Jewish community day at the ballpark; Show Stoppers

A choir of children sing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” along with Rick Recht on the field at Busch Stadium during last year’s Jewish Community Day at the ballpark. This year’s event takes place Aug. 17. File photo: Lisa Mandel 

By Lois Caplan

“FAIRY TALES CAN COME TRUE,” my friend Barbara Langsam Shuman says, is an enchanting musical experience that will benefit the Tuition Assistance Program at University City Children’s Center (UCCC), where half of the children and their families qualify for financial assistance. “Fairy Tales Can Come True” is set for Friday, Aug. 22, at the ballroom of the Sheldon Concert Hall and Art Galleries, 3648 Washington Boulevard. Featured performers will be Melissa Brooks, associate principal cello of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra; the Arianna String Quartet; and pianist Ruth Price. Brooks, Price and John McGrosso of the Arianna String Quartet are parents of UCCC alumni and are staging the concert as a way to thank the early childhood center for the excellent beginning it gave their kids.

The concert will include classic compositions with themes of childhood and a new composition inspired by the children’s book “Extra Yarn” by Mac Barnett. The evening will begin at 6:30 with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, followed at 7:30 by the concert and a dessert reception at 9. Tickets cost $150 per person and are available by contacting Kris Schwetye at 314-726-0148 or online at [email protected]  Not only will this be a fairy-tale evening for the guests, but it will also help make children’s dreams come true.

ST. LOUIS SHOW STOPPERS 2014 Musical Revue will be presented this year in memory Babe Rosenberg. Seems strange for me to say this, as for years I have written about Show Stoppers and its “indefatigable director Babe Rosenberg,” but I get the feeling that this year’s performers will knock themselves out to produce a top-flight show in memory of Babe, their director for 18 years, who passed away in June.

They can hardly miss, as their show features music from “Gypsy,” “Meet Me in St. Louis,” “The Pajama Game” and “Show Boat.”

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The show will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 13 and 20, and at 2 p.m. Sept. 14 and 21. Tickets are $17, or $13 each for groups of 10 or more. For more information, contact Mike Sander at 314-432-5581 or email [email protected]  You can also send Sander a check at 12130 Mirror Lake, St. Louis, Mo. 63146. Net profits go to the Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital.

A COUPLE OF IMPORTANT BUSCH STADIUM events are coming up. The first is Jewish Community Day at the ballpark, when the Cardinals will host the San Diego Padres at 1:15 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 17. A Jewish Community Night Cardinals Cap will be available to those who purchase a special theme-night ticket. For ticket prices and more information, go to cardinals.com/theme.

At 7:15 p.m. Friday, Aug. 29, St. Louis Ovarian Cancer Awareness Night at the Ballpark takes place when the Cards take on the Chicago Cubs. Tickets are $30 including a hot dog and a soft drink and can be purchased through the SLOCA website at sloca.org/baseball. This is the beginning of Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, so look for more about it in the next column.

“FUNNY GIRL” was playing at Stray Dog Theatre, and because I love the Jule Styne/Bob Merrill hit, I decided to brave the unfamiliar streets (to me) of south St. Louis to find the theater. Gary Bell, founder of the 11-year-old theater company, told me how to get to the Tower Grove Abbey located near Tower Grove Park and the Missouri Botanical Garden, which turned out to be an easy jaunt. The production was staged all over the Abbey and was such fun to watch. A lot of good voices, too. I tell you all this to encourage you to try a Stray Dog production when the next season opens in the fall with Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None.” Five more productions will follow, including the musical  “The Mystery of Edwin Drood.” But by all means, get your own brochure by emailing straydogtheatre.org or calling 314-865-1995. 

In case you are curious about the name of the theater, it comes from a legendary café in early 20th-century St. Petersburg, Russia, where an eclectic group of creative artists were free to gather and perform. True to this legacy, Stray Dog Theatre offers education, theater and community opportunities to all through a collaborative approach.