A royal affair: Ladue News readers will get an added opportunity to celebrate the arrival of Diana, The People’s Princess exhibition, which comes to St. Louis Feb. 23 to 26 at America’s Center. A book signing and cocktail reception hosted by MARY STRAUSS will be held at Strauss’ Westmoreland Place home on Wednesday, Feb. 22. The event will feature exhibit curator and owner MAUREEN DUNKEL as the guest of honor, with each guest receiving an autographed copy of Dunkel’s book, My Decade with Princess Diana. LN’s exclusive interview with Dunkel will appear in the Feb. 17 issue. For tickets to the Feb. 22 reception, as well as VIP tickets to the exhibit, call 573-450-6340 or visit stlcares.com.
U.S. News and World Report is out with its latest hotel rankings, and FOUR SEASONS HOTEL ST. LOUIS has come out on top in the St. Louis area. The Four Seasons, St. Louis’ only five-star hotel, was chosen based on expert ratings and user reviews. Rounding out the top five are The Ritz-Carlton, The Westin St. Louis, Moonrise Hotel and The Chase Park Plaza.
Checkmate! Some of the country’s top chess masters will soon call WEBSTER UNIVERSITY home. The university has announced that chess grandmaster SUSAN POLGAR, a world and Olympiad champion, and her Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence (SPICE) will be relocating to Webster from Texas Tech University in June. In addition, all members of the reigning national collegiate champion Texas Tech ‘A’ chess team will transfer to Webster for the 2012-2012 academic year.
Broadway star JENNIFER HOLLIDAY is St. Louisbound, reprising her legendary role as Effie White in The Muny’s premiere production of Dreamgirls. This year also happens to be the 30th anniversary of the show’s Broadway production. Holliday’s original performance on Broadway garnered her the Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical. She’ll be making her Muny debut July 16 to 22. Muny season tickets go on sale March 3.
Next week, Ivey-Selkirk is launching The Trova Project, a fine art gallery representing the estate of the late ERNEST TROVA. A grand opening, as well as a celebration in honor of the artist’s 85th birthday, will be held Sunday, Feb. 19, at 7443 Forsyth Blvd., next door to Ivey-Selkirk. Call 726-5515 for more information.
A reception to benefit the restoration and preservation of the CHATILLON DEMENIL HOUSE will take place Friday, Feb. 24. The French Heritage mansion, one of the oldest house museums in the city, was last restored in the 1960s. The cocktail soirée at Clark Graves Antiques in Clayton will be hosted by ROBERT MORRISSEY. Call 771-5828 for more information.
Through the end of February, SAKS FIFTH AVENUE is partnering with local charities, including CARDINAL GLENNON CHILDREN’S FOUNDATION, FOOD OUTREACH and HUMANE SOCIETY OF MISSOURI. For every purchase made with a Saks credit card, 5 percent of the total will be donated to the customer’s charity of choice. Saks.com also is participating in the campaign, with 5 percent of online purchases to be donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.