expressions convey? Does an aproned woman stand framed in a doorway there, or does that merely constitute an optic conceit?

In short, like all art \u2013 or all the finest art \u2013 A Dublin Cityscape poses more questions than it answers.

To learn more about our featured artist, visit ronmcilvain.com.

St. Louis-area artists who wish to be considered for future installments of this monthly department of Ladue News should email inquiries to bhollerbach@laduenews.com with “Art and Soul” in the subject line.

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Story: Guests are welcomed to the patio on Serebryakov\u2019s country estate, where the maid Marina serves drinks and hors d\u2019ouvres. Serebryakov inherited the home and land after the passing of his first wife. He lives as a retired professor in the city with his second wife, young and beautiful Yelena, while his country property is tended by his first wife\u2019s brother Vanya and niece Sonya.

The impoverished Telegin, nicknamed Waffles because of his pockmarked face, stays on the land, while Vanya\u2019s mother Maria Voynitsky dwells there as well.

Doctor Astrov, a frequent visitor to the estate, bemoans his boring life to Marina. He\u2019s not the only one thinking about what might have been, however. Vanya chafes at his failure to attain greatness, yearning to be the next Tolstoy. Meanwhile, Sonya pines with unrequited love for the restless Astrov, who views her only as a pleasant, and plain, friend.

The arrival of Serebryakov and Yelena livens up the group for a couple of reasons. The professor announces his intention to sell the estate so that he and Yelena can live even more comfortably. Vanya angrily questions what will happen to him, his mother and niece. Also, Vanya is in love with Yelena and regrets that he didn\u2019t marry her when he had an opportunity a decade earlier.

Astrov is infatuated as well with the beguiling Yelena, who alternately spurns and encourages the advances of the men. We follow this group from the patio into the home\u2019s living room, kitchen and study, being careful to stay out of their way and yet also enticed by the complexity of their lives. Can any of them truly find happiness?

Highlights: Rebel and Misfits Productions\u2019 second piece in its \u201cImmersive Theatre Project\u201d is a charming, inspired adaptation of Chekhov\u2019s forlorn story about the unfulfilled lives of Mother Russia\u2019s often lonely citizens.

Other Info: Kelly Hummert, Rebel and Misfits founder and artistic director, utilizes an actual home that is for sale in Ladue as an ideal location for the \u201cimmersive theater\u201d concept. She\u2019s updated Chekhov\u2019s late 19th century drama with references to the environment, climate change and other contemporary concerns. However, the stifled creativity and thwarted passions of these dark Russian characters remain.

Hummert has assembled a first-rate cast who address the frustrations and anguish of Chekhov\u2019s lost souls in arresting fashion, which feels even more acute with an audience in such proximity to the players. Christina Sittser\u2019s costumes convey both the look and social class of the various characters, in both 19th century and more modern outfits, who wend their way through the spacious estate. Set designers Hummert and Jordan Woods integrate the story into actual areas at the home which correspond to scenes in the original play.

For Uncle Vanya, this works exceedingly well, particularly when one is greeted at the manor by Donna Weinsting as the gracious Marina, who extends hospitality to arriving guests and audience alike. Weinsting plays the role to the hilt, sitting quietly in the background knitting when her character isn\u2019t catering to the whims of her employers.

Andrew Neiman fully embodies the restless spirit of Vanya, whether roaming the spacious yard, napping in a nearby swing or leaping at the arrival of the coveted Yelena. He\u2019s affecting as he clamors for the attention of the disarming young woman, who in turn is portrayed in fully convincing fashion by Sophia Brown. As Yelena, Brown flirts knowingly with Vanya and Astrov, satisfying her desire for attention at the expense of the men\u2019s lusting, restless hearts.

Jim Butz presents an Astrov who is frustrated with the lonely ways of the country life, consumed by his passion for the alluring Yelena and yet cruelly oblivious to the yearnings of the long-suffering Sonya. As the quietly lovelorn niece, Francesca Ferrari conveys Sonya\u2019s life of quiet desperation with dignity and the faintest of hope that Astrov will return her love, while dutifully handling the day-to-day chores of running Serebryakov\u2019s fortune, with or without Vanya\u2019s aid.

Peter Mayer rages as the perennially whiny professor, whose thoughts are first and foremost about his own and his wife\u2019s comfort, with anyone else a consideration after the fact. His professor is obsessed with his own aging and mortality but offers little in compassion for others.

Suzanne Greenwald and Kent Coffel complete the highly accomplished cast as Vanya\u2019s unsympathetic mother Maria Voynitsky and the ingratiating Telegin, who knows well his lowly place in the pecking order at the estate and spends his time acceding to the wishes of the others.

Hummert brings a leisurely pace to this presentation while maintaining its allure and whimsy throughout, shrewdly moving the audience into various rooms with an orderly and genial approach. It\u2019s especially enjoyable to sip a vodka cocktail at intermission with the best of Russian civility.

Uncle Vanya is one of Chekhov\u2019s true masterpieces. This new take on his view of universal concepts of love, longing and loneliness is given an invigorating and refreshing approach in Rebel and Misfits' \u201cimmersive\u201d adaptation.

Play: Uncle Vanya: Valiantly Accepting Next Year\u2019s Agony

Company: Rebel and Misfits Productions

Venue: Private residence, 110 Dielman Road

Dates: August 31, September 1, 2, 3

Tickets: $30-$45; visit www.theimmersivetheatreproject.com

Rating: A 5 on a scale of 1-to-5.

Photos courtesy of Rebel and Misfits Productions

"} ]