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The Commonspace

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

Jumpin' Jesus on a Pogo Stick, It's June!
By Thomas Crone and Amanda E. Doyle


DJ Jim Utz
Tangerine, 1405 Washington
Free, 21-up, 314-621-7335

The man knows his stuff. If there's a show in town worth seeing, you'll spot Jim Utz, from arena gigs to the tiniest dive bars. Maybe it's his first stop of the night, maybe his fourth. He keeps up on it all: rock, blues, soul breaks. He takes his job as promotions manager at Vintage Vinyl and basically makes it an ambassadorship to St. Louis music in general. On Wednesdays, Utz brings his eclectic tastes and impressive collection to Tangerine, where he spins from 10 p.m.-2:30 a.m. His take on the sound: "As far as the tunes, I have been covering a large musical spectrum. Last week's spin included everything from Howlin' Wolf, Biz Markie, Cibo Matto, Otis Redding, Willie Nelson, Nina Hagen, O.V. Wright and 45 Grave to the obligatory Clash, Rolling Stones and Ike & Tina Turner sets." Can't argue with that. (TC)

Through June 14
YOUTH: A Photography and Writing Exhibit
Houska 2 Fine Art Gallery, 4728 McPherson in the CWE
Free, all ages, call for gallery hours, 314-454-0959

In a reprise of a popular exhibit from earlier this year, Growing American Youth presents a striking collection of black-and-white and color photography, along with writings by gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered/questioning youth in the St. Louis area. Some of my favorite writings in the exhibit are the youth's responses to the prompt, "Where do you see yourself in five years?" Truly moving stuff that gives a window on a world many of us have never taken the time to understand. (AED)

Through June 15 (nightly except Tuesdays)
Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis: "Macbeth"
Art Hill (east side) in Forest Park
Free, all ages, 7 p.m. green show/8 p.m. performance, 314-361-0101,

We continue to marvel and delight that River City finally got its very own Shakespeare in the park; this year's installment, while a bit more challenging and less family-frothy than years past, nevertheless conjures up excitement due to witches (the Bard called them "weird sisters"), modern-day swear words ("out, damned spot!") and memorable incantations that you can take back to try out in the office ("double, double toil and trouble"). Bring your blanket or low-slung lawn chair — and don't be the chump who brings the tall one and then sits in front of folks — and maybe some bug spray and enjoy culture. Some words to the wise: the green show is totally worth getting there early for, since you'll get to see jugglers and get a prime seat, and remember that your fellow St. Louisans just love something that's free, so plan for crowds. (AED)

Sunday, June 1
Southwest Garden Home Improvement and Garden Tour
Tour starts at 4950 Southwest Ave.
$8, all ages, noon-4 p.m., 314-772-6082

So, the great thing about house tours is that vicarious appeal of scoping out Other People's Places with complete abandon...with their permission, even! And you can stand right there and openly debate, say, fixture choices with other folks in your group! (Nota bene: yes, I am the kind of person who will look in your medicine cabinet if you have me over. That's a fact.) This tour offers a sampler of a little bit o'everything good about city living: you'll see (among others) a two-family conversion, a modern infill, a rehabbed Victorian, a rehabbed Craftsman bungalow, and the showstopper, a 1925-built vaudeville/movie theater that's been gutted and reborn as an artist's residence/studio/gallery, all turned in to overlook a courtyard with pool and sculpture garden. (AED)

Monday, June 2
"Best Seat in the House" movie series: "All About Eve"
Fox Theatre, 527 N. Grand
Free (tickets required), 9 p.m.,

Marilyn Monroe Imagine it: a big screen at the Fabulous Fox, originally built in 1929 as a movie palace. Even better, the black-and-white classic "All About Eve" shown there in its full, dishy diva/backstage bitchiness glory: Bette Davis stars as an aging diva, Anne Baxter is the scheming ingénue ready to take her place, and Marilyn Monroe is a hapless ditz on the periphery. The film is just one of two offerings on "Marilyn Monday," part of a weeklong series at the Fox that also includes "Love Stories Tuesday" and "Sci-Friday." See the website for complete listings and details on locations where you can pick up the free-but-required tickets. (AED)

Friday, June 6
Art Opening: Hap Phillips, Nita Turnage and Keith Buchholz
The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand in Grand Center, one block north of the Fox Theatre
Free, all ages, 7-10 p.m., 314-531-1707

These three prolific and diversely skilled artists, working in a sort of "collaborative aesthetic," will exhibit arrangements of mutually collected found objects, as well as collages and assemblages made from time-worn specimens of local history and culture. As the masterminds behind both the 2002 and upcoming 2003 Artica festival, Buchholz, Turnage and Phillips have come into close contact with the wayward memories of St. Louis' neglected riverfront and here weave intersecting narratives into a dialog of past, present and future. (Jason Wallace Triefenbach)

Friday, June 6 - Sunday, June 8
Webster University Film Series: "Naqoyqatsi"
Winifred Moore Auditorium, 470 E. Lockwood
$4-6, all ages, 8 p.m., 314-968-7487,

Geek alert! Seriously, check out this description: "A motion picture experience beyond words, 'Naqoyqatsi' merges the power of image and music to plunge into the heart of the hyper accelerated, globally wired 21st century. Mesmerizing images plucked from everyday reality, then visually altered with state-of-the-art digital techniques, stream across the screen in synch with a hypnotic score by Phillip Glass, featuring the passionate cello work of Yo-Yo Ma. Despite the film's nonverbal nature, the ultimate effect of its starkly futuristic, computer-enhanced visual fabric is to get people talking about how technology is altering everything: media, art, entertainment, sports, politics, medicine, warfare, ethics, nature, culture and the very face of the human future." Says here that St. Louis' own media visionary, Paul Guzzardo, will be in attendance on at least two of the nights! (TC)

Saturday, June 7
Cohousing Salon
The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand in Grand Center, one block north of the Fox Theatre
Free, all ages, 10 a.m.-noon, 314-534-4780,

Come join us for coffee and conversation on cohousing. Find out about this new opportunity to live in cooperation with your neighbors and in harmony with nature. There are three cohousing communities forming in St. Louis; we'll have information on all of them. This is a chance to get your questions answered and meet some of the people already involved, including leaders of the Culver Way Cohousing community near The Commonspace. (Carol Braford)

Thursday, June 12 - Sunday, June 29 (daily except Mondays)
Circus Flora
Behind Powell Hall at Grand and Samuel Shepard Drive in Grand Center
$5-20, all ages, 7 p.m. Tu-F/2 and 7 p.m. Sa/1 and 5 p.m. Su, 314-534-1111,

It's the little big top with a big heart, even though the biggest star of all, Flora the elephant, is retired in sunny Florida. Still, such crowd-pleasers as the Flying Wallendas, our own St. Louis Arches, Nino the Clown, the amazing Sacha Pavlata and more delight and amaze kids and their adult companions. This year's show, "Da Capo," promises swashbuckling swordplay and dancing gypsies. Sounds like a typical day of street theater on North Grand! (AED)

Saturday, June 14
Breakin' at The Commonspace
The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand in Grand Center, one block north of the Fox Theatre
Free, all ages, 2-4 p.m., 314-531-1707,

DJ Espi rocks the wheels of steel, and the b-boys and b-girls rock the linoleum at our monthly indoor street party. The crowd of dancers has grown every month, and spectators are always welcome. Buy a muffin, watch some pop'n'lock...that's what Saturday afternoons are all about. (AED)

Saturday, June 14
David Simon's Rock School Open House
McMurray Music, 10201 Page
Free, all ages, 3 p.m., 314-517-2144,,

Veteran local musician David Simon (think Blank Space through The Ambassadors) has a fun idea for kids this summer, giving them a chance to hone their rock chops in group and private settings. Here's what the man has to say: "Rock School's first show will be entitled '50 Years of Rock' and will cover the early sounds of rhythm and blues all the way to modern rock and hip-hop. The open house will allow students to view McMurray's Performance Center and meet Dave Simon. The Performance Center is equipped with a state of the art sound system, musical equipment, stage, lighting and theater-style seating. Dave Simon has been teaching, playing and writing music for over 20 years. He began teaching bass guitar while studying jazz at Webster University in St. Louis. He moved to New York in the early '90s where he developed a musical program emphasizing ear training and improvisation, while expanding his teaching to guitar and piano. Simon also lived and taught music in San Francisco where he taught songwriting workshops and rock ensemble instruction." Do your kids have a yen to rock? Here's their shot. (TC)

Monday, June 16
Hungry Young Poets reading
Duff's Restaurant, 392 N. Euclid
$3, 7:30 pm., 314-533-4541

We have a soft spot in our hearts for the poets of this town, particularly the starving ones. In a way, it's taunting them — bringing them to the cozy hearth of Duff's, delicious smells wafting in from the kitchen — and making them recite for their supper. No showy theatrics here, nor one-upmanship of the slam contests: just thoughtful, and thought-provoking, and sometimes rollicking verse from the likes of John Ryan (author of the chapbook "Elements of Surprise"), Colleen McKee (an editor at Confluence, among other things) and Daniel Parsons, who presents his poetry for the first time in public tonight. Now that's entertainment! Pass the hat. (AED)

Thursday, June 19
Iris Dement in concert
Sheldon Concert Hall, 3648 Washington Ave. in Grand Center
$20-25, all ages, 8 p.m., 314-533-9900,

Iris Dement Hallelujah! Just about the only good thing about whipping the Iraqis into submission, (at least until the next crisis, when we find out again that the whole world, strangely, isn't just sitting around waiting for us to "save" them), is that warbling folkie Iris Dement is apparently emerging from her self-imposed performance ban and touring anew. Sure, she'll be nervous and no doubt full of misgivings about everything from her stage lighting to the fitness of W. for office, but get her rollin' on "Wasteland of the Free," and watch all heck break loose. If you've ever thought, "We say we're the advanced civilization, but that sounds like crap to me," you'll want to be front and center. (AED)

Thursday, June 19
Cine16: "Alphabet Conspiracy" and "Strange Case of the English Language"
Mad Art Gallery, 2525 So. 12th
Free, all ages, 8 p.m., 314-241-4950,

Ordinarily, Cine16 presentations feature a handful of delightful treats. On this evening, only two, though each promises some fun. "Alphabet Conspiracy" features everything from trumpeter Shorty Rogers to chimpanzees. "Strange Case" features the one-and-only Andy Rooney. Produced in 1959 and 1968, respectively, these promise to be most amusing additions to the Cine16 canon. Who knew that 16-mm films would prove so addictive? (TC)

Friday, June 20 - Saturday, June 21
"Pee-Wee's Big Adventure" & "Dazed and Confused"
Tivoli Theatre, 6530 Delmar
$6, all ages, midnight, 314-862-1100,

Dazed and Confused Two of American cinema's finest moments will be on display during one glorious weekend of midnight shows at the venerable Tivoli. Do we need to recap the plots for you? In "Pee-Wee's," a young man searches for his stolen bicycle, and learns about life along the way. In "Dazed," Austin's young people smoke weed, cruise the strip and dress in fabulous '70s threads. Granted, these films are staples of cable television — for those of you lucky enough to have such an invention — but there's just something about the big screen. Get your extra sleep on Sunday morning. (TC)

Sunday, June 22
Summer Solstice Sunrise Observance
Cahokia Mounds, Collinsville, Illinois
Free, all ages, 5:20 a.m., 618-346-5160,

Greet the summer and the sun in this dawn ceremony, part of the pagan "Wheel of the Year." Revelers will also be treated to an explanation of how the famed Woodhenge solar calendar on the grounds was discovered, and how it works. You'll know more by 7 a.m. than most people know all day. (AED)

Thursday, June 26
Fred's Noiseday Hootenanny
Frederick's Music Lounge, 4454 Chippewa
Free, 21-up, 5 p.m. doors/8:30 p.m. music,

Our favorite black-and-white photographer, Bob Reuter, dons his musician's cap this evening, hosting the wild-and-woolly Hootenanny. Listen to perfectly good songs! Listen to perfectly horrible songs! Drink a beer and make them all wonderful! (TC)

Saturday, June 28
St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase: "Radio Free St. Louis: This is Chuck Norman"
Des Lee Auditorium, Missouri Historical Society, Lindell and DeBaliviere in Forest Park
$6-8, all ages, 2:15 p.m.,

Was it a matter of time? The King of Weird Local Radio, Chuck Norman, is finally given the documentary treatment, with director Daniel Byington crafting an 83-minute bio-pic on the owner of WGNU 920 AM. The man's got stories to tell, so it shouldn't be a boring view, in the least. Not to mention the fact that the audience, itself, should be a show. This is only one of over a dozen sessions of local filmmaking, so check out the complete schedule, cited above. (TC)

Saturday, June 28 and Sunday, June 29
Tower Grove Park, near the corner of Grand and Arsenal
Free, all ages, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. both days,

Let's review: must one be gay/lesbian/bi/trans/queer to attend and enjoy Pridefest? Negatory. Is one, of course, encouraged to attend if one does fit into the above categories? Sure. Will even straight folk have one of the best times they'll have all year? Almost certainly; for starters, the musical lineup over the two-day fest includes local favorite Brandy Johnson, the groovy improv of Hot House Sessions, the lush pop of Tripstar...and, for the horny, an appearance by STL's own drag kings, the Bent Boyz. A festive parade — wherein, it's true, some skin is occasionally flashed — kicks off Sunday at 11. Do yourself a favor and go. (AED)

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