Celebrate the city's literary heritage — and current wealth of authorial talent — at Lit in the Lou. Check out the newly reconfigured Oktoberfest in Soulard. Or even drop by 4 Hands Brewery for some good old-fashioned wrasslin' (and tunes, and food). You won't need a costume to partake in all this weekend has to offer. So what could you possibly be waiting for?
See also: The RFT's Complete Guide to Halloween 2016
Here are our weekend top picks.
1. Partake in Lit in the Lou (or maybe just the pub crawl part)
St. Louis is a literary city. We have two strong library systems, a double handful of great independent bookstores and several long-running reading series. Adding to our bibliophilic wealth is Lit in the Lou, a celebration of authors and writers. This year's format is slightly different. Lit in the Lou opens with an opening ceremony at 7 p.m. Friday, October 21, at University City City Hall (6801 Delmar Boulevard). The event will see Patricia McKissack receive the Tradition of Literary Excellence Award. Admission is $25 and includes appetizers and live music. The book fest starts at 10 a.m. Saturday, October 22, at Jackson Park Elementary School (7400 Balson Avenue, University City) with special guest Marc Brown, author of the Arthur series of children's books. John Hendrix, Amy Sklansky, Mary Engelbreit and Bobby Norfolk will also be there, and admission is free. Also attending is Jacqueline Woodson (author of the National Book Award-winning memoir Brown Girl Dreaming), who will address young adult readers at 1:30 p.m. Admission to all events at Jackson Park is free. A literary pub crawl on the Delmar Loop rounds out the festival with authors such as Ann Leckie, Maria Balog, Jane Ellen Ibur and Qiu Xiaolong reading from their works and signing copies at businesses along the strip. The crawl starts at 5 p.m. Saturday, and tickets for it are $35; start times are staggered so you can visit all the stops. Visit www.literarystl.com for tickets and schedule information.
2. See a brand-new play at the Ivory
Holding a family together is harder than it looks, especially when tragedy strikes. Peter and Raul lead a happy life with their adopted son, Chris. When Peter's mother Emma needs help, the obligation falls to Raul, and the irascible Emma doesn't make it easy on her son-in-law. The unexpected arrival of Chris' birth father and his demand for full custody of his biological child only complicate things. Can Peter and Raul keep it together? Joe Elvis and Bart Barker's new play Famalee is about an unconventional family's fight to remain whole. Famalee is performed at 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and at 6 p.m. Sunday (October 20 to 30) at the Ivory Theatre (7620 Michigan Avenue; www.three5prod.com). Tickets are $20 to $25, with cabaret seating available for $65.
3. Enjoy a Halloween classic — with a modern score
F.W. Murnau's Nosferatu may be just a rehash of Bram Stoker's Dracula with a bestial monster in place of the suave vampire, but it's a rehash with impeccable style. The silent film is moody and atmospheric, and Max Schreck's legendary performance as the foul Count Orlock is supremely eerie. It's even better with a new soundtrack. The Invincible Czars is an Austin, Texas, band that has composed a modern score for the film that incorporates violin, music box, glockenspiel and several other unusual instruments. Their music also interpolates Bela Bartok's Romanian Folk Dances. The band also encourage the audience to dress in Halloween-appropriate outfits for the screening; it should be an incredible night of sound and vision. It all takes place at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 22, at Webster University's Moore Auditorium (470 East Lockwood Avenue, Webster Groves; www.webster.edu/film-series). Tickets are $10.
Turn the page for more weekend fun, including a new (to the Lou) musical.
5. See what this Oktoberfest thing is all about
Oktoberfest in Soulard is going to be a little different. It's now a fundraiser for the Soulard Business Association, the Soulard Restoration Group and the Soulard School. It still includes a lot of beer and food, plus German music and dancers, same as always. New this year is the OcTUBAfest, which is a performance by low brass musicians of all ages and skill levels. This family-friendly Oktoberfest takes place from 5 p.m. to midnight Friday and 11 a.m. to midnight Saturday (October 21 and 22) at Soulard Farmer's Market (Lafayette Avenue and South Ninth Street; soulard.ticketleap.com). Admission is free. Tickets for the VIP tent, which is only open on Saturday, are $10.