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Steve McQueen's Missouri Years, an Illustrated History

Categories: Arts, History

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Illustration by Tim Lane
Long before actor Steve McQueen famously hopped behind the wheel of a Ford Mustang in Bullitt or broke out of a POW camp in The Great Escape, the actor -- once dubbed the "King of Cool" -- was a rejected child, living on a hog farm in central Missouri.

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What the Hell Is St. Louis Thinking? Book Finds Upstart Publisher for November Release

Categories: Arts

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Kickstarter/STL Curator
If you give Henry Goldkamp a typewriter, coffee and cigarettes, he'll give you a poem on the spot.
Nearly a year has passed since local poet Henry Goldkamp began dropping off typewriters around St. Louis. Each acted as a prompt, of sorts: Signs asked passersby to participate in a collective book writing project, titled What the Hell is St. Louis Thinking?

Five-thousand submissions and a Kickstarter campaign later, that book -- curated by Goldkamp and designed by a local graphic artist -- has finally found a publisher, Bottle Cap Press, and a release date: November 22.

"Maybe only a 1,000 were worth a second look," says Goldkamp, a scraggly bearded 25-year-old who spent months reviewing and transcribing messages that ranged from a paragraph to multiple pages in length. Some were short and sweet. Many were short and dumb.

"There were 250-plus that just said 'Poop'," laughs Goldkamp. "But some of them were laid out so beautifully that we're thinking of just scanning them and using those as pages."

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Review: The Addams Family at the Muny

Categories: Arts

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Phillip Hamer
Normal is as normal does in The Addams Family.
Of all the surprises that come bubbling to the surface in The Addams Family, the rambling, crowd-pleasing, knowing musical that opened this week at the Muny, perhaps the biggest shocker is this: Gomez Addams, that patriarch of the morbid, just wants his little Wednesday to find a nice young man, settle down, and be happy.

Wait. What?

That's right, folks, as US Weekly would put it: America's First Family of the Macabre Is Just Like Us!

Scary, right?

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St. Louis 6-Year-Old's Heart-Melting Video About Loving Yourself Goes Viral

Categories: Arts, LGBT

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Courtesy of Noah Rosenberg
Harlow Rosenberg shows off her Kinky Boots fashion before seeing the musical.

Sometimes the message the world needs to hear isn't delivered by political leaders or big-name activists. No, sometimes the wisest, simplest words of peace and equality come from a six-year-old St. Louis girl in sparkly red boots.

Having internationally acclaimed vocalist Cyndi Lauper and the cast of Kinky Boots agree is just a bonus.

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Review: M-velope at Bruno David

Categories: Arts

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Courtesy of Bruno David Gallery and the artist
Michael Jantze, M-velope, 2014. Wood and mixed media.
Working at the intersection of art and architecture, Michael Jantzen has made a career out of inventing fantastical structures that reimagine the built environment, challenging viewers to rethink age-old structures and building practices in terms that are attuned to the mutability of particular contexts and are environmentally sustainable. Many of his designs, such as a solar-powered vineyard or a wind-turbine pavilion, remain conceptual works of the imagination — thrilling glimpses of alternative public spaces.



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A Hard Day's Night Gets a Beautiful ReĀ­Release on Its 50th Anniversary

Categories: Arts

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Janus Films
On this week's Voice Film Club episode, film critics Alan Scherstuhl, Amy Nicholson and Stephanie Zacharek race through the latest (and the most terrible) Transformers movie (2:01), Earth to Echo (13:14), and Tammy (16:30).

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Portrait/Process at Photography HOF

Categories: Arts

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Courtesy IPHF
Kimiko Yoshida, Cindy Sherman and Heather Bennett illustrate the "conceptual portrait."

What's most remarkable about Portrait/Process, the lush new exhibit at the International Photography Hall of Fame, is not merely the sheer diversity of "portraits" on display, but also the show's animating concept — charting how photographic processes, once a binding limitation of the medium, have become as integral to artistic expression as the moment a photographer releases the shutter.

The show, organized by Ellen Curlee, takes the long view, comprising everything from early daguerreotypes and tintypes, to iPhone photos and video. In that sense, Portrait/Process offers viewers the opportunity to consider the entire history of photography through the lens of the portrait. In another sense, however, the exhibit's narrow focus allows for an illuminating meditation on something else: Namely, how the portrait, once thought of as an accurate representation of the sitter, has changed over the years — morphing first into the gauzy idealism of the studio portrait, to the frank grittiness of the environmental portrait and, finally, to the highly processed, nearly abstract images so prevalent today. In other words, Portrait/Process invites viewers to consider not only how we've seen others through the years, but also how we've seen ourselves.

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Opera Theatre Concludes Season in Bold, Dramatic Fashion with Dialogues

Categories: Arts

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Ken Howard
Christine Brewer (center) as Madame Lidoine with the nuns of Compiègne.
In the crowded field of operatic death scenes, perhaps none is more devastating than the finale of Francis Poulenc's The Dialogues of the Carmelites, as sixteen nuns, having taken a collective vow of martyrdom, march to the guillotine in the waning days of the French Reign of Terror. Many productions have taken a subtle approach to the wrenching denouement of Poulenc's master work, as the contemplatives, their voices joined in the soul-shaking hymn "Salve Regina" (Hail, Holy Queen), head offstage one-by-one to be silenced by the swoosh of the executioner's blade.

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Rothko's Colorful Abstracts Tease the Eye and the Mind at SLAM

Categories: Arts

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Mark Rothko
Mark Rothko, American (born Russia), 1903-1970; Blue and Gray, 1962; oil on canvas; 76x 68 7/8 x 1 inches; Fondation Beyeler, Switzerland © 1998 Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

In what can only be described as a minor coup, the Saint Louis Art Museum presents Tragic and Timeless: The Art of Mark Rothko, a collection of eight paintings and works on paper that span the last three decades of the artist's career. Organized by SLAM's curator of modern and contemporary art, Simon Kelly, the exhibit combines three paintings from the museum's own collection with four works on loan from Switzerland's Beyeler Foundation and one from a private collection.

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Love! Valour! Compassion!: Stray Dog's Take on Iconic Gay Play Could Use Some Tightening

Categories: Arts

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John Lamb
Love! Valour! Compassion! docks at the Tower Grove Abbey.
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? How about an entire summer?

Because with a three-hour running time, Stray Dog Theatre's latest production of Terrence McNally's iconic 1994 paean to gay culture, Love! Valour! Compassion!, will at times have you yearning for fall -- be it for a change of seasons, following a script that positively brims with full-blooded characters who endeavor to live and love fully, or for the curtain, after a production that has moments of real emotional electricity, but ultimately lacks focus.


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