This Antony and Cleopatra Fails to Hit the Highest Heights

Categories: Arts

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J David Levy
The cast of Antony and Cleopatra.

For many people, the arrival of Shakespeare Festival St. Louis' annual production signals the official start of summer. A night on the lawn at Shakespeare Glen with a bang-up cast of actors performing a classic under a vault of stars? If there is a heaven, it should be something like this.



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10 Amazing Things to Do This Week in St. Louis

Categories: Arts

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Photo by Allen Lee
The Burlesque Fest runs through Saturday night.
Unseasonable cold got you down? Beginning today, St. Louis will start to heat up with all manner of excitement for a three-day holiday weekend bonanza.

This week's activities include a burlesque festival, some amazing live music and even some Star Trek fun for the Trekkies out there. Stop shivering and make some plans!

1. Eyeball the City's Top Burlesque Dancers
Never has the state's nickname been more appropriate than it is now, when the bold, beautiful, bodacious bodies of the Show-Me Burlesque festival take the stage through Saturday (May 21 through 23). The festival honors St. Louis' rich burlesque and vaudeville history with four different shows held across a variety of venues. Thursday's opening-night bash was at 8 p.m. at 2720 Cherokee (2720 Cherokee Street; www.showmeburlesque.com) and starred a cast of award-winning burlesque performers sure to get pulses pounding, but if you missed the fun, you're not out of luck. Weekend passes good for all shows are $65 to $120. — Mark Fischer


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RFT Seeks Web-Savvy Freelance Editor for 6-Week Position

Categories: Arts, Media

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Photo by Corey Woodruff
Come assist us with our coverage of the city's food and drink scene.
The Riverfront Times has a summer opening for a freelance editor to assist with its online food coverage and overall web presence. The position is temporary -- we're looking for someone to help out for approximately six weeks from mid-July to late August to cover an editor's maternity leave.

The ideal candidate will be a strong writer and quick editor who knows how to craft a story that will pop online. He or she should have some familiarity with St. Louis' food and cocktail scene, be comfortable using Facebook and Twitter and be prepared to learn the paper's incredibly clunky blogging software. The ability to take your own photographs, upload them, and crop them is essential.

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7 Fun Things to Do in St. Louis This Week

Categories: Arts

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Photo by Denise Truscello
The Chippendales. Yes, this is still a thing.
The Chippendales are coming! The Chippendales are coming! And if that makes you think of Chris Farley gyrating on Saturday Night Live rather than a fun night out on the town, don't despair -- there are lots of other things happening this week in St. Louis, too.

From a documentary about how MTV shaped R.E.M. to the St. Louis Renaissance Faire, trust us when we say there is something in this list for just about everyone, no matter how random their tastes. Here are our picks for the week's seven most interesting.

1. See Some Beefcake in Lemay
Ladies, let's be real: If your last encounter with a bulging package was an ill-shipped Amazon delivery, you owe it to yourself to see the Chippendales at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday (May 15 and 16) at River City Casino (777 River City Casino Drive, Lemay; 888-578-7289 or www.rivercity.com). Tasteful enough to avoid total NSFW status, yet saucy enough to take the top spot on any girls-night-out bucket list, this event features a variety of song-and-dance numbers that showcase the handsome lads'...skill set. Be prepared to fan yourself as this legendary troupe demonstrates the meaning of "intimate fan participation." Mercy! Tickets are $22.50 to $67.50. mdash; Brooke Foster

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My Mother's Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding Is a Delightful, Grounded Rom-Com

Categories: Arts

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Eric Woolsey
Deborah Sharn, Pierce Hastings, Laura Ackermann and Ben Nordstrom.
My Mother's Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding is not what you think it is. Oh, sure, the title's a mouthful that promises a great deal of proselytizing and earnestness, but it's just a way to get your attention. No, David Hein and Irene Sankoff's musical (based on Hein's own mothers' courtship) is in fact a romantic comedy with a twist: Instead of watching two twentysomethings fumble through a romance only to save it in the end, here we see a mature, thoughtful love story about a middle-aged woman finally coming to terms with herself.


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Wash. U. Med Students' "Uptown Funk" Parody Deserves to Go Viral

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Wash. U.'s first-year med school students will funk you up.
Music-video parodies are a dime a dozen in 2015 -- you can't spend an hour on YouTube without finding 100 not-that-funny versions of any given song on the radio.

But Washington University's "Uptown Funk" parody has a lot going for it that other spoofs don't. For one thing, the first-year med school students who created and star in "First Year Funk" aren't just lip-synching; they're actually singing some pretty funny lyrics.

For another, these doctors-in-training can actually dance.

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5 Fun Things to Do This Week in St. Louis for $20 or Less

Categories: Arts

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Photo by Peter Wochniak, courtesy of the Saint Louis Ballet
Don Quixote comes to town this weekend.
Thunderstorms are predicted this weekend, but that won't stop you from having fun at these five events from our calendar -- three of which are 100 percent free and all of which are $20 or less.

Feel like a big spender? Check out the bonus event we've included at the very end. We hear it might be worth it.

1. Go See a Circus
Circus Flora always turns whimsy into pure art -- and tonight at 6 p.m., the magic unfolds not under the Big Top, but within the beautiful (and recently renovated) confines of the Pulitzer Arts Foundation (3716 Washington Boulevard; 314-754-1850 or www.pulitzerarts.org). The perfect complement to the current Calder Lightness exhibition (featuring sculptor Alexander Calder's circus-inspired mobiles and stabiles), tonight's event showcases artists performing aerial acrobatics, low-wire dancing, and trick roping. The evening concludes with the American debut of Jean Painlevé's Calder Circus, followed by a screening of his 1955 film Le Grand Cirque Calder 1927. Admission is free. -- Brooke Foster


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Strange Folk Festival Founder Autumn Wiggins Battles City of O'Fallon Over Event She Created

Categories: Arts, Community

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Photo by Jennifer Silverberg
Autumn Wiggins
Almost ten years ago, Autumn Wiggins started the Strange Folk Festival in her hometown of O'Fallon, Illinois -- and in the next decade, grew it into one of the Midwest's premiere indie arts festivals.

By this January, however, Wiggins says she felt battered by the Ferguson-related unrest that left her South Grand shop, Upcycle Exchange, with broken windows. She was also weary of how much work she was putting into the festival. She told the O'Fallon Arts Commission she wanted to pull the plug.

But to Wiggins' surprise, the city suggested that they actually owned Strange Folk -- and began making plans for the 2015 iteration without her.

That's when things got ugly. Now the city's attempt at what local crafters call a "fake folk fest" has led to dueling legal threats, cease and desist letters, and even the intervention of local police.

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8 Great Things to Do in St. Louis This Week

Categories: Arts

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Photo by Micah Usher
Cinco de Mayo returns to Cherokee Street this weekend. Ole!
This weekend's roster of events range from the sublime to silly, from hoppy good times to hippie happenings. Feel like a parade? Cherokee Street has one just for you, and it's far from the normal lineup of high school bands and politicians in floats. Into comic books? This is the weekend to get one for free, as Free Comic Book Day is again celebrate at local stores.

And while it's true that Cary Elwes won't be here after all, Monday is still busy with two great events. You can see Princess Bride (for free!) or a documentary of the Grateful Dead's last-ever gig. Right on.

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The Black Rep's Stellar Island Has Uncomfortable Parallels

Categories: Arts

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Stewart Goldstein
Once on This Island.
On the surface, Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty's musical Once on This Island is a fable. The straightforward plot, the colorful cast of characters and the strong moral about love healing a broken society are all tailored for a young audience. And there's nothing at all wrong with that -- kids of all ages will find much to enjoy in the Black Rep's current production.


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