Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The Fabulous Fox -Part 1

Hello Everybody. Welcome back. Although I have written about it in the last two posts; it's time for me to share with you about one of my best experiences of the year, so far. I attended a show at the Fox Theater in St. Louis, MO.  

As I have prepared to write this post I have discovered that it's going to take a pair of posts to fully convey my experience with this wonderful place. The best place for me to start at the beginning.  

To do that I have to go back to the reason I discovered it: Steve Martin and Martin Short. 

As part of the last wave of the "baby boomers" generation I spent most of the 1970s in my teens. That's when Steve Martin became the biggest thing in stand up comedy. His break through comedy special was the first one I ever saw on HBO. 
In the early 1980s Martin Short was added to the cast of my favorite sketch comedy show imported from Canada, SCTV. He was also part of the cast during one of the best seasons of NBC's Saturday Night Live. His most popular character was Ed Grimley. 

Both of these comedians went on to have successful movie careers. They met and became friends during the production of the film, The Three Amigos, in which they co-starred. 
They worked together again 5 years later in a remake of "Father Of The Bride". 
I have always been a fan and read both of their biographies. I highly recommend them. books. 
Steve Martin: Born Standing Up
Martin Short: I Must Say

Fast forward 30 years and you'll find not only are Martin & Short still stars and friends they decide to create a stage show and tour together. 

I've already explained the circumstances and events that led Paula, Mark, Patty and me to buy tickets for the St. Louis stop of that tour. Go back and read part one of the last post series, if you missed it.  

Let me share some of what we saw on the theater stage with a couple of video links. As a courtesy I want to advise you that the clip with highlights of the show is rated "PG 13" and from early in the tour's run. Billy Chrystal was not at our show.     
Steve Martin & Martin Short Highlights

Here's a clip of one of the songs Steve performed with his bluegrass group during the show as well. 
Pretty Little One: Steve Martin With Steep Canyon Rangers 

I've been to several "old school" theaters that have been restored. The State Theater in Easton, PA; Capitol Arts Theater in downtown Bowling Green; The Plaza Theater in Glasgow; and my favorite, The Lexington Opera all here in Kentucky. While these are amazing places to see a show they are "minor league" venues compared to The Fox Theater.  

Seconds after walking through the front doors I knew that this was not your everyday ordinary "center for the arts".

Upon entering this theater, I got a feeling very similar to the first time I stepped through the entrance tunnel of Disney's Magic Kingdom. I don't use that comparison lightly. 

Initial views such as this...
...quickly conveyed to me that I was in a place that felt like stepping into a time machine. There was an "if these walls could talk" feeling. I was immediately ready to listen. 

Everywhere I looked I saw detailed and amazing artistic craftsmanship. This remarkable display is on the ceiling.
 The place also had some other interesting and beautiful decor in places that you wouldn't expect. My wife took found this divider screen and a fountain near the ladies room just off the lobby. 

Now in that last video I mention that I couldn't take pictures or video inside the showroom. But that was only during the performance. I took quite a few pictures before the show started. The showroom was just as, if not more, impressive than the lobby. 

As you can see the place is a theatrical palace. Although everything including the elephants on the carpet... 

...pointed to the stage I was fascinated by the real centerpiece of the room. 

The chandelier is the most unique one I've ever seen. It reminds me so much of a hot air balloon. If you use a bit of imagination the metal cap on the bottom of the light could very well pass for a balloon's basket. 

It doesn't look like it's hanging down to light the room. It gives the illusion that it's floating upward trying to break through the showroom ceiling. I will have more on this fascinating fixture in part two of this series.   

I also managed to shoot a brief video of the showroom. I have posted it on my You Tube Channel. Here's the link. Initially you can hear Patty and me talking. My narration starts at the 21 second mark. 
Inside The Fox Theater Showroom

There was so much to look at even from the fixed view point of our seats. I knew I wouldn't be able to appreciate it all in the few minutes there was left before the show started. 

I also couldn't help but think of all the other things I saw while going through the lobby and up the stairs to the balcony.

I wanted to see it all. I wanted to know the history of this magnificent venue. 

As you probably already know from the previous post, that's exactly what the four of us did. We came back for the guided tour two days later. 

I will share the adventure we enjoyed exploring the many levels, staircases, corridors and even the stage of The Fabulous Fox in part 2 of this series. 

Come on back, you'll be glad you did.    

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