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The Commonspace

Mar 2003 / it's all happening :: email this story to a friend

The Ides of March
By Thomas Crone, Amanda E. Doyle and Brian H. Marston

Sunday, March 2
Friends of Tower Grove Park Lecture Series: "African-Americans in Early St. Louis," by John A. Wright
Stupp Center, corner of Grand and Arsenal
Free, all ages, 2 p.m., 314-865-2394

Dr. Wright literally wrote the book on it (his "Discovering African-American St. Louis — A Guide to Historic Sites" is a must-have for every St. Louisan's library), so you know this afternoon in beautiful (if somewhat slushy) Tower Grove Park will be packed with interesting info, much of which is far from common knowledge. Come a little early and have lunch somewhere in the world along Grand. May I recommend Sekisui? Sweet potato tempura...yum. (AED)

Wednesday, March 5
On-Stage at Powell Hall: "Conversations and Storytelling: Sonatas for Violin and Piano"
Powell Symphony Hall, 718 N. Grand
Free, all ages, 7 p.m., 314-534-1700,

view from the stage I gotta tell you, this is a not-to-be-missed opportunity: experience the splendor of Powell Hall for free, from the vantage point that the orchestra usually is using to watch you! This occasional series allows the audience to park it onstage, listen to world-class musicians (in tonight's case, Principal Second Violinist Alison Harney and Boston pianist Judith Gordon, playing works by Beethoven, Brahms and Copland), and discuss/ask questions of the musicians in an informal atmosphere. Let's face it, despite the symphony's many attributes, "informal" is not normally associated with a performance. I mean, you should still wear a shirt and shoes, but this is as good as it gets! Seating is first-come, first-served, with a reception following the one-hour concert. Go! (AED)

Wednesday, March 5
Cinema in the City: "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band"
Beatnik Bob's in the City Museum, 15th & Lucas
$4, all ages, 7:30 p.m., 314-968-7487,

This month's installment of the longest-running monthly movie series in town (and there are a few now, hooray!) features Michael Shultz's mid-1970s reworking on the Beatles music with a cast including flavors-of-the-year Peter Frampton and the Bee Gees, among a host of others. Though most wouldn't consider this one a classic, in the purest sense, it is a cult classic for fans of bombastic rock'n'roll and the showy glitz of the era. Humor aplenty, some of it intended, some not. Check out, too, the new Beatnik Bob's theater, with a 100-seat auditorium next to the old club. (TC)

Friday, March 7 and Saturday, March 8
"The Worst of Eric Bogosian": one-man show by Joe Hanrahan, dir. by David Wassilak
The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand
$12 ($10 for Friends of The Commonspace), adults only, 8 p.m., 314-773-1503,

Perhaps the zenith of the angry white man has passed, but let's be clear: there are still angry white men among us, and there is always something to learn from the angry. Well, you'll find no one angrier (or more scathing, or many times, funnier) than Eric Bogosian, the playwright/essayist/monologist/screenwriter (remember "Talk Radio"?). The Midnight Company's exclusive production of this Bogosian-authorized compilation promises hilarity, righteous ranting, sharp wit and most likely a lot of cigarette smoking...not necessarily in that order. Come enjoy the immediacy of storefront theater in our little corner of Grand Center. If nothing else, you can enjoy the shocked faces of folks headed to tonier venues nearby...(AED)

Friday, March 7 - Sunday, March 9
"Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars"
Winifred Moore Auditorium, 470 E. Lockwood
$4-6, 7:30 p.m., 314-968-7487

One of the classic rock'n'roll concert films, this is D.A. Pennebaker's 1973 look at David Bowie in action; in the background his reputed "bar band" of the time, which sometimes gets a moment onscreen. Bowie, needless to say, dominates the performance, as he runs through a variety of his early hits, including "Changes" and "Suffragette City." (TC)

Friday, March 7
Guerrilla Girls
Century Rooms of the Millennium Student Center, UM-St. Louis North Campus, 8001 Natural Bridge Road
$5/($2 for students and AIGA members), 7 p.m., 314-516-7922

Guerrilla Girl Held in conjunction with the opening of "UMSL Women on the Move," an art exhibition at Gallery Visio, a host of on-campus sponsors and the American Institute of Graphic Artists bring the Guerrilla Girls to St. Louis for a lecture and performance. The group is described like so: "Guerrilla Girls is a New York-based, anonymous group of women artists, writers, performers and filmmakers who fight discrimination. Dubbing itself the conscience of culture, the group considers its members 'counterparts to the mostly male tradition of anonymous do-gooders like Robin Hood, Batman and the Lone Ranger.' Members wear gorilla masks while using humor to convey information, provoke discussion and show that feminists can be funny. In the past 17 years, Guerrilla Girls has gone to great lengths to expose sexism and racism in the worlds of art, film and theater, as well as culture in general. For more information on Guerrilla Girls, visit" A different kind of Friday, eh? (TC)

Saturday, March 8
The Journey of Scent 2003: Incense Making
First Unitarian Church of St. Louis, 5007 Waterman (in the Central West End)
$25 (includes incense-making kit), 1-3 p.m., 314-966-5619,

Part of a "year-long journey into the ancient teachings of pure incense, scent, meditation, chanting, Buddhism and much more," this hands-on workshop will teach you how to prepare your own exotic mixtures of incense, which you can then use to clear your home, cubicle or other space of choice. Om. (AED)

Saturday, March 8
St. Louis Women's Walk for Peace: Celebrating Women as Global Peacemakers
Begins at The Pageant, Delmar in the Cloop (city part of the Loop; thanks, Ajay!)
Free, all ages/genders welcome, 2-4 p.m., 314-865-3084,

Are women more peaceful than men? In any case, seems like we could all use all the peace we can muster these days, so get your marchin' signs and come on out for this rally/peace walk to show support for a peaceful resolution instead of impending war with Iraq. This local event coincides with national/global rallies at the same time. Peace out. (AED)

Sunday, March 9
Budding Urbanists' Reading Hour
The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand
Free, all ages (stories targeted at kids from 4 to 8 years old), 3:30 p.m., 314-531-1707, or

Come enjoy the afternoon with the real next generation of St. Louis-philes: the under-10 crowd! Misses Amanda and Rachelle — along with our great friends at Left Bank Books — have cooked up an afternoon of entertaining, out-loud storytelling, including such city-friendly treasures as: "Katy and the Big Snow" (in which a bulldozer has to do her job so that important city services can continue after a blizzard); "Sector 7" (in which a young boy visiting a skyscraper gets whisked away to visit Sector 7, an honest-to-goodness cloud factory); "Dogzilla" (wherein the citizens of Mousopolis have to come together to rebuild after a withering attack by Dogzilla); and more. We'll have celebrity readers, special guests, refreshments and copies of our featured books available for purchase, a sing-along and much more! Bring your child, your inner child, your neighbor's child or just your sense of childlike wonder and hang out with us. (AED)

Sunday, March 9
KDHX Trivia Contest
Tap Room, 21st & Locust
$100 per table, 1-5 p.m., 314-664-3955,

Chances are good that this annual KDHX fundraiser is already sold out: but, wait, let's not assume. Instead, get on the horn and call volunteer coordinator Stephen Axelrad, since this is always a fun event, with tables captained by a variety of KDHX voices. This year's contest will feature "Simpsons" trivia, among the usual topics of St. Louis, music & entertainment, etc. Pass the pretzels, please. (TC)

Tuesday, March 11
Art Opening: "Contemporary Projects: Arnold Odermatt Photographs"
Washington University Gallery of Art, Forsyth & Skinker
Free, 5:30-7:30 p.m., 314-314-935-4523,

Buochs, by Odermatt So, this Odermatt fellow was born in Switzerland in 1925, and took to photographing abandoned accident scenes as part of his work as photographer for the Nidwalden police station. His black-and-white shots of two Volkswagens crushed together in a head-on collision, or a Beetle slowly disappearing into a beautiful lake, have a quiet — yet striking — quality, and have just recently been discovered by the art world. The WashUGA (my term, but it's fun; practice saying it like an old-timey, honking cartoon car horn: "WashUUUUUU-guh!") presents only his second showing at an American museum. Come check it out...and drive safely. (AED)

The Healing Power of Art: An interactive art exhibit offering film, art and healing

Tuesday, March 11
Screening of "The Guys"
Chase Park Plaza, 212 N. Kingshighway
Free, all ages, 7 p.m.

Wednesday, March 12
Art and Healing Workshop
The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand
Free, all ages, 6:30 p.m.

After 9/11 an entire nation struggled to piece back together what was shattered on that day. In New York, each community offered up its own unique skills and talents. For the first time, art, poetry and theater seemed to offer little comfort but ultimately they would prove to become the voice of those left behind. "The Guys" is part of that voice. In this powerfully moving and unexpectedly humorous film, a New York City journalist (Sigourney Weaver) is called upon to help a fire captain (Anthony LaPaglia) write a series of eulogies for the men he lost at the World Trade Center. As the fireman begins to open up and work through his grief, the two form an unexpected bond, and we rediscover the quiet heroism that informs all of our daily lives.

The film's strength is the unique way it takes an immense tragedy and brings it to a basic human element — people comforting one another and finding strength and healing in these bonds. In that vein, the March 11 screening of "The Guys" will focus on art and its power to heal those in the community. Several St. Louis artists, including Andy Magee, Lon Brauer and Suzanne Chism, will have their powerful and touching work on display in the lobby of the Chase Park Plaza prior to the 7 p.m. screening of the film. Following the film, a discussion on Art and Healing will be held. Amanda Doyle, editor of The Commonspace, will host this important discussion, which includes art therapist Carol Lark, Barbara Decker Franklin of the St. Louis Art Museum, former residents of New York who were there during 9/11 and several artists. Audience questions and participation are encouraged.

After the March 11 screening of "The Guys," the 9/11 artwork will be on display at The Commonspace. On March 12 at 6:30 p.m., Carl Lark will host an art and healing workshop. The workshop will provide a unique opportunity for the community to respond in their own creative way to the art and film they viewed the night before. This call and response from the community will become part of the exhibit at The Commonspace.

Tickets to the March 11 screening of "The Guys" can be picked up at The Commonspace or by e-mailing This event is sponsored by Focus Features, Metropolis St. Louis and The Commonspace. For additional information please call Elizabeth Vega at 314-727-6984.

Thursday, March 13
Urban Land Institute Seminar: "Investments in Progress — Make a Deal, Make a Difference in the Urban Core"
Chase Park Plaza's Khorassan Ballroom, Kingshighway & Lindell
$60 advance/$70 day of event, 7:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., 1-800-321-5011 to register by March 5

If you are a mover/shaker (you know who you are, developers, bankers, architects, community activists), you might find plenty to mull over at this morning braintrust session highlighting urban core investment strategies. Expert speakers in various topic areas include Ron Silverman (Mr. Merchandise Mart), Rodney Crim (of the St. Louis Development Association) and Steve Trampe (Mr. Continental Building). And plenty of Ms. Somethings, too! Go, press the flesh, have continental breakfast, close a deal. Be committed to the core! (AED)

Friday, March 14
Art Opening: Paintings by Michael Paradise and Christopher Moreland
The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand
Free, 7-10 p.m., 314-531-1707,

The Commonspace proudly presents an integrated overview of the work of painters Michael Paradise and Christopher Moreland. Works culled from these artists' outputs over the past several years are recontextualized within our gallery space through a process of contrast and comparison as well as collaborative arrangement decisions taking place among Moreland, Paradise, and curator Jason Wallace Triefenbach. The lush brushwork and oftimes frantic geometry of these two artists becomes truly environmental as barriers of authorship and chronology are challenged and exposed. Challenge and expose yourself! Uh...(AED)

Saturday, March 15
The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand
Free, all ages, 2-4 p.m., 314-531-1707,

Listen to some slammin' tracks laid down by DJ Espi and Mike 2600, and watch the bboys and bgirls break in our new 12' x 14' piece of linoleum. If you're a hip-hop dancer, come practice your moves and help grow the local scene. (BHM)

Saturday, March 15
UMSL Staff Association Team Trivia
St. Ann's Parish Center, 7530 Natural Bridge Rd.
$15/door, all ages, 6:30 p.m. (doors), 314-516-4069

Well, I like this: no matter how your team performs at the "trivia" part of this trivia night, every attendee will walk away with an attendance prize!! (Of course, that could mean you'll have a t-shirt from some long-ago parade, but still.) Raffles will abound, from the standard St. Louis 50/50 to a drawing for a big ole Branson Dream Vacation. Heck, you might even forget you're there for trivia at all! Go and support the UMSL Staff Association's fundraiser for its scholarship fund. (AED)

Saturday, March 15
Tory Starbuck w/ DJ Nucleon
Frederick's Music Lounge, 4454 Chippewa
$7, 21-up, 9 p.m. (doors), 314-351-5711,

There's just something about the idea of Tory Starbuck playing the stage of Frederick's Music Lounge that's endlessly amusing. That's all. (TC)

Sunday, March 16
Second Annual Contemporary French Film Series: "Venus Beauty Institute"
Washington Univeristy's Brown Hall, Room 100, near Forsyth and Chaplin
Free, 1 p.m., 314-935-4056

Audrey Tautou Sacre bleu! The French have washed up on the shores of the mighty Mississip, bringing their devilish films with them. Well, fine, but just because you distract us with quirky leading ladies and rich storytelling, don't expect us to forget that you're not with us on that whole bomb-the-world thing...Kids, if you loved "Amélie" and the gamine Audrey Tautou, you are in for a treat, as France's answer to Audrey Hepburn stars in "Venus Beauty Institute," as well, a romantic comedy about the almost exclusively female universe of a Parisian beauty emporium. Vraiment! (AED)

Sunday, March 16
Rhythm & Blues worship service
Union Avenue Christian Church, 733 N. Union Blvd.
Free ($2 suggested donation for dinner), all ages, 5-7 p.m., 314-727-2309,

If you ever feel like you've got blues that even God herself can't understand, take it to the Lord in prayer — and music — at Union Avenue's weekly "Rhythm and Blues" service. Live music rocks the house of God, the message is a bit more, shall we say, informal than a typical Sunday missive, and all are invited to stick around for food and fellowship afterwards. Tonight marks the return of Kim Massie and her soulful R&B/gospel sound. (AED)

Tuesday, March 18
Delmar-Underwood Readers Series: Kevin Prufer, Matt Cooperman and Josh Kryah
Left Bank Books, 399 N. Euclid
Free, 7 p.m.,

We love Underwood. There, we've said it. We love the youthful energy and dogged persistence to bring poetry to the people exhibited by program co-directors Kent Shaw and Jason Stumpf. We love that they make St. Louis look good to poets from big ole cities like...New York City! Mostly, we love their wacky endeavors like deciding to hand produce letterpress broadsides as a fundraiser. Who else but poets, we ask? Tonight's installment of visiting poets includes Prufer (editor of "The New Young American Poets"), Cooperman (author of two books of poetry) and Kryah (a St. Louis native who, among other distinctions, got in a bit of hot water trying to out-clever the clever folks at McSweeney's. Ask him about it...but you didn't hear it from us.). (AED)

Wednesday, March 19
World Wide Wednesday: "A Year in Slovakia," presented by Carrie Fathman
The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand
Free, all ages, 6:30 p.m., 314-531-1707,

St. Louisan Carrie Fathman spent a year (2001-2002) in Slovakia as a Fulbright Scholar. Now back in St. Louis, she'll be describing both her research (into restitution, small-scale land ownership, sustainable agriculture and more, related to the country's emergence from a Communist past) and her experiences of the people and daily life in Slovakia. This is Fathman's first St. Louis talk on the subject; she'll read some of her journal writings about her experience, project digital photographs and provide delightful Slovakian backup music for the entire affair. The staff and volunteers of The Commonspace are launching their own ambitious contribution: makovy kolac (poppy-seed layer torte). Please join us, and bring a friend!

Thursday, March 20
Ciné16: "Poetry in Motion"
Mad Art Gallery, 2727 S. 12th
Free, all ages, 8 p.m., 314-241-4950,

This month's run of 16-mm movies at the Mad Art Gallery includes four titles, dedicated to the joys of verse: "Wholly Communion" (1965, 35 min., dir. Peter Whitehead); "Frank Film" (1973, nine min., dir. Frank and Caroline Mouris); "Karl Shapiro's America" (1976, 13 min., dir. Arthur Hoyle); and "In a Dark Time" (1964, 30 min., dir. David Myers). One of the credits to the programming is that no matter how obscure the topic, no matter the overall night's subject matter, you'll be treated to quality films, often with beautiful cinematography, idiosyncratic topics and thoughtful approaches that will probably surprise you. You're guaranteed a quality night of viewing, basically. Get there early, as we always suggest. (TC)

Saturday, March 22
Eighth Annual St. Louis Neighborhoods Conference
St. Louis Community College - Forest Park, 5600 Oakland Ave.
$10 (includes breakfast, lunch and snacks!), 9 a.m.-4 p.m., 314-533-9104, ext. 201,

A densely packed Saturday, with concurrent sessions on housing, economic development, crime prevention, youth/school issues, organizational effectiveness and more, the annual SLACO-sponsored conference is a place to have your civic juices replenished as you exchange ideas, frustrations and successes with other like-minded activists. This year's event includes a morning tribute to the late Greg Freeman (a frequent participant at past conferences) and a lunchtime panel on "Critical Issues Facing St. Louis," with the likes of Darlene Green (City Comptroller), Les Sterman (East-West Gateway Coordinating Council) and Barb Geisman (Executive Director for Development in the city). (AED)

Monday, March 24
Monday Night Movies: "Music-and-More Video Fest"
Frederick's Music Lounge, 4454 Chippewa
Free, 21-up, 6 p.m.-1:30 a.m., 314-351-5711,

Yours truly will be presenting a night of musical/cinematic entertainment for the small screens of Frederick's Music Lounge. Playing will be a variety of musical shorts and underrated features, including "Athens, GA: Inside/Out," "ABC: Mantrap" and "So Wrong They're Right," plus a couple of other features TBD. Fans of unpredictable music and some of the 1980s finest acts will want to travel to the South Side for this one. (TC)

Friday, March 28
Lecture: "Collecting African-American Art," by David Driskell
Saint Louis Art Museum auditorium, One Fine Arts Drive in Forest Park
Free, 7 p.m., 314-721-0072,

Fancied becoming an art collector? With these flush economic times, I know a lot of you out there are looking for places to stash extra cash...but seriously, art is probably a better investment than the market right now.* Driskell, distinguished professor emeritus at the University of Maryland, knows his stuff, and also puts his knowledge to use on behalf of Bill and Camille Cosby, to whom he is an art advisor. Bring a notepad and get started on the right track! (AED)

*Author is not a financial expert, and should basically never be taken seriously.

Saturday, March 29
Venus Envy
City Museum, 701 North 15th Street
Donation requested, 7-11 p.m., 314-865-0181

Traditionally — and this event is now a tradition, in its fifth year — the Venus Envy show is one of the largest arts events in St. Louis. And one of the coolest social events, too; in fact, you'll wind up running into a huge number of compatriots, making a look at the walls only one of the night's activities. We don't want to deter you, though, by making light of all the talk going on. The artwork in recent years has moved well beyond the work of the first couple of years, in which every piece seemed to be dominated by large-form women's... you know, women's bits. Now, it's a much more open field of compositions, along with music, beverages and, yes, lots of kibitzing. (TC)

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