Arts & Theater Events Today in St. Louis

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Open Studios STL

Sun., Oct. 20, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

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For fourteen years now, Open Studios STL has arranged for tours of working artists' studios in order to demystify the art-making process. This year more than 120 artists are participating in Open Studios Weekend, which takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday (October 19 and 20). Saturday is reserved for artists west of Grand Boulevard and Sunday is for everything east of Grand, although some artists participate both days. Artists will answer questions, discuss their methods and in some cases sell their work directly to interested parties. (Many will also be working on something, because to work is the nature of an artist.) Maps of the studios that are open are available at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (3750 Washington Boulevard), and online at openstudios-stl.org. Admission is free. 314-535-4660

Coming Out Play Festival

Sun., Oct. 20, 4 p.m.
The Monocle 4510 Manchester Ave, St. Louis St. Louis - The Grove

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The Q Collective's Coming Out Play Festival invites playwrights to explore the myriad ways the LGBTQ community reveals their true selves to friends, family and strangers. This year's plays include the story of a closeted young man on the fence about telling his grandmother the truth about himself ("Catching Lemons"); a woman coming out to her woman's group ("1Like Summer on the Beach"); and a fictional girlfriend becoming a real person ("The Home for Retired Canadian Girlfriends"). The Coming Out Play Festival takes place at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 4 and 7 p.m. Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday (October 17 to 20) at the Monocle (4510 Manchester Avenue; theqcollective.theater). Tickets are $20 to $75. 314-932-7003

Printing the Pastoral: Visions of the Countryside in 18th-Century Europe

Tuesdays-Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Dec. 1


The consumers of middle- and upper-class society in the eighteenth century developed a passion for rural scenes of traditional country life, just as the introduction of copperplate printing to the textile industry made it possible to produce fabrics with intricately detailed scenes printed upon them. Textile factories began churning out yards of fabric with shepherds, village fêtes and strolling couples for a market that could afford to buy them as furniture coverings, bedding and curtains. Printing the Pastoral: Visions of the Countryside in 18th-Century Europe, an exhibition at the Saint Louis Art Museum, includes numerous examples of the craft, several of which have never before been shown at the museum. The centerpiece of the exhibit is a reconstructed bed with printed bedding and curtains. Printing the Pastoral continues through December 1 in gallery 100 at the Saint Louis Art Museum (1 Fine Arts Drive; www.slam.org). Admission is free. 314-721-0072

Dutch Paintings in the Age of Rembrandt

Fridays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. and Tuesdays-Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Jan. 12


The Netherlands gained independence from Spain during the brutal and grueling 80 Years War, which was followed by the Dutch Golden Age. Its ports, wind power and sailing prowess kindled a financial engine that powered the new country into the forefront of banking and trade; and with that windfall of money came the rise of the Dutch school of portrait painters. Rembrandt van Rijn, Frans Hals and Aeltje Uylenburgh all created masterpieces in this period of prosperity. Dutch Paintings in the Age of Rembrandt, the new exhibition at the Saint Louis Art Museum (1 Fine Arts Drive; www.slam.org), showcases 70 paintings on loan from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, that demonstrate the Dutch mastery of portraiture, landscape and genre painting (paintings depicting stories with a moral). The exhibit opens Sunday, October 20, and remains on display through January 12. Tickets are $6 to $15 (but free on Friday), and the museum is open every day except Monday and major holidays. 314-721-0072

Ai Weiwei: Bare Life

Sundays, 12-5 p.m. and Mondays, Wednesdays-Saturdays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Jan. 5


The Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum (1 Brookings Drive; kemperartmuseum.wustl.edu) officially reopens with a bang. Chinese artist and dissident Ai Weiwei presents a major exhibition of work that spans the past twenty years of his career, some of which has never before been shown in the United States. Divided into two parts, Bare Life and Rupture, the show features monumental exhibitions such as Forever Bicycles (2019) and Through (2007-2008). The former is a commemorative arch built with Chinese-made bicycles, their carefully positioned tires lining up to create the image of telescoping lenses; the latter is an intersecting series of wooden pillars that pierce the surface of Qing Dynasty wooden tables. The work evokes China's own interrupted and intentionally erased history. Ai Weiwei: Bare Life also includes sculptures, photographs, films and a triptych constructed of LEGO bricks. The show runs from September 28 to January 5. 314-935-4523

Sam Falls: Conception

Through Dec. 22, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.


Sam Falls' artworks are inspired by, and at least in part created by, nature. For his exhibition at Laumeier Sculpture Park, Falls laid a canvas covered with dry pigments on ground in the park's woodland. Left there for several days, the dew, whatever rain fell and the sunlight that passed through the leaves overhead and onto the canvas made a record of the local flora. In addition to his large-scale nature paintings, Falls has also mosaicked a pair of steel I-beams with tiles featuring native plants grown especially by Laumeier's master gardener at Falls' request. The finished beams are placed standing upright in the forest, reflecting and refracting the natural landscape that surrounds them. Sam Falls: Conception opens with a free public reception from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, August 24, at the Aronson Fine Arts Center in Laumeier Sculpture Park (12580 Rott Road, Sunset Hills; www.laumeier.org). Falls' work remains on display through December 22. 314-615-5278

The Lifespan of a Fact

Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through Nov. 10
Loretto-Hilton Center 130 Edgar Road, Webster Groves Webster Groves


John D'Agata is a literary essayist whose latest piece is a magazine article — more of a classicist's rumination, perhaps — on the Las Vegas suicide of a teenager. The problem is his fact-checker, Jim Fingal, who insists on precision of language and detail. D'Agata's not interested in details; he's trying to convey the sweep of symbolism inherent in the death of a young man in Sin City. Through emails and eventually in person, both men wage what is increasingly a very personal war over language, intention and fact. Can facts be molded to better get at D'Agata's meaning? Is the truth of anything in fact quantifiable — and can it be done on a very tight deadline? Jeremy Kareken, David Murrell and Gordon Farrell's comic play The Lifespan of a Fact is about the struggle to get the truth in print, a feat made more difficult by that peculiar habit of men, taking all criticism as an attack. The Repertory Theatre St. Louis presents The Lifespan of a Fact Tuesday through Sunday (October 18 to November 10) at the Loretto-Hilton Center (130 Edgar Road; www.repstl.org). Tickets are $20 to $94.50.

The Shape Of Abstraction: Selections from the Ollie Collection

Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through March 22


The Thelma and Bert Ollie Memorial Collection of abstract art officially went on display Tuesday, September 17, at the Saint Louis Art Museum (1 Fine Arts Drive; www.slam.org). The collection was gifted to the museum in 2017 by New Jersey-based art collector Ronald Maurice Ollie and his wife, Monique McRipley Ollie, in honor of Ronald's parents. The elder Ollies often visited the Saint Louis Art Museum with their children, instilling a lifelong passion for art. Ronald and Monique Ollie together collected art for many years, particularly work by contemporary black artists. Among the treasures in the exhibit, The Shape Of Abstraction: Selections from the Ollie Collection, are important works such as Robert Blackburn's lithograph Faux Pas, Mary Lovelace O'Neal's City Lights and Frank Bowling's Fishes, Wishes and Star Apple Blue, which demonstrates Bowling's innovative painting technique. In all, 40 works are displayed in the show, which draws its title from a poem by Quincy Troupe. The St. Louis native was inspired by the artworks in the Ollie Collection and wrote "The Shape of Abstraction; for Ron Ollie" in response. Troupe's poem is included in the exhibit catalog. 314-721-0072

Carlos Zamora: cART

Through Dec. 22


Art is something to be appreciated, and St. Louis-based illustrator/graphic designer Carlos Zamora's cART exhibition at Laumeier Sculpture Park is one of those examples. Zamora transformed three golf carts into kinetic sculptures by installing his oversized paper boat sculptures on top and wrapping the bodies with printed vinyl slogans. A fourth large paper boat sculpture will be placed in a creek on the Laumeier grounds. The Cuban native drew inspiration for the project from his heritage, specifically the song "Baraquio de papel" — "Little Paper Boat" — as well as Cuban car culture, nursery rhymes and politics.

Carlos Zamora: cART opens with a free reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, July 25, at Laumeier Sculpture Park (12580 Rott Road; www.laumeier.org). The following night a Havana Night celebration takes place in the park's Aronson Fine Arts Center from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., with mojitos, snacks, "Casino" dance lessons and a screenprinted poster station. Tickets are $25, but admission to the park and Zamora's boat sculptures is free. The exhibition continues through December 22, and the park is open daily from 8 a.m. to 30 minutes past sunset.

314-615-5278

Pulitzer Prize Photographs and In Focus: St. Louis Post-Dispatch Photographs

Through Jan. 20, 2020
Missouri History Museum 5700 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis St. Louis - Forest Park

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Photographs are a key element of narrative storytelling, which is why it's so baffling that newspapers have deemed staff photographers an expendable luxury. You probably recognize many of the photographs that won Pulitzer Prizes, from Joe Rosenthal's shot Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima, to Alan Diaz's memorable photo of U.S. federal agents seizing Elian Gonzalez, to St. Louis Post-Dispatch photographer Robert Cohen's 2014 image of a protestor throwing a tear-gas canister back at police while protesting the killing of Michael Brown. These photographs shock us, inspire feelings of pride and anger, and inform us, just as great written journalism does. The Newseum in Washington created a traveling exhibit of some of the most beautiful images to win the Pulitzer, and it's a show that will make its St. Louis debut on Saturday, August 3, at the Missouri History Museum (5700 Lindell Boulevard; www.mohistory.org). A second exhibition organized by the Missouri History Museum collected 75 photos of everyday life in St. Louis from the Post-Dispatch archives. Pulitzer Prize Photographs and In Focus: St. Louis Post-Dispatch Photographs remain on display through January 20, and admission is free. Parents are cautioned that some of the photographs are intense and may be too much for younger children. 314-746-4599

Stephanie Syjuco: Rogue States

Thursdays, Fridays, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. and Wednesdays, Saturdays, Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Dec. 29

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Artist Stephanie Syjuco was born in Manila and immigrated to the United States with her family when she was three years old, which gave her an American education and an immigrant's eye for our national blindspots. It's these blindspots that inform the art in her exhibition Stephanie Syjuco: Rogue States, which opens with a free reception at 7 p.m. Friday, September 6, at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (3750 Washington Boulevard; www.camstl.org). The title of the show comes from her installation of 22 flags that were used to represent the flags of made-up nations in various American films. Also in the exhibit is her large-scale installation Neutral Calibration Studies (Ornament + Crime), which comprises artifacts representing both colonizer and colonized societies. Cultural objects such as wicker chairs and traditional rugs Syjuco purchased online, cardboard cutouts of people and actual artifacts are mixed together in a larger-than-life diorama. Nestled in the background is a color photograph of the "stone-age" tribe of the Tasaday, found on a remote island in the Philippines in the early 1970s, who were actually modern people posed by a photographer. Rogue States continues through December 29, and the museum is open Wednesday through Sunday. 314-535-4660

Brighton Beach Memoirs

Thursdays, 7:30 p.m., Saturdays, 4 & 8 p.m. and Sundays, 2 p.m. Continues through Oct. 27


All Eugene Jerome wants to do is eat ice cream and see a naked woman, preferably at the same time. At the moment, all he has to do is go get another quarter pound of butter from the store every morning and afternoon because of his mother's strange shopping habits and keep the noise down (there's a cake in the oven). The Depression is dragging on in 1937, and his aunt and her two daughters — one of them the beautiful Nora, who's close to Eugene's age — have moved in out of necessity. Eugene's dad is working two jobs to support everyone, his older brother faces a moral dilemma at his own job, and poor Eugene gets buffeted about by the whims of his mother and the various intra-family squabbles. Neil Simon's semi-autobiographical play Brighton Beach Memoirs is a trip back to the simpler days, when a family could drive each other crazy and no one tweeted about it. The New Jewish Theatre opens its new season with Brighton Beach Memoirs. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, 4 and 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday (October 10 to 27) in the Wool Studio Theatre at the Jewish Community Center (2 Millstone Campus Drive; www.newjewishtheatre.org). Tickets are $47 to $54. 314-442-3283

MADCO 2

Sun., Oct. 20, 2-3:30 p.m.
Blanche M Touhill Performing Arts Center 1 University Dr at Natural Bridge Road, Normandy North St. Louis County

Buy Tickets$15


MADCO (Modern American Dance Company) is proud to present MADCO 2, a professional apprentice company, in their own mainstage performance. Enjoy pre-show entertainment from St. Louis Academy of Dance PAZAZZ Performers followed by five MADCO 2 works. You will be genuinely moved by this athletic and emotional performance. New MADCO 2 dancers can’t wait to meet you after the show! This concert is 100% run by volunteers from your St. Louis community! $15 tickets sold only at the Lee Theater doors supports innovative community performances and educational programming in MADCO's 43rd season of dance. 3146814923

Disney's Mary Poppins

Sun., Oct. 20, 1:30 p.m., Fri., Oct. 25, 10 a.m., Sat., Oct. 26, 1:30 & 7 p.m. and Sun., Oct. 27, 1:30 p.m.
Blanche M Touhill Performing Arts Center 1 University Dr at Natural Bridge Road, Normandy North St. Louis County

Buy Tickets$18 - $50


Don’t miss the show that will be practically perfect in every way! Variety Theatre’s 2019 production, Disney’s Mary Poppins, will bring this timeless story of magic and wonder to life in a way that you have never seen before. Variety Theatre is the country’s only production of its kind. You will be inspired by the sheer talent presented by the show’s Children’s Ensemble, comprised of kids and teens of all abilities, as well as the professional cast and live orchestra. The dazzling sets, colorful costumes, memorable songs and classic story will combine to fill the stage. 314-516-4949

Engeldark Art Exhibit

Wednesdays-Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Nov. 8
Green Door Art Gallery 21 N. Gore Ave., Webster Groves Webster Groves


Green Door art gallery is proud to present “Engeldark: Because nobody’s bright and cheerful all the time…” Check out the shadier side of Mary Engelbreit in this exhibit of original black and white drawings paired with quotes that are snarky, straightforward and loaded with attitude! These works of art will be on display and available for sale from October 2 through November 8, 2019.The opening reception is Friday October 11, 2019 from 5:00-8:00 pm and is free and open to the public. Mary Engelbreit will be present at the reception. 314-202-4071

The Shape of Abstraction: Selections from the Ollie Collection

Through March 8, 2020, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.


The Shape of Abstraction: Selections from the Ollie Collection presents 40 abstract paintings, drawings, and prints by acclaimed black artists drawn from and celebrating the transformative gift of the Thelma and Bert Ollie Memorial Art Collection. In 2017, Ollie and his wife Monique gifted the Museum with 81 abstract works in honor of his parents, a collection that has added depth and breadth to the Museum’s holdings of works by black artists. 314.721.0072

Kristen Peterson - Visual Delights: Photographs and Altered Books

Wednesdays-Fridays, 12-5 p.m., Sundays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and Tuesdays, 12-8 p.m. Continues through Feb. 1
The Sheldon 3648 Washington Blvd., St. Louis St. Louis - Grand Center

Buy TicketsAdmission is Free


Incorporating Xerox transfers, gel, paint, various forms of photography, and ephemera such as tickets, ribbon, feathers, jewels, glitter and more, Kristen Peterson’s journals, altered books and photographs give the viewer an intimate look at her life experiences. Peterson’s photos have been published in Esquire, People, Time and Actual, and she has exhibited at The National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington D.C. The exhibition is sponsored by Mr. Ryan C. Easley. 314-533-9900

Beyond the Surface: Surface Design Association Annual Juried Members' Exhibition

Through Oct. 23, 12-6 p.m.
St. Louis Artists' Guild 12 N Jackson Ave, Clayton Clayton


A textile nonprofit dedicated to promoting contemporary textile and fiber art, Surface Design Association (SDA) presents its annual juried members’ exhibition, Beyond the Surface, September 20- October 23, at the St Louis Artists’ Guild, St Louis, Missouri. Jurors Jo Stealey and Jim Arendt selected work by 48 artists. Award winners will be announced at the opening reception, October 3, 5-8pm. (314) 727-6266

It’s Not You, It’s Me: A Declaration of Independence

Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through Oct. 30
The Sheldon 3648 Washington Blvd., St. Louis St. Louis - Grand Center

Buy Tickets


For the exhibition It's Not You, It's Me: A Declaration of Independence, curator and fashion designer Michael Drummond selected fiber artists who use their art to address issues of gender and identity through the media of fashion. Body-disguising fabrics, masks, gender-bending and other similar ideas are explored in the show, which opens with a free reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, October 4, at the Sheldon (3648 Washington Boulevard; www.thesheldon.org). The show is presented in conjunction with the citywide show Innovations in Textiles and features work by Nina Ganci, Larry Krone and Yvonne Osei, among others. It's Not You, It's Me remains on display through November 30, and the gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday. 314-533-9900

Brighton Beach Memoirs

Thursdays, 7-10 p.m., Saturdays, 4-7 & 8-11 p.m. and Sundays, 2-5 p.m. Continues through Oct. 27

Buy Tickets$49 - $54


Brighton Beach, September 1937. Eugene Jerome is dreaming of baseball and girls. Over the course of a few short days amid family harmony and disharmony, young Eugene will come to understand life a little deeper. This award-winning play is a bittersweet memoir that captures the life of a struggling Jewish household where, as his father states “if you didn’t have a problem, you wouldn’t be living here.” Directed by Alan Knoll. Jacob Flekier, Spencer Kruse, Jane Paradise, Chuck Brinkley, Summer Baer, Lydia Mae and Laurie McConnell. Q&As scheduled after October 13th and October 17th performances. 314-442-3283

The Haunted Pool

Sundays, 3 p.m. and Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m. Continues through Nov. 3
Thomas Dunn Memorial Learning Center 3113 Gasconade at Minnesota, St. Louis St. Louis - St. Louis Hills

Buy Tickets$20


Encore! Theater Group is thrilled to present the World Premiere of its sensational new musical, “The Haunted Pool.” This show is like a cocktail years in the making and now it’s finally prepped, chilled, and ready to serve. We promise, The Haunted Pool is a show like no other, and one you do not want to miss! 314-353-3050

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