2016 Fall arts guide

Kathryn Boswell and Michael Williams rehearse for the The Rep’s production of ‘Follies.’

BY PATRICIA CORRIGAN, SPECIAL TO THE LIGHT

If arts organizations celebrated significant anniversaries with fireworks displays, the skies over St. Louis would be ablaze. 

This fall marks 50 years for the St. Louis Repertory Company and Dance St. Louis, 40 years for the Black Rep, 30 years for STAGES St. Louis and the performance series at COCA, 20 years for New Jewish Theatre and a decade for Mustard Seed Theatre and the St. Louis Actors’ Studio. 

Regardless of their history, all the arts organizations in town are worthy of celebrating, and that’s what this annual Fall Arts Guide is all about. Here you’ll find an abundance of performances, festivals and special events scheduled between now and the end of the year. As a bonus, we’ve provided a sneak peek at special events scheduled early in 2017. 

So read on, buy tickets now and get ready to immerse yourself in the arts. 

 

ADVERTISEMENT
The Muny - Camelot ad


September 

 

Stephen Sondheim’s musical “Follies” opens the 50th anniversary season at the REPERTORY THEATRE OF ST. LOUIS, where it will be performed Sept. 7 through Oct. 2 on the Main Stage. In this poignant show, when the aging stars of the Weismann Follies reunite, they must grapple with the past and the present. Evening and matinee performances at the Loretto-Hilton Center, 130 Edgar Road in Webster Groves. For ticket prices, call 314-968-4925 or go to repstl.org.

 

THE BLACK REP opens its 40th anniversary season Sept. 7 with “Miss Julie, Clarissa & John” by Mark Clayton Southers. Inspired by August Strindberg’s 1888 drama “Miss Julie,” Southers changes the setting from Sweden to Reconstruction-era Virginia plantation. The play looks at issues of racial and class divisions through the story of the forbidden attraction between the plantation owner’s daughter and his top servant. The play runs through Sept. 25 at Edison Theatre on the Washington University campus. For ticket prices and performance times, call 314-534-3810 or see theblackrep.org.

 

MATURITY AND ITS MUSE kicks off its “Silver Stages Series,” at the MISSOURI HISTORY MUSEUM Sept. 7 with the Saint Louis Sirens, a vocal trio who sing popular tunes from the 1940s to the present.  Each month (Oct. 5, Nov. 2 and Dec. 7) another performance by and for mature St. Louisans will be featured. Admission is free but for more info, call 314-420-1444.

 

When nuns in a convent take in a lounge singer on the run from the mob, an unexpected “Sister Act” ensues in this rollicking musical from STAGES ST. LOUIS, now celebrating its 30th anniversary season. The show, with music from master Alan Menken, runs Sept. 9 through Oct. 9 at the Robert G. Reim Theatre, 111 S. Geyer Road in Kirkwood. For ticket prices, see stagesstlouis.org or call 314-821-2407.

 

The Arianna String Quartet will perform “Perfect Storm” at 8 p.m. Sept. 9, with works by Mendelssohn, Philip Glass and Beethoven. Violist Richard Young is featured at the concert at the TOUHILL CENTER FOR PERFORMING ARTS on the campus of the University of Missouri at St. Louis. Tickets cost $15-$29. Call 314-516-4949 or see touhill.org.

 

The SAINT LOUIS ART FAIR takes overthe streetsofdowntown Clayton Sept. 9-11 for the annual free exhibition of juried fine art and crafts. In addition to the art, look for live performances, hands-on activities for children and booths where some of St. Louis’ top restaurants sell their specialties. Also, more than 20 local not-for-profit arts organizations take part. For details, see saintlouisartfair.com.

 

DAN ACKROYD and JIM BELUSHI bring “The Blues Brothers” to the Lindenwood Theatre at  J. SCHEIDEGGER CENTER FOR THE ARTS on the Lindenwood University campus. The show starts at 8 p.m. Sept 10, with singing and dancing and all the greatest Blues Brothers hits, backed by the internationally renowned Sacred Hearts. Tickets range from $69.50 to $109.50. Call 636-949-4433 or see luboxoffice.com.

 

In celebration of the tenth anniversary season for ST. LOUIS ACTORS’ STUDIO, a gala event is scheduled from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Sept. 11 at The Gaslight Theater/West End Grill and Pub at 360 N. Boyle Ave. Sam McMurray – star of television and film – is the guest of honor. His talk will be followed by a retrospective of the company’s first decade and a reception. Tickets are $125.  Call 314-458-2978 or see stlas.org.

 

You’ll laugh, you’ll laugh some more and then yet again at “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder,” which won the 2014 Tony Award for Best Musical. This raucous show about an optimistic fellow looking to eliminate eight relatives and claim an inheritance runs Sept. 13-25 at the FOX THEATRE. Tickets cost $20-$80. Call 314-534-1111 or see fabulousfox.com.

 

The Fifth Annual BLACK FILM FESTIVAL, Sept. 14-18, helps independent filmmakers screen films “featuring a black, African American, African or African Diaspora, as a subject matter or that feature a black, African or African American as a central or starring character.” For showings, ticket prices and locations, see filmfreeway.com/festival/stlouisblackfilmfestival.

 

After the ST. LOUIS SYMPHONY says goodbye to summer at a free concert at 7 p.m. Sept. 14 in Forest Park, say hello to the renowned orchestra’s 137th season, which opens at 8 p.m. Sept. 16 with “The Spirit of St. Louis,” a celebration of the 90th anniversary of Charles Lindbergh’s historic flight across the Atlantic. David Robertson will conduct at Powell Symphony Hall, 718 N. Grand Blvd. The program will be repeated Sept. 17. For ticket prices and information on the full season, go to stlsymphony.org or call 314-534-1700. 

 

Chicago’s laugh factory comes to the SHELDON stage for a two-night stand, Sept. 15-16, bringing with it some of the freshest and funniest improvisational comedy this side of the Mississippi. Tickets to SECOND CITY run $18-$36, and no one under 18, please. For more info, go to thesheldon.org or metrotix.com.

 

The 44th annual BALLOON GLOW startsat 7 p.m. Sept. 16 at the Central Field in Forest Park, ending with fireworksat 9:15 p.m. The GREAT FOREST PARK BALLOON RACE takes place at 3:30 p.m. Sept. 17, with festive events starting at noon. Both events are free. If it rains Saturday, the race will be held on Sunday. For details, see greatforestparkballoonrace.com.

 

The CONTEMPORARY ART MUSEUM presents the first U.S. solo exhibition of multidisciplinary artist Kelley Walker Sept. 16 -Dec. 31. CAM is turning over all of its space to “Kelley Walker: Direct Drive,” including galleries, Project Wall, courtyard, mezzanine and the facade of the building, interspersing existing and new works to allow viewers to experience the connections among them. For more information, see camstl.org.

 

Lightning McQueen and his buddies from Pixar’s “Cars,” Andy’s play things from “Toy Story” and even some of the stars from “Frozen” perform in “Disney on Ice: Worlds of Enchantment” Sept. 23-25 with matinee and evening performances at CHAIFETZ CENTER, 1 S. Compton Ave. Tickets range from $15-$67. Ask about discounts for some shows. Call 314-977-5000 or see thechaifetzarena.com.

 

It’s been years since she entertained audiences on her namesake TV show, but ROSEANNE BARR is hoping to prove she still has what it takes when she brings her one-woman comedy show to the RIVER CITY CASINO Sept. 25. Tickets are $45-$65 and available at Ticketmaster outlets, ticketmaster.com, 800-745-3000 and the gift shop at the casino.

 

Fans of “The Fantasticks,” will want to see Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt’s “Celebration,” which opens the 26th season for NEW LINE THEATRE. The company promises “the world premiere of a newly revised version of the wild, 1969 adult jazz-rock musical.” The show opens Sept. 29 and runs through Oct. 22 at the Marcelle Theater, 3310 Samuel Shepard Drive in Grand Center. Tickets cost $10-$25. For show times, see newlinetheatre.com. 

 

The Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company take the stage Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 with the acclaimed “Analogy/Dora: Tramontane,” based on an oral history Jones conducted with 95-year old Dora Amelan, a French Jewish nurse, social worker and survivor of World War II. DANCE ST. LOUIS presents the performances at the TOUHILL CENTER FOR PERFORMING ARTS on the campus of the University of Missouri at St. Louis. Tickets cost $30-$50. Call 314-516-4949 or see touhill.org.

 

October

 

See works by 135 artists Oct. 1-2 at the SHAW ART FAIR in the 4100 and 4200 blocks of Flora Avenue. Expect live music and food booths as well. Admission is $7 for adults and free for children 14 and under. Bring a non-perishable food item for Isaiah 58 Ministries and receive $1 off. That same weekend (and Friday night too), celebrate the BEST OF MISSOURI MARKET at the Missouri Botanical Garden. For more information, see shawartfair.org and missouribotanicalgarden.org.

WANDA SYKES has been called “one of the funniest stand-up comics” by her peers and ranks among “Entertainment Weekly’s” 25 Funniest People in America. See what you think when she takes the stage at the PEABODY OPERA HOUSE Oct. 1. Tickets range from $36.75 to $72 and may be purchased at the Scottrade Center Box Office, all Ticketmaster Ticket Centers, by phone at 800-745-3000, or online at ticketmaster.com.

 

NEW JEWISH THEATRE opens its 20th season with William Gibson’s “Golda’s Balcony,” about the life of Golda Meir, who first was a Russian immigrant, then an American schoolteacher and later, the fourth Prime Minister of Israel. The show runs Oct. 6-30. Tickets range from $39.50 to $43.50 for evening and matinee performances at the Wool Studio Theatre at the Jewish Community Center, 2 Millstone Campus Drive. Call 314-442-3283 or see newjewishtheatre.org.

 

Fans of the Scottish play, rejoice — now in its 32nd season, ST. LOUIS SHAKESPEARE presents “Macbeth” Oct. 7-16 at the Ivory Theater, 7620 Michigan Ave. For tickets or information on evening and matinee performances, see stlshakespeare.org or call 314-361-5664. 

First Fridays in GRAND CENTER – a free neighborhood gallery walk – takes place Oct. 7, Nov. 4 and Dec. 2, with 11 visual arts galleries taking part from 5 to 9 p.m. For details, see firstfridaysgrandcenter.org.

 

Join the ST. LOUIS SYMPHONY in a ”Tribute to Prince,” at 7 p.m. Oct. 9 at Powell Hall. Brent Havens will conduct this celebration of “the life and majesty of one of music’s most brilliant stars.” You’ll hear “Purple Rain,” “When Doves Cry,” “U Got the Look,” “Raspberry Beret” and more. Tickets range from $35 to $98. See stlsymphony.org or call 314-534-1700. 

 

Make a nice Jewish mother like Evelyn Cohen happy by seeing her son, Bravo’s ANDY COHEN and Clayton High grad, when he teams up with his buddy, CNN’s ANDERSON COOPER, for a night of “deep talk and shallow tales” at the FOX THEATRE Oct. 15. Tickets range from $58-$78, VIP seats in the orchestra pit go for $353. Contact Metrotix at 314-534-1111 or metrotix.com or the Fox box office.

 

 “In Her Shoes” author JENNIFER WEINER has penned nearly a dozen novels, but on Oct. 19 she comes to town to promote her first non-fiction book, “Hungry Heart,” at the  Jewish Community Center’s Staenberg Family Complex as a preview to November’s St. Louis Jewish Book Festival. Weiner’s new book is a collection of essays about her life, motherhood and writing. For more information, go to stljewishbookfestival.org or call 314-442-3299.

 

With just a few weeks until the November presidential election, the CAPITOL STEPS are likely to be in top form as this comedy troupe of former Capitol Hill staffers dig into the headlines and create song parodies and skits that convey their special brand of satirical humor. They will perform Oct. 23 at the SHELDON; tickets range from $45-$60, though the more expensive ones will get you into a cast party after the performance. See thesheldon.org or Metrotix.com.

 

The REP’S STUDIO THEATRE opens its season with Terrence McNally’s “Mothers and Sons,” about a mother who seeks out the partner of her dead son 20 years later in an effort to reconcile their relationship. The show runs from Oct. 26 to Nov. 13 and tickets, which go on sale Oct. 1, are $43.50 and available at repstl.org or the Rep’s box office at 130 Edgar Road in Webster Groves.

 

WINTER OPERA ST. LOUIS presents Franz Lehar’s “The Merry Widow” — the story of a wealthy widow and an attempt on the part of the government to find her a husband — at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 28 and 3 p.m. Oct. 30 at the Skip Viragh Center for the Arts at Chaminade College Preparatory School, 425 S. Lindbergh Blvd. For ticket prices and more information, call 314-865-0038 or see winteroperastl.org.

 

Tell the kids and grandkids to put down the electronic devices and take them to see “Toys of the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s” at the MISSOURI HISTORICAL SOCIETY in Forest Park. Or, take your own trip down memory lane as you reconnect with Gumby, Slinky, Mr. Potato Head and Hot Wheels. The exhibit opens Oct. 29 and runs through Jan. 22. For admission fees and details about related programs, see mohistory.org or call 314-746-4599.

  


 

 

November 

 

Ehud Barak, longtime statesman and Prime Minister of Israel from 1999 to 2001, will take the stage at 8 p.m. Nov. 1 at the ST. LOUIS SPEAKERS’ SERIES, presented by Maryville University at Powell Symphony Hall, 718 N. Grand Blvd. For ticket prices and more information on the series, go to stlouisspeakersseries.org.

 

The 25th annual ST. LOUIS INTERNATIONAL FILM FEST runs Nov. 3-13,with hundreds of features, documentaries and short films shown on a variety of local screens. For details on showings and ticket prices, see cinemastlouis.org.

 

Gather up the youngsters for “Akeelah and the Bee,” a tale about a young girl in Chicago who takes part in the National Spelling Bee. Performed by theater students at COCA, the show is on stage at 7 p.m. on Nov. 4 and at 5 p.m. Nov. 5 at 524 Trinity Ave. in University City.  For ticket information, call 314-725-6555 or see cocastl.org.

 

Celebrate the 40th anniversary of THE BLACK REP at “Dreamgirls: The Concert” with special guest Obba Babatunde, who played C.C. in the original Broadway cast of this popular show-biz musical. It’s one night only, at 8 p.m. Nov. 5 at the 560 Music Center’s E. Desmond Lee Concert Hall, 560 Trinity Ave. in University City. Tickets cost $100-$250. See theblackrep.org or call 314-534-3807.

 

Keynote conversations with authors Scott Turow and Rabbi Harold Kushner plus sessions with more than 30 other authors are on the agenda at this year’s ST. LOUIS JEWISH BOOK FESTIVAL,scheduled for Nov. 6-20 at the Staenberg Family Complex at the J. Go to stljewishbookfestival.org or call 314-442-3299 for more information.

 

Back by popular demand from MUSTARD SEED THEATRE, this is the final year to see “All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914,” an a cappella musical about a moment of peace in the middle of war. Popular performers will be featured in the show, which opens Nov. 11 and runs through Dec. 4 at the Fine Arts Theatre on the campus of Fontbonne University. Tickets cost $30 to $35. For show times, see mustardseedtheatre.com or call 314-719-8060.

 

Fox Theatricals’ Tony Award-winning production of “Fun Home” is coming to the FOX THEATRE Nov. 15-27. Described as “groundbreaking,” “life-affirming” and “exquisite,” the new musical tells the story of cartoonist Alison Bechdel as she learns to see her parents from a grown-up’s perspective. For information on season tickets to the Broadway Series or the cost of individual tickets, call 314-534-1111 or see fabulousfox.com.

 

Garden Glow at the MISSOURI BOTANICAL GARDEN begins Nov. 19 and runs through Jan. 1. Each evening from 5 to 9:30 p.m., visitors may stroll through the world-renowned garden and enjoy unique light installations at the Climatron, the Kaeser Memorial Maze, the Central Axis and Tower Grove House. The garden is at  4344 Shaw Boulevard. For details, call 314-577-5100 or see missouribotanicalgarden.org.

 

Aficionados of Flamenco guitar will want to catch Grisha Goryachev’s performance at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 19 at The Sheldon, 3648 Washington Blvd. A native of St. Petersburg, Russia, Goryachev has revived the tradition of solo flamenco guitar in concert settings that were practiced by legendary flamenco masters such as Ramón Montoya and Sabicas. The concert is presented by the ST. LOUIS CLASSICAL GUITAR SOCIETY. For ticket information, call 314-567-5566 or see guitarstlouis.net.

 

Cards fan and St. Louis native, actor JON HAMM, interviews national sportscaster, JOE BUCK, about his new memoir, “Lucky Bastard: My Life, My Dad, and the Things I’m Not Allowed to Say on TV,” Nov. 21 at the  SKIP VIRAGH CENTER FOR THE ARTS at Chaminade College Preparatory Schol. A $31 ticket (available at brownpapertickets.com) gets you admission, which includes a copy of the book. For $36, two people will be admitted and one copy of the book will be included. 

 

Sugar Plum Fairy alert! Once again, the Moscow Ballet brings “The Great Russian Nutcracker” to St. Louis, complete with Tchaikovsky’s beautiful music, playful puppets and handcrafted sets and costumes. See it at 7 p.m. Nov. 30 at the FOX THEATRE. Tickets cost $31-$125, with family packages available. Call 314-534-1111 or see fabulousfox.com.

 

December

 

It’s 1948 in Atlanta, and Daisy Werthan – a 72-year-old wealthy Jewish widow with a bad driving record – is forced by her son to rely on a chauffeur. That’s where “Driving Miss Daisy” by Alfred Uhry begins, and it ends as a tribute to the power of friendship. The show runs Dec. 1–18 at NEW JEWISH THEATRE. Tickets range from $39.50 to $41.50 for evening and matinee performances at the Wool Studio Theatre at the Jewish Community Center, 2 Millstone Campus Drive. Call 314-442-3283 or see newjewishtheatre.org.

  


 

 

Sneak peek at 2017

Here, arranged by date, are 14 special arts events scheduled for the early months of 2017. Don’t wait to buy tickets!

January

 

Now on its first national tour, the Tony Award-winning production of “An American in Paris” features romantic choreography and unforgettable songs from George and Ira Gershwin. See it Jan. 17-29 at the FOX THEATRE. For information on season tickets to the Broadway Series or the cost of individual tickets, call 314-534-1111 or see fabulousfox.com.

 

“Constellations” by Nick Payne comes into view Jan. 18 through Feb. 5 in the Studio Theatre at the REPERTORY THEATRE OF ST. LOUIS. The New Yorker hailed the genre-busting new play as “a singular astonishment” where “love and theoretical physics collide.” Evening and matinee performances at the Loretto-Hilton Center, 130 Edgar Road in Webster Groves. For ticket prices, call 314-968-4925 or go to repstl.org.

 

To kick off its 20th season, THE MIDNIGHT COMPANY will present Donal O’Kelly’s “little thing BIG THING” Jan. 27 through Feb. 11 at Avatar Studios, 2675 Scott Ave. in downtown St. Louis. The play is advertised as a “slam-bang Irish thriller with a heart.” For details, see midnightcompany.com.

 

 “Sesame Street Live: Elmo Makes Music” brings Elmo, Abby Cadabby and Big Bird to life Jan. 20-22, with four performances certain to delight the wee ones. See it at PEABODY OPERA HOUSE, 1400 Market Street. Tickets cost $17-$40, and every child over the age of one must have a ticket. Ask about “meet and greet” opportunities at the shows. Call 800-745-3000 or buy online at ticketmaster.com. 

 

Laugh along with funnyman John Cleese, a co-founder of Monty Python and co-writer and star of “Fawlty Towers,” when he takes at the stage at 8 p.m. Jan. 24 at the ST. LOUIS SPEAKERS’ SERIES, presented by Maryville University at Powell Symphony Hall, 718 N. Grand Blvd. For ticket prices and more information on the series, go to stlouisspeakersseries.org.

 

In Lynn Nottage’s play “Intimate Apparel,” a black seamstress working in New York  in 1905 falls in love with a Hasidic shopkeeper — a match they both know can’t be made. NEW JEWISH THEATRE presents the play Jan. 26 through Feb, 11, with  evening and matinee performances at the Wool Studio Theatre at the Jewish Community Center, 2 Millstone Campus Drive. Tickets range from $39.50 to $41.50. Call 314-442-3283 or see newjewishtheatre.org.

 

Just after Elmo leaves town, PEABODY OPERA HOUSE welcomes adults to “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” the gender-bending “landmark American musical” by John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask. See it Jan 27-29. For ticket information on the Broadway Series package or individual tickets, see peabodyoperahouse.com

 

February

 

Spend “An Evening with Judy Collins” at 8 p.m. Feb. 10 at the SHELDON at 3648 Washington in Grand Center. Collins’career spans over five decades, during which time she has recorded over 50 albums and numerous Top Ten hits, earned five Grammy nominations and achieved gold and platinum record status. Tickets cost $40-$45. Call 314-533-9900 or see thesheldon.org.

 

A mid-winter treat for the kids: “Elephant and Piggie: We Are in a Play,” a 60-minute-long show based on Mo Williams’ award-winning children’s books. Kennedy Center on Tour presents the show Feb. 25-26 in the Founders’ Theatre at COCA, 524 Trinity in University City.  Tickets cost $16-$20. Call 314-725-6555 or see cocastl.org.

 

March

 

Anthony Quinn lives on in our memories as Zorba the Greek in the film of the same name, and now you can see John Kander and Fred Ebb’s take on the exuberant story,  enhanced with material the two found from the real-life Zorba. See the musical March 2-25 at NEW LINE THEATRE, with performances at the Marcelle Theater, 3310 Samuel Shepard Drive in Grand Center. Tickets cost $15-$25. For show times, see newlinetheatre.com. 

 

Celebrate women choreographers March 3-4 at the PNC Arts Alive’s “New Dance Horizons V: Women Who Inspire” which “explores women of all periods, from all backgrounds, and in all fields who consciously and positively influenced the world.”  DANCE ST. LOUIS presents three local dance companies in the concert at the TOUHILL CENTER FOR PERFORMING ARTS on the campus of the University of Missouri at St. Louis. All tickets cost $20. Call 314-516-4949 or see touhill.org.

 

“#1 in Civil Rights: The African American Freedom Struggle in St. Louis” examines the local civil rights movement and the city’s leading role in advancing the cause of racial justice. The exhibit opens March 11 and runs through May 20 at the MISSOURI HISTORICAL SOCIETY in Forest Park. For admission fees and details about related programs, see mohistory.org or call 314-746-4599.

 

Great balls of fire — Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins jam at a recording studio in “Million Dollar Quartet,” a rowdy show that provides as much rock ‘n’ roll fun for the audience as the performers. See it March 15 through April 9 on the Main Stage at the REPERTORY THEATRE OF ST. LOUIS.  Evening and matinee performances at the Loretto-Hilton Center, 130 Edgar Road in Webster Groves. For ticket prices, call 314-968-4925 or go to repstl.org.

 

“The Illusionists,” said to be the world’s best-selling magic show, is coming from Broadway to St. Louis, featuring seven illusionists that will make audience members of all ages wonder what they saw – or thought they saw. See the show March 31-April 2 at the FOX THEATRE. For information on season tickets to the Broadway Series or the cost of individual tickets, call 314-534-1111 or see fabulousfox.com.