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Archive for the ‘Arts and the Stage’ Category

ST. LOUIS SYMPHONY’S NEW TRUSTEES

U.S. Banks’ Joe Imbs, iii., The Boeing Co.’s Craig Saddler, Bryan Cave’s James Nouss and Wells Fargo Advisors’ Raschelle Burton have earned stripes as the newest  members of the Symph’s Board of Trustees.

St. Louis Symphony's Fred Bronstein, Donna Wilkinson, Science Center's Bert Vescolani

MAESTRO DAVID ROBERTSON’S BRAIN TO BE ANALYZED

Scientist and interim president of the Science Center, Phillip Needleman kept guests enthralled as he spoke of a session on the night of Oct. 13 when images of how the musical brain of Symph maestro David Robertson works. Needleman said, “A recording of Robertson’s choice music will be played during the session.” With Needleman was his bride, Sima.

ITZHAK PERLMAN ON A CUSTARD RUN

Dr. Thuy-Lien T. Vo, Dr. Howard Lite

Violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman who was guest soloist at the concert, made two runs in the day to Ted Drews to shnorf down servings of the “Perlman” custard, a chocolate chip concrete. . .As an encore, the orchestra performed the music from the movie, “Schindler’s List,” with nary a dry eye in the audience. . .Good listener Phyllis Lieberman was done up to the teeth and if you know her teeth, she was all done up. . .Music critic Sarah Bryan Miller never looked more glamorous, albeit the courageous woman’s recovery from breast cancer. . .Unassuming and intelligent couple of pathologist

Dennis Baird, Linda Martinez, Donald Suggs

Dr. Thuy-Lien T. Vo and her husband, famed cardiologist Dr. Howard Lite, were on hand as were: St. Louis American publisher Donald Suggs, Linda Martinez and fiance Dennis Baird, Nolan Eaker, Cole and Anthony McBride, Chuck Vallurupalli and Aparna Abburz, Pat and Tom Long, Marjorie Ivey License Collector Mike McMillan and alderwoman Marlene Davis. The only glitch of the evening was the serving of drinks in plastic cups (reminiscent of those used at Casa Loma Ballroom).

ARETHA FRANKLIN AT THE PEABODY

Aretha Franklin flanked by Kim and Mayor Francis Slay

It was thumbs-up for a newly-renovated Peabody Opera house and its ownership group of David Checketts and Chris and Joe McKee as fond memories loomed along with kudos toi the $78 million facelift of the old Kiel. Banker David Kemper’s sprig, Ellie of NBC’s “The Office” kept the program flowing. Before Aretha Franklin hit the stage to tickle the ivories and belt out some of her faves, Jay Leno got off some delightful off-color stories.  More than 20 years had passed since the queen of soul had a bizarre moment at the old Kiel and left the stage without completing her performance. Backstage, PR guy Gentry Trotter introed “Madame Queen” to the city’s first family – Francis and Kim Slay. Twice, Franklin  asked Trotter if they are Democrats or Republicans. After he explained to her they are both Democrats, she beamed and allowed a photo op. Walking the red carpet were: Sen. Roy Blunt and his wife, Abigail; Lt. Guv. Peter Kinder; Peabody Energy’s Greg Boyce; Sen. Claire McCaskill with Joe Shepard; Barbara Geisman; Comptroller Darlene Green; Sen. Robin Wright Jones in her government-purchased designer threads; Secretary of State Robin Carnahan; Deb Checketts;Brenda and Carolyn McKee; Mike and Allison McCarthy; Ozzie Smith; Dawn Fuller and DeWayne Butler.

EMMYS LIMPED, DELORES HOPE REMEMBERED, THE LION KING (3D)

The columnist was reminded about Bob Hope‘s visit to our town many years ago to appear at a benefit for Childrens Hospital.

Bob_hope_lackland

Bob Hope

Through his late pal, Dr. Jack Probstein, an interview was arranged in Hope’s hotel suite. He and Delores greeted the columnist with open arms and the interview began. Hope regaled the columnist with tales of his vaudeville days. During the chat, his wife, Delores, bopped into the room. She enthused over her recent comeback stint as a singer in a Vegas nightclub and held high the socko reviews she garnered. At that point, Hope bellowed, “Berger’s here to interview me and not you!” She begged off and scurried to her bedroom. . .FOX’s airing of the Emmy Awards limped among with 12 million gawkers – down 8 percent from 2010. . .”The Lion King (3D) racked up an impressive $30 million over last weekend.

MICHAEL DOUGLAS CANCELS DUE TO GAY LOVER MATT DAMON

Michael Douglas has canceled his appearance and keynote speech at the National Children’s Cancer benefit, that was slated for Sept. 17 at the Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark, in favor of his gay lover.  The lover in this case is fellow-actor Matt Damon, who will star with Douglas in Steven Soderbergh’s “Liberace,” a Jerry Weintraub production.  Douglas will star in the title role. Asked if he did any intimate scenes with Douglas, Damon jokingly asked a reporter, “We just get together on weekends and make out?” The movie is slated for release in 2013. Douglas, a cancer survivor, was to be presented the organization’s International Humanitarian Award.  Donna Wilkinson, chairperson of the event, said no replacement could be found on such short notice

JON HAMM – EMMY FAVORITE

Jon Hamm

The stock market is soaring (Karl Marx would never have believed a “dove” market), there is despair on the east coast and on the west coast parties were being organized for the Emmy Awards telecast on Sept. 18.  Many alums of John Burroughs and Mizzou are crossing their fingers hoping  their talented fellow-student, Jon Hamm, will win as “drama actor of the year” for his role as Don Draper, the hard-drinking, chain-smoking executive in “Mad Men.” A bevy of television critics have already signed off choosing Hamm as their choice. The ballots are in and AMC has already optioned for three more series, giving Hamm, a yesteryear resident of Creve Coeur, a leg-up on his future.

GAYS, LESBIANS, TRANSGENDERED AT COP STATION

On a clear day you can see the long-shuttered Lynch Street Police Precinct, which has been converted into the Mad Art Gallery. On Saturday evening, hordes of gays, lesbians and transgendered mingled with straight art lovers to view works by some of our town’s leading artists. Self-proclaimed model Brooks Johnson sidled up to Aimee Knebel, while Leon Braxon a.k.a. Dieta Pepsi, philosophized about the Missouri Transgender Society of which is president.  (And you thought the popular American philosophers of the day are those who write editorials for newspapers?) The benefit exhibit was a fund-raiser for PAWS, the non-profit shelter dedicated to rescuing homeless animals and placing them in loving homes, explained community network coordinator Nancy Kelly. Most of those homes are occupied by those living with HIV, AIDS.

LUCILLE BALL – “I LOVED LUCY!”

One of the most memorable film and television sirens the columnist ever knew was Lucille Ball. Whether it was in the Paramount commissary and backlot or at fancy galas, she would always stop to chat with me and she adored reminiscences. In 1979 during the gala honoring Frank Sinatra’s 40th anniversary in show business at Vegas’ Caesars Palace, I reminded Ball of a story long before she evolved from a misused ornament in b-movies to a supernova.  She stepped aside from her husband, Gary Morton, and I recalled her meeting agent/manager William Shifrin in the MGM commissary. She sought his advice telling him she had been romanced by so many men on the lot, but still yearned for a featured role. Shifrin pointed to a gentleman having lunch in the producers’ dining room and told her, “But, have you met Pandro Berman?” Long story short. She sidled up to prolific producer Berman and voila! She won a featured role in the 1943 film, “DuBarry Was A Lady.” After she heard my take, Ball hid her eyes with her hands, shook her head and howled with laughter.

GARY MORTON, LUCILLE BALL AND THE COLUMNIST

GARY MORTON, LUCILLE BALL AND THE COLUMNIST

DR. JACK SHAHEEN ON TCM

Former mass communications prof at SIU-E Jack Shaheen is currently co-hosting with Robert Osborne TCM’s “Race and Hollywood Arab Images,” a film series each Tuesday and Thursday this month. Shaheen is the author of 300-plus publications and author of five books of which his most recent is “Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People.” An Oxford research scholar and onetime CBS news consultant on Middle East affairs, Shaheen has also worked with producer Jeffrey Katzenberg on the animated movie, “The Prince of Egypt.”


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