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Story: Set in Russia at the end of the 19th century, The Good Doctor consists of eight comic vignettes, four in each act, that present snapshots of life, mostly in Moscow, among people at all levels of society.
Story: “There was a cabaret and a Master of Ceremonies, and there was a city called Berlin in a country called Germany, and it was the end of the world, and I was dancing with Sally Bowles and we were both fast asleep.”
Story: A century ago, 13-year-old factory worker Mary Phagan was murdered at the National Pencil Company in Atlanta during the annual parade honoring Confederate veterans of the Civil War. After initial suspicion was directed toward Newt Lee, the company’s black night watchman who found the body and reported it to police, prosecutors instead set their sights on Leo Frank, the New York-bred Jewish superintendent of the factory.
Way back in the days when I was a lad, Labor Day marked the beginning of the school year. Now, of course, school districts and universities get their fall semesters underway a couple of weeks earlier.
Story: Ben Lyons is dying of cancer. He’s confined to a Manhattan hospital room, where a nurse periodically checks in on him. His wife of 40 years, Rita, sits in a chair by his bedside, thumbing through a magazine. He asks about his adult daughter Lisa, a recovering alcoholic, but couldn’t care less about his grown son, Curtis, a despised homosexual.
The Saint Louis Art Museum’s new restaurant, Panorama, is the latest ‘work of art’ to be unveiled at the museum’s new East Building. The restaurant features a farm-to-fork menu and is led by executive chef Edward Farrow, who is known for forming partnerships with local growers. He most recently served as chef at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, where he was twice named a ‘Local Hero’ by Edible Phoenix. Panorama is operated by Bon Appetit Management Company.
Dennis Golden probably is the only sitting university president to have twice turned down a draft offer by the NFL. The Fontbonne University president, who plans to retire in 2014 after 19 years at the institution, turned down his contract with the Dallas Cowboys in order to serve in the Marine Corps. After his service, he declined another offer from the New York Giants, to take an assistant dean’s job at his alma mater, Holy Cross College.
Aubrey Allicock will lift his voice for those touched by cancer at the annual Sing for Siteman concert. Through Stevie Wonder’s If It’s Magic, the Opera Theatre performer will honor his father, a colon cancer survivor, as well as event founder Carol Wong’s father, who lost his battle with cancer. “I don’t know one person who hasn’t been affected by cancer, and it’s such a wonderful gift to be able to help,” Allicock says.
Story: Shlemiel is a simple beadle (minor official) in the town of Chelm, a “village of fools” located between Everywhere and Elsewhere “a long, long time ago.” Shlemiel is exasperating to his wife, who has tolerated his imperfections for 20 years as he goes about his humdrum existence, and she needs to supplement his income in order to have food for their two surviving children.
It’s been announced that the Fox Theatre will undergo a massive ceiling restoration—the biggest undertaking since its original 1981 restoration.
Story: A bureaucrat in Franco’s Spain, circa 1962, interrogates an Israeli professor at the Spanish National Archives in Madrid. The professor has landed in hot water by purloining a file dating back to the infamous Spanish Inquisition from the late 15th century.
Kim Eberlein (Volunteer Leadership)
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.
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.
Story: Jewish accountant Matt Friedman met Sally Talley, a nurse and member of a prominent Protestant family in Lebanon, Missouri, in her home town while vacationing in the Ozarks region in 1943. A year later, Matt returns from his home in St. Louis determined to ask Sally to marry him.
Story: Eddie Kurnitz is in dire straits in 1942. He put himself in hock to loan sharks to acquire the money he needed to help make his cancer-stricken wife’s remaining months more bearable. Now, his wife has passed and Eddie realizes he must honor his debt. As fate would have it, he has acquired a lucrative sales job that will enable him to pay back the sharks in about a year. To do this, though, will require that he spend most of his life on the road.
Story: Eugene Morris Jerome is just about 15 years old and just about sure of what he wants to do with his life. If he has his druthers, he’ll be playing professional baseball for the New York Yankees, his hometown team in the year 1937. Otherwise, Eugene plans to be a writer. As such, he chronicles the daily goings-on in the Jerome household, which he shares with his parents Jack and Kate, older brother Stanley, widowed Aunt Blanche and her two daughters Nora and Laurie.
Actor WILLIAM HOLDEN is the latest star to be inducted in the St. Louis Walk of Fame. Holden, a native of O’Fallon, Ill., made his mark in 1939’s Golden Boy—and the film’s title stuck as Holden’s nickname. Considered one of the greatest movie stars of the 20th century, Holden earned Academy Award nominations for his roles in Sunset Boulevard (1950) and Network (1976); and won the Best Actor Oscar for 1953’s Stalag 17. Other classic starring roles include Sabrina, Picnic, The Bridge on the River Kwai and The Wild Bunch.
THE REPERTORY THEATRE OF ST. LOUIS has sent one of its own to Gambia, Africa, to teach girls there the art of live theatre. The Rep’s director of education, MARSHA COPLON, is traveling as a volunteer with Starfish International.
Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens…and Julie Andrews! The NATIONAL CHILDREN’S CANCER SOCIETY is celebrating its 25th anniversary in a big way: Academy Awardwinning actress and entertainer JULIE ANDREWS will headline the organization’s Chase Park Plaza gala on Sept. 29. The evening’s proceeds will provide direct financial assistance to young cancer patients and their families. For more information, visit children-cancer.org.
Story: Playwright Paul Rudnick casts his wry eye on a number of situations dealing with alternative lifestyles in this four-scene, two-act pastiche. In Pride and Joy we meet Helene Nadler, mother of three grown children who have told her that they are lesbian, trans-sexual and a leather fetishist, respectively. So, as “the world’s greatest mother,” Helene reveals her thoughts and emotions to a Long Island chapter of the “Parents of Lesbians, Gays, the Transgendered, the Questioning, the Curious, the Creatively Concerned, and Others,” or P.L.G.T.Q.C.C.C. & O. for short.
Story: Jack Shore makes his living primarily as the “flying carpet guy” in TV commercials. He’s held that gig for 11 years and nervously awaits the go-ahead from his client for another annual extension through his agent, Ted. In the meantime, Jack has traveled from Los Angeles to Chicago at the request of his mother Esther to appear in a benefit tribute to his grandfather, legendary Yiddish Theater star Jacob Shemerinsky.