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Regina

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

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

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

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

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

Amy Sherald

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

If you think you aren't familiar with Amy Sherald's work, you're wrong. Sherald painted Michelle Obama's official portrait, and that image was broadcast around the world and back. Sherald's portraits are of everyday black people (Mrs. Obama excepted, of course) with serene expression standing against featureless monotone backgrounds, and done in the large-size format once reserved for royalty and the wealthy elite. By portraying her subjects realistically and in vibrant color, Sherald liberates the black image from the traditional narrative; there are no sociological clues that hint at the status of her people. They are their own context, their eyes taking in the viewer with majestic calm. Amy Sherald, an exhibition of the artist's paintings, opens with a free reception from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, May 11, at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (3750 Washington Boulevard); www.camstl.org). The exhibit remains up through August 19, and admission is free. free admission

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

End of the Rainbow

Sundays, 3 p.m. and Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m. Continues through July 1

Judy Garland was in a bad way in 1968, but that was not enough to stop the show from going on — especially a comeback show. In Garland's London hotel room, the singer and her accompanist go through their paces as she attempts once again to rise above disappointment, failing health and exhaustion to become "Judy Garland," the world's greatest interpreter of the American songbook, all under the watchful eye of her new fiancé. Peter Quilter's play-with-music End of the Rainbow makes its St. Louis premiere under the auspices of Max & Louie Productions. Performances are at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday (June 22 to July 1) at the Grandel Theater (3610 Grandel Square; www.maxandlouie.com). There's one 7:30 p.m. show on Thursday, June 21. Tickets are $20 to $300. $20-$300

Grandel Theatre (map)
3610 Grandel Square
St. Louis - Grand Center
phone 314-533-0367
End of the Rainbow

Romeo and Juliet

Mondays, Wednesdays-Sundays, 8 p.m. Continues through June 24

Romeo is but a simple boy of Verona's ruling class who deeply loves his fair Rosaline. Or so he says; once he sees Juliet, he forgets ol' what's-her-name and ardently pursues the fair Capulet instead. But he's a Montague, and the Montagues and Capulets are locked in a power struggle. What begins with love at first sight becomes a series of duels to the death and tit-for-tat attacks. Poor Romeo and Juliet, drunk on young love, are caught up in the middle of it all, which does add a certain frisson to the romance. Shakespeare Festival St. Louis brings the beloved tragedy Romeo and Juliet back to Forest Park for the first time since the festival's 2001 debut season. This new production is performed at 8 p.m. Wednesday through Monday (June 1 to 24) at Shakespeare Glen in Forest Park (Fine Art and Government drives; www.sfstl.com). Admission is free. free admission

Shakespeare Glen (map)
Fine Arts Dr and Government Dr
St. Louis - Forest Park Romeo and Juliet

Blithe Spirit

Saturdays, Sundays, 2 p.m. Continues through June 24

Charles is a successful novelist who engages a medium to hold a seance in his home for the purposes of his next book. Instead of an idea he gains the spirit of his first wife, Elvira, who is quite annoyed by his current wife, Ruth. Truly desperate to be alone with her husband, Elvira tampers with his car in hopes of killing Charles and reuniting in the spirit world. Unfortunately it's Ruth who gets behind the wheel, and she ends up dead — and ready to battle with Elvira. What's a man to do when both his dead wives are making his life miserable? Noël Coward's comedy Blithe Spirit is produced by Act Inc as its only show this summer. Performances are at 8 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday (June 8 to 24) at the Scheidegger Center for the Arts on Lindenwood University's campus (2300 West Clay Avenue; www.actincstl.com). Tickets are $20. $20

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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

Through June 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

Mark Dew:

Wednesdays, Fridays-Sundays, 8 p.m.

To walk into the Hideaway is to enter a place that seems frozen in time, where the dozen or so seats around the piano are packed with your grandparents' friends, decked out in chunky jewelry and tilted fedora hats. Ostensibly, they're here to listen to Mark Dew play — he's here Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights — but you're just as likely to hear one of those old-timers sitting around the piano trill Charlie Rich's "The Most Beautiful Girl." And when Dew finally has his turn at the mic, he'll say something humble, like, "I apologize; it should have been in the key of F." No matter. Dew is the conductor of this time-traveling train, and everyone's on board. Dew, who is blind, has been the piano man here for nearly a quarter-century and jokes that the best part about working here is, well, getting paid. He marvels at the younger set trickling in and its knowledge of the Cash and Sinatra songbooks: "The more the crowd gets into it, the more I play," Dew says. And that's enough to keep him around. "I'm not quite ready to be out to pasture," he says. "Yet." free

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