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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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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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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How Cosplay Shaped Alexa Heart's Identity -- and Changed Her Life (VIDEO)

Categories: Arts


Anime St. Louis kicks off its tenth annual event this weekend. But cosplayers have been getting ready for quite some time now.

In fact, in early April, Hayden Brown, whose cosplay name is "Alexa Heart," led a workshop at the Midwest Costume Academy, teaching participants how to construct and improve their costume play attire. Brown was a judge for Mid Con Comic Show last year and is featured talent in this year's Gen Con.

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Upstream Theater's Adaptation of Coleridge's "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" Is a Triumph

Categories: Arts

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Patrick Blindauer and Shanara Gabrielle aboard The Ancient Mariner. | ProPhotoSTL
There was a ship. Its canted deck rose up from a green surface skeined with whorls and bubbles. Behind, a sail rose into the sky; off to one side, a rope ladder climbed toward the rigging. It was docked inside the Kranzberg Arts Center, and we were to bear witness to its final voyage, a journey that would change all who saw its passage from this world.

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Mad Men: What's Left After Achieving Everything?

Categories: Arts

By Inkoo Kang

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American Movie Classics
Don Draper and Peggy Olson.
Mad Men has always been, among many other things, about the exit of the old guard and the entrance of the new — and the acceleration of that transition by the mood and the movements of the '60s. The pilot, set in 1960, finds the Sterling Cooper higher-ups scrambling to locate a Jewish employee within their ranks so that he can sit in on a meeting with a potential Jewish client, Rachel Menken (Maggie Siff). "Have we ever hired any Jews?" asks Roger Sterling (John Slattery), whose place at the top was guaranteed to him as a birthright. "Not on my watch!" jokes Don Draper (Jon Hamm), oozing the casual anti-Semitism of the era. Just seven years later, those same men hire a Jewish copywriter, Michael Ginsberg (Ben Feldman) — who in turn becomes psychotically paranoid about being supplanted by the brand-new computer that's moved into his office.

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In Edwin Drood, There Are So Many Ways to Die

Categories: Arts

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John Lamb
Stray Dog brings double the fun with The Mystery of Edwin Drood.
Everything comes in twos in Rupert Holmes' jolly musical The Mystery of Edwin Drood. All the actors play two parts, all of the characters have hidden second natures, there are two acts. Even the stage itself is split down the middle, with one half of the house orchestra sitting on each side. The play also has two speeds — funny and funnier.


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Meet St. Louis' Penny Banner, the First A.W.A. Women's Champ

Categories: Arts, Sports

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Tim Lane
Wrestling in St. Louis has a vibrant history: Matches at the Chase were a weekend staple for more than twenty years and, more recently, the South Broadway Athletic Club had been the popular go-to spot for the sport -- though the venue has fallen on hard times, and its future is uncertain.

For this week's feature story, artist Tim Lane looks at the life of St. Louis native and superstar wrestler Penny Banner. Despite a difficult youth that included stays in an orphanage and threats on her life, she rose to stardom as the first women's champion of the American Wrestling Association.

Click here for the feature.

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