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Saturdays, 2 & 7:30 p.m., Tuesdays-Fridays, 7:30 p.m. and Sun., April 22, 1 p.m. Continues through April 22

Who'd have thought a musical about one of the Founding Fathers would be a smash hit in an era when these august old men are used as ammunition for every sort of political argument? (Especially the one who was killed in a duel with the sitting vice president.) In Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda tells the story of an orphan from the Caribbean who rises to the top of colonial American society and then fights for his young country in the Revolutionary War. Miranda cheekily casts people of color as his civilians, soldiers and statesmen and incorporates a soundtrack of hip-hop, R&B and traditional show tunes to transform our perception of these legends of the past, making them more human. And rather than present an anodyne version of Hamilton's life, Miranda depicts his title character as a brilliant, complex, self-made man — and then he hits the audience with the ultimate truth: No one gets to decide how they're remembered. The highly anticipated musical is performed Tuesday through Sunday (April 3 to 22) at the Fox Theatre (527 North Grand Boulevard; Remaining tickets are $125 to $625. $125-$625

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

Vivian Maier: Photography's Lost Voice

Wednesdays-Saturdays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through May 26

Vivian Maier burst onto the art scene in 2007 with her treasure trove of urban photography. It was quite a feat for an 81-year-old, but even more so because most of her work was of mid-century New York and Chicago, and she had ceased making images a decade earlier. Also, she didn't ever show her work herself; filmmaker John Maloof bought a crate of negatives at auction and in it discovered her vast archive. He has spent years printing and scanning these negatives to bring her work to the public eye. Vivian Maier: Photography's Lost Voice, the new exhibition at the International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum (3415 Olive Street;, offers St. Louis the rare opportunity to see Maier's work up close. The show includes her black-and-white urban images, her later color abstract work and examples of her landscape portraiture. Vivian Maier: Photography's Lost Voice is on display Wednesday through Saturday (February 21 to May 26). Admission is $5 to $10. $5-$10

New Jerusalem

Sundays, 2 p.m., Saturdays, 8 p.m. and Wednesdays, Thursdays, 7:30 p.m. Continues through April 22

Baruch de Spinoza has been called "the prince of philosophers," but in his own time his thoughts about God (he believed the deity was indifferent to humanity) brought him nothing but trouble. In seventeenth-century Amsterdam, the Jews had an arrangement with the local government: They kept their own laws and guaranteed that all Jews were observant to their faith. By espousing radical ideas about God, the nature of good and evil, and the role of man in the universe, Spinoza was breaking that covenant, potentially putting his own community at risk. So his former congregation put him on trial, with expulsion being the penalty if he was found guilty of "monstrous deeds." David Ives' play New Jerusalem dramatizes this trial, which saw Spinoza's former teacher called to testify against his beloved student. The New Jewish Theatre presents the play at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday (April 4 to 22) at the Jewish Community Center (2 Millstone Campus Drive, Creve Coeur; Tickets are $41 to $44. $41-$44

Painted Pieces: Art Chess from Purling London

Sundays, 12-5 p.m., Wednesdays-Fridays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. and Mondays, Tuesdays, Saturdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Sept. 16

The standard chess set has been reimagined in multiple formats, using everything from Simpsons characters to loaded shot glasses. The new exhibition at the World Chess Hall of Fame sees regulation Staunton sets done up with a fresh coat of paint, which doesn't sound all that impressive. But when it's artists such as Caio Locke, Sophie Matisse and Thierry Noir wielding the brushes, the results are dazzling. Painted Pieces: Art Chess from Purling London features vibrant, hand-painted chess sets exploding with color and invention. Painted Pieces opens with a free reception from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 12, at the World Chess Hall of Fame (4652 Maryland Avenue; The show remains up through September 16. free admission

Circus Flora

Thursdays, Fridays, 7 p.m., Sundays, 1 & 5:30 p.m., Saturdays, 1 & 7 p.m., Wed., April 25, 7 p.m. and Wed., May 2, 7 p.m. Continues through May 13

It's an unwritten rule that when you need a bellhop, you can't find one. The bellhop at Circus Flora's Hotel Balding has disappeared, and in The Case of the Missing Bellhop, the entire circus goes on the hunt for him, using desperate measures to find him. Acrobat Jeison Dominguez takes the high road, climbing the rotating Wheel of Destiny as it heads for the top of the big top, while Cuzin Grumpy's trained pigs search low, as only learned pigs can. The St. Louis Arches, the Flying Wallendas and the Alanian Riders and their horses all join the search. Can anyone find the little fella? Circus Flora opens its new season in its new permanent home in Grand Center (3401 Washington Boulevard; with shows Thursday through Sunday (April 19 to May 13) and two 7 p.m. Wednesday performances (April 25 and May 2). Tickets are $12 to $75. $12-$75

Circus Flora Big Top (map)
3401 Washington Blvd
St. Louis - Grand Center
phone 314-289-4040
Circus Flora

Jesus Christ Superstar

Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m., Sun., April 22, 2 p.m. and Wed., April 25, 8 p.m. Continues through April 28

Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical Jesus Christ Superstar is having a bit of a moment, thanks to the well-received Easter Sunday live broadcast on NBC. If you want to see it again live and in a more intimate setting, Stray Dog Theatre has you covered. The story depicts the last week of Jesus' earthly life and his rapidly fraying relationship with his disciple Judas Iscariot. Stray Dog Theatre performs the show at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday (April 12 to 28) at the Tower Grove Abbey (2336 Tennessee Avenue; There are additional shows at 2 p.m. Sunday and 8 p.m. Wednesday (April 22 and 25). Tickets are $25 to $30. $25-$30

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

Chinese Buddhist Art, 10th-15th Centuries

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

Very rarely does an art exhibition include the actual wall an artist worked on, but the Saint Louis Art Museum does so for Chinese Buddhist Art, 10th-15th Centuries. A six-foot-by-four-foot section of a temple wall that has a painting of the Bodhisattva Akalokiteśvara (Guanyin) on one side is the focal point of the exhibition, and an exceptionally rare object. The show also includes four hanging scrolls, and a never-before-displayed painted, wooden sculpture of a seated arhat, the Buddhist term for a person who has achieved enlightenment. Chinese Buddhist Art, 10th-15th Centuries is open Tuesday through Sunday (March 30 to August 30) in gallery 225 of the Saint Louis Art Museum (1 Fine Arts Drive; Admission is free. free admission

Mona Hatoum: Terra Infirma

Fridays, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. and Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Aug. 11

Palestinian-born installation artist Mona Hatoum brings together more than 30 of her works for Terra Infirma, her first exhibition in America in more than two decades. Hatoum's sculptures and installations often evoke domestic settings, but subvert the attendant ideas of comfort and safety into something more menacing. Dormiente takes the shape of a seven-foot-long cot, but one made from an upsized cheese grater. Misbah appears to be the sort of high-end light projector you might install in a nursery so that bears and bunnies dance on the walls at night; instead armed figures stalk each other through the darkness. The vocabulary of her work is minimalism and surrealism, but it's filtered through her feminist perspective, further shaped by her own sense of dislocation in a world that doesn’t recognize her native country. Hatoum discusses her work at the museum at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 7. free admission

Pulitzer Arts Foundation (map)
3716 Washington Blvd.
St. Louis - Grand Center
phone 314-754-1850
Mona Hatoum: Terra Infirma

Trenton Doyle Hancock: The Re-Evolving Door to the Moundverse

Fridays, Saturdays, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. and Wednesdays, Thursdays, Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through April 22

Drawing inspiration from the morality tales of cartoons (a cat is always bad, but birds or mice are good; dogs also are heroes), comic books (equally flamboyant bad guys and good guys), video games and films, Trenton Doyle Hancock created his own private universe, one in which the Mounds (half-plant, half-animal, all-good living forest) and the Vegans (they eat Mounds!) endlessly battle it out for supremacy. Both Coonbear and Bringback, a henchman in a striped unitard, are part of the battle, because they're also some part of Hancock. Politics, race, class, identity and issues of social justice are hidden in these stories, just like Sun Ra's own fully scored space operas in the jazz world. Trenton Doyle Hancock: The Re-Evolving Door to the Moundverse is a collection of these drawings, sculptures and prints that show part of the eternal struggle of good and evil, right and wrong, moral and immoral. The Re-Evolving Door to the Moundverse opens with a free reception at 7 p.m. Friday, January 19, at Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (3750 Washington Boulevard; Hancock will discuss the Moundverse and his work at 11 a.m. Saturday, January 20. The show continues through April 22, and the gallery is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Admission is free. free admission

The Dresser

Sundays, 3 p.m. and Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m. Continues through April 29

Sir spends his waning years traipsing around the English countryside managing, producing and starring in Shakespeare's eternal dramas. He's worn out as the air raid sirens keep sounding in the distance. Yet the show must go on, and tonight he plays King Lear, his signature role. It falls to Norman, Sir's longtime dresser, to get the legend dressed, made up and ready for the curtain. But Sir can't recall his opening line, and time is pressing. Ronald Harwood's play The Dresser is a testament to the last of the "grand" actors who were larger than the roles they played, and a cunning examination of King Lear's relationship with his Fool, as played out by two consummate professionals who care for one another as much as they resent one another. St. Louis Actors' Studio presents The Dresser at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday (April 13 to 29) at the Gaslight Theater (358 North Boyle Avenue; Tickets are $30 to $35. $30-$35

A Tree, Falling

Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m., Sundays, 7 p.m. and Sun., April 29, 2 p.m. Continues through April 28

Lenny has a problem with strangers showing up at his house and peppering him with personal questions. The retired physician is fed up with the interruptions, completely unaware that it's the same person every time — Lola is a social worker assigned to check up on the old man, a fact he never remembers. For Lenny the past is gone and the future is unknowable; all he has is right now. The reality of his dementia soon affects Lola as well. If we can't remember the joys and sorrows of our lives, are we really alive at all? Ron Elisha's quiet tragicomedy A Tree, Falling explores the value of memory and life itself. Upstream Theater presents A Tree, Falling at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday (April 13 to 28), and at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 29, at the Kranzberg Arts Center (501 North Grand Boulevard; Tickets are $25 to $35. $25-$35

Buy Tickets
Kranzberg Arts Center (map)
501 N Grand Blvd
St. Louis - Grand Center
phone 314-533-0367
A Tree, Falling

Sunken Cities: Egypt's Lost World

Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through Sept. 9

The ancient city of Thonis-Heracleion was Egypt's main Mediterranean port from 664 to 332 BC, or roughly 100 years longer than the country of America has existed. It was a thriving, international metropolis — and then a string of natural disasters wiped it off the map. Archeologist Franck Goddio and his team of underwater archeologists rediscoverd Thonis-Heracleion 1,000 years later, four miles off the coast of present-day Egypt. It was more than 30 feet below the surface of the sea, its colossal statues of gods, pharaohs and ritual animals resting in the ruins of a world long gone. Three of these massive statues comprise the heart of the new exhibition Sunken Cities: Egypt's Lost Worlds, which will be on display at the Saint Louis Art Museum (1 Fine Arts Drive; Tuesday through Sunday (March 25 to September 9). Alongside the trio of statues are more than 200 ceremonial and commercial artifacts (bronze vessels, coins, jewelry) found both on the sea floor and on loan from museums in Cairo and Alexandria. Admission to the exhibit is $8 to $20, and free on Friday. $8-$20

The Scenic Route

Fri., April 20, 8 p.m., Sat., April 21, 8 p.m. and Sun., April 22, 3 p.m.

Dancers are all about bodies in motion, so it makes sense that Consuming Kinetics Dance Company's new show is all about travel and adventure. The Scenic Route features works by the company's resident choreographers (Arica Brown, Sam Gaitsch and Ashreale McDowell), as well as choreography from special guests Ryadah Heiskell and Cecil Slaughter, among others. Consuming Kinetics Dance Company performs The Scenic Route at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday (April 20 to 22) at the Marcelle Theater (3310 Samuel Shepard Drive; Tickets are $25. $25

Marcelle Theater (map)
3310 Samuel Shepard Dr
St. Louis - Grand Center
phone 314-533-0367
The Scenic Route

New Media Series: Cyprien Gaillard

Starts April 20. Fridays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. and Mondays, Fridays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through July 15

Wild rose-ringed parakeets are found in Africa and India — and also in Düsseldorf, Germany. The German variety arrived as pets and then either were released or escaped into the city. The birds have made a home for themselves on one of the city's upscale streets, roosting happily in building façades. Artist Cyprien Gaillard followed the parakeets with a camera as they winged home at twilight. His short film KOE shows flocks of them as they fly past concrete and steel, thousands of miles away from their tropical ancestral lands. The silent film is a commentary on how humanity interferes with nature, and how animals are forced to adapt to a rapidly urbanizing world. KOE is shown on a loop in gallery 301 at the Saint Louis Art Museum (1 Fine Arts Drive; as part of the New Media Series. It remains on display Tuesday through Sunday (April 20 to July 15), and admission is free. free admission

Chinese Culture Days

Sat., April 21, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sun., April 22, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

What would spring in St. Louis be without the Missouri Botanical Garden's Chinese Culture Days? The two-day celebration begins with a 70-foot-long dancing dragon leading a parade of revelers, followed by acrobats, dancers, displays of traditional art and more. There's an outdoor food court serving cuisine from many of China's diverse regions as well as cooking demos — it's a packed weekend. This year's Chinese Culture Days takes place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday (April 21 and 22) at the Missouri Botanical Garden (4344 Shaw Boulevard; Admission is $7 to $15. $7-$15

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