ARTful Living: Make Plans Now For Arts Season

Philadelphia Ballet

By Michelle “Mike” Ochonicky
Healthy Planet Arts Editor

photo caption: Philadelphia Ballet, one of 18 companies at Dance St. Louis’ Spring to Dance.

St. Louisans love Shakespeare Festival St. Louis and returns in June (spoiler alert: Much Ado About Nothing is this summer’s play) but before then, did you know that the Festival presents an outdoor film festival? Pack a picnic, a blanket and head to the Glen in Forest Park for the free

Shakespeare Film Series, May 19, 20 and 21. “10 Things I Hate About You”, “The Lion King” and “Theatre of Blood” are the respective offerings. www.stlshakes.org 

When you hear Handel’s Messiah, don’t you just want to sing along to that Hallelujah chorus? Of course, you do! Here’s your opportunity to (mostly true) claim that you sang with the Bach Society of St. Louis when they present Community Spring Sing-Messiah, on May 7, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at The Church of Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville, IL. A short drive, but well worth it for your bragging rights! It’s free, but reservations are required at www.bachsociety.org

The Bach Society’s season finale is Bach’s Mass in B Minor, performed at First Presbyterian Church in Kirkwood. Tickets start at $25, website listed above.

Jazz St. Louis knows how to make the month sizzle with its May lineup, starting on May 1 with the Alfredo Rodriguez and Pedrito Martinez Duo and ending on May 28-29 with Manhattan Transfer, all at 3536 Washington. Mid-month, on May 12, George Benson comes to town, with his performance at The Factory at the District, in Chesterfield (located at Chesterfield Mall). Check out all the too-many-to-list performances at www.jazzstl.org

On May 6-7 at Powell Hall, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, with Musical Director Stephane Deneve, joins for the first time in ten years with the In Unison chorus for the world premiere of composer Nathalie Joachim’s Family. In Unison is a resident chorus of SLSO that specializes in the performance and preservation of music from African American and African expression. Tickets start at $15, www.slso.org

Let’s not leave the little folks out! Metro Theater presents In My Granny’s Garden, inspired by the book by Pearl Cleage and Zaron Burnett, Jr., May 15-June 19. Young audiences are invited to explore the glory of growing one’s own food, as a tiny seed becomes a field of corn, beans and bright red tomatoes. It’s a visual feast, described by NPR-Atlanta as “A sweet story of family love and the joy of growing your own.” I agree totally! This is a roving production with public performances across the region, opening at the Missouri Botanical Garden. Details at www.metroplays.org.

Stroll through Webster Groves on May 7 to see professional and amateur artists in-action during Paint Webster, a plein air celebration of springtime. Details at www.webster-arts.org.

While there, pop into Green Door Gallery, 21 N. Gore, to see Botanicals & Bloom multi-media exhibition, May 4-June 25. There’s also a reception on May 20, open to the public, 5-8 p.m. Info at www.greendoorgallery.com

At Art St. Louis, 1223 Pine, a juried exhibition of 58 diverse works explore the concept of Parenthood in all its forms, whether human or animal. See it through May 19. www.artstlouis.org.

Through July 25, Nine Ways from Sunday: 2022 MFA Visual Arts Thesis show is on view at the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum on Washington University’s campus. More info at www.kemperartmuseum@wusl.edu

The BEST way to finish out the month is two-fold: A visit to the Greek Festival at Assumption Orthodox Church, 1755 Des Peres Road in Town & Country, will delight with authentic Greek food and live music. Tour the church to see its breath-taking artwork. www.assumptiongoc.org

Then onward to the Touhill for the incredible Spring to Dance, presented by Dance St. Louis. It’s a 3-evening “buffet of dance,” with some 18 professional dance companies from across the country. Each evening, six different companies perform on the mainstage, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Be sure to get there early because, starting at 6 p.m., local dance companies perform continually in the theater lobby. It is truly the most amazing dance collection of dance performances to be seen anywhere! Tickets are just $25 for each day. Bring 3 friends with you by purchasing an advance 4-pack of tickets for $75 (no extra ticket fees on the 4-pack!) at www.boxoffice@dancestlouis.org

And cheers to my husband on his birthday! Here’s to many more!