Ah, Heidi. The townspeople fear the worst for her. What will become of the recently orphaned youth as she is sent to live with her curmudgeonly grandpa in the farthest reaches of the Alps? There will be goats, aristocrats and emotional goodbyes, but we can say no more. To find out the rest, you have to attend the Imaginary Theatre Company's production of Heidi at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis (Loretto-Hilton Center, 130 Edgar Road, Webster Groves). Heidi's story, adapted from Johanna Spyri's children's book by Brian Hohlfeld with music and lyrics by Joe Dryer, unfolds onstage in a series of matinees that last about 50 minutes, catering to short attention spans and early naptimes.
Heidi's rendezvous with destiny occurs at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday, December 18, and at 11 a.m. on Monday, December 20. Tickets for Heidi are $4 for the young'uns and $6 for adults. Call the Rep box office at 314-968-4925, and don't forget to bring your lederhosen and your kids. -- Christine Whitney
Bach to Bach
And in the dark
The holiday season is reaching its crescendo and so is your headache. Where did the time, that precious commodity, go? For Heaven's sake, stop and loiter under the mistletoe. The antidote for the overload of bad parking, bad sweaters and bad music at the mall is, of course, good music in comfortable surroundings, preferably with soothing candlelight. The Bach Society of Saint Louis hears you sobbing into your pillow, and in its 64th season, the society goes for baroque with two performances of its Christmas Candlelight Concert at Powell Symphony Hall (718 North Grand Boulevard). Both evenings (at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, December 21 and 22) feature the supreme Mary Wilson as well as audience sing-alongs (led by Ron Klemm) and possibly the only children who should be seen and heard this time of year, the Archdiocesan Children's Choir. Tickets are $20 to $60; call 314-534-1700 for more information. -- Jedidiah Ayres
Wash. U. Warmth
Nothing makes a cold winter's weekend more cozy than music. The notes envelop you with their warmth and beauty -- just like your new cashmere "Merry Christmas to me" scarf. Give yourself some free gifts this weekend as Washington University's Department of Music (314-935-4841) performs A Winter Evening of Opera: The Impresario (starring Scott Levin) Friday and Saturday (December 17 and 18). The opera begins at 8 p.m. both nights and is held at the Karl Umrath Hall Lounge on campus (Forsyth and Skinker boulevards). But if you'd rather surround yourself with your own music, do so at Wash. U.'s Graham Chapel (6445 Forsyth Boulevard) at 10 a.m. on Sunday, December 19. That's where the Handel's Messiah sing-along is held. Hearing laypeople sing those hallelujah choruses should be something -- especially after hearing that pretty opera music. -- Alison Sieloff