The Best Things to Do in St. Louis This Weekend, July 19 to 21

by

comment
It's World Naked Bike Ride weekend. - SARA BANNOURA
  • SARA BANNOURA
  • It's World Naked Bike Ride weekend.

It's gonna be hotter than hell this weekend, which means the World Naked Bike Ride participants may be a little more naked than usual, just for comfort's sake. If you're not comfortable being in your all-together in public, there are quite a few indoors things to do this weekend as well — read on!

1. More Fresh Plays
The first half of this year's LaBute New Theater Festival was absolutely outstanding. Can the second set of plays top it? There's only one way to find out. Neil LaBute's funny and scathing "Great Negro Works of Art" closes this half of the fest, which also includes Richard Curtis' "Predilections," Joseph Krawczyk's "Henrietta" and "Sisyphus and Icarus a Love story" by William Ivor Fawkes. All four plays are performed and directed by working St. Louis actors. The second half of LaBute fest runs 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and at 3 p.m. Sunday (July 19 to 28) at the Gaslight Theater (358 North Boyle Avenue; www.stlas.org). Tickets are $30 to $35.

2. Bohemian Grove
You're going to see it all at the World Naked Bike Ride St. Louis. Odd tattoos, wrinkles, body hair, scars, tan lines and happy people. They're riding to protest America's oil dependence, and also because with St. Louis' humidity, the best thing to wear is as little as possible. Riders will start gathering in the Grove (between Sarah Street and Kentucky Avenue along Manchester Avenue; www.wnbrstl.org) at 4 p.m. Saturday, July 20, for body painting and pre-ride mingling, with the first riders departing at 6 p.m. This year's route is a ten-mile loop out and back to the starting point; it's suggested you ride leisurely with the group and don't race ahead. New Orleans' TV Pole Shine provides the music for the after-party, which officially runs until 11 p.m. It's free to ride, although donations are welcome.

3. Toothy Theater
Steven Spielberg's Jaws was the first of the huge summer blockbusters, which is why it's perfect for the intentionally low-budget paws of Magic Smoking Monkey. The theater company specializes in recreating (sorta) a film live on stage in about 60 minutes. The bigger the original's special effects budget, the funnier the Magic Smoking Monkey version becomes, thanks to cardboard sets, dollar-store props and the actors' wild-eyed willingness to try anything for a laugh. Performances of Jaws: The Parody are at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday (July 19 to 21), 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday (July 24 and 25) and at 8:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday (July 26 to 27). The Regional Arts Commission (6128 Delmar Boulevard; www.stlshakespeare.org) stands in for the beach town of Amity Island, and tickets are $10 to $15.



Paul Gauguin, French, 1848–1903; Reclining Tahitian Women, or The Amusement of the Evil Spirit (Arearea no varua ino), 1894; oil on canvas; 23 5/8 x 38 9/16 inches; Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen MIN 1832
  • Paul Gauguin, French, 1848–1903; Reclining Tahitian Women, or The Amusement of the Evil Spirit (Arearea no varua ino), 1894; oil on canvas; 23 5/8 x 38 9/16 inches; Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen MIN 1832

4. A Life's Work
While Paul Gauguin is perhaps best known for his lush paintings of Tahiti, he was an inveterate experimenter (as most artists are). Gauguin's prodigious output in all media is showcased in the new exhibition at Saint Louis Art Museum (1 Fine Arts Drive; www.slam.org), Paul Gauguin: The Art of Invention. Built around a loan of 55 pieces by Danish institution Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, The Art of Invention includes examples of Gauguin's early Impressionist works, woodcarvings, prints, sculptures and writings. It includes a rare edition of the artist's manuscript Modern Thought and Catholicism, which was gifted to the museum by actor and art collector Vincent Price. The Art of Invention is on display in the main exhibition gallery Tuesday through Sunday (July 21 to September 15). Admission is $6 to $15, and free on Fridays.

5. Gotta Dance
All new kid in town Ren McCormack wants to do is dance, but that's not allowed in the small town of Bomont, thanks to the Reverend Moore. Moore's daughter, Ariel, is intrigued by this brash hoofer, but her loutish boyfriend Chuck likes that even less than her father does. What's a kid from the big city have to do to break free? Footloose the Musical is based on the teen flick from the 1980s, and features several of the big hits from the film ("Footloose," "Holdin' Out for a Hero," "Let's Hear it for the Boy"). The Muny presents Footloose at 8:15 p.m. Thursday through Wednesday (July 18 to 24) at the Muny in Forest Park (www.muny.org). Tickets are $15 to $105.

6. What Was the Word?
The Jim Jacobs/Warren Casey musical Grease is a loving tribute to the music of the 1950s and the golden age of teenage hijinks. The T-Birds are all about girls, cars and some light troublemaking. The Pink Ladies are their gals of choice, but that changes for de facto leader Danny Zuko when his summer crush, Sandy, enrolls in Rydell High with him. Danny pretended to be sophisticated and mature with Sandy, and the T-Birds aren't. Will Danny change to win back Sandy? The T-Birds hope not, but stranger things have happened. Stages St. Louis presents Grease Tuesday through Sunday (July 19 to August 18) at the Robert G. Reim Theatre (111 South Geyer Road; www.stagesstlouis.org). Tickets are $25 to $65.
  • Sign up for our weekly newsletters to get the latest on the news, things to do and places to eat delivered right to your inbox.
  • Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.