Memories and Melodies, Stages gala and book fest highlights

Hello Dolly

By Lois Caplan

AMONG MY FAVORITE MEMORIES are the weddings, parties and events I attended at the Starlight Room at the Chase Park Plaza Hotel. There were a lot of us who enjoyed the ambiance of the room, the lovely dance music and a coke or even a bourbon highball. Memory Care Home Solutions (MCHS), an agency whose purpose is to benefit loved ones caring for someone with memory loss, dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, will hold its 10-year anniversary celebration at the Starlight Room on Thursday, Nov. 14. Appropriately it is called “Memories and Melodies.”

Just to be clear, the Starlight Room will not be filled with individuals suffering from memory loss, but rather with their caregivers who attend the fundraiser to benefit their loved ones. Memory Care Home Solutions’ services are provided free of charge thanks to its supporters, many of whom will be attending this lovely evening filled with good food, great music and a lot of people whose friends and family members suffer from memory loss. To reserve your place, visit www.memorycarehs.org or call Erin Kelly at 314-645-6247.

WHEN THE CURTAIN FELL on the opening performance of “My Fair Lady” atStages in Kirkwood, the audience rose to their collective feet, applauded wildly, whistled, shouted “bravos” and all but went wild. I was one of them and was overwhelmed by the beauty and opulence of the costumes and the sets, by the performance of the talented cast and the outstanding direction. It was as close to seeing a Broadway hit in the Big Apple as one could imagine. Golly, I said to myself, this production must have cost a fortune, wondering that night how Stages financed their shows.

The answer is simple though the process is difficult. It is that well-known method called “fundraising” at which Stages appears to excel. On Friday night, Nov. 15 at the Ritz-Carlton, Stages has invited the public to attend Applause, the 2013 Stages St. Louis Gala, a major fundraiser for the theater company. Cocktails and a silent auction plus dinner will precede an evening of special entertainment featuring Jacqueline Petroccia portraying the role of Patsy Cline as well as some of the other leads she has played on Broadway. Tickets range from $300 per person to thousands of dollars, but remember, that investment goes mainly into the productions like “My Fair Lady.” Just think of what excellent shows you will see next season.  For more details and to reserve your spot, visit www.stagesstlouis.org. 

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CASHING OUT FOR CROHN’S AND COLITIS is the Mid-America chapter of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America’s first-ever Casino Night. Proceeds will help in raising funds and awareness for Camp Oasis and medical research. CCFA is the largest worldwide organization funding research, support and education for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). With the increasing incidence of younger age of diagnosis for IBD patients, it has become more important than ever to raise awareness for the unique medical and psychological needs of IBD patients and their families. Camp Oasis is CCFA’s residential camp for children with IBD. Casino Night appears to be a fun way to help support CCFA’s efforts. It will be held at the downtown Randall Gallery on Saturday, Nov. 16 at 7 p.m.  For reservations, go to www.cashout4cc.org. 

TWO DELIGHTFUL MUSICAL PROGRAMS WILL ENLIVEN the St. Louis Jewish Book Festival – ballet and symphony evenings. On Sunday, Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. at the Touhill Performing Arts Center’s Lee Theatre, St. Louis Ballet will present an evening of dance featuring scenes from classic and modern ballet works. Following the performance will be Q&A with dancers and artistic director Gen Horiuchi. It costs $18 a ticket for this special evening.

On Sunday, Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. St. Louis Symphony musicians with Concertmaster David Halen will celebrate 10 years of partnership with the Book Fest. The program, created under the direction of Halen, features classical music including work by Tchaikovsky and other favorites. This program will be held at Washington University’s 560 Music Center in the Delmar Loop. Tickets to the concert cost $22 and may be ordered online (along with the ballet tickets) at brownpapertickets.com or call the festival hotline at 314-442-3299.