Kibbitzing with Caplan

By Lois Caplan

SUSPICION NATION, an event named after a book of the same title, will take place at 6:45 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 15, at the Missouri History Museum. The panel presentation will discuss race relations in St. Louis in the aftermath of Ferguson and will be moderated by TV legal analyst Lisa Bloom, author of “Suspicion Nation: The Inside Story of the Trayvon Martin Injustice and Why We Continue to Repeat It.” 

Panelists will be Raul Reyes, a lawyer, journalist and TV commentator who is a contributor to major national news programs; Karen Aroesty, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League of Missouri/Southern Illinois; Charlack Police Chief Steve Runge; and Anthony Gray, lawyer for the family of Michael Brown, whose killing Aug. 9 by a police officer in Ferguson sparked continuing demonstrations. 

Prior to the panel discussion at 5:30 p.m., more than 20 community organizations will be available at   information tables to share ideas and opportunities for involvement. 

After the free presentation, a ticketed dessert reception will be held at the museum in Bixby’s Restaurant. It is co-chaired by Kitty Gross, Gail Feldstein and Jody Feldman. Honorary co-chairs are St. Louis Circuit Court Judge Jimmie Edwards and Rabbi Susan Talve of Central Reform Congregation. 

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Tickets for the reception are $60 per person and include a signed copy of Bloom’s book. For two people (one book), the cost is $80; for one person without the book, $35.  Reservations to the reception are available on line at MeetMeStLouis.org.

Coordinating the event is Marcia Evers Levy, who directed the St. Louis Jewish Book Festival for 17 years. Her new business, Meet Me Saint Louis, is a nonprofit organization that will present community events featuring authors, artists and speakers. For more information, contact Evers Levy at [email protected] 

THE EYE BALL, sponsored by the Lifelong Vision Foundation, is an evening with dinner, drinks, silent and live auctions, music, the Living Vision Awards and a number of visual surprises. It will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1, at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, 975 N. Warson Road, a venue that is both beautiful and welcoming. For tickets starting at $250 per person, visit lifelongvisionfoundation.org or call 636-519-0318.

Probably because I am somewhat of a punster, I love the name of this event. The Eye Ball’s mission is to support the Lifelong Vision Foundation, which has brought clear vision to thousands of people in our community through such programs as free LASIK surgery for first responders in East St. Louis, vision services for College Bound and Wyman Center teens, and providing eye exams and glasses to the underserved in places such as Haiti, Peru and Nepal. 

So set your sights on a celebration to benefit the community, research and education programs of Lifelong Vision Foundation. You will be celebrating with a lot of folks who want to make a difference in how we see tomorrow.

“CHANCERS,” a fast and furious comedy about luck, loot and lunacy, opens Oct. 30 at the Kranzberg Arts Center’s Black Box Theatre and runs through Nov. 16. A Max and Louie production (that’s Stellie Siteman and De Kaplan), “Chancers” was written by Dublin-born Robert Massey and premiered in his native city to great reviews and howling laughter. It is about three ordinary people who face ruin in the recession, but a teasing, tantalizing option could solve all their problems if only they have the guts to take it. Massey will be attending the Nov. 6 performance. Tickets at $30 for general admission and $25 for seniors are available through maxandlouie.com or Brown Paper Tickets, 1-800-838-3006.

KAREN MASON, a Broadway star and cabaret treasure (not to mention a former St. Louisan), is making her St. Louis debut Oct. 17 and 18 at the Gaslight Theatre, 358 N. Boyle Avenue. In New York, she originated the role of Tanya in “Mamma Mia” and was Norma Desmond in “Sunset Boulevard.” Now she is coming home with her new cabaret show, “Secrets of the Ancient Divas,” which pays homage to some of Mason’s idols, including Judy Garland, Peggy Lee and Barbra Streisand. For tickets, go to presentersdolan.com.

ANNE MURPHY, my friend at the Third Degree Glass Factory, tells me that Third Friday events are better than ever. If Third Degree’s free, 12th Birthday Blowout Bash on Friday, Oct.19, is an example, I couldn’t agree with her more. Celebration plans include a Pumpkin Death Match, Hot Blown Popcorn Bowl, Giant Pumpkin Blow and the Fire Spinners doing “Thriller.” (What is that? I don’t know, but it sounds exciting, so go, find out and take the kids.) 

Third Degree Glass Factory, 5200 Delmar Boulevard, is a hotbed of pumpkins at this time of the year. Its hand-blown glass pumpkins selection is awesome; artists create them in traditional orange as well as wild contemporary colors.