7 Things to Do This Week in St. Louis for $15 or Less

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The Randy Dandies say farewell this Friday.
  • The Randy Dandies say farewell this Friday.

If you measure "summer" as running from Memorial Day to Labor Day, this is the last full week of summer. Good thing it's filled with great things to do. From burlesque to the Festival of Nations, from a new show at COCA to a fascinating fan film, this week has it all going on — and a whole lot of isn't just cheap, it's absolutely free.

Here are our picks for the week's best things to do.

1. Say goodbye to a burlesque troupe at Atomic Cowboy
Summer is coming to an end, and so are the Randy Dandies. The St. Louis burlesque troupe calls it a day with a return visit to Camp Lik-a-Twa-Ta-Lotta. The camp is broke and the counselors are running out of options to save the day. Meanwhile, the rich kids across the lake at Camp Kik-A-Dong still have everything. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and those Lik-a-Twa-Ta-Lotta gals and guys fight dirty. Expect shenanigans in Camp Lik-a-Twa-Ta-Lotta 2: Beating Around the Bush, which takes place at 9 p.m. Friday at the Bootleg at Atomic Cowboy (4140 Manchester Avenue; www.atomiccowboystl.com). Get there at 8 p.m. to see Narvel P. Tuffnuts' hot dog eating contest and Blyre Cpanx's hula hoop competition. Tuba-and-ukelele duo Sophisticated Babies round out the pre-show fun. Tickets are just $15.

2. See a play at the Ivory Theatre
The wealthy Geronte is sadly dying. He's very old, and he's been dying for a long time now, but this is surely the end. Still, he bravely soldiers on with his plan to wed the lissome Isabelle. But Isabelle loves Eraste, Gerona's upstanding and penniless would-be heir. Their plan was to wait out the old man and then live happily ever after on Eraste's inherited wealth. Now what? Geronte's servant Lisette conspires with the youngsters and Eraste's servant Crispin to make sure their dream wedding comes true — and if Geronte has to die, let him die. David Ives' witty update of
The Heir Apparent, a little-known French farce written by the even lesser-known Jean-François Regnard, took Off-Broadway by storm in 2014. Now St. Louis Shakespeare presents The Heir Apparent at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday (August 26 to September 4) at the Ivory Theatre (7620 Michigan Avenue; www.stlshakespeare.org). There is one 7:30 p.m. show on Thursday, September 1. Tickets are $15 to $20.


3. Remember recent history with a new art show at COCA
In the aftermath of the unrest following the death of Michael Brown, artists of all skill levels and backgrounds came together to transform the boarded-up storefronts in Ferguson and along South Grand through the power of art. Those blank plywood facades went from being grim reminders of our failings to colorful and hopeful signposts on the way to reconciliation and mutual empathy. Those original murals of doves and mandalas and affirmations of peace and community were taken down and preserved during the rebuilding process so that they could go on display at a later date. The time is now. Outside In: Paint for Peace, the new exhibition in the Millstone Gallery at the Center of Creative Arts (524 Trinity Avenue, University City; www.cocastl.org), is a selection of those Ferguson murals. More of them will be displayed concurrently at the Ferguson Youth Initiative, Missouri History Museum, Vaughn Cultural Center, University of Missouri-St. Louis' Gallery 210 and the Sheldon. Outside In: Paint for Peace remains up at COCA from August 27 to October 30. Admission is free.

4. See an homage to Indiana Jones at Webster U
How much do you love your favorite movie? Can you quote it all the way through? Do you dress up as your favorite character for Halloween? No matter how great your love for Mannequin (we're assuming here), Chris Strompolos, Eric Zala and Jayson Lamb loved Raiders of the Lost Ark even more. The trio channeled that love into a shot-for-shot recreation of the film — as twelve-year-old kids. With Strompolos as Indiana Jones, Zala doubling as producer and the villainous Belloq, and Lamb serving as cinematographer, the trio spent the next seven summers finishing their version of the film. All that was missing was the fight between Indy and the hulking Nazi underneath and on the Flying Wing. Twenty-five years later, the boys returned with a Kickstarter campaign to raise the necessary funds to get that final shot. It sounds insane, but it's all true. Jeremy Coon and Tim Skousen reveal the truth behind the childhood obsession in the documentary Raiders! The Greatest Fan Film Ever Made. The doc is part of a double feature with the boys' summer project, Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation, at the Webster Film Series. Screenings take place at 7:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday (August 26 to September 4) at Webster University's Moore Auditorium (470 East Lockwood Avenue; www.webster.edu/film-series). Tickets are $4 to $6.

Turn the page for more great events, including a free festival.
The International Institute's Festival of Nations takes places this Saturday and Sunday in Tower Grove Park.
  • The International Institute's Festival of Nations takes places this Saturday and Sunday in Tower Grove Park.

5. Enjoy one of the city's best festivals in Tower Grove Park
It's no secret that the International Institute's Festival of Nations is one of the best two-day parties in the city. With more than 40 booths serving dishes from around the world, live music and dance from places as diverse as Mexico (Mariachi Nuevo Azteca), North and West Africa (Tribe Azuka) and Bulgaria (the Bulgarian School of St. Louis), along with a marketplace selling things you've never seen before and yet can suddenly not imagine living without, the Festival of Nations celebrates the great American rite of immigration. Many of the people on stage and working the booths are new Americans or in the process of becoming Americans, just like those of us who were born here. Come on down and meet the new neighbors — they're just like us, having fun at the Festival of Nations. The festival is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday (August 27 and 28) at Tower Grove Park (4256 Magnolia Avenue; www.festivalofnationsstl.org). Admission is free.

6. Get a sneak peek at Kevin Smith's new film
Kevin Smith left Jersey behind in his last few films (the Canadian horror flick Tusk, and the teens vs. religious fundamentalists thriller Red State), with mixed results. He returns to Canada for his new film Yoga Hosers, which stars Harley Quinn Smith (his daughter) and Lily-Rose Depp (daughter of Johnny) as Colleen McKenzie and Colleen Collette, a pair of sophomores who just want to go to the senior dance. The two Colleens work in a Winnipeg convenience store, play in a band and spend a lot of time on their phones. But when they discover an ancient evil lurking underneath the store, they realize it's up to them to save Manitoba. A special screening of Yoga Hosers takes place at 7 p.m. tonight at the Wehrenberg Ronnies 20 Cine (5320 South Lindbergh Boulevard; www.fathomevents.com), prior to the film's general release. Tickets are $15.


7. Visit the big top for some of that circus magic

The St. Louis region has long been a stop on UniverSoul Circus' never-ending tour of the world. But this year the circus will set up in downtown St. Louis in addition to playing its traditional stand at Jamestown Mall. From Wednesday through Monday (August 31 to September 5), the UniverSoul tent will be staked out on the parking lot at 111 North Broadway (www.universoulcircus.org). Ringmaster Lucky Malatsi, the multi-talented acrobat, dancer and contortionist, welcomes you to an evening of family-friendly fun ranging from a Chilean comedy dog act to the Airborne Motorcycles of California. There are two shows daily; see the website for details. Tickets are $15 to $35.

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