7 Things to Do in the Lou This Weekend


Where the Wild Things Are comes to COCA this weekend. - COURTESY OF COCA
  • Where the Wild Things Are comes to COCA this weekend.

Let the wild rumpus start! This weekend is chock-full of interesting things to do, so don't let the lingering chilly temperatures hold you back. Get out there and make plans.

Interested in fine art instead of performance? We've got two picks this Friday for that as well. Or just visit a sexy bar (or two). This is your city, so why not go explore it? 

Here are six things we'd recommend for the weekend — and one can't miss happening on Monday.

1. See a children's play at COCA
Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are is a cornerstone of childhood because of its honest portrayal of anger and imagination. Max throws a tantrum and his mother punishes him by sending him to his room. But he crafts a flawless break-out plan using only his mind, dreaming of a voyage by sea to an island populated by beasts, where he can shout and dance to his heart's content. Even better, he never has to leave home, which means his favorite comforts (a mother's love and a hot meal) are there when he needs them. Vancouver's Presentation House Theatre performs its stage version of Where The Wild Things Are this week at the Center of Creative Arts (524 Trinity Avenue; 314-561-4877 or www.cocastl.org). The show is designed with young viewers in mind, and welcomes audience participation — kids can join in the grand "wild rumpus." Performances are at 4 and 6 p.m. Thursday; 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m., 2 and 5 p.m. Saturday; and 1 and 4 p.m. Sunday (April 7 to 10). Tickets are $20.

2. Check out an LGBT festival of shorts
If you want to see a play this weekend, you have options. But if you're having trouble deciding what to see, your best bet is
Briefs: A Festival of Short LGBT Plays. You'll see eight plays, most of which run about ten minutes, giving you more bang for your buck. Among those eight are "When Miss Lydia Hinkley Gives a Bird the Bird," Pulitzer nominee James Still's piece about an 1859 women's literary club; Scott C. Sickles "I Knew It," which is based on the infamous rock rumor about David Bowie and Mick Jagger being lovers; and Stephen Peirick's story about a woman and her transgender mother going shopping, "A Comfortable Fit." The full slate of plays is performed at 8 p.m. Friday, 4 and 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday (April 8 to 10) at the Rialto Ballroom (3547 Olive Street; www.uppityco.com). Tickets are $20 to $25.

3. See the premiere of a film about coming home to St. Louis
Like many young St. Louisans, Chris left his hometown to strike out on his own. But after ten years in Portland pursuing his dream of creating a hit comic book, he now has to come home. His mother is sick, and she's his only family — so Chris and his girlfriend, Anne, trek back to St. Louis to start over. At least he gets to reconnect with his old friend and fellow pop culture junkie, Brian, and an even older family friend, Rich. And maybe all this time with Mom will result in her finally telling him something about the father he's never known. Wyatt Weed and Jason Contini's feature-length film
Four Color Eulogy is about family, the hero's journey and St. Louis, but maybe not in that order. A regular in the local theater scene, Contini plays Chris in the film. His co-stars are a who's who of local actors, from Amy Loui to Zachary Allen Farmer — his dad, John Contini, is even in there as Rich. The movie debuted at the 2014 St. Louis International Film Festival, but now gets a one-week run at Wehrenberg Ronnies 20 Cine (5320 South Lindbergh Boulevard; www.fourcolorthemovie.com), starting with a red-carpet opening night at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 8. Four Color Eulogy is repeated at 2 and 7:30 p.m. daily through April 14. Tickets are $6.75 to $11.25.

4. Catch one of Shakespeare's most powerful histories
Richard III is a tale of power — the lusting after it, and the forceful application of it. At the onset of the play Richard is merely the Duke of Gloucester and his brother Edward is the King. Richard is malformed, and resents everyone in the world for always reminding him of it. And so he begins his climb to the ultimate power of kingship, so he can dispatch everyone he hates — which is pretty much everyone. He frames one brother, kills another, seduces and marries the daughter of a man he killed only to bump her off, and then begins on the next generation of would-be enemies. St. Louis Shakespeare last performed Richard III in 2004 (and before that, not since 1997), so don't miss the company's current production of the bleak history play. Performances take place at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday (April 8 to 17) at the Ivory Theatre (7620 Michigan Avenue; 314-361-5664 or www.stlshakespeare.org). Tickets are $15 to $20.

Turn the page for more weekend fun....

You know what this means.... - PHOTO BY JON GITCHOFF
  • You know what this means....

5. See a play about a road trip

Monkey Man and Bitch are on the road together, but they're not necessarily "together." He's a writer who has lost the plot of his own life; she's his ex-stepdaughter and not doing so well herself. The pair decides to undertake the great American road trip, stopping at all the expected places (Wall Drug, Yellowstone, Great Falls). Their trip is marked by sudden revelations, hostility and the growing sense that they're not heading toward some place so much as they're running from some place. West End Players Guild closes its season with Lee Blessing's drama
Great Falls. Performances take place at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday (April 8 to 17) at Union Avenue Christian Church (733 North Union Boulevard; www.westendplayers.org). Tickets are $20.

6. Catch E.T. with a big band as backup
When composing the score for Steven Spielberg's
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, John Williams was concerned with how the music could generate sympathy for the odd-looking title character. He used the ethereal sounds of harps, celestas and keyboards to emphasize E.T.'s otherworldly nature, and employed polytonality to suggest the twinned nature of Elliot and E.T.'s symbiotic relationship. The finished score won an Academy Award (along with a Grammy and a bunch of other prizes), and Williams' individual musical themes remain crowd-pleasers to this day (as witnessed at a recent RFT staff meeting, when almost everyone was able to hum the "Flying" theme when prompted). Erik Ochsner leads the Saint Louis Symphony through the full soundtrack while the film screens at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday (April 8 to 10) at Powell Hall (718 North Grand Boulevard; 314-534-1700 or www.slso.org). Tickets are $25 to $68.

... and, on Monday ....

7. Watch the best team in baseball return to Busch Stadium
It's been a few months since baseball was back in town, but the long drought is almost over. Today at 3:15 p.m., the
St. Louis Cardinals play the Milwaukee Brewers at Busch Stadium (Broadway and Poplar Street; www.stlcardinals.com). Remaining tickets are $99 to $325.90 and may be sold out by the time you finish this sentence, but that's never stopped anybody from seeing the game. There are at least a thousand bars with TVs, and your own home probably has one; if not, your work computer may double as a baseball viewing device. So what's new this year? The Cubs might be good. Pittsburgh is either going to take one small step toward relevance again, or they're going to fall out of the basement by June. Cincinnati is fueled by garbage chili and spaghetti, so they're doomed no matter what happens on the diamond. Oh, and the Cardinals — they're the home-town favorites to win it all. Only 161 games after this one, guys. Savor them all.