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

Back to School
By Thomas Crone, Amanda E. Doyle and Brian H. Marston

Wednesday, September 3
Cinema in the City: "The Sting"
Beatnik Bob's Café, City Museum, 15th & Lucas
$4, all ages, 7:30 p.m., 314-968-7487,

Considered widely to be one of the best movies of the 1970s, George Roy Hill's "The Sting" plays this month's Cinema in the City. Featuring the star power of Robert Redford and Paul Newman, the film hearkens back to the underground of 1930s Chicago. Clocking in at over two hours, this one will run a bit long with the reel changes, so plan on spending the evening at Beatnik's. (TC)

Friday, September 5
Art Opening: "Uno Annum"
Art Coop, 1620 Lucas, downtown
7 p.m.-midnight, 314-644-7676

This is the mother lode, possibly the show of the year, with 36 (three dozen!) artists participating in the event marking one year of having the Art Coop among us. One year later, and I still don't know if they prefer "co-op" (as in cooperative) or "coop" (as in flown the). I know which one I prefer. Anyhoo, the likes of, oh, Sandra Marchewa, Michael Coleman, Doyle Cozad, Ed Reggi, Kara Newell and Kirsten Wylder will be among the exhibitors, and when you've saturated yourself at the Coop, just wander down the street for more of the First Friday gallery opening fun. Urbis Orbis has a whopper of a show, too, with Gail Cassilly's sculpture (1409 Washington Ave.). (AED)

Saturday, September 6
Prosperity Fair 2003
International Institute, 3654 S. Grand
Free, all ages, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

A frequent subject of the nattering nabobs in "Town Talk," and of somewhat more enlightened discussion among neighbors throughout the city, is the often rapid success that new immigrants to our burg have when they are able to get on their feet here. Typically, folks who come here from less settled areas of the world thrive once given the resources, and the International Institute has designed this afternoon to help some take the next steps into areas like home ownership or launching a small business. Looking for advice on that Eastern European restaurant you've been thinking about? The Prosperity Fair might just be for you. (AED)

Saturday, September 6
13th Annual Great Green Pesto Feast
Eden Theological Seminary, Commons Building Dining Hall, 475 E. Lockwood
$15 advance/$20 door, all ages, 5-10 p.m., 314-727-8554

Michael Dorsey An ideal evening out: start here, gorge yourself on numerous varieties of pesto (even vegan-friendly, natch) and bread and desserts, and hear comments from Michael Dorsey entitled "Who Will Control Agriculture?" Dorsey, the only black man to be on the Sierra Club's board of directors, was one of the organizers behind this year's Biodevastation 7 (a.k.a. When the Cops Went a Little Overboard and Arrested Puppeteers). Doubtless he'll have some interesting comments, and perhaps you can saunter across the street later for a flick — see below. (AED)

Saturday, September 6 - Sunday, September 7
Webster University Film Series: "Cinemania"
Moore Auditorium, 470 East Lockwood
$4-6, all ages, 8 p.m., 314-968-7487,

A combined U.S.-German production, "Cinemania" follows the travails of five New Yorkers whose real lives are completely enmeshed with (if not submerged by) their film-going lives. There's nothing like watching a movie about people watching movies. (TC)

Sunday, September 7
Route 66 Slideshow
Missouri History Museum, Lindell and DeBaliviere in Forest Park
Free, all ages, 2 p.m.,

The cult of Route 66 enthusiasts is one that knows St. Louis well, the old road running right through our fair city. Local author Shellee Graham has tracked the highway for years and two of her compatriots in the field, Jim Ross and Jerry McClanahan, will be on hand for this combination slideshow and talk about the history and current status of Route 66 and its famous monuments, auto parks, hotels and other ephemera. We'd guess that copies of all their works — books and videos — would be on sale. (TC)

Thursday, September 11
Washington University Writing Program Reading Series: Declan Kiberd
Hurst Lounge, Room 201, Duncker Hall, Hilltop Campus
Free, all ages, 8 p.m., 314-935-7130

Irish literary scholar Declan Kiberd kicks off Wash U's Writing Program Reading Series with two events, including this intriguing program: "The City in Irish Writing." The author of several acclaimed works, Kiberd comes with no small amount of honors on his résumé, including his most recent book, "Irish Classics" (Harvard, 2001), winning the Truman Capote Prize and The Robert Rhodes Prize for Books on Literature from the American Conference for Irish Studies. (TC)

Friday, September 12 (exhibit remains up until October 19)
Opening Reception and Curator's Talk: Folk Pottery of North Carolina
Craft Alliance Gallery, 6640 Delmar
Free, all ages, 5-8 p.m. (talk at 6:30), 314-725-1177, ext. 22

We've often said that our town lacks enough venues to show folk pottery. (Haven't we?) The Craft Alliance has heard our plea and has booked a show of remarkable works from the east coast, with Folk Pottery of North Carolina, running through mid-October at the U. City landmark. In addition to the works of the dozen-plus artists, which will be on display through the entire show, several special events are planned: the opening reception and Andrew Glasgow's talk on Friday; a lecture the following day at noon, also compliments of Glasgow; and a workshop with Michele Katz-Reichlin, also on the 13th, featuring Folk Art Face Jugs. (TC)

Friday, September 12
Art Opening: "Bob's Day Out," photographs by Susan Pittman
Left Bank Books gallery, 399 N. Euclid
Free, all ages, 6-8 p.m., 314-367-6731,

Bob Jamerson Through vibrant color photographs, Pittman chronicles the costumes and adventures of one of our favorite St. Louis celebrities, Bob Jamerson, a.k.a. Baton Guy. Whether he's jazzing up as Tina Turner's stepsister, a sexy Easter Bunny or the brazen, non-blushing bride, Jamerson blesses commuters around the Central West End with his nonstop mirth. On display through October 18. (AED)

Friday, September 12
Cat Tails & Whiskers: A Feline Frolic
Benefit for Clowder House Foundation, 3134 Wyoming
$10 advance/$12 door, all ages, 7-10 p.m., 314-776-PURR,

Admit it, we'd be nowhere, as a species, without cats. They constantly remind us that we have so far to go before we'll evolve to their level. Setting the bar high! That's what our feline friends are all about. So, it seems only fair that we should do what we can to make their lives comfortable, including providing for the neglected, abused and just plain old among them. Clowder House, a cat sanctuary and retirement home, holds a lovely open house and auction benefit in the Tower Grove Heights neighborhood, where you can meet other cat fanciers and enjoy a refined evening out. Meow. (AED)

Saturday, September 13
The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand in Grand Center (one block north of the Fox Theatre)
Free, all ages, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., 314-531-1707,

Get your Gidget-y friends together and converge on RetroMarket, (happily coinciding with the art-heavy MetroMarket, just across the street), where you'll find the grooviest garage-sale finds this side of psychedelia! Lots o' cool vintage threads, swinging accessories for your pad and more. Everything must go...and it's all to benefit The Commonspace, a hip spot if ever there were one. Be there or be square! (And sure, groovy donations still accepted.) (AED)

Saturday, September 13
"Kimberly Akimbo"
HotHouse Theatre, 1527 Washington Ave.
$15-$20, 8 p.m., 314-241-1517,

The first in a "season of HOT premieres" promised by the always-intriguing HotHouse group, this play is the funny/sad story of a teen who's afflicted with a rare disorder that ages her body rapidly, but leaves her in the same emotional place as her age would indicate, dealing with family, death and first love. All that, and it's described as an "off-beat comedy"! Genius. Runs Thursdays-Sundays until September 27. (AED)

Monday, September 15
A Broadway Cabaret VIII, starring the cast of "The Lion King"
Sheldon Concert Hall, 3648 Washington Blvd.
$150 individual/$200 couple, 5:30 p.m., 314-652-FOOD,

A benefit for the super-worthy Food Outreach, which provides nutritional services to people living with HIV/AIDS, this special evening takes the glitzy cast of "The Lion King" — on Monday, their one night off! — and showcases their non-Disney talents in a cabaret show that includes song, dance...and a premium open bar. That's the kind of benefit we can all get behind. See if you can spot Simba in a slinky evening gown. (AED)

Wednesday, September 17
Washington University Assembly Series: Thomas Friedman
Field House/Athletic Complex
Free, all ages, 11 a.m., 314-935-5285

Thomas Friedman One of the best reasons for obsessive reading of the New York Times (I prefer saving trees and reading online), columnist Thomas Friedman will deliver a talk on "What Kind of Borders Will Exist in the 21st Century?" Friedman is a three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, author and renowned expert on Middle East issues, and lately has written often from Iraq. Make like a student with nothing but time on your hands in the middle of a weekday and come hear his views. (AED)

Wednesday, September 17
Opening: The Price of Progress - The Page Avenue Extension, photographs by Michael Miles
Public Policy Research Center Gallery, 362 Social Sciences Bldg., 8001 Natural Bridge Rd., UMSL
Free, all ages, noon, 314-516-5273

Michael Miles has chronicled the "progress as promised" of the Page Avenue Extension in striking black-and-white images that show roads leading to nowhere, gargantuan dirt piles and more ephemera of modern construction. The artist will give an informal talk at 12:30, and visitors can also meet the PPRC's new director of the photography program, Mel Watkin (formerly of the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis). Be part of the solution, and take Metro! (AED)

Wednesday, September 17
World Wide Wednesdays: Costa Rica, Cloud Forests and the Coffee You Drink, with Rainforest Rachel Crandell
The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand in Grand Center (one block north of the Fox Theatre)
Free (donation of any amount requested), all ages, 7:30 p.m., 314-531-1707,

Our popular monthly series of global adventures continues with tropical ecologist and educator Rachel Crandell, a St. Louisan who has taken numerous trips to the Costa Rican rainforest in conjunction with her work with the Monteverde Conservation League. She'll present a slide talk about the rainforest there, and update us on recent developments regarding fair-trade and shade-grown coffee — a topic near and dear to the hearts of those of us who hang out at People's Coffee! All donations collected will benefit organizations in Costa Rica. Come, enjoy a cup of fair-trade coffee and be enriched! (AED)

Thursday, September 18
Ciné16: "Art and Commerce"
Mad Art Gallery, 2727 So. 12th
Free, all ages, 8 p.m. (doors at 7 p.m.), 314-241-4950,

This month's edition of the popular series will feature just three presentations: "De Kooning on De Kooning" (1982, 58 min., directed by Charlotte Zwerin); "Raymond Loewy: Father of Industrial Design" (1979, 15 min., produced by Suzanne St. Pierre); and "Entr'acte'" (1924, 15 min., directed by Rene Clair). The secret weapon in this set might be the Loewy feature, the man behind such logos as Exxon, Coca-Cola and Shell. And let's not forget that the one-and-only Morley Safer is the interviewer in the piece. Huzzah! (TC)

Thursday, September 18
Conversation Café: Vince Schoemehl
People's Coffee/The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand in Grand Center, one block north of the Fox Theatre
Free (except the cost of lunch; reservations required), all ages, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., 314-531-1707,

So much of modern life is hearsay and sound bite, but your friends at The Commonspace want you to be in direct contact with St. Louis' movers and shakers. To that end, we're kicking off Conversation Café, an occasional, informal lunch conversation that will give you a chance to ask those burning questions and express your own thoughts. Our inaugural lunch guest, Vince Schoemehl, Jr., was a three-term St. Louis mayor and currently serves on the St. Louis School Board and as the president and CEO of Grand Center, Inc., in his spare time. What's up with the schools? Will we really get a trolley through the arts and entertainment district? You'll never know unless you ask. (AED)

Friday, September 19
Art Opening: Ursula Abroad
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,

Art is good for you. In the spirit of the more the merrier, this multi-artist, multimedia show highlights the talents of Julie Malone, Shane Simmons, Jeff Miller, Jenna Bauer, Nannette Vinson and Wonder Koch. All the cool kids will be there. (BHM)

Friday, September 19
Art Opening
Mad Art Gallery, 2727 So. 12th
Free, all ages, 7-10 p.m.,

For the next two months, the Mad Art's walls will be graced by the works of photographer Tim Garrett, painter Rick Ulman and sculptor Corey Weiser. Their opening will be this evening, though their pieces will be on display through November 16. One word: photobooth. (TC)

Saturday, September 20
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.

Saturday, September 20
Missouri River Relief Cleanup
Meet at parking lot of Lewis and Clark Museum/Boat House on the St. Charles riverfront, just south of Frontier Park
Free, all ages, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.,, 573-442-5699

Bring the kids! They'll enjoy the gettin' dirty, and you'll appreciate that the whole family is out there making the world a better place, rather than watching that Saturday morning drivel on t.v. Volunteers will join nationally renowned river activist Chad Pegracke, and his fleet of barges and workboats, in cleaning up a 12-mile stretch of the scenic river and the nearby Katy Trail. Work gloves, trash bags, drinking water and nutrition bars will be provided; all you supply is elbow grease. (Dirty work, this, so dress appropriately.) (AED)

Saturday, September 20
Delmar Literary Magazine Benefit Reading
The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand in Grand Center, one block north of the Fox Theatre
Free (donations will be accepted), all ages, 6:30 p.m., 314-727-9987,

Folks, we have world-class cultural stuff right here in River City, and the independent literary annual Delmar is one of them. The latest edition, whose release will be celebrated at this star-studded reading, is Delmar 9, guest edited by poet Jason Stumpf. Writers represented in this collection include Rockwell Gray, Aaron Belz, Jerry Harp, Ida McCall and others. Come hear the authors read their submissions, and then purchase your very own copy of Delmar 9, or copies of previous editions — some are already rare collectors' editions! (AED)

Tuesday, September 23
St. Louis BookCrossers' Monthly Meeting
The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand in Grand Center, one block north of the Fox Theatre
Free, all ages, 7:30 p.m., 314-531-1707,

Have you heard of the new sensation sweeping the nation, BookCrossing? Perhaps you've read about it in Readers' Digest, Utne Reader, or right here on your favorite web site! Well, there's an active group of St. Louis BookCrossing fanatics, and once a month they meet to swap books, tips about recent reads and more news of the BC world. Come join the fun, and bring a spare book or two if you've got 'em! (AED)

Wednesday, September 24
Reading: "Normal: Transsexual CEOs, Crossdressing Cops and Hermaphrodites with Attitude," by Amy Bloom
Left Bank Books, 399 N. Euclid
Free, all ages, 7 p.m., 314-367-6731

I can admit it: I am fascinated by the subject of gender identity and politics. Being nothing more exciting than a straight gal myself, it seems incomprehensible to me to struggle with questions as basic as, "Who am I, really, away from society's gender definitions? Not who they say I am." Author Bloom, known for her fiction, tackles the subject from a variety of angles; at least one is sure to stick with you and worm its way into your brain. (AED)

Wednesday, September 24
The Pala Solution
The Way Out Club, 2525 So. Jefferson
21-up, 10 p.m. (doors at 9 p.m.), 314-664-POET,

It's always a pleasure to see and hear a band that plays outside of the usual conventions. So it was recently, when the Pala Solution played the wee stage area at Pop's Blue Moon. The six-piece band, with a full horn section, took up a lot of space, literally and sonically; in fact, they might be a touch overwhelming for the friendly confines of Pop's. Tonight, the group gets a bigger PA, which they'll use to good effect. Trying to exactly label this band's going to be a tough task. Better for you to just visit their site and punch up a couple of MP3s. (TC)

Thursday, September 25
The Meat Purveyors
Frederick's Music Lounge, 4454 Chippewa
21-up, 9 p.m. (doors at 5 p.m.), 314-351-5711,

Meat Purveyors Occasionally, you run across a scene that confuses, shocks and vexes you in equal measure. When the Meat Purveyors last played Frederick's, the show was sold out mid-way through the evening, the teeming audience spilling halfway up the steps into Freddy's house. The Bloodshot Records band wasn't just playing to a large crowd, either; rather, this was an audience eating up every note. Fusing classic country and straight-ahead rockabilly, the band struck all the right poses: the hot, tattooed female bassist, in particular, seemed rung up right outta Central Casting. But no matter — the kids loved them, no cynicism allowed. If you like your twang, roll up your Levi's and head to Fred's. Early. With the Hootenanny called off for the evening, watch the saddened singer-songwriters head home dejectedly. Everyone else will be inside, sweating, dancing and enjoying a band that's obviously got more than a cult following. (TC)

Saturday, September 27
St. Louis Comic Art Show
City Museum, 701 N. 15th St.
$10 (includes museum admission), all ages (it's comics, dude!), 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m., 314-725-9110,

We got highbrow, we got lowbrow, we've even got underground comic artist legends Charles Burns ("Black Hole," "El Borbah") and Gary Panter (set design for the wacky "Pee-Wee's Playhouse"). The duo is in town for the daylong comic expo and gallery exhibition, featuring a whole room of small-press comics publishers and original work. Comic artists from all over the nation will converge here, and what better place to put them than the surrealistic splendor of City Museum? Keep your hands and feet inside the car, kids. (AED)

Saturday, September 27
Green Fleets Workshop
Brentwood Community Center, 2348 S. Brentwood
Free (registration required by 9/22), 10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., 314-645-2032,

Wouldn't it be rad if the city officials in your town zipped around in ultra-clean hybrid and electric cars? Not just for The Jetsons anymore, now you can help move your municipality closer to that reality. The Sierra Club's Global Warming and Energy Program workshop will show ordinary folk how cleaner, more fuel-efficient cars can save tax dollars, improve the air quality and reduce CO2 emissions...and then, teach strategies you can employ to encourage your local fleet operator to adopt better automotive technologies. (Here's a thought: find some friends to go with you, and carpool.) (AED)

Saturday, September 27
Breakin' @ 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

Yo! Check out the dhTV b-boy promo video produced by Owen Woodard to get a feel for what this monthly event is like. Last month featured something of a hip-hop teach-in, with local kids (real kids, like under the age of 10!) busting phat moves and beats. (BHM)

Saturday, September 27
An Evening with Filmmaker James Fotopoulos and Grandpa's Ghost, with guest Dave Stone
A.D. Brown Building, Tucker and Washington, first floor
$10 advance/$12 door, 9:30 p.m. (doors 8 p.m.), 314-721-4096

How's this for a grabber? Describe your event as full of "perversion, purity, paranoia and panoramic." Works for me! That's the tag on the work of Fotopoulos, a Chicago native with more than 60 films in his bag of tricks. So, here's the lineup: saxophonist Dave Stone opens, collective Grandpa's Ghost (featuring Ben Hanna, Tobi Parks, Chris Dee, Jack Petracek and Eric Hall) play a new Bill Emerson composition, and then all hell breaks loose, as the Ghost accompanies Fotopoulos' work, shown on five large screens. If you want the cheapie tix, get 'em at Vintage Vinyl or CBGB. (AED)

Sunday, September 28
Kangaku Book Club
The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand in Grand Center, one block north of the Fox Theatre
Free, all ages, 3-5 p.m., 314-795-2663,

September's book, "Occupied Voices: Stories of Everyday Life From the Second Intifada," by Wendy Pearlman, lets readers hear the voices of Palestinians who have endured the bitterness of living in an occupied land. Regardless of which side (if any) of the Israeli-Palestinian divide you're on, you'll likely learn much from these poignant stories. 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. We, of course, encourage you to get your copy at the library or Left Bank Books. (AED)

Monday, September 29
Monday Noon Cultural Series: Fiddles and Forests
UMSL, J.C. Penney Conference Center Room 229
Free (bring a lunch if you'd like), all ages, 12:15-1:15 p.m., 314-516-5699

I can think of no better way to approach the end of the month than a nice, relaxing lunchtime fiddle session. Michael Fraser, of the state Department of Conservation, combines fiddle tunes and a lecture to demonstrate the importance of music and natural resources to the Scots/Irish settlers of the Ozark region. Fiddlerific! (AED)

Tuesday, September 30
Conversation Café: Sylvester Brown, Jr.
People's Coffee/The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand in Grand Center, one block north of the Fox Theatre
Free (except the cost of lunch; reservations required), all ages, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., 314-531-1707,

So much of modern life is hearsay and sound bite, but your friends at The Commonspace want you to be in direct contact with St. Louis' movers and shakers. To that end, we're kicking off Conversation Café, an occasional, informal lunch conversation that will give you a chance to ask those burning questions and express your own thoughts. Today's guest, Sylvester Brown, Jr., is the newest voice in the pages of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, hired to write the column left open by the late Greg Freeman. He has plenty of experience in opining in print, having founded and edited Take Five magazine with his wife. Lately, his columns have taken a particular interest in issues of race and education in St. Louis. Good food, good conversation — what could be better? (AED)


Rock'n'Roll Stag Night
Magee's, 4500 Clayton
$3, 21-up, 3 p.m.-1 a.m. (10 p.m., music), 314-535-8061

Stag Follow this: the members of the Good Griefs live near the Deadhead bar Magee's. They enjoy the taste and affordability of Stag Beer. Noting that no shows are booked on Wednesday nights, they marry rock music to Stag beer and launch their own lil' music series, featuring lots of local bands that you'll know by name. The Stags are 75 cents, which we encourage you to drink in moderation. The bands will cost you a couple of shells at the door and they're worth it. Playing the rest of the month:

9/3, The Good Griefs
9/19, Dogtown Allstars
9/17, Fred's Variety Group
9/24, The UnMutuals

Not surprisingly, the Round Ups currently hold the record of 399 Stags rung at the bar in one evening; while we figure on the band accounting for a quarter of that total, that's still a lot of bottles. (TC)

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