2019 Winter Arts Guide: 18 ways to beat back winter

The Black Rep presents ‘Canfield Drive’ through Jan. 27 at the Edison Theatre on the Washington University campus. Photo: Peter Spack

BY ELLEN FUTTERMAN, EDITOR

When it’s cold outside, our tendency is to hibernate — get into our PJs, cozy up with a glass of wine or hot toddy and binge-watch whatever (might I recommend “Killing Eve” on Hulu).

And while that’s fine for a night or two, staying in means missing out on so many first-class performances, concerts and entertainment events going on in our St. Louis backyard.

What follows are 18 of these opportunities, from now until mid-May, that you do not want to miss even if it means venturing out on a chilly night.


JANUARY

ADVERTISEMENT
New Mt. Sinai Cemetery advertisement

In the world premiere of “Canfield Drive,” staged by the Black Rep, two news reporters with very different perspectives are thrown together during a ratings frenzy in Ferguson after the shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown. As the journalists try to figure out the real cause of Brown’s death, they struggle to keep their own secrets out of the spotlight. 

Kristen Adele Calhoun and Michael Thomas Walker wrote the play, which they drew from interviews with people from Ferguson and the world over. It runs through Jan. 27 at the Edison Theatre of the campus of Washington University. 

Tickets range from $15-$45 and can be ordered at theblackrep.org.

***

Max and Louie Productions is presenting “Love Linda,” a  one-woman musical tour de force about the life of Mrs. Cole Porter, Jan. 17-27 at the Marcelle Theater in Grand Center. The story focuses on Southern beauty Linda Lee Thomas (played by Debby Lennon), the driving force behind legendary songwriter Cole Porter, during the Roaring ’20s. 

Though Porter was gay, their companionship and love lasted through 35 years of marriage and a spectacular, glamour-filled life. 

Tickets range from $25-$45 and are available at Metrotix, 314-534-1111 or metrotix.com. For more information, go to maxandlouie.com.

*** 

Guitar: The Instrument that Rocked the World” runs Jan. 19 to April 14 at the St. Louis Science Center. The 7,000-square-foot, fully immersive exhibition from the National Guitar Museum explores the instrument’s evolution and history, the science of creating sound with wood and steel, and the impact the guitar has had on cultures over its 5,000-year history. The exhibition includes nearly 100 artifacts. 

Tickets range from $5 for members and $7.95 to $10.95; children 4 and under are free. For more information, go to slsc.org or call 314-289-4400.

***

With songs including “Tradition,” “Matchmaker, Matchmaker” and  “Sunrise, Sunset,” “Fiddler on the Roof” remains one of the most beloved musicals in Broadway history, especially among Jewish audiences. The version that pulls into the Fox Theatre from Jan. 29 through Feb. 10 was “refreshed” by Tony-winning director Bartlett Sher and the team behind “South Pacific,” “The King and I” and 2017 Tony-winning best play “Oslo” (being staged at the Rep next month — see below). 

Tickets start at $29 and go up from there. They can be purchased at the Fox box office, by calling Metrotix at 314-534-1111 or online at fabulousfox.com.


FEBRUARY

Jewish audiences in particular are likely to be interested in “Oslo,” which tells the true story of the efforts of a Norwegian couple who organized breakthrough negotiations between Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat in 1993. 

The 2017 Tony Award winner for Best Play will be staged at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis from Feb. 6 through March 3 and is directed by its outgoing artistic director, Steve Woolf. For tickets and more information, go to repstl.org.

*** 

Stray Dog Theatre tackles Arthur Miller’s Tony Award-winning play “The Crucible,” which tells a dramatized and partly fictionalized version of the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. Miller wrote the play in 1953 as an allegory for McCarthyism, the investigation and persecution during the late 1940s and ’50s of alleged communists in the government, the arts and elsewhere led by U.S. Sen. Joseph McCarthy. The play runs from Feb. 7-23 at the Tower Grove Abbey, 2336 Tennessee Ave. Tickets range from $10 to $45 and are available at straydogtheatre.org.

***

Two-time Tony winner Sutton Foster brings her one-woman musical extravaganza to Powell Hall to perform Feb. 23 with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. The star of 11 Broadway musicals including “Thoroughly Modern Millie” and “Anything Goes,” Foster also has the leading role in the TV Land series “Younger.” She exudes personality and star charisma on stage, and her voice is something everyone should experience. Tickets range from $40-$85, with limited VIP packages available that include a meet-and-greet. For tickets and more information, call 314-534-1700 or go to slso.org.


MARCH

Comedian Pauly Shore brings his stand-up act to the Funny Bone Comedy Club, performing two shows a night, March 8 and 9. Shore rose to superstardom in 1990 with his MTV show “Totally Pauly,” which led him to numerous television and film roles, including a one-hour HBO television special, “Pauly Does Dallas,” and the films “Encino Man,” “Son In Law,” “Jury Duty” and “Bio-Dome.” Shore recently debuted the video portion of his “Pauly Shore Podcast Show” on Crackle. 

Tickets at $25, are available by calling 314-469-6692 or online at stlouisfunnybone.com.

***

To see Aaron Neville perform at the acoustically perfect Sheldon Concert Hall – does it get any better? The New Orleans native with a voice of buttery velvet and member of the ridiculously talented Neville Brothers family, is likely to perform many of his R&B, gospel and pop hits, including the iconic “Tell It Like It Is.” 

Individual tickets, which go on sale Jan. 18, are $45-$50, with patron tickets, on sale now, at $150, offering preferred seating, a pre-concert reception, complimentary parking and a tax deduction. For information, call 314-533-9900 or go to thesheldon.org

***

Beautiful” tells the story of a nice Jewish girl from Brooklyn who became known to the world as Carole King. The musical, which plays at the Fox Theatre from March 12-17, chronicles her rise to stardom, from being half of a hit songwriting team with husband Gerry Goffin to her relationship with fellow writers and best friends Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, to becoming one of the most successful solo acts in popular music. 

With songs such as “I Feel the Earth Move,” “You’ve Got A Friend” and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” King wrote the soundtrack to a generation. For tickets and more information, go to fabulousfox.com.

***

Grammy-award winning artist Patti LaBelle brings her vocal energy to the J. Scheidegger Center for the Arts on the campus of Lindenwood University at 8 p.m. March 22,  where she is expected to belt out disco, R&B and pop classics such as “Lady Marmalade,”  “New Attitude,” “Stir It Up” and more. 

Tickets range from $69.50 to $109.50 and are available by calling 636-949-4433 or going to http://bit.ly/Lindenwood-Arts

***

Bruised vocal chords forced Justin Timberlake to postpone an earlier visit to St. Louis. Hopefully rested and feeling better, Timberlake brings his rescheduled Man of the Woods Tour to the Enterprise Center on March 28. Tickets for the originally scheduled show will be honored at this new date; if you didn’t pull the trigger then, you might consider springing for them now, provided you’re willing to plunk down $90 to $225. For tickets go to ticketmaster.com.

*** 

Set in Brooklyn, “Time Stands Still” revolves around photojournalist Sarah, who has returned from covering the Iraq war after being injured by a roadside bomb, and her reporter boyfriend James, who is swamped by guilt after leaving Sarah alone in Iraq. The play, by Donald Marguiles, is being staged by the New Jewish Theatre from March 28 through April 14. For tickets and more information, go to newjewishtheatre.org.  


APRIL 

If it’s April, it must be time for the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra to perform the unforgettable score to a Harry Potter film. This year, it’s “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” composed by Nicholas Hooper. So get ready to join Dumbledore’s Army when Professor Umbridge takes over Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, at least musically, April 12-14. For tickets, at $45-$70, and more information, go to slso.org.

***

Pilobolus is one of the more innovative and entertaining dance companies around. In “Shadowland 2: The New Adventure,” the company uses an exploration of mixed media to tell a love story about two people and their quixotic quest to save an imaginary bird. Employing animation, video and shadow-theater, this madcap adventure connects the genres of science fiction, film noir and romantic comedy. 

Presented by Dance St. Louis, the show takes place at 7:30 April 20 at the Touhill Performing Arts Center on the campus of University of Missouri-St. Louis. Tickets range from $40-$69 are available at touhill.org


MAY 

“Don’t Monkey With Broadway” stars two-time Tony Award winner Patti LuPone as she explores how her lifelong love affair with Broadway began and her concern for what the Great White Way is becoming today. Along the way, she delivers indelible interpretations of classic Broadway show tunes by the likes of Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart,  Jule Styne, Stephen Schwartz, Charles Strouse, Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, Cole Porter and Irving Berlin. 

The show is scheduled for 8 p.m. May 11 at the J. Scheidegger Center for the Arts on the campus of Lindenwood University. Tickets range from $59.50 to $99.50. Visit http://bit.ly/Lindenwood-Arts.

***

Her name may not be a household word yet, but it’s only a matter of time before Shoshanna Bean, a Jewish native of Portland, Ore., is on your radar. A veteran of the Broadway stage, she made her debut in the original cast of “Hairspray” and starred as the very first replacement for Idina Menzel as Elphaba in “Wicked.” 

She will appear at Jazz at the Bistro at 7:30 p.m. May 15-16, with tickets at $35. For more information, call 314-571-6000 or go to jazzstl.org.

***

If you’ve never witnessed a live performance by singer-songwriter John Prine, you have no idea what you’re missing. Between the stories he tells about his songs and the stories his songs actually tell, the experience of Prine in concert is truly magical. 

Touring behind his acclaimed new album “The Tree of Forgiveness,” Prine will play the Stifel Theatre at 8 p.m. May 17. Tickets range from $59.50 to $99.50 and are available by calling 800-745-3000 or at ticketmaster.com.