UH to honor Irene Fox with award

Irene Fox sings like a nightingale, looks like a movie star and gives time to the community like Mother Teresa.

Well, maybe this is a bit of hyperbole, but as far as United Hebrew Congregation is concerned, Irene is headed for sainthood and they will honor her on Saturday evening, Nov. 8, with an award named after her — the first Irene Fox United Hebrew Ruach Award.

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Ruach, for your information, means “spirit” in Hebrew. The award is in recognition of Irene’s substantial efforts over the past several years, writing, directing, producing and performing in the congregation’s almost biannual musical revues.

Since 1995, when her first show, U.H. Goes Hollywood, replaced the congregation’s annual fundraiser, Irene has written, directed and performed seven musicals, all of which have been “wonderful fundraisers,” according to Rabbi Howard Kaplansky.

Nov. 8 is opening night for this year’s performance of her seventh, Encore: It’s All about Music, a musical revue of song hits from then and now to be performed by more than 60 adults and children, all members of U.H.

In addition, that night Irene Fox will receive the award named for her.

Irene is no stranger to awards, as she was honored by the Players of AMC and was designated a Mitzvah Star by J Associates of the Jewish Community Center.

She is a member of many organizations including Hadassah, National Council of Jewish Women, and JCA Auxiliary and is also on the Curriculum Committee at Washington University’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute as well as the Adult Services Committee at the JCC.

Somehow she finds time to entertain at many of the senior residential communities in the St. Louis area where the audiences love her — probably because Irene loves to sing for them.

In addition to Opening Night on the 8th, there will be three more performances of Encore: It’s All about Music on Nov. 9, 13 and 15.

For more information about the show or to send a donation in Irene’s honor, call 314-469-0700.

UNLESS YOU LIVE IN A CAVE, you know that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. What you probably don’t know is that Cynthia Frohlichstein, a 33-year breast cancer survivor and the author of The Perils of the Peanut Butter Kid, is giving a double donation to The Wellness Community from the sale of every book that is purchased on her Web site during this month.

Visit www.perilsofthe peanutbutterkid.com to order this award winning children’s book and give your kids and grandkids a real treat, as the book is both fun to read and beautifully illustrated. Cynthia is also tuned in to the current crisis in food pantries and is planning events to help replenish their stocks.

For example, on Saturday, Nov. 15 at 10:30 a.m. at the University City Library, children and their parents are invited to what she calls the “Frohlichstein Triple Whammy.”

Cynthia will read her book in the second floor library Tree House, followed by a signing. Everyone is asked to bring jars of peanut butter, jelly and even bread to put in the barrels provided by Operation Food Search to distribute to their clients.

And as always, a donation from every book sold will go to The Wellness Community, which provides without charge education, support and hope to all cancer patients and their families.

Bet you didn’t know that November is Peanut Butter Lover’s Month. Cynthia does!

DRACULA, a ballet performed by BalletMet Columbus, is coming to the Touhill Performing Arts Center on the campus of the University of Missouri-St. Louis, just in time for Halloween.

It will open Dance St. Louis’s 2008-2009 “Made in America” season on Thursday, Oct. 23 at 8 p.m., followed by performances on Oct. 24, 25 and 26.

Dracula, the classic vampire story, is a spellbinding Gothic fantasy and, according to Michael Uthoff, artistic and executive director of Dance St. Louis, “It is full of images from a world-renowned story told solely through movement. Dracula will send shivers through your spine while thrilling you with its power.”

Since I had not heard of BalletMet Columbus, I Googled it and found that this is a first-class company which has performed worldwide. Dracula is one of its own creations.

For tickets and more information, call the Touhill box office at 314-516-4949 or Dance St. Louis at 314-534-6622.

CABARET ST. LOUIS opened with a bang at the Kranzberg Arts Center, located at Grand and Olive, on Oct. 1 with Steve Ross, the consummate cabaret artist and a hard act to follow.

However some hugely talented performers have been booked by Cabaret St. Louis to perform at various venues including the Cabaret at the Sheldon, the Gaslight Theatre and again at the Kranzberg.

Sylvia McNair delivers The Great American Songbook on Oct. 16 and 17 at the Sheldon, while former St. Louisan Fran Landesman will appear at the Gaslight Theatre (where else?) Oct. 22 through Oct. 25.

Two guys, Lee Lessack in a tribute to Johnny Mercer and Tony Sandler in Chevalier – Maurice and Me follow on Oct. 29 – Nov. 1 and Nov. 13-14, respectively.

I promise you a delightful evening while sipping a glass of wine at small tables in the intimacy of a cabaret.

For tickets and exact dates and venues call Executive Director Jim Dolan at 314-726-1616.