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A Christmas Carol

Sun., Dec. 9, 1 & 6 p.m.
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The Nebraska Theatre Caravan has been performing Charles Jones' stage adaptation of A Christmas Carol since 1979. The world has changed greatly since then, but the show continues because of its timeless message that even the worst of us can change our ways. Ebeneezer Scrooge is a terrible excuse for a human being, berating and penny-pinching his employees to near starvation despite his considerable means. How does a man become so greedy and vicious that he mistreats even himself on sheer principle? Charles Dickens' beloved story warns that cutting yourself off from other human beings is a fate worse than death. The play is performed at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 1 and 6 p.m. Sunday (December 6 to 9) at the Fox Theatre (527 North Grand Boulevard; www.fabulousfox.com). Tickets are $20 to $49. $20-$49

Buy Tickets
The Fox Theatre (map)
527 N. Grand Blvd.
St. Louis - Grand Center
phone 314-534-1111
A Christmas Carol

Printing Abstraction

Fridays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. and Tuesdays-Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through March 31, 2019

Abstract art is a term that includes a wide variety of media: monochromatic color fields, hard-edged abstraction and its flat colors, and the sharply defined edges and optical illusions inherent in op-art's geometric forms. What links all of these styles together is that they are divorced from the traditional representation of physical objects. For its new exhibition Printing Abstraction, the Saint Louis Art Museum draws from its own holdings of abstract art created by printmakers. The show is something of an expansion of the museum's ongoing main exhibition, Graphic Revolution: American Prints 1960 to Now, in that it offers more examples of the printmakers' art and the key role it's played in the promulgation of abstract art. Printing Abstraction is on display from Tuesday through Sunday (November 30 to March 31) in galleries 234 and 235 of the Saint Louis Art Museum (1 Fine Arts Drive; www.slam.org). Admission is free. free admission

Graphic Revolution: American Prints 1960 to Now

Fridays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. and Tuesdays-Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Feb. 3, 2019

The 1960s were a period of social upheaval and radical change in America, and no art form captured that churning spirit better than printmaking. Printmakers have always had one foot in the commercial art world and one in the realm of fine art, and that hybrid nature allows them to adapt to new technologies and new thinking more quickly than, say, sculptors. Graphic Revolution: American Prints 1960 to Now, the exhibition at the Saint Louis Art Museum (1 Fine Arts Drive; www.slam.org), is a treasure trove of startling images. Featuring more than 100 works drawn from the museum's holdings and local private collectors, Graphic Revolution includes landmark prints by the big names (Andy Warhol's Campbell's Soup II, Robert Rauschenberg's Signs) and less famous but no less astonishing pieces by modern masters such as Julie Mehretu and Edgar Heap of Birds. The show is open from Sunday, November 11, to February 3. Tickets are $6 to $14, but free to all on Friday. $6-$14, free on Friday

Kehinde Wiley: Saint Louis

Fridays and Tuesdays-Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays. Continues through Feb. 10, 2019

Artist Kehinde Wiley leaped into the public consciousness when his presidential portrait of Barack Obama was unveiled in February, but he's been making vital work that explores the nexus of race and representation for years. In 2017 the New York City-based Wiley visited the Saint Louis Art Museum to review the collection with an eye toward a future exhibit inspired by the historic style of portraiture. While he was in St. Louis, Wiley went to north St. Louis and Ferguson to meet with people and find subjects for his own paintings. Kehinde Wiley: Saint Louis is an exhibition of eleven large-scale paintings of everyday black St. Louisans dressed in modern clothing, posed in the manner of kings, statesmen and other powerful figures. Wiley's new work will be on display in galleries 249 and 250 from October 19 to February 10 at the Saint Louis Art Museum (1 Fine Arts Drive; www.slam.org). Admission is free. free admission

Sanford Biggers and Basquiat Before Basquiat: East 12th Street, 1979-1980

Wednesdays-Sundays. Continues through Dec. 30

The Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis opens some of the most ambitious and vital shows in its history this month, with a series of exhibitions by, and about, black artists and the black experience. Sanford Biggers works directly with the materials of his forebearers — quilts and African sculptures — only he reshapes and repurposes them as contemporary statements about black identity, history and trauma. Biggers gives found quilts new life with new handwork, encoding personal messages into their original pattern. The fact that the work of an anonymous black craftsman or woman now appears in galleries and museums around the world, even in Biggers' modified form, is both subversive and celebratory. With wooden sculptures, some of which are copies, he dips them in wax and then works them over with firearms. What begins as a statue of a human or human-shaped supernatural being becomes obscured, disfigured and unrecognizable through the violence wrought upon it.

In addition to Biggers' work, CAM presents a show of the private photos of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Basquiat emerged from the New York City hip-hop/punk/graffiti scenes in the 1970s as one-half of the graffiti duo SAMO, along with Al Diaz. The pair together tagged buildings with cryptic phrases denouncing the establishment, politics and religion, always signed "SAMO" (an acronym for "Same Old Shit"). When the duo broke up, Basquiat performed in the noise rock band Test Pattern (later named "Gray") with Vincent Gallo and Michael Holman. He lived on the streets, sold drugs and experimented with Xerox art, painting and drawing. Basquiat Before Basquiat: East 12th Street, 1979-1980 will showcase everything the artist made while living in a small East Village apartment with his friend Alexis Adler before he hit the big time. It's a treasure trove of paintings, sculptures and works on paper, as well as Adler's photographs of his friend.

Both exhibitions open with a free reception from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, September 7, at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (3750 Washington Boulevard; www.camstl.org). The shows continue through December 30.

free admission

An Act of God

Sundays, 2 p.m., Saturdays, 8 p.m. and Wednesdays, Thursdays, 7:30 p.m. Continues through Dec. 16

In David Javerbaum's comic play An Act of God, the deity has returned to humanity in the form of a human man well known for his oddball charm in order to reveal his ten new commandments. The play was inspired by Javerbaum's Twitter account, @TheTweetOfGod, which delivers regular updates from the Man Upstairs. In the play, God goes to the theater ("it's where the Jews are"), not only to deliver the new revelation but also to take us mildly to task for misinterpreting his earlier work. It's a role that hinges on an empathetic actor who can strike the right balance of charm and parental disapproval, and for the New Jewish Theatre's production, the genial Alan Knoll dons the robe and sneakers. An Act of God is performed at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday (November 29 to December 16) in the Wool Studio Theatre at the Jewish Community Center (2 Millstone Campus Drive; www.newjewishtheatre.org). Tickets are $42 to $45. $42-$45

All Is Calm

Sundays, 2 & 5 p.m., Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m. and Thursdays, 8 p.m. Continues through Dec. 16

On November 11, 1918, World War I ended after four exhausting years of destruction and unimaginable horrors. But even in the worst of times, humanity's innate decency can shine through the darkness on occasion. During the first year of the war, Christmas morning was marked by an official cease-fire on both sides. On the front lines troops from both sides of the conflict crossed No Man's Land to celebrate the holiday with their erstwhile enemies. Carols were sung, gifts were exchanged and a spontaneous game of soccer kicked off. All Is Calm, the Peter Rothstein, Erick Lichte and Timothy C. Takach a cappella musical about that quiet morning when brotherhood won out, has been a favorite with Mustard Seed Theatre audiences since the company first presented it in 2014. It's back again at Mustard Seed to mark the centenary of the last day of the War to End All Wars. Performances are at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 and 5 p.m. Sunday (November 16 to December 16; no show on Thursday, November 22) at the Fontbonne Fine Arts Theatre (6800 Wydown Boulevard; www.mustardseedtheatre.com). Tickets are $15 to $35. $15-$35

Fontbonne University Fine Arts Theatre (map)
6800 Wydown Blvd.
Clayton
phone 314-862-3456
All Is Calm

A Christmas Story

Thursdays, Fridays, 8 p.m., Tuesdays, 7 p.m., Sun., Dec. 9, 2 p.m., Wed., Dec. 12, 7 p.m., Sat., Dec. 15, 4 & 8 p.m., Sun., Dec. 16, 2 p.m., Wed., Dec. 19, 1:30 p.m., Sat., Dec. 22, 4 & 8 p.m. and Sun., Dec. 23, 2 & 7 p.m. Continues through Dec. 23
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The evergreen holiday film A Christmas Story is based on the stories of the great Jean Shepherd, who mined childhood nostalgia and memories of his own family to tell an honest tale about the true meaning of Christmas from a child's point of view. It's Ralphie Parker's fervent dream that he wake up to a Red Rider BB gun on Christmas morning, but his parents are against it. So Ralphie tries to work the system to get his wish, first by writing the most beautiful essay about air rifles his teacher has ever read, and then by placing an order with Santa Claus. In between his schemes, Ralphie has to deal with his oddball family (why won't his kid brother just eat?), his friends and the neighborhood bully, Scut Farkus (he has yellow eyes!). The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis gives us all a gift with Philip Grecian's stage adaptation of A Christmas Story. Performances are Tuesday through Sunday (November 30 to December 23) at the Loretto-Hilton Center (130 Edgar Road; www.repstl.org). Tickets are $24 to $97. $24-$97

Perfect Arrangement

Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m. and Sundays, 7 p.m. Continues through Dec. 23

Bob and Norma work for the U.S government, a good job in the 1950s. They're friends at work and after hours, a happy little foursome with the addition of Millie (Bob's spouse) and Jim (Norma's husband). Then Bob and Norma get a new assignment: Root out and expose any homosexuals working for the government. Senator Joseph McCarthy has denounced gays and lesbians as perverts, and at the time he got what he wanted. It's bad news for the duo, because they're living a lie. Bob and Jim and Norma and Millie are committed couples living under the cover of two fake marriages and a real friendship, and now it's all endangered. Can they betray their fellow homosexuals to protect themselves? Topher Payne's play Perfect Arrangement draws from the tropes of TV sitcoms and the real-world Lavender Scare, which destroyed hundreds of lives because of one paranoid, power-hungry toad of a man. R-S Theatrics presents the play at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday (December 7 to 23) at the Marcelle Theater (3310 Samuel Shepard Drive; www.r-stheatrics.com). Tickets are $20 to $25. $20-$25

Marcelle Theater (map)
3310 Samuel Shepard Dr
St. Louis - Grand Center
phone 314-533-0367
Perfect Arrangement

Tribes

Sundays, 3 p.m. and Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m. Continues through Dec. 16

In Nina Raine's play Tribes, Billy is the odd man out in his own family because he was born deaf. His family are all great talkers, with his father, Christopher, a writer of "argumentative books," the loudest of all. They shout, bicker, insult and jostle for place at the table and in general, while Billy hears none of it. Instead, he reads lips from his position on the sidelines and butts in when he can. Billy's feeling of being on the outside starts to change when he meets Sylvia. Born hearing to to deaf parents, she learned sign language as a necessity; now she's losing her hearing and is terrified of the encroaching silence Billy has lived with all his life. The more time Billy spends with Sylvia, the more he realizes it's high time his family adapt to his world rather than the other way around. St. Louis Actors' Studio presents Tribes at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday (November 30 to December 16) at the Gaslight Theatre (358 North Boyle Avenue; www.stlas.org). Tickets are $30 to $35. $30-$35

SLU Winter Concert

Sun., Dec. 9, 1-2:30 p.m.
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Saint Louis University Chorale and the SLU MasterSingers will perform a free concert of seasonal music on 12/9/18 at 1pm. Open to the public in the beautiful St. Francis Xavier Church and under the direction of David Kowalczyk. Come support the students and enjoy this presentation by talented musicians. Free

The Nutcracker

Sun., Dec. 9, 3-4:30 & 6:30-8 p.m.
phone 636-561-7733
danceexperienceperformingarts@gmail.com
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Come and experience the true meaning of Christmas with the magic and beauty of The Nutcracker! In our adaptation, you can join Clara and her Prince on their magical journey to the Land of the Sweets, where your little Sugar Plum will not be able to stop dancing as she is entranced by life size toys, waltzing snowflakes, and giant candies made of dreams. It's a holiday tradition that inspires and ignites the enchanting feeling of the season. For each ticket purchased, a charitable donation is made in your honor to our favorite St. Louis' Friends of Kids with Cancer. $16.50-$20

https://www.danceexperiencestudio.com/nutcracker-home
Buy Tickets
William D. Purser Center (map)
1851 Schoettler Road
Town & Country
phone 636-227-2100
The Nutcracker

Originals Unframed

Sun., Dec. 9, 1-3 p.m.
phone 314-961-4050
grafica@graficafinearts.com

Webster Groves watercolor artist, Marilynne Bradley, will be making over 150 of her original paintings available for sale in a Pop Up show called “Originals Unframed”. The paintings will include St. Louis landmarks, parks, schools and churches, the Katy and Sante Fe Trails, steamboats, sailboats, rivers and seashores plus several regional works. free

http://www.graficafinearts.com
Grafica Fine Art (map)
7884 Big Bend Blvd.
Webster Groves
phone 314-961-4020

Sounds of Christmas: Hope Remix

Sun., Dec. 9, 2-3 & 5-6 p.m.
phone 636-394-4100
emaurer@stjstl.net
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Sounds of Christmas returns this year with a brand-new musical performance, Hope Remix. Immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of the Christmas season, and experience triumphant, high-powered crescendos and still, tender, heartfelt moments as we journey toward the manger. Reserve tickets for the date and time that fits your schedule, and start this season's celebration with an unforgettable retelling of the Christmas story. Performances December 5 | 7pm December 7 | 7pm December 8 | 2pm December 9 | 2pm & 5pm *Show dark on December 6 For more show info & tickets, go to www.stjstl.net/sounds. $6

https://stjstl.net/sounds
Buy Tickets
St. John Church (map)
15800 Manchester Road
Manchester/ Ballwin
phone 636-394-4100

Of Human Kindness: An Evening of Short Plays

Sun., Dec. 9, 2-3:30 p.m., Thu., Dec. 13, 7-8:30 p.m., Fri., Dec. 14, 7-8:30 p.m., Sat., Dec. 15, 7-8:30 p.m. and Sun., Dec. 16, 2-3:30 p.m.
phone 314-740-6514
blackmirrortheatre@gmail.com

Discarded lives - informed by eye witnesses: the psychiatrist's homeless clients’ longing for meaning; or letters from Mom and Dad - advice on growing up Black in America; of Saint Maria Skobtsova, executed in Ravensbruck; or Isabella, Sojourner Truth, a Dutch speaker, beaten by her English owners for not obeying orders she couldn’t understand yet becoming an iconic voice for equal treatment of all. People, the same as us. Lives of hardship touched, moved by acts of kindness, given and received, each a a link in chain - a chain Of Human Kindness. $20 or $15 at the door with a donation of a new child's toy or child's winter wrap.

http://blackmirrortheatre.com
Buy Tickets
Kranzberg Arts Center (map)
501 N Grand Blvd
St. Louis - Grand Center
phone 314-533-0367
Of Human Kindness: An Evening of Short Plays
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