Kibbitzing with Caplan: music, theater, and Kindermusik

Columnist Lois Caplan

By Lois Caplan

‘ASPERGER’S, A HIGH FUNCTION-ING MUSICAL’with music by Adam Rosen, book and lyrics by Rosen and his dad, Dean Rosen, and directed by Ed Reggi will be back by popular demand when it opens at 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16 at the Clayton High School Little Theatre, #2 Mark Twain Drive. Other encore performances will be at 8.p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17 and 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 18.  Tickets are $15 for general admission and $12 for seniors over 65, and are available on line at 

When “Asperger’s” premiered at the St. Louis Fringe Festival in June, all three performances were sold out. Dean Rosen advises me not to miss the show. See you there.


TO CELEBRATE ITS 10th ANNIVERSARY, Dave Simon’s Rock School has slated a special music program to benefit Lift for Life Academy at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. at Blueberry Hill in the Delmar Loop. The anniversary concert will feature Rock School bands plus Rock School alumni. Highlighting the event will be super group appearances by notable members of the Urge and Sinister Dane.

During the 1980s, Dave Simon was a key figure on the St. Louis music scene. After spending 10 years as a songwriter in New York and San Francisco, he returned to St. Louis to focus his efforts on opening a music school – based on the rock band experience. A decade later, the school, now located in Olivette has 300 students, and offers music programs in schools and arts centers throughout the St. Louis area. 

Lift for Life Academy, which opened in 2000, is the first independent Charter School established in the City of St. Louis. The Academy, located at 1731 South Broadway (Soulard neighborhood) serves students in grades 6-12.

Tickets for Dave Simon’s Rock School Benefit Anniversary Concert are $5 and may be purchased at or by calling 314-640-5211.


THE LYONS, a new play by Nicky Silver, directed by Wayne Salomon and produced by Max & Louie productions, opens Thursday, Aug. 22 and runs through Sunday, Sept. 1 at the COCA Blackbox Theatre, 524 Trinity Avenue in University City.

According to the show’s hype, “The indomitable matriarch of the Lyons family is at a major crossroads: her husband is dying, her son’s in a dubious relationship, her daughter’s struggling to stay sober and on top of it all, she can’t settle on a new design for the living room.”  The cast includes Judi Mann, Bobby Miller, Meghan Maguire, Charlie Barron, Julie Layton and Aaron Orion Baker. Tickets at $30 for general admission and $25 for students and seniors are available at and at the COCA Box Office, 314-725-6555, ext130.


KINDERMUSIK ACADEMY, created and developed by Jan Fishman, has been sold to the Community Music School of Webster University. “Community Music School of Webster University is a fine organization, with music instruction for children and adults, orchestra and ensemble opportunities, and a talented teaching staff,” Fishman told me recently. “I am proud to be part of the organization now, and I know they are well respected by and utilized by the St. Louis Jewish community.” 

The Community Music School will now provide the existing Kindermusik classes for babies and young children at locations including the Jewish Community Center Fox Building, Lodge Des Peres and Kol Rinah, in addition to its own Webster Groves and Faust Park locations. There are several free demo classes taking place between Aug. 10-21. Visit Visit for class information.  The school offers a wide variety of courses that emphasized peer learning and activity. Thanks to Jan for sharing her uniquely creative musical organization with the entire community.


It was 17 years ago when Washington Universityintroduced    its newly created program for older adults called the Lifelong Learning Institute, which offers a wide variety of courses that emphasized peer learning and active class participation by senior adults, 55 and older. I recall the institute interviewing Henrietta Friedman, brilliant chair of the new venture, and sensed her enthusiasm for what I thought was an absolutely thrilling project. My column at that time surely reflected my enthusiasm as I recall how many of my readers enrolled in Lifelong Learning.

Today it is much the same except that it has grown by leaps and bounds. As in the beginning, study groups are not for credit, there are no exams, and no grades. Now there are courses in art and architecture, contemporary issues, creative writing, economics, film studies, history, literature, mat/science/technology, music and philosophy. Knowledgeable members plan, develop and present the courses and related field trips, workshops and cultural and social events. As I recall that period of my life, I think about a course I took in portraiture facilitated by Frances Franklin with special guest Naomi Silvermintz, a museum docent, touring special portraits with the class. And then there was the late Barbara Kurtz, a Shakespeare freak, who took every Shakespeare course offered and spoke to us in the language of the bard.

Most subjects are offered in three, eight-week terms (fall, winter and spring) and one four-week summer session. Classes meet at Washington University’s West Campus in the building on the northwest corner of Forsyth Boulevard and Jackson Avenue in Clayton, which once served as the Famous Barr parking garage across from Pevely Dairy.

If you are at all interested in meeting intelligent, interesting men and women, I recommend Lifelong Learning.  For a brochure with the Fall 2013 courses listed and a registration form, call 314-935-4237.  Fall registration opens today so if you are serious about LLI hop to it now.