Why You Should See Harry Potter in Concert

Few things make me happier in life than Harry Potter and when I heard the Goblet of Fire was coming to the St. Louis Symphony thanks to CineConcerts, I knew I had to see it. Have I seen the movie over 100 times? Yes. Did that stop me from crying, laughing and cheering the whole way through as if it were the first time I was seeing it? Absolutely not.

There is something about seeing a live orchestra play a movie score live alongside the movie. You can feel the music throughout your body and feel connected to what’s happening on screen as it’s being played out. The quiet moments are more pronounced. The loud moments are more in-your-face. It forces you to be in the moment and it’s wonderful.

While it obviously wasn’t the first time I’ve seen the movie, watching it with the crowd and the symphony felt like seeing it for the first time. We were told by the conductor, Justin Freer, that we were allowed to participate: ‘We ask that you boo your least favorite characters and cheer on your favorites.’ And cheer and gasp and laugh and cry (yes, cry, RIP Cedric), I did. Being around a crowd that loves this fandom as much as I do was a wonderful experience. I saw young kids experiencing the movie for the first time with hands covering their eyes when Voldemort rose once again. I saw an older woman laugh hysterically when Ron was asked to place his hand on McGonagall’s waist. It felt like a joint experience. Something we were all actively participating in together.

If you’re a fan of Harry Potter or just a fan of movie scores in general, I can’t recommend seeing Harry Potter in Concert enough. They are currently on a global tour (yes, GLOBAL!) and will be doing all 8 films (and I personally cannot wait to hear Alexandre Desplat’s score).

Get tickets and see where they’re going to be at next.

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How to have a very Potter-filled September

The train for the Hogwarts Express leaves on September 1 and the start of Albus Severus Potter’s (still not over that name) second year at Hogwarts will kick off. Since we’ve all surpassed the entire timeline of Harry Potter as of last September, it seems like more and more Harry Potter pop-ups, events and podcasts are happening all over the place. And while we wait (and wait and wait) for that inevitable Harry Potter Netflix reboot (it has to happen, right?!), here are some things you can do this September to make sure that your month is filled with all things HP.

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September 1: Stripefy: A Stunning Burlesque Tribute to Harry Potter
To celebrate the first day back at Hogwarts, Stripefy is bringing a magical show to St. Louis. Join an incredible cast for a night of frivolity and delight as they peel back the layers of beloved (and abhorred—hello, Voldemort!) characters to reveal them in their truest form—naked for all the world to see. Enjoy Potter-themed cocktails, trivia and loads more.

September 7: First Friday at SLSC
St. Louis Science Center’s First Fridays are back and this time they want you to explore science through the magical world of Harry Potter! Participate in wizarding activities, browse Harry Potter-inspired arts and crafts, and learn about the controversies of the Harry Potter franchise with special presenter Kayla Davis.

September 14-16: Harry Potter in Concert at Powell Hall
CineConcerts is back at it again this time with Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Enjoy an epic night of Harry Potter with a live orchestra playing the entire movie score. You will feel like you’re watching the fourth movie for the first time and relive the magic of the Boy Who Lived.

September 20: Harry Potter Party STL at The Ready Room
Get ready to dance all night long at Hogwarts. Wizard Fest is coming to The Ready Room where there will be Harry Potter-themed drinks, Quidditch Pong, a costume contest and so much more.

October 1-31: Wizarding Month
Okay, okay, I know I said month of September, but since this is happening all of October, I thought I’d do a special mention. La Patisserie Chouquette is hosting a Wizarding Month all of October with special treats for the witch and wizard in your life. The best part of this month? The Afternoon Tea that will be happening every weekend. If you love delicious cakes, hot chocolate, tea, butterbeer and a plethora of other goodies, you’ll want to reserve a spot asap.

Side Effects of STLFW

Four days. One tired girl. Saint Louis Fashion Week was one to remember. I spent too much money. Drank a bit too much. Met people who have more money than I’ll ever make in my whole life. Fainted. Ate in passing. Met the woman who created New York Fashion Week and had beef with Kanye West (!). Sat across from Iris Apfel with my knickers showing. Was inspired by so many people. Cried every day, most especially in the shower where I sobbed and sobbed. Said “is this real life?” more than 30 times. Held hands with someone I haven’t seen in months. Drank lots of champagne and acted like I was a lot cleverer than I am. Took too many photos of myself and of others. Learned how to SnapChat better. Had the most quotable week of my life. “Ugh, my straw fell into my champagne.” Touched art with teeth and not sure if I was allowed to do that. Saw a lot of boobs. Saw more of St. Louis than I have in my whole life. Drank 27 coffees in the span of four days. Laughed harder than I have in over a year. Fell in love harder with all the people around me.

  
  


The morning after the night before

  
  
  
  

Photo by Suzy Gorman

The Things I Know

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You kissed me in a car. You kissed me in the coffee shop. You kissed me at my doorstep. You texted me good night. I texted you good night.

You kissed me in your basement. You kissed me in a red dress. You kissed me between your sheets. You kissed my naked skin. You kissed me to stay. You texted me, “I wish you’d stayed.” I texted you, “me too.”

You bought me three red roses that I hated but pretended to like. You wore the green sweater that I loved. You bought me a used book with yellowed pages. We slept in your bed more often than not.

We ate Thai take away on the floor in your room. You laughed at stand up much too loudly, as I looked on and smiled. I kissed you with fervor when I had too much wine. Your hand found every crevice when you smoked more than you should. You always asked me to stay.

I left. We can make this work. We didn’t try hard enough.

I took up baking. You had sex with someone else.

I was back in the Spring. We went to the movies. You kissed my neck in the dark. You walked me home. You told me you loved me. We ordered Chinese and had sex in the kitchen.

You kissed me in the dark. You kissed me long and hard. You kissed me in the morning when the light was reflecting on the wall. You kissed me at the door. I texted you, “I love you.” You didn’t text me at all.

Dear August

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I apologize for this letter being a little late this month. There has just been a lot going on and I feel like I needed to collect my thoughts before writing them all down.

August, I didn’t like you this year. You really tested me and not in a good way. Maybe one day I’ll look back on this month in fondness, but right now, today, I can’t wait to put as much distance between us as possible. I lost sentimental belongings. I became more anxious. I stopped going out as much. I had something to complain about every day, and I stopped looking hard for the good in life.

I don’t know what to say about you, August. You hurt me. You made me question a lot of things that have happened so far in my life. Made me second guess every decision I have been making while staring along my Facebook news feed and wondering if I should be playing catch up with the families and weddings that keep appearing there.

You made me feel unsupported and lost and that’s the worst feeling to carry around with you. August, you made me fear little things in the world, things that I used to love doing and now I wonder if I’ll ever get over it at all. I wonder if I’ll ever feel comfortable driving again instead of digging my nails into my forearm and driving 35 on the highway when there is traffic. Dear August, you made me feel stupid and unsure of myself during your 31 days and I hope that feeling goes away. Soon. I need it to.

I know that things will get better and I need to start looking at the bright side of thing, but August, you made it really hard for me. You flipped me upside down and unable to find my footing. Maybe September will bring me a new path of footsteps.

Long Distance Friendship

For as long as I can remember, I have been the friend that loses touch with people. I’m the worst at texting back. I’m the worst at remembering to call. I’m the best at flaking. I’m the best at rescheduling only to flake once more. I can’t say for sure why I am like this, it just happens. I say I’ll call and text and write letters and send cards, but in reality, I tend to forget to do all these things and suddenly it is months, even years later, and I’m wondering what that person is up to.

A couple of years ago, all the friends that I had that lived by me, suddenly weren’t coming back home from college in the summer. They were finding jobs in this new town away from me and I never realized how alone I started to feel when I couldn’t call someone to see if they wanted to meet up for coffee, lunch, dinner, or go shopping on a random Tuesday afternoon.

This was the start of me needing to start to reach out to people so we could stay in each other’s lives. I didn’t realize how much work goes into a friendship if you want that friendship to stay. I realized how selfish I was for constantly flaking (which I still happen to do, but I’m working on it!) and that I would actually have to start texting people first if I wanted to talk to them.

When I lived in London for a short period of time, I met some wonderful, amazing people. People that lived all over the world and when we parted ways, communication still needed to exist if I wanted to still be apart of their lives.

Long distance friendship. It’s a bitch. Some days you can go all day without talking and fear that you’re drifting apart and write a long email at 3 in the morning, crying about how you don’t want to lose their friendship. What are they doing? Why haven’t you talked in two days? Is something wrong? Some days you just want to call them up and complain about something that is happening in your life, but there is a time zone difference and they are three or six or twelve hours ahead of you and there is no possible way that you can talk at the exact moment you want to. Some days you just want to lay in bed and watch About Time with them, eating popcorn and Phish Food Ben and Jerry’s ice cream complaining about everything, yet they are in Ohio and you are in Missouri.

The best thing, possibly the only thing, I have learned about making these types of friendships work is constant communication. Reaching out to them through Facebook posts, text messages, e-mails, snail mail, Skype, Facetime, Instagram, and smoke signals. Anything to show that you are still in each other’s lives. It helps. The friendship is maintained.

My best friend visited me last summer for a week and this summer it is my turn to visit her. Long distance friendship is great. You get to visit new places and no matter how long you are apart, it’s good to know that you’re still the best of friends.

5 Art Museums that I’ve Fallen in Love With

Saint Louis Art Museum

Featuring some of the best pieces by Pablo Picasso, Paul Cezanne, Rothko, and (my main man) Gerard Richter, the East Building of the Saint Louis Art Museum is one you should not miss out on if you visit St. Louis. Recently remodeled in 2013, the East Building is my favorite place to go in St. Louis and that is saying something. The free museum (are you paying attention, MoMA?) sits inside Forest Park alongside Art Hill, and every time I park and walk along the grass, I’m struck by how very European Art Hill feels. Definitely one of my favorite art museums; I always know I am home when I am there. Saint Louis Art Museum is open Tues-Sun 10am-5pm; Friday 10am-9pm. slam.org

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Art Institute of Chicago

Voted the #1 Art Museum in the world by TripAdvisor, it would have been stupid of me not to include the Art Institute in my list. I was excited to visit again awhile ago when staying with my brother and his girlfriend. The building itself is just so immensely impressive with the beautiful architecture and the green lions staring down visitors as they enter. Besides being impressed with seeing Renoir, Richter (!), Van Gogh, Paris Street; Rainy Day, Hopper’s Nighthawks, and Picasso’s blue period, the interior design of the building always leaves me speechless. Unfortunately, the museum is only free to Illinois residents on Thursday nights, otherwise general admission is $17 with a student ID or $23 for an adult ticket. Open daily from 10:30am-5pm; Thursdays until 8pm. artic.edu

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Tate Modern

When I lived in London, nearly every weekend between going to The Breakfast Club and walking along Southbank, I would walk inside the Tate Modern and spend hours in there on a Saturday afternoon. The building has some of the best views of Southbank and St. Paul’s Cathedral and the art work inside is bloody ridiculous. (Did you like my British slang?) Everywhere you turned, there was Picasso, Warhol, Dali, Rothko, Richter, Duchamp, Hockney, and the always weird and wonderful Tracey Emin. Amongst well known artists, there were some seriously strange modern art that I liked to nod my head at and act like a pretentious snob about l’art. There is an Alexander McQueen exhibition at the moment, which I hear is fantastic. The museum is free and open Sun-Thur from 10am-6pm and Fri-Sun from 10am-10pm. I recommend walking along Southbank and taking the back entrance, however, the front is just as magnificent. tate.org.uk

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MoMA

I went here for the first time this past March, and I must say, it was love at first sight. Two things that I was most excited about seeing: Starry Night by Van Gogh and Drowning Girl by Roy Lichtenstein. Starry Night was surrounded by tourists desperately wanting to take their photo by it, so it was difficult to see the beauty of the work, but it was something that I am so glad I got to see in real life. For some reason, no one was really around Drowning Girl which happens to be my favorite Lichtenstein piece. (Can you tell how much I love contemporary art?) The museum, similar to the Art Institute, is not free. If you have a student ID, the ticket is $14 or you will be paying $25 for an adult ticket. However, if you can get there between 4pm-8pm on Friday night, entrance is free! Open daily from 10:30am-5:30pm; Fridays from 10:30am-8pm. moma.org

Musée d’Orsay

I’m pretty sure I cried the first time I walked into the Musée d’Orsay at eighteen. What can I say? I am a sentimental bastard and it was my first time in Paris, sue me. Housed in the former Gare d’Orsay, a train station built between 1898 and 1900, the Musée d’Orsay is one of the most interesting and beautiful museums that I have ever been to. As you walk over the bridge along the Seine, you can see the museum with the tip of the Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel) in the distance, and smell the kabab stands along the entrance. Inside, you’ll see Starry Night Over the Rhône by Van Gogh (which I sneakily took a photo of!) and walls of Claude Monet’s waterlilies. Admission for students with a valid ID is €8.50 or €11 for adults. If you’re under 18, entrance is free. The museum is open Tuesday-Sunday from 9:30am-6pm and Thursdays from 9:30am-9:45pm. musee-orsay.fr

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You’re not supposed to take photos inside, but oops!

Notable contenders:

Contemporary Art Museum STL: Beautiful, beautiful. CAM always has really cool events and exhibits going on. For more information, visit their website.

Louvre: Okay, so the reason I didn’t include the Louvre is because I think the only thing to really see at this museum is the architecture, not the artwork. (I can already hear a cry of outrage from art historians everywhere!) It is a wonderful museum that you can spend hours getting lost in. Trust me, I know from experience. I couldn’t find the entrance for two hours. For more information, visit their website.

The Courtauld GalleryLocated in the gorgeous Somerset House in London, Courtauld Gallery is an exceptional gallery. It is quite small, but has such an immense collection of well-known Impressionist work. If you’re ever in London, I could not recommend this more. For more information, visit their website.

 Tate Britain: Another gorgeous gallery along Southbank, but on the north side. Full of Hockney paintings and rather interesting installations. For more information, visit their website.