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.

Almost exactly two years ago Jon Burkhart left a commune in northeast Missouri that he called home and moved back home to St. Louis. He brought with him a host of analog electronic musical equipment, a computer, and a new musical persona, Hylidae. The project was born in contrast to the rural lifestyle the musician had just ended.

“It was kind of like my retreat from communal life to be making solo electronic music,” Burkhart said.

Margie Walsh, Saint Louis Science Center

At 8 feet, 11 inches, Robert Wadlow, of Alton, was the tallest man on record to walk the earth. He was also friends with Robert Ripley, who was widely known for his comic strip, radio show, television show and collection of 32 “odditoriums,”which display rare, and strange, artifacts from around the world. Those collections are known as “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!”

Aine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio.

The founder and producing director of St. Louis’ Black Repertory Company, Ron Himes, was a freshman in high school the first time he was exposed to a live play. And then, it was only under extenuating circumstances.

“I think it was only because I was in the honors group,” Himes said on Friday’s “Cityscape.” “The students in the honors group got to go to cultural events, which didn’t make any sense. It seemed like everybody but the honors group needed it.”

Jimmy Álvarez, Flickr, Creative Commons

You’ve been there: It’s late, you’ve waited hours to step up to the mic, you’ve reached the bottom of your soggy basket of fried pickles and the duo who thinks there’s a talent scout in the audience has gone up to sing “You’re the One That I Want” for the third time.  All you want is to humbly karaoke some Nelly, or possibly, some Alanis Morisette.  Will it ever happen?

(Courtesy of the artist)

This month, St. Louis-based video artist Zlatko Ćosić presents two simultaneous—but quite different—exhibits. In one, Ćosić closes a mournful and war-torn chapter of his life; in the other, he celebrates the mundane, lively, hidden world of a park.

Maxine Linehan is an Irish-born performer currently located in New York.
Aine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

Irish singer and actress Maxine Linehan wants you to remember your roots.

This weekend, Linehan joins the Gaslight Cabaret Festival with her performance, titled ‘An Irish Singer. A Journey to America. An Immigrant’s Story.” The story she sings is her own; but it is also, she stressed, universal.  

“I came here 15 years ago from Ireland,” Linehan said, “but what I find quite remarkable, every time we perform this show, is how people connect with my story because it’s their story, or their parents’ or their grandparents’.”

Aine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

Erin Bode, Brian Owens, Diane Reeves, Betty Carter, Wynton Marsalis, Joshua Redman, David Sanborn…these are just some of the names in local piano legend Peter Martin’s figurative rolodex. He’s performed with them all, and he’s crossed off every name on his musical bucket list—except for one.

St. Louis Women's Hope Chorale

When Leanne Magnuson Latuda originally thought about conducting a piece about soldiers’ trials during and after war for her organization’s yearly gala, she hesitated.

Director of Sheldon Art Galleries Olivia Lahs-Gonzales joined artist Larry Krone to discuss Krone's exhibit at the Sheldon, "The Best, Best Everything."
Aine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

Nationally-known multimedia artist Larry Krone grew up in St. Louis, but has not returned for a major exhibition of his work since 2006. On Friday, Oct. 2, that changes when the Sheldon Art Galleries opens an exhibition of his pieces, which combine found textiles, graphics and craft materials with his own artistic stamp.

Aine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

Heather McGinley was born in St. Louis and graduated from O’Fallon Township High School in 2001. Now, she’s returned to the region with the Paul Taylor Dance Company, performing Oct. 2 and 3 at the Touhill Performing Arts Center as the 50th season opener for Dance St. Louis.

“I’ve been dancing professionally in New York for seven years,” said McGinley on Friday’s “Cityscape.” “This will be my first performance in St. Louis since beginning that career.”

photo of Barbara Harbach
Stephanie Zettl

For good reasons and for bad ones, the north St. Louis County city of Ferguson has acquired an international reputation. Its name has spread through conversations about social justice and inequities, including economic and educational issues. Art also has spread impressions of the city, more positive than not, and has come to play a significant, sometimes cathartic role in the life of Ferguson.

Most of the works of art are visual – drawings, paintings on wood used to board up buildings, even professionally produced prints that exalt the hands-up posture. There had not been a major musical endeavor such as a symphony. Now there is.

Then and Now (Cape Collaboration)
Larry Krone

Nationally-known multi-media artist Larry Krone grew up in St. Louis but has not returned to exhibit his work since 2006. On Friday, Oct. 2, that changes when the Sheldon Art Galleries opens an exhibition of his pieces, which combine found textiles, graphics and craft materials with his own artistic stamp.

Larissa White, Sicily Mathenia and Cameisha Cotton as the Heathers in New Line Theatre's "Heathers"
Jill Ritter Lindberg / Provided by New Line Theatre

When Scott Miller founded St. Louis’ New Line Theatre in 1991, his mission was to present edgy musicals. Problem was, hardly any were available.

“So in the early years, we did some shows that I wrote and we did some re-imagined shows, like ‘Camelot’ with a really small cast, that kind of thing,” Miller said.

Twenty-five years later, it’s a very different story.

The St. Louis Chamber Chorus' composer-in-residence, Melissa Dunphy, smiles with artistic director Philip Barnes on "Cityscape."
Aine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

The Saint Louis Chamber Chorus begins its diamond jubilee season Sunday, September 27, in celebration of its long tradition of introducing a cappella music—familiar, unfamiliar, new, traditional—to St. Louis audiences.

Ernest Brooks

In 2015, it is hard to imagine a scuba diving trip that would not include at least 400 selfies. Not the case for world-renowned ocean photographer Ernest Brooks, whose exhibition "Silver Seas: An Odyssey" is now on display at the International Photography Hall of Fame.


Aine O'Connor, St. Louis Public Radio

Next week, New Line Theatre will celebrate its 25th anniversary by opening the regional premiere of “Heathers” in its brand-new digs: The Marcelle Theater, a new 150-seat black box theatre space in Grand Center built by Ken and Nancy Kranzberg.

It’s a move back to a black box for Artistic Director Scott Miller, which he says he has been hoping to do for years. In addition to changing up the set design, a challenge Scenic and Lighting Designer Rob Lippert is eager to meet, the move also heralds a change in show lineup: The theatre company will now do four shows per season.

Courtesy of the artist

Sure, you know La Vie en Rose. How could we not include the song that put the legendary French chanteuse Édith Piaf on the map? But do you know these others? Elsie Parker and Wayne Coniglio of Elsie Parker and the Poor People of Paris, a local band that specializes in popular French music and jazz, shared the backstories of three other Piaf songs you should know on Friday’s “Cityscape” with host Steve Potter. 

St. Louis Symphony music director David Robertson spoke about the 2015-16 season with "Cityscape" host Steve Potter.
Áine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

This season at the St. Louis Symphony, “music tells the stories,” said music director David Robertson.

Robertson joined “Cityscape” host Steve Potter to discuss the Symphony’s 136th season, which begins this weekend and runs through June of next year.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

A group of performers from the Hindu Temple of St. Louis joined Batya Abramson-Goldstein, the executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council, on “Cityscape” this Friday as part of preparations for this Sunday’s fifth annual Arts and Faith interfaith concert at the Sheldon, which promotes peace and unity in the region and around the world.

We had the pleasure to hear (and mic up!) nine of the Hindu Temple Choir performers live on air. The choir usually performs at full capacity with 18 members. 

Photo courtesy of the artist.

There’s no reason  for fans of the man who “defined cool” to be “Kind of Blue” this weekend as the Miles Davis Memorial project plans to unveil its sculpture of the renowned jazz musician in Alton.  A musical celebration that will put a swing in the step of local jazz aficionados will accompany the unveiling.

Justin Saffell and Matt Walters of Foeder Crafters of America
Ashley Gieseking | Sauce Magazine

Justin Saffell and Matt Walters are two newcomers on the vanguard of an old, old tradition: foeder-brewed beer.

Foeders (pronounced ‘fooders’) have been used in Belgium and elsewhere in Europe for centuries, said Catherine Klene, managing editor at Sauce Magazine, but Saffell and Walters claim to be the first—and only—all-American foeder-makers. They run Foeder Crafters of America, located in O’Fallon, Mo., and construct their foeders by hand—just the two of them.

Jerry Naunheim Jr

The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis’ “All the Way” opens Friday night and takes on subject matter from the 1960s that may seem just as pertinent in theaters today as it would have back then. The Rep’s 49th season opener focuses on the presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson, one of the most controversial presidents in recent memory, as he navigates the civil rights era and the Vietnam War, mincing no words along the way. 

Pokey LaFarge
(Courtesy of the artist)

LouFest will present its sixth lineup of platinum artists and hometown musicians and all those in between on September 12-13, 2015. 

Since 2010, LouFest has been a small-town festival drawing big names; it celebrates St. Louis as much as the musicians that come to play here. It puts local names like Pokey LaFarge and Clockwork next to artists such as Hozier, Ludacris, and Billy Idol. And smaller bands with their own core following get a big stage and enthusiastic crowd in exchange for their travel to the Midwest.

ProPhoto STL

The story is a familiar one: Jerry, Dave, Harold, Ethan, Malcolm and “Horse” are unemployed steelworkers in dire need of some extra cash. To make ends meet, they enter the…male entertainment business.

Maybe it’s not so familiar. But in musical theatre, the steelworkers’ story presented in “The Full Monty” is a fan favorite. First made as a film in 1997, “The Full Monty” became a musical just three years later and quickly broke box office records. It won the Tony Award for Best Musical in 2001 and ran for 770 performances.

Deborah Gambill and Ronald Montgomery display their collaborative effort, "Let's Heal STL."
Áine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

In November 2014 a St. Louis County grand jury ruled against indicting Ferguson Police officer Darren Wilson for shooting Michael Brown. Announcement of the decision sparked protest, and later on in the night, violence wracked Ferguson and parts of St. Louis.

Gallery 201 director Terry Suhre (left) talked with artists Brett Williams (middle) and Deborah Alma Wheeler (right) about their work in the exhibit "Exposure 18: Nervous Laughter."
Áine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

A trio of St. Louis-based artists featured at UMSL’s Gallery 210. Their work examines—and prompts—the kind of anxious and inappropriate reactions we display when a situation feels like it’s gone awry.

The exhibit, “Nervous Laughter,” is meant to engender some degree of unease for viewers; critiques of medicine and society, discussions on homosexual guilt and reason, and commentary on pop culture and the self are made with dark humor and subtle subversion. But the ultimate aim of the artists’ works is to snap viewers to attention and incite them to think.

Brian Owens joined "St. Louis on the Air" in studio.
Áine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

Soul singer Brian Owens has called Ferguson home for about nine years and encapsulates his experience there as “interesting, frustrating,” and ultimately, “hopeful.”

Now, Owens capitalizes the “hopeful” part by presenting a Labor Day weekend concert. The Soul of Ferguson Community Festival is based on a simple idea, Owens said: unifying the community with healing, peace and music.

Brian McConkey

This post has been updated with the details of Syer's memorial.  

In the mid-1970s a new theater group put on its first show in the then empty Union Station and changed the theater scene in St. Louis forever. The group was Theatre Project Company and its co-founder was Fontaine Syer.

Marilynne Bradley painted over 200 watercolors of St. Louis restaurants, parks, and other landmarks.
Áine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis has long been proud of its famous (and infamous) places: the Arch, Gaslight Square, The Fabulous Fox Theatre, Coral Court Motel. Marilynne Bradley’s “Once Upon a Time in St. Louis: An Illustrated Trip Through the Past” features 86 of those landmarks, painted in watercolor and accompanied by their histories.

Cast members of Insight Theatre Company's production of "Spinning Into Butter."
(Courtesy of Insight Theatre Company)

In line with its mission to “reveal the complexity of the human spirit,” Insight Theatre Company concludes its season with “Spinning Into Butter,” a performance exploring blatant and latent racism in university culture.

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