It's All Happening

Search this site:

The Commonspace

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

Going Out With a Bang
By Thomas Crone, Amanda E. Doyle, Brian H. Marston and Lynn Josse

Tuesday, December 2
Concert: Dave Drebes Players reunion show
The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand in Grand Center, one block north of the Fox Theatre
$3 (free for Friends of The Commonspace), doors 7:30 p.m./ show 8 p.m., 314-531-1707,

With founding member Kurt Groetsch home briefly from his sojourn in China, The Dave Drebes Players return to the stage with four new Christmas songs and maybe a couple from years past. The first ten people through the door will receive a free DDP Christmas 2003 CD. The Dave Drebes Players are: Jenna Bauer (bass), Dave Drebes (keyboards, vocals), Kurt Groetsch (guitar) and Mary Lisa Penilla (vocals). Fred Hessel opens. Come sing along to all your new favorites. (BHM)

Wednesday, December 3
Cultivating Green Candidates: A Public Forum
Genesis Coffee House, 6018 Delmar
Free, all ages, 7 p.m., 314-664-1199

Here's a topical conversation. As people still cast about on whether Ralph Nader cost Al Gore the presidency in 2000, the local Green chapter will host conversation about the party's hopes for the next election cycle, targeting new candidates on the local level. (TC)

Wednesday, December 3
Family Night: Dreidel!
Schlafly branch of St. Louis Public Library, 225 N. Euclid
Free, all ages, 7 p.m., 314-367-4120

Oy! Let's get one thing out of the way: I am not Jewish. (Lapsed Southern Baptist, if you must know...) Still, I'm all about the dreidel song. I like it both for itself ("Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, I made you out of clay") and the way that it can easily be transformed into a song for my dogs ("Homer, Homer, Homer, you like to sleep all day"). Tonight might be ideal for a shikse like me to learn about the history of the dreidel and the real dreidel game, along with enjoying Hanukkah stories. You can do it, too. (AED)

Friday, December 5
Art Opening: "Shifting Towards Spatial Modalities"
Gallery Urbis Orbis, 419 N. 10th
Free, all ages, 5-11 p.m.,

Let's let Margie Newman explain this one. Sounds great, but not sure I could add much commentary to this latest Urbis Orbis show: "Blurring traditional distinctions between architecture and fine art, Sung Ho Kim and Axi:Ome llc pair the sculptural forms of architectural models with (2D) digital photo collage and (3D) animated video projections derived from the architectural forms. The result is work that transforms fluidity and materiality and explores new spatial possibilities through technological interventions." Coooool. (TC)

Friday, December 5
Art Opening: "Earthly Convictions," recent work by David Lancaster
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, view the postcard

Dreamy color and black-and-white landscapes of places that have never been, sinewy dancers against a wild, full moon and lonely statuary are among the haunting images in Lancaster's multimedia work, a marriage of photography, digital manipulation, fanciful drawings and unusual materials (concrete and metal-printed photos, for two). Join us for one of the year's most sophisticated art openings. This exhibition will be shown through January 6. (AED)

Saturday, December 6
Sam Stang glass sale
Mad Art Gallery, 2727 S. 12th
Free, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.,

One of the more popular events at the Mad Art is the regular arrival of new works by Sam Stang, who brings a strong audience out to see and buy his work. Though it's quality work, for sure, Stang also prices the work at a rate that the hoi polloi can afford. And seeing all those tables filled with brilliant color makes going during the early hours worthwhile. Still looking for that right piece of holiday gift giving for, say, mom? Then this might be the stop for you. (TC)

Saturday, December 6 & Sunday, December 7 (also on Dec. 13 & 14)
Feel-Good Holiday Gift Bazaar
The Commonspace/People's Coffee, 615 N. Grand in Grand Center, one block north of the Fox Theatre
Free admission, all ages, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. both days, 314-531-3202,

The Commonspace and People's Coffee host a different kind of holiday market — the theme is St. Louis: St. Louis art, St. Louis CDs, St. Louis books, St. Louis jewelry, locally roasted get it. The boys from STL-Style will be selling their wares, including the popular "East of Skinker," "STL" and the big Grand highway sign shirts. In addition to all this fun, People's Coffee will roll out its new lines of Fair Trade giftware and cool enamelware accessories. (LJ)

Saturday, December 6
Concert: The Brain Regiment and Melody Den
The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand in Grand Center, one block north of the Fox Theatre
$5 (free for Friends of The Commonspace), all ages, 7:30 p.m. doors/8 p.m. show

Corey Saathoff and The Brain Regiment play indie-pop garage rock tunes about love, strained relations and everyday Midwestern living. The band consists of Corey Saathoff (vocals, guitar), Jack Jacobsen (guitars), Casey Babb (bass) and Kevin Saak (drums). Their musical influences include REM, Nazz, Uncle Tupelo, Guided by Voices and Wilco. To close, Melody Den offers up a straightforward lyric sensibility with a sonic crunch, drawing from influences like the Replacements and Velvet Underground to The Who and Luna. The band is John Baldus (drums), Marc Chechik (guitar, vocals), Dave Melson (bass) and Jim Hogenmiller (keyboard). The band's first CD "10 & 2" (Undertow) is available through and Baldus, Chechik and Melson also contribute to the glimmering, pastoral rock of the band Waterloo. Hogenmiller is a member of St. Louis' Murder City Players. (BHM)

Sunday, December 7
Budding Urbanists' Reading Hour
The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand in Grand Center, one block north of the Fox Theatre
Free, all ages (stories aimed at 3- to 7-year-olds), 314-531-1707,

Come enjoy the afternoon with the real next generation of St. Louis-philes: the under-10 crowd! Featured reader Phillip Bozich — along with our great friends at Left Bank Books — has cooked up an afternoon of entertaining, out-loud storytelling, including some city-friendly treasures. Today's theme is animals, and our special guest, Christina Meneses-Coan, will be on hand to lead us in some fun, animal-themed improv and non-competitive games for fun! Refreshments and copies of our books are available for purchase. Bring your child, your inner child, your neighbor's child or just your sense of childlike wonder and hang out with us. (AED)

Wednesday, December 10
Reading: "The Queen of Lace," by Steve Trampe
Left Bank Books, 399 N. Euclid
Free, all ages, 7 p.m.,

The mighty Continental Life Building is our neighbor in Grand Center, and it has a glorious (if somewhat sordid at times) history, from its inception by a rich businessman named Ed Mays to its eventual abandonment and now, rebirth as a residential hub of the neighborhood. Steve Trampe, who took on the task no one else would of its redevelopment, has invested his heart, as well as his money, in the project. His book on the building includes plenty of pictures from its colorful past, and we imagine he'll share some good anecdotes, as well. (AED)

Friday, December 12 and Saturday, December 13
Film: "White Christmas"
The American Theatre, 416 N. 9th St.
$10, all ages, doors 6:30 p.m./film 7:30 p.m. both nights, plus Sat. matinee at 12:30 p.m. doors/1 p.m. film, 314-752-0100,

Well, we're all dreaming of it, we might as well go and sing with Bing about it! This reprise of last year's smash kickoff brings the classic "White Christmas" back to the big screen, accompanied by lots of holiday magic. The Gateway Men's Chorus and SLU's Melody of Praise gospel group will be on hand to lead sing-along songs of the season, while Santa greets moviegoers outside the theater. Truly an event for the whole family, and one about which you can feel good in indulging, as all proceeds benefit the Boys Club of St. Louis and the 100 Neediest Cases. (AED)

Friday, December 12 - Sunday, December 14
"Beyond the Valley of the Dolls"
Webster U Film Series, Moore Auditorium, 470 E. Lockwood
$4-6, 17-up, 8 p.m.,

This cult classic features the direction of noted B-auteur Russ Meyer and the screenplay of none other than Roger Ebert. The stars, though, are members of "The Carrie Nations," the racy trio of musicians that provide the eye candy needed for any Meyer flick. The absurdist, thin plot circles around the idea of fame in modern LA, the swinging 60s version, with a proper psychedelic soundtrack. Check your cineaste tastes (and PC mores) at the door and enjoy this campy fluff for exactly what it is: a saucy spoof that's still worth a view three decades later. Almost bad enough to be almost brilliant. (TC)

Saturday, December 13 and Sunday, December 14
Feel-Good Holiday Gift Bazaar
The Commonspace/People's Coffee, 615 N. Grand in Grand Center, one block north of the Fox Theatre
Free admission, all ages, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. both days, 314-531-3202,

(More of the same fun as we mentioned on December 6 and 7; see above for details).

Saturday, December 13
Concert: Chad Wells and Copernicus 9
$5 (free for Friends of The Commonspace), all ages, 7:30 p.m. (doors)/8 p.m. (show)

Thursday, December 18
Cine16: "Only the Lonely"
Mad Art Gallery, 2727 S. 12th
Free, all ages, 8 p.m.,

This month's program is curated by Jodi Everding, who brings a quartet of films to the Mad Art screen, including films from the 50s, 70s, 80s and 90s. All types of angles are covered, from hoarding cat owners to trips down the rivers of Brazil on balsa boats. In short, the usual night of everything-goes entertainment from Cine16. (TC)

Friday, December 19
Crossings Concerts: "The Songs of the Season, a Holiday Concert with Lydia Ruffin"
Third Degree Glass Factory, 5200 Delmar
$25 suggested donation, all ages, doors and drinks at 7:30, show at 8, 314-726-3426,

Held at one of St. Louis' cool new destinations, this month's Crossings again changes the temperament and feel of the event, featuring the holiday tunes of Lydia Ruffin and friends. Along with the music, the concert will be accompanied by a live glass-making demonstration in this vast space. A holiday bazaar, featuring local artisans, rounds out the night. (TC)

Saturday, December 20
Lecture: "Side by Side: Women in the St. Louis Civil Rights Struggle"
Missouri History Museum, Lindell & DeBaliviere in Forest Park
Free lecture/($8.50 for breakfast at 9 a.m.), 10 a.m., 314-454-3150,

St. Louis attorney and civil rights heroine Frankie Muse Freeman delivers the morning's keynote lecture, drawing on material from her recent book, "A Song of Faith and Hope." Freeman will discuss historical cases that still affect St. Louis today and share the stories of the women who made significant contributions to the cause of civil rights in our town. Add breakfast, and you've got a full (and educational) morning! (AED)

Saturday, December 20
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.,

Perhaps you saw last month's story in the Post-Dispatch on the resurgence of breakdancing culture in the Lou? Yeah, we like to think we've got a tiny part to do with that. Come watch how the b-boys do it, or give us your own best Electric Bugaloo. DJ Trackstar will provide the soundtrack for an afternoon of hip hop on North Grand. If you ask real nice, we'll show you our newly acquired/vintage quality breakdancing manual. (AED)

Monday, December 22
"What's Kwanzaa?"
Julia Davis branch of St. Louis Public Library, 4415 Natural Bridge Ave.
Free, all ages, 4 p.m., 314-383-3021

"Mommy, what's Kwanzaa?" If you've ever faced a curious three-year-old with that question or even if it's a question you've got, yourself, you're in luck this month. Folks at the library will introduce families to the seven principles of Kwanzaa and talk about the various traditions associated with its observance. (AED)

Monday, December 29
The Collateral Damage/The Wire Holiday Jam
KDHX Radio, 88.1 FM, 7-8 p.m.,

Join all four hosts and senior executive producers of these two community radio talk shows as they (okay, we) dissect the year's events in St. Louis. Wear party hats as you listen and watch for the dropping ball. Think the School Board will come up in conversation? (TC)

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

© 2003 The Commonspace