2013 Fall Arts Guide

Mustard Seed Theatre’s ‘Thao.’ Photo: Stephen Katz

By Ellen Futterman, editor

They say “life is a cabaret,” which also happens to be the opening show of the 47th season of Repertory Theatre of St. Louis this fall. Life also can be a dance concert or an art show or a book festival or the dozens upon dozens of other performances and arts-related events taking place during the 2013 fall arts season in the St. Louis area. In fact, there are so many events and performances that space won’t allow us to list them all, so be sure to go to the various websites listed below for additional productions and information.

September

Elizabeth comes upon a photograph of Thao, a Vietnamese woman born with life-threatening birth defects as a result of Agent Orange in “The Purpose Project,” presented by MUSTARD SEED THEATRE Sept. 5-15. Video and live performance combine to tell the story of these two unlikely friends and their remarkable collaboration at the Black Box Theatre at Big Bend and Wydown boulevards on the campus of Fontbonne University. Tickets are $25 for adults, $20 seniors and students. See www.mustardseetheatre.com or call 314-719-8060.

Actor Ronald L. Conner will portray more than 40 characters when the BLACK REP stages “Emergency,” about a slave ship that suddenly emerges in a modern New York harbor Sept 5-15. The one-man play will be performed at Washington University’s A.E. Hotchner Theatre in the Mallinckrodt Student Center, 6445 Forsyth Boulevard. Tickets, at $25, are available by calling 314-534-3807 or at www.theblackrep.org.

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The ST. LOUIS ART FAIR boasts a free, three-day celebration of the visual and performing arts Sept. 6-8 in downtown Clayton’s business district. In addition to the juried exhibition of fine art and crafts with more than 150 artists, the fair also presents live performing arts ensembles on three stages, the Creative Castle featuring educational art projects for children, street performers, a youth art fair and 15 of St. Louis’ most delectable restaurants. Go to www.culturalfestivals.org for more details.

The thrilling transformation of a lowly flower girl in Victorian London into a ravishing upper class lady is the basis of “My Fair Lady,” which closes the STAGES ST. LOUIS 2013 season. Performances take place at the Robert G. Reim Theatre, 111 S. Geyer Road in Kirkwood from Sept. 6-Oct. 6, with tickets costing $39-$55. See www.stagesstlouis.org or call 314-821-2407.

 “Entertaining Mr. Sloan” centers on a brother and sister, both of whom are seeing the same male escort. Repressed desires, power plays and an unsolved murder all make for one twisted tale as presented by HOT CITY THEATRE, Sept. 6-21 at the Kranzberg Arts Center, 501 N. Grand Boulevard. Tickets are $25 and can be ordered at 314-289-4063 or www.hotcitytheatre.org

The 10th anniversary of the opening of the CONTEMPORARY ART MUSEUM building will be celebrated with “Place is the Space” from Sept. 6-Dec. 29. The site-specific exhibition features new commissions by five international artists that occupy and interact with particular spaces within the building. CAM is located at 3550 Washington Boulevard. Call 314-535-4660 or go to www.camstl.org for more information.

“Parade,” the Tony Award-winning musical, runs Sept. 6-15 at the Ivory Theatre, 7620 Michigan Avenue. Presented by R-S THEATRICS, the musical dramatizes the 1913 trial of Leo Frank, a Jewish factory manager who was falsely accused of the rape and murder of a 13-year-old employee in a small town in Georgia. For tickets ($15-$25) and more information, call 314-456-0071 or go to www.r-stheatrics.com.

The Arianna String Quartet season kicks off the TOUHILL PERFORMING ARTS CENTER season Sept. 6 with an evening featuring works the quartet specifically chose to perform on its recent South African tour. Tickets are $25, $23 for seniors and $10 for students and can be ordered by phone at 314-516-4949 or www.touhill.org. The Touhill is located on the campus of the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Narrated by a stage manager and performed with minimal props and sets, Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town” follows the Webb and Gibbs families as their children fall in love, marry and eventually pass away, only to discover what awaits us in the great beyond. The show, presented by INSIGHT THEATRE, runs Sept. 12-29 at the Heagney Theatre at Nerinx Hall, 530 East Lockwood Avenue in Webster Groves. Tickets range from $25-$30. See www.insighttheatrecompany.com or call 314-556-1293.

Comedian Kevin James brings his funny business to the PEABODY OPERA HOUSE, 1400 Market Street, Sept. 13. Tickets range from $35-$75 and can be gotten by calling 314-231-2345 or going to www.peabodyoperahouse.com.

Through song and dance, DRAMATIC LICENSE PRODUCTIONS present an evening of classic and contemporary Broadway songs Sept 13-15. Ticket price ($22-$25) includes adult beverages and a 75-minute show. The theater is located at the upper level Sears wing of Chesterfield Mall. Go to www.dramaticlicenseproductions.org for more information.

If you haven’t had your fill of comedy, check out Martin Short Sept. 14 when he comes to the BEZEMES FAMILY THEATRE at J. Scheidegger Center for the Arts on the Lindenwood University campus in St. Charles. Tickets range from $48.50 to $68.50. See www.lindenwood.edu/center/ or call 636-949-4433.

Writers Annie Finch and Joe Schuster kick off the 39th season of readings at RIVER STYX Sept 16 at Tavern of Fine Arts, 313 Belt Avenue. Cost is $4-$5. Call 314-533-4541 or go to www.riverstyx.org for more information and additional programs.

Lovers of the Bard won’t want to miss “Shakespeare in the Streets 2013: A Winter’s Tale” presented by the ST. LOUIS SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL Sept 19-21. “A Winter’s Tale” is a story of loss and redemption, which explores the themes of time, jealousy and healing. Nightly free shows will take place in a location to be determined in the Grove neighborhood. Go to www.sfstl.com to find out the details closer to the date.

Watch art being made on the ground and then in the sky at the BALLOON GLOW and 2013 GREAT FOREST PARK BALLOON RACE at 7 p.m. Sept. 20 and at 3:30 p.m. Sept. 21, respectively, at the Central Field in Forest Park. Both events are free.

A true New York City institution, “Chicago” has everything that makes Broadway great: a universal tale of fame, fortune and all that jazz; one show-stopping-song after another; and the most astonishing dancing you’ve ever seen. This DANCE ST. LOUIS production stars John O’Hurley as Billy Flynn and runs at the Fox Theatre Sept. 20-22. Tickets range from $30-$80. Call 314-534-1111 or go to www.fabulousfox.com

Kirill Gerstein returns for the opening weekend Sept. 20-22 of the ST. LOUIS SYMPHONY season to perform Tchaikovsky’s exhilarating work with the orchestra at Powell Symphony Hall, 718 N. Grand Boulevard. Tickets range from $30-$109. For a listing of the symphony’s entire season, go to www.stlsymphony.org. For tickets and show times call 314-534-1700.

“Top Dog/Underdog,” winner of the 2002 Pulitzer Prize, tells the story of two brothers whose names were given to them as a joke, foretelling a lifetime of sibling rivalry and resentment. Haunted by the past, the brothers are forced to confront the shattering reality of their future. The production will be staged by ST. LOUIS ACTOR’S STUDIO Sept. 20-Oct. 6 at the Gaslight Theatre, 360 N. Boyle Avenue in the West End. Tickets are $30 for adults, $25 for students (with valid ID) and seniors (65+). For more information, call 314-458-2978 or go to www.stlas.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 21. 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.

The Beijing Opera is a fusion of stylized action, singing, dialogue and mime, acrobatic fighting and dancing to represent a story or depict different characters and their feelings and emotions. It comes to the TOUHILL PERFORMING ARTS CENTER Sept. 21. Tickets are $20. Call 314-516-4949 or go to www.touhill.org.

The St. Louis Jazz Orchestra will focus on the music of Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Stan Kenton, Maynard Ferguson and others, as well as the contemporary music of today when it performs Sept. 25 ay the TOUHILL PERFORMING ARTS CENTER. Tickets are $25. Call 314-516-4949 or visit www.touhill.org.

Jason Vieaux, who has performed as concerto soloist with over 50 orchestras, kicks off the ST. LOUIS CLASSICAL GUITAR SOCIETY season Sept. 28 at the Ethical Society of St. Louis, 9001 Clayton Road in Ladue. Tickets are $24-$28 and can be gotten by calling 314-567-5566 or visiting www.guitarstlouis.net.

Join the celebration as more than 60 of Disney’s unforgettable characters from 18 beloved stories come to life in Disney On Ice celebrates “100 Years of Magic!” Sept 26-29 at the CHAIFETZ CENTER, 1 S. Compton Avenue in St Louis. Tickets are $10-$50. 314-977-5000 or www.thechaifetz.com.

October

The new season of the NEW JEWISH THEATRE opens Oct. 3 with Neil Simon’s take on the short stories of Anton Chekhov in “The Good Doctor.” Simon adapted nearly a dozen of Chekhov’s short stories written in the late 1800s into a series of vignettes. The play runs through Oct. 20 in the Wool Studio Theatre at the Jewish Community Center, 2 Millstone Campus Drive. Tickets range from $36.50 to $40.50. Call 314-442-3283 or see www.newjewishtheatre.org.

Grammy Award-winning stand-up comedian LEWIS BLACK comes to the Peabody Opera House Oct. 4 for a one-man show. Tickets range from $36.50-$72. Call 314-231-2345 or go to www.peabodyoperahouse.com.

Four renowned choreographers from around the country collaborate with four St. Louis professional dance companies to create four moving world premieres when DANCE ST. LOUIS presents “New Dance Horizons II” Oct. 4-5 at the Touhill Performing Arts Center, One University Boulevard on the campus of University of Missouri-St. Louis. Tickets are $30. For more information, call 314-534-6622 or visit www.dancestlouis.org

“The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer,” a highly imaginative fusion of animation, mime, puppetry and projection is a multi-award winning show by master storyteller Tim Watts. It will be performed at the EDISON THEATRE as part of its “Young Ovation Series,” Oct. 4-5. Tickets are $12. Call 314-935-6543 or go to http://edison.wustl.edu/tickets/boxoffice. The theater is located on the campus of Washington University at Mallinckrodt Center, 6465 Forsyth Boulevard.

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. 5-6 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.missouribotanicalgardens.org.

Actor and funnyman Chris Tucker bring his standup shtick to the FOX THEATRE, 527 N. Grand Boulevard, Oct. 5 for a show that is likely to leave audience member in stitches. Tickets range from $30-$100 and are available by calling 314-534-1111.

Adored by her people as a champion for the poor, she became one of the most powerful women in the world — while her greed, outsized ambition and fragile health made her one of the most tragic. “Evita” comes to the FOX THEATRE Oct. 6-20, with tickets ranging from $25-$85. Call 314-534-1111 for show times and tickets or go to www.fabulousfox.com.

The cutting edge chamber ensemble “Alarm Will Sound” performs the newest music being composed today with energetic virtuosity and a sense of adventure at SHELDON CONCERT HALL, 3648 Washington Boulevard, on Oct. 9. Tickets are $15-$20. For more information, go to 314-533-9900 or www.TheSheldon.org.

Based on the ‘80s cult classic “Evil Dead” films, this musical adaptation of the same name presented by STRAY DOG THEATRE centers on five college kids who take a trip to a remote cabin in the woods and encounter everything from ancient evil spirits to revenge-seeking Candarian Demons. It runs Oct. 10-Nov. 2 at the Tower Grove Abbey, 2336 Tennessee Avenue. Tickets are $18-$20, with $35 for “signature seating.” Call 314-865-1995 or go to www.straydogtheatre.org

NEW LINE THEATRE opens its 23rd season Oct. 10 with the regional premiere of “Night of the Living Dead,” the taut musical thriller based on the classic 1968 George Romero film. The play runs through Nov. 2 at the Washington University South Campus Theatre. For tickets and show times call 314-534-1111 or go to www.newlinetheatre.com.

“Fly,” a lively, patriotic tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen of World War II, runs Oct. 16-Nov. 10 on the Mainstage at the REPERTORY THEATRE OF ST. LOUIS. Matinee and evening performances are scheduled at the Loretto-Hilton Center, 130 Edgar Road. Tickets range from $16.50-$76. For show times, see www.repstl.org or call 314-968-4925.

Antipholus and Dromio are bewildered. Everywhere they go, they seem to have already been there, and the more they try to unravel the lunatic events around them the more farcical their lives become in ST. LOUIS SHAKESPEARE’S “The Comedy of Errors,” at the Florissant Civic Center, 1 James J Eagan Drive, Oct. 18-20 and 24-26. Tickets are $25. For more information, call 314-361-5664 or go to www.stlshakespeare.org.

“Abyssinian: A Gospel Celebration” featuring the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis and Chorale Le Chateau will perform at the TOUHILL PERFORMING ARTS CENTER Oct. 18. Tickets range from $35-$50; VIP are $125 and include an after-party artist reception. Call 314-516-4949 or www.touhill.org.

Purveyor of family hip-hop at its finest, recording artist 23 Skidoo has captivated crowds internationally with his own funky brand of half-pint

party music. See “Secret Agent 23 Skidoo” at COCA, 524 Trinity Avenue in University City, Oct 19-20. Recommended for ages 3 to 10, tickets are $10-$14 and can be gotten by calling 314-725-6555 or visiting www.cocastl.org.

Holding on to the essence of Mongolian music while creating a form of new music, AnDa Union performs at the EDISON THEATRE Oct. 20 with indigenous instruments- -the morin huur (horse head fiddle), the maodun chaoer (a three-holed flute), Mongolian versions of the lute, and the mouth harp and traditional throat singing-combining different traditions and styles of music from all over Inner and Outer Mongolia. Tickets are $20-$36. Call 314-935-6543 or go to http://edison.wustl.edu/tickets/boxoffice.

This Oct. 20 afternoon of choral music entitled “Northern Light” presented by BACH SOCIETY features new works by up-and-coming young Norwegian born composer, Ola Gjeilo, whose thrilling music draws inspiration from movies and cinematic music. After the concert, audience members are invited to a wine and appetizer reception in the adjacent Polish Heritage Center. Tickets to the whole shebang go for $20-$27. 314-652-BACH or www.bachsociety.org

Conductor Peter Oundjian, music director of the Toronto Symphony, leads Rimsky-Korsakov’s mesmerizing “Scheherazade” detailing the fantastic and evocative tales from “One Thousand and One Arabian Nights.” Performed with the ST. LOUIS SYMPHONY Oct. 25 at Powell Hall. Call 314-534-1700 or go to www.stlsymphony.org for ticket information and show times.

Variety stages “Peter Pan” with a cast of professional actors, a live orchestra with 21 musicians, glorious sets and brilliant costumes at the TOUHILL PERFORMING ARTS CENTER Oct. 25-27. Tickets range from $15-$35. Call 314-516-4949 or www.touhill.org.

Just in time for Halloween, Henry James’ provocative psychological thriller “The Turn of the Screw” has a contemporary re-telling. A governess alone in the English countryside suspects the orphans in her care are connected to spirits she sees roaming the estate. Produced by COCA Oct. 25-26, call 314-561-4877 for tickets or visit www.cocastl.org.

“The Very Last Green Thing” is a children’s opera that journeys to a classroom in the year 2413 where a group of students is raised and taught by an android. On a rare field trip “outside,” a child unexpectedly discovers the very last green thing on earth. Soon, she must confront the truth and make important choices as the secrets of the past are uncovered. Presented by OPERA THEATRE ST. LOUIS at the Touhill Performing Arts Center Oct. 26. Tickets are $12 adult, $10 child. Go to www.touhill.org; or call 314-516-4949 for more information.

“The Barry White Experience,” October 27 at Powell Symphony Hall features the ST. LOUIS SYMPHONY performing White’s popular hits including “You’re the First, the Last, My Everything,” “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe.” Tickets are $25-$65. For tickets and information, go to call 314-534-1700 www.stlsymphony.org.

Touching on the life and times of one of the world’s most legendary musical artists, “Ring of Fire: The Life and Music of Johnny Cash,” is considered one of the best jukebox musicals of our time. Presented by the FLORISSANT FINE ARTS COUNCIL, 1 James Egan Drive in Florissant. Tickets are $27 adults; $25 seniors/students. 314-921-5678 or www.FlorissantMO.com

“The Wonder Years,” former “Seinfeld” writer Pat Hazell’s funny, nostalgic salute to the Baby Boomer generation, walks the line between

stand-up comedy and theater. Presented at the HETTENHAUSEN CENTER FOR THE ARTS on the campus of McKendree University, Alton Street at 701 College Road in Lebanon, Ill. Expand your reach and check out the show Oct. 30. $20 adult, $15 senior, $8 student/child. 618-537-6863 or www.theHett.coms

During its season of scary, SLIGHTY ASKEW THEATRE ENSEMBLE offers “The Woman in Black,” a play-within-a-play about a menacing specter, storytelling, and the nature of fear.  The production runs Oct. 30-Nov. 9 at The Chapel, 6238 Alexander Drive in Clayton. For ticket prices and show times, call 314-827-5760.

“Freud’s Last Session,” about a meeting between the legendary psychoanalyst and writer C.S. Lewis, kicks off THE REP’S studio season Oct 31. The play, which becomes a dissection of love, sex, science and faith between these two colossal thinks, runs through Nov. 17 at the Loretto-Hilton Center, 130 Edgar Road in Webster Groves. For show times and ticket information, call 314-968-4925 or go to www.repstl.org. Recommended for audiences 18 and older.

DRAMATIC LICENSE PRODUCTIONS presents “Tuesdays with Morrie” Oct. 31-Nov. 17 at the black box theatre in the upper level of the Chesterfield Mall (near Sears) All seats are $18. Go to www.dramaticlicenseproductions.org.

November

Who says “Beauty and the Beast” is just for kids? Certainly no adult who has seen this classic musical love story filled with unforgettable characters, lavish sets and costumes, and dazzling production numbers. But if you need an excuse, grabs the kids and head to the FOX THEATRE, 527 N. Grand Boulevard, Nov. 1-3. Tickets range from $30-$75. Call 314-534-1111 for show times or go to www.fabulousfox.com.

Make it a Disney doubleheader when the ST. LOUIS SYMPHONY marries classical music and animation from “Fantasia” and “Fantasia 2000” in a performance at Powell Hall that all ages are likely to enjoy. You can even dress as your favorite Disney character. Tickets range from $30-$65. Call 314-534-1700 or go to www.stlsymphony.org.

The 35th ANNUAL ST. LOUIS JEWISH BOOK FESTIVAL, which runs Nov. 3-17 at the Staenberg Family Complex at the JCC, features Harvey Fierstein as Keynote speaker and dozens of other top-notch national Jewish authors. Call 314-442-3299 or see www.stljewishbookfestival.org.

“The Butterfly Lovers” is a Chinese fairytale and ballet masterpiece choreographed and performed by the prestigious Shanghai Ballet. It is often considered the Chinese equivalent of “Romeo and Juliet.”  Tragic romance, fated lovers and eternal bliss intertwine to create this beautiful production presented by DANCE ST. LOUIS Nov. 8-9 at the Touhill Performing Arts Center. Tickets range from $35-$55. Call 314.516.4949 or www.touhill.org

“Pterodactyls,” is an absurdist black comedy about the demise of the Duncan family, and, by extension, the species. ST. LOUIS ACTOR’S STUDIO will bring this dysfunctional family to full life Nov. 8-24 at the Gaslight Theatre, 360 N. Boyle Avenue in the West End. Tickets are $30 for adults, $25 for students (with valid ID) and seniors (65+). For more information, call 314.458.2978 or go to www.stlas.org.

Celebrate the power of peace in “All is Calm,” an a cappella musical based on the true story of soldiers during World War I who, for one night, put down their arms and played soccer instead of exchanging bullets. Presented by MUSTARD THEATRE COMPANY Nov. 8-24 on the campus of Fontbonne University. For tickets and show times, see www.mustardseetheatre.com or call 314-719-8060.

The ST. LOUIS SYMPHONY recreates legendary songs by the King of Rock and Roll’s chart-topping hits, such as “Don’t Be Cruel,” “Jailhouse Rock,” “Suspicious Minds” and “All Shook Up” in this musical tribute to Elvis Presley on Nov. 10 at Powell Hall. Call 314-534-1700 or go to www.stlsymphony.org for more information.

Théâtre Tout à Trac revisits the story of  “Pinocchio,” the boy born out of a talking piece of wood at COCA Nov. 16-17. To become a “real” boy, he will have to face the terrible Puppet Theatre Director, suffer the malice of Mr. Fox and the Cat, escape from Toyland and save his father from the belly of the giant fish. Best for kids ages 5-12, call 314-561-4877 for more information or go to www.cocastl.org.

Stories of eight veterans from World War II, Korea and Vietnam render first-hand accounts of valor for which they received the nation’s highest military award, the Medal of Honor in “Beyond Glory” at EDISON THEATRE Nov. 16. This stirring examination of the lives of our military heroes was written, directed and is performed by award-winning playwright and actor Stephen Lang. For tickets and show times, call 314-935-6543 or go to http://edison.wustl.edu/tickets/boxoffice.

“Sister Act” tells the story of Deloris Van Cartier, a wannabe diva whose life takes a surprising turn when she witnesses a crime and the cops hide her in the last place anyone would think to look—a convent! Under the suspicious watch of Mother Superior, Deloris helps her fellow sisters find their voices as she unexpectedly rediscovers her own. This Broadway hit comes to the FOX THEATRE, 527 N. Grand Boulevard, Nov. 19-Dec. 1. Call 314-534-1111 for show times and ticket prices or go to www.fabulousfox.com.

Argentina’s gauchos are the equivalent of the North American cowboys. Since the 1600s, the malambo has been their solo and competitive dance expression, performed exclusively by men. Primal energy and diabolic rhythms surge from intricate foot stomping accompanied by drums and guitar. Choreographer Gilles Brina has created a theatrical showcase that shows the fire and fury of this ancient tradition in “Che Malambo,” which will be performed Nov. 22-23 at EDISON THEATRE.

December

“The Mousetrap,” that classic thriller from the Grande Dame of mysteries, Agatha Christie, come to THE REP Dec. 4-29. Matinee and evening performances are scheduled at the Loretto-Hilton Center, 130 Edgar Road. Tickets range from $16.50-$76. For show times, see www.repstl.org or call 314-968-4925.

NEW JEWISH THEATRE brings David Schechter’s one-woman play “Hannah Senesh” to the stage at Wool Studio Theatre at the JCC Dec. 5-22. The play tells of a young Hungarian woman who immigrates to Palestine in 1939 and winds up joining a British unit of paramilitary fighters to save Hungarian Jews. But the result of her action leads to tragic consequences. Tickets range from $36.50 to $40.50. Call 314-442-3283 or see www.newjewishtheatre.org.

Regardless of religion, no holiday season is complete without the Charles Dicken’s classic, “A Christmas Carol,” which comes to the FOX THEATRE Dec. 5-8. The fable illustrates the necessity for brotherhood and unselfishness rather than the need to always make a buck. Call 314-534-1111 for show times and ticket prices or go to www.fabulousfox.com.

When Jewish would-be adoptive parents realize the baby’s poor mother is from the backwoods Bible Belt, they hastily pose as Lutherans to appeal to the girl’s “Christian” sensibilities … with hysterical and touching results in “Kosher Lutherans.” Presented by HOT CITY THEATRE, the play runs from Dec. 6-21 at the Kranzberg Arts Center, 501 N. Grand Boulevard. Tickets are $25 and can be ordered at 314-289-4063 or www.hotcitytheatre.org.

The witty and provocative theatrical adaptation of the C.S. Lewis novel “The Screwtape Letters” returns to the TOUHILL PERFORMING ARTS CENTER Dec. 7. Tickets range from $29-$69. Call 314-516-4949 or www.touhill.org

 IMAGINARY THEATRE COMPANY presents the children’s classic “The Velveteen Rabbit,” which tells the story of a little boy and his stuffed bunny who wonders what it means to be “real.” The show will be performed Dec. 14 -23 in the Heagney Theatre at Nerinx Hall High School, 530 East Lockwood Avenue, Webster Groves. For tickets and show times, call 314-968-4925 or go to www.repstl.org

Who says the STL SYMPHONY doesn’t know how to turn it up a notch? If there’s any doubt, check out “Too Hot to Handel: A Gospel Messiah” Dec. 12-13 at Powell Hall. Adding a jazz and gospel twist to Handel’s “Messiah,” this high-energy, upbeat performance with Symphony and its IN UNISON® Chorus will have you dancing in the aisles. $30-$60. Call 314-534-1700 or go to www.stlsymphony.org.

In collaboration with CHESTERFIELD ARTS, the ALEXANDRA BALLET presents “The Nutcracker” at the Purser Center on the campus of Logan College in Chesterfield on Dec. 16. Perfect for all ages, this one-hour ballet was created especially for families. Tickets $15 for adults, $10 for children 12 & under. Call 636-519-1955 or go to www.alexandraballet.com

The FOX THEATRE bring to life the Broadway musical “Elf,” about a orphan child’s journey to New York City to find his birth father, discover his true identity, and help the Big Apple remember the true meaning of the holiday season. The show runs Dec. 17-29. Call 314-534-1111 for show times and ticket prices or go to www.fabulousfox.com.

Filled with enchanting scenery, magical lands and splendid dancing, SAINT LOUIS BALLET brings the time-tested holiday classic, “The Nutcracker,” to the stage of the Touhill for performances Dec. 20-22 & 26-29. For tickets and show times, call 314.516.4949 or www.touhill.org. 

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