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Arts & Culture

African diary - Lalibela

Jun 26, 2008
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William Freivogel | St. Louis Beacon archives

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 23, 2008 - LALIBELA, Ethiopia - A decade or so before English noblemen extracted the Magna Charta from King John, the great King Lalibela of Ethiopia was engaged in a spectacular feat of architecture and engineering, building a dozen cathedrals down into the hard, pink bedrock.

African diary - Kampala

Jun 25, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 25, 2008 - KAMPALA, Uganda - The road from the airport at Entebbe into Kampala is like those video games that kids play in which they steer the cars wildly along the road until an inevitable crash.

It's a two-lane road, but drivers pretty much ignore the yellow line in the middle. The most aggressive carve out a third lane - in the middle of the other two. It's a game of chicken. If the truck hurtling directly toward you looks like it isn't going to give, you better pull back onto your side of the road.

Mark will head Black Rep board

Jun 24, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 24, 2008 - The St. Louis Black Repertory Company is closing its 31st season with the musical "Sarafina" and looking ahead to the fall.

Summer + children = creativity

Jun 23, 2008
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Rachel Heidenry | The Beacon

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 23, 2008 - Your kids have been dreaming about summer ever since September: the start of vacation, no school. Actually, you've been dreaming about it as well, but your dreams have been more like nightmares. That one where you had to stash your preschooler in the office supply closet, with a stack of coloring books and a snack-filled cooler, was especially chilling.

It's a Mad (magazine) world at the Artists' Guild

Jun 23, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 23, 2008 - MAD Magazine, Letters Department

Dear Editor,

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Courtesy of Harry Weber | St. Louis Beacon archives

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 23, 2008 - Recent flooding has completely submerged the Lewis and Clark statue that sits on the riverfront in the shadow of Eads Bridge. But this isn't the first time the explorers have gone under, and it most certainly will not be the last. Good thing for Lewis and Clark's larger-than-life likenesses, their creator designed them to be waterproof.

Haiku, photos and computer woes

Jun 22, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 22, 2008

(Haiku poetry has strict construction rules: Each poem has only 17 syllables; 5 syllables in the first line, 7 in the second line, 5 in the third line. They are used to communicate a timeless message, often achieving a wistful, yearning and powerful insight through extreme brevity.) 

Your file was so big.

It might be very useful.

But now it is gone.

The Web site you seek

Coffeehouses plug in, customers tune out

Jun 22, 2008
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Thomas Crone | For the Beacon

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 22, 2008 - Coffeehouses, whether chain or independent, have become so commonplace that they now serve as most anything that a neighborhood needs -- whether it's a gathering point for a weekly euchre club or a near-to-campus location for first dates.

Increasingly, though, local coffeeshops are serving as remote offices for workers who've fled their real workplaces for an hour, or two, or as full-on, de facto offices for freelancers, or those with uncommon work hours.

African diary - Bahir Dar

Jun 21, 2008
Women wield long palm leaves sweeping the litter and dirt out of the gutter in Ethiopian town. 2008. 300 pixels
William Freivogel | St. Louis Beacon archives

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: BAHIR DAR, Ethiopia - It is Saturday, market day, in this regional capital an hour’s plane ride northwest of Addis Ababa. The road from the airport to the university is crowded with farmers walking their goods to market.

Villagers in traditional dress veer to the side of the road to avoid our car. Some drive small herds of sheep or goats. Others lead burrows and donkeys loaded with firewood or bags of charcoal. Men carry a sturdy, 6-foot-long stick over one shoulder to leverage bundles of goods attached at end of the stick behind their back.

The Lens: Winged victory

Jun 20, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 20, 2008 - Barbie’s dream of a peck on the cheek from Ken takes a distinctly nightmarish turn.

Troilus, Cressida and the everlasting question, Why?

Jun 20, 2008
Troilus and Cressida Ellie Dehn as Cressida with Elizabeth Batton as Evadne. 2008 300 pixels
Ken Howard | Opera Theatre of St. Louis

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 20, 2008 - The pathway to the opera house was rocky for "Troilus and Cressida." At the conclusion of World War II, with England still smarting from the assaults of the fiendish Nazis, steps were taken, perhaps as a means of healing through the power of great art, to resuscitate the Kingdom's venerable operatic tradition.

African diary - Addis Ababa

Jun 20, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 20, 2008 - Editor's Note: William H. Freivogel, director of the School of Journalism at Southern Illinois University Carbondale and a professor at the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, went to East Africa earlier this month. He traveled through Ethiopia and Uganda with journalism colleagues as part of a State Department grant. They conducted workshops with local journalists, government officials and representatives of aid agencies. He wrote a diary of his observations during the journey. You can read his letters from a trip a year ago at the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting :

Review: Lelouch reminds you why you loved French film

Jun 19, 2008
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Samuel Goldwyn Films

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Early on, French New Wave directors like Jean Luc Godard -- “Breathless,” 1959 -- and Francois Truffaut -- “Shoot the Piano Player,” 1960 -- delighted in taking American crime movies and simultaneously spoofing them and paying them the deepest homage. The result was something new and exciting and very French.

Got the wedding bill blues?

Jun 19, 2008
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Rachel Heidenry | St. Louis Beacon archives

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 19, 2008 - Jamie Miller of Carlyle, Ill., is not letting the troubled economy affect her special day. She was able to afford the dress she wanted, a Victoriana by Maggie Sottero, and invite her 700 closest friends to her wedding, without going over her $20,000 budget.

The Lens: Playing the fuel

Jun 18, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 18, 2008 - Anyone dismayed at missing last weekend's screening of "GasHole,"  a new documentary on stratospheric oil prices and alternative energy, can take heart: The Hi-Pointe provides another opportunity to see the film this weekend. Times are 7:15 p.m. June 20 and 2:30, 4:45 and 7:15 p.m. June 21-22. Cost is $8.75 general admission, $6.75 for students and seniors.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: What can you say about a 79-year-old sailor who's likely to live forever?

That he was strong to the finich? That he loved his pipe, skinny women and spinach?

This work by Gary Passanise is part of the show. 300 pixels. 2008
Provided by the artist | St. Louis Beacon archives

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 18, 2008 - If you're like most people in St. Louis, you need a good reason to make a trip across the river. Here's one that Missourians and Illinoisans alike should find worth a short jaunt: New Paintings: IL + MO at the Edwardsville Arts Center, an exhibition curated by St. Louis painter Daniel Raedeke and featuring some of the region's finest artists.

St. Louis Shakespeare will produce 'Merry Wives'

Jun 16, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 16, 2008 - Falstaff will be on tap in the spring of 2009 in Forest Park.

Not the historic St. Louis brew, but the Shakespeare's humorous Sir John Falstaff the main character in Shakespeare's rollicking comedy "The Merry Wives of Windsor."

'Troilus' is a legacy of Colin Graham

Jun 14, 2008
2008 program image from the opera
St. Louis Beacon archives

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 14, 2008 - Behind the passionate, love-at-first sight tale of “Troilus and Cressida” is a story about war weariness, war’s futility and the painful cost to losers and winners.

This St. Louis production is more than a revival of a fine work; it’s the world premiere of a new performing version.

The Lens: Staying Faithfull

Jun 13, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 13, 2008 - When she first entered the public eye playing the simultaneous roles of rising pop singer and girlfriend of Mick Jagger, Marianne Faithfull seemed too fragile and withdrawn to withstand the burden of Swinging London celebrity.

Variety's the password for the Muny 2008

Jun 13, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 13, 2008 - What place equals summer in St. Louis?

The Zoo? Ah, but go in the winter and see the bears and the snow leopards.

Ted Drewes? Of course, but its frozen custard is available at grocery stores throughout the area.

The Muny ? There's nothing like it.

Commentary: My Father's Day Gift

Jun 13, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 13, 2008 - I got an email on my work address from someone I didn't recognize.

Queries are good. It means new people are finding the Beacon. I only wonder when I'll get to the point that I can't keep up.

The Lens: Turning Hi-Pointe

Jun 12, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 12, 2008 - St. Louis moviegoers have long loved the Hi-Pointe Theatre, which under the James family's careful stewardship was an essential art-house destination for decades. Anglophiles jonesing for the latest Merchant Ivory could always depend on a costume-drama fix at the Hi-Pointe, but during its heyday the theater's offerings also included such films as "The Draughtsman's Contract," "Diva," and "My Beautiful Laundrette," so the blue-haired regulars received occasional shocks that no doubt quickened their pacemakers.

A Father's Day to celebrate

Jun 11, 2008
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Bill Smith | St. Louis Beacon Archives

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 11, 2008 - For 17 years, Lawrence Davis says, he did everything he thought a father was supposed to do.

He kept a roof over his children's heads; he fed them. He paid for their school, their clothes and their toys.

Meet at the Gazebo for music and movies

Jun 11, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 11, 2008 - When Joe Schwab moved his independent music shop, Euclid Records, from the Central West End to the Old Orchard area of Webster Groves, he thought it might be nice to book some bands to play in nearby Gazebo Park. The idea was to create a family friendly street festival atmosphere that would generate some interest in the Old Orchard shopping and restaurant district.

With the help of the Merchant & Business Association of Old Orchard, Schwab carried out his plan and his idea grew into a concert and movie series that has attracted more attention each year in the half-decade since its inception.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 11, 2008

Character Study

Courtney Henson's Character Study: Collected Data at Maps Contemporary Art Space is more than a simple art exhibit. It's a glimpse into Henson's ever-expanding Gesamtkunstwerk, her ongoing investigation into processes of growth, decay, dichotomies, and taxonomies.

Hosmer symposium pairs with Benton statue celebration

Jun 11, 2008
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From Lafayette Park Conservancy | St. Louis Beacon archives

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 11, 2008 - Harriet Hosmer was an artist who had to fight for the right to learn her craft. She was able to attend medical school and learn anatomy only because of the intervention of St. Louisan Wayman Crow. 

The Lens: Factory girl

Jun 10, 2008

Mickey Raphael: Harmonica man

Jun 10, 2008
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Photo by John Chiasson

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 10, 2008 - At some point in his concert at the Fox on June 14, Willie Nelson will be winding up a riff on his beat-up guitar and he’ll say, “Let me hear it, Mickey.”

The next notes will be plaintive and passionate, cutting sharply through the softer guitar chords. Mickey Raphael’s harmonica will give a different voice to the blues, accent the exuberance of the country rock and tug at your heart in “Georgia on my Mind.”

Collecting in the Heartland: Superman

Jun 10, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 9 - Seventy years ago this month – as Adolph Hitler was tightening his grip on Europe and a teen-age schoolboy named Stan Musial was preparing to sign his first major league baseball contract with the St. Louis Cardinals – a strange caped figure burst onto the nation’s newsstands.

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