A Christmas Carol Holiday Traditions

Published by Sara at 9:15 AM under

One of the most beloved Christmas stories, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, tells the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge and his journey of redemption. Written in only six weeks, A Christmas Carol sold out of 6,000 original copies within four days. Although the story is over 150 years old, A Christmas Carol has never gone out of print and continues to remind readers of the true meaning of Christmas.

In keeping with the title of the book, Dickens wrote the holiday classic in the form of staves, usually used in Christmas carols. Traditional carols typically include a message of hope to bring merriment to those who have joined together to sing the song. Dickens wanted to remind his readers that joy and hope were possible in spite of suffering. This message touched the people of England who struggled with poverty throughout the Industrial Revolution, and as his work grew in popularity A Christmas Carol inspired a resurgence of holiday celebrations.

Charles Dickens had greater influence on current Christmas traditions than any other individual. Inspired by the publication of A Christmas Carol, forgotten Christmas customs became popular again. This revival, known as the Victorian revival, was a cultural transformation that happened almost immediately; businesses who had previously overlooked the holiday encouraged an emotional celebration of the Christmas season.

With the new celebration came new Christmas traditions. The custom of Christmas trees, which were popular in Germany, was brought to England and soon many homes had adorned trees and elaborate decorations. Gift giving, typically organized at the New Year, moved to Christmas and modest gifts like nuts, fruit, and small trinkets were hung on the trees. In 1848, the Christmas cracker, a package filled with sweets that snapped when pulled apart, became a must-have in all the celebrations. Christmas goose, roast beef and plum pudding were soon replaced by turkeys, which became more popular as a Christmas dish after the publication of A Christmas Carol. In the novel, the turkey is introduced by Scrooge, when he brings a turkey for Tiny Tim and his family.

A Christmas Carol is shared each holiday season because the story brings people together, spreads joy, and helps listeners remember the true spirit of Christmas. For some families it is a time honored tradition to read parts of the story, while others enjoy a live performance. Whatever your tradition, Dickens’ themes of family, goodwill, and charity are themes that continue to ring true.

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Fabulous Fox Theatre 2014 Holiday Gift Guide: Celebrate the Season

Published by Sara at 10:40 AM under

This holiday season, a ticket to the Fabulous Fox Theatre is the perfect gift for everyone on your list! With so many excellent upcoming shows, we have something fabulous for everyone!

A night at the Fox is a wonderful memory that will last a lifetime. Treat someone special to a night out in Grand Center, visiting one of the restaurants in the arts and life district before seeing a show at the Fabulous Fox. Here are our suggestions for a festive holiday evening that will be the perfect present for friends and family.

Celebrate the holidays with Mannheim Steamroller and Dooley’s Beef and Brew House

MANNHEIM STEAMROLLER CHRISTMAS by Chip Davis has been America’s favorite holiday tradition and this year marks the 30th Anniversary of the group’s annual tour. Grammy Award winner Chip Davis has created a show that features the beloved Christmas music of Mannheim Steamroller along with dazzling multimedia effects performed in an intimate setting. The spirit of the season comes alive with the signature sound of Mannheim Steamroller music. Don’t miss this ultimate holiday tradition from the #1 Christmas music artist in history!

Stop in at Dooley’s Beef and Brew House (601 N Grand Blvd) before the show to enjoy a Dooley burger, world famous since 1968, and a cold one!

Mannheim Steamroller returns to the Fabulous Fox December 9 & 10!

Start a Christmas tradition with A Christmas Carol and Café Ventana

The Nebraska Theatre Caravan has been touring Charles Jones’ delightful adaptation of A CHRISTMAS CAROL since 1979. The Caravan’s Carol, which weaves traditional Christmas carols throughout the narrative, is probably the most widely produced production of Dickens’ in the nation, annually performing for more than 100,000 people in more than 60 cities across the country.

Before the show, be sure to treat the whole family to dinner. Café Ventana brings to Saint Louis the look and feel of a French Quarter bistro while offering deliciously comfortable foods. From French style beignets to incredible locally roasted coffee to delectable sandwiches, salads and soups, dining at Café Ventana is truly a culinary experience that everyone will love!

Don’t miss one of the most beloved holiday traditions of all time at the Fabulous Fox December 12 – 14!

Enjoy a “lovely, glorious, beautiful Christmas” at A Christmas Story and Baiku Sushi

Ralphie Parker wants only one thing for Christmas; An Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action 200-shot Range Model Air Rifle. A CHRISTMAS STORY, The Musical is the hilarious account of Ralphie's desperate quest to ensure that this most perfect of gifts ends up under his tree this Christmas. This new Broadway musical is based on the classic 1983 movie, which itself was based on stories by legendary radio humorist Jean Shepherd. With songs both funny and heartfelt by Benj Pasek & Justin Paul, and a faithful yet inventive book by Joseph Robinette, A CHRISTMAS STORY captures holiday wonder with such deliciously wicked wit that it is sure to delight children and grown-ups alike.

Looking for a place to eat before or even after the show? Baiku Sushi, located at the chic Hotel Ignacio, serves the freshest fish, and most innovative Asian cuisine in an atmosphere unlike any other in St. Louis. 

It's the Christmas present that you'll cherish all holiday long running December 16 – January 4!

Experience the power of Celtic Thunder and Llywelyn’s Pub

CELTIC THUNDER’s principal singers, backed as ever by the amazing 8 piece Celtic Thunder band, will deliver their much loved ensemble numbers with selections including “Heartland” from Celtic Thunder -The Show, “Galway Girl” and “Seven Drunken Nights” from Voyage, “A Place in The Choir” from Heritage and “Turning Away” from Mythology. Of course, no Celtic Thunder show would be complete without a performance of their rousing anthem “Ireland’s Call”, which generally acts as the show’s finale and never fails to bring the audience to its feet. In addition to these incredibly popular ensemble performances, “The Very Best of Celtic Thunder” tour will also feature a wide variety of solo hits from the principal singers such as “Ride On”, “The Dutchman”, “Noreen”, “Danny Boy”, some “Puppy Love” and many more.

For the complete experience, visit Llywelyn’s Pub, located in one of St. Louis' finest areas for over 35 years, before the show to grab a bite to eat or for a fabulous night out after the show. They boast over 35 beers on tap and over 40 more in bottle.  They have an expansive list of whiskeys and some of the greatest food in town!

Celtic Thunder returns to the Fabulous Fox February 19.

If you’re not sure which show to choose, gift certificates to the Fabulous Fox Theatre are always a great option!

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Fabulous Fox Theatre 2014 Holiday Gift Guide: A Fabulous Night Out

Published by Sara at 9:27 AM under

This holiday season, a ticket to the Fabulous Fox Theatre is the perfect gift for everyone on your list! With so many excellent upcoming shows, we have something fabulous for everyone!

 A night at the Fox is a wonderful memory that will last a lifetime. Treat someone special to a night out in Grand Center, visiting one of the restaurants in the arts and life district before seeing a show at the Fabulous Fox. Here are our suggestions for a festive holiday evening that will be the perfect present for friends and family.

A Lovely Night at Cinderella and the Fountain on Locust

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA is the timeless tale of a young woman who wants to change the world. With the help of her fairy godmother, Cinderella is able to go to the ball and make all of her dreams come true. This lush production features an incredible orchestra, jaw-dropping transformations and all the moments you love—the pumpkin, the glass slipper, the masked ball and more—plus some surprising new twists! Be transported back to your childhood as you rediscover some of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s most beloved songs, including “In My Own Little Corner,” “Impossible/It’s Possible” and “Ten Minutes Ago,” in this hilarious and romantic Broadway musical for anyone who’s ever had a wish, a dream... or a really great pair of shoes.

Complete your lovely night with a visit to the Fountain on Locust. Their award winning soups, delicious fresh from scratch food, hand crafted cocktails and amazing ice cream desserts are pure magic. You won’t want to leave the restaurant before midnight!

CINDERELLA will visit the Fabulous Fox in St. Louis January 20- February 1, 2014. Don’t miss this incredible show.

Experience the Music of the Night at the Phantom of the Opera and the Dark Room 

Following an acclaimed sold-out tour of the United Kingdom, Cameron Mackintosh’s spectacular new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s phenomenal musical success, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, is now on tour across America. THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA is the iconic story a beautiful soprano, Christine Daaé, who becomes the obsession of a mysterious, disfigured musical genius. The production, overseen by Matthew Bourne and Cameron Mackintosh, boasts many exciting special effects including the show's legendary chandelier. Filled with classic songs such as “The Music of the Night”, “The Phantom of the Opera” and “All I Ask of You”, this moving production of the legendary show is sure to thrill any fan of musical theatre.

Begin your fantastic night at the theatre with a trip to the Dark Room Wine Bar and Photo Gallery. Embodying the nexus of art and life in Grand Center, The Dark Room offers patrons an opportunity to experience fine art and fine wine under the same roof with rotating bi-monthly photography exhibits, local menu items and a carefully crafted wine list.

Let your fantasies unwind when THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA returns to the Fabulous Fox in St. Louis March 4-5.

Lift Your Spirits at Kinky Boots and Triumph Grill

KINKY BOOTS is the exhilarating Broadway musical that will raise you up to new high-heeled heights! Winner of six Tony Awards® including Best Musical, this inspirational story follows a struggling shoe factory owner who works to turn his business around with help from Lola, a fabulous entertainer in need of some sturdy stilettos. Together, this unlikely pair finds that they have more in common than they ever dreamed possible… proving that when you change your mind about someone, you can change your whole world.

For a fabulous night out, step one is a visit to a marvelous restaurant. Triumph Grill is the perfect choice for a fun night out with your friends. As Midtown’s premier motorcycle themed restaurant featuring a blend of new American flavors, a trip to Triumph Grill is the perfect way to begin an unforgettable night. 

Everybody say yeah, KINKY BOOTS is coming to the Fabulous Fox in St. Louis March 24 – April 5!

If you’re not sure which show to choose, gift certificates to the Fabulous Fox Theatre are always a great option!

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Thanksgiving Recipes from the Fabulous Fox Kitchen

Published by Sara at 11:47 AM under From the Fabulous Fox Kitchen

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

As I went through my traditional Thanksgiving recipes: my Grandmother’s, my Mother’s and my Godmother’s, it occurred to me that Thanksgiving is all about tradition, as recipes are passed down from generation to generation. The holidays are about family and friends getting together and communing around the table, sharing food that elicits thoughts and memories of years past.

Bread is often overshadowed by the Thanksgiving turkey, potatoes and desserts. However, bread is a food with rich cultural significance. By sharing bread at the Thanksgiving meal, families can remember the history and traditions that shaped many of the recipes we use today.  Bread is one of my favorite parts of a meal and I always enjoy recreating the recipes handed down to me by relatives.  

Amidst the hectic task of preparing for the Thanksgiving meal, it is far too easy to overlook the bread basket; to just open a package of Parker House rolls or pop a can of those little crescent rolls and call it a day. Why not take just one more moment and jazz it up! Brush the Parker House rolls with butter and sprinkle a little sea salt on top and then bake them. Before you roll up the crescent rolls, sprinkle them with a little Herbs de Provence and voila!

Here are some other ideas-

  • Brioche or challah- brush the top liberally with melted butter and brown sugar mixed together, bake and slice (this would work with a raisin bread or a honey wheat loaf as well)
  • Top pretzel rolls with melted butter, kosher salt and caraway seeds before heating
  • Lay out a sheet of puff pastry dough, sprinkle with grated cheddar, slice lengthwise into long strips, twist and bake.
  • Buy a “can” of pizza dough- lay it out, press dried cranberries, pecans or walnuts and sprinkle with some dried sage, drizzle with olive oil, a little salt and pepper, bake, and cut. You just made Thanksgiving focaccia bread!

Hope these little ideas will help make your bread basket a star on your Thanksgiving table. A very happy and fabulous holiday from the Fox Kitchen!

Chef Stephen


Five Fabulous Questions

Published by Sara at 8:01 AM under Five Fabulous Questions


The Suzuki Ensemble violin group from the Community Music School of Webster University was hand selected to perform with The Piano Guys on the Fabulous Fox stage this Saturday. We interviewed Katie Bowermaster, a violinist from Kirkwood High School who is part of the group performing “Beethoven’s 5 Secrets”, a mash-up of One Republic’s “Secrets” with moments from Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. Read on for Katie’s answers to our five fabulous questions and find out how she is preparing for her performance in the concert on Saturday!

Why are you most excited to perform onstage at the Fabulous Fox?

It’s a big deal to get to perform at the Fox Theatre with such inspirational musicians as The Piano Guys! I can’t wait! 

How are you preparing for the show at the Fox?

I have been practicing and taking the music to my teacher, as well as having extra rehearsals with the Suzuki Ensemble. At our rehearsals we have been practicing with the YouTube video which helped us learn what we would do when we were on stage. 

What is your favorite song to perform and why?

My favorite piece to perform is “Introduction and Polonaise” by Carl Boehm.

What advice would you give to musicians who are just starting out?

Have fun, work hard and do it because you love it!

How long have you been playing your instrument?

I started violin when I was 5 years old and now have been playing for 10 years! 


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