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MISSION: The goal is clear: The National Children’s Cancer Society (NCCS) works to better the lives of young cancer patients and their families by providing immediate assistance. “We are not going to duplicate the services of other national nonprofits, which mostly deal with research,” says president and CEO Mark Stolze. “Our focus is to help children who need assistance now.”
From Tony Award-winning musicals and Grammy Award-winning performers to classic and contemporary art, take a first glimpse into St. Louis’ fall entertainment season.
Classical concerts. Poignant plays. Children’s opera. Hip-hop dance. Fashion exhibits. These eclectic forms of art and more will come together for a 17-day event this fall at various area venues.
Many of us think we know what we like when it comes to the arts in St. Louis, but sometimes the most thrilling performance or the most moving canvas can be found in an unexpected place. We asked some of the area’s most plugged-in artistic leaders and supporters about their favorite arts experiences—perhaps you’ll find a new place to love!
As someone who has worked for more than 30 years both as a professional consultant to nonprofits and as an ardent volunteer, Donna Wilkinson believes that an organization’s biggest asset is the volunteer leadership behind it. “I’m pretty passionate about the role of volunteers,” she says. “For instance, if you have an organization that wants to move forward with a capital campaign, that will make the difference in whether something is successful or not. If you don’t have the volunteer leadership behind you, it is really difficult.”
A star is born… Making his final bow this weekend on the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis stage is 10-year-old Jordan Jones, who plays Little Emile in Champion. He tells LN how he found out about getting the role.
St. Louis became the center of the opera universe this month, when jazz composer Terence Blanchard’s Champion marked its world premiere at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. The reviews are nothing short of exuberant: The Denver Post calls it “a new kind of American masterpiece” and the Chicago Tribune hails its “flawless cast and production.” I couldn’t agree more. I was fortunate enough to be in the audience when Mr. Blanchard himself took to the stage for what seemed to be the longest standing ovation I’ve ever experienced.
Story: Emile Alphonse Griffith, a young man from St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, arrives in New York City in the mid-1950s with a dream of being a singer and a baseball player and a hat designer. He loves doing all three and has faith in his abilities to excel.
Nationally celebrated Opera Theatre of Saint Louis artists raised their voices for a special concert to support Siteman Cancer Center. Sing for Siteman featured a variety of musical genres, including Broadway, opera, spiritual and cabaret. An informal wine and dessert reception followed, allowing guests to mingle with the performers. Sing for Siteman is the creation of internationally renowned concert pianist, Carol Wong, in honor of her mother and late father, both of whom battled cancer. Kim Eberlein and Janice Linehan were co-chairs of the event, and Stephen Lord was the host.
Story: Lukas and Vendulka have loved each other since childhood, but his parents wanted him to marry another woman. Years later, wealthy farmer Lukas, now a widower with an infant, renews his affection for Vendulka, even smiling at her at his late wife’s wake.
LN’s 2013 Charity Awards had something new this year: an online system that offered readers the opportunity to nominate individuals and organizations for their community service. Congratulations to our winners!
THROUGH 6/16 TWELFTH NIGHT Shakespeare Festival St. Louis presents its 13th annual play, Twelfth Night—an intimate, romantic performance set to live music—at Forest Park. Free. 8 p.m. nightly, except Tuesdays. 531-9800 or sfstl.com.
Stories: In Il Tabarro, barge owner Michele works his small crew hard but also shows compassion. He could get by with one fewer stevedore, but doesn’t want to put Luigi out of work. Michele deeply loves his wife Giorgetta, but feels that a distance has grown between them since the death of their child a year earlier. He suspects that Giorgetta is taking comfort in the arms of another man, and vows revenge when he finds out who that alleged lover is.
Story: Young Frederic is turning 21, which means that his apprenticeship with the jovial band of brigands known as The Pirates of Penzance is about to end. He warns the genial Pirate King and his men that he will, naturally, work to eradicate them once he is a free man. That’s the noble thing to do, says Frederic, even though his pals all are orphans and have a reputation for letting their captives go once their defeated foes inform them of their own orphaned status.
Ladue’s own GRANT WEBER will be featured on the Lifetime Television show, The Balancing Act. Weber is the CEO of Riley’s Premium Pet Products, a local manufacturer of healthy dog treats that are good enough even for humans to eat. In fact, we’re told that most of the Lifetime crew sampled the treats during filming! Weber’s segment on the show will air on Lifetime June 4 and 11 (6 a.m. St. Louis time).
With a loyal local following and rave reviews from The Wall Street Journal to The New York Times, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis continues to draw adoring audiences from throughout the world. And its new season is set to be no exception. General director Tim O’Leary recently filled us in on the company’s worldwide impact and its four new shows, to feature classic and modern opera, jazz, romance and comedy.
World-class artists are once again coming together for Sing for Siteman, a one-night-only performance to support cancer research for Siteman Cancer Center.
Springtime on the Seine Gala to benefit Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.
An assistant of Sir Paul McCartney recently called local designer David Deatherage to discuss purchasing a vintage desk-- the desk that was featured on the cover of LN’s Fall 2012 Elegant Living edition.
Grand Center Inc. will be presenting its annual Visionary Awards to six area women on May 13 at The Sheldon. Ranging from theater to music and every art form in-between, these women are making a difference in the St. Louis artistic community—and they don’t plan on stopping any time soon.
Kim Eberlein (Volunteer Leadership)
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.
DATE AND LOCATION CHANGED, CATERER ADDED FOR INAUGURAL ST. LOUIS THEATER CIRCLE AWARDS