Visions of the Southwest and local seniors pageant

Circus Harmony’s ‘Peace Through Pyramids’ project.

By Lois Caplan

HOMAGE TO EDGAR ALLAN POE is the name that photographer Carol Shapiro selected for her exhibit at the St. Louis University Museum of Art on Lindell Boulevard, directly across the street from Pius XII Memorial Library. The photographs were all taken at the Grand Canyon where Shapiro toured on a “Road” Scholar (a program of the nonprofit group Elderhostel) trip.

“They are the best pictures I’ve ever taken,” Shapiro said. “However I can’t take credit for what is there in nature.”

In her 16 pictures, Shapiro has managed to capture the beauty of the canyon. As for the name of the show, she explained that the Grand Canyon is full of ravens and that in almost every picture she took was a raven, a literary conceit in what is perhaps Poe’s most famous work, “The Raven.” Her works will be on display starting June 29 for one month. There will be an opening night reception from 6 to 8 p.m. on the 29th.

THE 2012 SENIOR MS. MISSOURI PAGEANT at 2 p.m. Sunday, July 8 will feature 14 contestants strutting their stuff at the Florissant Civic Center Theatre, 1 James Egan Drive. Contestants must be at least 60 years of age and give a talent presentation.  They will be competing in four categories — talent, evening gown modeling, presenting their philosophy of life and a personal interview with the judges before the pageant begins.

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The only contestant I know personally is Suzanne Broddon, who is a real winner and a super talent. She has been teaching creative dramatics in the St. Louis Schools since 1981, and for 21 years produced a radio show, “Surprise Endings.”  For 28 years, she has produced and directed the Clayton Summer Children’s Theater and has done productions for the JCC, Block Yeshiva, CAJE and local synagogues. She has been the drama artist for Camp Rainbow since 1987.

Although we haven’t had the chance to meet, another Jewish contestant is Barbara Rosenfeld, founder and past president of the Attention Deficit Disorder Association of Missouri — and a professional  magician, clown, and puppeteer. She even received a medal from the Missouri Governor’s office for humanitarian achievements doing puppet shows in schools teaching children about disabilities.

A reception for all the contestants will be held immediately after the program in the theater lobby auditorium.  Tickets purchased in advance are $15, at the door, $17. For information and reservations call 314-921-5678.

PUTTING IT TOGETHER – A MUSICAL CABARET is a magical evening in support of STAGES’ educational and artistic programs. It is to be held on Monday, Aug. 13 at the Robert G. Reim Theater, 111 S. Geyer Road.   There will be a wine pull and auction at 6:30 p.m., a cabaret performance at 7:30, followed by a post-show champagne reception.  I have not told you the best of the evening. The performers include favorites Ben Nordstrom, Casey Erin Clark and Jack Lane, the theater’s Executive Producer who in his interesting past has sung the role of Lt. Cable in “South Pacific.”

“Putting It Together” will feature contemporary and classic favorites of Broadway. The bad part of the evening is that it sells out or has for the past three years, so you now have advance notice to get your tickets ASAP. To assure your place call the Stages box office at 314-821-2407.

AS A RECOVERING HANDICAPPED PERSON, I feel the need to tell you about the physical therapy recommended for my recovery.  This is a well-kept secret hidden away in the Chai Apartment building, 6 Millstone Campus Drive, where the staff performs miracles for men and women whose movement is impaired, who need to improve endurance, strength and balance or those who suffer from chronic pain. This is only the tip of the iceberg as RPI (Rehabilitation Professionals Inc) offers aquatic therapy in a heated therapy pool as well as Occupational and Speech therapies. Led by former South African therapist Jonty Felsher, the caring staff all but knocks itself out to help those in need. In addition, RPI serves residents of the Millstone campus as well as patients from the broader community. The agency provides health and welfare programs on the Campus, at the Adult Day Care Center and through the St. Louis NORC. For an appointment for an evaluation at RPI call 314-991-1978. I am certain that their staff of caring and experienced rehabilitation professionals will get you on your feet — literally.

AT CIRCUS FLORA ON OPENING NIGHT I visited with Jessica Hentoff, the talented creator and director of Circus Harmony and the St. Louis Arches, local youngsters who have learned to become superb gymnasts. Every year when I see them at Circus Flora they get better and better. Among Hentoff’s many passions is the creation of the alliance between St. Louis’ Circus Harmony and from Israel the Galilee Foundation and its youth circus. The Arches have been to Israel twice and their Israeli counterpart consisting of both Jewish and Arab youngsters has been to St. Louis once. Now Jessica has a visit planned to St. Louis for the Israelis this summer to promote “Peace Through Pyramids.” However her problem is money and she is looking for help from the community. Time is very short so I would urge you to do it now.  Here is the link to the online fundraiser:  http://goo.gl/4aJcc.