Cityscape

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

Cityscape is no longer airing. Coverage of the arts is now available five days a week on St. Louis on the Air. Cityscape host Steve Potter will continue to interview artists, musicians, and tastemakers. Our SoundBites series with Sauce Magazine will also be broadcast on St. Louis on the Air. The Cityscape archive will remain available on this page.

Cityscape is produced by Mary Edwards, Alex Heuer, and Kelly Moffitt. 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.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

The team behind St. Louis on the Air has a New Year’s resolution and we would like you to be a part of it. As we begin 2016, St. Louis on the Air and Cityscape are combining to bring you arts and cultural coverage throughout the week, Monday-Friday. We want you to be a part of this change as we reimagine what the program can be in St. Louis—and beyond.

Fun Home's Facebook page

St. Louis has had a rough week for public perception, what with Stan Kroenke’s 29-page letter bashing the city as home to the St. Louis Rams. In another competitive realm however, those arguments aren’t remotely valid.

Robert Rohe, Sofar Sounds

Combining the nostalgic allure of a speakeasy, the surprise element of a pop-up restaurant and the reward of being “in the know,” a new-to-St. Louis group has emerged in the past year that brings those feelings to the concert-going experience. The name of the collective is Sofar Sounds and it has ties to a worldwide movement

“Everyone, you’ve gotta just trust me here,” said Chris DiGiacomo, one of the city leaders for Sofar Sounds’ St. Louis branch.

Carmen Troesser, Sauce Magazine

Sometimes when you enter Pastaria in Clayton during prep hours you can hear singer Executive Chef Ashley Shelton, 28, belting out a tune or two. You may also receive a Kool-Aid refresher or piece of candy to “keep the flow going” and put a smile on the other cooks’ faces.

Jamie Heuer

We here at “Cityscape” know—making the perfect paper snowflake can yield some serious headaches. No, really, we do. For a recent holiday party, we were each in charge of making paper snowflakes. Amid cries of exasperation like ‘Crud! I cut the wrong edge!’ and ‘It doesn’t look like anything,’ we thought to call for help.

(Courtesy Bach Society of Saint Louis)

In the lead-up to Christmas, the Bach Society of Saint Louis’ Christmas Candlelight Concert is a tradition almost as old as eggnog itself—this year marks the 75th anniversary of the organization devoted to performing choral works by Johann Sebastian Bach, among other classical composers.

Courtesy National Lutheran Choir

The 63-member National Lutheran Choir, based in Minneapolis, is making its sixth stop in St. Louis to perform its annual Christmas festival, this time themed “The Spotless Rose.” The performance will be held at First Presbyterian Church in Kirkwood on Saturday.

“We look for a space that fits the kind of program that we do,” said David Cherwein, artistic director of the choir. “That was more of the effort than ecumenical issues…which I would love to brag about, but I can’t. We’re really all partners in the whole thing.”

Courtesy Don Marsh

If you’re a Star Wars fanatic, your thrusters are probably already in hyperdrive in anticipation of the release of the next installment of the franchise, “The Force Awakens,” which opened Thursday night. It is hard to imagine the films without the entire subculture of cosplay, props, toys, videogames, books and action-figures that come with them.  But, alas, there did exist a time before wookies and droids and Han Solo. That’s where “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh comes in.

The view inside Público.
Greg Rannells | Sauce Magazine

Things got a little heated in the Sauce Magazine office while putting together the most recent issue, the best new restaurants of 2015. Post-it notes were stolen; Editors got in fights; People had to return to eat delicious foods at their choice contenders time and time again—all in the name of finding the most delicious new restaurants in the area. It was for you, dear listener.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Friday’s “Cityscape,” we talked about the most influential, interesting and moving parts of St. Louis’ arts and culture scene in 2015. Themes of social justice, urban design, and the continued evolution of issues within the Zoo-Museum District were all part of the discussion.

Joining us were the folks who know it best: St. Louis Public Radio’s arts and culture reporters: Nancy Fowler, Willis Ryder Arnold and Robert Duffy.

Flickr user Ann010, Creative Commons

Love her, hate her, replicate her—there’s no denying that Joan Rivers was a force in American comedy. The first woman to host a late night network television talk show, the host of the critically-acclaimed “The Joan Rivers Show” and the co-host of the controversial E! fashion show “Fashion Police,” Rivers always kept people talking.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Next Tuesday, a local dream musical team will unite for the 442s’ “Holiday Spectacular” at Washington University’s 560 Music Center. In addition to the talents of the 442s themselves, Peter Martin, Brian Owens and Erin Bode will join the group on stage to perform holiday favorites.

"We are all constantly a part of each other's projects," said Bjorn Ranheim, member of the 442s. 

In this case, that means performing personal holiday favorites and originals from each performer's repertoire.

Photo by Jerry Naunheim, Jr.

On any given day, the world of Broadway wheelin’ and dealin’ feels pretty far away from St. Louis, Missouri. Not so for author Ridley Pearson, who makes his home here. As the co-author of the popular series “Peter and the Starcatchers” with writer Dave Barry, Pearson has been involved in that world as his book has been adapted for the Broadway stage.

Webster University

“Peter and the Wolf,” the classic work of Sergei Prokofiev, has been performed in countless guises over its 80-year history. It is often presented as a work for children, but the St. Louis Symphony is challenging that assumption with its next performance of the work over Thanksgiving weekend.

Max and Louie Productions

Renowned singer, actor, playwright and St. Louisan Ken Page describes it like this: “There’s a point in the play where one of the characters says ‘It’s like that captain of the football team that you fell in love with or that boy whose green eyes you still see when you close yours…you know the one.’ It’s that thing, that’s what it’s based on.”

The ‘it’ in that description is “Sublime Intimacy,” the name of Page’s new play for Max and Louie Productions, which will have its world premiere on Friday, Dec. 4 at the Kranzberg Arts Center.

Music, candles, delicious food and drink: all normal parts of a delightful and atmospheric holiday gathering. For the Greenleaf Singers and the Not-Ready-For-Reformation Players the gathering also includes “comely wenches and sturdy lads” as well as Renaissance-era songs of the season.

Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum

Defeat is not one of the primary words associated with Sir Winston Churchill’s career. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953, he gave the prophetic “Iron Curtain Speech” at Westminster College in 1946, and, most importantly, he emerged victorious during World War II as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. What many people don’t know is that Churchill did in fact experience the agony of defeat…and that’s what fueled his second life as a painter.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Earlier this year, local singer-songwriter legend Pokey LaFarge’s sixth studio album, “Something in the Water,” dropped. He’s been going ever since. Recently completing a U.S. and a European tour across three continents, he’s barely had a chance to catch his breath.

“I think I have moved into a new definition of pleasant exhaustion,” LaFarge said on Friday’s “Cityscape.” “I just got in at 3:30 this morning from Nashville.”

Salma Arastu

Artist Salma Arastu knows a thing or two about intercultural communication. She was born in India and raised in Hinduism before embracing Islam through her marriage. Now, she uses that melded faith background to build religious bridges through her artwork: Arabic calligraphy melded with abstract expressionist paintings.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

The Soulard Fine Arts Building is celebrating 25 years of housing a community of 17 different visual artists in its walls. The occasion will be commemorated with an exhibit at the Regional Arts Commission about the building itself. Over 15 artists’ works will be shown as part of the exhibition.

Meera Nagarajan | Sauce Magazine

Maybe you’ve recently patronized a restaurant that lists the farms their food came from on the menu. Or maybe you read that Vanity Fair article lambasting chefs who prioritize where food comes from over taste. But is that what the farm-to-table movement is really about in St. Louis? On this month’s Sound Bites, St. Louis Public Radio’s partnership with Sauce Magazine, we get to the bottom of it.

Our guests:

Big Muddy Dance Company

A lot of things have changed in the past five years for Big Muddy Dance Company, but one thing has not: the dedication of the group’s original core members, most of whom are still performing with the company. That’s pretty inspiring, mostly because the group has completely changed the tone and tenor of its dance style over that period of time.

Alex Heuer | St. Louis Public Radio

Two filmmakers who were born and raised in University City have returned for the St. Louis International Film Festival to screen their short film “Easy,” which tackles the issue of prescription drug abuse.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Thursday night, Alex Winter stepped back into the movie theater he frequented growing up in St. Louis...this time as an award-winning actor and director. He received the 2015 Charles Guggenheim Cinema St. Louis award during the St. Louis International Film Festival in the main auditorium of the Tivoli Theatre in the Delmar Loop. His award-winning documentary, “Deep Web,” as well as his earlier documentary, “Downloaded,” are playing at the festival.

Dances of India

November 13 will mark the 38th season opening night for St. Louis-based Dances of India, the first classical Indian dance company to be established in Missouri. President Nartana Premachandra and Artistic Co-Director Theckla Mehta joined “Cityscape” host Steve Potter to discuss the organization and their 2015-2016 season.

If Tony award-winning actress Beth Leavel says it, let it be so: She says that her role as Dolly in The Muny’s 2014 production of “Hello Dolly!” is one of her top roles of all time. Interestingly enough, it is also the first role she would like to slip back into, given the chance.

Still from feature film "First Secret City"
St. Louis International Film Festival

Cinema St. Louis’ St. Louis International Film Festival starts next week on November 5, bringing with it a group of films that are sure to inspire some conversation around town. “The First Secret City” is one of them.

Photo courtesy of the artists.© Steven and William Ladd, All rights Reserved, 2015.

When William and Steven Ladd were 15 years old, they could often be found in the Delmar Loop, buying beads and doing macramé. Though they now work out of a bustling studio in Chelsea, New York, the same childhood collaboration that could be found outside of Blueberry Hill is still at play in their works of contemporary art.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/garrettziegler/3492178866/in/photolist-6jAk7s-pPFbAG-pPFboN-pRLLJt-pzhbFz-pRLMZV-pznDXu-d5J1eY-d5J2Uq-aysF4o-pzhaR8-pzkBVV-pRQZgb-pzhbTZ-oUYoKH-pPFarN-pznEzb-apVpNY-6Y7ktm-3zJDwG-cMU3U-aysFnj-aysFAw-cMU2B-aysFsA-9AQKXE-cMTXZ-
Garrett Ziegler, Flickr, Creative Commons

Do your kids need to settle down before a sugar-infused round of trick-or-treating? Does your spooky drive down an abandoned road need a soundtrack? Do you just want to get into the Halloweekend mood?

We have the perfect audio for you: excerpts from a dramatic retelling of the classic “Legend of Sleepy Hollow” from local historic interpreter, Anne Williams.

Aine O'Connor

Bound in a straitjacket. Wrapped in 50 feet of chain. Tied in ropes.

Then, connected to a wooden yoke, sealed in a canvas bag and locked in a shipping crate.

All part of a day’s work for local “Doctor of Escapology,” Judas Lynch, whose current pirate-themed escape act will be on display at the City Museum’s first age-21+ event, “Falling Awake,” next Thursday night.

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