Riverfront Times — April 26, 2012
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THURSDAY|04.26 |



Webster University has scored filmmaker Steve James for its Global Leaders in Residence program. Hoop Dreams, the feature that brought him international acclaim, tips off the corresponding film series tonight at 7 p.m. The celebrated documentary follows two black youths over the course of five years — not only on the court, but also at family gatherings, classrooms and college-recruiting sessions — as they chase a million-to-one shot at a career in professional sports. James’ work screens Thursday through Sunday at Webster University’s Winifred Moore Auditorium (470 East Lockwood Avenue; 314-968-7487). Other films in the series include The Interrupters and At the Death House Door. James will be on hand for a Q&A session following Hoop Dreams and will present a documentary workshop on Saturday. Visit www.webster .edu/filmseries for details.


FRIDAY|04.27 |



New York painter Peter Fox is part artist, part research scientist. His approach to painting is both meticulous and hands-off, as he puts the fate of each piece in the whimsy of the paint itself, spilling it bit by bit from an eyedropper and letting it fall where it may. From there his abstractions take shape, creating visually stunning, psychedelic entrancements within those prescribed boundaries. Fox’s latest exhibition, Find Your Self Lost, opens with a free reception at 6 p.m. this Friday, April 20, at Good Citizen Gallery (2247 Gravois Avenue; 314- 348-4587 or www.goodcitizenstl.com). Fox’s paintings will remain on display Friday and Saturday through May 19.




Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s harrowing, exquisite masterpiece Swan Lake tells the story of Prince Siegfried meeting tragic Odette, a princess who has been cursed to live as a swan by day, on the eve of his birthday betrothment ball. Siegfried falls for Odette and vows to free and marry her but is tricked when an identical Odette appears, swathed in black instead of Odette’s signature swan white. Learn the fate of Siegfried and Odette and marvel at the raw talent, matchless score and mystifying choreography of Saint Louis Ballet’s production of Swan Lake. The show debuts tonight at 8 p.m at the University of Missouri-St. Louis’ Touhill Performing Arts Center (One University Boulevard; 314-516- 4949 or www.touhill.org). Tickets are $25 to $45. — LIZ MILLER



William Shakespeare wrote The Tempest believing it would be his final play, and he drops some subtle references to the illusory magic of stagecraft amid his story of shipwrecks, mystical beings and overprotective fathers. Prospero opines that “the great globe itself...shall dissolve.” Through the magician Prospero, Shakespeare saw his Own Globe dissolving, and he no doubt would have approved of Shakespeare Festival St. Louis’ latest venture, which takes The Tempest off the stage and puts it in the streets. This adaptation, The New World, will be performed in the streets of Benton Park this weekend, at the corner of Cherokee Street and California Avenue. The free hourlong performance takes place at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights and at 3 p.m on Sunday. For more information, visit www.shakespearefestivalstlouis.org or call 314-531-9800.


SATURDAY|04.28 |



If you’re looking for an opportunity to hear great music, experience fine art and show off your finely tuned dance Moves for an evening, then the Jumbo Juke Joint Festival may be just the ticket. Tonight from 7 p. m. to 1 a.m, the Koken Art Factory (2500 Ohio Avenue; 314-776-7600) hosts folk art reflecting on emotions related to geography, religion and occupation. The $10 cover charge not only grants you admission to view the art, but it also promises to please the other senses — a music showcase full of blues-infused tunes dominates the ear while the vendors’ lovely handmade wares tempt the eye and the wallet. Entries admitted to the show will be judged by other local artists. This party is for adults of the eighteen-and-older kind only, so leave the kids at home. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.kokenartfactory.com.




While the name Vinegar Tom sounds like it belongs emblazoned on a bag of potato chips, it’s actually a heady tale of power struggles through the historic seventeenth-century English witch trials. The characters are initially nameless, distancing them from the audience and allowing the focus to remain on the action of the plot instead of emotional ties to those carrying it out. Alice is finally introduced when she and her mother, Joan, are accused of witchcraft related to hardships and accidents experienced at a nearby farm. It is later suggested that their mischievous cat, Vinegar Tom, was behind it all along. Saint Louis University stages this production of oppression and injustice at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 27 to May 5, and Sunday, May 6, at 2 p.m. in Xavier Hall (3733 West Pine Mall). Showtimes vary; tickets are $7 to $10 and can be purchased online at www.slu. edu or at the box office. For more information, call 314-977-3327.


SUNDAY|04.29 |



There’s something about human nature that makes us desperate to be first. From first in line for the slide to first to the moon, being ahead of the game fills us with a singular sense of satisfaction. To delight in some major firstness this weekend, look no further than the Bach Society of Saint Louis’ performance. At 3 p.m. the choral group presents Premieres!, a concert full of new and new-to-us works. There’s composer-in-residence Stephen Mager’s world premiere of his Te Deum hymn, which unites choral elements with the organ, rather than honoring one over the other, making the sum more powerful than its parts and paying respect to long-ago compositions while providing a new take. The concert also offers the St. Louis premiere of Requiem by John Donald Robb, an American composer. Though completed in 1985 when Robb was 93, this composition was recently arranged for choir and organ. Premieres! Is presented at Ladue Chapel Presbyterian Church (9450 Clayton Road, Ladue; 314-993-4771), and tickets cost $20 to $37; visit www.bachsociety.org to learn more.


MONDAY|04.30 |



Tacos for a cause! What could be better? It’s true, the taste for Mexican food is contagious and irresistible these days (gracing the airwaves of NPR and even the front cover of this very publication). Diablitos Cantina and Sanctuaria chef Wil Pelly is a well-established master of the flavors and concocts many a savory delight for Saint Louis University’s Mexican Street Food Revolution. The $35 ticket price benefits the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of St. Louis, and the culinary quantity is as impressive as the quality. The happy hour is from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., with Pelly cooking live from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. The magic happens on the Diablitos Cantina patio (3761 Laclede Avenue). Reservations are available through its website at www.diablitoscantina.com. For more information, call 314-644-4430.


TUESDAY|05.01 |



Before Alan “Moondog” Freed made Cleveland rock, white DJ Dewey Phillips brought black music to the Memphis airwaves. Loosely based on his radio career, Memphis tells the story of how rock & roll, the musical love child of blues, soul and country, continued to evolve in the ’50s as the distinctions of “black music” and “white music” blurred. Huey Calhoun has an ear for Good tunes, and while applying for a DJ gig at a radio station, he hijacks the mic and plays a rock & roll record by an African American artist — it’s then that the phone calls start rolling in, and Calhoun’s game-changing career takes flight. The tale of prejudice, the uniting power of good music and, of course, love unfolds at the Fox Theatre (527 North Grand Boulevard) Tuesday through Sunday (May 1 to 13). Tickets are $15 to $75; visit www.fabulousfox.com or call 314-534-1111 for showtimes and to purchase tickets.





This Wednesday, on the northeast corner of St. Louis’ Grand Boulevard and Samuel Shepard Drive, work begins on A Chromatic Confluence, the temporary public art installation that will be the centerpiece of this year’s ARTWalk at Grand Center. The installation is a shimmering, hand-crafted rainbow of a maze, created from nearly 20,000 feet of multicolored string and filling a 25-by-65-square-foot space. When complete, the piece will be interactive; as visitors walk through the maze, they’ll face myriad paths, and in the weeks to come, special performances will be held inside the sculpture. Installation of A Chromatic Confluence will be supervised by the Austin, Texas, creative think tank “Thoughtbarn” and will continue until May 9. The piece will be illuminated in the evenings and be on display through June. For details and a sneak peek at what’s to come later in the month, visit www.grandcenter.org.




Video may have killed the radio star, but it didn’t do a lot for the storyteller, either. Long before man stared into the blue-glowing abyss of television, he created cave drawings at Lascaux, shared the theater of Homer fireside and took in tales by traveling bards — and it didn’t end there. Share the rich, ever-evolving history of storytelling and experience the magic of more than 50 of its master craftspeople at work at the award-winning, 33rd annual St. Louis Storytelling Festival, a six-day celebration spanning from April 30 to May 5. The grand finale kicks off on May 5 at 7:30 p.m. at the Touhill Performing Arts Center (One University Boulevard; 314-516-4949) and features concluding performances by all of the featured storytellers. Tickets are $7 to $10.


[SATURDAY 04.28]


In the age of high-quality digital cameras, Instagram filters and extinct film, few use Polaroid cameras. Once, though, they were as ubiquitous as Facebook posts. In the half-forgotten storage places of countless Americans, you’ll find faded Polaroid prints that capture the humble and often poignant moments that make up everyday lives. They’re a type of holy artifact: the incidental, spontaneous art of regular human beings. But high-octane professional artists used Polaroids, too. Andy Warhol shot tens of thousands of Polaroid images and utilized them as a sort of first draft toward clarifying the development process that went into his finished prints and paintings. Warhol, of course, wholly embraced the commercial and the instantly made. The Saint Louis University Museum of Art (3663 Lindell Boulevard; 314-977-3399 or sluma.slu.edu) was one of a select group of university institutions to receive a gift of Polaroids and black-and-white photos from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Take advantage of our town’s good luck and experience the exhibit, WARHOL’S POLAROIDS: A METHOD, at its opening this evening at 5:30 p.m. Catch this rare glimpse into Warhol’s process for free before its exit on June 10.