6 Things to Do in St. Louis This Week for $20 or Less

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Enter the Dragon plays at the Tivoli this weekend. - C1973 WARNER BROS
  • c1973 WARNER BROS
  • Enter the Dragon plays at the Tivoli this weekend.
You could spend the weekend moping around about the heat — or you could get out there and have some fun. From a kung fu classic at the Tivoli to a pair of interesting plays, the next few days offer plenty of options.

Best of all: Not one of these events will break the bank. Why not plan to check out a few?

Here are this week's top picks.

1. See a midnight film at the Tivoli
Bruce Lee didn't just cement his own status as a cinematic martial arts legend with Enter the Dragon. The spy thriller also launched the great Jim Kelly's film career and gave some early Western exposure to "Chinese Hercules" Bolo Yeung and the uncredited Jackie Chan as a minor thug. Set aside the film's historical significance, though, and you still have an incredible action flick. Lee, Kelly and John Saxon all infiltrate the island of the menacing Han (Kien Shih) to enter his martial arts tournament. Lee is there at the behest of the British government, which believes Han is an opium magnate. The other two are there to back him up and beat down anybody who gets in their way. Enter the Dragon is screened at midnight Friday and Saturday (August 12 and 13) at the Landmark Tivoli Theatre (6350 Delmar Boulevard, University City; www.landmarktheatres.com) as part of the Reel Late Series. Tickets are $8.

2. See Andrew Lloyd Webber in a whole new way
Andrew Lloyd Webber may be synonymous with big-cast, bigger-budget musicals, but he wasn't always that way. His rarely-produced show
Tell Me on a Sunday is an intimate, one-woman show — that's technically the smallest cast possible. The 1979 production is about a girl from North London who comes to America with hopes of finding happiness and a green card, only to discover that American men (and American culture) can alter you in subtle ways. Sarah Porter stars as Emma in New Line Theatre's season-ending performance of Tell Me on a Sunday. It's performed at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday (August 11 to 27) at the Marcelle Theater (3310 Samuel Shepard Drive; www.newlinetheatre.comwww.newlinetheatre.com). Tickets are $15 to $25.


3. Celebrate the Missouri Historical Society
St. Louisans are fascinated by history. The World's Fair, Lewis & Clark, Route 66 — these moments in our shared past make us who we are today. So it's not surprising that the earliest St. Louisans shared the same passion. In 1866 a group of concerned citizens met at the Old Courthouse to figure out the best way to preserve the stories and artifacts from the city's earliest days. Those 47 people voted to found a historical society. One hundred and fifty years later, we're still benefiting from that decision. The Missouri Historical Society operates the outstanding Missouri History Museum and its vital Library and Research Center, maintaining our links to the past and helping us understand why it matters. The Missouri Historical Society celebrates 150 years of hard work and enlightenment today from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Missouri History Museum (Lindell Boulevard and DeBaliviere Avenue; www.mohistory.org). There will be tours of the museum, scavenger hunts, a special presentation on the early days of the society's work and its continuing endeavors, and cake (while it lasts). Admission is free.


4. Enjoy a theater classic

Bert Cates teaches his high school class about the theory of evolution, an act that's illegal in his unnamed home state in the 1920s. The great orator Matthew Harrison Brady comes to town to prosecute the case, while famous attorney Henry Drummond offers to defend Cates. The outcome is never in doubt, but Drummond takes a heroic stand in defense of intellectual freedom and the rights of man to exercise free will. Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee's drama
Inherit the Wind fictionalizes the Scopes Monkey Trial, but the play is built on the bones of the McCarthy witch hunts. Insight Theatre Company closes its current season with Inherit the Wind. Performances are at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday (August 12 to 28) at the Heagney Theatre (530 East Lockwood Avenue, Webster Groves; www.insighttheatrecompany.com). Tickets are $10 to $35.


5. Peruse some art off South Grand

Formerly known as the Turner Center for the Arts, Artists First is a local non-profit that provides arts outreach for people with developmental disabilities, brain injuries and mental illness. The goal is to give its clients a voice through creative self-expression. You can see (and buy, hint hint) their work today at the Artists First Rockin' the Ritz benefit. If the weather cooperates, the paintings and drawings will be displayed between 3 and 8 p.m. in Ritz Park (3147 South Grand Avenue; www.artistsfirststl.org), where local musicians DinoFight!, Accelerando and DJ Meek 9 perform with several other acts. In case of rain, the art will hang in Mangia Italiano. The restaurant donates 25 percent of the day's proceeds to Artists First regardless of the weather. And don't miss Michael Weidle's stand-up act; Weidle is a double threat, working in both visual art (he has work in the show) and comedy. Admission to Rockin' the Ritz is free.


6. Enjoy some local noir
After years of promoting the modern resurgence of noir fiction in bars, coffee shops and book stores, Noir at the Bar St. Louis founders Jed Ayers and Scott Phillips have moved up to the big time: St. Louis Noir, the first anthology of hard-boiled writing by local authors, is on shelves now. Phillips served as editor and anthologizer for the book, which has stories set in the gritty environs of Dogtown, the Ville, Sauget and Frontenac. The St. Louis County Library Foundation and long-time noir supporter Subterranean Books celebrate the release of St. Louis Noir tonight at 7 p.m. at the St. Louis County Library Headquarters (1640 South Lindbergh Boulevard; www.slcl.org). Contributors S.L. Coney, John Lutz and Ayres read from the book and sign autographs, and books will be sold on-site by Subterranean. Phillips serves as emcee. Admission is free, but bring money to buy a book and support local authors.


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