Referring to the post-9/11 New York skyline, Tunde Adebimpe, a native New Yorker and singer for indie-pop group TV on the Radio, stated, "There's nothing I would like better than to never have to think about that ever again. You go across the bridge, and the city is still missing its front teeth." While this statement is undoubtedly harsh, it perfectly illustrates the sorrow of the city and the need to rebuild.
World-renowned architect Daniel Libeskind won the competition that was held in order to determine who would receive the honor of reshaping the city's skyline. And while his 1776 Freedom Tower (a proposed 1,776-foot-tall spire) bears a resemblance to something out of the movie Tron, Libeskind's design is nevertheless vibrant and full of life -- a glorious antidote to typically monolithic and imposing skyscrapers. He talks about his ideas and his vision for the new World Trade Center in his book Breaking Ground: Adventues in Life and Architecture, which, consequently, is the subject of a lecture and book signing at Washington University's Graham Chapel (6445 Forsyth Boulevard).
The free lecture, co-sponsored by the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (www.contemporarystl.org) and Left Bank Books (www.left-bank.com), begins at 7 p.m. and is open to the public. For more information call 314-935-6293. -- Guy Gray
New works by Paul Shank and Ernest Trova
Do you enjoy the bending (blending?) of genres? Do you believe that the limitations of a medium are simply another tool at the artist's disposal? Are you down with conceptual hocus-pocus? If so, then consider checking out Elliot Smith Contemporary Art's (4729 McPherson Avenue; 314-361-4800) newest exhibition, Paul Shank: Recent Work and Ernest Trova: 3 Drawings.
Shank's paintings explore the blurry boundaries between abstraction and the familiar, everyday world by deconstructing his past work, while Trova's pieces contemplate the relationship between his well-known sculptures (that's his Variation [Hand] pictured) and drawings.
The free opening reception is from 6 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, December 4, and the exhibition runs through January 8, 2005. For more information check out www.elliotsmith.com. -- Guy Gray
Live radio play
Call us old-fashioned (or a traditionalist, perhaps, if you're kind), but we want the holidays snowy, merry and bright. Oh, and we also want one of them big Rambo-size hunting knives and a good-old-fashioned seasonal radio show. Fortunately, this is St. Louis, and KMOX (1120 AM) creates an original holiday-themed radio drama every year -- and the stars of the show are the on-air talent of KMOX. Reporter Kevin Killeen writes the script, and everyone from Charles Brennan to the dulcet-voiced Carol Daniel plays a part. And as if Carol Daniel's not enough for you (you greedy ingrate!), the KMOX staff performs the whole spectacle live on the stage of the Repertory Theater of St. Louis (Loretto-Hilton Center, 130 Edgar Road, Webster Groves), and you can watch the action unfold live and in person. Tickets for the 8 p.m. show are $20 to $50 (call 314-444-1862), and they've sold out in the past, so call now. Incidentally, Killeen's story incorporates the sets already built for the current Rep production, which happens to be Rupert Holmes' The Mystery of Edwin Drood; might we expect a few Dickensian twists? -- Paul Friswold
Blue Plate Specials
The plates at the Painted Plates III: Ovals art show are piled high and deep, but not with food. Instead, 57 artists have covered these plates with paints, prints, photographs and collage work to create objets d'art suitable for framing, not for serving 'taters on. Sales of the unique dishes benefit St. Louis Community College-Meramec's visiting artist program. The show opens with a free reception from 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Friday, December 3, in the Art Gallery (in the Humanities East building, 11333 Big Bend Boulevard; 314-984-7632), and remains up through December 17. -- Paul Friswold