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It’s been announced that the Fox Theatre will undergo a massive ceiling restoration—the biggest undertaking since its original 1981 restoration.
Story: The time is December 4, 1956 and the place is Sun Records in Memphis. The tiny, unremarkable building once housed an auto parts store, as owner and producer Samuel Cornelius Phillips reminds himself and visitors, before Sam turned it into a tiny recording studio a couple of years earlier.
With hit TV show, The Biggest Loser, bestselling books and 1.6 million people visiting her weight loss website each month, Jillian Michaels has become one of the nation’s most popular experts on healthy eating, exercise and leading an exceptional life. Now, she is sharing her success secrets with audiences across the country through her Maximize Your Life tour, a live show coming May 11 to the Fox Theatre. LN recently spoke with Michaels about her personal health journey and her upcoming show, which aims to help people kickstart their life and fitness goals and achieve health and happiness.
WEBSTER UNIVERSITY’s Chess Team, ranked No. 1 in the nation, will be competing as the top seed in the Final Four of Collegiate Chess this weekend. The team, coached by renowned chess grandmaster SUSAN POLGAR, will do battle against students from University of Maryland-Baltimore County, University of Texas-Dallas and University of Illinois. The six grandmasters who make up the Webster team include: WESLEY SO (also ranked No. 1 in the Philippines), RAY ROBSON (also ranked No. 8 in the U.S.), FIDEL JIMENEZ (also ranked No. 3 in Cuba), GEORG MEIER (also ranked No. 4 in Germany), MANUEL HOYOS (also ranked No. 1 in Mexico and is the reigning U.S. Open Champion), and ANATOLY BYHKOVSKY (also ranked No. 21 in Israel). Bring home a winner, Webster!
He began his career on the local high school stage and is now an award-winning Broadway star. Since his early days growing up in South St. Louis, Norbert Leo Butz has found great success on Broadway, as well as in film and television. Even with a busy schedule that includes the lead role in next month’s world premiere of Big Fish in Chicago, Butz remains close to his roots. In May, he will return to St. Louis to headline a benefit concert for The Angel Band Project, a nonprofit that uses music to encourage healing and empathy for survivors of sexual violence. The Angel Band Project was created following the murder of Butz’s sister, Teresa Butz, in 2009. With the first show on May 8 at The Sheldon sold out, a second show has been added for May 9 at the 560 Music Center. Recently, Butz took a few minutes to speak with Ladue News about his career and the concert.
Seeing stars…St. Louis will welcome a couple of big names beginning next month. On Tuesday, April 23, BOB DYLAN and his band will perform on the Peabody Opera House stage. Tickets went on sale March 15, and may still be available at the box office, by calling 800-745-3000 or through ticketmaster.com. Dylan, who will turn 73 in May, became the first rock musician to be voted into the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Letters earlier this month.
Story: Ted Narracott, the town drunk in Devon, England, puts up his rent money in order to outbid his well-to-do brother Arthur at a local auction for a foal whom he brings home to his wife Rose and son Albert. Rose is distraught over her husband’s reckless spending spree, but Albert is delighted. He quickly names the foal Joey and goes about caring for him daily.
The small-town sounds of Rock and Roll Hall-of-Famer John Mellencamp will make for a big night at the 25th Annual Bob Costas Benefit on April 20 at the Fox Theatre. The highly anticipated event, which raises approximately $1 million annually for the Bob Costas Cancer Center at SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center, is known for its star-studded performance lineups that in past years have included Jerry Seinfeld, Jimmy Fallon, Ray Ramono, Bill Murray, Conan O'Brien, Dana Carvey, Billy Crystal, Cedric the Entertainer, Kathleen Madigan and Jay Leno. This year will be no exception as event host Bob Costas welcomes the legendary Mellencamp and a yet to be announced comedic artist to commemorate the silver anniversary. The Indiana native and his band will be returning to the Costas Benefit stage with a set that draws from an extensive catalog of classic songs, such as Small Town, Jack and Diane, Pink Houses and R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.
Rock and Roll Hall-of-Famer JOHN MELLENCAMP will headline next month’s 25th Annual Bob Costas Benefit for SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center. The April 20 event at the Fox Theatre signals Mellencamp’s return to the Costas Benefit stage. His 35 years of music has spawned iconic hits like Jack and Diane and Small Town. The event’s opening act will be announced shortly. For tickets, call 577-5605 or visit glennon.org. More information about the Bob Costas Cancer Center will appear in LN’s March 15 issue.
Story: It’s a typical morning at the Goodman household. Dan is getting ready to leave for work, while Diana rouses their son and daughter for school. It becomes quickly apparent, though, that all is now well when Diana begins to make sandwiches on the kitchen floor.
New York City Ballet MOVES is coming to St. Louis for the first time since 1994, in conjunction with Dance St. Louis. The touring group of 20 performers will present five pieces that run the gamut, giving viewers the chance to experience the ballet’s diverse repertory without leaving home. We caught up with artistic director and ballet master Jean-Pierre Frohlich in advance of the March 9 and 10 performances at the Fox Theatre.
Story: A group of eager young missionaries graduates from the Latter-Day Saints Church Ministry Training Center in Utah, and each of the young men is given his two-year assignment as well as the name of his partner during that period. Two by two, they’re sent to places such as Norway, France and even other parts of America. Elder Kevin Price is shocked, though, when he learns that his destination is Uganda and that his partner is the nerdy class dunce, Elder Arnold Cunningham.
DATE AND LOCATION CHANGED, CATERER ADDED FOR INAUGURAL ST. LOUIS THEATER CIRCLE AWARDS
Story: Bobby Gould and Charlie Fox have clawed and scrapped their way through the celluloid jungle known as Hollywood for more than a decade. Now, Bobby has a corner office at a big production company and Charlie has brought him a killer script. It’s by a hot writer named Doug Brown, a ‘buddy movie,’ and Charlie says it’ll make boatloads o’ money for both of them. It’ll also put their names together on the silver screen as producers of this can’t-miss hit.
For the second year, in a tight competition with less than 20 votes separating the top two churches, St. Paul's Catholic Church, Fenton, beat out St. Dominic Savio, Affton, to win Friendship Village Sunset Hills' Fourth Annual Quilting Competition. Several hundred voted in the week's competition and display of quilts from area churches at Fountain View, the freestanding assisted-living community at Friendship Village Sunset Hills. Pictured: Erlinda Madridondo, Ruth Finder, Donna Robinson and Mary Haukap (kneeling) proudly display their winning quilt.
Story: Tick is an Australian drag queen who performs regularly in Sydney. One night he receives a call from his ex-wife, who says she needs a favor: She’d like him to perform at her casino in Alice Springs in the Outback . She also wants him to reconnect with his young son, Benji, who hasn’t seen his father in years and has been asking about him and his life in “show business.”
Renowned professional dancers from around the globe star on St. Louis stages throughout the year. And that same high-caliber talent also trains the next generation of local dance artists. It’s all made possible by Dance St. Louis.
Performances by local professional theater companies, ranging in size from The Muny and its productions in the 11,000-seat Forest Park amphitheater to small companies performing in modest spaces throughout the area, will be recognized at the inaugural Louie Awards.
While the local theater scene felt less ‘busy’ than the last few years, a couple hundred productions were available to patrons in search of something new—or something familiar and beloved—to entertain them. Of the approximately 135 productions I viewed this year, dozens were splendidly presented. The following list ranks the 11 productions that made the most impact—in one reviewer’s opinion—in this fabulous year:
The year 2012 was tumultuous in many respects, so perhaps fittingly Wicked is the title of the production that brings down the curtain on the last 12 months. A record drought plagued the St. Louis area, temperatures sweltered in an elongated summer and the area’s economy staggered toward a slow but steady recovery. All of this took place in the face of impending doom predicted centuries ago by the Mayan calendar.
St. Louis commemorated the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic with Centennial Weekend, including a meticulously researched 11-course menu served on stage at the Fox Theatre. Mary Strauss orchestrated the event, with Joan Quicksilver as co-chair.
Story: Glinda, the Good Witch of the North, rules the Land of Oz from her perch in a bubble that hovers over the kingdom. Before Glinda was ruler, however, she was a popular student at Shiz University. She describes in flashback her friendship with another young student at that time, Elphaba, who came to be known as the Wicked Witch of the West.
Washington University has awarded filmmaker KEN BURNS with its 2012 International Humanities Medal. Burns was presented with the award for having a significant impact on American society with his contribution to the arts.
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