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Story: On the eve of World War II, famed psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud invites little known Oxford professor C.S. Lewis to his London flat. Lewis suspects that Dr. Freud intends to chastise him for some flippant remarks made by Lewis about the noted atheist in a new book the Christian author has written. He is surprised to hear that Freud hasn’t read the book at all, and also stunned to learn that the 83-year-old physician is dying of cancer.
Story: Four candidates for the 332nd Fighter Group, better known as the Tuskegee Airmen, meet at the military school in Tuskegee, Alabama where they train to become fighter pilots during World War II. These candidates, though, are black, and the challenge to earn their stripes in flight school is exacerbated with racism, both blatant and subtle, throughout their training.
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.”
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.
When it’s live, anything can happen, says The Repertory Theatre’s veteran artistic director Steven Woolf. This season, The Rep will showcase that exciting element of live theater during two productions that take audiences backstage. The new lineup also will feature a range of dramatic, comical and mysterious plays. LN recently spoke with Woolf for an inside look at the mainstage season and Studio Theatre series.
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.
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.
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.
Story: Charley Wykeham, an undergraduate at Oxford, is in love with Amy Spettigue, niece of the officious Stephen Spettigue. Jack Chesney, Charley’s pal and another Oxford undergraduate, is in love with Spettigue’s ward, KittyVerdun. The young men long to express their feelings to their respective heart-throbs, and use the excuse of a visit by Charley’s aunt, Donna Lucia D’Alvadorez, a wealthy widow in Brazil who plans to see her nephew for the first time, so that Donna Lucia can serve as the young ladies’ chaperone.
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!
Story: Bishop Alfred Bridgenorth and his wife, Alice, are preparing for the marriage of still another of their many daughters, this time the nuptials of young Edith. This morning, their Chelsea home is overflowing with guests, including the bishop’s military bachelor brother Boxer and Alice’s friend, Lesbia Grantham.
Story: Jane Eyre, orphaned at an early age, is taken in by her mother’s brother and his family. After his death she is subject to ridicule and abuse by her aunt and cousins, and ultimately dispatched to the Lowood School for Girls at age 10. Living conditions at the institution are squalid, and many of Jane’s classmates die in a typhus epidemic.
Story: It’s the early 1920s, and Rose is determined to make her mark in show business. Not as an entertainer on the vaudeville circuit exactly, but rather as an impresario who knows what’s best for booking agents and small-time venues in the many cities she visits with her two daughters, Dainty June and Louise. Rose pushes her children to extreme limits in her efforts to make the younger of the two, June, a bona fide star.
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.
Story: Walter Huff makes his living selling insurance policies in Los Angeles. He meets with gruff businessman Herbert Nirlinger to discuss the latter’s insurance needs. While at Nirlinger’s impressive home, Huff strikes up a conversation with Herbert’s wife, Phyllis.
Story: Thomas has grown weary interviewing actresses for the starring role in his new play, Venus in Fur. It’s written in the large, bombastic style of 19th century European literature, a genre Thomas laments is all but extinct in modern art. He prepares to leave the audition room in frustration when a flamboyant, stunningly attractive woman enters the room.
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.
DATE AND LOCATION CHANGED, CATERER ADDED FOR INAUGURAL ST. LOUIS THEATER CIRCLE AWARDS
Story: Room 306 of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis has a lone occupant on April 3, 1968. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has returned to what the desk clerk jokingly refers to as the “King-Abernathy Suite” on the eve of a big speech he’s preparing for the Memphis sanitation workers.
Story: Mrs. Henry Dashwood has an unfortunate decision to make. Her late husband’s will has bequeathed his considerable estate to his son John, whose wife makes it clear that she isn’t happy having her husband’s stepmother and three stepsisters residing with them any longer.
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.
Story: Vera is awakened in the dead of night by a loud pounding on her Greenwich Village apartment door. The unexpected visitor is her 21-year-old grandson Leo, who is filthy and smells from too many days away from soap and shower.
Story: It’s time again for Margie to look for a job. After repeated warnings about being late to work, she’s just been fired from her job at the Dollar Store in South Boston. Ironically, the man sent to terminate her employment is young Stevie, a fellow resident of this gritty, hardscrabble sector of Boston. Despite her pleas for still another chance, Margie must deal with the reality of finding employment to pay the bills for her and her mentally challenged adult daughter, Joyce.
DAVID SCHLAFLY was announced as chairman of Laumeier Sculpture Park’s board. MATTHEW COBLE, JAMEY EDGERTON, SAM FOXMAN, GARY HOEMANN, RAMSEY MAUNE, SHELBY SHIRE and MIKE WALSH are the nonprofit organization’s newest board members.
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: