Arts & Culture

 Corinne Winters as Magda in 'La rondine,' her exulting performance is worth the price of the ticket.
Ken Howard | Opera Theatre of St. Louis

By the time the opera “La rondine” finally was given its première in Monte Carlo in 1917, the world as the West had known it for centuries had begun to fall to pieces inexorably.

Alex Heuer

Former Major League Baseball catcher Bengie Molina, the eldest brother of baseball players Yadier and José Molina,  joined “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh to discuss his new memoir, “Molina: The Story of a Father Who Raised an Unlikely Baseball Dynasty.”

One of Mayya Panfilova cats astound every cat person.
Donna Korando | St. Louis Public Radio

Yo-Yo has a new pair of shoes.

For just shy of 30 years, when Yo-Yo the Narrator stepped balletically into the center of the ring of our city’s own Circus Flora, she was shod in court shoes with a medium heel, rather fancy in the footwear world, shoes in keeping with her studied gestures and attitudes.

On opening night at the circus on Friday, her shoes were quite different, low to the ground, decidedly sensible, nondescript. And intended or not, these new shoes are signifiers.

Courtesy Circus Flora

On May 29, Circus Flora returns to “The Big Top” in Grand Center to open its 29th season with “One Summer on Second Street.” This season features new talent, including an act performed by domestic house cats, as well as familiar acts such as the Flying Wallendas and the St. Louis Arches from Circus Harmony.

Far Lft, Brian Owens; Middle Lft, Sara Michaelis; Middle Rt, Stanley Johnson; Far Rt, Sonya Murray
Alex Heuer

The St. Louis Symphony and Maryville University collaborated to create an 8-week music therapy program called “Life Compositions” to help students at Confluence Academy Old North deal with the challenges and trauma of growing up in urban neighborhoods. Graduate students in Maryville’s music therapy program worked with the youth to write and record songs, which they will highlight in a concert titled “Courage Counts” on June 4.

Gokul Venkatachalam talks with media as his younger brother holds the National Spelling Bee trophy
Courtesy of Scripps National Spelling Bee

Last night, one word stood between 14-year-old Chesterfield resident Gokul Venkatachalam, $35,000 and a National Spelling Bee championship. That word was “nunatak” which Merriam-Webster defines as “a hill or mountain completely surrounded by glacial ice.” When the final word was announced Venkatachalam said he knew what to do.

“I was just thinking focus and get my word right.”

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for May 31, 2015 will be “Jazz Giants for May and June.”  Throughout its history, certain key players have heavily influenced the course of jazz.  These Jazz Giants are the ones that lesser players imitate and copy.  Jazz Unlimited always plays the Jazz Giants instead of the imitators.  Sunday night’s music will feature Bix Beiderbecke, Frank Trumbauer, Joe “King” Oliver, Fats Waller, Benny Goodman, Miles Davis, Shelly Manne, Freddie Redd, Betty Carter, Woody Herman, Eric Dolphy, Chick Corea, Bud Shank, Bill Holman, Betty Carter and Sun Ra.

alt-rock band American Authors
courtesy Fair St. Louis

Country, rock and R&B fans will all have a free night of entertainment tailored to their interests this summer during Fair St. Louis.

Additional artists performing at the fair were announced Thursday: alt-rock band American Authors, bluesy pop singer Noah Guthrie, R&B trio Tony! Toni! Toné! and pioneering female rapper MC Lyte. Local band Dirty Muggs will also take a turn on stage.

Photo Flood Photographer Jeni Kulka's September 20th Image in Tower Grove Park
Photo Flood Photographer Jeni Kulka

With the way the weather has been going on the weekend, just pick what you're interested in and head out. The rain seems to come for a bit but not necessarily wipe things out. Hope that statement isn't a jinx.

Alarm Will Sound rehearses "Unfair for the Common Man" Ryan Mcneely
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

While studying music at St. Louis Community College-Meramec, Ryan Mcneely presented one professor with a part-classical part-jazz composition. According to Mcneely, his professor reacted with a sneering question and dismissed the work.

“Why are you even here?”

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