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Clayton Businesses Start Boarding Up Windows in Preparation for Grand Jury Announcement

Categories: Arts, Ferguson

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Jessica Lussenhop
Wooden frames go up on the windows of Clayton businesses.

Daily RFT spotted three businesses on South Bemiston Avenue in downtown Clayton that have begun boarding up their windows. The stores -- a Potbelly Sandwich Shop, Diamond International and Tani Sushi Bistro -- are all less than a block away from the Buzz Westfall Justice Center where the grand jury has been deliberating on charges in the shooting death of Michael Brown. Their decision on whether to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the incident is expected in a matter of days or weeks.

"It's the first phase. We're just taking a precaution for when the verdict does come," says Potbelly manager Marci Beasley. "We do probably plan on boarding up."

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Soundsuits: The Wearable Art of Nick Cave

Categories: Arts

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Nick Cave, American, born 1959; Speak Louder, 2011; mixed media including black mother of pearl buttons, embroidery floss, upholstery, metal armature, and mannequin; Photos by James Prinz Photography. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York © Nick Cave
Continued unrest over the shooting death of Michael Brown may seem a world away from Currents 109: Nick Cave, the boisterous new show at the Saint Louis Art Museum that features the Missouri-born artist's bedazzling Soundsuits — wearable sculptures that burst with found objects to create rhapsodic, carnivalesque human forms that are at once foreign and familiar.

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All Is Calm: Mustard Seed Theatre Recycles a New Holiday Favorite

Categories: Arts

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John Lamb
Mustard Seed stages All Is Calm.
Hoping lightning will strike twice, Mustard Seed Theatre is reprising last year's popular staging of Peter Rothstein's, All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914, an a cappella musical about the impromptu truce that emerged between British and German soldiers during World War I.

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St. Louis Collectors Lend Works for Rare Exhibit of African American Art [Video]

Categories: Arts

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Adrian O. Walker discusses his portraits of Dick Gregory, Moruf, Cornel West and Iman Omari.
This is the last week to check out Other Ways; Other Times: Influences of the African-American Tradition from St. Louis Collections at the Philip Slein Gallery (4735 McPherson Avenue; 314-361-2617).

"It's really a who's who of African American artists over the last nearly 100 years," says Slein of the exhibit that features works from Ellen Gallagher, Toyin Odutola, Jean-Michel Basquiat and others.

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Stairs to the Roof: New Theater Company Unearths Forgotten Tennessee Williams Play

Categories: Arts

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ProPhotoSTL.com
The Girl (Em Piro) and Ben ( Paul Cereghino) search for freedom from the confines of modern life in Sudden View Production's staging of Tennessee Williams' Stairs to the Roof.
"When I look back at Stairs to the Roof...I see its faults very plainly, as plainly as you may see them, but still I do not feel apologetic about this play," wrote Tennessee Williams in the program notes that accompanied its 1947 premiere.

The playwright's clear-eyed assessment of his early work goes a long way toward explaining why this fantastical tale -- the last of his so-called apprentice plays (those preceding his breakout The Glass Menagerie) -- has been so rarely produced. A handful of student productions notwithstanding, Stairs to the Roof, which draws upon Williams' soul-crushing tenure at the International Shoe Company in St. Louis, has not been professionally produced in a U.S. theater since its premiere some 65 years ago.

Until now.

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Atua: Polynesia's Virile and Sacred Gods Reign Over Saint Louis Art Museum

Categories: Arts

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Aotearoa (New Zealand); detail of Storehouse outer threshold -paepae, 19th century or earlier; wood, traces of red ochre; 12 1/2 x 95 9/16 x 3 9/16 inches; National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.
When the Saint Louis Art Museum presented Impressionist France as the inaugural show for its new Chipperfield addition, it was a safe, crowd-pleasing choice. The institution's sophomore effort in the new building, Atua: Sacred Gods from Polynesia, could not be more different. Filled with remote, otherworldly sculptures and carvings from a distant culture, Atua asks visitors to take it on faith that these strange, little-understood remnants possess a presence and power to rival the secular art that fills the museum's walls.

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A Kid Like Jake: Kindergarten Is No Child's Play at the Rep's Studio Theatre

Categories: Arts

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Jerry Naunheim Jr.
Leigh Williams and Alex Hanna in the Rep's A Kid Like Jake.
Can we not talk about Jake for like half an hour?" Alex asks her husband, Greg, in A Kid Like Jake, Daniel Pearle's talky but closely observed domestic drama that opens this year's Studio Theatre Series at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis.

In a word? No.

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Rembrandt's Gift: Dramatic License's Unexcellent Adventure in Time Travel

Categories: Arts

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John Lamb
Greg Johnston, John Contini and Kim Furlow in Rembrandt's Gift.
A strange thing happens in Act One of Rembrandt's Gift, Tina Howe's half-baked comedy about the time-traveling Dutch master and the healing powers of art.

As the Dramatic License Productions show opens, we're treated to the beginning of what looks like a powerful drama about two has-been artists whose careers and marriage have foundered on the shores of mental illness. It's the middle of the night, and Polly, a once-promising photographer, can't sleep because her husband, a rusty actor named Walter, has finally mastered his engorged prostate and now snores lustily beside her.

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Dirty Dancing: Movie-Turned-Stage-Production Is All Left Feet at Fox Theatre

Categories: Arts

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Caroline Yoo
A scene from Dirty Dancing, with Penny (Jenny Winton) and the omnipresent video-screen backdrop.
So, I've just had "the time of my life"?

Someone, please! Shoot me now.

Rolling into town for a twelve-day stand at the Fox Theatre comes Eleanor Bergstein's Dirty Dancing: The Classic Story On Stage, the overstuffed but underwhelming adaptation of the 1987 sleeper hit that made Patrick Swayze a household name.

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St. Louis Cartoonist Promises "Year of the Unicorn" Calendar Will Save Your Marriage

Categories: Arts

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via
January, from "Year of the Unicorn."
Lying in bed last month, local artist and 2013 Mastermind Award-winner Matt Bryan was struck by sudden, majestic image. It was elegant but simple, even useful.

He imagined a calendar filled with unicorns.

"It's magical, mythological ground, but it's also the pinnacle of cheesy sincerity," says Bryan, who challenged his creative partner Mike McCubbins and other illustrators to re-envision the creature Lisa Frank famously rainbow-blasted on school supplies in the '80s and '90s. Indeed, these aren't your little sister's unicorns.

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