Entertainment | St. Louis Public Radio


A group playing The Detective room at Great Xscape in Rolla. The four month old business is trying to cash in on the escape room craze in a smaller city.
Jonathan Ahl | St. Louis Public Radio

The escape room experience sounds a lot like putting yourself in a stressful situation for the sake of fun. These are games in which a group of people are put in a room. A clock counts down. The players have to find clues and solve puzzles hidden in the room before time runs out.

The popularity of escape rooms has increased dramatically, with just a handful in existence in 2015 to more than 2,300 nationwide operating today. There are national chains that operate rooms in dozens of big cities across the country, including St. Louis. But they are so popular that they are opening in smaller cities, usually run by individuals and families.

Chesterfield and St. Louis
(Brent Jones | St. Louis Public Radio)

The St. Louis Bluesweek Festival and the Budweiser Taste of St. Louis are on the move, and people throughout the metro area have been quick to share their reactions.

Taste of St. Louis and Bluesweek left many regulars reeling after organizers announced that this year both will be held in Central Park and the Chesterfield amphitheater.

Street performer case still in the legal wings

Jul 12, 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 12, 2013: U.S. District Judge Catherine D. Perry heard arguments Friday in a preliminary injunction hearing for Pence v. City of St. Louis. In this case, the American Civil Liberties Union is representing two street performers who object to the city’s busking policies.

The city required a $100 fee for a busking, or public performance, permit. Performances covered include “but is not limited to, the following activities: acting, singing, pantomime, juggling, magic, dancing and playing musical instruments, radios or other machines or devices for the producing or reproducing of sound.” And it requires what was described as an audition for the performers, though the city contends that the audition term is misleading.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 23, 2012 - In the not-so-distant future, St. Louis neighborhoods may all be connected through a network of lighted beacons on street corners and at local venues and amenities.

The beacons, part of a project called CityPulse, will detect and transmit pedestrian motion data in real-time to an interactive map that can be accessed via the Internet. Created by Brain Drain, the project aims to dispel the perception of St. Louis as an inactive city by promoting exploration, connectivity and local entrepreneurship.

Jan. 20 gallery openings

Jan 22, 2012

Photographer Tom Nagel visited the Gallery at the Regional Arts Center, the St. Louis Artist's Guild and the new Gateway Gallery Friday evening to check out new exhibits. Inside is a glimpse of what a visitor will find.

Jan. 20 gallery openings

Jan 22, 2012

Photographer Tom Nagel visited the Gallery at the Regional Arts Center, the St. Louis Artist's Guild and the new Gateway Gallery Friday evening to check out new exhibits. Inside is a glimpse of what a visitor will find.

tim o'leary 300 pixels wide
Opera Theatre of St. Louis

Established opera companies and symphonies should not be hurt seriously by the U.S. Supreme Court's decision last week upholding a law that moved the work of composers such as Sergei Prokofiev and Dmitry Shostakovich from the public domain to copyright protection.

Some folks call him a songwriter

Jun 17, 2008

Actor Billy Bob Thornton has always fancied himself a musician. He played in Creedence Clearwater Revival and ZZ Top cover bands back in his native Arkansas and finally got to release a handful of solo albums after he'd risen to fame onscreen in "Sling Blade" and "Monster's Ball."

Cyd Charisse 1922-2008

Jun 17, 2008

Actress Cyd Charisse died yesterday in Los Angeles. She's perhaps best remembered as Gene Kelly's sultry dance partner in "Singing in the Rain":

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But Charisse was equally memorable in such films "The Band Wagon," "Silk Stockings," and Nicholas Ray's noir "Party Girl":

Playing the fuel

Jun 17, 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.

Meet at the Gazebo for music and movies

Jun 10, 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.

Twangfest adapts to stay alive

Jun 2, 2008

These are hard times in the world of Americana music, a genre that spans all manner of styles from folk, blues, country and bluegrass to rockabilly, alternative country and roots rock.

With CD sales plummeting across the board, the small, independent labels that specialize in Americana have been hit especially hard. An Americana radio format has never really taken off. And two magazines that wrote about the genre with depth and clarity, No Depression and Harp, have shuttered in recent months.

Woody, take two

Jun 2, 2008

An earlier entry on Woody Allen was left incomplete, not from any attempt to create suspense but solely due to the limitations of my cut-and-paste editing technique, which sometimes proves to be biased toward the first task.

So to finish my point ...

From sycophant to ingrate

Jun 1, 2008

Scott McClellan's new book is interesting and makes a useful contribution toward documenting what went on at the Bush White House. But that hardly makes him an admirable figure, media critic and Beacon contributing editor Dick Weiss tells McGraw Milhaven on the McGraw Show on KTRS (550-AM).

Listen to the podcast 

Sydney Pollack, 1934-2008

May 26, 2008

Sydney Pollack, director, producer and surprisingly effective character actor, was one of a handful of filmmakers who emerged in the early days of television drama and graduated to a successful career in feature films, establishing himself in the late '60s and '70s as the director-of-choice for some of the most prominent movie stars of the New Hollywood.

Teddy Presberg brings jazz home

May 26, 2008

May 31 Schedule & Parking Info

Emerson Stage 

  • 12:30-1:30 p.m. Two Times True
  • 2-3 p.m. Lao Tizer with Karen Briggs
  • 3:30-5 p.m. Tito Puente Jr. Orchestra
  • 5:30 - 7:00 p.m. Joe Sample and Randy Crawford
  • 7:30 - 9:00 p.m. Cassandra Wilson (above)

Soul School

Meet me in St. Louis

May 18, 2008

Robert Hunt, who is already firmly established as our most prolific correspondent, has been writing on film for nearly 30 years, appearing in an array of publications, both here and elsewhere. His lengthiest association was with the Riverfront Times, where he served as a film and DVD critic in the 1980s and '90s.

Hard Questions

May 18, 2008

More on the state of film criticism from the always-insightful Filmbrain.

Young collector gives vinyl records new life

May 17, 2008
David MacRunnel
Provided by David MacRunnel

It all started, this fascination with vinyl record albums, says David MacRunnel, back when he was 2 years old.

"My mother (Linda) used to force me to listen to records, her music, Andy Williams and Johnny Mathis, 24-7," says MacRunnel of Creve Coeur.

A mere 14 years later, the sophomore at Parkway Central High School in Chesterfield, is two-racks deep in his personal vinyl collection. McRunnel is up to about 1,200 albums, he says, and he'll add more when he's got a little extra change.

Muslims Left Out -- The Beacon on KTRS

May 11, 2008

Are we bringing everyone together?  

When candidates talk about uniting our country, they frequently mention blacks, whites, Hispanics and Asians, Christians and Jews. They almost never mention the nation's 5 million Muslims. What's up with that? Dick Weiss and McGraw Milhaven discuss this on the McGraw Show on KTRS-550 AM.      

Listen to the podcast