Tough calls, the bra, Craig Pomranz, Hal Poth, and trivia night

Craig Pomranz will perform Feb. 18 and 19 at the Kranzberg Arts Center.

By Lois Caplan

“TOUGH CALLS FROM THE CORNER OFFICE” is the intriguing title of St. Louis entrepreneur Harlan Steinbaum’s new book, which is filled with lessons, stories and insights from him and 39 other top business leaders. They are all successful CEOs and visionaries who have spent their lives creating, building and running huge companies and billion-dollar corporations. Among the luminaries in the book are such well-known names as ESPN’s Bill Rasmussen, “Let’s Make a Deal” emcee Monte Hall; THF Realty’s co-founder and President Michael Staenberg and restaurateur and native St. Louisan Danny Meyer. At 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 17 at the JCC, the St. Louis Jewish Book Festival will present Steinbaum, former chairman and CEO of Medicare-Glaser and Chairman of ExpressScripts, with a panel of business leaders, including Staenberg; Susan Elliott, founder and Chairman of SSE; Ambassador George Herbert Walker III, Chairman Emeritus Stifel Nicolaus and Frank Jacobs, co-founder, Chairman and CEO of Jacobs International and former chair of Falcon Products.  The discussion will be moderated by Larry Levin, CEO and publisher of the St. Louis Jewish Light. For tickets at $10 in advance or $12 at the door, call 314-442-3191 or go to

HOORAH FOR THE BRA, hosted by Hadassah, is the moniker for a program at Nordstrom’s Bistro at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 31 featuring Cheree Berry, the author of “Hoorah for the Bra, a Perky Peek at the History of the Brassiere.”  Besides being a humorous and enlightening evening, participants can schedule an appointment for a proper bra assessment from Nordstrom’s certified fitters. Although Hadassah, the largest membership organization in the United States, does serious things like supporting Hadassah Hospital and presenting programs and events centered on medicine and medical research, youth, children at risk and environmental issues both locally and in Israel, it also believes in fun and games for its members. Ergo – “Hoorah for the Bra.” To attend this uplifting event (no pun intended) the cost is $10 for Hadassah members and $15 for non- members. Call 314-991-0434 or visit for more information.

SALOON SINGER CRAIG POMRANZ grew up in St. Louis, graduated from Ladue Horton Watkins High school, attended Nusach Hari B’nai Zion shul with his parents and all by himself appeared on stage at the Muny and the JCC. Then he was off to the Big Apple where he has lived since the early 1980s and where he has become a successful cabaret singer, modeled he says, after his idols Sammy Davis Jr. and Mel Torme. At 8 p.m. February 18 and 19 at the Kranzberg Arts Center, 501 N. Grand Boulevard, Pomranz will present a special cabaret-style performance at “A Seasons of Love” concert. Tickets at $25 can be purchased by calling 314-725-4200 ext 10.

HAL POTH is an 87-year-old who has been creating art for eight decades. Virtually unknown as an artist, his work was discovered recently by Judy Weltman, an artist herself and a show curator, who was introduced to his 1,000 pieces of work on display in Poth’s home.  She was overwhelmed by the quality, the extraordinary variety of media and the scale, ranging from tiny detailed drawings to large sculptural works. “Poth masters every medium he works in including paintings, drawings, prints, complex moving sculptures, and enormous metalwork pieces.  His work reflects his great curiosity,” Weltman says. A Hal Poth retrospective exhibit will be on display at the Gallery of the Regional Arts Commission, 6128 Delmar Boulevard from February 18 to April 10. There will not be a thousand items in it -rather 50 or 60 of Poth’s best works selected by Weltman.

ORDINARLIY I DO NOT LIKE WRITING ABOUT TRIVIA NIGHTS – too trivial and too many, but this cause grabbed me.  Perhaps it was the Linda T. Russ Memorial Fund established in 2004 to support the chess team of Crossroads College Preparatory School or maybe it was Russ’ memory.  Some of you may remember her when she worked for Jewish Federation or the Jewish Community Center or especially the Older Adults Community Action Program (OACAP) where she served as director for 10 years.  She established the fund because she believed that students could benefit from learning and playing chess. Trivia night at Crossroads School, 500 DeBaliviere, will take place Saturday, Feb. 12 and will also feature a Valentine’s Day auction.  To reserve your place, call Howard Garonk at 314-367-8085 or by email at [email protected].

OY VEY! My dyslexia set in and I gave you the wrong number for tickets for Circus Harmony’s production of “Grazioso.” The correct phone number is 314-436-7676.