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Find the meal to fire up your palate with these hot spots PAGE 5



Ditch your normal night out for a local play PAGE 20

With a determined spirit, support from her community and the advice of an MU basketball coach, Riley Maher faced off against the biggest challenge of her life: cancer PAGE 8


FEATURE In October, Riley Maher’s life forever changed when she was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. Since then, the 17-year-old lacrosse player from O’Fallon, Illinois has completed 4 1/2 months of chemotherapy with a lot of perseverance and a little guidance from survivor Cuonzo Martin, Mizzou’s men’s basketball coach. PAGE 8 NEWS & INSIGHT Discover how Columbia teachers measure up to the rest of Missouri in categories such as salary, student-to-teacher ratio, education level and more. PAGE 3 THE SCENE Keep your summer face fresh with beauty advice from local makeup mavens. No need to sweat the small stuff after putting these lessons into practice. PAGE 4 Take a bite out of these flamin’ foods, including wings, salad and sushi all ranked by level of spiciness. PAGE 5 MUSIC Ready for a road trip? From Kansas City to St. Louis, we’ve got a list of concerts worth the drive. PAGE 6

PUBLISHING NOTE: The Vox print edition will be going on hiatus until June 28. We’ve packed this issue with summer essentials, including warm-weather makeup tips on Page 4, concert-centered road trips on Page 6 and a fun-filled, expanded events calendar on Pages 22 and 23. And you’ll still find Vox online. Keep up with new stories and reviews at

ONLINE FROM PAGE TO SCREEN Get a jump on reading Fahrenheit 451, Crazy Rich Asians, The Meg and more before their movie adaptations hit the market. SOUNDS OF SUMMER Many major artists are set to release albums over the summer: Kanye West, Ariana Grande, Panic! at the Disco and 5 Seconds of Summer. Get the lowdown on which ones to look out for. SHARING SCARY STORIES Pair your relaxing poolside vacation with an adrenaline rush. These new thrillers will make your heart race and your forehead sweat, proving you should definitely read them.


ARTS & BOOKS Shake up your summer must-see list with these local plays and musicals. Maplewood Barn Community Theatre and the MU Summer Repertory both have shows that will give your season some excitement. PAGE 20 Q&A Pop, lock and drop into this profile of Rebecca Wallace, a CoMo dance teacher who has a passion for hip-hop. PAGE 21


MAY 17–JUNE 27, 2018 VOLUME 20 ISSUE 19 | PUBLISHED BY THE COLUMBIA MISSOURIAN 320 LEE HILLS HALL, COLUMBIA, MO 65211 EDITORIAL: 573-884-6432 ADVERTISING: 573-882-5714 CIRCULATION: 573-882-5700 TO SUBMIT A CALENDAR EVENT: email or submit via online form at TO RECEIVE VOX IN YOUR INBOX: sign up for email newsletter at

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Cancer is one of those things you don’t think will happen to you or someone you love until it does. I found out my mom had stage four metastatic breast cancer via a Skype call with my parents while I was studying abroad in Ireland. I was surprisingly composed at the time and watched, helpless, from 4,000 miles away as my mom endured chemotherapy, radiation and surgeries. From my experience with my mom, I learned that a key to overcoming anything, including cancer, is positivity. And Riley Maher, a 17-year-old lacrosse player and cancer survivor from O’Fallon, near St. Louis, is no exception. Her story (Page 8) is full of persistence. In a matter of six months, Riley found out she had non-Hodgkin lymphoma, went through six rounds of chemo and found out she was in remission. All in the amount of time most high school relationships last. Riley found strength within herself, getting through each day so she could get to the next. But she also gathered strength from her family — her support system — as well as MU basketball coach Cuonzo Martin, a lymphoma survivor himself. Riley’s fight is far from over. She’ll have doctor’s appointments for the foreseeable future, and she’ll always carry the memory of what she has gone through. But, much like my mom, Riley is strong. She’ll persevere. And one last note about this feature. Its writer, Keegan Pope, takes over as Vox editor-in-chief starting in August. I’ve enjoyed bringing you this magazine — along with my childhood stories from West Virginia — these past 10 months, and I’ll still be around CoMo, reading Vox diligently.

VOX STAFF Editor: Madison Fleck Deputy Editor: Sten Spinella Managing Editor: Kelsie Schrader Digital Managing Editor: Brooke Vaughan Multimedia Editor: Meg Vatterott Online Editor: Brea Cubit Creative Director: Keegan Pope Art Directors: Corin Cesaric, Tong Li Photo Editor: Annaliese Nurnberg News & Insight Editors: Samantha Brown, Morgan Niezing, Erika Stark The Scene Editors: Alex Edwards, Annamarie Higley, Margaux Scott, Peyton Stableford Music Editors: Jessica Heim-Brouwer, Anna Maples, Hannah Turner, Chloe Wilt Arts & Books Editors: Kat Cua, Kayla McDowell, Rachel Phillips, Ashley Skokan Digital Editors: McKenna Blair, Amber Campbell, Michael Connolly, Brooke Kottmann, Lauren Lombardo, Megan Schaltegger, Rosemary Siefert, Micki Wagner, Bobbi Watts Designers: Corin Cesaric, Annamarie Higley, Tong Li, Jennifer Litherland, Lidia Moore, Morgan Seibel, Rebecca Smith Multimedia Producers: Zhongqi Cao, Zechang Fu, Emily Kummerfeld, Alex Li Contributing Writers: Allison Cho, Kori Clay, Emily Hannemann, Brooke Johnson, Ashley Jones, Caroline Kealy, Clare Roth, Grant Sharples, Madi Skahill, Savannah Walsh, Jing Yang Editorial Director: Heather Lamb Executive Editor: Jennifer Rowe Digital Director: Sara Shipley Hiles Office Manager: Kim Townlain


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CoMo vs. Mo: how local educators compare With teacher pay in the news, these numbers show where Columbia stacks up BY MEGAN SMITH After a semester of teacher protests across the country, educators are trying to see how they measure with state and U.S. averages. Molly Delgado, community relations specialist for Columbia Public Schools, says the district is working to improve its faculty retention. “We want to keep teachers here in our community,” she says. The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education maintains a comprehensive database of information comparing districts to state averages. Read on to see how Columbia measures up to the rest of Missouri. Average salary Missouri: $48,619 Columbia: $50,265

Teachers’ salaries have long been a subject of debate, but their complaints have been center stage during the past year. Higher salaries help teacher retention, and states such as West Virginia approved increases after teachers walked out of classrooms this spring. According to the National Education Association, Missouri was ranked 40th in the U.S. for average teacher’s salary in 2016. Reporting by the Columbia Missourian says the Columbia School Board recently approved an average increase of 4.8 percent for its employees next year. However, both Columbia and Missouri are well below the national average teacher’s salary of $57,611. Percent of teachers with a master’s degree or higher Missouri: 58.6 percent Columbia: 71.6 percent

There are multiple steps to becoming a public school teacher. At the very least, you must complete an accredited teacher certification program, though many teachers opt to pursue further education. Earning a master’s degree often qualifies teachers for salary increases.

“We do a lot to recruit high-quality teachers in our district,” Delgado says. “Many of our teachers not only have a bachelor’s degree but a master’s or even a doctoral.” Student-to-teacher ratio Missouri: 17-to-1 Columbia: 17-to-1

Student-to-teacher ratio is important for a number of reasons. It can be used as a tool to measure teacher workload and the allocation of resources, according to the National Education Policy Center. It can also be an indicator of the amount of individual attention a single child is likely to receive. A study last year from the National Education Policy Center found that small student-to-teacher ratios are linked with higher high school graduation and college enrollment rates. Teachers with Missouri certificates Missouri: 98.7 percent Columbia: 98.3 percent

Interstate reciprocity is a guideline that allows teachers certified in one state to teach in another state. Missouri is considered an open state and, in most circumstances, will honor an active teaching license from another state. Teachers with temporary or special assignment certificates Missouri: 0.7 percent Columbia: 1.4 percent

Someone with a bachelor’s degree in a field such as mathematics or English must take courses to meet specified competencies, teach for two years, be mentored by the school district and pass at least two exit examinations to earn a temporary or special assignment certificate. They can then work under a renewable certificate that requires nine hours of college credit per semester each year for renewal.



/Q1061Hits @Q1061 05.17.18–06.27.18





Avoid a makeup meltdown Save face with these tips and tricks to fight the summer heat Makeup lovers can all relate. You spend over an hour in front of the mirror perfectly blending eyeshadow, applying flawlessly straight eyeliner and painting on foundation like a work of art. Then tragedy strikes. You step outside into the Missouri heat, and all your work melts off your face as if you’re the Wicked Witch of the West. Well,

BY MEGHAN LALLY you’re not in “Oz” anymore; you’re in Missouri, so stop the melting, and ensure your makeup outlasts even the hottest Midwest summer day. Local makeup experts offer their best beauty advice to keep your makeup intact and your face glowing, even through the sweat.

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1 The prelude: face wash Lauren Maslauski, freelance makeup artist and creator of Makeup by Lauren Elissa, says she believes in the power of a thorough face wash and has found success with using Pacifica Pineapple Cleanse Oil Slaying Face Wash. When looking for a cleanser, she says it can either be from a drugstore or high-end seller, but the most important element is that the wash is oil-free. Try: Pacifica Pineapple Cleanse Oil Slaying Face Wash ($9.99, Target)

3 Act II: moisturizer Graves also recommends using a light-tinted moisturizer that provides full coverage. Moisturizing before makeup has several benefits, including regulating oil production and protecting your skin from the sun. Graves suggests using Arbonne Intelligence CC Cream, which also has a built-in primer. A similar, popular drugstore option is Olay’s CC Cream. “It’s going to give you all of those things in one fell swoop, so you’re not taking up five or six products,” Graves says. “It gives light coverage so that you won’t have that cakey makeup look.” Try: Olay Total Effects Tone Correcting CC Cream ($19.99, Target)


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2 Act I: primer Primer, which is a base cream that allows makeup to go on smoothly and last longer, is a vital step. Maslauski says using a mattifying, oil-free primer, specifically the Cane + Austin Prime & Protect Mattifying Primer with SPF 50, will lead to a makeup look that outlasts the heat. Chrystal Graves, owner of Chrystal L. Hair and Makeup, finds a lot of business doing makeup for summer and fall weddings, so the pressure is on to make sure those brides’ and bridesmaids’ makeup stays picture-perfect. Graves stresses the importance of primer. “What a primer will do is it will allow your makeup to go on smoothly,” Graves says. “It will fill in any lines and wrinkles, and it also helps with keeping out the moisture.” Beauty and fashion blogger Madeline Best, who runs the blog My Fair Style, also attests to the importance of a primer. “It’s just a gel that you put on your face to make sure everything stays in place and nothing melts off,” she says. Try: Cane + Austin Prime & Protect Mattifying Primer with SPF 50 ($56, Sephora)

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4 Final bow: setting powder and sprays After washing your face, priming and using a tinted moisturizer, Maslauski suggests using Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder. Best also says powder is crucial to beating the summer heat. “I’m a really big advocate for powder foundation over liquid foundation in the summer,” Best says. After applying the powder, Maslauski recommends completing the look with Cover FX Mattifying Setting Spray. Setting sprays essentially make your makeup waterproof. “I will spritz my finishing spray four times in a Z-formation on my face,” Maslauski says. “That way you’re getting all aspects of your face, and it will ensure your makeup stays in place.” Try: Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder ($38, Nordstrom); Cover FX Mattifying Setting Spray ($31, Sephora)



Dishing out the heat Spice up your life with these mouth-burning eats


From starters to mains, restaurants have found ways to incorporate spice into every course of your meal. Although there’s no universal reason why some love flaming-hot foods so much, research shows eating them can help cool down the body’s temperature due to sweating. MU Assistant Professor of Food Science Ingolf Gruen says it is mostly personal sensitivity and preference that contribute to why some people love spicy food so much. Gruen says spice is not considered an actual taste picked up by taste buds, such

as sweet, salt, bitter, sour or umami. Rather, it is a combination of aroma and taste that creates the spicy sensation. He says that, for some people, spicy food is enjoyable simply because it has more stimulation than the taste sensations from non-spicy foods. For those who find themselves reaching for tissues for their watery eyes or sweaty forehead at the dinner table more often than not, here are some local hot dishes to try out, ranked from most to least spicy.

CALL THE FIRE DEPARTMENT Thip Thai: Curry Fried Rice

CJ’s: Burn Your Face Off Wings

The Hot Chicken Sliders from 44 Canteen get their spice from the chicken tossed in cayenne pepper oil.

CJ’s signature wings are a Columbia staple. They can be paired with its most popular — but most daunting — sauce, which is butter-based and made every day in-house. The kitchen uses a generic hot sauce mixed with butter, cayenne pepper, paprika, Tabasco and jalapenos to make sure the wings leave you sweating. Proceed with caution. Price: $9.99–35.99 Location: 704 E. Broadway Hours: Tues.–Fri., 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4–9 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Phone: 442-7777



44 Canteen: Hot Chicken Sliders

Add some fire to your life with this blonde-ale-brined and buttermilk-fried chicken served on Texas toast. The chicken is tossed with cayenne pepper oil, and diners can add pickled jalapenos or Valentina Butter Sauce, a combination of brown sugar and hot sauce, for extra spice. Price: $6 Location: 21 N. Ninth St. Hours: Mon.–Thurs., 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Phone: 777-8730

The vinaigrette on the Creole Salad from Teller’s Gallery and Bar adds a kick to a classic mixed greens salad.

Spice up any sushi roll at Sake Japanese Bistro and Bar by adding Thai chilies or house-made chili oil. PHOTOS COURTESY OF 44 CANTEEN, SAKE JAPANESE BISTRO AND BAR, TELLER’S GALLERY AND BAR AND PIXABAY

Jazz: Beans & Rice with Andouille



Teller’s Gallery and Bar: Creole Salad

Although Robin Weatherford of Teller’s says it ranks low on the scale, this salad’s spice levels can be adjusted depending on personal preference. The salad is made with mixed greens and vegetables tossed in a spicy Creole vinaigrette and served with blue cheese; it’s a certified house hit. “We have people come back for it all the time,” Weatherford says. “People love it.” Price: $6.75–9.50 Location: 820 E. Broadway Hours: Mon.–Sat., 11 a.m. to 1:30 a.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to midnight Phone: 441-8355

This classic fried rice turns up the heat by incorporating a house-made, spicy red curry, which is a combination of red and panang curry. The dish can be served with your choice of meat or vegetables. The spice is all thanks to a mix of chilies, but mainly the Thai burnt chillies, says employee Ryan Semsch. Thip Thai ranks spiciness on a scale of one to three, with the Curry Fried Rice officially coming in at a two, but Semsch says it feels more like a three. Price: $8.95–11.50 Location: 3907 Peachtree Drive; 904 E. Broadway Hours: Sun.–Thurs., 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Fri.–Sat., 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Phone: 442-8492

Cajun beans and rice served with spicy Andouille sausage make this dish a signature at Jazz, A Louisiana Kitchen, according to its website. Thanks to cayenne pepper, which is the main heat element in the dish, it has just enough fire to make you sweat. It’s also flavored with seafood spice, green peppers, onions and celery. Manager Ali Tranchilla says the flavor is smoky with a light spice. Price: $7 Location: 217 N. Stadium Blvd. Hours: Sun.–Mon., 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Tues.–Thurs., 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Fri.–Sat., 11 a.m. to midnight Phone: 443-5299

Sake: Dancing Marlin Roll




Double tempura shrimp and tempura asparagus fill this sushi roll that’s heated with spicy striped marlin and topped with unagi sauce. You can also ask for wasabi aioli, Sriracha mayonnaise or house-made chili oil to spice up any dish. If you’re trying to make this dish even spicier, ask for Thai chilies. Price: $16 Location: 16 S. 10th St. Hours: Mon.–Wed., 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Fri.–Sat., 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 10 p.m. Phone: 443-7253






KOPN 89.5fm...Where Else? It’s not just radio, it’s community radio. On your radio dial at 89.5 fm or live streaming at

Groove out of town Go out of your way for these concerts that won’t disappoint BY JING YANG Roll down the windows, and jam to these artists as you make your way to a show outside of CoMo. The summer season means concerts and festivals are abundant. Although Columbia is a major music hub that has plenty of shows to keep concertgoers busy, it can be easy to forget about the music moments happening not too far away. How about taking a trip outside of Columbia to catch some great performances? These are the shows and a music festival worth the two- to three-hour drive to St. Louis, Kansas City or Springfield.


The Flaming Lips will perform at Uptown Theater in Kansas City on June 28.

8th annual Stomp the Blues Out of Homelessness Festival

The Flaming Lips

This all-day blues festival raises money for organizations focused on the prevention of homelessness. Some of the bands invited are Marc Broussard, Samantha Fish and Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal. Food from local vendors plus wine and beer will be available.

A Course in Miracles All misery comes from the strange belief that one is powerless. Why does it seem so incredible that faith can move mountains? This is indeed a little feat for such a power. For faith can keep the children of God in chains, as long as they believe they are in chains. Faith and perception and belief can be misplaced and serve the Great Deceiver’s needs. Faith and belief, upheld by reason, cannot fail to lead to changed perception. And in this change is room made for vision.

Derived from the UR-Text of A Course in Miracles

New long term study group is forming. Meetings are currently scheduled at Mo United Methodist Church, 204 S 9th Street, Columbia MO:

Thursday, May 17 room 102 6:30 pm - 7:30pm Thursday, May 24 room 102 5:45 pm - 6:45pm No tuition. Donations for expenses welcome.


Time: May 19, noon–10:30 p.m. Location: Community Blood Center of the Ozarks, 220 W. Plainview Road Price: $25–625

Machine Gun Kelly Concert Tour

Richard Barker, aka Machine Gun Kelly, is an American rapper who earned his title thanks to his rapid-fire rap style. His song “Bad Things,” a collaboration with Camila Cabello, reached No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100. Time: May 26, 7 p.m., doors; 8 p.m., show Location: Shrine Mosque, 601 E. St. Louis St. Price: $29.50–49.50


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Time: June 28, 7 p.m., doors; 8 p.m., show Location: Uptown Theater, 3700 Broadway Price: $37–55

St. Louis: Keith Urban with Kelsea Ballerini

This April, the Australian singer released a new electronic-infused album, Graffiti U, and a single about empowering women called “Female,” which was inspired by the #MeToo movement.

Kansas City:

Time: June 15, 7:30 p.m. Location: Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, 14141 Riverport Drive Price: $38.25–460.25

The Head and The Heart

Amos Lee

Time: May 29, 6 p.m., doors; 7 p.m., show Location: Starlight Theatre, 4600 Starlight Road Price: $25–79

Time: June 22, 7:30 p.m. Location: Powell Symphony Hall, 718 N. Grand Blvd. Price: $83–232

Folk music fans, especially those who might have missed this group when it was in Columbia last fall, can see the band in Kansas City. The six members are touring with their latest album, Signs of Light.

Described by Rolling Stone as “a voice that evokes Neil Young on nitrous oxide,” The Flaming Lips’ lead singer, Wayne Coyne, takes the moniker of frontman to an entirely new level. After releasing its first studio album in the ’80s, this band is no stranger to the wonderful world of weird.

Influenced by soul music, contemporary jazz and ’70s folk artists like James Taylor, Amos Lee released his sixth full-length album, Spirit, in 2016. Lee combines R&B and pop with his longstanding knack for earnest, folk-infused melodies.







Visit the website for tickets and more information. Early Bird General Admission $30 | Early Bird VIP $50 Efforts and proceeds of the 2018 South East Craft Beer Festival will benefit: American Red Cross, Unchained Melodies Inc. (Dog Rescue), Ronald McDonald House Charities of Mid-Missouri. 05.17.18— ­­ 0 6 . 2 7 . 1 8





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Seven months ago, 17-year-old lacrosse player Riley Maher was simply taking on high school, but with the start of her junior year came a different kind of opponent BY KEEGAN POPE


The bleachers on O’Fallon Township High School’s football field might seat a total of 50 people on this April night. The sun sets behind the press box, and the temperature dips below 40 degrees, feeling closer to 20 in the shade and wind. From the school gym and down a grassy hill emerges junior lacrosse player Riley Maher. She’s sporting a lime green T-shirt, knee-length American flag athletic shorts over black leggings and high-top blue-and-white Under Armour cleats. If this were four months earlier, Riley would have a beanie hiding her newly shaved head. Not tonight. She carries the blue-and-gold stocking cap in her hand as she skips out to the field alongside some of her teammates. After stopping to greet a few onlookers at the base of the bleachers, Riley finds her spot on the front row to watch the junior varsity game. Over the next 10 minutes, Riley holds court from that exact spot, greeting people who walk by. When Collin Mayheu lumbers past wearing his mom’s wedding dress, a smile creeps across Riley’s face as she trades barbs with him about his choice of outfit for tonight’s game. That same sly smile returns regularly, in particular when her twin sister, Adler, comes up the stairs wearing a fake mustache and a pair of rubber-ducky printed lacrosse shorts. Not far behind Adler, a group of boys swaggers up the stairs, the leader donning a pair of pink butterfly wings while the boy behind him has chosen a green leprechaun hat and fake green beard for tonight. What looks like a Halloween costume contest gone wrong is tradition at the school’s annual “Minus 36” lacrosse fundraiser game. But every single one of them


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In October, Riley Maher, junior lacrosse defender from O'Fallon, Illinois, began fighting non-Hodgkin lymphoma. It was Riley's longtime neighbor, Brynn Laverdure, who created the "Minus 36” game long before Riley was diagnosed.

— boys and girls alike — shares a similar characteristic tonight: green T-shirts. In years past, the girls would sport blue T-shirts while the boys wore pink — a purposeful contrast to typical choices. But this year, the theme is lymphoma awareness, and on this particular night, on this particular field, that word hits especially hard for those in the green T-shirts.

J Just short of seven months earlier — Oct. 6, 2017, as Riley vividly remembers it — she woke up complaining of chest pain. “It’s likely just heartburn or a pulled muscle,” her parents told her. “A little bit of muscle pain for a 16-year-old lacrosse player isn’t uncommon.” She had just played in a lacrosse tournament the previous weekend with her high school team and had no problem playing midfield and running up and down the turf. It was a Friday, though, and Riley wanted to be at school with her friends.


“If it gets worse, let us know.” The next day, Riley’s chest pain had worsened to the point that it was hard for her to breathe. She and her father, Jeff, got in the car and drove to the nearest emergency room. In Riley’s subsequent chest X-ray, an opacity showed up in her anterior mediastinum, right above her heart. Doctors thought it best to give Riley a CAT scan to determine if it was something more serious. The results of the scan showed an 8-by-9 centimeter mass. Riley was immediately moved to St. Louis Children’s Hospital and admitted to the oncology unit. Two days later, doctors needle biopsied her chest to extract tissue from the mass for further testing. On Wednesday, two days after her the biopsy and six days after she initially arrived to the emergency room, Jeff received a call from Dr. Julia Warren, Riley’s pediatric oncologist at the hospital. Jeff, an ophthalmologist in nearby Belleville, had been seeing patients for most of the day when the St. Louis area code popped up on his cell phone. A sinking feeling came over him. The doctors have the tissue diagnosis, and it’s non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Warren told him. Every word after that was a blur. Jeff dropped to his knees, and tears streamed down his face. How could this be, he thought. How could his second-born daughter, the one who would soon be inducted into the National Honor Society with a GPA above a 4.0, the one who has dreams of being an orthodontist, and the one who — at 10 years old — held her siblings together when Jeff and their mother, Kelly, split up, have cancer? “I think there was some part of me that I think knew on some level that was probably going to be the news,” Jeff says. “But you want to be in denial about it … maybe somehow it’s a fluky thing; it’s going to come back a benign mass.” Soon after hanging up, Jeff told a staff member at the clinic that he needed to leave. Another ophthalmologist was in the office that day, so Jeff asked if he could cover his appointments. He jumped in his car — the same one he had used to drive Riley to the emergency room a week earlier — and he headed for Riley’s mom’s house in nearby O’Fallon. On the way, he called Kelly, his ex-wife of six years. “It’s not good news,” Jeff said. “Cancer.” Kelly hung up and looked at Riley. She relayed the news of the diagnosis, and Riley’s tears started to fall. “I can’t do this,” Riley said. “I just can’t do this.” When Jeff arrived a few minutes later, Riley and Kelly were in the family room, crying and holding each other. The three quietly embraced, the only sounds





coming from their collective crying. They didn’t say much over the next few minutes, or maybe it was an hour. None of them can recount exactly how long they sat there, simply trying to comprehend what was happening. The results of a PET scan revealed a growth in Riley’s cancer mass — a relatively rare subtype called primary mediastinal B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma — and in the span of less than a week, it had begun pushing on her airway. The next day, Riley was readmitted to the hematology/oncology unit at Children’s. During the next 10 hours, Riley underwent a spinal tap and bone marrow biopsy, and eventually a central venous catheter was placed into her chest. Later that night, once doctors determined her bone marrow and spinal fluid were clear of cancer cells — a crucial sign that her cancer hadn’t spread beyond the mass — Riley’s first round of chemotherapy began. Surrounded by Adler, her brother, Keller, her parents and her grandmother, Riley watched as the bag of chemo medicine was brought into the room and hung on the IV pole. The nurse gave her a handful of pills to take. Because of the aggressive rate at which Riley’s cancer was growing, that evening she began an intense 4 1/2-month treatment plan. It would be parsed out in six, 21-day cycles — five consecutive days receiving chemo with 16 days recovering for the next round. She asked everyone to exit the room except for her mom and dad. Tears welling in their eyes, Jeff and Kelly joined hands with an already distraught Riley. The three said a short prayer before Riley ingested the pills and wiped the tears from her eyes. After taking a moment to collect herself, Riley looked at each of them with a newfound sense of determination before she spoke. “Let’s go.”

Riley's treatment plan required six rounds of chemotherapy over the course of 4 1/2 months.

C Cuonzo Martin was 26 and a father of just four months when he collapsed on the court in 1997 playing professional basketball in Italy. At the peak of his athletic career, Martin watched his body fall apart. Following his collapse, doctors sent him home to Indianapolis to be examined. A series of tests revealed a tumor in his chest the size of a baseball and a diagnosis of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Martin faced an enemy unlike anything he’d seen, even though he grew up in a housing project aptly


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DECODING CANCER If physically battling cancer wasn't enough, oftentimes patients and their loved ones also face the enemy of understanding. Here are some terms related to Riley's experience explained, courtesy of the Mayo Clinic and American Cancer Society. CANCER: Essentially, cancer is a problem with cell division. All types of cells, from skin cells to blood cells, reproduce as needed, but they also have a code that tells them when to stop. In cancer cells, that code has been damaged. No one knows quite yet how cancer cells form in the first place. But once they do, they reproduce unceasingly, eventually shutting the down the body unless treated. CAT SCAN: A Computerized Axial Tomography scan uses X-ray technology to see a 3D image of what's happening in the body. Because of this technology, doctors are able to see if a problem with one's breathing is in fact being caused by a tumor, as was the case with Riley. PET SCAN: Unlike a CAT scan, a Positron Emission Tomography scan tells doctors what's happening chemically in the body. Different parts of the body will turn different colors that correspond to the amount of activity occurring in each place. Due to the rapidly multiplying nature of cancer cells, any areas where there is cancer lights up brighter in a PET scan. LYMPHOMA: Lymphoma is one of the six major umbrella categories of cancer. Unlike most body systems, which typically contain only a handful of organs, the lymph system is made up of between 500 and 700 tiny organs spread throughout the whole body called lymph nodes. Nodes sit anywhere and everywhere in the body, from the brain and sinuses to the armpits and stomach. Some of the most well-known lymph nodes, for example, are your spleen and tonsils. The lymph system works much like veins, but instead of carrying blood throughout the body, it carries lymph fluid, which is necessary for fighting off infections. This network is great if you get

a virus, but if a node becomes cancerous, the system that once fought infection now becomes a superhighway spreading cancer if it isn't caught in time. SPINAL TAP AND BONE MARROW BIOPSY: Because of the far-reaching tracks of the lymphatic system, special procedures are sometimes needed in order to determine how far the lymphoma has traveled. One common test is called a lumbar puncture or spinal tap. During this procedure, a needle is inserted between two of the vertebrae in the lower back in order to extract the surrounding fluid. For a bone marrow biopsy, once again a needle is inserted into the body, but this time into a bone to extract a sample of the spongy bone marrow inside. In Riley's case, both tests came back clean, but had the cancer been found in the marrow, it would have probably meant her cancer had progressed to stage IV - the most widespread stage. CHEMOTHERAPY: Chemotherapy is one of the most common types of cancer treatment, especially when doctors cannot be sure surgery will remove all microscopic cancer cells, as is characteristic of the pathways of lymphoma. Essentially, chemotherapy uses drugs to attack cancer cells as they form and reduce tumor size. However, chemo can't distinguish cancerous cells from healthy cells, and therefore many normal cells become collateral damage. This explains why chemotherapy often causes patients to lose their hair. The more difficult to reach or the more severe the cancer, the stronger and longer the treatments. ­­- ERIKA STARK

named “The Hole” in crime-riddled East St. Louis. Although much of the trouble Martin saw his friends and neighbors get in had been a choice for them, cancer wasn’t a choice. It was the epitome of an ultimatum: life or death. Over the next four months of treatment, Martin lost his hair, his eyebrows, his signature goatee and 40 pounds. But on April 20, 1998, the cancer was deemed to be in remission. Just over 20 years have passed since, and the disease that stripped Martin of his playing career and left him at a crossroads has never returned. Between then and now, he’s served as a high school assistant coach for a year, an assistant under head coach Gene Keady at his alma mater, Purdue, for seven years, and a head coach at Missouri State, Tennessee and California since 2008. After tumultuous tenures at both Tennessee and California, in which his teams never lived up to the expectations heaped upon them, Martin opted to return to Missouri, a program he’d grown up watching in East St. Louis as a kid. He signed a seven-year, $21-million contract in March, becoming not only the highest-paid employee at the university, but also the highest-paid state employee in Missouri. On Oct. 28, after reading a story in The Kansas City Star about Martin’s bout with cancer, Jeff shared the story with Riley, who was in the midst of her second week at home between her first two chemo treatments. They spoke of Martin’s athletic background, their similar diagnoses and his resilience in the face of this devastating disease. On a whim, Jeff, who graduated from Mizzou in 1998 and considers himself a die-hard Tigers fan, opened his computer and scoured the web for Martin’s email address. He just wanted to let Martin know that his story had resonated with a dad and daughter fighting cancer. No luck. Further searching turned up Missouri Athletic Director Jim Sterk’s email address, so Jeff started writing. He introduced himself, shared Riley’s story and closed the email by simply telling him that Martin’s story and his example have reached people he might never expect. His only hope was that Sterk would pass it along and Martin would know his impact. Four days later, while Jeff was seeing a patient, his phone rang. A Columbia, Missouri, area code popped onto the caller ID. “Who would be calling me from Columbia?” Jeff thought. No matter; he didn’t have time to answer anyway. A few hours later, when he had finished his appointments for the day, Jeff opened his phone and saw the Columbia number had left him a voicemail.





“Jeff, how are you doing? This is Cuonzo Martin, head coach over here at Mizzou. Just reaching out to you. I saw your email in regards to your daughter. Sorry to hear that. I pray she’s well and strong. One thing I’ve learned in my life battles, God doesn’t make mistakes. It’s probably not what we want to hear at the time, but he always has the right plan. So I pray she’s strong; I pray she’s well. The message I would give is take one day at a time, and try to enjoy the process as you come through it. Thank you, and enjoy your day. Cuonzo Martin. Take care. Bye-bye.” For a second, Jeff couldn’t believe what he’d heard. Over the next few weeks, Riley’s story reached Mizzou Athletics. The school offered Riley and Jeff a pair of basketball tickets for the Tigers’ Dec. 9 game against the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. They watched from five rows behind Missouri’s bench as the Tigers rolled to a 100-77 victory. After the game, Jeff and Riley were invited onto the court to meet Martin before he headed into the locker room. “Stay positive, and look to your support,” Riley recalls him saying. “You’ve got really good support behind you. Everything will be OK, and you just have to stay strong.” They were simple words; their meaning came more from who spoke them, Riley says. Seeing a fellow non-Hodgkin lymphoma patient, one who had faced a similar fight 20 years ago, gave her hope that there was a way through. The conversation, as brief as it was, also gave Riley a sense of community, something she lacked as a young cancer patient. Riley’s mother, Kelly, is a breast cancer survivor of nearly seven years, but because of the surgical treatment plan she’d opted for, she couldn’t fully prepare Riley for what she would face in the next five months of extensive chemotherapy. The hospital offered group therapy sessions for youth cancer patients, but Riley didn’t like the idea of sharing some of her most intimate details with people she didn’t know. That’s where Martin and his firsthand knowledge of a fight like Riley’s came in. “He didn’t have to ask me specifics,” she says. “He already knew what to ask. ‘How’s your appetite? How’s your activity? How are you feeling?’ I didn’t have to be too personal about it; that was just really refreshing to feel like someone already knows about you and can help you get through that.”


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With Riley playing defense, O'Fallon beat the Kirkwood Pioneers 15-12 on May 4. Riley and her father, Jeff Maher, found an ally in Cuonzo Martin, who also fought against non-Hodgkin lymphoma.


A As is the case for most young cancer patients, Warren says, the true moment of impact for Riley came when her hair started falling out. It had been the first question Riley had after the needle biopsy revealed cancer. “Will it fall out?” she asked. “Yes, unfortunately, we can’t do anything to prevent that from happening,” her doctor told her. Riley was crushed. But even after the first grueling round of chemotherapy left her feeling weak and nauseated for periods of time, Riley’s mind wouldn’t let herself believe she had cancer. For her, it started with a few strands of hair on her pillow. A couple more began showing up on her clothes. Soon enough — when Riley put her hair in a ponytail, as she had done for most of her life — her hair was coming out in small chunks and then eventually, bigger clumps. After her initial round of chemo, all she had to do was tug on her hair, and it would come right out. That’s when it hit her. No matter that she’d been undergoing treatment for two weeks. It never really felt like cancer until the moment she was crying in the mirror as her wavy brown hair fell to the ground. “Before that, I could almost pretend that I didn’t have cancer,” she says. Kelly offered for both she and Riley to have their hair cut into bobs to make the loss less obvious. Her hair stylist stayed open late, giving them the shop all to themselves. Five inches were cut off of Riley’s hair, but it made little difference. Watching her hair fall out had become agonizing. Sensing her daughter’s pain, Kelly suggested just shaving it all off. Two days later, on Oct. 31, when most 16-year-olds are debating whether they are too old to still be trick-or-treating, Riley, Kelly, Jeff and Adler went back to Kelly’s hair stylist. Through tears of her own, the stylist shaved off the rest of Riley’s hair as each of them





FAVORING THE UNDERDOGS When an athlete is diagnosed with cancer, it can mean the end of his or her career, but some battle back to the game. Here are just a few professional athletes who used their platforms to raise funds and awareness for the cause: JESSICA BRELAND:

Women's National Basketball Association forward Breland started the Breland Comeback Kid Fund after battling Hodgkin lymphoma in 2014. The fund supports the University of North Carolina's pediatric oncology program. MARK HERZLICH: Herzlich,

an NFL linebacker, beat a rare form of bone cancer called Ewing sarcoma in 2009. Now he's on the boards of various funds and travels to schools to speak with children about his experience. EDNA CAMPBELL: A WNBA player, Campbell was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002. To help other breast cancer survivors, she founded a health restoration program called Breathe and Stretch. JOSH BIDWELL: After the former NFL punter was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1999 - his rookie year - he started The Josh Bidwell Foundation to help others with treatment costs. MARIO LEMIEUX: Lemieux, a decorated NHL player, has raised $25 million for cancer research with The Mario Lemieux Foundation, which started after he beat Hodgkin lymphoma. ­­- ERIKA STARK

wept at the sight of her brunette locks in a mound on the floor. “I think for me, that was kind of when it hit me,” Kelly says. “When people don’t have their hair, it’s because they’re sick … Even as a tiny baby when she was first born, she had hair.” For Riley though, as difficult as that night was, it meant she was doing something on her terms, not her cancer’s. “It was pretty empowering to be able to choose that,” she says. “I know it would’ve fallen out eventually, but the fact that I decided to shave it was really important for my self-esteem and confidence. Seeing it fall out made me really sad, so I just decided to shave it because I got to choose.”

F For Riley, there were three goals in mind when she was diagnosed: beat cancer, play on the varsity lacrosse team this spring and make it to her junior prom. None were guaranteed, but the former would enable the latter two. Between her second and third chemo treatments, Kelly took Riley prom dress shopping. The dance wasn’t for another couple of months, but for Kelly, it seemed like something any normal mother and daughter would do, and that’s all she wanted for Riley — to feel normal. It was cold that day, and even though she’d been attending school, Snapchatting friends and feeling somewhat like herself again, Riley was nervous to take off her hat in the store. She wanted to see how her dress would look without it, but she was anxious about the possible reactions from other shoppers. Forget the fact that the central IV line Riley was receiving for her chemo had been inserted into her bicep at the elbow, curved over her shoulder and across her heart. “If people say anything, then shame on them,” Kelly told her. “You take your hat off because this is your prom.” Riley pulled off her cap and tried on the first dress she liked in the store. When she stood on the nearby pedestal in front of all six mirrors to get a view of how it would look on her instead of the hanger, surrounding customers stopped and looked. “You look beautiful,” one told her. “That’s my girl,” Kelly says, a hint of pride beaming through her voice. “She’s standing there fighting cancer, and there are other girls saying, ‘I don’t like this dress;

On May 9, Riley's doctor, Julia Warren (right), told the Maher family that Riley was officially in remission, 208 days after her diagnosis.

it makes me look thin or whatever.’ And I’m like, really? She’s literally got a tube running out of her arm and no hair. And look at her.” Not long after, Riley, Adler and Kelly invited Brynn Laverdure, the Mahers’ longtime next-door neighbor and Riley and Adler’s quasi-older sister, and her mom to their house. The group started talking about prom, and Adler rushed up the stairs to grab her dress and show Brynn. Lying on the couch, exhausted between the chemo treatments, Riley jumped up and followed her sister. Once the group had finished ohhing and ahhing at Adler’s sparkly blue gown, Riley made her way to the top of the stairs, holding her purchase. Running up the stairs had taken so much energy that she didn’t have any left to try the dress on. The lack of energy wasn’t uncommon for Riley. Most of her time in the hospital while receiving chemo was spent in her bed watching Netflix or greeting visitors who came to see her. When Adler would visit after school to help catch up Riley on her schoolwork, the two would often lie in Riley’s hospital bed to talk or watch TV or just spend time together as sisters again. In the meantime, Adler was helping Riley through the classwork she’d missed, collecting assignments and delivering them to and from her teachers. Maintaining her above 4.0 GPA was a point of pride for Riley, even if it meant sometimes pushing herself to exhaustion to finish her work. To get through those moments, Riley relied on the advice Martin had given her at that first basketball game. “I think one of the most important things that I had was that I needed to take it one day at a time,” she says. “If I was ever overwhelmed with schoolwork, or if I felt really ill at a certain point, I would just say, ‘You know what, this is one day. I can get through this day and then there’s a next day. And if I can get through that day, there’s a next day.’” On Feb. 22, the night before she was to return to the hospital for her sixth and final round of chemo, she was inducted into the National Honor Society. Six days later, she was back home, this time with her eyes set on March 21 — the day of her next PET scan. The three weeks it took for her to find out if her scan was clear were as nerve-wracking as the days before her diagnosis, Riley says. When Warren delivered the news that Riley’s scan came back 99 percent clean, one of her first thoughts was how quickly she could get back on the practice field with her lacrosse team. O’Fallon already had its first two games rained out and was scheduled to play another the very next day, so Riley started at practice just passing the ball with her teammates. Soon enough, she was participating in a few drills and beginning to jog around. Concerned her headstrong daughter might








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SOME BASICS OF LACROSSE, THE WOMEN’S WAY be pushing herself too much too soon, Kelly enlisted Adler to keep an eye on her. “Mom, I think she’s doing more than she should,” Adler said. A few days later, ahead of the boys vs. girls game, Riley told Kelly she wanted to try playing. Kelly wasn’t thrilled. “She and I had some words about that,” Kelly says. “I’m always worried she’s going to get hurt. (But) her goal apparently was to be able to say, ‘I went through chemo, but I stepped back out on the lacrosse field that season.’ I kind of just had to be like, ‘OK. If you feel ready, go for it.’ There was really no stopping her.” If you talk to enough people who know Riley Maher, that phrase isn’t uncommon.

Although only 21 states have high school full-championship games for lacrosse, it's actually one of the country's oldest games, dating back to Native American tradition. Today, the sport is among the fastest-growing in the country, increasing its participation by 225 percent since 2001. Here are some of the women's team rules:


The game is played in either two 25-minute halves or four 12-minute quarters. Each team has six players on the field, typically using defender, midfielder, attack and goalie positions. Each player has a stick with a netted end called a crosse for catching and lobbing a ball about the size of a tennis ball. To score a point, the ball has to make it into the opposing team's goal (similar to a hockey goal). You cannot touch the ball with your hands unless you're the goalie, and only the goalie can use her hands in a designated area around the goal called the crease.

Once the JV “Minus 36” game concludes, Riley and her teammates pose for team pictures in their warmups. The O’Fallon boys and girls teams gather at midfield for pregame introductions, with each player announced as a nickname they’ve chosen. Most are silly — we’re talking about high school students here. But somewhere between Emily “Frizzle” Fritz and Brooke “The Tank Engine” Thomas, “Riley ‘I can beat you, too’ Maher” is announced. A cheer erupts as Kelly begins to cry. At the 7:40 mark of the first half, Riley enters the game. She jogs a few steps slower than everyone else, simply trying to stay close to the pack. Soon enough, the ball comes to her at midfield. She turns to pass, but the ball drops from her stick and bounces three times on the turf before it’s picked up by the other team. A minute later, Riley finds herself around the goal. She gets ahold of the ball and swings a shot toward the net but misses right by four inches. Another minute later, she subs out for the rest of the game. Three minutes and 50 seconds — that’s all she got. Seven months ago, three minutes and 50 seconds on the lacrosse field was a blink in time. Tonight, it’s an eternity. Afterward, both teams and Riley’s family gather at midfield for photos. The family presents a check


"I think I can just really appreciate what she's went through because of going through it (myself) to some extent,” Kelly says. Both mom and daughter can now call themselves cancer survivors.


to representatives from St. Louis Children’s Hospital. In the previous seven years of the fundraiser, the lacrosse program raised a combined total of $10,000. But game admission, along with sales of #RileyStrong T-shirts, wristbands and donations from sponsors, put the number on the check this year at $6,000. Riley, who’s become a bit of a small-town celebrity, allowed the community to put a face to the cause Laverdure undertook in 2011 when she started the “Minus 36” game after hearing 36 children were diagnosed with cancer every day. Riley’s nurse, who arrived at Kelly’s house at 6:45 a.m. twice per week during treatment to check

on Riley before school, came from out of town to the charity game. A handful of Kelly’s colleagues from Saint Louis University’s development division even showed up, having never been to any of the previous games. The disease, and the amount of attention that has come with it, has broken Riley out of her shell, Kelly says. Like at the junior varsity game, people she she’s never met will stop Riley to talk about how she’s feeling or just to let her know they’re thinking of her. “People know her,” Kelly says. “If only it was for a different reason.” After a few more pictures, Riley rejoins her friends and heads for the parking lot. Jeff, trailing behind, pauses to take in the scene. Days earlier, he’d been reflecting on what the family had endured over the past seven months. Compared to the draining despair they’d faced when they were told of Riley’s diagnosis, things like winning and losing high school lacrosse games now seemed trivial. “Her team had a game last week, last Thursday,” Jeff says. “Pouring rain. She probably would’ve been better off just bundled up and warm. But she’s standing there in the rain, going through the warmups with the team, and just to see her with the team passing the ball around and feeling at least somewhat normal again, I was like, if that’s all she’s able to do, I’ll gladly take it.” Five days after the “Minus 36” game, Riley played with the JV team against Marquette High School. At halftime of the varsity game, though, her coaches asked if she felt up to playing a few minutes. Sure, she said. Three weeks later, Riley accompanied her boyfriend of 2 ½ years and a group of friends to her school’s prom, donning the purple gown she’d been so nervous to show her mom just a few months before. That night, and each lacrosse game before it, has been special, she says. Moments that seemed like formalities are anything but since the diagnosis. But with each passing day, normalcy gets closer for the Maher family. Riley’s back in the starting lineup for O’Fallon, playing primarily on defense. Her hair has started to regrow, currently resembling peach fuzz. And May 9, Riley underwent a PET scan to monitor her progress — something she’ll do annually for the next several years after she’s cancer-free. At her previous scan in March, Warren told her she was 99.9 percent in the clear and gave her the opportunity to ring the hospital’s remission bell. Riley wanted to wait for this scan, the one that would leave no doubt she’d beat cancer, not even onetenth of a percent. “I don’t think Riley wants to say she’s a survivor just yet,” Kelly says, “but she is.”






Upstage your summer plans School’s out, but these local theater productions are in BY ALLISON CHO A fun evening in Columbia doesn’t always have to include food and drinks. Columbia theaters have prepared an abundance of shows that will run over the course of the summer. From musicals to comedies, explore the local theater scene with these four productions. For a quirky comedy performance: MU Summer Repertory Comedies in Concert is a series led by the MU Summer Repertory. Actors arrive at 9 a.m. day-of to rehearse a play they perform that night. “It’s a theater of imagination,” says director David Crespy. Actors read their lines off of music stands just as musicians read music off stands in a concert performance. Camping with Women Camping with Women is Comedies in Concert’s first of two shows. “(The play is about three) men facing nature and the wrath of their significant others,” Crespy says. The comedy will center on each of their relationships during a weekend camping trip. When: June 19, 7:30 p.m. Location: Studio 4, McKee Gymnasium Price: $5 Contact: 882-2021 For an immersive experience under the stars: Maplewood Barn Theatre Boasting itself as mid-Missouri’s only outdoor live theater on its website, Maplewood Barn engages its audiences with performances in Nifong Park. The nonprofit organization recommends interested attendees bring their own lawn chairs or blankets, as well as bug spray and long pants. You Can’t Take it with You Newly engaged Alice Sycamore and Tony Kirby come from drastically different families. When the families meet each other, comedic disaster ensues. The morals of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play still ring true 80 years later. “It’s mostly about being happy, getting along with each other and watching out for each other,” Director Byron Scott says. “Not all goals in life are about making money.” When: May 24–27, May 31 through June 3, 8 p.m.

Location: Maplewood Barn Theatre Price: $10; $3 for children 10 and under Contact: 227-2276 20

Columbia Entertainment Company performed Little Shop of Horrors for its first show during its 2017–18 season. Some members of this cast will also perform in the upcoming production of Bye Bye Birdie.

For an old story with a new twist, see: GreenHouse Theatre Project With past performances at art galleries and yoga studios, GreenHouse Theatre Project is known for its experimental plays in Columbia businesses. “We are an intimate theater company, so the audiences are usually right up close to the action in our shows,” says Co-Founder and Artistic Director Elizabeth Braaten Palmieri. Hamlet You haven’t seen Hamlet like this before. With the lead played by a woman, the 90-minute play seeks to bring this Shakespearean classic to present day. “The aesthetic is definitely more modern,” Braaten Palmieri says. “You’ll see that the men in power are wearing suits.” GreenHouse’s Hamlet will feature a soundtrack from female rock musician PJ Harvey to offset the rigid feel. When: June 13–17, 8 p.m. Location: Orr Street Studios Price: $16; $12 for students, $10 for members

Contact: For a family-friendly musical: the Columbia Entertainment Company Currently in its 39th season, Columbia Entertainment Company is a nonprofit that provides local opportunities in theater. The play’s director Kay Cook says community theater allows her to

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In GreenHouse Theatre Project’s production of Frankenstein, Jenny Hipscher as the creature clutches her bride, played by Anna Neal. GreenHouse will perform Hamlet next.

meet a diverse group of people. CEC actors range from kids to adults, students to professionals and come from “all different walks of life,” Cook says. Bye Bye Birdie Whether you love classic rock or Broadway show tunes, this spunky musical will certainly pique your interest. Bye Bye Birdie is about 1950s rock ’n’ roll icon Conrad Birdie, whose last gig before leaving for the army is to sing to a fan on TV. “Bye Bye Birdie is

just a really fun, positive, very energetic, very vibrant show,” Cook says. Complete with live music, the play is perfect for a lighthearted outing for the whole family. When: June 7–9, June 14–16, June 21–23, 7 p.m.; June 10, 17, 24, 2 p.m. Location: Columbia Entertainment Company Price: $14; $12, students, seniors, children 12 and under; $10, Thursday night special Contact: 800-838-3006, reservations@


Jabberwocky Studios dance instructor REBECCA WALLACE charts her journey from ballet to hip-hop


ebecca Wallace looks cool even before she mentions she’s a hip-hop instructor. Tortoiseshell glasses frame her smiling eyes as she laughs, and her flannel shirt is perfectly oversized. Behind her, a graffiti mural screams the name of the building, Jabberwocky Studios, in loud neon paint. Wallace enrolled at the studio 2 1/2 years ago for its adult hip-hop class, and after one year, she became a hip-hop instructor. She dedicates her Sundays to Jabberwocky while the rest of her time is spent as a school counselor at Smithon and Gentry middle schools. Originally from Webster Groves, Missouri, Wallace came to Columbia for her undergraduate degree at MU, majoring in Spanish, and received a Master of Education in Counseling from Stephens. Jabberwocky Studios is all about teaching students how to celebrate art and diversity within themselves and the community. For Linda Schust, owner of the studio, Wallace represents why Jabberwocky exists. “My favorite thing about our hip-hop squad is that it’s so diverse, and of course Rebecca represents part of that diversity,” Schust says. “The kids have actually come to think of her as a friend. She’s somebody that they can talk to and feel safe.” Sitting with her back to the mural, Wallace slides through all this hip-hop talk, her passion for the studio colliding and mixing with her love for urban dance.

What is your earliest memory involving dance? When I was little, my parents put me in dance because I was a little headstrong, and they wanted to provide me with some structure. I was in ballet and tap when I started, and I remember going to my ballet studio and being around all these older girls who were probably in the fifth grade at the time. But they were en pointe, doing pointe ballet instead of just ballet in little flats, and I remember as a little kid being like: “I really want to do pointe one day. I want to do pointe so bad.” Why did you move from ballet to hip-hop? As I got to know myself more, I wasn’t a ballerina. It just wasn’t my thing. My friend and I were going to take a tap class, but we decided instead to take a hip-hop class. I went to this studio in St. Louis, and I was terrified because, you know, you’re like 16. Everything’s terrifying because you feel like people are going to laugh at you. You feel like you’re going to look like an idiot, but we went, and we had a blast and decided to stick with it. How has dance improved your confidence? My base personality is not that of a performer. I don’t love performing, so (hip hop) forces you to become a performer, even if it’s just for yourself. It definitely pushes you to do things that make

you uncomfortable. When I was at MU, I danced with this team, and I was the only Asian-American person on the team, so it’s just good to have experiences where you’re not comfortable so that you can learn something from it. What made you want to teach hip-hop? I wanted to get back into dance just because I loved it, and Jabberwocky was the only studio that offered an adult hip-hop class. After spending some time taking classes, I just wanted to give back to the community and be more of a part of the studio. What makes Jabberwocky Studios different? This studio, in particular, is a very encouraging environment. I’ve danced in studios where it’s very competition-driven, which is great because that’s how you develop into a better dancer. But it can be very negative, constantly trying to find approval from a judging panel or whatever. Here, it really is about learning how to express yourself. Because of the encouraging environment, kids might be more willing to try something. You’re not going to see kids get shut down because they can’t do something here. — SADIE COLLINS PHOTO BY JENNIFER MOSBRUCKER 05.17.18–06.27.18





The Kratt brothers, from the animated children’s show, are leaving the TV screen and hitting the stage tonight in their adventure-filled show. They try to rescue their favorite invention from a comical villain. Bring the family to enjoy this amusing performance. VIP tickets include a meet and greet with stars, Chris and Martin Kratt. May 17, 6:30 p.m., Jesse Auditorium, $43.50–108.50, 882-3781

Missouri Writers Guild Annual Conference

Authors, editors and publishers are invited to attend the annual Missouri Writers Guild 2018 Conference. Agents and editors are ready to hear the first page of works and pitches afterward. There is a special novel-development workshop taking place throughout the morning, as well as breakout sessions with professional authors and agents. The day will end with author and musician Marideth Sisco giving a keynote address and performance. May 19, All day, The Hilton Garden Inn,

MO Folk Arts Gallery Concert: Traditional Irish Singing with Vocalists Eimear Arkins and Rowan Elliot

Indulge your senses, and head to the Museum of Art and Archeology for a gallery concert. Enjoy authentic Irish music while admiring MU’s art collection. The performance will include past MU students. May 20, 2 p.m., Museum of Art & Archaeology, Free, 882-3591

The Great American Read Premier Episode Sneak Peek

Enjoy a sneak-peek preview of PBS’s pilot episode of The Great American Read, an eight-part series. The series focuses on the power of reading by examining 100 of America’s most popular novels. The show investigates from both a writer’s and a reader’s perspective. May 21, 6:30–8 p.m., Columbia Public Library, Friends Room, Free, 443-3161

Studies in Classical Beauty

From pretty proportions to classical contrapposto, MU’s Museum of Art and Archeology explores various ideas of beauty present in Italy from the 16th to 20th centuries in its newest exhibition. May 23 through Sept. 30, All day, Museum of Art and Archaeology, Free, 882-3591

You Can’t Take it With You

You think your parents are zany? Meet the family in this Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy, whose rule is to do whatever makes you happy — whether that’s dancing ballet, collecting snakes or making fireworks in the basement. The show originally played on Broadway in 1936. May 24–27; May 31 through June 3, 8 p.m., Maplewood Barn


Theatre, $10, adults; $3 children under 10, 227-2276

Peter and the Wolf

The School of Missouri Contemporary Ballet will bring the classic tale to the stage. With a score by Sergei Prokofiev, this ballet tells the story of a young boy and the animals in the nearby forest. May 25, 7 p.m.; May 26, 2 p.m., Battle High School, $15; $12, children 12 and under, 825-0095

June Exhibit

Seeking some shade this summer? Cool down in Sager Braudis Gallery with even cooler art. The gallery will feature work by artists Kyle Bader, Alejandra Hererra, Gin O’Keefe, Nora Othic and James Wilson in its June exhibit. May 29 through June 30, All day, Sager Braudis Gallery, Free, 442-2831

VidWest Music Video Fest

Enjoy a noncompetitive, two-day film festival for musicians, filmmakers and anyone who wants to have fun. June 1 is the kick-off concert, and June 2 is the festival and dance party. June 1–2, North Village Arts District, $8, standard pass; $12, HD pass, 474-3699

Bye Bye Birdie

Foot tap your way through this production following struggling songwriter Albert Peterson. Just when his song was going to be recorded by rockstar Conrad Birdie, Birdie gets drafted. To pick himself up, Peterson and his girlfriend come up with a scheme to get his music out, but unforeseen problems shake things up. June 14–7; June 21–24, 7:30 p.m., Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays; 2 p.m., Sundays, Columbia Entertainment Company, $14; $12, seniors, students and children under 12; $10, Thursday night special, 356-6847

The Wedding Present

The wedding bells are ringing, and you’re all invited. In this dramatic comedy, a Midwestern farmer’s nuptials gets threatened by his future mother-in-law and a surprise guest. During the play’s CoMo premiere, the playwright, Elizabeth Braaten Palmieri, will make an appearance. June 8–10; June 14–17, 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturday; 2 p.m. Sundays, Talking Horse Theatre, $15; $13, seniors and students 268-1381

CIVIC Women’s Network May Luncheon

Connect, relate and engage with other women throughout the Columbia area at a luncheon. This year will include The Experience Women’s Network Class of 2017 Graduation. May 17, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Peachtree Catering Inc., $18, members of The Women’s Network; $21, guests, 874-1132

VOXMAGAZINE.COM | 05.17.18–06.27.18

DON’T MISS: THE HAIRY HUNDRED The Hairy Hundred will push you out of your comfort zone in no time with 100 miles of cycling on Boone County’s gravel roads. The ride starts and finishes at Katfish Katy’s just south of Columbia, which is giving out free beer tickets for everyone who pre-registers. Keep in mind that this race is on your own, so be ready to take care of yourself. Sunday, May 20, 8 a.m., Katfish Katy’s, $30,

Missouri Dancing with the Stars Why dance under the stars when you can dance with them? Missouri Contemporary Ballet’s flagship event is one of the premier social events of the year, bringing local celebrity dancers to mid-Missouri for Columbia’s version of the TV show. May 17, 5:45 p.m., Holiday Inn Expo Center, $20; $15, students, 219-7134,To purchase a table, email monique@

Charity Puppy Yoga The fastest way to a person’s heart is with three soft, little words: charity puppy yoga. Bring your own yoga mat to the second Yoga Gives CoMo puppy yoga event to fall in love — with a puppy, that is. Adoptable puppies will roam around Bur Oak Brewing Company as humans do yoga. People of all fitness levels are welcome to this event, which benefits Unchained Melodies Dog Rescue. Beer will be available for purchase at the event. May 19, 2–3 p.m., Bur Oak Brewing Company, $20,

30th Annual Salute to Veterans Celebration The theme of this year’s annual show and parade is “three decades of honoring and remembering.” Pilots will be performing, and parchuters will be jumping in this family-friendly Memorial Day outing that’s sure to put a smile on your whole family’s face. May 26–28, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Columbia Regional Airport, Free,

History Comes Alive Celebrate Memorial Day with a look back at the past. Sponsored by The Friends of the Historic Columbia Cemetery, this event

will feature actors performing monologues as notable individuals buried there. The performances will be repeated throughout the afternoon. May 28, 1–4 p.m., Columbia Cemetery, Free, 449-6320

Centralia Anchor Festival

Swing by Centralia for a weekend of food, drinks, music, crafts, a car show, a tractor show, 3-on-3 basketball and more. Bring the entire family for an all-ages good time. June 1–3, Centralia, downtown city square, Free, 682-2272

CoMo Rummage Sale

If you’re in need of a spring cleaning, Columbia Parks and Recreation department has you covered. Pre-register for this rummage sale to get two parking spots worth of space to sell your items, or stop by to see if someone else’s clutter is your treasure.June 10, 8 a.m. to noon, Cosmo Park, Free entry; $30 for a space to sell, 874-2489

Family Fun Fest: Explore Outdoors

Show your kids the excitement of Missouri fish, birds, parks and camping from state and local experts — and maybe learn something along the way yourself — with a day dedicated to all things outdoors. June 21, 6–8 p.m., Cosmo Park, Free, 874-2489

Butterfly Festival

To see the beautiful butterflies of Missouri — and learn about them too — come take free tours of the Jefferson Farm & Garden’s Native Butterfly House. The festival will also feature a variety of activities and informational materials, including how to attract butterflies to your own garden. June 23–24, 10 a.m., Jefferson Farm & Garden, Free, 239-6134 PHOTO COURTESY OF PIXABAY


The group has been at it since the early ‘90s, and now, as a part of Summerfest, this American rock band will showcase its recent endeavors into a California country sound at Rose Music Hall. June 6, 5:30 p.m., doors, 6:30 p.m., show, Rose Music Hall, $15, 874-1944

Cold War Kids with Thomas Abban

About 10 years following its debut album in 2017, Cold War Kids released its latest album LA Divine, an ode to Los Angeles. The surprising indie-rock group, along with Minneapolis-native Thomas Abban, will continue the summer music festivities with an outdoor show at Rose Music Hall. June 7, 6 p.m., doors; 7 p.m., show, Rose Music Hall, $25, 874-1944

DON’T MISS: ART IN THE PARK The 60th annual Art in the Park festival is here. Experience fun for the whole family as you see some great pieces, enjoy entertainment and food, and check out art installations. Featured artists will be selling their works, and food trucks will be available to fuel your love of the arts. Saturday, June 2, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, June 3, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Stephens Lake Park, Free, 443-8838

FOOD & DRINK Coffee Beer Competition

Members of the Worts Homebrew Club will design beers highlighting coffee from Camacho Coffee and serving it at CoMo Growlers N Pints. Taste them all, and vote for your favorite. The winning beer will receive the people’s choice award. May 19, Noon–3 p.m., CoMO Growlers N Pints, $5, 214-4070

Coach Arnel L. Monroe Memorial Fish Fry Benefit Enjoy fish, spaghetti, coleslaw, dessert and drinks at this meal benefiting the Arnel Monroe Scholarship at Hickman High School. This event honors Hickman football coach Arnel “Spanky” Monroe and his legacy as a Kewpie. May 20, Noon–4 p.m., Hickman High School, $10,

Farm to Table Beer Pairing Dinner Enjoy a four-course paired dinner featuring products from Littrell Farms, Ozark Forest Mushrooms and Terra Bella. Tickets are limited. May 21, 6–9 p.m., Broadway Brewery, $50, 443-5054


Gunter Hans whisks you away to Germany during its three-day celebration. Maifest is the traditional German holiday celebrating the start of spring. Activities include wrapping the maypole and dancing up a storm. Specials include Maibock pints and liters, Maywine, brats and “crisps.” May 24–26, 5 p.m., Gunter Hans, Free, 256-1205

Restaurant Week

Enjoy a number of local restaurants’ finest PHOTO COURTESY OF COLUMBIA VISITORS BUREAU

food offerings at the second annual summer restaurant week, hosted by the Downtown Community Improvement District. There will be deals and discounts available at participating eateries. Revisit your favorite spot, or branch out for a memorable dining experience. June 11–17, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., The District, Free, 442-6816

Father Goes West Dinner Theater Take your dad on a trip West for Father’s Day without leaving Boone County at this interactive, Western-themed murder mystery dinner theater. Costumes are provided, and tickets must be purchased in advance. June 16, 6–8 p.m., Victorian Country Inn, $59, 819-2000

MUSIC We Came As Romans

We hope you mesh with moshing. Following openers Miss May I and Like Moths to Flames, this metal band will rock you to your core. After the major success of the group’s self-titled album that was released last October, the band has been touring all throughout the U.S. May 18, 7 p.m., doors; 8 p.m., show, The Blue Note, $15 in advance; $18 day of, 874-1944

Pedaler’s Jamboree

Bicyclists and music lovers unite. Reserve tickets now for the 10th anniversary of the two-day, two-town Pedaler’s Jamboree. Starting at Flat Branch Park, cyclists ride from Columbia to Boonville’s Kemper Park for music festivities and camping. But have no fear — bicycling isn’t required to attend the festival. You won’t be excluded for just wanting to hang with the bikers. May 26–27, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Flat Branch Park, Price varies

Weird Al Yankovic

While four-time Grammy award-winner Weird Al Yankovic might be most well-known for his hilarious parody songs such as “White & Nerdy” or “Amish Paradise,” The Ridiculously Self-Indulgent, Ill-Advised Vanity Tour is focused on his 14 original songs from his latest album, Mandatory Fun. Scratch your itch for comedy and a musical experience to remember. June 8, 8 p.m., Jesse Auditorium, $55.50–87.50, 882-3781

OK Computer 20th Anniversary Radiohead Tribute

At this tribute performance, local musicians will join forces to relive Radiohead’s live set from two decades ago, during which the group played through OK Computer beginning to end. Songs will include “Airbag,” “Paranoid Android,” “Climbing up Walls” and “Subterranean Homesick Alien.” June 9, 8:30 p.m., doors; 9:30 p.m., show, The Blue Note, $6, 874-1944

Midwife, American Grandma

Move over, elevator music, Madeline Johnston and her collaborator Tucker Theodore specialize in ambient music. They consistently elevate the genre with swelling tones and layered reverb that fills any room. Don’t discount this show due to genre bias. This concert is sure to change your mind. June 12, 8 p.m., Cafe Berlin, Free, 441-0400

Molly Healey

Springfield resident Molly Healey is a musical genre all on her own. With hit songs such as “Two Deaths” and “Dear Juliet,” Healey’s words are nothing less than original. Combining violin, cello and amazing lyricism, CoMo is in for a treat. June 22, 8 p.m., Cafe Berlin, Free, 441-0400

Simon Joyner and The Ghosts with Jack Grelle

This mashup of country twang and ‘90s jams will be a night of nostalgia and relevant political lyrics. Simon Joyner and The Ghosts will partner with Jack Grelle, who Rolling Stone called “a progressive honky-tonk

hero arriving at just the right time in Trump’s America.” June 24, 8 p.m., Cafe Berlin, $6 in advance; $8 day of, 441-0400

SPORTS Zombie Run 5K

Run for your life at this 5K. Zombies will be chasing participants to try to eat their brains. Runners will recieve a belt with four flags representing lives that zombies can steal. To top it all off, they will receive a free T-shirt to remember the near-death experience. May 19, 9 a.m. to noon, Fearfest Haunted House, $25; $15, children 12 and under

Mizzou Baseball vs. Tennessee

Attend the finale of a three-game series for the Tigers in Columbia after a 30-18 season, as of May 8. They will be playing against a Tennessee team with a record of 27-23, as of publication date. Senior Trey Harris will lead the charge against the Volunteers. May 19, 2 p.m., Taylor Stadium, Price varies, 882-6501

Harold’s Doughnut Run

Celebrate National Doughnut Day with Harold’s third annual 5K. No, running and eating doughnuts isn’t contradictory. In this case they’re a perfect match. With part of the proceeds going to the Central Missouri Humane Society, your doughnuts are guilt-free. Doughnuts and coffee will be provided at the finish line. June 2, 10 a.m., Logboat Brewing Company, $30, adult 5K; $20, $25, $35 youth 5K; Free, children under 8, 397-6322

Missouri State Senior Games

Sponsored by the Show-Me State Games, this weekend of fun includes Olympic-style sporting competitions for participants 50 and older. The event is designed to bring awareness to the needs of older adults. Registration is open for sports such as shuffleboard, volleyball, washers and more. June 7–10, All day, Location varies, $30, registration; $3, entry to each additional sport, 882-1462

Huntington’s Disease Society of America Team Hope 5K

Walk or run to support the mission of the Huntington’s Disease Society of America to improve the lives of those with Huntington’s Disease and their families. This is a hereditary disease that kills brain cells. It affects about 30,000 people in the U.S., and another 150,000 people are at risk to develop the disease. June 9, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., Twin Lakes Park, $25, 501-920-0591

Hope for Heroes 5K

Hope for Heroes 5K shows support for veterans. Proceeds help The Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri share food and bring hope to veterans in need, including through the VIP Veteran Pack Program. This program provides support to veterans living below the poverty line by providing food and toiletries. June 23, 8 a.m., Cosmo Park, $20, 864-8200

05.17.18–06.27.18 |



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Vox Magazine 5.17.18  
Vox Magazine 5.17.18