2. Catch a smart play in Webster Groves
Andrew Lippa and Tom Greenwald's musical John & Jen is the story of a young woman who vows to protect her little brother from their abusive father during childhood, but finds that keeping her promise means never engaging with her own best future. Her choice ultimately costs Jen her brother John, but she gets a second chance with her own son, also named John. But too often history repeats itself, and it's difficult if not impossible to escape the curse of turning into your own parents. This is an unusual musical that explores the stages of womanhood and the familiar but always strange terrain of brother-sister relationships, as well as the mother-son dynamic. Insight Theatre Company presents John & Jen at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday (July 15 to 31) at the Heagney Theatre (530 East Lockwood Avenue, Webster Groves; www.insighttheatrecompany.com). Tickets are $10 to $35.
3. Remember what Stallone used to look like on Art Hill
The theme of this year's Art Hill Film Series is the American spirit," which is elucidated by four classic films. This week's selection is the original Rocky, which explores the American dream through the life of Sylvester Stallone's poor but proud Philadelphia boxer. It's a story about an underdog who learns you can't sacrifice love in your quest to be the best, because if you're knocked off the mountain before you get to the top it's good to have someone to catch you before you hit the bottom. Rocky is screened outdoors on Forest Park's Art Hill, directly in front of the Saint Louis Art Museum (www.slam.org). A host of food trucks will be parked nearby, ready to serve you everything from sliders to donuts to sausages from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Friday. There is also an art project for adults and a DJ spinning. The film starts at 9 p.m. and admission is free, but bring money or your bank card of choice to buy treats.
4. See naked people cycling ... or join them!
The World Naked Bike Ride is more than just the perfect opportunity to bicycle al fresco with a large group of like-minded people. It's the most cheerful protest against oil-dependency you'll ever see, and it's also a celebration of the human body in all its myriad shapes, colors and styles. You'll witness mastectomy scars, body hair, tattoos both beautiful and not-so-great, cellulite and stretch marks; but what you'll remember are the smiles and how everyone looks great in their birthday suit. The World Naked Bike Ride sets up along Manchester Avenue between Sarah Street and Kentucky Avenue in the Grove. The pre-party starts at 5 p.m. Saturday, and riders take off at 7 p.m. Admission is free, and for more information, visit www.wnbrstl.org.
Turn the page for more fun events in St. Louis this week.
6. Check out some up-and-comers at the Tivoli
The St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase returns with 88 new films (feature-length and shorts) written, directed, edited or produced by St. Louisans or set in St. Louis. This year's installment is spread across five days (July 17 to 21) at the Landmark Tivoli Theatre (6350 Delmar Boulevard, University City; www.cinemastlouis.org), with the opening show a block of documentary shorts. Mark Clark and Quinsonta Boyd's "The Delmar Connection" looks at the history of the street that divides the haves from the have-nots. "Profiling Race — Mike Higgins" is Matthew Seilback's biography of Mike Higgins, who grew up in St. Louis, joined the Army, served as a pastor and is now a member of the Black Lives Matter movement. The doc shorts program starts at 12:15 p.m. Sunday, July 17. Tickets are free, but you still need to pick one up at the box office.
7. Enjoy some inspired theme nights at Busch Stadium
The Cardinals are not having a banner year, but the teams promotions department is knocking it out of the park. This week's series of games against the San Diego Padres takes place at 7:15 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and at 6:15 p.m. Thursday (July 18 to 21), and all four games include a fun giveaway. Monday's game is American Girl Night, and your special theme-night ticket will get you a Cardinals shirt for your American Girl doll. Tuesday night is a Bud Bash for Brad Thompson, with a bobblehead of the 2006 World Series hurler going to fans who purchase a theme-night ticket. Wednesday is Star Wars Night, meaning there's a free t-shirt with special ticket purchase, and Thursday is Christmas in July; you get a Cardinals stocking cap at that one. All games are at Busch Stadium, and standard tickets are $10.90 to $210.90. Theme night tickets are in the $130 to $200 range.
8. LOL at some short funny films
The St. Louis Filmmakers Festival comedy shorts block features a wide range of short films, from quick-hits (Zak Zych's two-minute "Snottington University") to longer pieces that tell a complete story, such as Joseph Puleo's "Top Son," a fourteen-minute mini-epic that follows a 30-year-old Tom Cruise impersonator who tries to hit the big time by entering a talent competition. In between are a noir drama about the Easter Bunny (Seth Ferranti's "Easter Bunny Assassin") and Michelle Davidson's "The Perfect Note," which is a musical about a magical piano. The comedy shorts program starts at 9:30 p.m. tonight at the Landmark Tivoli Theatre (6350 Delmar Boulevard, University City; www.cinemastlouis.org). Tickets are $10 to $13.