Arts & Culture | St. Louis Public Radio

Arts & Culture

Gas stations and supermarkets in Goreville are selling eclipse t-shirts and viewing glasses.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

This interview will be on "St. Louis on the Air" at noon on Monday; this story will be updated after the show. You can listen live.

Have you heard? A major celestial event will cross the Missouri and Illinois skies on Monday, Aug. 21. St. Louis on the Air has you covered on the road leading up to the event and as it happens.

A list of suggested items to pack for eclipse chasing, which include a hat, sunscreen, water bottle, picnic blanket, a book on eclipses, snacks, a roll of toilet paper, eclipse glasses, prescription medicine, a camera and a phone.
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

We’re narrowing in on the day of the total solar eclipse, Aug. 21. Ahead of a weekend that’s expected to see a lot of travel to the region, we check in with the Missouri State Highway Patrol for updates on traffic and how to drive during the eclipse, the Missouri Division of Tourism and a Festus-based brewery prepping for the onslaught.

Related: What to expect from the rare solar eclipse

Marine gets his wounds treated during operations in Huế City, 1968
National Archives and Records Administration | Wikimedia Commons

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, Ken Burns and Lynn Novick joined host Don Marsh to discuss their latest collaboration a 10-part PBS documentary, titled “The Vietnam War.”

"I don't think we ever said enough about it," Burns said of the war and how it has been covered after it ended. "... With the passage of time comes perspective."

Listen to the full conversation below:

Jonathan Losos, author, "Improbable Destinies: Fate, Chance, and the Future of Evolution."
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Native St. Louisan Jonathan Losos is a Harvard University biology professor and director of Losos Laboratory at the university. He recently wrote the book “Improbable Destinies: Fate, Chance and the Future of Evolution.

The book follows researchers across the world who are using experimental evolutionary science to learn more about our role in the natural world.

July 27 photo: Mark Kelly helps cast members of "In the Heights" stage a fight while Christina Rios looks on from behind him.
Nancy Fowler | St. Louis Public Radio

This has been a super-crazy week for St. Louis theater professional and mom Christina Rios.

One of her three younger children started kindergarten. Her teenager entered her junior year of high school. And her theater company R-S Theatrics geared up to open its largest-ever production: “In the Heights.”

 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave holds the trophy for the 2017 Sinquefield Cup
Austin Fuller | Saint Louis Chess Club

The third leg of the annual Grand Chess Tour, the Sinquefield Cup, once again took place at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis from Aug. 1-12. The entire event was a close race, ending in a nail biting finale.

The tournament has a reputation of no repeat winners, as a different grandmaster has clinched the title since the inauguration of the event in 2014. This year was no different.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for Sunday, August 20, 2017 will be “Broadway 1950 and Beyond-Part 2.”  Before the original cast record albums, most of the music from Broadway musicals came into jazz via films based on those shows.  Since then, music directly from Broadway shows has crept into jazz.  We will hear music from “The King and I,” “The Music Man,”  “Guys and Dolls,” “42nd Street,” “Funny Girl,” “Company,” “A Chorus Line,” “The Wiz,” “The Girls of Summer,” “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “The Sound of Music,” “Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of

Astronomers Studying an Eclipse painted by Antoine Caron in 1571
Wikimedia Commons

The furor over the coming solar eclipse is reaching a fever pitch, causing us to ask: has it always been this way? On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, we discussed the ways eclipses have been viewed in the past.

From Babylonians’ scientific tracking of eclipses to frequent myth and lore about the relationship between solar eclipses and animal feeding habits, we discussed how old views of solar eclipses impact our viewing of them today.

Dan Viggers' Fringe play "Liberals vs Zombies vs Conservatives" traps people of opposing political persuasions in a house with zombies.
Provided | St. Lou Fringe

The 2017 St Lou Fringe festival of performing arts opens Thursday with a new menu of choices. For example, paying for one show will get you a free “Meatball” on the side.

“Meatball Séance,” to be exact. That’s the name of one of two dozen non-highlighted productions this year. When you buy a ticket to one of the three main performances — “A Song for Vanya,” “Snow White” and Ashleyliane Dance Company’s “Evolution” — you get a voucher for “Meatball” or other non-headliners including “Liberals vs Zombies vs Conservatives,” one of two zombie-themed shows this year.

Natasha Toro (Vanessa) and Marshall Jennings (Benny) are shown on the bottom row. Jesse Muñoz (Usnavi) and Cassandra Lopez (Nina) are on the top.
Provided | Autumn Rinaldi | R-S Theatrics

Way before his blockbuster play “Hamilton,”  Lin-Manuel Miranda was a college student, struggling with a script about his upbringing in New York’s Washington Heights neighborhood.

On Friday, Miranda’s early musical “In the Heights” comes to St. Louis' .Zack Theatre in the Grand Center area. The R-S Theatrics play tackles one of today's toughest subjects: immigration. It's a huge draw for local Latino actors and those from other states, including one theater professional from New York City.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for August 13, 2017 will be “Broadway: 1950 and Beyond-Part 1.”  Before the original cast record albums, most of the music from Broadway musicals came into jazz via films based on those shows.  Since then, music directly from Broadway shows has crept into jazz.  We will hear music from “West Side Story,” “My Fair Lady,” “Evita,” “Hello Dolly,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “A Little Night Music,” Camelot,” “Mary Poppins,” “Bells Are Ringing” and “The King and I.”  Singleton Palmer, Buddy Rich, Sarah Vaughan, Keith Jarrett, David Liebman, Oscar Peterson, Shelly Manne, Tamir

Sara Sitzer, artistic director, Gesher Music Festival.
(Courtesy Gesher Music Festival)

The Gesher Music Festival embarked on its seventh year this week celebrating “chamber music with a Jewish twist.” The word “Gesher” means “bridge” in Hebrew and the purpose of the festival is to tie different groups of people together.

People line the sides of West Florissant during a protest held to marke the one year anniversary of Michael Brown's death.
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

After a Ferguson police officer fatally shot Michael Brown Jr., local artist Damon Davis hit the streets. What he saw there conflicted with TV news reports and social media posts he’d seen that emphasized clashes between protesters and police.

“It was absolutely nothing like what was being portrayed by the media,” Davis said.

Instead of clashes with police, he noticed people exercising their first amendment rights. So when budding filmmaker Sabaah Folayan contacted Davis about collaborating on a documentary about the protests, he felt compelled to work with her. That documentary, “Whose Streets?” will be released locally and across the nation tonight. 

Damon Davis and Sabaah Folayan will discuss "Whose Streets?" on Thursday's St. Louis on the Air,
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

This Friday, in St. Louis and across the nation, the first nationally-distributed documentary about the protests, activism and aftermath in the wake of the police shooting death of Michael Brown Jr. in Ferguson will be released.

Former Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson joined St. Louis on the Air on Thursday to discuss "Policing Ferguson, Policing America."
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Former Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson recently published the book “Policing Ferguson, Policing America: What Really Happened—and What the Country Can Learn From It.”

On Chess: The return of the king

Aug 10, 2017
Garry Kasparov at the first day of the Paris stop of the 2017 Grand Chess Tour
Lennart Ootes | Grand Chess Tour

It was the fall of 1995, and I was on the top floor of the World Trade Center.  I watched on a TV monitor as two players concentrated intensely on a chessboard. Grand Master Viswanathan Anand, playing black, had a look of quiet serenity. While surely he was analyzing dozens of variations with a speed and accuracy that would make most people dizzy, there was no indication of that immense effort on his face.

Jazz pianist Herbie Hancock
Douglas Kirkland

If you’re a celebrated jazz artist who has played with some of the genre’s lions, you could continually reinterpret the past and satisfy fans nostalgic for your heydays.

Pianist Herbie Hancock, who performs Thursday at Powell Hall in St. Louis, has no interest in being a museum of sound — or giving a music lesson. Instead, he wants to audiences to experience jazz as a living art.

This file photo of painter Rey Alfonso shows him during a 2015 return visit to Matanzas, Cuba, where he was born and grew up.
Provided | Patricia Alfonso

When Cuban-born painter Rey Alfonso was 12, his mother died. The next year, he built a raft and set out alone for the United States, away from Fidel Castro's Cuba and all that was familiar.

It would be the first of many attempts to pursue a new life. After the raft sank a few miles off shore, the Cuban Coast Guard picked him up and sent back to his grandmother’s house. A few months later, he tried once more and again, his raft sank.

It's nice to visit an art museum to view beautiful and exciting art exhibitions or to see and hear music, dance or poetry from a stage, but the walls and stages are not always essential to feel and hear the excitement of a work of art. Take for example Desert X in Palm Springs, California.  

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for August 6, 2017 will be “Dexter Gordon in His Own Words.”  The great tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon was noted not only for his melodic solos that were compositions in their own right but also for inserting humorous quotes into his solos.  He had a great speaking voice and late in his career was nominated for an Oscar for his work in the film “‘Round Midnight.”  We will hear him in four monologues on various topics and with Dizzy Gillespie, the Billy Eckstine Orchestra, Wardell Gray, Herbie Hancock, Woody Shaw and with his own groups.  His compositions will be pla

St. Louis Shakespeare's 33rd season kicks off on Friday night with the production of Mark Twain's long-lost "Is He Dead?"
Ray James | St. Louis Public Radio

For the past 32 seasons, St. Louis Shakespeare has presented Shakespeare plays and other classics. This season, the company’s 33rd, kicks off on Friday night with the non-Shakespearean production of “Is He Dead?”

The Paris-set play was originally written by Missouri’s own Mark Twain, lost for 100 years, and recently adapted by David Ives. Edward Coffield is directing the production for St. Louis Shakespeare featuring a cast of 10.

Jennifer McKnight, Andrea Wilkinson and Sarah Barton joined St. Louis on
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

If you have someone in your life who is living with dementia, it can oftentimes be difficult to connect with that person. A new design movement, using person-centered techniques, seeks to aid that process for dementia patients and for the people who care for them.

A new UMSL graphic design class pairs design students one-on-one with dementia patients at a local nursing facility.

World team shows dominance at St. Louis tournament

Aug 3, 2017
Former world champion Garry Kasparov and members of the U.S. and world youth chess teams.
Lennart Ootes | Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis

In an attempt to popularize chess and help it reach wider audiences, the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis hosted the Match of the Millennials.

 

From July 2-29, youngsters from all over the world got a taste of what it’s like to be treated as true professionals and play in the same room as world champions.

 

Held just before the Sinquefield Cup, the youth match was a team event pitting players from the United States against international competition.

Forest Park turns 140 years old this year.
henskechristine | Flickr

Whether you’re new to St. Louis or you’ve been here a long time, you’ve probably heard the factoid that Forest Park is bigger than New York’s Central Park by nearly 500 acres, clocking in at a total of 1,293 acres. It’s one of the many things we love about the park.

But how did the park come to be and how has it changed over time to become what it is today?

Calvin Riley stands in one of the many rooms of the  George B. Vashon African-American Museum on St. Louis Avenue. (July 2017)
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Calvin Riley has spent years searching through musty basements and dusty attics to rescue the objects of historical significance that he displays in his George B. Vashon African-American Museum in north St. Louis.

“What I show here, you’re not going to see in other museums,’’ Riley said.

This is an image of late actor Eartha Kitt from "Angelitos Negros #1," a video by artist Mickalene Thomas.
Provided | Contemporary Art Museum

Many St. Louisans have been watching the Contemporary Art Museum closely since an exhibition last fall was viewed as offensive to black people, particularly women.

But an upcoming display could leave CAM visitors with a better impression. On Sept. 8, the museum opens four shows, including one featuring the work of Mickalene Thomas, an African-American multimedia artist.

Local art collector Adrienne Davis said Thomas’ images of black women stand in stark contrast to those of Kelley Walker, a white male artist whose Sept. 2016 exhibition outraged many visitors.

An example of an image found in "Capturing the City," which features workers at the intersection of Grand and Olive circa 1907.
Capturing the City

This segment was originally produced on November 26, 2016 and re-aired on August 8, 2017.

Charles Clement Holt was many things: an engineer, a draftsman, a surveyor for the St. Louis Streets Department. He became so good at the latter that he eventually became head of the Streets Department.

What will the digital form of looking back at old family photo albums be like in 100 years? We're discussing "digital obsolescence" on St. Louis on the Air on Wednesday at noon.
jmv | Flickr

If you’ve happened to glance through an old family album, it is likely you’ve found photographs still around from over a century ago. Perhaps, too, you’ve found old letters your grandparents wrote one another or an old ticket stub to the movies.

These artifacts help build a more complete story of the lives of those from yesteryear. Those stories are important on a personal and institutional level when it comes to collective memory.

Sauce Magazine's Catherine Klene and Heather Hughes join Don Marsh to discuss the top restaurants to try during the month of August. Pictured: Mad Crab in University City.
Sauce Magazine

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, our friends at Sauce Magazine joined host Don Marsh to discuss the restaurant openings and closings you should know to plan your nights out in August.

Managing editors Catherine Klene and Heather Hughes joined the program to fill us in on this month’s “Hit List.” Here are their recommendations:

1. The Mad Crab, 8080 Olive Blvd., University City

Leonard Adreon, 90, is Korean War veteran and St. Louisan who kept his story of service as a Marine Corpsman during the war under wraps for 60 years. He's now shared his personal reflections on "America's forgotten war," in a memoir titled "Hilltop Doc."
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Last week marked the 64th anniversary of the end of the Korean War. St. Louisan and Korean War veteran Leonard Adreon recently published a memoir reflecting on his participation in America’s “forgotten war" as a Marine Corpsman, providing medical aid in battle. 

"I didn't get used to it, but we were there and we had no choice and we had to do our job," said Adreon of treating his fellow soldiers on a chaotic battlefield.

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