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Books, Dance, Music, Theater

A little rain couldn’t spoil this RUSH

Nicki's Central West End Guide Books, Dance, Music, Theater Events, Sightings  Rush Left Bank Books Geddy Lee's Big Beautiful Book of Bass Geddy Lee

Days before Canadian rocker Geddy Lee, Rush’s bassist and lead singer signed the first copy of Geddy Lee’s Big Beautiful Book of Bass  at Left Bank Books Monday, the bookstore had posted a “sold out” notice on its event website.

Fans—800 of them—waited for hours, umbrellas in one hand and a copy of the book in the other, for a chance to meet the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Famer.  Tickets, $100, included a copy of the hardcover book and admittance for up to two people to the signing line which opened at 5 p.m..

The book is billed as “the ultimate compendium for the consummate collector, musician, Rush fan, and anyone who loves the bass guitar.” It features “Geddy Lee’s personal collection of vintage electric bass guitars, dating from the 1950s to the 1980s.”

Nicki's Central West End Guide Books, Dance, Music, Theater Events, Sightings  Rush Left Bank Books Geddy Lee's Big Beautiful Book of Bass Geddy Lee

The line, above and below, stretched from Left Bank Books at the corner of Euclid & McPherson south to Pershing Place.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Books, Dance, Music, Theater Events, Sightings  Rush Left Bank Books Geddy Lee's Big Beautiful Book of Bass Geddy Lee

Nicki's Central West End Guide Books, Dance, Music, Theater Events, Sightings  Rush Left Bank Books Geddy Lee's Big Beautiful Book of Bass Geddy Lee

Nicki's Central West End Guide Books, Dance, Music, Theater Events, Sightings  Rush Left Bank Books Geddy Lee's Big Beautiful Book of Bass Geddy Lee

Nicki's Central West End Guide Books, Dance, Music, Theater Events, Sightings  Rush Left Bank Books Geddy Lee's Big Beautiful Book of Bass Geddy Lee

A further indication of how popular Geddy Lee and Rush are in this area is the license plate on a fan’s car that was parked on Euclid, above.

While the vibe was relaxed outside on Monday, take a glimpse of what the day was like for staffers inside Left Bank Books. Visit them on Twitter or Facebook.

Geddy Lee’s Big Beautiful Book of Bass , $90, at Left Bank Books, 399 N. Euclid.

The CWE’s 4th Annual Cocktail Party hit all the right notes

There was something for everyone at the 4th Annual CWE Cocktail Party which took place on Saturday, June 8. There was a bubble machine, and hula hoops, and 50 kinds of cotton candy for the kids. Music was provided by The Dust Covers, below, followed by The Rockin’ Fools who performed on the stage at the south end of Euclid, while Jesse Gannon and Disco Nation entertained on the main stage at the north end of the street.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Books, Dance, Music, Theater Events, Sightings Food and Drink  North Mary Ann's Tearoom Kate Haher CWE North CID CWE Cocktail Party 28th Ward Alderwoman Heather Navarro

And there was lots going on in between:

Nicki's Central West End Guide Books, Dance, Music, Theater Events, Sightings Food and Drink  North Mary Ann's Tearoom Kate Haher CWE North CID CWE Cocktail Party 28th Ward Alderwoman Heather Navarro

Nicki's Central West End Guide Books, Dance, Music, Theater Events, Sightings Food and Drink  North Mary Ann's Tearoom Kate Haher CWE North CID CWE Cocktail Party 28th Ward Alderwoman Heather Navarro

Nicki's Central West End Guide Books, Dance, Music, Theater Events, Sightings Food and Drink  North Mary Ann's Tearoom Kate Haher CWE North CID CWE Cocktail Party 28th Ward Alderwoman Heather Navarro

Judges for the annual “Best Bartender in the City Contest,” top photo, came from Sauce Magazine, 4 Hands Brewing Company, and the Central West End Association. Also participating were KMOV reporter Alexis Zotos, and local blogger, Whitney in the City.  Tyler Baublitz, the mixologist at The Midwestern (downtown) was named the winner; second place went to Bar Italia’s Phil Vallacis.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Books, Dance, Music, Theater Events, Sightings Food and Drink  North Mary Ann's Tearoom Kate Haher CWE North CID CWE Cocktail Party 28th Ward Alderwoman Heather Navarro

Nicki's Central West End Guide Books, Dance, Music, Theater Events, Sightings Food and Drink  North Mary Ann's Tearoom Kate Haher CWE North CID CWE Cocktail Party 28th Ward Alderwoman Heather Navarro

Nicki's Central West End Guide Books, Dance, Music, Theater Events, Sightings Food and Drink  North Mary Ann's Tearoom Kate Haher CWE North CID CWE Cocktail Party 28th Ward Alderwoman Heather Navarro

Nicki's Central West End Guide Books, Dance, Music, Theater Events, Sightings Food and Drink  North Mary Ann's Tearoom Kate Haher CWE North CID CWE Cocktail Party 28th Ward Alderwoman Heather Navarro

Nicki's Central West End Guide Books, Dance, Music, Theater Events, Sightings Food and Drink  North Mary Ann's Tearoom Kate Haher CWE North CID CWE Cocktail Party 28th Ward Alderwoman Heather Navarro

Mayor Lyda Krewson and husband Mike Owens, top photo, were there, as was 28th Ward Alderwoman Heather Navarro and husband  John Zokovitch.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Books, Dance, Music, Theater Events, Sightings Food and Drink  North Mary Ann's Tearoom Kate Haher CWE North CID CWE Cocktail Party 28th Ward Alderwoman Heather Navarro

Nicki's Central West End Guide Books, Dance, Music, Theater Events, Sightings Food and Drink  North Mary Ann's Tearoom Kate Haher CWE North CID CWE Cocktail Party 28th Ward Alderwoman Heather Navarro

Nicki's Central West End Guide Books, Dance, Music, Theater Events, Sightings Food and Drink  North Mary Ann's Tearoom Kate Haher CWE North CID CWE Cocktail Party 28th Ward Alderwoman Heather Navarro

From top left, Kate Haher, Executive Director of the CWE North Community Improvement District, which produced the event. Some of the restaurants that participated were Drunken Fish, above right, Taste of Lebanon, lower left, and Mary Ann’s Tearoom, lower right.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Books, Dance, Music, Theater Events, Sightings Food and Drink  North Mary Ann's Tearoom Kate Haher CWE North CID CWE Cocktail Party 28th Ward Alderwoman Heather Navarro

Nicki's Central West End Guide Books, Dance, Music, Theater Events, Sightings Food and Drink  North Mary Ann's Tearoom Kate Haher CWE North CID CWE Cocktail Party 28th Ward Alderwoman Heather Navarro

Flame throwers performed with Disco Nation at the north end of the festival zone, until the fires went out and the crowd jumped in to party.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Books, Dance, Music, Theater Events, Sightings Food and Drink  North Mary Ann's Tearoom Kate Haher CWE North CID CWE Cocktail Party 28th Ward Alderwoman Heather Navarro

 

Perhaps the best feature of this annual event is the wonderful mix of people from all over St. Louis who come out each year to enjoy an evening in the CWE.

Thanks to the CWE North CID and this year’s generous sponsors: 1220 Spirits, Washington University Medical Center, Straub’s, Sauce, Busey Bank, Enterprise Bank & Trust, Michelob Ultra, Four Roses Bourbon, and Brake Landscaping,

Mary Engelbreit’s art takes a star turn in 101st season at The Muny

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater For kids  The Muny Roald Dahl's Matilda Mike Issacson Mary Engelbreit Forest Park

Photo courtesy of Phil Delano

St. Louis-based, internationally-known artist Mary Engelbreit’s long list of artistic accomplishments veered in a new and completely unexpected direction when she was tapped by Mike Issacson, Artistic Director and Executive Producer of The Muny, to design the costumes and set for this season’s production of Matilda.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater For kids  The Muny Roald Dahl's Matilda Mike Issacson Mary Engelbreit Forest Park

This isn’t Engelbreit’s first association with 11,000 seat outdoor musical theater in Forest Park. Her delightful drawing,”I Knew He’d Like It,” above, was the cover art on the program for 2012’s season.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater For kids  The Muny Roald Dahl's Matilda Mike Issacson Mary Engelbreit Forest Park

Engelbreit said that when Issacson reached out to her earlier this year “I was floored. I said yes I’d LOVE to do that!…I don’t know how to do that!”

Issacson explained that there were “real” costume and set designers working on the show, and that all she had to do was draw the characters and set pieces as she envisioned them. They would take it from there. The design team was also granted access to Engelbreit’s database of 13,000 drawings to mine for more ideas.

The Roald Dahl book and the subsequent movie had been favorites of the Engelbreit/Delano family. She had read the book to her boys, and she and her daughter Mikayla saw the play in New York, which they both loved.

When I visited Engelbreit’s studio, I was able to photograph her early sketches for the project, above. Those who are familiar with her work will recognize the resulting graphics, costumes, and depiction of characters, below, which are saturated in her signature style.  Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater For kids  The Muny Roald Dahl's Matilda Mike Issacson Mary Engelbreit Forest Park

From left, Mike, Zinna Wormwood, Mr. Wormwood, and Matilda.Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater For kids  The Muny Roald Dahl's Matilda Mike Issacson Mary Engelbreit Forest Park

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater For kids  The Muny Roald Dahl's Matilda Mike Issacson Mary Engelbreit Forest Park

Zinna Dance for Matilda

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater For kids  The Muny Roald Dahl's Matilda Mike Issacson Mary Engelbreit Forest Park

The plaid fabric and contrasting tie designed for Mr. Wormwood are so perfectly ME.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater For kids  The Muny Roald Dahl's Matilda Mike Issacson Mary Engelbreit Forest Park

Engelbreit’s sketch of  the dreaded chokey.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater For kids  The Muny Roald Dahl's Matilda Mike Issacson Mary Engelbreit Forest Park

From left, Mary Engelbreit’s design for the Matilda t-shirt, Crunchem Hall Primary School, and the Russian sketch.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater For kids  The Muny Roald Dahl's Matilda Mike Issacson Mary Engelbreit Forest Park

Matilda t-shirts, sized from youth to adult—$15, $20, and $22—are available at The Muny and on the website.

Matilda at The Muny, August 5 to 11, ticket information here. The Muny generously offers 1,450 free seats to the public each night during the season, available on a first-come, first-serve basis.