Yes, 'tis awards season, which means a lot of extremely talented artists will be recognized by their peers for their outstanding work in their particular milieu. Or, lots of rich, coddled celebrities bribe their way to some sort of much-need external validation—however you want to look at it. Either way, not all award shows are the same; some are lighthearted and festive, while others are serious and pretentious. In case you were wondering, here's a brief guide:
Show: Emily Johnson, a singer/dancer/actress who moved to St. Louis from her home town of Perryville, Mo. in 2013, presented a lively, entertaining evening of cabaret last weekend at The Chapel venue.
Story: What do Holocaust survivor and Nobel Prize winner Elie Wiesel, director Steven Spielberg, Hall of Fame baseball star Sandy Koufax, actors Kevin Bacon and John Malkovich have in common with Yeshiva University, the Royal Bank of Canada, Bank Austria and the United Jewish Endowment Fund? Tragically, all were victims of financier and convicted felon Bernard Madoff’s infamous Ponzi scheme that bilked his investors out of a staggering $65 billion.
Story: Addison Peddigrew, a man of color, differs from most of his race in rural Kentucky in 1843 in that he is free. Kind of. He’s among roughly 2 percent of the black population in Kentucky at that time who were not considered slaves in the ‘border state’ that had both pro-slavery and anti-slavery constituents. Directly north, however, was the free state of Ohio, to which runaways desired to escape.
Welcome to our annual Most Dynamic St. Louisans edition! We are thrilled about this year's group of honorees, each of whom, in one form or another, have contributed to the vibrancy of the city we love.
The country’s oldest outdoor musical theater already is gearing up for an exciting 100th anniversary season in 2018, and while The Muny’s artistic director/executive producer, Mike Isaacson, deeply appreciates this St. Louis institution’s history, he is focused squarely on its future. “We’re not creating ‘museum theater,’ ” he says. “Yes, it’s a historic experience—you’ll always have the stage, the trees, the stars and the ritual. But the work on stage has to feel like it’s about the present. The future is what’s interesting to me; and the way we tell stories, and the technology we use need to be present-tense and future-tense. I want the audience members to look at the creativity on stage and say Look at this...and this is us.” To Isaacson, The Muny is a proxy for the city, and when it’s exciting and cutting-edge, it’s akin to the Cardinals winning the World Series—when everyone feels good about St. Louis.
Sheri Sherman’s life as a community volunteer began innocently enough, some 30 years ago, when she was asked to be on the board of the Ethical Society preschool, which her children attended. “I had no experience, and someone said, You can be the vice-president, because the vice-president doesn’t really do much and you can develop,” Sherman recalls. “Soon after I started, the board president resigned, and the executive director quit at the same time, so I was thrown in deep water right away.”
Story: In this updated version of the classic fairy tale, Ella (Cinderella) toils away as a domestic for her haughty stepmother and two stepsisters following the death of her father. She dreams of a better life, which she fantasizes about with her friends, a woman named Crazy Marie who lives near the forest, and Jean-Michel, a young man who fights for the rights of the oppressed people of the kingdom.
Story: Theo Freeman struggles to make ends meet. He’s a small businessman who owns a TV and stereo repair shop, which you might guess isn’t doing a bang-up business in the age of flat-screen televisions and iPads. Still, he perseveres with the help of his wife Georgette and their son Sunny.
Story: Henry Bingham has a tough track record as president of Quail Valley Country Club. That’s because his team has lost five consecutive times in the annual golf match with its arch-rival club, which is helmed by the insufferable Dickie Bell.
Two renowned dancers are coming to St. Louis. Antonio and Kirven Douthit-Boyd are retiring as principal dancers from the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater to become co-artistic directors of dance at COCA.
Story: Matt Drayton is a newspaper publisher in San Francisco, where his wife Christina owns an art gallery. Their domestic servant, Matilda “Tillie” Binks, keeps everything humming in their well-to-do home, which is a bit quieter since their daughter Joanna (“Joey”) has gone away to college, circa 1967.
So much beer news! In honor of their 23rd anniversary, the folks at Schlafly have unveiled a new brew, Imperial Topaz IPA. The beer was introduced at a pair of recent anniversary parties at The Schlafly Tap Room and The Schlafly Bottleworks.
If you have (or know) a teenager, then you probably realize said teen by definition was born after 1995. So, while we adults might have thought a telegraph or a gramophone was a puzzling antique, our teens quirk a brow at a rotary phone or... paper. That startlingly recent DOB also means a lot a lot of incredible films hit theaters before they hit the maternity ward. Now, not every great film can capture the attention of a teenager. So, with that in mind, and with the help of three teenagers of my own (and a few of their friends), I have compiled a list of 20 'classic' movies you should watch with your teen.
New York's Times Square, which sees more than 360,000 pedestrians every day, is the most visited place in the world. With the proper mindset, a well thought-out plan and a hotel reservation, this crazy destination should be on everyone’s bucket list.
Story: It’s the holiday season in small-town Indiana. And, while it’s cold and snowy outside, young Ralphie Parker’s heart is warm with the thought that has motivated him this particular Christmas in the 1940s: To have an official Red Ryder® Carbine-Action, 200-Shot Range Model Air Rifle.
Before the annual stroll around The Galleria in search of holiday gifts both selective and silly, it’s time to contemplate what occurred on local stages in the past 12 months.
Forget Me Not presented by Upstream Theatre at Kranzberg Arts Center in St. Louis, MO on Jan 30, 2014.
Story: Annie, a contestant on the reality TV series Looking for Love, is ecstatic when she outlasts the competition and receives a wedding proposal from the focal eligible bachelor Matt, taped of course for a later broadcast. Meanwhile, producer Josh informs Annie and Matt that they are legally obligated to keep quiet about the results until the show airs or they will forfeit their winnings.
Story: Dr. Ruth Westheimer is known as a sex therapist who, at age 86, is still dispensing advice to an ever-present audience interested in matters of human bondage. That is the familiar scholar-turned-celebrity Dr. Ruth.
Story: A performing troupe under the direction of a Leading Player presents the tale of a young man named Pippin for its audience. We are told that the story will unfold in a series of segments under such titles as “Home,” “Glory,” “The Flesh,” “Revolution,” “Encouragement” and “Ordinary Life,” followed by an all-stops-out grand finale in which Pippin will perform an act of derring-do.
Oscar season is upon us, and the indie theaters are packed with potential nominees. If you're keeping a checklist handy, here's the current indie recap:
Story: War is raging in Europe, but novelist Charles Condomine enjoys the good life at his English country estate. Wishing to include an element of the occult in his next book, he invites Madame Arcati, a local eccentric who claims she is a medium to the spirit world, to his home.
Story: The heart is a lonely hunter, said novelist Carson McCullers. So it is with Nance, a 30s-something divorcee who juggles her responsibilities as a social worker with the trials and tribulations of raising a teenage daughter. Through a dating service she comes in contact with Tom, a divorced salesman who cautiously picks an art museum for their first meeting.