Star Clipper Blasts Off in Downtown St. Louis

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Photo by Jeremy Essig
Star Clipper opened for business Saturday under new ownership, but with many of its Delmar Loop employees.
By Jeremy Essig

It's fitting that the story that rebooted some of history's most famous superheroes also began a new era for St. Louis' most well-known comic book shop.

Star Clipper Comics relaunched from its new downtown location under cloudy skies Saturday morning. In a moment of beautiful synchronicity, Flashpoint, a 2011 comic book series that began anew the histories of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, among others, was the first item rung through new store's till.

See also: Star Clipper Returns: Comic Book Shop to Resurrect with New Owners, Location

Much as Flashpoint made some dramatic alterations to comic history even while maintaining some continuity, the new Star Clipper location was also a distinct mix of old and new. The smell of fresh paint and new fixtures combined with recognizable signage and some familiar faces from the store's old Delmar location to begin the store's next chapter.

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Tivoli Theatre Reopens After Water Main Break (UPDATED)

Categories: Arts, Community

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The Tivoli Theatre
Photo courtesy of Flickr/Paul Sableman
UPDATE on April 24: The Tivoli reopened after nearly a week for its 9:30 p.m. showing on Friday, April 24. See update at end of post.

Originally published on April 21. Original post follows....

A water-main break on Delmar has closed the Tivoli Theatre -- and it could be the weekend before it's reopened.

That's meant canceled programming for QFest, the gay/lesbian film festival hosted at the theater by Cinema St. Louis, which kicked off Sunday and was supposed to run through Thursday. Those films have been rescheduled for next week, says the Tivoli's Tom Anson.

The problem was a 115-year-old water line, says Joe Edwards, who owns the Tivoli building.

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Chris Rock Calls Out Cardinals for Lily White Team

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Courtesy of chrisrock.com
Chris Rock, baseball fan -- and baseball critic.
Comedian Chris Rock recently visited HBO's Real Sports to chastise baseball for losing its black audience -- and the Cardinals got special attention.

Rock described himself as "an endangered species -- a black baseball fan." Ball clubs used to be 20 percent black, he said; now they average 8npercent, and that number is falling fast. And some teams, he noted, are even worse.

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7 Awesome Things to Do in St. Louis This Weekend

Categories: Arts

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Photo by Agathe Poupeney
Compagnie Kafig dances on Friday and Saturday at the Touhill.
Who said there's nothing to do in the Lou? The weekend of April 24 to 26 is positively packed with fun, artsy, even enlightening events designed to keep you stimulated. Some of them are even free.

Check out our roundup of the weekend's top events, and then make plans to hit one or two.

1. Check out a contemporary design show
As part of its ongoing artistic vision, the Luminary highlights contemporary shapes, sizes and structures with FORM. This gathering and fundraiser galvanizes fresh ideas from local innovators in the fields of architecture, furniture, functional object manufacturing and interior design. It's all about inter connectivity as artists, craftsmen and buyers meet to network, stimulate creativity and explore bold ways to broaden community involvement. Now in its fourth year, the a two-day summit, held at The Luminary's new digs, kicks off with a special VIP party and silent auction on Friday night followed by a free public opening on Saturday. 7 p.m-10 p.m. Fri., Apr. 24; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sat., Apr. 25. The Luminary (2701 Cherokee Street; 314-773-1533 or www.formdesignshow.com. Friday admission is $30, Saturday admission is free.
-- Rob Levy

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Shualee Cook's An Invitation Out Is Set in a World of Virtual Reality

Categories: Arts

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John Lamb
Raise a glass to Mustard Seed's latest.
Local playwright Shualee Cook credits Oscar Wilde's witty repartee as the inspiration for her comedy of manners, An Invitation Out. Futurist William Gibson's vision of the Internet as a realm of virtual reality that humans will one day plug into also deserves some credit, as the entirety of the play occurs in digital simulacrum brought to life in this premiere by Mark Wilson's fantastic set. The Fine Arts Theatre's shallow stage is set inside a massive computer screen made of a scrim stretched across a proscenium framework. Forced perspective and Michael Sullivan's lighting design enhances the effect, and Chris Jent's sound and visual projections complete the illusion of digital reality.

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Michael Brown's Parents File Wrongful Death Suit Against Darren Wilson, Ferguson

Categories: Michael Brown

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Jessica Lussenhop
Michael Brown Sr., Lesley McSpadden and attorney Anthony Gray arrive at the St. Louis County Courthouse.

At a press conference this morning, attorneys for the family of Michael Brown Jr. announced the filing of a federal lawsuit against the City of Ferguson, former police officer Darren Wilson and former police chief Thomas Jackson.

Before the press conference began, Brown's mother Lesley McSpadden, his aunt Brittanie McSpadden and his grandmother Desuirea Harris gathered across the street from the St. Louis County Courthouse. Daily RFT asked Harris if a positive outcome from the lawsuit would be of any comfort to her.

"Never. Not to me. Not for me," she said.

"He's breathing this air we're breathing," Brittanie said of Darren Wilson. "[His arrest] is the only thing that would make me feel a little bit better."

Brown's mother called the lawsuit "just another part of the journey."

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Everyone's a Critic in the Actors Studio's Sharp New Art

Categories: Arts

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John Lamb
In Art, John Pierson and Drew Battles survey a costly white-on-white acquisition.
Nothing much happens in Yasmina Reza's Art, a 21-year-old classic that opened its run at the St. Louis Actors Studio last Friday. Serge, a dermatologist, has bought a very expensive piece of modern art. Marc, his friend of fifteen years, loathes it. Their more conciliatory sidekick, Yvan, is caught in the middle. That's really about it.

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Governor Nixon Fails to Offer Passable Bullshit Reason for $1,300 Float Trip

Categories: Politics

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Flickr via Doug Wertman
Everyone loves a good float trip, and Governor Jay Nixon is no exception.
There was a bit of interesting Missouri audit news this week, and (thank goodness) it had nothing to do with rumored bigotry or suicide.

Instead, an audit released Wednesday revealed that Governor Jay Nixon's office has been spreading its expenses to other agencies, seemingly to cover the fact that the Office of the Governor burns through cash faster than the Cubs burn through optimism. According to the report, between July 2011 and June 2014, fourteen state agencies paid at least $948,000 worth of personnel and travel costs for employees of Nixon's office and mansion.

However, the most interesting part in the report described how Nixon's office expensed $1,300 to take the guv'nor, his wife and four staffers on a one-day float trip.

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New "Racist Tourism Commercial" Lambasts Missouri

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Photo Courtesy of Flickr/dgphilli
A beautiful day boating in the Ozarks. Let's not talk about racism, OK?
We can't decide whether to laugh or, well, die.

A new video from Funny or Die purporting to be a tourism commercial for the Show-Me State lambasts Missouri's history of racism -- from Dred Scott all the way up to this week's destruction of the Michael Brown memorial tree in Ferguson. (Clearly, these guys work fast.)

A voiceover details the greatest state's greatest hits over footage of generic Midwestern beauty. "It's an epic tale spanning two centuries," the video begins. "From hot air balloons to Ferguson. From breathtaking vistas to slavery. From fun amusement parks to the police force in a small town quitting over a black female mayor. And from speedboats to Dred Scott -- look it up."

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Ferguson City Council Will Consider Request for Permanent Michael Brown Memorial

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Jessica Lussenhop
The weather-worn memorial on Canfield Drive, November 11, 2014.

The spot in the street where Michael Brown died has become hallowed ground in the past eight months. A memorial there grew from a bunch of roses laid by his mother to a tall, narrow pile of stuffed animals, framed pictures, T-shirts, flowers and other trinkets. An even more massive memorial bloomed on a nearby lamp post.

Though it has attracted visitors from all over the world, some locals have grown weary of it.

"There's a lot of residents that are not happy with dodging a memorial in the middle of the street," says Ferguson mayor James Knowles. "We've had to try to plow around it in the winter months. We've had people, unfortunately, drive through them, whether it's purposeful or accidental. It creates a road hazard."

Last night, the issue was formally brought before the newly seated Ferguson City Council in the form of a letter from the Joint Council On Policy and Social Impact, requesting in conjunction with the Brown family that a permanent marker be laid and the current memorial cleared.

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