2012 Fall Arts Guide

‘Leo’; Brighton Beach Memoirs; hip-hOZ;

BY PATRICIA CORRIGAN & ELLEN FUTTERMAN, SPECIAL TO THE JEWISH LIGHT & JEWISH LIGHT EDITOR

Bummed by the ceaseless cacophony of politics? 

The arts nourish the human spirit, and fortunately, opportunities abound this fall to see plays, attend dance concerts and bask in the sounds of beautiful music. The literary arts also are celebrated locally, most notably at the Jewish Book Festival. So check your calendar, buy some tickets and go sit in darkened theaters and concert halls and in packed auditoriums to listen, to learn — and to return home lighter of spirit. 

September

“Going to See the Elephant,” a play about the lives of four pioneer women on the American frontier in the 1870s, runs at MUSTARD SEED THEATRE Aug. 31 through Sept. 16 in the Black Box Theatre at Big Bend and Wydown boulevards on the Fontbonne University campus. Tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors and students. See www.mustardseedtheatre.com or call 314-719-8060. 

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The Mainstage Series at THE REPERTORY THEATRE OF ST. LOUIS opens Sept. 5 with Neil Simon’s semi-autobiographical play “Brighton Beach Memoirs.” The show runs through Sept. 30, with matinee and evening performances at the Loretto-Hilton Center, 130 Edgar Road in Webster Groves. For show times and ticket prices, see www.repstl.org or call 314-968-4925.

The ST. LOUIS ART FAIR boasts a free, three-day celebration of the visual and performing arts Sept. 7-9 in downtown Clayton’s business district. The main focus is a juried exhibition of fine art and crafts with more than 150 artists. The fair also presents live music, hands-on activities for children and food from some of St. Louis’ top restaurants. Go to www.culturalfestivals.org for more details.

Billed as a comedy about explaining why you have to find yourself to people who don’t want anything to change, “Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday” opens at HOT CITY THEATRE Sept. 7 and runs through Sept. 22. Tickets cost $15-25, with performances at the Kranzberg Arts Center, 501 N. Grand Boulevard. Call 314-289-4063 or see www.hotcitytheatre.org.

A lively tap-dancing extravaganza with music and lyrics by George and Ira Gershwin, “My One and Only” runs Sept. 7 through Oct. 7 at STAGES ST. LOUIS.  Choose from matinee or evening performances at the Robert G. Reim Theatre in the Kirkwood Civic Center at 111 S. Geyer Road in Kirkwood. Tickets range from $15-55. See www.stagesstlouis.org or call 314-821-2407.  

More than 100 original drawings, paintings, prints, collages and posters by legendary caricaturist and St. Louis native Al Hirschfeld will be displayed at the SHELDON ART GALLERIES, 3648 Washington Boulevard,, from Sept. 7 to Jan. 5. The show, entitled “Al Hirschfeld’s Jazz and Broadway Scrapbook,” also will feature his specially made stereo system, his extensive jazz record collection, and African drums and Balinese shadow puppets from his home. For details, including gallery talks about the show, go to www.thesheldon.org.

The CONTEMPORARY ART MUSEUM nods to the upcoming presidential election with “Jonathan Horowitz: Your Land, My Land, Election: 12,” opening Sept. 7 and running through Nov. 11. The show features a montage of sculptures, photographs and video that include a blue and a red “zone” divided by centrally suspended televisions, one playing CNN and the other Fox News. The museum is located at 3750 Washington Boulevard. Call 314-535-4660 or go to www.camstl.org for more information.

Come taste the wine and start celebrating the 16th season of the NEW JEWISH THEATRE at “Cabaret NJT.” Featuring some of the best cabaret talent in St. Louis — all alumni of NJT productions — the event takes place at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 9 at the Staenberg Family Complex at the Jewish Community Center, 2 Millstone Campus Drive in Creve Coeur. Tickets cost $40-250. For details about packages, call 314-442-3283 or see www.newjewishtheatre.org.

Watch art being made on the ground and then in the sky at the BALLOON GLOW and 2012 GREAT FOREST PARK BALLOON RACE at 7 p.m. Sept. 14 and at 3:30 p.m.  Sept. 15, respectively, at the Central Field in Forest Park. Both events are free. 

The Jerusalem Post declared, “There’s something to be said for sheer, unadulterated entertainment when it’s performed as impeccably and professionally as Neil Sedaka does it.” See for yourself at “Neil Sedaka: In Concert” at 8 p.m. Sept. 15, presented by the BEZEMES FAMILY THEATER at the J. Scheidegger Center for the Arts on the Lindenwood University campus in St. Charles. Tickets range from $38.50 to $58.50. See www.lindenwood.edu/center/familyTheater.asp or call 636-949-4433.

“To Kill a Mockingbird” opens Sept. 20 at INSIGHT THEATRE, with performances over two weekends at the Heagney Theatre at Nerinx Hall, 530 East Lockwood Avenue in Webster Groves. Tickets range from $25-35. See www.insighttheatrecompany.com or call 314-556-1293.

The ST. LOUIS SYMPHONY opens the season with three concerts featuring Ottorino Respighi’s “Pines of Rome” on Sept. 28, 29 and 30 at Powell Symphony Hall, 718 N. Grand Boulevard. David Robertson conducts, with Emanuel Ax at the piano. Tickets range from $27-108. See www.stlsymphony.org or call 314-534-1700. 

Back by popular demand — ST. LOUIS SHAKESPEARE’S production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” which runs Sept. 28-Oct. 7 at the Grandel Theatre, 3610 Grandel Square. Matinee and evening performances. Tickets cost $25 for adults, $20 for seniors and $15 for students. Call 314-361-5664 or see www.stlshakespeare.org. 

And on the subject of Shakespeare, the IMPROVISED SHAKESPEARE COMPANY makes a stop at the Touhill Performing Arts Center, on the campus of University of Missouri at St. Louis, Sept. 28-29 where it will create a fully improvised play in Elizabethan style. As a result of being completely improvised, each play is entirely new. The cost for all this fun is 30 bucks and it happens Sept. 28-29. Call 314-516-4949 or go to www.touhill.org.

DANCING IN THE STREETS, an annual fall festival that showcases the beauty, art, athleticism and energy of dance, takes place from 1 to 8 p.m. on Sept 29. This free, outdoor festival features 75 performances on three outdoor stages in Grand Center between Lindell and Delmar boulevards, centered at Grand and Washington boulevards. Go to www.grandcenter.org for more information. 

October

Neil Simon’s Pulitzer-Prize-winning masterwork “Lost in Yonkers” opens the 2012-13 season at the NEW JEWISH THEATRE with evening and matinee performances Oct. 4-21 in the Wool Studio Theatre at the JCC. Tickets range from $36.50 to $40.50. Call 314-442-3283 or see www.newjewishtheatre.org.  

Winner of eight Tony Awards, “Spring Awakening” opens Oct. 4 at STRAY DOG THEATRE. Matinee and evening performances are scheduled through Oct. 20 at Tower Grove Abbey, 2336 Tennessee Avenue. Tickets are $20 for adults, $18 for seniors or students. See www.straydogtheatre.org or call 314-865-1995.

On Oct. 5 and 6, DANCE ST. LOUIS presents four world premieres, four renowned American choreographers and four St. Louis dance companies in “New Dance Horizons” at the Touhill Performing Arts Center on the campus of UMSL. Tickets range from $30-40. See www.dancestlouis.org or call 314-534-6622. 

In “Leo,” the gravity-defying new show from Berlin’s Circle of Eleven, acrobatic star Tobias Wegner is trapped in a room seemingly absent the laws of physics. Floors become ceilings, chalk drawings spring to life and summersaults are executed with an astronaut’s slow-motion aplomb. The action takes place at Washington U’s EDISON THEATRE, 6445 Forsyth Boulevard, Oct. 5-6. Tickets are $36, or $32 for seniors; $28 for faculty and staff; and $20 for students and children. Call 314-935-6543 or visit edison.wustl.edu.

ST. LOUIS ACTOR’S STUDIO presents “Good,” which examines Germany’s descent into Nazism through the story of John Halder, a literature professor who is initially reluctant to accept the philosophy of the Nazi Party. With different pressures from his wife, mother, mistress and a Jewish friend, Halder finally succumbs to New Order to advance his career and comes face to face with the consequences of the path he’s chosen. It runs Oct. 5-21 at The Gaslight Theater, 358 N. Boyle Avenue. Tickets cost $30 for adults, $25 for students and seniors. See www.stlas.org/ or call 314-458-2978.

Emmy Award and Grammy Award-winning comedian Louis C.K. – creator, executive producer, director, editor, and star of FX Network’s acclaimed series “Louie” –will perform two shows live at the FOX THEATRE, 527 N. Grand Boulevard, Oct. 6. Tickets are $45 and exclusively available on www.louisck.com. 

Created by hip-hop sensation Redd Williams, hip-hOZ at COCA FAMILY THEATRE, features a community of hip-hop dancers, dazzling choreography and a master mix of contemporary and hip-hop music Oct. 6-7 at COCA, 524 Trinity Avenue in University City. Tickets are $16-$20 and can by ordered at 314-725-6555or online, at www.cocastl.org.

The HISTORIC SHAW ART FAIR, in the 4100 and 4200 block of Flora Avenue, features 135 professional artists along with live music and food. The show runs Oct. 6-7 and costs $7 (children 14 and under are free). Across the street at the Missouri Botanical Gardens, more art and a tremendous array of food are available at the BEST OF MISSOURI MARKET, which also has an admission fee. For more information, go to www.shawartfair.org and www.mobot.org. 

The ST. LOUIS SYMPHONY and the REALLY INVENTIVE family show starts at 3 p.m. Oct. 7 at Powell Symphony Hall, 718 N. Grand Boulevard. Tickets range from $12-17 for adults and $9-14 for children. See www.stlsymphony.org/ or call 314-534-1700.

“Daddy Long Legs,” a musical based on the novel about a young lady’s journey into womanhood in 1900s New England, runs Oct. 10-Nov. 4 on the Mainstage at THE REPERTORY THEATRE OF ST. LOUIS. Matinee and evening performances are scheduled at the Loretto-Hilton Center, 130 Edgar Road. For show times and ticket prices, see www.repstl.org or call 314-968-4925.

To celebrate its 100 years of fabulousness, the SHELDON CONCERT HALL, 3648 Washington Boulevard, is throwing itself an anniversary party Oct. 11 with the world premiere of “This Present Past,” composed by St. Louis’ own Peter Martin, and featuring a poem by Howard Nemerov. An all-star ensemble will perform the piece that encompasses both jazz and classical music – featuring soprano Christine Brewer, saxophonist Branford Marsalis, bassist Christian McBride, pianist Peter Martin, drummer Ulysses Owens, violinist David Halen and members of the St. Louis Symphony. Tickets start at $25. Call 314-533-9900 or go to www.thesheldon.org for more info. 

As part of the American Arts Festival/St. Louis, EDISON THEATRE’S Ovations Series presents pianist Christopher O’Riley (host of NPR’s “From the Top”) and cellist Matt Haimovitz at 8 p.m. Oct. 12 at Edison Theatre on the Washington University campus. Tickets cost $36 for adults, $32 for seniors and $20 for students. See www.   edison.wustl.edu or call Edison at 314-935-6543 or Metrotix at 314-534-1111. 

In the mood for 1940s Big Band sounds? “In the Mood,” a song and swing dance revue, comes to the TOUHILL PERFORMING ARTS CENTER at 3 p.m. and again at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 13 at the Touhill, on the campus of the UMSL. Tickets range from $29-49. See www.touhill.org or call 314-516-4949.

Direct from Beijing, the National Circus of the People’s Republic of China brings their family-friendly feats of contortion, juggling, flying and balance to town at 8 p.m. Oct. 13, presented by the BEZEMES FAMILY THEATER at the J. Scheidegger Center for the Arts on the Lindenwood University campus in St. Charles. Tickets range from $24.50 to $38.50. See www.lindenwood.edu/center/familyTheater.asp or call 636-949-4433. 

Renew your relationship with Jean Valjean, Cosette, Marius and those shameless Thenardiers at the brand new 25th anniversary production of “Les Miserables,” which runs Oct. 16-28 at the FOX THEATRE, 527 N. Grand Boulevard. Tickets range from $15-74 for matinee and evening performances. Call 314-534-1111 or see www.fabulousfox.com. 

“Federico Barocci, Renaissance Master,” at the ST. LOUIS ART MUSEUM in Forest Park, presents a trove of exceptionally beautiful paintings and studies, many never before seen in this country. Barocci was reputed to be one of the most innovative Italian artists of the second half of the 16th century and a major influence on European masters from the 16th to 18th centuries. His art combines the beauty of the High Renaissance and the dynamism of the Baroque. Tickets for the exhibit, which runs from Oct. 21-Jan. 20, are $10 for adults, $8 for students and seniors, $6 for children 6 to 12, free for children younger than 6, free to Members every day, and free to all on Fridays. For more information, go to www.slam.org.

The Studio Series at the REPERTORY THEATRE OF ST. LOUIS opens Oct. 24 with “Clybourne Park,” winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize and 2012 Tony Award for Best Play. Inspired by “A Raisin in the Sun,” the play takes a new approach to familiar themes. Matinee and evening performances run through Nov. 11 at the Loretto-Hilton Center, 130 Edgar Road. For show times and ticket prices, see www.repstl.org or call 314-968-4925.

To celebrate its 20th anniversary of performing at the Grandel Theatre, THE BLACK REP is offering a special, pre-season presentation of “Anne and Emmett,” a story about individual strength and courage in the face of racism. The show runs from Oct. 25-Nov. 4 at the Grandel Theatre. Tickets are $10 for students, $15 for adults. Call 314-534-3810 or www.theblackrep.org.

John Tartaglia’s “ImaginOcean,” part of the COCA FAMILY THEATRE series, is a one-of-a-kind, live black-light puppet show created by Tony Award nominee John Tartaglia (“Avenue Q”). “Imaginocean” has been described as a magical undersea adventure that features three singing and dancing fish that discover the greatest treasure is their own friendship. At COCA, 524 Trinity Avenue, Oct. 27-28. Tickets cost $16-$20 and can by ordered at 314-725-6555or online, at www.cocastl.org.

The TOUHILL PERFORMING ARTS CENTER presents the St. Louis Jazz Orchestra in “A Night of Duke Ellington” at 7 p.m. Oct. 30 at the Touhill, on the campus of the UMSL. Tickets cost $25. See www.touhill.org or call 314-516-4949.

November

Readers, take heed: Carrie Fisher, Peter Yarrow, Dyan Cannon, Len Berman and many more authors will appear at the 34th ANNUAL ST. LOUIS JEWISH BOOK FESTIVAL, which runs Nov. 4-15 at the Staenberg Family Complex at the JCC. For details and tickets, call 314-442-3299 or see www.jccstl.com/programs/arts-culture/st-louis-jewish-book-festival/

The 21st annual ST. LOUIS FILM FESTIVAL takes place from Nov. 8-18 at several venues, including the Tivoli and Plaza Frontenac theaters. In addition to hundreds of documentaries, shorts and feature films, the Festival brings actors and filmmakers to St. Louis to host question-and-answer sessions as well as to give lectures in film. For a full schedule of this year’s offerings and ticket prices, go to www.cinemastlouis.org.

It’s not easy being green – gather up the kids and find out why at the national tour of “Shrek: The Musical” at 8 p.m. Nov. 9 at the BEZEMES FAMILY THEATER at the J. Scheidegger Center for the Arts on the Lindenwood University campus in St. Charles. Tickets range from $32.50 to $49.50. See www.lindenwood.edu/center/familyTheater.asp or call 636-949-4433. 

DANCE ST. LOUIS brings back the ever-popular Pilobolus dance troupe, said to be one of the finest and most innovative dance companies in the world, for three performances at 8 p.m. Nov. 9 and at 2 and 8 p.m. Nov. 10 at the Touhill Performing Arts Center on the campus of UMSL. Tickets cost $35-55. Call 314-534-6622 or see www.dancestlouis.org.

More dance: Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance takes the stage in “Body Against Body” as part of EDISON THEATRE’s Ovations Series at 8 p.m. Nov. 16-17 at Edison Theatre on the Washington University campus. Tickets cost $36 for adults, $32 for seniors and $20 for students. See http://edison.wustl.edu/tickets/ovations/ or call Edison at 314-935-6543 or Metrotix at 314-534-1111. 

Although it’s impossible to describe, Blue Man Group is an intensely exciting and outrageous multimedia show that’s impossible to forget, and perfect for audiences of all ages. The blue men work their magic at the FOX THEATRE, 527 N. Grand Boulevard, Nov. 20-Dec. 2. Call 314-534-1111 for show times and ticket prices or go to www.fabulousfox.com.

Larry Shue’s “The Foreigner,” billed as “a wild and wacky comedy,” opens Nov. 28 on the Mainstage at the REPERTORY THEATRE OF ST. LOUIS. Matinee and evening performances through Dec. 23 at the Loretto-Hilton Center, 130 Edgar Road. For show times and ticket prices, see www.repstl.org or call 314-968-4925.

December 

Set in an old Victorian boathouse in rural Missouri in 1944, Lanford Wilson’s ”Talley’s Folly” is on stage Dec. 6-23 at the NEW JEWISH THEATRE. Part of a trilogy, the play won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the New York Drama Circle Award for Best Play. Matinees and evening performances will take place in the Wool Studio Theatre at the JCC. Tickets range from $36.50 to $38.50. Call 314-442-3283 or see www.newjewishtheatre.org.

Not quite sure if “Batman Live” qualifies as “the arts”; regardless it’s swooping into the CHAIFETZ CENTER, 1 S. Compton Avenue, Dec. 7-9 with its stunts, pyrotechnics, illusions and video screen sequences. Tickets range from $19.50 to $82.50 and are available by calling 314-534-1111 or at www.metrotix.com. Expect a host of Batman’s pals and enemies to be in attendance, including Robin, Alfred, the Joker, Catwoman, the Riddler and the Penguin.

Have you tried defying gravity? If not, instructions will be available at “Wicked: The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz,” on stage Dec. 12 through Jan. 6 at the FOX THEATRE, 527 N. Grand Boulevard. Matinee and evening performances. For ticket prices, call 314-534-1111 or see www.fabulousfox.com. 

Note: THE BLACK REP season does not begin until January, but it’s worth noting that “Season 36/20” celebrates 36 years as one of the largest African American theater companies in the country and 20 years of producing theatre at the Grandel. For details on the season, see http://theblackrep.org/theater/.