It's All Happening

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The Commonspace

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

Endless Summer
By Thomas Crone, Amanda E. Doyle and Brian H. Marston

Saturday, August 2
Art Exhibit: Recent Work, 2001-2003, Prints and Paintings by Jenna Bauer
Marbles Gallery, 1905 Park Ave. in Lafayette Square
Free, all ages, 7-10 p.m., 314-231-5010

Plenty of reasons to head out tonight, including the chance to reflect on Bauer's quietly powerful work and the opportunity to enjoy said art in a new venue, a combo yoga studio/art gallery. (Big fans of the alternative use of space, we are...) Make an evening of it and drop in to 33 and The Chocolate Bar. You might buy a Lafayette Square loft before the night is over. (AED)

Wednesday, August 6
Cinema in the City: "After Hours"
Beatnik Bob's Café @ the City Museum, 15th & Lucas
$4, all ages, 7:30 p.m., 314-968-7487,

After Hours Remember when Hollywood made a range of movies? Might not seem possible, considering summer's endless blockade of blockbusters, each a dumber edition than the last. If memory serves correctly, the 1980s actually yielded a wide range of smart, romantic, funny, dramatic, combo films. Movies like, oh, "Something Wild," blending minor star power with smart scripts and sharp acting. Movies like, oh, "After Hours," this month's entry for Cinema in the City's monthly series at the City Museum. One of Martin Scorsese's quieter efforts, "After Hours" takes a clever crawl through nighttime New York, following Griffin Dunne's character through a series of unlikely, amusing encounters. Good stuff. (TC)

Friday, August 8
Art Opening: "Men"
The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand in Grand Center
Free, all ages, 7-10 p.m., 314-531-1707,

Here come the men! This multi-artist, multimedia show spotlights the work of Christopher Gustave, Stefan Hester, Ryan Hudson, Joe Neaf, Mike Pagano and Adam Watkins. Expect a diverse range of good stuff to look at, pleasant DJ sounds for the ears, and always, always the friendliest crowd on Grand. (AED)

Friday, August 8
Summer Film Series at the Art Museum, Hitchcock's America: "North by Northwest"
Museum Auditorium, Saint Louis Art Museum, Forest Park
$3, all ages, 7 p.m.,

Alfred Hitchcock's "North by Northwest" (1959) falls squarely in the middle of a stunning run of films by the acclaimed director, an arc including such works as "Rear Window," "Vertigo," "Psycho" and "The Birds." Far from an economical film at 136 minutes, "North by Northwest" builds in tension, with a fabulous conclusion in the heights of Mount Rushmore, one of several memorable, breathtaking scenes in this Cary Grant vehicle. (TC)

Friday, August 8
Rex Hobart and the Misery Boys, with Mary Alice Wood
Frederick's Music Lounge, 4454 Chippewa
$7, 21-up, 9 p.m. (doors, 5 p.m.),

Rex Hobart St. Louis is a town with a penchant for the alt-country sound, and though both of these artists work within the parameters of that genre, we don't want to pigeonhole them, either. Rex Hobart's been through town many times, supporting his Kansas City-based band's records with frequent tour stops here. Mary Alice Wood's a homegirl, playing with several local groups before striking out under her own name a couple months back. Solid songs from both, solid performance, too; these are seasoned, experienced pros. (TC)

Saturday, August 9
Cohousing Salon
The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand in Grand Center
Free, all ages, 10 a.m.-noon, 314-534-4780,

Oh, c' know you want to know. Stuff like: if I move to a cohousing community, can I bring Lulu the fox terrier? What if there's one really annoying dude who I don't really want to live in community with? Find out the answers to practical questions like these, along with a more substantive discussion of why increasing numbers of people are living in intentional community, even here in the non-trendy Midwest. It's a non-threatening intro to a life choice you might just find appealing, led by folks involved in the Culver Way Cohousing community. (AED)

Saturday, August 9
Comedy Chari-Thon
City Improv, inside Union Station, Market and 18th streets downtown
$20 ($10 after 6:30 p.m.), 314-241-1527,

Following last year's inaugural Chari-Thon, which raised about $2,000 for the Chris Farley Foundation's work fighting substance abuse, City Improv has again thrown its hat into the ring for another 24-hour comedy free-for-all. Starting on Friday night and going until late night Saturday, comedians and troupes from places as far flung as Atlanta and L.A. will bring their schtick to the St. Louis stage, all for your enjoyment. Not to be outdone, our own fair city's laugh-meisters will be in on the act. Pull up a chair and get tickled for a good cause. (AED)

Tuesday, August 12
The Effect of Immigration on St. Louis: Past, Present and Future
The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand in Grand Center
Free (reservations required), all ages, 6 p.m., 314-727-9988,

Presented by the Global Professionals Network program of the World Affairs Council of St. Louis, this coffeehouse forum will explore the evolving role played by immigrants in our fair city. Featured guests Beth Radtke and Matt Schindler from the International Institute will lead the discussion. If you're planning to attend, please RSVP to Sean Mullins at or 314-727-9988 by noon on Monday, August 11. (BHM)

Wednesday, August 13
Diversity St. Louis: We ARE the Peace
Central Reform Congregation, 5020 Waterman
$5 (gets you 6 raffle tickets), 7:15-9:15 p.m., 314-426-6568,

This evening of contemplative pieces for peace (including media as diverse as graphic art, poetry and vocal music) is a fundraiser for the very worthy efforts of Anytown, a youth leadership initiative of the NCCJ, and the St. Louis Mennonite Peace Center. Plus, after you are entertained, you might just win something in that raffle! (AED)

Thursday, August 14
Midwest Magic Jubilee
Airport Marriott Grand Ballroom
$14 adults/$8 children, all ages, 7:30 p.m., 314-298-8300

Star-studded entertainment! Las Vegas comes to St. Louis! We're partial to any event that features a clip art bunny-in-a-hat on its press release, so pack up the whole family and venture out to the airport area for big-time magic from big-name illusionists. (Let's pray they're more entertaining than Cynder Moon, Nude Illusionist, for whom I gave up a night of my life, only to be sorely disappointed...another story for another time.) (AED)

Friday, August 15 and Saturday, August 16
Midnight Company presents The Hunchback Variations
The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand in Grand Center
$10 ($8 for Friends of The Commonspace), all ages, shows at 7 and 9 p.m. each night, 314-773-1502,

Quasimodo "The Hunchback Variations" depicts a series of panel discussions between the very old, completely deaf Ludwig Van Beethoven and the very fictional (also completely deaf) Quasimodo, hunchback of Notre Dame. The discussions concern a project they've worked on together to create a "mysterious, impossible sound," the stage direction described by Anton Chekhov in "The Cherry Orchard," written long after Beethoven died or Quasimodo would have died. Throughout the piece, Quasimodo makes sounds with various objects, while Beethoven speaks mainly about himself.

Post-Dispatch theatre critic Judy Newmark named this show the Best Avant-Garde play of 2002, and one of the top five productions of the year. The Post's review proclaimed it "cerebral, comic and just plain weird." (BHM)

Monday, August 18
Starlight Concert Series: Jeanne Trevor & The Willie Akins Quartet
Heman Park, near Olive and Midland in University City
Free, all ages, 7:30 p.m., 314-863-3208, ext. 308,

The St. Louis outdoor concert season is in full flower, and this bill promises to be one of the best you'll see this year. St. Louis' "first lady of song," perennial favorite and Gaslight Square treasure Jeanne Trevor, mixes up her sets with everything from scat to "God Bless America," although with saxophonist (and a treasure in his own right) Willie Akins, the evening will probably tend towards the jazzy jazz. (AED)

Tuesday, August 19
The Commonspace Computer Club
The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand in Grand Center
Free, all ages, 7:30 p.m., 314-531-1707

The CCC is an opportunity for the geekily inclined to get together informally and share information about cool Web sites, software and hardware they've been playing with. Bring a laptop to try them out yourself. This month, there will be a presentation and call for volunteers for saintlist, a new community bulletin board for St. Louis modeled after craigslist. If you'd like to make a presentation, email (BHM)

Thursday, August 21
World Wide Thursday: India, and a Marriage of Two Cultures
The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand in Grand Center
Free, all ages, 7 p.m.,

Our popular monthly discussion focusing on interesting places around the globe with a St. Louis connection shifts — for this month only! — to Thursday and a fascinating look at a family that has combined American and Indian cultures. Amit Bhagat has lived in the United States for 9 years, and is married to a white, American woman. He and Laya (her Indian name) will talk about some of the differences they've noticed between American and Indian families. They were married in India and have visited together on several occasions, most recently with their 7-month-old daughter for his brother's marriage. Join us for what promises to be an interesting evening of insights into Indian culture, and perhaps your own.

Thursday, August 21
Cine16: "The Age of Spectacle"
Mad Art Gallery, 2727 So. 12th
Free, all ages, 8 p.m.,

The monthly series brings five offerings to the table this month, including short films dealing with: flamenco, fairy tales, Indian magi, Antarctic skiers and gazelles. Nowhere else will you get this kind of programming. And nowhere else will you be transported back to your fifth grade classroom quite as swiftly and certainly. Brainy fun, in a great setting. (TC)

Friday, August 22
Concert: Anamude, The Floating City and The Potomac Accord
The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand in Grand Center
$5 ($4 for Friends of The Commonspace), all ages, doors 7:30 p.m. / show 8 p.m.,

A triple-header of entertainment tonight, as Ana Hortillosa (aka Anamude) returns to the venue where she had her very well-received St. Louis debut earlier this winter. Her songs are stark and lovely, accompanied by beautiful guitar. The Floating City (they "live for rock and roll") and Potomac Accord, regarded by many as St. Louis' best band, round out the bill. This show is presented by First Flight. (AED)

Saturday, August 23
The Lot
The St. Louis Brewery and Tap Room parking lot, 21st and Locust
Free, all ages, 6:30 p.m., 314-680-6127,

Five years ago, when a scrappy bunch of kids threw an even scrappier street festival to celebrate St. Louis music, few might have guessed that The Lot would be going strong years into the future. Now, the shindig thrown by Metropolis St. Louis is a Happening, with great music (this year includes the bewitching Fred's Variety Group, Black Spade, Nadine and The Electric, among others), assorted performers of the bellydancer/fire-eater/sword-juggler variety and plenty of top-notch people-gawking. Bring the kids! Sidewalk chalk! And, if you get thirsty, that fine Schlafly brew can be found nearby...(AED)

Sunday, August 24
Blues Concert: Kim Massie
Ivory Perry Park, Belt Avenue two blocks north of Delmar
Free, all ages, 6-8 p.m., 314-727-2309

Kim Massie The good folks who bring you the weekly "Rhythm and Roots" Blues Worship Service at Union Avenue Christian Church have whipped up another summer concert series for the neighborhood, featuring some powerfully voiced blues belters. Kim Massie, who performs around town with the Solid Senders and is fresh off an appearance in "Damn Yankees" at the Black Rep, closes out the summer with this performance. Bring your picnic basket and a lawn chair and come enjoy the evening. There's a playground rocket for antsy kids. (AED)

Wednesday, August 27
CinemaSpoke Screenwriting Competition
Beatnik Bob's Café, City Museum, 15th & Lucas
7 p.m.,

St. Louis screenwriters are given a chance to publicly read from their works at this monthly event sponsored by Cinema St. Louis. Ten works will have been read by the end of 2003's series, including the final two scripts on this evening: "The Lemon Letter" by Doveed Linder and "Calling Dr. Meadows" by Marc Moon. Have you figured out the story at the end of a 30-page reading? Do you care about what's to come? Those are the types of questions answered for the writers, as their work is discussed by a diverse panel of cinematic folk. (TC)

Saturday, August 30
Breakin' @ The Commonspace
The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand in Grand Center
Free, all ages, 2 - 4 p.m.,, 314-531-1707

To the tick tock, we don't stop. DJ Espi brings the noise and the b-boys bring the moves for a breakdancing session STL style. (BHM)

Saturday, August 30
Geoff Kessell
Borders, 1519 Brentwood
Free, all ages, 8-10 p.m.,

St. Louis pop songwriter Geoff Kessell has returned to the live stage in the last month, playing songs from his upcoming album "Funfair for the Drowning Man" and (he adds cheekily) "of course, songs you've heard and will greet with the warm comfort of recognition." If you're a fan of Robyn Hitchcock, Lloyd Cole and the Go-Betweens, you'll like what he's got to offer. (TC)

Sunday, August 31
Kangaku Book Club
The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand in Grand Center
Free, all ages, 3-5 p.m.,, 314-795-2663

The new social justice book club rolls along with its second month and a discussion of Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women, by Susan Faludi. The author asks: "How can American women be in so much trouble at the same time that they are supposed to be so blessed? If the status of women has never been higher, why is their emotional state so low? If women got what they asked for, what could possibly be the matter now?" Pick up a copy at Left Bank Books and get readin'! The Kangaku Book Club encourages learning to promote social justice. Its goal is to create a community of learning in the search for justice and truth. The group seeks to learn about local, national and international issues through books and through each other. Each month, they will choose a book related to various themes such as globalization, poverty, politics, education equity, the death penalty, women's issues, indigenous rights and struggle, etc. (AED)


Grand Avenue Go Club
The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand in Grand Center
Free, all ages, noon-4 p.m.,

"Go is to chess as philosophy is to double entry bookkeeping." —Trevanian

You may recognize the game from the movies "Pi" and "A Beautiful Mind." The American Go Association sums it up like this: "Go is an ancient board game that takes simple elements — line and circle, black and white, stone and wood — combines them with simple rules and generates subtleties that have enthralled players for millennia. Beyond being merely a game, Go can take on other meanings to enthusiasts: an analogy with life, an intense meditation, a mirror of one's personality, an exercise in abstract reasoning, or, when played well, a beautiful art in which black and white dance across the board in delicate balance. But most important for all who play, Go is challenging and fun." Whether you're a ranked expert or interested in learning how to play, stop by to pick up a game, and be sure to sign up for the stlgo Yahoo! Group. (BHM)

"The Graveyard Shift"
4-6 a.m., KDHX-88.1 FM,

Tim Rakel keeps the night owls smiling with what he calls "a mix of rock, punk, country bluegrass and experimental music that is guaranteed to keep you awake." Lots of rock'n'roll in there, peppered with groups that take rock in different directions. On a given night, you might hear some X, possibly some Replacements, there's an especially good chance at hearing one of the Uncle Tupelo family tree members. Don't discount some jazz or even spoken word. When you're spinning this late into the night, you gotta keep things interesting — for your listeners and yourself. Tim Rakel does that. (TC)

Tuesdays through August
Riverfront Trail Rides
Start at Riverfront Parking Garage on Lenore K. Sullivan Blvd. on the riverfront
Free (parking $1), all ages, 6 p.m., 314-913-BIKE

This is what happened to me: I'd had a kee-razy day at work, and was feeling really stressed, and I was late to meet my friends whom I'd promised to ride with, and cranky. And then, I got to the trailhead (the former power plant building), and climbed onto my bike, and when the wind started whistling in my helmet, I was transported. After a while, the day just sort of melted away. That's the effect that it can have. Just a few miles from downtown, you're in a kind of nature (and, let's be fair, a kind of industrial wasteland) that makes the mundane seem very far away indeed. Rides from 7 to 27 miles are available. (AED)

Gaslite Gale Foehner
Frederick's Music Lounge, 4454 Chippewa
Free, 21-up, 5-7 p.m.,

Playing songs of a bygone era, pianist Gale Foehner entertains with tunes that your grandfolks probably hummed along to back in the day. Toss out a request and he's likely to pick up on the riff quickly, running with the track through a solo, or two, letting his small combo sink their chops into the material for their own star turns. Charismatic? Well, Foehner doesn't talk a whole lot on stage. More often than not, he's head down, fingers dancing across the keys, with, maybe, a word for the audience between tracks. He's a throwback for sure and wonderfully talented. (TC)

84 Glyde
Mangia Italiano, 3145 So. Grand
Free, 21-up, 10:30 p.m.-3 a.m.,

Increasingly, Mangia Italiano is becoming a late-night haven along South Grand, with Wednesdays becoming one of the key draws of the week. The beats collective 84 Glyde spin a wide variety of cuts, deep into Thursday morning. Hint: wear your favorite retro sneakers! (TC)

Board Game Night
The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand in Grand Center
Free, all ages, 7-10 p.m.,

What could be more fun and wholesome than an evening spent playing board games? We've got about 20 different games to choose from, and you're also welcome to bring your own. Come with a friend or make new ones. (BHM)

Church and State | Games | Expatriates | Communities | From the Source
It's All Happening | Young Minds | The Ordinary Eye | Elsewhere
Sights and Sounds | Media Shoegaze | A Day's Work | From the Editor

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