Summer Arts Guide 2022

Summer+Arts+Guide+2022

Patricia Corrigan, Special to the Jewish Light

June is busting out all over with arts and entertainment events — quickly followed by equally enticing opportunities to get out and about in July and August. What’s coming to St. Louis? Opera! Jackson Browne! Theater — indoors and out! Music! Circus Flora! Willie Nelson! Festivals!

We’ve rounded up a veritable slew (over four dozen) of appealing performances, exhibits and activities for your consideration between now and Labor Day weekend. In response to the continuing presence of COVID-19, some venues do have safety protocols in place, so check for current policies. 

Then, it’s off for some fun in the sun!

May and June

 

Hip hop/contemporary dance company Chicago Dance Crash is one of 18 companies performing at Dance St. Louis’ Spring to Dance Festival over Memorial Day weekend. Photo: Ashley Deran

Dance St. Louis holds the 14th Annual Emerson Spring to Dance Festival May 27-29 at the Touhill Performing Arts Center on the campus of the University of Missouri St. Louis. The festival brings together 18 professional dance companies including Diavolo, Pilobolus, Philadelphia Ballet, Chicago Top Theatre, and Aerial Dance Chicago for performances of a range of dance styles such as ballet modern, and contemporary to tap, hip hop, aerial, and flamenco.

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Single tickets are $10-$25, and nightly 4-packs are $75. Tickets are available online.

It’s rare in once in a blue moon rare that a bound for Broadway show debuts in St. Louis. But thanks to Stages St. Louis “The Karate Kid: The Musical” makes its pre-Broadway world premiere through June 26 at the Kirkwood Performing Arts Center, 210 E. Monroe Ave. The show tells the story of a youngster who to defend himself against bullying classmates trains with a reclusive handyman – who just happens to be an expert martial artist. What the kid learns though is that fighting is done with the head and the heart, not the fists. Tickets range from $60-$85. For more information visit Stages online.

At the St. Louis Art Museum, “Impression and Beyond” continues through July 31, with works by Degas, Chagall, Picasso, McNeill, Cassatt and van Gogh. “Currents 121: Oscar Murillo” continues through Aug. 28. And on June 26, “Catching the Moment” opens, showcasing acquisitions of contemporary art assembled by Ted L. and Maryanne Ellison Simmons. Works by more than 40 artists, predominately active in the U.S., are part of the collection. See slam.org for more information.

Every Wednesday from June 1 through Aug. 3, music lovers gather on the Cohen Amphitheater lawn at the Missouri Botanical Garden for free concerts sponsored by the Whitaker Foundation. Visitors are encouraged to arrive after 5 p.m. for a picnic — bring your own or buy food and beverages on-site. No pets, barbecue grills or smoking. The music starts at 7 p.m. For a schedule of performers, see missouribotanicalgarden.org.

Believe it when people tell you the puppets are amazing — it’s true! The Fox Theatre brings back the highly acclaimed “The Lion King” June 1-19, so if you haven’t experienced director Julie Taymor’s brand of magic yet, now’s your chance. Tickets cost $29-$189. See www.fabulousfox.com.

Here’s something: “Much Ado About Nothing” will be presented June 1-26 by Shakespeare Festival St. Louis at Shakespeare Glen in Forest Park, just off Fine Arts Drive on the east side of Art Hill between the St. Louis Zoo and the St. Louis Art Museum. Performances of the Bard’s popular comedy start at 8 p.m. six nights a week. (No shows on Mondays). Seating is free, unless you opt for paid, pre-reserved seating. For details, visit stlshakes.org or call 314-287-3348.

New Line Theatre’s production of the satirical comedy “Urinetown,” on stage June 2-25 at The Marcelle, 3310 Samuel Shepard Drive. This rollicking musical is about “greed, corruption, love, revolution, — and urination.” Tickets cost $20-$30 at Metrotix.  

Jackson Browne fans: He’ll be back among us at 7:30 p.m. June 3 at the St. Louis Music Park, 750 Casino Center Dr. in Maryland Heights. Tickets start at $25 and ascend to $149. Order online

The Webster Art Fair is back with more than 70 exhibitors and two stages of live music, along with food, drink and lots of artsy activities for the kids. The outdoor fair, located at 475 E. Lockwood in Webster Groves, takes place June 3-5. Admission is free but the art will cost you. For more information, including opening and closing times, visit them online

The Glenn Miller Orchestra performs at 4 p.m. June 5 at the Sheldon Concert Hall. Tickets cost $45-$65; available at Metrotix (314-534-1111 or www.metrotix.com). 

Opera Theatre of St. Louis presents “Music as the Message: Sing On, Sing On!” — a concert celebrating Black Music Month — at 7:30 p.m. June 7 at The Grandel at 3610 Grandel Square in the Grand Center Arts District. General admission is free though advance reservations are “strongly recommended.” Call 314-961-0644 or visit them online.

Jazz St. Louis celebrates a big anniversary at 7:30 p.m. June 8 with “JSL @ 25,” featuring Terell Stafford, Cyrus Chestnut, Grace Kelly, Allison Miller and Nathan Pence. They’ll be on stage at the Harold and Dorothy Steward Center for Jazz (formerly Jazz at the Bistro), 3536 Washington Ave. Tickets cost $41-$46. 

Speaking of jazz, celebrate St. Louis’ jazz legacy and future at the Wednesday Night Jazz Jam, from 6 to 9 p.m., live inside The Dark Room, 3610 Grandel Square. Presented by the Kranzberg Arts Foundation, this every Wednesday gathering brings jazz within reach for people of all ages and backgrounds. Hosted by Bob Deboo, these weekly shows are free and family friendly.

David Lowery and Johnny Hickman of Cracker, one of the bands at this year’s Twangfest. (Photo: Jason Thrasher)

The Jayhawks, Cracker, Ha Ha Tonka and Katie Pruitt are just some of the entertainers performing at this year’s Twangfest, running June 8-11 at Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Ave. Single tickets run $25- $40. Four-night passes, which include a Saturday (June 11) house concert with Cracker as well as various merch, go for $175. 

“The Quest for the Innkeeper’s Cask” — a mysterious tale featuring acrobats, daredevils, aerialists, comedians and more — explores the caves beneath the streets of St. Louis when Circus Flora comes to the Big Top in Grand Center, 3401 Washington Blvd. (The show itself, happily, is above ground!) Performances are scheduled June 9 through July 3, with morning, mid-day and early evening shows. Tickets range from $10-$65 at metrotix.com or call 314-534-1111.

Ryan Lawson-Maeske and Molly Diane Burris perform in New Jewish Theatre’s production of ‘Dear Jack, Dear Louise.’ Photo: Jon Gitchoff

 

A World War II love story is the theme of “Dear Jack, Dear Louise,” on stage June 9-26 at the New Jewish Theatre. Afternoon and evening performances take place at the Wool Theatre in the Jewish Community Center’s Staenberg Family Complex. Tickets cost $49-$54. 

Celebrate “Ragtime, Blues and All That Jazz” at 3 p.m. June 12 with jazz trumpeter Byron Stripling as he and the St. Louis Symphony showcase ragtime masters Scott Joplin and Jelly Roll Morton and blues legends B.B. King and Muddy Waters at Powell Symphony Hall. Tickets range from $35-$68. Visit them online for tickets or more information.

The Muny’s 104th season kicks off June 13-19 with Kander and Ebb’s rowdy “Chicago” and “Camelot” follows, with performances June 22-28. Shows start at 8:15 p.m. and tickets ($18 to $115) are available at Metrotix (314-534-1111 or metrotix.com) or come early to grab a free seat.  

The Ambassadors of Harmony do their remarkable, award-winning thing at 2 p.m. and then again at 8 p.m. on June 18 at the Touhill Performing Arts Center. Tickets range from $27-$69. Call 314-516-4949 or visit their website

Opera Theatre of St. Louis presents “Centerstage,” a young artist’s showcase, at 7:30 p.m. June 21 at the Loretto-Hilton Center. Tickets are $21.25-$79. Call 314-961-0644.

Willie Nelson & Friends (including Jason Isbell, Nathaniel Rateliff and more) bring the Outlaw Music Festival Tour to the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre at 4:30 p.m. June 24. Tickets range from $25 to $350. Buy tickets at Livenation.com, visit the Amphitheatre Box Office or call Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000.

Pridefest St. Louis celebration “Together Again” will take place June 25-26 on the green spaces by Soldiers Memorial, on Market Street between North Tucker and North 15th. Expect plenty of food and live entertainment. The parade begins at 11 a.m. June 26.

July

Who would dare follow Willie at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre? Santana and Earth Wind & Fire, that’s who, in the “Miraculous Supernatural Tour” at 7 p.m. July 1. Tickets range from $24 to $159. See Livenation.com, visit the Amphitheatre Box Office or call Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000.

If you’re over 18, you can enjoy D.L. Hughley’s act July 1-3 at the Helium Comedy Club at the St. Louis Galleria. Known for “The Hughleys” and “The Original Kings of Comedy,” he’s also been on “Dancing with the Stars!” Tickets are $40-$50.

Fair Saint Louis brings people together for a free Independence Day celebration from noon to 10 p.m. July 2-4 on the grounds of the Gateway Arch. Expect concerts, food booths and fireworks. For a schedule of entertainment (not available at press time).

“Mary Poppins” flies in July 5-13 at The Muny, followed by that demon barber “Sweeney Todd” (July 16-22) and then it’s all about Elle in “Legally Blonde: The Musical” (July 25-31). Shows start at 8:15 p.m. and tickets ($18 to $115) are available at Metrotix (314-534-1111 or metrotix.com) or come early to grab a free seat. For more information, visit www.muny.org. 

Welcome, Lyle Lovett and His Large Band and Chris Isaak at 8 p.m. July 8 at the Stifel Theatre, 1400 Market Street.  Tickets range from $26.50-$186.50. 

Let Them Eat Art, a tribute to France’s Bastille Day, will take place from 6 to 10 p.m. July 8 in downtown Maplewood. The free event features live art demonstrations by regional artists, live music, kid’s activities and food and drink by Maplewood’s food purveyors. Shops will be open late. 

The 2022 season at Union Avenue Opera opens with Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin,” with performances at 8 p.m. on July 8, 9, 15 and 16. Next up is Gounod’s “Falstaff,” on stage at 8 p.m. July 29 and 30 and and Aug. 5 and 6. All performances are at the Union Avenue Opera House, 733 North Union Blvd. Tickets range from $32-$55. For tickets and more info, go to unionavenueopera.org or call 314-361-2881.

“Hamilton” fans alert! Stages St. Louis will present Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “In the Heights” July 22 through Aug. 21 at the Ross Family Theatre at the Kirkwood Performing Arts Center. Honored with “Best Musical” at the 2008 Tony Awards, the show highlights a community balancing change and hope. Tickets range from $51 to $76 at stagesstlouis.org or call 314-821-2407.

COCA presents Roald Dahl’s “Matilda” The Musical” July 22-24, with matinee and evening performances. Round up the kids or grandkids — the show is suitable for youngsters 6 and older. Tickets cost $15-$25.  

Comedian and actor John Mulaney grapples with serious topics in an open way in his show “From Scratch,” scheduled for 8 p.m. July 22 at the Enterprise Center. Tickets, ranging from $36.50 to $126.50, are available at www.enterprisecenter.com or www.ticketmaster.com.

The Open Highway Music Festival returns July 28-30, with performances at the Old Rock House at 1200 South 7th St. and Chesterfield Amphitheatre, 631 Veterans Place Drive. Hear Steve Earle & The Dukes, James McMurtry, John Moreland and more. Weekend and three-day passes range from $100-$140; individual tickets cost $45-$75. For details, visit openhighwaymusic.com.

August

Before they are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo will make a stop at the Factory at the District in Chesterfield for an Aug. 1 show that is sure to feature fan favorites such as “Love is a Battlefield,” “Heartbreaker” and “Hell is For Children,” among many others. Tickets, starting at $59, are available at ticketmaster.com.

The Muny wraps up the summer with “The Color Purple” (Aug. 3-9) and then expands to other hues with “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” (Aug. 12-18). Shows start at 8:15 p.m. and tickets ($18 to $115) are available at Metrotix (314-534-1111 or metrotix.com) or come early to grab a free seat. For more information, visit muny.org. 

It’s not for kids, but grown-ups will delight in the earnest, hilarious musical “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” coming to Stray Dog Theatre Aug. 4-20, with matinees and evening performances at Tower Grove Abbey, 2336 Tennessee Ave. Tickets cost $25-$30. Call 314-865-1995 or visit straydogtheatre.org for more information.

Grammy winner Bonnie Raitt and the legendary Mavis Staples will sing for you at 8 p.m. Aug. 5 at the Fox Theatre on the “Just Like That 2022” tour. Tickets run $43.50-$126. For tickets and more information, go to fabulousfox.com.

Gateway Arch Park Foundation, in partnership with the National Blues Museum and the National Park Service, is hosting Blues at the Arch, reimagined as a free music festival Aug. 12-14. The festival pays tribute to St. Louis’ storied blues history and showcases the talents of national and local entertainers along with featuring food trucks, a market, after parties and more. For a full schedule.

Playgoers, the 7th Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis is on for Aug. 18-28 with performances of “The Rose Tattoo” in a version described as “a newly reimagined and sensual Fellini-esque production of Williams’ romantic Sicilian love story.” Performances will take place under the Big Top in the Grand Arts Center, 3401 Washington Blvd. For performance times and ticket information, call 314-517-5253. 

Isn’t it rich? Fans of Stephen Sondheim can glory in the master’s music and lyrics at “A Little Night Music,” on stage at Union Avenue Opera Aug. 19, 20, 26 and 27. Performances are at the Union Avenue Opera House, 733 North Union Blvd. Tickets range from $25-$55. For tickets and more info, go to unionavenueopera.org or call 314-361-2881.

Alicia Keys brings “The World Tour” the St. Louis Music Park, 750 Casino Center Dr. in Maryland Heights. The concert starts at 8 p.m. Aug. 21. Tickets range from $39.50-$139.50

The St. Louis Fringe Festival runs Aug. 21-22 at several venues in Grand Center. Check out stlouisfringe.com for more information, including ticket prices.

The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis season opens Aug. 26 with Madhuri Shekar’s “House of Joy,” described as a “genre-busting adventure fantasy.” Performances are at the Loretto-Hilton through Sept. 18. For show times and ticket prices, see repstl.org.

Expect dance, music, craft demonstrations, an ethnic gift bazaar and some 50 food booths at the Festival of Nations, said to be the bi-state region’s largest annual multicultural celebration. The free festival takes place Aug. 27–28 in Tower Grove Park. For more information, see festivalofnationsstl.org/ or call 314-773-9090.

September

Look for local musicians, performers, artists, food trucks and a green space for kids to play at the World’s Fair Heritage Festival Sept. 2-4 at the upper Muny parking lot in Forest Park. Admission is free. For more information.

The glorious Japanese Festival makes the most of Labor Day weekend at the Missouri Botanical Garden. Hours on Sept. 3-4 are from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 5. General admission is $14 for individuals 13 and up and $6 for residents 13 and up who live in St. Louis City or St. Louis County.