When you pick up a book, it can take you to another world: You could become a county sheriff charged with protecting the life of a controversial politician, or a teenage theme park guide who is suddenly tasked with stopping Disney’s most evil villains—or maybe even Peter Pan meeting Captain Hook for the very first time. And author Ridley Pearson, whose works include the adult suspense series Risk Agent, Walt Fleming and the children’s Kingdom Keepers and Starcatchers series, among others, has built almost 50 worlds where adults and kids alike can escape.
One of our greatest pleasures at Ladue News is bringing you the stories of truly dynamic people who are changing St. Louis for the better. Congratulations to this year’s class of honorees—we hope their stories serve as inspiration!
There are new historical markers throughout downtown St. Louis to highlight seven streets with their original French names. The new signage is a gift from Les Amis for the city's 250th anniversary.
Paige, Ridley, Marcelle Pearson
Ridley Pearson, Craig Johnson
A St. Louis first will be unveiled next month in the GRAND CENTER ARTS DISTRICT: The Public Media Commons is being described as a 'playground for the mind and the senses.' The 9,000-square-foot open-air media environment is designed to bring people together for experiences that encourage creative thinking and serve the community as an incubator of arts and ideas. The Commons, bordered by the Nine Network, St. Louis Public Radio and the Sheldon Concert Hall, will feature large-screen video walls--two stories high--on two sides and the latest audio/visual technology. The site is a collaboration between the NINE NETWORK, UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI-ST. LOUIS and ST. LOUIS PUBLIC RADIO. An opening-night celebration will be held Sept. 13 at 7 p.m., and will include interactive experiences, entertainment, food trucks and more.
Things are about to get wilder at the Saint Louis Zoo. Beginning this Saturday, three new animal habitats will open to the public: The Purina Painted Dog Preserve, the Sun Bear Forest and the Andean Bear Range.
Curtis Sittenfeld made a splash in 2005, when her debut, Prep, hit the stands. The scandalous novel, about a teen’s exploits at boarding school, was only the first in a string of best-sellers. She moved to St. Louis in 2007, and recently released her fourth book, Sisterland. We recently caught up with the author to chat about St. Louis, writing and her upcoming book.
Another stellar lineup is in store for the 2014-2015 season of the St. Louis Speakers Series presented by Maryville University. The season begins Oct. 7 with award-winning actor/social activist Martin Sheen.
Paige and Ridley Pearson
Story: In 19th century England, Lord Aster agrees to undergo a perilous journey in the service of Her Majesty, Queen Victoria: He will transport a cargo box filled with valuables to the exotic land of Rundoon aboard the Wasp, which is commanded by Aster’s boyhood chum, Robert Falcon Scott.
How did Peter Pan become the boy who never grew up? The story behind the beloved character’s magical journey to Neverland will be unveiled during the Broadway play Peter and the Starcatcher, running today through March 9 at Peabody Opera House. The five-time Tony Award-winning production, which also garnered a record-setting nine nominations in 2012, is the Broadway adaptation of the internationally popular book series, Peter and the Starcatchers, a prequel to J. M. Barrie's classic tale of Peter Pan. Author Ridley Pearson, who has called St. Louis home for the past 14 years and penned the series with author Dave Barry, recently told LN more about the book’s transformation from the page to the stage.
Music icon Billy Joel is making his return to St. Louis to help ring in a milestone for Scottrade Center. He’ll perform in concert on April 11, marking 20 years since he headlined as the grand-opening performer for the area (then the Kiel Center) in 1994.
Marcelle and Ridley Pearson
Encore! Encore! In an unprecedented move, Stages St. Louis has announced the return of Always…Patsy Cline for an eight-week engagement in late spring.
Ursuline Academy senior Adriana Esparza was named a 2013-14 National Hispanic Recognition Program Scholar. The honor recognizes Esparza’s high PSAT score and grade point average. This College Board program recognizes only the top 2 percent of Hispanic students who take the PSAT.
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.
St. Louisan TIM BURKE is on a mission: Next month, he plans to complete a 146-mile ultramarathon in California’s Death Valley to raise money for a new school for SouthSide Early Childhood Center (SSECC). Burke, who describes himself as ‘an average runner,’ is the secretary of SSECC’s board of directors and works as a principal in the Insurance Marketing division of Edward Jones. He’s hoping to raise $140,000—or $1,000 for each of the 140 children the Center serves every year—through pledges. For more information, or to find out how you can help, visit southside-ecc.org.