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If all you really wanted for Christmas was a movie you could go to without contemplating asking for your money back, Hollywood may be able to help…finally. Here’s what coming in December:
Story: Stuffy Mr. Darling lives in London with his wife and their three children, Wendy, John and Michael, along with their maid Liza and dog Nina. The children are treated to bedtime stories at night by the loving Mrs. Darling. Unknowingly, they are visited by the flying Peter Pan, who enjoys the stories himself. When Peter’s shadow is captured one night, he returns with the fairy Tinker Bell to retrieve it and is met unexpectedly by Wendy.
Starring up-and-coming Canadian triple-threat Jake Stern, Godspell is coming soon to the Peabody Opera House.LN recently spoke with director David Hogan about the new spin on this classic musical.
Academy Award-winning actress and best-selling author SHIRLEY MACLAINE will headline the NATIONAL CHILDREN’S CANCER SOCIETY Alvin K. Stolze International Humanitarian Award dinner in St. Louis. MacLaine will be performing her one-woman show at the Nov. 23 event at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch. The dinner also will include an award presentation to MICHAEL NEIDORFF and Centene Corporation (Humanitarian Award), TOM VOSS and Ameren (Corporate Philanthropy Award), and DR. ROBERT HAYASHI (Medical Legacy Award). For more information, visit theNCCS.org.
The Baldwin Report
Story: Based on a series of children’s books by P.L. Travers and the 1964 Walt Disney film of the same name, Mary Poppins is the story of a mysterious nanny who magically appears at the Banks household in Edwardian London to care for Jane and Michael Banks, the children of stuffy banker George Banks and his long-suffering wife Winifred, a former actress.
If you flip through the funnies or skim the editorials, you might miss what Bill Wilson calls a “fine art” often overlooked by its audience. This resident of Aberdeen Heights in Kirkwood is not only a former cartoonist—he’s an avid collector of editorial cartoons, illustrations and comic strips.
Every once in a while this happens in Hollywood: Somebody read the script, saw the talent attached and perused the budget. Somebody eyed the corner office at Disney. Somebody called the Lamborghini dealer and made an offer on a Malibu beach house. Somebody grinned greedily at the idea of this movie, thinking, This is my Avatar, my Pirates, my Marvel superhero movie. Somebody employed some faulty logic. Clearly, the formula Disney + Depp = dollars is not an immutable law of cinema. In layman’s terms, this movie stinks.
CITY ACADEMY received a $1 million gift from the Crawford Taylor Foundation for endowment. The gift supports the school’s efforts to offer an expanded Early Childhood Program. With the help of this grant, plans to expand to a total of 175 students by 2014 are in place. Pictured: D’Niya Ammons, Chantell Johnson and Chontell Johnson of City Academy's new Early Childhood Program.
The Baldwin Report
Back for its third year, Junior League of St. Louis’ annual Kitchen Tour is going to be bigger and better than ever, if event co-chair Ann Beck has anything to say about it. Along with Julie Kearbey and their committee, she is working to build on the successes of years past. “It’s one of the League’s largest fundraisers, and it has a lot of public support,” she says.
They’re still swinging at the ST. LOUIS SYMPHONY over a successful Red Velvet Ball Swings! gala that featured WYNTON MARSALIS and the JAZZ AT LINCOLN CENTER ORCHESTRA.
Two years ago, Taylor Louderman graduated from TeamSTAGES, a 16-member a capella singing group that has performed all over St. Louis and as far as New York and Disney World. Today, she is starring in her first Broadway show: Bring It On. “Almost all TeamSTAGES graduates have gone on to a performance degree in college,” says Jack Lane, executive producer at STAGES St. Louis.
Anationally renowned scientist, a superior court judge and a professional WNBA player are among past graduates of Ladue Horton Watkins High School. These accomplished professionals and others will be honored at the school’s 60th Anniversary Distinguished Alumni Recognition Ceremony on Sept. 21.
Story: Mufasa, head lion of his pride, rules the jungle as “king of the beasts.” He presides over a flourishing kingdom, loved by his wife Sarabi but despised by his brother Scar. The latter resents that Mufasa’s young son, Simba, is heir to the throne. Scar plots various ways to murder Mufasa, finally succeeding when he lures Simba into a stampede of wildebeests. Mufasa rescues Simba but dies as a result, and Scar quickly ascends the throne with a menacing group of hyenas as his henchmen.
New York Times best-selling author Ridley Pearson is the Disney corporation’s best-kept secret. The East Coast native, who has made St. Louis home for the past 13 years, has written more than 35 suspense novels for adults and adventure books for children during the past 30 years. His book, Peter and the Starcatchers, a prequel to Peter Pan that he co-authored with Pulitzer Prize-winning author and humor columnist Dave Barry, was published by Disney and adapted into a Broadway play that earned nine Tony nominations—the most of any play in history. It received five Tony awards at the June 10 ceremony. Ladue News recently spoke with Pearson about life in St. Louis, playing ‘terribly’ in an all-author rock band, and his career success—from books to Broadway.
Story: Aladdin, an orphan who lives by his wits on the streets with comrades Babkak, Omar and Kassim, falls in love with Jasmine, the beautiful and eligible princess daughter of the Sultan of Agripa, when she ventures out one day from the palace into the city. Jafar, evil advisor to the Sultan, learns about their romance and plots to capture Aladdin and imprison him after first convincing the latter to find a fabled magic lamp that Jafar covets in order to rule the kingdom.
Pixar has come under fire during the last few years. When you come out of the shoot with Toy Story, Monsters, Inc., and Finding Nemo, you’re going to be hard-pressed to keep that batting average. Finally, with last year’s Cars 2, the shroud was readied: Disney murdered Pixar. Well, the good news is, we don’t have to pull the plug just yet. Brave may not be Toy Story, but it certainly isn’t Cars 2.
For many, the Fourth of July means grilling out with family and friends, watermelon and fireworks. But before the fireworks go off this year, catch a glimpse as to how other St. Louisans celebrate the birth of our nation.
Story: Lewis Carroll’s enduring tales about the enchanting dreams of a little girl named Alice have charmed readers perpetually since Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel, Through the Looking Glass, were first published in the 1840s. Carroll’s fanciful yarns have inspired countless artistic interpretations for more than 150 years, including takes by the likes of Walt Disney and Tim Burton.
Story: George and Winifred Banks have just seen their latest nanny depart in a huff from their London household, thanks to the incorrigible behavior of their children Jane and Michael. When George writes a job description for still another domestic, mysteriously arrives one Mary Poppins, an extremely self-confident nanny who promptly takes over the child-rearing chores before George even mails his note.
Let me start off on a positive note: This movie is beautiful. The people are beautiful, the scenery is beautiful, the music is beautiful. If only movie theaters had mute buttons—but alas. I like schmaltz as much as the next gal, but I can honestly say when they titled this film The Lucky One, they were not referring to an audience member.
Let’s start with the good news: This is a 78-minute, beautifully shot family-friendly documentary. The bad news: This is a 78-minute family-friendly documentary.
OK. This is the first of the two Snow White-themed films to be released in 2012. This one is the more light-hearted, comedic version—think the animated Disney classic. The second, Snow White and the Huntsman, is a little more, ahem, ‘Grimm.’ I have to admit, I wasn’t expecting much and I would advise you to do the same. If you go in with the bar set low, you will have a satisfying movie-going experience.