1. Enjoy a party at Third Degree Glass Factory
Most places that sell you glassware expect you to fill it at a later time. Third Friday: Steinfest throws that idea right out the door. This month's Third Friday at Third Degree Glass Factory (5200 Delmar Boulevard; 314-367-4527 or www.stlglass.com) features a sale of handmade, blown glass beer steins — and purchase of one gets you two beers from Urban Chestnut the same night. Take that, convention! Of course, this being a Third Friday party means there will also be food (the Completely Sauced food truck serves up its New Orleans-style fare), live music by Dang!, hands-on glass art activities and an art show in the East Gallery (Steven Walden's paintings of superheroes and their archenemies, Heroes and Villains). The whole shebang runs from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday and admission is free, but glass art activities cost $25 to $35.
2. See a show about the printing industry
St. Louis was the first city with a major type foundry in the Midwest, which helped St. Louis attract the printers, publishers, writers and artists who created and documented the daily life and creative output of a growing metropolis. The exhibition Cast and Recast: St. Louis Type Past and Present celebrates the historic Central Type Foundry St. Louis (1870 to 1892) with posters made by contemporary typographers and graphic designers using Ben Kiel's modern homage to the Central Type Foundry's "Geometric" typeface. Traci Moore's piece Geometrica uses the stark image of black and white fists raised together against a red background with a quote from Elie Wiesel. Misty Manley memorializes the malapropisms of Nova Scotian folk hero Ricky (from Trailer Park Boys) by enshrining them in representative icons against a subtle background of trailer park detritus in her piece, The Politics of Ricky. Cast and Recast opens with a free reception at 5 p.m. today at UMSL's Gallery 210 (44 East Drive, between the UMSL North MetroLink stop and the Touhill; 31-516-5976). The show remains up through Saturday, May 14, with the gallery open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Admission is free.
3. Watch a film about Irish history
For the Irish diaspora, the Easter Rising of 1916 remains a proud and painful event in the formation of a free and self-governed Ireland. On Easter Monday, April 24, 1916, a small band of Irish nationalists and 1,600 supporters took control of several streets in Dublin and declared independence. The British army responded with full force, and after six days the rebellion's leaders offered an unconditional surrender. Many of the leaders were then court-martialed and executed. Director Keith Farrell and Tile Films created the docudrama A Terrible Beauty/Áille un Uafáis about the Easter Rising. Using first-hand accounts from combatants on both sides of the Battle of Mount Street and the Battle of King Street plus archival footage, the film shows the human cost of the violence. A Terrible Beauty screens at 2:30 p.m. today at the Missouri History Museum (Lindell Boulevard and DeBaliviere Avenue; 314-746-4599 or www.mohistory.org), and the filmmakers will be present to answer questions afterward. Tickets are $7 to $8.
4. See opera at UMSL
English Baroque composer Henry Purcell wrote his first opera, Dido and Aeneas, at the tail end of the 17th century, and used a story from Virgil's Aeneid as his inspiration. It's old, yes, but it's also timeless. Aeneas is a dashing warrior-prince on his way to found a new city of Troy when a storm sweeps him off course to Carthage and its beautiful queen, Dido. Her sister, Belinda, thinks a marriage between these two monarchs could right the nation, but Dido is unsure. Then she meets Aeneas and thinks marriage might not be so bad. But a sorceress and her coven of witches conspire to destroy Dido and Carthage and so set their romance off course. It's a quick three-act about love, magic and betrayal, and it includes the monumentally sad and glorious aria, "When I am laid in Earth," more commonly known as "Dido's Lament." UMSL Opera Theatre presents Dido and Aeneas at 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday (March 18 to 20) at the University of Missouri-St. Louis' Touhill Performing Arts Center (1 University Boulevard at Natural Bridge Road; 314-516-4949 or www.touhill.org). Tickets are $5 to $10.
5. See more opera ... this time in U. City
Gateway Opera continues its third season with two new short operas written by women. Eva Kendrick's "The Break-Up" is about a rough night in a long-term couple's relationship. Jake asks Debbie to meet him on a night other than their usual date night, which she thinks means he's about to propose. But what Jake proposes is not exactly what Debbie's expecting. It's a contemporary look at relationships in the age of constant contact and status updates. Leanna Kirchoff's "The Clever Artifice of Harriet and Margaret" is based on Alice Gerstenberg's groundbreaking one-act play, "Overtones." Gerstenberg's play used four actresses to depict the conversation of rivals Harriet and Margaret and the emotional subtext of that conversation, which is performed by the characters Hetty and Maggie. Kirchoff uses the same conceit in her opera. "The Break-Up" and the "The Clever Artifice of Harriet and Margaret" are both performed at 8 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. Sunday (March 18 and 20) at the 560 Music Center (560 Trinity Avenue, University City; www.gatewayopera.org). Tickets are $25 and include two free drink tickets.
6. Catch a baseball-themed play at the Rep
To close out its current season, the Repertory Theatre of Saint Louis gives the people a play about the eternal lure of baseball. Trey Ellis and Ricardo Khan's Satchel Paige and the Kansas City Swing is about the king of the Negro Leagues, Satchel Paige, the star pitcher who played the game well into his fifties. But when he was a spry 42-year-old, Paige couldn't shake his regret about being passed over for the chance to break Major League Baseball's color barrier (an honor that went to the younger Jackie Robinson). When rain cancels a game in Kansas City between Paige's Negro League barnstorming team and Bob Feller's white all-stars, old professional rivals Paige and Feller gather with Paige's teammate and friend Buck O'Neil and a rookie from each team at a boarding house to talk about what might have been. And if O'Neil and Feller can talk Paige into trying out for the big leagues again, well, baseball will be the better for it. Satchel Paige and the Kansas City Swing is presented Tuesday through Sunday (March 16 to April 10) at Webster University's Loretto-Hilton Center (130 Edgar Road; 314-968-4925 or www.repstl.org). Tickets are $17.50 to $79.50.