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Archive for the ‘Arts and the Stage’ Category

W.C. FIELDS AT THE MUNY

W.C. FIELDS

W.C. FIELDS

After scooping the world’s media (including the N.Y. Times) by hours on the News Corp.’s plan to split up,  this columnist decided to turn to “soft news.”  What could be more fun that bringing up the name of W.C. Fields, the iconic comedian?  Years before he was to appear as Captain Andy in “Showboat” at the Muny, where he hid bottles of hootch in the trees, he grew up poor and sleeping huddled in doorways in all weather.  It got to the point he could only relax and sleep in a barber chair, so he would splurge on hot shaves.  By the time he was a headliner in vaudeville, Fields found that though his wallet was now full, his nights were devoid of sleep because he could only get comfy in a barber chair, or stretched out on a pool table.  Such is the restful luxury of an old-fashioned barbershop shave with hot towels, rich hot lather and straight razor honed on a leather strap. At swanky Alexandra Salon inside the lobby of the Flamingo Resort in Las Vegas, an old-fashioned shave costs $65, plus tip.  There’s better value and great service right here in St. Louis that would do W.C. Fields proud: At Mark LaPlante’s Blades on Washington Avenue, between Tucker and Eleventh Streets, the price for a lovely hot shave is just $19, plus tip for skilled shavers.  A third-generation stylist, Mark is approaching the third anniversary of opening Blades.  His dad, Jack, opened LaPlante School of Hairstyling in 1968.  Back then, barbers-to-be-trained in hot lather shaving used a straight razor to remove lather ever so gently from balloons.

“AMERICAN IDOL” PRODUCER’S IPO, SCOTT ROSENBLUM HELPS EXTINGUISH A FIRE, PHYLLIS SCHAFLY & THE BREWERY, ROSE JONAS’ NEW WORK, AL WATKINS TO BETTY WHITE’S ROAST

European media giant Bertelsmann is poised to issue an IPO.  The conglomerate controls broadcaster RTL Group, Random House and FreemantleMedia, producer of “American Idol” and “The X Factor”. . .Rose “The Job Doctor” Jonas is penning an e-book with her son, David Finkelstein, titled, “How to Figure Out What You Want to Do Next,” which is being edited by Dick Weiss and is due out April 15 at cyber-book stores.  Jonas’ previous effort was a 10,000-word paper, “Living on Stress Mountain: Strategies For Doing Well When Your Life Sucks.”  “Clients have told me what works for them,” she said.  “This is a compendium of their advice. Take what you like from it, what you think will work for you. May it help you feel less precariously perched here in this thin mountainous air” and she quotes Henry Kissinger: “There cannot be a stressful crisis next week.  My schedule is already full”. . .Barrister Al Watkins and his wife, Paige, will head to Gotham for the Betty White roast at the Friars Club.  Not only that, they will visit with former Ritz St. Louis’ food & bev guy Angus Bright, who now lives in South Carolina serving as GM of a golf pro signature country club/plantation.  Watkin’s bro, attorney John Watkins is a member of the Friars.  Their mom, Nancy,  was a pal of White, when they both lived in Chappaqua, NY. . .Our town’s renowned criminal defense attorney Scott Rosenblum was spotted celebrating his recruitment of up-and-coming attorney Katie Hummel at Bob O’Laughlin’s hotspot 360. Between trading war stories with former Rosenblum protege Vanessa Antoniou, the barristers congratulated U. City’s own Cornell Haynes, II on the wrap of his next album and its first single, which Nelly expects to be released in April.  Later, Rosenblum and Antoniou dined at Herbie’s ’72, pitching in between courses to extinguish a three-alarm fire in the kitchen. . .Many local companies trade on having familiar family names.  But sometimes, a well-known last name is problematic for a business owner. Take Schlafly’s brewery.  On its website’s FAQ’s it includes this:  “Does Phyllis orAndrew Schlafly have anything to do with the brewery?”  Phyllis Schlafly is brewery owner Tom Schlafly’s aunt by marriage.  Andrew is Phyllis’ son and Tom Schlafly’s cousin.  Neither Phyllis, nor Andrew Schlafly are involved with Schlafly Beer in any way.  Why does this matter?  Because Phyllis and Andy are conservative lawyers and activists whose political efforts are likely anethema to a big chunk of the brewery’s patron.

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN’S WRECKING BALL WORLD TOUR” & MORE

Our town has been snubbed by Springsteen’s upcoming tour, however the closest city for his gig will be April 29 at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. . . . .NBC has banned for being too risque a commercial in the Super Bowl game for The Big and Beautiful.com dating site for plus-size women and men. . .Daniel Radcliffe has cinched the role of poet Allen Ginsberg in a soon-to-be-lensed biopic.

MICK JAGGER, KEITH RICHARDS IN CONFABS FOR TOUR

It’s shaping up to be a ”monster” year for aging, concert-going rock music fans. Rolling Stone magazine reports that Bruce Springsteen, The Eagles, Madonna and Van Halen will be touring in 2012. And Mick Jagger and  Keith Richards “met recently with their attorney to hash out details of how to mark their 50th anniversary together, weighing “ten nights in New York” and a few other big markets or “a full-fledged tour.”The somewhat younger crowd can look forward to concerts across the country by Adele, Radiohead, Lady Gaga, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Black Keys, Mumford & Sons and the Zac Brown Band. (You can see the Stones in person, the magazine also notes that all six episodes of the Ed Sullivan Show on which the Stones appeared, from 1964-69, are now available on two DVDs “with each lion-taming act, performance and after-shave ad intact.”)

RICKY GERVAIS, HOST OF GOLDEN GLOBES:

“What’s the worst thing that can happen? I only do things that could end my career. That’s the fun!”

CARDINAL-DESIGNATE TIMOTHY DOLAN GETTING POSIES FROM N.Y. MEDIA, MARSHA MASON SELLS FARM, MEMORIES OF DON GALLOP

The late attorney Don Gallop embraced the law.  He and his pop left a great legacy and personified dignity in their work.  Now, the buffed and polished members of the  Gallop, Johnson & Neuman, LLC law firm will present “A Year of Making a Difference Celebration” at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 11 at Skip Viragh Center for the Arts at Chaminade on south Lindbergh Boulevard.  Pyrotechniq of Chicago will perform.  The event will benefit local non-profit enterprises that assist people who may be impoverished, sick, disabled or looking for a second chance in life including senior citizens and military personnel. . . Now that Beffa’s is gone, where is N.Y. Cardinal-designate Tim Dolan going to have lunch with his pals when he comes here? His fans are legion and he’s attracting many more in N.Y.C.  A columnist noted that he is taking phone calls and giving blessings to people “regardless of religion or diocese.”  Sadly, members of our town’s SNAP are not so forgiving. “”We hold the former auxiliary bishop responsible for Fr. Alex Anderson’s continuing in parish ministry despite three child sex abuse allegations against him. Dolan was in charge of sex cases here when accusations against Anderson surfaced,” according to Barbara Dorris. . .Hometowner/actress/producer Marsha Mason is selling her organic farm in New Mexico. . .North American concert ticket sales were up 6.3 percent for 2011 over the previous year with $2.3 billion in gross sales.  Leading the acts – U2 with $156 million followed by Taylor Swift’s $97 million,Kenny Chesney’s $84 million and Lady Gaga’s $6.3 million.

BARBARA EAGLETON & HARRIS FRANK – NEWSOME TWOSOME AT THE BEACON’S GALA

Hand-in–hand, gotbucks Harris Frank and activist Barbara Eagleton arrived for the St. Louis Beacon’s gala evening

Harris Frank and Barbara Eagleton

built around a performance of a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta. Widow    of the beloved and former Sen. Tom Eagleton, Barbara tipped  that she has inked for a February date The New York Times op-ed    scribe Joe Nocera for her Women’s Democratic Forum. The topic of his Sunday piece was “the high cost of football teams.” Last year, The Beacon presented H.M.S. Pinafore with a super-star    cast that included Christine Brewer, David Robertson, Tim O’Leary and Hugh Russell, with Chicago Lyric associate conductor Craig Terry at the piano. Terry and Russell were back this year, for the Beacon’s “Mikado” but the 2012 cast was made up  of talented young men and women from our region, including  Keith Boyer as Nanki Poo, Heather Patterson as Yum Yum, Russell as KoKo, Mark Freiman as the Mikado and  Debbie Lennon as Katisha. “It’s the Opera Theatre model,” quipped Beacon associate editor Bob Duffy. “Find the best young talent around and help them build great careers.” Champagne was poured before the show in the Sheldon Concert Hall, and afterward gala-goers moved upstairs to a transformed banquet room, the Cabaret

Shirley Bynum Smith and Ed Wallace

Katishs, for a cabaret starring the inimitable Brewer, who started  off with Great American Songbook tunes. Craig Terry accompanied her, and good guy Ernie Clark spelled him at the grand. Among the    VIPs in attendance was longtime organist and chorus master at St. Michael & St. George Episcopal Church, Ed Wallace, who thrilled to a reunion with Shirley Bynum Smith, who once sang in his choir. The Beacon’s major benefactor Emmy Pulitzer arrived    minutes before the concert with her escort Roy Pfautch.

Emmy Pulitzer with Roy Pfautch

SCIENCE CENTER’S “SPACE JUNK”

The world premiere of the film, “Space Junk,” will unreel at its world premiere on Jan. 14 in the OMNIMAX Theater. Don Kessler, retired head of NASA’s Orbital Debris Office and the daddy of “Space Junk” will be on hand. . .Nancy Kranzberg,the late Charlotte Peters and Harry Fender or celebrated maestro Buddy Moreno, who calls Delmar Gardens North his home these days, would have been far more entertaining than the shlock entertainment bill First Night presented at Grand Center. Moreno is getting well wishes on his 100th birthday from pals. His career was celebrated during the years after he appeared with the big bands of Dick Jurgens and Alvino Rey. . .Can it be so? Seems that Shaun Hayes, who’s mired in lawsuits, had premium seats during the World Series. . .


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