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Chinese Culture Days

Sun., April 23, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
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The always popular Chinese Culture Days return to the Missouri Botanical Garden (4344 Shaw Boulevard; www.mobot.org) this Saturday and Sunday (April 22 and 23) with acrobats, tai chi demonstrations and a food court full of choice dishes representing China's immense selection of regional cuisines. The highlight of the festival is the Grand Parade, which stars a 70-foot-long dancing dragon; it's so popular it takes place at 2 p.m. on both days. Chinese Culture Days takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $7 to $17. $7-$17

Fashion Design Show

Sun., April 23, 3 p.m.

Washington University's Fashion Design Show is a huge event with dozens of models showcasing garments created by fourteen student designers. It's also a learning experience for the students, who get to see how people respond to their best work. Among those anxiously awaiting the public response are Helen Kwon, whose designs are inspired by the otherworldly feeling that develops during the lengthy flight from St. Louis to Korea, and Maximillian Suiter, who references assemblage artist Kurt Schwitters in his Palimpsest collection. The 88th annual Fashion Design Show starts at 3 p.m. today at Third Degree Glass Factory (5200 Delmar Boulevard). Tickets are $20 to $95, and available at the door and through www.edison.wustl.edu. $20-$95

Disney's The Lion King

Sundays, 1 & 6:30 p.m., Saturdays, 2 & 7:30 p.m. and Tuesdays-Fridays, 7:30 p.m. Continues through May 7

Musical juggernaut Disney's The Lion King is so much a part of American culture that even if you've never seen it, you'll recognize most of the songs. Simba is a young lion who one day will be king, but his uncle Scar arranges the death of King Mufasa and convinces Simba that Mufasa's death is his fault. Simba runs away to live in the jungle with new friends Timon and Pumbaa. But one day he will return to claim his throne, won't he? The Elton John and Tim Rice tunes seem to imply he can do it. Disney's The Lion King is performed at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday (April 19 to May 7) at the Fox Theatre (527 North Grand Boulevard; www.fabulousfox.com). Tickets are $55 to $199. $55-$199

Buy Tickets
The Fox Theatre (map)
527 N. Grand Blvd.
St. Louis - Grand Center
phone 314-534-1111
Disney's The Lion King

Imagery of Chess: St. Louis Artists

Wednesdays-Fridays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Sundays, 12-5 p.m. and Mondays, Tuesdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Sept. 17

In 1944 Marcel Duchamp, Julien Levy and Max Ernst organized The Imagery of Chess, an exhibition of chess sets reimagined by artists and performers. Their hope was that people's vision of the chess board and pieces would be expanded beyond the then-accepted options of either the classic Staunton design or the "French" set. In 2016, the World Chess Hall of Fame exhibited some of the works from the 1944 show to acknowledge the debt owed to those artists for forever altering the look of chess. Imagery of Chess: St. Louis Artists is the new follow-up exhibit, which invites twenty local artists to have their way with the game pieces. Among those participating are Eugenia Alexander, who cites the Afrofuturism movement as a key influence on her work; fashion designer and Project Runway vet Michael Drummond; and Yuka Suga, a glass and metals artist who also works as a therapist. A second, simultaneous show, Pow! Capturing Superheroes, Chess & Comics, showcases more than 200 chess-themed comic books (you'd be surprised by how many super villains play chess to keep their minds sharp for optimal intricate scheming functionality). There are also superhero-themed chess boards and a comic book reading room. Both exhibitions open a free reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, March 23, at the World Chess Hall of Fame (4652 Maryland Avenue; www.worldchesshof.org). Imagery of Chess continues through September 14. Pow! remains up through September 17. Admission is a suggested $5 donation. $5 suggested donation

Seven Guitars

Sundays, 3 p.m. Continues through April 23

August Wilson's Seven Guitars is the story of a group of friends and neighbors and their shared connection to the talented Floyd "Schoolboy" Barton, whose life as a blues guitarist is plagued by bad luck, bad decisions and an unexpected jail sentence. He's looking to get his life and career back on track, but his own demons and the worlds prejudice constantly stand in his way. The Black Rep continues its 40th season with the 1940s installment of Wilson's Pittsburgh Cycle, which chronicles African-American life in the Pennsylvania city. Seven Guitars is performed at 7 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and at 3 p.m. Sunday (March 29 to April 23) at the Emerson Performance Center at Harris-Stowe State University (3026 Laclede Avenue; www.theblackrep.org). Tickets are $15 to $40. $15-$40

Dancing at Lughnasa

Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m. and Sundays, 2 p.m. Continues through April 30

It's a portentous time in the Mundy sisters' household. Jack, the older brother of the five young women, has returned from his missionary work in Uganda to settle into the small cottage the ladies share in the rural hills of Donegal, Ireland. This blessing soon causes consternation, as Jack seems to have forgotten his Catholicism -- a requisite for a priest -- and clashes with the stridently religious oldest sister Kate. The sudden arrival of Gerry Evans, one-time beau of Christine and father of seven-year-old Michael, further enrages Kate. As the only gainfully employed sister, Kate's words carry a lot of weight, but she can't shake Chris from her dreams of marriage to Gerry any more than she can stop the rest of the village from engaging in the pagan ritual of Lughnasadh, the Celtic harvest festival. Brian Friel's Tony award-winning drama Dancing at Lughnasa captures an Irish family in the dying days of a glorious summer, right before everything turns harder and meaner. Mustard Seed Theatre closes its current season with Dancing at Lughnasa. Performances are at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday (April 13 to 30; no show on April 16) at the Fontbonne Fine Arts Theatre (6800 Wydown Boulevard; www.mustardseedtheatre.com). Tickets are $30 to $35. $30-$35

Fontbonne University Fine Arts Theatre (map)
6800 Wydown Blvd.
Clayton
phone 314-862-3456
Dancing at Lughnasa

The Hats of Stephen Jones

Fridays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. and Tuesdays-Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Sept. 3
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You may not recognize Stephen Jones by name, but you've most likely seen his work. The English milliner's creations have been worn by trend-setting celebrities for more than 30 years, from Princess Diana to Lady Gaga. A selection of eight of his avant-garde hats are displayed at the Saint Louis Art Museum (1 Fine Arts Drive; www.slam.org) in Hats of Stephen Jones, a complementary exhibition to the ongoing exhibition Degas, Impressionism, and the Paris Millinery Trade. Jones' exhibit will remain up from Friday, April 21 to Sunday, September 3. At 2 p.m. Sunday, April 23, Jones visits the museum to discuss his work and his inspirations with New York milliner Jennifer Ouellette. Admission to the lecture is $20 to $25; exhibition admission is $6 to $15. $6-$15

In the Realm of Trees

Fridays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. and Tuesdays-Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Sept. 3

Classical Chinese artists often used trees as inspirations or the focus of their works. Trees and the natural world are the focus of the new exhibition at the Saint Louis Art Museum (1 Fine Arts Drive; www.slam.org), In the Realm of Trees, which includes photographs, paintings and decorative works that glorify the beauty found in nature. The centerpiece of the show is a set of contemporary photographs called Sacred Tree on Mount Lu, made by Beijing-based photographer Michael Cherney, which was acquired for the museum's permanent collection in 2016 and will be presented for the first time in this exhibit. In the Realm of Trees opens on Friday, March 10, and remains up through Sunday, September 3, in gallery 225. The gallery is open Tuesday through Sunday, and admission is free. free admission

Learning to See: Renaissance and Baroque Masterworks

Fridays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. and Tuesdays-Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through July 30

Phoebe Dent Weil created the field of sculpture conservation in the early 1970s right here in St. Louis. As you might imagine, her personal collection of art is deep and full of treasures. Her husband Mark Weil was an art historian, and his collection is also heavy with the hits of the Baroque and Renaissance. They have promised their joint art holding to the Saint Louis Art Museum, where the public will be able to enjoy for years to come the fruits of their very fruitful collecting years. Learning to See: Renaissance Baroque Masterworks from the Phoebe Dent Weil and Mark S. Weil Collection features etchings by Rembrandt van Rijn and Albrecht Dürer and sixteenth-century Italian terracotta sculptures and busts, each work a miracle of craftsmanship and artistic vision. free admission

Juan William Chavez: Sun Hive

Fridays, Saturdays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sundays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. and Tuesdays-Thursdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through May 4

The creation of art has been romanticized as a solitary pursuit, but in truth most artists have a support network of trusted friends and peers who help shape ideas, offer technical advice and inspire new directions. Juan William Chavez’s multimedia installation Sun Hive is a celebration of those other communal artists: the bees. Inspired by the seeming conflict between the bees’ collective lifestyle and the meditative practice of the lone beekeeper, Chavez’ drawings, sculptures and videos explore the symbiotic relationship of the hive dwellers and the humans who harvest their golden produce. free admission

Taking It to the Streets

Sundays, 12-5 p.m., Saturdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Fridays, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. and Wednesdays, Thursdays, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Continues through May 20

Taking It to the Streets is actually two exhibitions in two separate galleries. The Kranzberg Arts Center and the University of Missouri-St. Louis’ Gallery 210 jointly host the show, which addresses the contemporary urban experience in the metro area. It features work by Howard Barry, Lois Ingrum, De Andrea Nichols and Basil Kincaid at both locations. This quartet is joined by Cbabi Bayoc, Solomon Thurman, Christine Ilewski and Damon Davis at Gallery 210. A bus will shuttle people between venues during the evening so you can experience the full exhibit. free admission

Buy Tickets
Kranzberg Arts Center (map)
501 N Grand Blvd
St. Louis - Grand Center
phone 314-533-0367
Taking It to the Streets

August: Osage County

Sundays, 3 p.m. and Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m. Continues through April 30

The Westons are an Oklahoma family with some major league problems. Violet, the family matriarch, is sharp-tongued and cruel when not gobbling up pills -- and even tougher to handle when she's downing them by the fistful. Patriarch Beverly is a poet whose metier is now alcohol. Their three daughters are, respectively, stuck in a bad marriage, approaching spinsterhood and about to enter a bad marriage. Normally they all avoid each other, but when Beverly goes missing, the family rallies together partially for comfort, as well as to stick in the knives they've been sharpening for each other for quite some time. Tracy Letts' Pulitzer Prize winning drama August: Osage County offers a long glance into the dark world of an American family as it circles the bowl. St. Louis Actors' Studio continues its tenth season with August: Osage County. Performances take place at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday (April 14 to 30) at the Gaslight Theater (358 North Boyle Avenue; www.stlas.org). Tickets are $30 to $35. $30-$35

Oedipus Apparatus

Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m. and Sundays, 2 p.m. Continues through April 30

Sophocles' drama Oedipus Tyrannus has survived more than two millennia because of the horror of its plot (man kills father and unwittingly marries his own mother) and because of the way it captures the inevitability of fate. Oedipus' father, Laius, demanded the boy be killed at birth in an attempt to defeat the prophecy that Laius would die by his son's hand as punishment for his past actions. Saved by shepherds, Oedipus survives. But even though he grows up unaware of his true parents identity, Oedipus is nevertheless doomed to slay one and bed the other, paying the price for sins his father committed before he was even born. Nothing he does can change his destiny. Lucy Cashion reworks the classic story in her new play, Oedipus Apparatus. Sophocles' plot is interwoven with episodes of the TV show The View and a guided meditation on death led by a Buddhist nun to create a new telling for a more modern age. West End Players Guild closes its season with Oedipus Apparatus. Performances are at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday (April 21 to 30) at the Union Avenue Christian Church (733 North Union Boulevard; www.westendplayers.org). Tickets are $20 to $25. $20-$25

#1 in Civil Rights

Mondays, Wednesdays-Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Tuesdays, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Continues through April 15, 2018

St. Louis' history as a wellspring of civil rights activism is deep and impressive. Dred and Harriet Scott's legal fight to be free, Mary Meachum's bold actions leading slaves to freedom across the Mississippi River, the Jefferson Bank protesters organizing to get access to better jobs, Percy Green and the daring VP Ball invaders who challenged St. Louis' powerful elite and the exclusionary nature of their private party — all of these people fought the good fight in St. Louis. #1 in Civil Rights, the new exhibition at the Missouri History Museum (Lindell Boulevard and DeBaliviere Avenue; www.mohistory.org) chronicles the history of the civil rights movement in the metro area through artifacts, historical photos, oral histories, art work and actors' performances. Every key moment in the black struggle for equality is covered up to the present day, with artifacts collected by the museum staff following the killing of Michael Brown and the resulting civil unrest in Ferguson playing a major role in the exhibit. #1 in Civil Rights opens on Saturday, March 11, and continues through April 15, 2018. Admission is free. free admission

Missouri History Museum (map)
Lindell Blvd. & DeBaliviere Ave.
St. Louis - Forest Park
phone 314-746-4599
#1 in Civil Rights

Route 66: Main Street Through St. Louis

Mondays, Wednesdays-Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through July 16

Before the interstate highway system was developed, Route 66 was the safest, fastest way to cross the western half of the country. Starting in Chicago and ending Santa Monica, the "Main Street of America" came right though St. Louis, but not in the mostly straight lines we're accustomed to now. At various points in time, Route 66 traversed Watson Road, Manchester Road, the Martin Luther King Bridge and the Poplar Street Bridge. That shifting route helped spur the growth of cities and businesses along the way, as travelers stopped overnight at the Coral Court Motel or grabbed a bit to eat at the Parkmoor Restaurant. Route 66: Main Street Through St. Louis, the new exhibition at the Missouri History Museum (Lindell Boulevard and DeBaliviere Avenue; 314-746-4599 or www.mohistory.org), tells the story of the byway through roadside signs and gas pumps, historic vehicles, bus tours and photographs. Route 66 opens Saturday, June 25, and remains open through July 16, 2017. Admission is free. free admission

Missouri History Museum (map)
Lindell Blvd. & DeBaliviere Ave.
St. Louis - Forest Park
phone 314-746-4599
Route 66: Main Street Through St. Louis
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