COURTESY OF SCHLAFLY
Schlafly's Art Outside celebrates St. Louis artists this weekend.
It's Memorial Day weekend at long last. Save room between the picnics and the BBQs for some of these great events.
Dance St. Louis presents a smorgasbord of dance this weekend with the return of the Spring to Dance festival
. More than 30 companies specializing in tap, ballet, contemporary and folk dance perform during the festival, which runs from Thursday to Saturday (May 23 to 25) at the Touhill Performing Arts Center on the University of Missouri-St. Louis campus (1 University Drive at Natural Bridge Road; www.touhill.org
). Each night starts with a free half-hour show in the lobby, followed by a 6 p.m. set in the Lee Theatre (tickets are only $5). The evening is capped off with a 7:30 p.m. show in the Anheuser-Busch Performance Hall (tickets are $20 to $35). For the low price of $25, you can see a minimum of eleven companies each night — that's a bargain.
2. Bird Watching
May has been kicking the St. Louis Cardinals
in the teeth, at least in the early going. Most of the grumbles will cease if the team can string together some wins to end the month and get a good jump on June. This Memorial Day weekend the Redbirds play a home series against the Atlanta Braves, which is damn convenient. The two teams played in Atlanta last week and the Braves won two of three; there's no better time to snatch three wins back. The Cards and Braves play at 7:15 p.m. Friday, 6:15 p.m. Saturday and 6:05 p.m. Sunday (May 24 to 26) at Busch Stadium (700 Clark Avenue; www.stlcardinals.com
). Tickets are $10.90 to $325.90.
3. A Close Shave
There's nothing more romantic than a late spring wedding, which is exactly why the maid Susana and the barber Figaro plan to get married on a lovely May evening. Their master, Count Almaviva, certainly plans to enjoy himself. The count has a scheme to bed Susana before the wedding, which many would consider poor form. But in Mozart's brilliant comic opera The Marriage of Figaro
, the louche nobleman is a horny fool who will be neatly duped by the two lovers, each of whom has their own plan to leave him sitting on his hands. Opera Theatre St. Louis opens its new season with the crowd-pleasing show. The Marriage of Figaro
opens at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 25, at the Loretto-Hilton Center (130 Edgar Road; www.opera-stl.org
), and is then performed in repertory seven more times through
4. Do it for the Kids
COURTESY OF DANCE ST. LOUIS
Water Street Dance Company Milwaukee performs at this year's Spring to Dance Festival.
St. Louis' oft-delayed spring has finally shown itself, bringing with it patio dining, picnics and an end to coats and mittens. Urban Chestnut's Midtown location (3229 Washington Avenue; www.urbanchestnut.com
) officially welcomes the season with Maifest
. The traditional German celebration of good weather and outside livin' once again features live music, spring BBQ, a healthy lineup of strong Bock-style beers and baby goats. That's right, baby goats, perfect for petting and photo ops. Maifest starts at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 25, and admission is free. If you buy a commemorative tasting glass, you'll receive discounted refills — but under no circumstances should you share beer with the goats. They're underage, and you'll go to jail.
5. Arty Party
Way back in 2004, Schlafly's Art Outside
started as a home-grown art festival full of local bands, local food and drink and local artists. Now it's in its sixteenth year, and everything remains the same. More than 65 artists who live within a 125-mile radius will be in tents on the parking lot in front of Schlafly Bottleworks (7260 Southwest Boulevard, Maplewood; www.schlafly.com
), selling everything from William McKenney's scratch-built robots made from recycled materials to Sennit + Sauvage's handmade clothing and women's accessories. You'll find fine prints, ceramics, fine- and pop-art photography and even unkillable plants from the Happy Houseplant (they're made of felt). Local bands perform all three days, and Schlafly staff will be serving up select food and beer items right on the lot (the full menu is available inside). New this year is Schlafly's Uncaged Ale in cans, sales of which will benefit the Animal Protective Association of America. If your dog is friendly in large crowds, you can bring him along and get a "puppy pawtrait," made with his paws and non-toxic paint. Art Outside takes place from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday (May 24 to 26). Admission is free.
6. Up the Greek
KEN HOWARD FOR OPERA THEATRE ST. LOUIS
A scene from Opera Theatre St. Louis' 2010 production of The Marriage of Figaro, which opens the new season on Saturday.
How do you know when summer starts and ends in St. Louis? Easy: Check the Greek festival location. The St. Louis County Greek Festival
at Assumption Greek Orthodox Church (1755 Des Peres Road, Town & Country; www.stlouisgreekfest.com
) is the starter pistol for summer, while the Greek festival in the city is the checkered flag. Start the sweaty season the right way, with a veritable Mt. Olympus of Greek food, live music and folk dancing, a kids corner with a bounce house, and a traditional Old World market offering Hellenic souvenirs, jewelry and even groceries. The St. Louis County Greek Festival is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday through Sunday, and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday (May 24 to 27). Admission is free, but bring your wallet — you can't smell roast lamb shanks and not buy some, no matter how tough you think you are.
7. Vow, Schmow
A little corner of Forest Park becomes a Spanish kingdom this summer when Shakespeare Festival St. Louis presents Love's Labour's Lost
. King Ferdinand of Navarre and his intimates Berowne, Dumaine and Longaville all jointly swear off the company of women for three years to better themselves through fasting and study. This oath immediately becomes a problem when the Princess of France and her ladies arrive in Navarre to negotiate for the return of some French property currently in Navarre's possession. The noblewomen are forced to set up camp outside the court to honor Ferdinand's pledge, but the sanctity of the vow is sorely tested when Ferdinand goes out to visit with the lovely princess. Secret letters are soon exchanged and disguises are worn so that love may follow its natural course. Love's Labour's Lost
is performed under the trees of Shakespeare Glen (Fine Arts and Government drives; www.sfstl.com
) at 8 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday (May 29 to June 23). Admission is free, and food and drink will be available on site so you can make a night of it.
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