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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

Circus Flora

Fridays, Saturdays, 1 & 7 p.m., Sundays, 1 & 5:30 p.m. and Tuesdays-Thursdays, 7 p.m. Continues through June 25

Would it be possible to experience summer in St. Louis without Circus Flora? No one wants to find out. The one-ring circus sets up in Grand Center at the start of June, acting as a de facto starter's pistol for the season's fun. This year's show, Time Flies, is inspired by the fourth dimension — time itself. Acrobat Sasha Harrington, juggling champion Kyle Driggs and the always-popular Flying Wallendas will take you with them as they travel through space and time, magically making you feel like a kid again. New this year is equestrienne Heidi Herriott, who teams up with dancer Andrea Murillo to unveil the world's first tango performed by a human and a horse. Circus Flora does it all in the Circus Flora Big Top (Samuel Shepard Drive and North Grand Boulevard; www.circusflora.org) from June 1 to 25. Tickets are $10 to $50. $10-$50

Circus Flora Big Top (map)
Samuel Shepard Drive and N. Grand Blvd.
St. Louis - Grand Center
phone 314-289-4040
Circus Flora

The Lieutenant of Inishmore

Sundays, 2:30 p.m. and Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m. Continues through June 25

Wee Thomas might be the most important living being in Inishmore. The black cat is the only loyal companion of Mad Padraic, the most feared member of the Irish National Liberation Army. When Padraic is informed that someone killed Wee Thomas, he drops everything to track down the killer — and Padraic's methods of investigation are astonishingly brutal. He carves a bloody path through Inishmore's underworld, never stopping long enough to question why his beloved cat was killed. That just might be a mistake. Martin McDonagh's grisly The Lieutenant of Inishmore is the debut production for Theatre Macabre, a new group with a penchant for the darker side of life. The Lieutenant of Inishmore is performed at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and at 2:30 p.m. Sunday (June 15 to 25) at the Kranzberg Arts Center (501 North Grand Boulevard; www.kranzbergartscenter.org). Tickets are $20. $20

Buy Tickets
Kranzberg Arts Center (map)
501 N Grand Blvd
St. Louis - Grand Center
phone 314-533-0367
The Lieutenant of Inishmore

Monsters

Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m. Continues through June 24

Jeremy and Davis are convinced that they've finally done it — they've plotted out how to commit the perfect crime. Of course the brothers have concealed their plans and intentions from everyone, but they overlooked one key factor: When your wife finds a man tied up in her basement, she's gonna start asking questions. Local actor and playwright Stephen Peirick's new comic-thriller Monsters explores what happens when would-be master criminals forget that you can never fool your wife. Monsters is performed at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday (June 8 to 24) at the Tower Grove Abbey (2336 Tennessee Avenue; www.straydogtheatre.org). Tickets are $25. $25

Tower Grove Abbey (map)
2336 Tennessee Ave.
St. Louis - South Grand
phone 314-865-1995
Monsters

The Sweet Smell of Success

Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m. Continues through June 24

Sidney Falcone is a press agent in need of a client when he encounters a talented, unknown piano player named Dallas. Dallas doesn't need a PR guy, but he does need someone to convince his girl, Susan, to commit to their relationship. Sidney's at a loss until he discovers Susan's brother is none other than J.J. Hunsecker, the kingmaking gossip columnist. J.J. offers Sidney a deal: Keep tabs on Susan and make sure she doesn't get attached to that ivory-tickling bum, and J.J. will take Sidney to the stars. The Marvin Hamlisch and John Guare musical The Sweet Smell of Success takes audiences back to McCarthy-era New York for a ride through the sleazy underworld of the power elite. New Line Theatre presents The Sweet Smell of Success at 8 p.m. Thursday to Saturday (June 1 to 24) at the Marcelle Theatre (3310 Samuel Shepard Drive; www.newlinetheatre.com). Tickets are $15 to $25. $15-$25

Title and Deed

Thursdays-Sundays, 8 p.m. Continues through June 24

An immigrant — or maybe just a traveler from parts unknown — comes into view with his single piece of luggage and starts talking. He explains that he's not from here, and slowly begins to reveal snippets about where he's from. What this stranger is speaking of is the concept of "home”; the sounds and sights and people that make a place dear. But he's also talking about the isolation that accrues when you haven't felt any of its comforts for too long. Will Eno's one-man show Title and Deed addresses the alienation wrought by displacement. Midnight Company presents the show at 8 p.m. Thursday through Sunday (June 8 to 24) at Avatar Studios (2675 Scott Avenue; www.midnightcompany.com). Tickets are $15. $15

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

Jennifer Colten: Higher Ground

Wednesdays-Fridays, 12-5 p.m., Saturdays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and Tuesdays, 12-8 p.m. Continues through Aug. 26

Back in the old days, the insanities of racism and segregation kept black people and white people out of the same graveyards. Washington Park Cemetery was for many years the largest final resting place for black St. Louis. Its proximity to Lambert St. Louis International Airport doomed it, however. Highway 70 ran through the middle of the cemetery in the 1950s, and more bodies were moved in the '90s when MetroLink tracks were laid and the airport expanded. Photographer Jennifer Colten documented the current state of the cemetery for the new multimedia exhibition Higher Ground: Honoring Washington Park Cemetery, Its People and Place. Her large-scale, color photographs are supported by historical documentation, video and oral histories (by Denise Ward-Brown) and an art installation by Dail Chambers, all toward the goal of illuminating the racial politics and tangled history behind a black cemetery’s sacrifice in the name of progress. free admission

Buy Tickets
The Sheldon (map)
3648 Washington Blvd.
St. Louis - Grand Center
phone 314-533-9900
Jennifer Colten:  Higher Ground

Tennessee Williams: The Playwright and the Painter

Wednesdays-Sundays, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Continues through July 23

In addition to his work as a playwright, Tennessee Williams painted. The subject of his expressionist paintings varies; often he painted close friends, but some of his creations reference scenes from his plays, or reveal his personal feelings. David Wolkowsky, a close friend of Williams, has graciously loaned seventeen paintings from his personal collection to the Saint Louis University Museum of Art as part of this year's Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis. This is only the second time they’ve been exhibited outside of Key West, so fans should take advantage of this rare viewing. The show is supplemented by an audio recording of Williams reading his poetry and a short video of Wolkowsky discussing his friend. free admission

Urban Wanderers: Through Their Eyes

Wednesdays-Sundays, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Continues through July 23
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Stray Rescue's street teams see animals in their worst moments. Chained up in their own filth, injured and holed up behind dumpsters, malnourished and abused — these animals are found in abominable conditions, and Stray Rescue's people know it. This year's Urban Wanderers art show is all about that moment when the cats and dogs are pulled out of the darkness and back into the world. More than 80 artists have read the individual stories of a cat or dog's rescue; the artists have then interpreted in their work the animal's emotional state at the moment Stray Rescue arrived. Actual artifacts found with the rescuee have been incorporated into the exhibit as well. Urban Wanderers: Through Their Eyes opens with a free reception from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, June 9, at the Saint Louis University Museum of Art (3663 Lindell Boulevard; sluma.slu.edu). The show remains up through July 23, and the gallery is open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. free admission

Urban Planning: Art and the City 1967-2017

Wednesdays-Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Thursdays, Fridays, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Continues through Aug. 13

Agnes Denes' photograph Wheatfield -- A Confrontation: Battery Park Landfill, Downtown Manhattan is one of the more incongruous images you're likely to see. The artist stands holding a staff in a hip-deep golden field of wheat; rising up from the other side of the street is a battalion of skyscrapers. You don't think of Manhattan as agriculturally active, but wheat grew wild near the landfill in 1982. The image is part of the Contemporary's summer exhibition, Urban Planning: Art and the City 1967-2017, which takes a contemplative approach to documenting the ebb and flow of city life. Urban Planning comprises photographs, sculptures and installations that address gentrification, white flight and the decay that follows -- and the occasional rebirth of a city. free admission

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Tuesdays-Fridays, 8 p.m., Saturdays, 4 & 8 p.m. and Sundays, 2 & 7:30 p.m. Continues through July 2

Stages St. Louis opens its 31st season with the crowd-pleasing musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. The Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice show is inspired by the life of the Biblical Joseph, whose eleven brothers are jealous of the fantastic coat bequeathed to him, so they sell him into slavery and tell Dad his favorite son has been killed. Joseph finds fame and fortune in Egypt as a soothsayer, while his brothers regret their actions and suffer from famine. Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is performed at 8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 4 and 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday (June 2 to July 2) at the Robert G. Reim Theatre (111 South Geyer Road, Kirkwood; www.stagesstlouis.org). Tickets are $41 to $63. $41-$63

Robert G. Reim Theatre (map)
111 S. Geyer Road
Kirkwood
phone 314-821-2407

Next to Normal

Sundays, 2 p.m. and Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m. Continues through June 25

Brian Yorkey and Tom Kitt won three Tony awards and the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for their musical Next to Normal because of its clear-eyed portrayal of the ways mental illness affects families as a unit and as individuals. In it, a mother's bipolar disorder has kept her caught in an endless cycle of medication that only works until her body adjusts to the dosage. The more her illness flares up, the more it strains her relationship with her husband and children. Is there a course of medication or therapy that can set her and her family back on the path to normal? Insight Theatre Company opens its tenth season with Next to Normal. The show is performed at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday (June 8 to 25) at .Zack (3224 Locust Street; www.insighttheatrecompany.com). Tickets are $20 to $35. $20-$35

.Zack (map)
3224 Locust St
St. Louis - Grand Center
phone 314-304-3602
Next to Normal
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