kibbitzing with caplan

Columnist Lois Caplan


THE EYE BALL, I kid you not, is the first fundraising gala in support of the Lifelong Vision Foundation (LVF), a non-profit agency that supports research, education and community programs. Eileen Edelman and Anne Stupp, who are co-chairs of the gala on Saturday, Oct. 27 at the Ritz-Carlton, are planning a wonderful evening to benefit LVF starting with cocktails at 6 p.m. followed by dinner, a program honoring four prominent supporters and then dancing.  Begun by Dr. Jay Pepose in 2000, LVF’s community programs offer hundreds of people in our community and internationally free vision interventions, vision screening for special needs children, vision assessments for infants regardless of a family’s income or insurance access, free LASIK surgery for first responders from East St. Louis and cataract surgery for the underserved in other countries. This is only the tip of LVF’s iceberg as there are also education programs and research.

The four remarkable professionals to be honored at the Eye Ball are David Beebe; Tom George; Christopher Fitch, a recipient of LASIK surgery through LVF and Dr. Geoffrey C. Tabin, a professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at University of Utah as well as a mountain climber and co-director of Himalayan Cataract Project. Not only does Tabin have an undergraduate degree from Yale, a master’s in philosophy from Oxford, a medical degree from Harvard and did his residency at Brown, he also was the fourth person in the world to scale the Seven Summits, the highest peak on each continent. Oh, and he’s Jewish, too.

To become a first time supporter at LVF’s first time gala, contact Executive Director Marilyn Spirt at 636-519-0318.

TONY AND LIZ TIE THE KNOT, a play by Susan Berardi and Vanessa Roman, mothers of autistic kids, will open at the Gaslight Theatre in the Central West End on Sept. 21 and will continue through Sept. 30. This version of “Tony and Tina’s Wedding” has been transported to the Hill by the playwrights where local businesses have come together to help make this an authentic Italian wedding production not to be missed.  

The first act takes place at the Gaslight Theatre then moves to the Elevens next door for an interactive wedding reception. Six area bakeries have donated wedding cakes for the production and a different Italian restaurant will feed the “wedding guests” each night. Proceeds from ticket sales go directly to the not-for-profit Action for Autism, which ensures that all money raised will be used locally.  Tickets are on sale at Brown Paper Tickets or call 314-973-5525.

PEDAL THE CAUSE, the annual cycling challenge that helps fund life-saving research for cancer patients, is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 7. Riders can choose from four courses (15, 25, 50, or 75 miles) with the start and finish line at Soldier’s Memorial.  Our city is home to several world-class cancer facilities, which will use the funds collected from Pedal the Cause for research to advance life saving treatment for a variety of cancers. Here’s a challenge – Last year’s Pedal the Cause raised more than $1.3 million  to help fund cancer research.  Those funds are at work as I write this column. Can we exceed their fabulous efforts and raise even more for cancer research? To join Pedal the Cause visit .

WOW–NEWDANCE HORIZONS! opens Dance St. Louis’ 47th season on Oct. 5 and 6 at the Touhill Performing Arts Center. Dance St. Louis commissioned four renowned choreographers from around the country to collaborate with four St, Louis companies to create four, distinct clever and moving world premieres. St. Louis Ballet, Leverage Dance Theatre, MADCO and Common Thread Contemporary Dance Company team up with post-modernist Pam Tanowitz, the witty choreographer Victoria Marks, ballet artist Gina Patterson and musical and expressive Jessica Lang. Dance St. Louis Artistic and Executive director Michael Uthoff will host a free program, the Marjorie Orgell “Speaking of Dance” series at the Touhill’s terrace lobby at 7:15 p.m. prior to the 8 p.m. performance and at 1:15 p.m. prior to the Saturday 2 p.m. performance. For tickets to the evening and matinee performances, call 314-534-6622 or on line at

ARTIST AMY FIRESTONE ROSEN’S prints on paper go on exhibit in the Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School Messing Gallery from Sept. 16 and through Nov. 16.  Typical of Rosen’s work, these are brightly colorful monoprints, some abstract and others reminiscent of her very popular lingerie. She will be in the gallery at 101 N. Warson Road to greet guests at the artist’s reception on Sunday, Sept. 16 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.