News Column

20 Must-See Events for Fall

September 8, 2013

YellowBrix

Sept. 08--'The 20/20 Experience World Tour' with Justin Timberlake

Viewers of the recent MTV Video Music Awards might have felt as if they were watching a full Justin Timberlake concert during the ceremony. His performance just before receiving a career achievement award was probably the longest in VMA history. But there's much more Timberlake to come on stage, not to mention the release this month of the sequel to his "The 20/20 Experience," "The 20/20 Experience -- 2 of 2." (8 p.m. Nov. 19, Scottrade Center, 1401 Clark Avenue, $45-$175. Ticketmaster.com.) By Kevin C. Johnson

'The 1968 Exhibit'

Love-ins and riots, "Peace, Love, Dope" and assassinations, tie-dye and goofy hair, Vietnam and a certain air of satisfied self-righteousness from all sides: If you were there, and you weren't stoned, it's hard to forget 1968. The Missouri History Museum will explore the year that saw the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King and humanity's first glimpse of the blue ball of Earth from Apollo 8 with a touring exhibit that looks at everything from feminism to black power, Richard Nixon and the Democratic National Convention. If you weren't there (or you were stoned), it's your chance to learn about a most significant year in American history. (Oct. 5-Jan. 5, Missouri History Museum, Lindell and DeBaliviere in Forest Park, $10 adults, $4 children 6-12, free for children 5 and younger. 314-746-4599; mohistory.org.) By Sarah Bryan Miller

'Evita'

One of the most intriguing political musicals ever, "Evita" charts an ambitious girl's rise from a small-town slum to the heights of power in postwar Argentina. Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyricist Tim Rice shrewdly take no sides. Their portrait of Eva Peron -- adored by the masses, held in contempt by the aristocracy -- remains deliberately enigmatic, shifting between cynical and romantic moods. This tour brings to the Fox the acclaimed revival, directed by Michael Grandage and choreographed by Rob Ashford. Caroline Bowman, fresh from "Kinky Boots" on Broadway, stars in the title role. Our revolutionary guide to her life, Che, is played by Josh Young, who was nominated for a Tony last year for his portrayal of Judas in "Jesus Christ Superstar" and who played Lt. Joe Cable this summer in the Muny's sensational production of "South Pacific." (Oct. 8-20, Fox Theatre, 527 North Grand Boulevard, $25-$85. 314-534-1111; fabulousfox.com.) By Judith Newmark

Jimmy Fallon

In February, Jimmy Fallon takes over as host of NBC's "Tonight Show." But first, he brings his "Clean Cut Comedy Tour" to St. Louis, making a stop at the Peabody Opera House. If he talks about his new baby, we'll write him a thank-you note. Joining Fallon are Julian McCullough, Nate Bargatze and Nick Thune. (8 p.m. Oct. 14, Peabody Opera House, 1400 Market Street, $42.50. 1-800-745-3000; ticketmaster.com.) By Gail Pennington

'Freud's Last Session'

On the eve of World War II, one of the most famous refugees in London, Dr. Sigmund Freud, invites a guest to his home. Freud, who knows he doesn't have long to live, wants to speak with a young but already distinguished Oxford professor, the writer and Christian philosopher C.S. Lewis. That meeting -- which never actually happened -- would no doubt be rich in thoughtful conversation on topics from love and sex to science and faith. Or so playwright Mark St. Germain (inspired by a book by Harvard psychiatrist Armand M. Nicholi Jr.) would have it, and he lets us be the flies on the wall. Jim Butz, the remarkable St. Louis actor who won Kevin Kline awards for his Shakespeare Festival St. Louis portrayals of Marc Antony and Hamlet, plays Lewis; Barry Mulholland plays Freud. Under the direction of Michael Evan Haney, "Freud's Last Session" opens the Studio Theatre season at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. (Oct. 30-Nov. 17, Emerson Studio Theatre, Loretto-Hilton Center, 130 Edgar Road, $40-$63. 314-968-4925; repstl.org.) By Judith Newmark

Garden Glow

This year, the Missouri Botanical Garden will host its first winter light exhibit -- but not like the holiday displays in your neighborhood. Instead, many of the garden's iconic spots, including the Climatron, the Kaeser Memorial Maze and the Tower Grove House, will be decorated with thousands of lights. Visitors can also warm up by fire pits, make s'mores and walk through sensory light tunnels. (Nov. 23-Jan. 4, Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, $16-$18 adults, $12-$14 members, $10-$12 children. mobot.org.) By Jody Mitori

Kevin James

He was the "King of Queens," a "Mall Cop" and a "Zookeeper," but Kevin James hasn't forgotten his roots in stand-up. He'll bring his stage act, "Kevin James Live," to the Peabody Opera House. (8 p.m. Friday, Peabody Opera House, 1400 Market Street, $35-$75. 1-800-745-3000; ticketmaster.com.) By Gail Pennington

Yo-Yo Ma

Yo-Yo Ma is one of the world's finest cellists, a great soloist and a thoughtful collaborator. He's adventurous, commissioning new works and performing with colleagues outside the world of classical music. He has a great persona, friendly and approachable. Put all that together, and it's no wonder that Ma is a top choice for important concerts, like gala events. He'll play two very different concertos at the fifth annual Red Velvet Ball, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra's gala fundraiser: Haydn's Cello Concerto in C major and the Saint-Sa ns Cello Concerto No. 1. SLSO music director David Robertson will conduct what promises to be a celebratory evening. You can buy tickets to the concert, or, with a premium package, enjoy cocktails, dinner and dancing as well. (8:30 p.m. Oct. 19, Powell Symphony Hall, 718 North Grand Boulevard, $75-$150; gala packages starting at $750. 314-534-1700; stlsymphony.org.) By Sarah Bryan Miller

Audra McDonald

Audra McDonald is familiar to many television viewers from her stint on "Private Practice." But Broadway fans know her as a singer-actress and multiple Tony Award-winner who has starred in shows from "Ragtime" to "Porgy and Bess." McDonald has also championed up-and-coming Broadway composers, some of whose songs may pop up during her concert at the Sheldon. (8 p.m. Nov. 15, Sheldon Concert Hall, 3648 Washington Boulevard, $45-$50. 314-534-1111; metrotix.com.) By Calvin Wilson

New Dance Horizons II

Last year's debut edition of New Dance Horizons proved to be a success, with local ensembles -- Common Thread Contemporary Dance Company, Leverage Dance Theater, MADCO and St. Louis Ballet -- teaming up with top choreographers to splendid effect. So Dance St. Louis is proceeding with New Dance Horizons II, a sequel that promises to be every bit as dazzling as the original. (Oct. 4 and 5, Touhill Performing Arts Center, One University Boulevard, $30. 314-516-4949; touhill.org.) By Calvin Wilson

'A Night in Treme' featuring the Donald Harrison Quintet

With appearances in the New Orleans-set HBO series "Treme" and the film "Rachel Getting Married," saxophonist Donald Harrison has raised his profile beyond the jazz scene. A Crescent City native, Harrison got attention early in his career for co-leading a combo with trumpeter Terence Blanchard. At the Bistro, the saxophonist will lead a quintet through a "Treme"-themed program. (Oct. 23-26, Jazz at the Bistro, 3536 Washington Avenue, $33-$38. 314-534-1111; metrotix.com.) By Calvin Wilson

Nine Inch Nails

When Nine Inch Nails went away five years ago, there was no telling if the industrial rock outfit would be back. Frontman Trent Reznor went on to win an Oscar for scoring "The Social Network" and could have easily left NIN behind. But he returned to the mothership with a string of summer festival dates, the new album "Hesitation Marks," the single "Came Back Haunted," and a new tour that looks nothing short of mind-blowing. (7:30 p.m. Oct. 1, Chaifetz Arena, 1 South Compton Avenue, $35.50-$97. Ticketmaster.com.) By Kevin C. Johnson

'Old Hearts Fresh'

One of the liveliest, most imaginative productions of 2012 was "The New World," a riff on "Twelfth Night" that translated the action to St. Louis' Cherokee Street neighborhood. Unseasonable cold abbreviated that show's run, unfortunately, but this year, Shakespeare Festival St. Louis should skip that problem, because its Shakespeare in the Streets project is just around the corner. Once again, writer Nancy Bell has talked to people who live and work in a particular neighborhood -- this time, The Grove along Manchester -- and woven their stories together into one of Shakespeare's most haunting romances, "The Winter's Tale." It's the story of a king who, seized by irrational jealousy, nearly destroys all he loves most -- only to have the world set right again through the power of time, forgiveness and maybe a little magic. Shakespeare in the Street productions are built to deliver short, family-friendly fun -- and to make us to look forward to its big summer production in Forest Park. (Sept. 19-21, the Grove, 4226 Manchester Avenue, free. 314-531-9800; sfstl.com.) By Judith Newmark

Rick Riordan

Rick Riordan's "The House of Hades" is one of the top pre-selling books for fall, and when Riordan comes to the St. Louis County Library on Oct. 12, the sold-out reading will be packed. But what parent could object to standing in line for an author who appeals to both boys and girls and offers a bit of classical mythology along with terrifying adventure? (7 p.m. Oct. 12, St. Louis County Library headquarters, 1640 South Lindbergh Boulevard, sold out. slcl.org.) By Jane Henderson

St. Louis International Film Festival

For more than two decades, the St. Louis International Film Festival has served up a sampler of foreign films, indie treats and award contenders. The menu for the 22nd annual fest, slated for Nov. 14-24, will be officially unveiled in the fall, but we've already got an inkling about some of the specials. The opening night film will be "We Always Lie to Strangers," a documentary about the good folks of Branson, Mo., co-directed by Edwardsville native A.J. Schnack ("About a Son," "Caucus") and Columbia, Mo.'s David Wilson (co-founder of the True/False film festival). SLIFF has also secured the local premieres of "The Invisible Woman," Ralph Fiennes' new film about the private life of Charles Dickens, and "Tim's Vermeer," a documentary about the Dutch master by the silent magician known as Teller. And confidential sources tell us that the fest will bestow a lifetime achievement award on a very prominent, socially conscious director, but because the visit isn't set in stone, we'll just call him Mr. X. (Nov. 14-24, locations and prices to be announced. cinemastlouis.org.) By Joe Williams

Dan Savage

Best known for his sex advice column "Savage Love," Dan Savage is also an author and contributor to Rolling Stone, GQ and "This American Life." After news of several teen suicides, Savage and his husband, Terry Miller, launched the It Gets Better Project in 2010 to help lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youths. He's sure to live up to his reputation of being outspoken and very, very funny at his talk. (7:30 p.m. Oct. 16, Touhill Performing Arts Center, One University Boulevard, $15. touhill.org.) By Jody Mitori

Taste of St. Louis

With a competition of local chefs; a music lineup that features rising local star Pokey LaFarge, plus the Samples, Robert Randolph and the Family Band and the Dusty 45s; and food from 45 local restaurants, it's hard to resist spending a day at Taste of St. Louis. To top it off, this year adds Beers of the World, a beer tasting area. (Sept. 27-29, Soldiers Memorial, free. tastestl.com.) By Jody Mitori

'The Truth About Love Tour' with Pink

One thing that's certain when it comes to what Pink fans will see when her tour comes here in November: She'll be flying through the air like a circus performer. Pink, who hasn't performed often in St. Louis, is known for mixing her top-notch vocals with dazzling athleticism. "Raise Your Glass," indeed. (7:30 p.m. Nov. 11, Scottrade Center, 1401 Clark Avenue $36.50-$96.50. Ticketmaster.com.) By Kevin C. Johnson

Jason Vieux

The St. Louis Classical Guitar Society celebrates 50 years with a big season. It starts off with a recital by Jason Vieux, a star in the artistic firmament who's a veteran recitalist and soloist with major orchestras. Vieux will perform Benjamin Britten's "Nocturnal," commemorating both the work's premiere 50 years ago, and the conductor's birth in 1913. (8 p.m. Sept. 28, St. Louis Classical Guitar Society, Ethical Society, 9001 Clayton Road, $28. 314-567-5566; guitarstlouis.net.) By Sarah Bryan Miller

'The Weight of Things'

Photography buffs won't want to miss this exhibition devoted to two essential artists, Paul Strand and Emmet Gowin. Strand, whose contemporaries included Alfred Stieglitz and Edward Weston, was a key figure in the evolution of photography as an art form. Gowin, who was inspired by the work of Robert Frank and Henri Cartier-Bresson, has in turn influenced a generation of photographers. (Nov. 8-Feb. 16, St. Louis Art Museum in Forest Park, free. 314-721-0072; slam.org.) By Calvin Wilson

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