2. See an Arthur Miller classic at the Rep
World War II has been won and done for just over a year, and Joe Keller's life still hasn't returned to normal. There is the pain of his missing older son Larry, presumed by most to be killed in action at this point, but Joe's wife Kate refuses to give up hope. There's also the matter of Joe's former business partner Steve, still in prison for shipping defective engine parts to the military. The corners cut by their factory resulted in the deaths of 21 American pilots, and the stain of it still clings to Joe. When his second son, Chris, proposes marriage to Steve's daughter Ann, Joe's life begins to fall apart. Arthur Miller's tragedy All My Sons is a stark look at the failures of a man who has the appearance of decency but not the morals. The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis continues its season with All My Sons. Performances take place Tuesday through Sunday (January 6 to 29) at the Loretto-Hilton Center (130 Edgar Road; www.repstl.org). Tickets are $18 to $81.50.
4. Get new insight into dying at Webster U
Cancer, AIDS and many other diseases are not always a death sentence, thanks to advances in medicine — but for some people, all medicine can do is delay the inevitable. How can you go on living knowing that each passing day means the inevitable is that much closer? Director Amy Hardie spent three years filming six hospice patients approaching the end of their lives for her documentary Seven Songs for a Long Life. These six people faced death with a song on their lips thanks to a nurse who enjoyed singing. Over the course of the film they deal with the pressures of writing a will and finding someone to care for a child by escaping their sense of helplessness through song. Seven Songs for a Long Life is a reminder that death waits for us all, and how we spend our time is the only thing we can actually control as that day approaches. The film screens as part of the Webster Film Series at 7:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday (January 6 to 8) at Webster University's Moore Auditorium (470 East Lockwood Avenue; www.webster.edu/film-series). Tickets are $5 to $7.
And, for a bonus, here's what to do on Wednesday....
6. See a film about Star Wars toys
It's hard to believe now, but back when the original Star Wars was released many toy companies wanted no part of the merchandising rights. Who'd buy toys for a lowly science-fiction film? It turned out many millions of people would happily do so. Director Brian Stillman's documentary Plastic Galaxy: The Story of Star Wars Toys takes you deep into the workings of Kenner Toys, manufacturer of the thousands of variations of action figures, space ships and playsets, to hear from designers how they made those earliest figures. Stillman also meets with several rabid collectors and films their prize pieces as the. Along the way you learn how Star Wars toys transformed the market for film toys and merchandising tie-ins, for better and for worse. Plastic Galaxy screens at 7 p.m. at the Missouri History Museum (Lindell Boulevard and DeBaliviere Avenue; www.mohistory.org) as part of the museum's current exhibition, Toys of the '50s, '60s and '70s. Admission is free.
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