Arts & Culture | St. Louis Public Radio

Arts & Culture

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 17, 2008 - Ask somebody why they didn't like a particular movie, and they might say, "I didn't like the main character."

Is that a legitimate complaint about a film? And do we even have to like and/or admire the protagonist to like the film?

This article fist appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 17, 2008 - The Midnight Company's work has been driven by two motivations:

1) To tell a great story, an exciting and compelling story, a story that's like some breaking news, or fabulous new joke, or tasty bit of gossip -  something that makes you want to grab the first person you see and tell it.

2) And to ask yourself whether you can pull off the telling of this story. Ideally the story, the play, should scare you, challenge you and your resources, so that you are striving to try to do the story and its telling justice.

Come ride with me

Oct 17, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 17, 2008 - I’m a fairly mainstream, moderate guy. My children would say boring. But I did one thing recently that makes me with it, cutting edge, radical chic.

I got rid of my car.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 17, 2008 - Brandon Walker opens his eyes to a drizzling, gray-skied Tuesday morning. Quiet fills his bedroom, but not his head.

Already, he's thinking, planning, dreaming about all that surely must come.

But then, the rain. I gotta go through that? Walker thinks. He's heading off to his weekly morning radio show at the campus station for the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 16, 2008 - "W.," Oliver Stone's new, moderately interesting movie about President George W. Bush, which takes the man from his drunken, girl-chasing college days to the dismaying aftermath of the "shock and awe" invasion of Iraq, is surprisingly restrained - restrained, that is, for Oliver Stone.

"Untitled (Opera)" 2008, oil on panel, by Barry Leibman
Courtesy of Philip Slein

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 16, 2008 - All That Tends to Purify: 9 Abstract Painters at Philip Slein Gallery is required viewing both before and after you see SLAM's Action/Abstraction and the Kemper's Birth of Cool.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 15, 2008 - Let's bob for apples and sing and play 

In the good, old-fashioned way;

Greet Hallowe'en with a party gay,

For spooks and witches but a short time stay.
--from Kiddies' Halloween Book by Marie Irish, 1931

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 15, 2008 - A long time ago but not so very far away, in a living room in Clayton to be exact, I heard someone use the word groovy in a sentence for the very first time. That person was Frances Deitsch Landesman. For four nights this week, Landesman will be in St. Louis at William Roth’s Gaslight Theatre on Boyle Avenue, which, when she lived here, was quite near the center of her quite seriously groovy St. Louis universe.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 14, 2008 - Learning scientific principles can be a stodgy task for children, but not at SciFest where kids could apply those principles to roller coasters, robots and more.

In the program "Warning: Children at Play," small groups worked to engineer and build roller coasters, using everyday materials such as paper towel rolls, tape, tin cans, marbles and foam insulation tubes.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 13, 2008 - I felt John Waters' moustache.

But more about that later.

Late on the night of Saturday, Oct. 11, in front of the Tivoli Theater in the Delmar Loop. the usual crowd - young, tattooed, pierced and punked out - lined up for the weekly midnight show. At the entrance was a large poster for that night's movie, "Pink Flamingos." The poster featured a tall, bulky transvestite, her body bulging out of a garish full-length dress, her face made up in a white fright mask, a pistol in her hand, her eyes like bullets.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 11, 2008 - SciFest 08, St. Louis' first annual International Science Festival, kicked off at high altitude on Thursday with a showing of the popular IMAX film "Everest" followed by a presentation by members of the Caudwell Xtreme Everest team.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 10, 2008 - Pia Luchini, a fashion design student at Washington University, used dryer lint to accent her high fashion creation and won the grand prize in SciFest's version of Project Runway this weekend.

Luchini was rewarded with $1,000 as she used the lint to create swirls of roses to embellish her silk organza slip dress. The judges found her entry the one that adhered best to the contest requirements for original, eco-friendly clothing design.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 10, 2008 - Six bodies lay deadweight under fluorescent lights in the Bensinger Studio at COCA on Wednesday evening. The glow of the light bounces from grain color carpet squares to whitish walls and back onto the figures on the floor. Dusk is falling outside. Untempered by the gentle sunlight, the glow inside seems to intensify. The bodies sink deeper into the floor.

"You can't do anything onstage unless you're relaxed and focused," says Brooke Edwards. And the bodies exhale.

Obituary: Memories of Stan Kann come with smiles

Oct 10, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 10, 2008 - Stan Kann was a man rich in talent and loaded with friends.

A renowned theater organist who spent decades working at the Fox Theater, an accidental comic, a collector of vacuum cleaners and gadgets, Kann's sweet nature earned him an array of loyal friends that included prominent names from Hollywood and St. Louis.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 9, 2008 - What's scarier right now: the economy, or the fake severed head dangling from a tree, still screaming, in the neighbor's yard?

How about this -- despite bad financial times, the National Retail Federation expects consumers to spend $5.77 billion on Halloween this year. That's a rise of 14 percent, according to AdAge.com, a trade Web site of the advertising industry. Holiday spending in November and December is only expected to rise by 2.2 percent.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 9, 2008 - The great theme of Jane Austen was that women were forced by society to choose between independence and security - even survival. In her peerless novels, Austen handled the theme with wit and passion, populating her pages with characters who live and breathe to this day.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 8, 2008 - So what do you do on Halloween if you're too big for the door-to-door and looking for real thrills?

A Hallow-tini does sound kind of good right about now, and basically every bar in the area will have some kind of Halloween-theme bash, both the weekend before Halloween and the actual night itself. There are way too many to list, so call your local dive for details.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 8, 2008 - Paula A. Kerger, president and chief executive of PBS, the parent network of KETC, spent two days this week helping the station celebrate its 10th anniversary in its building in the Grand Center area. She's a veteran of public broadcasting, having spent 10 years in executive positions with Educational Broadcasting Corp. (EBC), the parent company of Thirteen/WNET and WLIW New York.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 7, 2008 - Serkan Ozkaya, the young Turkish artist currently featured at Boots Contemporary Art, is someone to keep an eye on. In spite of (or maybe because of?) being enamored with appropriation and reproduction, Ozkaya creates a magical quality with his art that makes one remember and long for that thrill of encountering an original -- in whatever form.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 7, 2008 - Halloween can get a little predictable: pumpkins on stoops, cottony cobwebs in doors, cheap costumes at your local big-box store.

Maybe a few too many nips from your little ones' stash, or the tiring sight of young women making innocent costumes "bad" by adding fishnets and eyeliner, adds to the gloom. But parents shouldn’t despair.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 7, 2008 - Their names bring back memories of cool autumn nights huddled in the soft glow of the family TV set: Dracula, Frankenstein, the Wolf Man, the Creature from the Black Lagoon . . .

They chilled us, thrilled us, frightened us and delighted us, as they rattled, screamed and crept their way through our imaginations - beasts and giants and all manner of strange, stalking, wild things that seemed to repel us and attract us at the same time.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 7, 2008 - Opera lovers across the region, especially in Festus, should get a lift from this happy "local girl makes good" news.

Mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnson, who dazzled audiences when at the last minute she stepped into the cast of "The Tales of Hoffmann" at Opera Theatre of St. Louis last May, has been awarded one of the opera's biggest opportunities.

Eric Greitens inspires with stories of everyday leaders

Oct 6, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 6, 2008 - Eric Greitens doesn't believe in putting things off. When he was recently introduced at a Civitas program as an example for students to become leaders of the future, he disagreed. "I don't believe you have the capacity to be leaders of the future," Greitens said. "You have the capacity to lead now."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 5, 2008 - With Alma Mater, on view at UMSL’s Gallery 210, Jennifer Dorsey has found the perfect subject matter to suit her photographic style and temperament. She’s gone into classrooms, lounges, refectories and hallways of two patrician private high schools, St. Alban’s and the National Cathedral School in Washington, D.C. (where she herself teaches), photographing them empty of people but full of their traces.

This article first appeared in the Saint Louis Beacon: October 1, 2008 - Bring 'em back as tourists, says Jane Eckert, a St. Louisan who specializes in agrimarketing and agritourism. Eckert recently launched ruralbounty.com , a website designed to link family farmers seeking to diversify their income and urbanites desiring country fun. Her firm, Eckert AgriMarketing, advises clients on ways to turn their operations into commodity-producing public attractions. Turning dairy cows into cash cows, you might say.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 30, 2008 - Stan Kann died yesterday afternoon (Sept. 29, 2008). I was, ironically, running the vacuum cleaner when my friend John called with the news. Honest!

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 29, 2008- The St. Louis Beacon extends a warm welcome to our 3,100 media colleagues and the various political entourages descending on "the heartland" / "middle America" / "the flyover zone'' for Thursday's vice-presidential debate at Washington University.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 25, 2008 - Famed saxophonist David Sanborn still makes it back to the St. Louis area a few times a year, to visit his mom and his old home town of Kirkwood, and to drive around looking for landmarks of his time growing up here.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 25, 2008 - The large exhibition of Oliver Jackson's works at Metropolitan Gallery is a welcome sight.

Jackson, a St. Louis native, has been busy exhibiting painting and sculpture across the country, but hasn't had a show here in years. This exhibition represents his largest survey to date, comprised of 30 prints, paintings and mixed media works made between 1970 and 2007.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 24, 2008 - In late August 2005, as Hurricane Katrina closed in on the Gulf Coast of Louisiana and Mississippi, weather forecasters predicted it could cause massive damage and death tolls in the thousands. Mayor Ray Nagin of New Orleans went on television and called for a total evacuation of the city. But, in the first of a tragic series of failures over coming days at all levels of government, he did not order the city to provide buses or trucks to evacuate the many thousands of poor New Orleanians who did not have access to cars.

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