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Cityscape

Rockin’ Holiday Concert Supports Local Charities

Dec 12, 2014

Want to rock out to holiday music while supporting a local charity? Easy.

At Home(s) for the Holidays, concertgoers donate the cost of their ticket to one of four local charities.

The Saint Louis Ballet's 'Nutcracker' features the professional company and students from the St. Louis Ballet School.
Saint Louis Ballet

“The Nutcracker” has become a holiday tradition, and is performed by countless ballet companies around the world.

“‘Nutracker,’ for ballet companies, is kind of our Super Bowl,” said Saint Louis Ballet dancer Stephen Lawrence, who plays the Cavalier in the company’s production of “The Nutcracker.”

HotCity Theatre Embraces The Bite Of 'Reality'

Dec 5, 2014
HotCity Theatre's 'Reality'
HotCity Theatre

The HotCity Theatre will close with a bit of "Reality."

“Reality” by playwright Lia Romeo is a dark comedy that goes behind the scenes of the reality TV show “Looking for Love.” The play opens with a proposal, then the reality show cast is secreted away for several weeks while the rest of the world catches up with the show, one episode at a time.

Eugenia Alexander, left, and Edna Patterson-Petty
Nancy Fowler | St. Louis Public Radio

Grandmas are moms with lots of frosting, the saying goes. And in the case of East St. Louis’ Edna Patterson-Petty and her granddaughter Eugenia Alexander, the frosting is artistically done.

Patterson-Petty is a fiber artist and art therapist. Alexander grew up enamored by her grandmother’s work, which includes an art quilt made for President Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration.

Garth Brooks Launches Music Download Service

Dec 5, 2014
Country singer Garth Brooks performs on Dec. 4, 2014, at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis.
Bill Greenblatt / UPI

There’s a new ghost in the machine, and country music legend Garth Brooks hopes it will give more control to musicians.

GhostTunes offers digital songs, similar to iTunes.

Rock ’n’ Roll Craft Show Unites Bands, Crafts

Nov 26, 2014
Rock 'n' Roll Craft Show

As the name indicates, the Rock ’n’ Roll Craft Show is not a typical craft fair.

For starters, there’s music — hence the rock ’n’ roll part.

“We have DJs and music all three days, and Saturday night we have our additional musical showcase at 2720,” organizer Jessi Cerrutti told “Cityscape” host Steve Potter. “We try to curate the music very specifically for our event.”

Next, the setup for this craft show. Forget vendor booths and think department store.

New Jewish Theatre Explores Dr. Ruth’s Life

Nov 26, 2014
Actress Susie Wall plays Dr. Ruth Westheimer in the New Jewish Theatre's one-woman play.
New Jewish Theatre

Actress Susie Wall is talking about sex. On stage. As Dr. Ruth. But she’s not impersonating Dr. Ruth Westheimer.

“The issue is for it not to be an impersonation,” said Jerry McAdams, who is directing Mark St. Germain’s one-woman play “Becoming Dr. Ruth” at the New Jewish Theatre. “The most important thing is she is so well known that if you try to be Dr. Ruth in kind of a cartoonish sense, you’ll lose the audience. This is a terrific actress who’s doing a really good script.”

Blues Society Showcases Young Musicians

Nov 26, 2014

Music connects people.

“It’s really hard times in St. Louis and has been,” said Jeremy Segel-Moss, a member of the Bottoms Up Blues Gang and vice chairman of the St. Louis Blues Society. “When we’re looking for positive ways to come together, music is really where it’s at.”

Blues pianist Ethan Leinwand moved 950 miles for that connection.

“I was in New York playing a lot of old St. Louis blues and talking about it,” he told “Cityscape” host Steve Potter. “I just came down here and found the community I was looking for.”

Black Rep Stages 'A Raisin In The Sun'

Nov 21, 2014
The Black Rep

The Black Rep is bringing the iconic 1950s drama “A Raisin in the Sun” back to St. Louis.

This is the first time the company will stage “A Raisin in the Sun,” although 10 years ago it presented “Raisin,” a musical adaptation of Lorraine Hansberry’s drama about a black family’s experiences in Chicago.

“It is an American story. It is definitely about dreams and living life on the American landscape for the African-American and the quest for the piece of pie,” said actress Andrea Frye, who plays “Mama” Lena Younger.

Bar manager Joel Clark mixes drinks at The Purple Martin in St. Louis.
Sauce Magazine

Joel Clark, who has been called one of St. Louis’ top craft cocktail bartenders, lost his sense of smell after suffering a seizure in December. Losing a sense is traumatic in itself, but losing the sense of smell also means Clark has lost his sense of taste.

Via Cinema St. Louis

Flipping through the nation’s family album, what’s missing? That question led director Thomas Allen Harris to create “Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People,” a film that examines how photography shaped the identity and perceptions of blacks in America.

“In some ways, it is a history lesson, although it’s kind of a different take on history because we have a lot of contemporary artists in the film,” Harris told “Cityscape” host Steve Potter on Friday. “In many ways, as they do this, they reshape the way in which we view history.”

Normandy High School students learn ballet from Dance Theatre of Harlem's teaching artists Theara Ward
Willis Ryder Arnold / St. Louis Public Radio

This weekend, the Dance Theatre of Harlem performs as part of the Dance St. Louis fall season. Yet the company is here to teach as well as perform. Since Oct. 27, teaching artist Theara Ward has been teaching ballet and diaspora history at Normandy High.

“The main thing is for young people to understand history, how they connect to history and how history connects to them, their culture, their community, but also how the arts can be used as a powerful tool to express yourself,” Ward said. 

MOCRA Installs First Site-Specific Exhibition

Nov 7, 2014
An overview of Rebecca Niederlander's installation at the Museum of Contemporary Religious Art at Saint Louis University in St. Louis.
Jeffrey Vaughn / Courtesy of the Museum of Contemporary Religious Art

After 20 years, the Museum of Contemporary Religious Art has its first site-specific installation.

“During our first 20 years, we had thematic shows that often included many artists,” museum director the Rev. Terry Dempsey told “Cityscape” host Steve Potter. “Each one of the works that is in place over at MOCRA right now is essential to the other works that are there. This is very special.”

Conference Draws Attention To Female Artists

Oct 31, 2014
Alice Guy-Blaché
Courtesy of Cinema St. Louis

As women strive to gain equal ground in the workplace, they’re also working to establish the same ground in the arts. The Women in the Arts Conference at the University of Missouri–St. Louis will feature lectures, demonstrations, papers, performances and workshops from 27 speakers on Nov. 6-8.

“Everyone thinks the playing field is level,” said Barbara Harbach, a composer and director of the Women in the Arts Conference. “It’s not quite as level as you might think.”

St. Louis Debut Set For Tennessee Williams Play

Oct 31, 2014

For only the second time, Tennessee Williams' "Stairs to the Roof" will be seen in the U.S. 

Williams wrote the play in December 1941, after he had left Washington University and was working at the International Shoe Co. in St. Louis.

“It’s, I think, his love letter or valentine to St. Louis,” set and costume designer Marcel Meyer told “Cityscape” host Steve Potter on Friday. “The main character is the Williams alter ego.”

Kehinde Wiley, detail, ‘After Titian's Penitent Mary Magdalene,’ oil wash on paper, 90 x 60 inches, Courtesy of Susan and David Sherman
Provided by Philip Slein Gallery

Black-owned galleries display African-American art all year long. Many others tend bring out such work only during February, Black History Month. But that’s changing.

Recent shows bucking the trend include an exhibit opening Friday at the Philip Slein Gallery in the Central West End. African-American-themed work from private St. Louis homes comprises “Other Ways, Other Times: Influences of African-American Tradition from St. Louis Collections.”

Alarm Will Sound
Justin Bernhaut via Alarm Will Sound

Alarm Will Sound, which conductor Alan Pierson describes as “the orchestra of the 21st century,” will debut two pieces this weekend in St. Louis.

On Friday, the group will perform "Miles Re-Vision" by local composer Peter Martin at a concert at the Sheldon Concert Hall celebrating St. Louis' musical history.

Concert pianist Lang Lang performs in the lobby of Mercy Children's Hospital St. Louis on Oct. 17, 2014. Lang was in St. Louis for a Saturday performance with the St. Louis Symphony.
Courtesy of Mercy Children's Hospital St. Louis

For pianist Lang Lang, Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 is special.

“Tchaikovsky’s piano concerto is a classical music workhorse — everybody plays it,” Lang Lang said Thursday. It’s also the first piece he played, at age 17, with the Chicago Symphony, and he credits it with making his career.

Lang Lang will play that piece again Saturday at the St. Louis Symphony’s Red Velvet Ball.

Courtesy of the Saint Louis Art Museum

The Saint Louis Art Museum's "Atua: Sacred Gods From Polynesia" exhibition takes a closer look at sculpture and religion, but it's not the first time the museum has explored art from the region.

"The museum's been collecting Pacific art since the 1900s," said Nichole Bridges, associate curator in charge of the arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas at the museum. "Most of the permanent Pacific arts collection comes from Melanesia; we have very little that comes from Polynesia. This is a nice complement to our collection."

Sound Bites: A Closer Look At The Modern Butcher

Oct 10, 2014
Andrew Jennrich, left, is the head butcher at The Butchery, Truffles Restaurant's new meat market. Brandon Benanck, right, is Truffles' executive chef.
Meera Nagarajan / Courtesy of Sauce Magazine

Butcher shops are changing. Whole-animal butcher shops, using local farm-raised animals, are popping up in St. Louis. In this month's Sound Bites segment on "Cityscape," we talked to local butchers about the benefits of the new trend.

Guests

STL250 Celebration Continues With Musical Tribute

Oct 10, 2014
Jazz pianist and composer Peter Martin
Sarah Crowder

Music has been an important part of St. Louis’ past, from folk music of the city’s early settlers, to classical, ragtime, blues, jazz, R&B, rock ’n’ roll and hip-hop.

“250 Years of St. Louis Music: American Music at its Best” will celebrate many of those styles, in addition to St. Louis’ 250th anniversary, on Oct. 17 at the Sheldon Concert Hall.

Wynton Marsalis
Frank Stewart / (Courtesy Jazz at Lincoln Center)

Wynton Marsalis has been to St. Louis many times, but before Thursday night he had not played at Jazz at the Bistro.

“I’ve been coming here for many, many years. This is one of my favorite cities to come and play, in many contexts,” said Marsalis, a trumpeter, composer and educator. “I’d been to the Bistro, just sitting in and hanging with musicians … and it’s a famous place to play amongst the musicians. From a national standpoint, when you talk about St. Louis, you’re always talking about the Bistro.”

St. Louis Chamber Chorus Focuses On Composers

Oct 3, 2014
Saint Louis Chamber Chorus
Saint Louis Chamber Chorus

Instead of following a theme, the Saint Louis Chamber Chorus' 59th season will focus on composers. 

“In the early years, we’ve put together programs on ideas, on literature, on great cities, on different poets,” said Philip Barnes, the chorus’ artistic director. “We’ve performed in a wrestling arena because I wanted to sing ‘Musicians Wrestle Everywhere,’ words by Emily Dickinson. This is the first time we’ve put together a season where the composers themselves have been the driving force.”

Malik Performs "Unveiled"
Courtesy of the Artist

For the last five years, playwright Rohina Malik has performed her one woman play, "Unveiled." The play focuses on the lives of five Muslim women in the wake of 9/11.  She attests her play touches audience members regardless of their background. 

“One after another young, white male college students kept coming up to me personally and saying, thank you so much, it was eye opening,” Malik said about a recent experience performing at an college in Ohio. 

(Google Street Image)

Clementine’s, in St. Louis’ Soulard neighborhood, opened in 1978. It is the oldest gay bar in the area.

On Monday, the owners will pour their last drink, and Clementine’s will shut its doors.

The Vital Voice documented how people are reacting to the news.

We have one reflection to add.

Martin Sheen Kicks Off St. Louis Speaker Series

Sep 26, 2014
Martin Sheen
via St. Louis Speakers Series

Actor Martin Sheen will kick off this year’s St. Louis Speaker Series on Oct. 7.

“I’m going to reflect on my career as an actor, but also as an activist, as a husband, a father, a grandfather,” Sheen said.

On-screen, Sheen is well-known for “Apocalypse Now,” “Badlands” and “The West Wing.” Producer Alex Heuer talked to Sheen on the 15th anniversary of the debut of “The West Wing.”

St. Louis Virtuoso Launches Guitar Society Season

Sep 26, 2014
Douglas Niedt
David Coblitz

Guitar virtuoso Douglas Niedt never really thought about making a living by playing the guitar; it just happened.

“My dad learned the guitar when he was in the Merchant Marines down in Mexico, Peru, South American countries,” said Niedt, a St. Louis native. “When they went into ports, he would take lessons from whoever was playing the guitar down there.”

When his father returned home, he taught Niedt’s older sister how to play.

‘Lovely Friendship’ Backbone To Album

Sep 19, 2014
Elizabeth Futral
K Cadel / Colbert Artists Management

Soprano Elizabeth Futral and composer Philip Lasser can thank pianist Margo Garrett for their friendship, which spans nearly a decade.

“There was a third party that gave my songs to Elizabeth,” Lasser said. “Then as fate would have it, she was collaborating with Margo Garrett, who happens to be a colleague of mine at Juilliard and who had a studio at the time right across the hall from my studio. We met over these songs.”

Thousands Expected For Jazz And Blues Festival

Sep 19, 2014
Courtesy Old Webster Jazz and Blues Festival

Webster Groves’ largest music festival returns for a 14th year Saturday.

“Great musicians continue to develop here, and it’s really wonderful to give them a chance to get exposure on a big stage in front of up to about 12-, 13,000 people every year,” said Terry Perkins, the festival’s music director.

Streets will be closed and performances will take place on two stages at Allen and South Gore avenues, just north of Lockwood Avenue. The festival starts at noon.

Rep Opens Season With Larger-Than-Life Comedy

Sep 19, 2014
Raymond McAnally stars as as Francis Henshall with Jack Fellows as Stanley Stubbers in the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis' "One Man, Two Guvnors."
Jerry Naunheim Jr. / The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis

“One Man, Two Guvnors” is part British comedy, part chaos.

“It runs like a mix between rock ’n’ roll show and a bit stand-up comedy and improv because there is so much audience interaction and there are so many wild cards,” said Raymond McAnally, who stars in the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis production.

McAnally plays Francis Henshall, a man who has taken on two jobs for two different bosses, or “guvnors.”

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