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La traviata

Wed., June 20, 1 p.m. and Sat., June 23, 8 p.m.

Late May in St. Louis means the return of Opera Theatre St. Louis, and here the company is, right on time with Giuseppe Verdi's wildly popular La traviata. It's the story of the queen of Paris courtesans, Violetta. She keeps things light, joyful and decidedly impersonal — "don't fall in love" is the rule she never flouts. But then she meets young idealist Alfredo at a party and contemplates breaking her own iron rule. To make matters worse, her nagging cough seems to be back, just as she believed she had beaten it. La traviata is performed at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 19, at the Loretto-Hilton Center (130 Edgar Road; www.experienceopera.org) and then seven more times in repertory through June 23. Tickets are $25 to $127. $25-$127

Regina

Wed., June 20, 8 p.m. and Sun., June 24, 7 p.m.

Regina Hubbard Giddens became wealthy and powerful by choice. Denied her share of the family fortune inherited by her two brothers, she marries the rich but mild-mannered Horace for his money. When her brothers offer her a buy-in on their new financial scheme, she's infuriated by Horace's rejection of the plan and even more angered by his outright refusal to just give her the money. This sets Regina on a path to ruin every man in her extended family, and her chosen tools are murder, blackmail and whatever else comes to mind. Lillian Hellman's play The Little Foxes provides the basis for the opera Regina, written and composed by Marc Blitzstein. Opera Theatre St. Louis presents Regina as its second show of the summer, with mezzo-soprano Susan Graham in the title role, at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 26, at Webster University's Loretto-Hilton Center (130 Edgar Road; www.opera-stl.org). The show is performed six more times in repertory through June 24. Tickets are $25 to $185. $25-$185

Orfeo and Eurydice

Thu., June 21, 8 p.m. and Sat., June 23, 1 p.m.

Christoph Willibald Glück's opera Orfeo and Eurydice begins with Eurydice's funeral, as Orfeo laments the death of his beloved wife. Amore (more commonly known as Cupid) arrives to tell the bereaved that he may go recover Eurydice from Hades and bring her back to life, but there's a catch: If Orfeo looks back, Eurydice will die permanently. He makes the long journey to the realm of the dead, but neglects to mention to his beloved the conditions of her return. Opera Theatre St. Louis presents Orfeo and Eurydice at 8 p.m. Saturday, June 9, at the Loretto-Hilton Center (130 Edgar Road; www.opera-stl.org), with Missouri native Jennifer Johnson Cano in the role of Orfeo and the Big Muddy Dance Company as the dance corps. The show is performed five more times in repertory through June 23. Tickets are $27 to $132. $27-$132

An American Soldier

Fri., June 22, 8 p.m.

America at its best is a nation based on the belief that people who may not look alike, worship the same way or come from the same background are all capable of believing in and defending the American dream. Huang Ruo and David Henry Hwang's opera An American Soldier is inspired by an incident when soldiers refused to accept one of their own because of the way he looked. Danny Chen was born in New York's Chinatown and enlisted in the Army after high school. During basic training he was welcomed as another true patriot, willing to fight and die for his country. But when he arrives in Afghanistan, he quickly learns his Chinese-American background doesn't sit well with his racist superiors, who repeatedly and sometimes violently abuse him under the guise of "hazing." The world premiere of the full-length version of An American Soldier gets underway at 7 p.m. tonight at the Loretto-Hilton Center (130 Edgar Road; www.opera-stl.org). The show is performed five more times in repertory through Friday, June 22. $30-$135

New Media Series: Cyprien Gaillard

Fridays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. and Tuesdays-Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays, 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; www.slam.org) 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 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; www.slam.org). Admission is free. free admission

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; www.slam.org) 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

Panoramas of the City

Through Aug. 12

In a year in which the Missouri History Museum exhibition team has given us the stories of St. Louis' greatest civil rights freedom fighters and returned us to the glory days of Route 66, it would take something truly spectacular for the museum to outdo itself — and yet somehow it's done just that. The museum's new exhibition, Panoramas of the City, is as close to time travel as you can get without involving Morlocks. The show comprises seven floor-to-ceiling-size images of scenes such as Charles Lindbergh speaking to a crowd of 100,000 people on Art Hill at his "welcome home" party and a 1920 march on Olive Street by the League of Women Voters. These massive photographs are joined by props and interactive media displays that give viewers a better understanding of the historical context of each scene. More than 60 panoramas of various sizes round out the exhibit, which will be on display from September 2 to August 12, 2018, at the Missouri History Museum (Lindell Boulevard and DeBaliviere Avenue; www.mohistory.org). Admission is free. free admission

Missouri History Museum (map)
Lindell Blvd. & DeBaliviere Ave.
St. Louis - Forest Park
phone 314-746-4599
Panoramas of the City

Muny Memories: 100 Years on Stage

Through June 2, 2019

The Muny is just about to open its landmark 100th season, and its neighbor, the Missouri History Museum (Lindell Boulevard and DeBalivere Avenue; www.mohistory.org), celebrates the occasion with an exhibit dedicated to the history of America's largest outdoor theater. Muny Memories: 100 Years on Stage features exhibits that explain the founding of the theater, display favorite memories from stars and staff, and give a look back stage to see how the dedicated technical crew creates and rigs all those sets and lights. You can also take a look at programs from the Muny's long, storied past. Muny Memories opens on Saturday, June 9, and remains on display daily through June 2, 2019. Admission is free. free admission

Missouri History Museum (map)
Lindell Blvd. & DeBaliviere Ave.
St. Louis - Forest Park
phone 314-746-4599
Muny Memories: 100 Years on Stage

Golf the Galleries

Saturdays, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. and Tuesdays-Fridays, 12-8 p.m. Continues through Aug. 12

Miniature golf courses are part sport, part pop-art installation, with an emphasis on big, colorful distractions and obstacles surrounding the final hole. The galleries at the Sheldon (3648 Washington Boulevard; www.thesheldon.org) embrace the art portion of the set-up with their summer exhibition, Golf the Galleries. Local artists and institutions were given the chance to design their own creative hole on a nine-hole course that fills the galleries. B.J. Vogt crafted a volcano-themed hole; sink your ball and it erupts in a cloud of packing peanuts. Justin King's Serengeti Park hole mimics an urban park, but with beautifully detailed, anthropomorphic cardboard animals sitting on the benches and strolling the paths. There's an Alice in Wonderland hole courtesy of Natalie Pinson, and design firm Arcturis used lighting and mirrors to create a simple-looking green that will bedevil duffers with optic distortions and tricky slopes. Golf the Galleries officially opens with a public viewing from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, June 1, but tee times start at 11 a.m. Sunday, June 3. The course is open noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday through August 12. Greens fees are $6 to $12. $6-$12

Buy Tickets
The Sheldon (map)
3648 Washington Blvd.
St. Louis - Grand Center
phone 314-533-9900
Golf the Galleries

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; www.worldchesshof.org). The show remains up through September 16. free admission

I Do! I Do!

Tuesdays-Fridays, 8 p.m., Saturdays, 4 & 8 p.m., Sundays, 2 p.m. and Sun., July 1, 2 & 7:30 p.m. Continues through June 24

Fifty years is a long time for anything to last, but a marriage that lasts for five decades is a lifetime. The musical I Do! I Do! opens with Michael and Agnes on their wedding day, and then periodically peeks in on their bedroom for the next 50 years. They experience the joys and pains of any longtime relationship, as well as the doubts, mistakes and regrets of people who take love for granted. The Harvey Schmidt/Tom Jones musical I Do! I Do! opens Stages St. Louis' new season. Performances are Tuesday through Sunday at the Robert G. Reim Theatre (111 South Geyer Avenue; www.stagesstlouis.org). Tickets are $41 to $63. $41-$63

The Wiz

June 19-25, 8:15 p.m.

The Muny hasn't produced The Wiz since 1982, and the country has changed dramatically in that time. Fortunately the show is flexible enough to allow for contemporary references and contextual updates, so it remains fresh. The Muny brought in the great Amber Ruffin (the first black woman to write for late-night TV, for Late Night with Seth Meyers) to add some modern touches to the show, and she knows what's going on — just watch her episode of Drunk History for proof. But don't worry: All the classic songs are intact, with "Ease on Down the Road" and "Everybody Rejoice/A Brand New Day" as catchy as ever. The Wiz starts at 8:15 p.m. Tuesday through Monday (June 19 to 25) at the Muny in Forest Park (www.muny.org). Tickets are $15 to $100. $15-$100

The Muny (map)
Forest Park
St. Louis - Forest Park
phone 314-361-1900
The Wiz

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

Great Rivers Biennial

Thursdays, Fridays, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. and Wednesdays, Saturdays, Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Aug. 19

As part of its mission to present work by modern artists, the Contemporary Art Museum supports local artists through the Great Rivers Biennial. A team of esteemed jurors from the art world work through more than 150 applications to select three artists who live in the metro area for a high-profile exhibition at the museum. Addoley Dzegede, Sarah Paulsen and Jacob Stanley are the recipients of the eighth installment, and all three should be well-known to gallery habitues. In Ballast, Dzegede uses patterned textiles, sculpture and video to explore the hidden and forgotten history that creates a sense of "unified" identity. Paulsen combines consumer campaigns, immigrant narratives and stop-motion animation in an installation of single-channel videos to create a multi-part story about the invisible framework that supports and reinforces racial oppression. Stanley's sculptures are constructed to explore the nature and passage of time. His piece Accretion is a quarter-inch thick steel sheet; visitors can each place one sheet on top of it. As time passes and the weight increases, the steel will bend. The Great Rivers Biennial opens with a free reception from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, May 11, at Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (3750 Washington Boulevard; www.camstl.org). The artists and jurors will hold a panel discussion at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 12. The show continues through Sunday, August 19, and admission is free. free admission

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