Arts & Culture » Arts

The RFT's Fall Arts Guide: St. Louis Shows, Performances and Exhibits



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Bacon and Babes: Drag Brunch

12 p.m. Sunday, September 19. Mad Art Gallery, 2727 South Twelfth Street. $40. 14-771-8230.

Brunch has become a trendy meal to gather with friends, but it can be tiring to host it yourself. The bacon must be crisp, the eggs can't be runny, the toast can't be burnt and the mimosa must constantly be flowing for all your guests. It's stressful as hell trying to please everyone, and your friends aren't even Instagram influencers! Solve all these problems by convincing your group to buy tickets to the Bacon and Babes Drag Brunch at Mad Art Gallery. You get all the fun of brunch without having to prepare it, plus there's a drag show. Your $40 ticket includes a catered buffet by chef Ron Buechele and one complimentary mimosa. (Just one? Well, this is brunch, of course, so bucket mimosa specials are just $15.) Performers include Andy Whorehal, Chasity Valentino, Lucy Couture, Roxxy Malone and Noah Mazzaratie Steele. It's bound to be a loud, proud and spectacular event not to be missed. —Jack Probst

SLSO at Forest Park

7 p.m. Wednesday, September 22. Art Hill, 1 Fine Arts Drive. Free.

Once a year, the world-class musicians of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra serve up a free concert in the scenic environs of the world-class Forest Park. Led by Music Director Stéphane Denève, the SLSO delivers a selection of classical favorites, music from film and patriotic songs, capping off the event with a fireworks show. It's the perfect excuse to pack a picnic basket and lay out a blanket at the base of Art Hill for a night of family fun or a romantic evening with the one you love — and all for free!—Daniel Hill

Theo Welling: "Mama Cat," Work in Progress

Friday, September 3-Saturday, September 25. Reception and artist talk 3 p.m. on Friday, September 24 at The May Gallery at Webster University, Sverdrup 123.

Cathy Daniels, known not just in St. Louis but to activists around the world as Mama Cat, has been a force of humanitarian transformation for many years. But it was the police violence in Ferguson that brought about the PotBangerz, a nonprofit "movement within the movement" aimed at getting hot food and essentials out to the unhoused population in St. Louis while advocating for their needs and rights as human beings and neighbors.

Theo Welling has been documenting Mama Cat and her work for over a year, when he hasn't been out shooting features and The Lede (see page 5) every week for the Riverfront Times (hey, thats' us!). "It's a mixture of everything in her life," he says. "Protest and politics, family life, outreach, opening a transitional house for women who are unhoused, and food. Food is the basis of everything."

This show at The May Gallery will be Welling's first chance to display some of the shots he's taken of St. Louis' matron saint. "The loose goal is to make a book of it eventually," he says, but at this show you can expect to see lush prints of the kinds of shots Welling has become known for: still portraits, portraits in motion, and an eye for the details that make a human being unique. Due to COVID-19, the show itself is appointment only, but there will be a reception on September 24 where Welling will speak about this project. And he'll be just in time, because Mama Cat has made it known that she is moving to Florida soon. Some cities have characters; St. Louis has a pot-banging angel — at least for now. —Evan Sult

The Rolling Stones

7:30 p.m. Sunday, September 26. The Dome at America's Center, 701 Convention Plaza. $66.50 to $699. 314-342-5201.

If the remaining Rolling Stones can survive this year, then so can we. Just recently, Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts dropped off of this tour shortly before passing away. But the deeply saddening loss of a core member of the band and one of the best drummers of all time could not stop this tour — not even a once-in-a-lifetime (hopefully) worldwide pandemic could stop this tour. The greatest living rock band in the world just keeps on pushing through and will likely continue to give performances that are second to none. It's just what they do. This concert is a rescheduled date from June, when it was postponed because of COVID-19, so if you're fully vaccinated and not scared of catching a breakthrough case, the concert gods (who now include Charlie Watts) are smiling down on you for this Rolling Stones appearance. There are plenty of tickets available for you to scoop up, including some spots in the pit that usually go for four times the price they're listed at now. —Jaime Lees

The Gradient

October 1 through 24. The Center of Creative Arts, 6880 Washington Avenue. $25 to $85. 314-725-6555.

Just after the Rep's world-premiere of Dreaming Zenzile comes the first-ever performance of The Gradient. Written by Steph Del Rosso, the play is a satire. It takes place in the future, when men who are accused of sexual misconduct are taken to a facility that must rehabilitate them into responsible citizens. The show starts its run on October 1 at the Center of Creative Arts and ends on October 24. Purchase tickets online at

—Jenna Jones

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