Cityscape

Airs Fridays noon-1 p.m. and 10-11 p.m. (repeat)

Join Steve Potter every Friday for a discussion of local arts and cultural events.

Subscribe to our e-newsletter, The Talk Studio, to receive previews of upcoming guests, highlights from the most-talked about shows, and questions from our producers.

Cityscape is produced by Mary Edwards and Alex Heuer. The show is sponsored in part by the Missouri Arts Council, the Regional Arts Commission, and the Arts and Education Council of Greater St. Louis.

Spellbound! A Musical Fable premieres at the Stray Dog Theatre August 6.
(Courtesy of Stray Dog Theatre)

Told through a mash-up of fairy tales and fables, Spellbound! A Musical Fable details one woman’s quest for self-acceptance and strength—and it premieres in St. Louis on August 6.

Protagonist Arabella journeys through the land of Samaren, encountering enchantresses, creatures, potions, and other adventures with a touch of humor and a contemporary eye. The story, lyrics, and music are the work of co-creators Gary Bell and Robert White, who will join guest host Don Marsh on Friday to discuss the show.

Áine O'Connor

When mentioning author and philanthropist Cynthia Kagan Frohlichstein, the best word that comes to mind is “spunk.” You can spot her around town at different events, chatting and mingling, owning the crowd.

And frankly, she has much to celebrate.

Celebrating her 40th year of being cancer-free, Frohlichstein has not slowed down her attempts at showing the world that giving is as good as receiving. She’s written children’s books on the topic of “giving back” and life lessons in hopes that young people will carry the torch forward.

Bob Kramer Marionnettes
Alex Heuer

Over fifty years ago, a St. Louis-based company set out to keep age-old children’s stories alive, literally.

Bob Kramer’s Marionnettes” serves as one of the longest running puppetry theatres in the United States. Combining humor with storytelling, Kramer’s production pieces come to life to provide entertainment for audiences of all ages.

Kathryn Nahorski, Executive Director, St. Louis Artists' Guild
Áine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

On the brink of its 130th anniversary, The Artists’ Guild, St. Louis’ longest running art organization, relocated to the old Famous-Barr building in downtown Clayton from its old Oak Knoll Park location.

Just a few weeks after the move, executive director Kathryn Nahorski has exciting plans for the organization.

The Sheldon

The Cabaret Project of St. Louis will host its annual St. Louis Cabaret Festival from July 22-25 at the Sheldon Concert Hall and for one night at the Kranzberg Arts Center. The festival will feature three musical artists, including Tony-award winning singer Marilyn Maye, who will perform during the event’s opening night celebration.

Maye is scheduled to showcase her rendition of Frank Sinatra’s songs entitled “Sinatra – Her Way.” She has only performed the piece in a select few cities outside of New York.

Katie's Pizza
Sauce Magazine

Enjoying a beer, cocktail or glass of wine at the end of the workday – at a discounted price – is the epitome of a happy hour.

Our monthly Sound Bites segment in partnership with Sauce Magazine seeks to answer the question: Where are the best happy hours in the St. Louis area?

And, the magazine considered several “best of” happy hour categories including wine, beer, cocktails, day drinking, al fresco drinking, pitchers and ambiance.

The selection process was based on four qualities:

Courtesy of Dale Sweet

Beginning July 19, Cinema St. Louis will hold its annual St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase featuring works created by St. Louis artists and films with strong local ties.

The four-day event includes 88 films ranging from full-length fiction features to documentaries and multi-film compilations of fiction. Screenings for all films will take place at the Tivoli Theatre.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

On Friday, “Cityscape” host Steve Potter led a discussion about the life and career of jazz pianist Ray Kennedy who died on May 28 after a long battle with Multiple Sclerosis.

Born to a musical family in Maplewood, Kennedy began his career in St. Louis before moving to New York. He is perhaps best known as the pianist/arranger for the John Pizzarelli Trio.

Max & Louie Productions presents "The Killing of Sister George." Left, Shannon Nara; Right, Lavonne Byers
ProPhotoSTL.com

Max and Louie Productions will kick off its 5th season with the dark comedy “The Killing of Sister George.” Written by Frank Marcus, the play was named Best Play of the 1965-66 Season by The Theatre Critics Variety Poll.

“The Killing of Sister George” is viewed as a groundbreaking production. Highlighting a lesbian relationship, the initial 1965 production shocked audiences in Britain and it received an “X” rating because of its content.  

President George W. Bush awards the Presidential Medal of Freedom to author Harper Lee during a ceremony Monday, Nov. 5, 2007, in the East Room.
White House photo by Eric Draper / Public Domain

“To Kill a Mockingbird” cemented Harper Lee’s place in the list of classic authors of American literature almost as soon as it was published in 1960. “Mockingbird,” with its frank and poignant handling of race and discrimination in the U.S. South, electrified a nation as the Civil Rights Movement swelled in power. Fifty years later, Lee’s new book “Go Set a Watchman” stands to accompany a similarly meaningful time for civil rights and social justice.

Courtesy Union Avenue Opera

Union Avenue Opera opens its 21st festival season on July 10 with Mozart’s “Don Giovanni.” When “Cityscape" host Steve Potter pointed out that age 21 in people usually indicates adulthood, UAO Artistic Director Scott Schoonover responded, “We have actually played around with that imagery, thinking about coming into our own at 21. We actually have a pretty serious season this year … a bit heavier in that sense. I think people will still enjoy it and get a lot out of it, but coming into our own, yes.”

Improvisers Phoebe Richards and Chris Clark in an improv scene
Larry Vorpmi

When you think of improv comedy, you’re more likely to think of Chicago than St. Louis.

 

Chicago has well known theaters like The Second City and iO, which have given many famous actors and actresses their start. But St. Louis has a theater of its own, and while it may be under the radar, it’s attracting a growing number of students and audiences.

 

The Improv Shop opened its doors in early 2014, but it existed years before that. Its founder, Kevin McKernan, moved back to his hometown of St. Louis in 2009 after studying and performing improv in Chicago.

Carmellena Blockton (black pants) and Diva Sweat Girls
Ambee's Photography

In March, Carmellena Blockton set out to provide an outlet for young girls in St. Louis to develop social skills, learn physical fitness and to increase self-confidence. Straying away from the traditional mentoring program, she chose a different approach and created a hip-hop inspired majorette dance team entitled “Diva Sweat Girls.”

Diva Sweat originally began in 2013 as an adult dance class. As time went on, Blockton noticed a need in her community and decided to take action.

Amoco Painting
John Salozzo

Artist John Salozzo is known for making paintings that resemble real life photographs. Two years into his latest project, “St. Louis Icons,” he has completed 12 realistic board and canvas paintings of different St. Louis icons, including the Goody Goody Diner, Blueberry Hill, Ted Drewes and The Tivoli Theatre. The project is a 10-year effort that will consist of 40 to 50 total images.

An exhibit of “St. Louis Icons” is on display at Third Degree Glass Factory through July 18.

Mike Isaacson
The MUNY

On June 15, The Muny kicked-off its 97th season with “My Fair Lady.” Scheduled this season are three premiere productions along with returning favorites such as “Hairspray.”

On Friday’s “Cityscape,” Mike Isaacson, artistic director and executive producer of The Muny, joined host Steve Potter to discuss this season’s productions. Isaacson also had a hand in producing the Broadway musical “Fun Home,” which received five Tony Awards.  

So, what goes into lining up The Muny’s season?

Arlene Zarembka and Zuleyma Tang-Martinez got married in Canada in 2005.
Sarah Kellogg | St. Louis Public Radio

In a resounding victory for the rights of same-sex couples, the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that the U.S. Constitution requires states to issue marriage licenses to those couples.

The organ has been deemed by some as the “king of instruments.” But regardless of what it’s called, the organ will definitely reign supreme in St. Louis next week when the American Guild of Organists (AGO) holds its 2015 North Central Regional Convention in churches and concert halls throughout the metropolitan area.

George Davis, left; Eric Person, right
Alex Heuer

On June 19, for one night only, The Jazz Edge Big Band along with a special guest will pay tribute to St. Louis’ eight most influential saxophonists in their concert entitled “Tribute to St. Louis Saxophonists.”

Among those honored will be Oliver Nelson, Jimmy Forrest and David Sanborn.

On Friday, George Davis, co-founder of The Jazz Edge Big Band and board member of The Jazz Edge, Inc., and Eric Person, saxophonist, joined “Cityscape” host Steve Potter to discuss the event.

Vince Valenza, owner of Blues City Deli
Sauce Magazine

The restaurant business is known for having small profit margins. It’s competitive and sometimes it’s the small things that make the difference between a successful restaurant and one that’s not.

Ken Howard

Although Tobias Picker’s “Emmeline” received great accolades for its Santa Fe Opera premiere in 1996 and again in 1998 when that production was staged at the New York City Opera, it hasn’t been mounted since. But that will change on June 13 when Opera Theatre of Saint Louis opens its production of the American saga.

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