1. Watch some Dance for Food
The holiday season is over, but hunger never takes a break. A host of professional and amateur dance companies have banded together with Artists for a Cause to support Operation Food Search and Food Outreach with Dance for Food. MADCO, Ashleyliane Dance Company, Dance Society of Kirkwood and the students of Grand Center Arts Academy take the stage at 7 p.m. Thursday, January 18, at the Grandel Theatre (3610 Grandel Square; www.kranzbergartsfoundation.org). Admission is any donation of nonperishable food (maybe be generous). At 7 p.m. the following Thursday, January 25, Big Muddy Dance Company, WUDance Collective, Convergence and others show you their stuff; again, bring more nonperishable foodstuffs.
2. Celebrate the art of Trenton Doyle Hancock at CAM
Drawing inspiration from the morality tales of cartoons (a cat is always bad, but birds or mice are good; dogs also are heroes), comic books (equally flamboyant bad guys and good guys), video games and films, Trenton Doyle Hancock created his own private universe, one in which the Mounds (half-plant, half-animal, all-good living forest) and the Vegans (they eat Mounds!) endlessly battle it out for supremacy. Both Coonbear and Bringback, a henchman in a striped unitard, are part of the battle, because they're also some part of Hancock. Politics, race, class, identity and issues of social justice are hidden in these stories, just like Sun Ra's own fully scored space operas in the jazz world. Trenton Doyle Hancock: The Re-Evolving Door to the Moundverse is a collection of these drawings, sculptures and prints that show part of the eternal struggle of good and evil, right and wrong, moral and immoral. The Re-Evolving Door to the Moundverse opens with a free reception at 7 p.m. Friday, January 19, at Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (3750 Washington Boulevard; www.camstl.org). Hancock will discuss the Moundverse and his work at 11 a.m. Saturday, January 20. The show continues through April 22, and the gallery is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Admission is free.
3. Explore the beauty supply shop at the Luminary
For young black women, beauty supply shops provide their first real creative outlet. Keeping up with the latest trends allows them to learn how to protect and care, use makeup and get pointers from older women. It's a communal experience that the rest of us seldom, if ever, experience. In her art, Katherine Simóne Reynolds explores how commerce and her community meet in these shops every Friday night. Her new exhibition, Mane 'n Tail, shows her work and also has artists LaKela Brown, Narcissister and Rachel Youn interpreting this idea. Mane 'n Tail opens with a free reception from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, January 19, at the the Luminary (2701 Cherokee Street; www.theluminaryarts.com) and continues through March 8.
5. Get frisky at Ballpark Village's Winter Luau
Aloha, ohana. If the cold sleet and gray days have got you down, you need to get lei'd. The Winter Luau from from 8 to 11 p.m. Saturday, January 20, at the Budweiser Brew House at Ballpark Village (601 Clark Avenue; www.stlballparkvillage.com) might be just the ticket. Admission is free, and there are drink specials on Bud Light and Blue Hawaiians, along with deadly shot selections all night long. You get a lei if you arrive early; if you stay late, you'll want to make sure you stretch out your legs and back for the midnight limbo contest.
6. Drink up at Urban Chestnut's Wolpertinger festival
Urban Chestnut hosts the seventh iteration of its wildly popular Wolpertinger festival, which this year offers samplin' beers from more than 35 local breweries (how strong is our craft brewery scene? It's Hulking huge, maaaaan!) and special guest stars La Cumbre Brewing Company from Albuquerque. You like a deep flavor profile? Check out the New Mexico visitor's lineup at www.lacumbrebrewing.com. And of course Wolpi the Wolpertinger, who is something like a Deutsche jackalope and is a cute li'l fella, will arrive from the Black Forest to crack open this year's special brew. The party takes place from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, January 21, at the Urban Chestnut Grove Brewery & Bierhall (4465 Manchester Avenue; www.urbanchestnut.com). Tickets are $40.
7. See a legal thrilled at the Rep
It's been said that no one is more zealous than a convert. Susie Glenn bears out the truth of that. Glenn is your typical white, eighteen-year-old girl. But then she does some online reading in the wrong forums and becomes a radicalized Muslim, deeply committed to perpetrating acts of terrorism on American soil. And then she meets Claire Fathi, her prosecutor, a Harvard-educated lawyer who lives and breathes her Muslim faith. How can Susie prove Claire is doing Islam the wrong way? Can Claire show Susie the error of her ways — and mete out punishment at the same time? Encounters like this happen between Christians every day; Susie is in for a whole new realm of terror. Chicago playwright Selina Fillinger's Faceless is a legal thriller with two souls at stake: prosecutor and defendant. The Repertory Theatre St. Louis presents Faceless at the Loretto-Hilton Center (130 Edgar Road; www.repstl.org). Performances are Tuesday through Sunday (January 19 to February 4). Tickets are $45 to $69.50.