Circus Flora's "The Pawn" Makes All the Right Moves

Categories: Go!, Last Night

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All photos by Allison Babka
A kiss from a camel ensures victory for the red team.

If Circus Flora cofounder Ivor David Balding were here to see the 28th anniversary edition of his beloved event, he'd be well within his rights to shout, "Checkmate!"

With The Pawn, Circus Flora's story revolving around a theatrical chess match between two teams of anthropomorphic pieces, this year's one-ring circus continues the long-running production's tradition of dramatic tension and gasp-inducing stunts. Balding, who profoundly affected the international circus and theater scenes and who passed away May 9 in Weldon Spring, wrote the foreword in the event's program booklet, focusing on the similarities and connections between the circus and chess.

Indeed, we were struck by how easily circus antics fit into a larger story about the intellect behind a game of chess. Below, find six of our favorite Circus Flora lessons we'll keep in mind the next time we sit down to play the Game of Kings.

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Someone Is Going to Win $300 for Twerking This Weekend

Categories: Last Night

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Youtube
Are you the queen (or king) of twerk? You can win $300.
Calling all booty clappers!

Here at Daily RFT, we consider it our duty to alert you when the opportunity arises to earn serious cash for not a lot of work. Last week, we spread the word about the St. Louis soda commercial offering to pay $750 to ladies who could expertly belch.

So we couldn't let you go out this weekend without knowing about a new contest at a University City night club.

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The Three Best Things About Wizard World 2014

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Jon Gitchoff
When Adam Baldwin and Nathan Fillion are together, we're in our happy place.

After spending three straight days rubbing elbows with tens of thousands of costumed fans, drooling over dozens of high-profile celebrities and spending two months' rent on sketches and t-shirts, we may need to take a short breather from the comic book world.

But, by Thor's hammer, Wizard World was quite the journey.

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Miss Gay America Pageant Brings "Sparkles" and More to Downtown St. Louis

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Jon Gitchoff
The Miss Gay America 2014 pageant kicks off with some song and dance. See the full slideshow of photos here.

On Sunday night more than 50 contestants gathered in the Millennium Hotel to compete in the 2014 Miss Gay America pageant, a national contest established in 1972 for female impersonators. Among them were three local girls whose rhinestones, false eyelashes and jazz hands did the Show-Me State proud.

See also:
- Slideshow: Miss Gay America 2014
- Slideshow: Miss Gay Missouri America 2013

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St. Louis: Lukewarm on an NBA Franchise?

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All photos by Jon Gitchoff for the Riverfront Times
Last night, the Chicago Bulls hosted the Memphis Grizzlies at the Scottrade Center in an NBA preseason game with the Bulls dominating the Grizzlies 106-87, giving the throngs of red-clad fans what they came to see: Derrick Rose (pictured above) and a Bulls win.

In a highly unscientific survey conducted by the RFT last night, we asked a few dozen fans what they would do for an NBA team in St. Louis. Many stuck with the "buy tickets" response, but the not-great attendance --13,497-- for the game, and all the out-of-town visitors we spoke to could indicate St. Louis isn't ready for an NBA franchise again. (The St. Louis Hawks moved to Atlanta in 1968.)

Are we wrong, though? Cast your vote below.

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Sonic Boom in St. Louis: Inside The Nerd Convention for The World Famous Hedgehog

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Theo Welling
Head Juggalo Sonic
I didn't grow up a Sonic the Hedgehog fan. In my early video game days, Pitfall Harry represented my family's Atari allegiance, and Mario and Link later led us to Nintendo heaven. I knew about Sega only through visiting friends, with "the hedgehog game" being something we played before dinner at their houses.

So why was I keen to report on Sonic Boom this weekend, an event that celebrates the mascot for a gaming system I didn't play much?

Because I could wear a costume while reporting. Duh.

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Cardinals Security Kicks Out Fan on Star Wars Night... For Having Stormtrooper Mask?

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Stormtrooper Julie Sweetin after she was kicked out of Star Wars night at Busch Stadium.
Most Jedi and Sith enjoyed the first-ever Star Wars night at Busch Stadium yesterday, but one woman felt like she was being oppressed by Palpatine's Galactic Empire when she was kicked out of the stadium for wearing a mask.

Julie Sweetin, a nurse at a local hospital, spent two hours crafting her Stormtrooper costume to wear during the St. Louis Cardinals' special themed game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. With black leggings, white body "armor" and a square cardboard mask, she looked like an 8-bit member of Palpatine's army.

As Sweetin entered the stadium, however, ticket-takers cited a no-mask policy and asked her not to sport the headwear.

"I was asked to remove the mask when I came in, and I did," Sweetin told Daily RFT at the stadium.

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A-Z Highlights of Wizard World St. Louis

Sometimes it takes an event like Wizard World Comic Con to prove that "nerd" doesn't necessarily mean "dork" nowadays.

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Tens of thousands of people swarmed the America's Center this weekend for St. Louis' first-ever Comic Con, a three-day event celebrating pop culture and science fiction. The event -- in which both hardcore nerds and casual fans interact with high-profile actors, artists and writers -- was so popular that Wizard World has already announced plans to return in 2014, with AMC's The Walking Dead stars Norman Reedus and Michael Rooker confirmed to appear.

"The response from St. Louis has been overwhelming," says Jerry Milani, PR manager for Wizard World. "Wizard World was immediately embraced by the fans and the city. The costume contest last night was off-the-charts unbelievable and already rivals the participation we've had in cities where we've held events for years."

Below, we share A-to-Z highlights of the Lou's new favorite convention. Because of St. Louis' high turnout, we're now assuming you know your Harry Potter spells and X-Men origins, unlike in last week's non-nerd guide to the event. Try to keep up.

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Photos: Francis Slay Versus Lewis Reed, Jimmie Matthews In Lively Mayoral Debate

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Sam Levin
Francis Slay listens to opponent Lewis Reed at a debate last night.
What is the State of the City of St. Louis? Depends on who you ask.

Lewis Reed, the President of the Board of Aldermen, paints a somewhat grim picture -- a divided city that remains unsafe and lacks real economic opportunities. But Mayor Francis Slay, who first took office twelve years ago, describes a St. Louis that has improved dramatically over the last decade and has its struggles -- but is on track for greater prosperity.

Such were the dueling narratives that played out last night at a mayoral candidate forum in which the Democratic incumbent and his primary challenger debated crime, education, economic development -- and race.

See Also:
- Lewis Reed: Francis Slay Opponent More Than Doubles Donations Over Weekend
- "Grim Reaper of Radio" Bob Romanik Top Donor To Francis Slay Opponent

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[PHOTOS & VIDEO] Mexican Independence Day on Cherokee Street

Over the weekend, our Mexican hermanos and hermanas in St. Louis celebrated the anniversary of their fatherland's fight for freedom from Spain. Daily RFT was there on Cherokee Street to take pics and a video (and shamefully large mouthfuls of food).

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Photo by Nicholas Phillips
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