Who's the leader of the club that's made for you and me? Why, Mickey Mouse, of course. The Eugene Field House and St. Louis Toy Museum (634 South Broadway; 314-421-4689 or www.eugenefieldhouse.com) celebrates the famous mouse with a display of classic Mickey memorabilia collected by Don and Shirley Zork. Mickey Mouse: American Idol celebrates the important stages in Mickey's life, from his first appearance in 1928 up to the modern Mickey who drinks skim lattes and sings for U2 when Bono's too busy running the world (just kidding; Bono's always busy running the world). The Eugene Field House is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today, and the exhibit remains up through January 1. Admission is $.50 to $4.
Thursday, September 22
A wise man once noted that "you're never fully dressed without a smile." Still, if you sport just the smile, you'll get tossed out of the produce aisle tout de suite, as Mr. Night can attest. Our point being: The smile is just the cherry on the ice cream sundae of jodhpurs, ascots and faux-fur giant Russian hats, etc., that is modern fashion. But don't take our word for it. See the latest and greatest in fashion at the St. Louis Magazine FEVER Fall Fashion Show. This benefit for the WINGS care program for kids features the new lines from Dillards, Famous Barr, Lord & Taylor and other big-name stores, and it takes place from 6:30 to 10 p.m. at the Moolah Theatre and Lounge (3821 Lindell Boulevard; 314-918-3002 or www.stlmag.com). Tickets are $40 to $125, and in addition to the sneak peek at the duds, you get cocktails and hors d'oeuvres courtesy of Wolfgang Puck.
Friday, September 23
You've seen Joe Edwards' trolleys in the Loop and out in front of the Missouri History Museum, and you're just dying to get on one and ride around. Too bad Joe's trolley dream hasn't come true (yet), and these trolleys remain stationary (for now). Good news, though: To start this year's Halloween season, you can hop aboard one of the old-timey means of transport and go cruisin'. But these three-hour trolley tours that meet at the Piasa Masonic Temple in Alton, Illinois (300 State Street) aren't some day-lit, shiny-happy jaunts around the old river city. Nope, the outings this weekend (Friday or Saturday, September 23 or 24) are called "Waking the Dead," and under the watchful three eyes of your psychic guide, you'll be going to Alton's most haunted places from 7 to 10:30 p.m. And while waking the dead seems like a priceless experience, somehow Antoinette's Haunted Trolley Tours has come up with a $25 price tag. Not bad. To reserve your spot, visit www.hauntedalton.com; for more information call 618-462-4009.
Saturday, September 24
Try to think back to the glories of childhood, when climbing on the monkey bars didn't hurt your hands, and swings weren't too small for your ever-expanding backside. Reminisce about the teamwork it took to fill the classroom marble jar, and the joy you felt when your third-grade teacher announced that the class had done it -- you all had earned a wonderful, delicious pizza party! Yippee! (And this was even more special back then, because Domino's wasn't delivering to your school like it is nowadays.) Well, tonight (from 5 to 10 p.m.) you can reclaim some of those good feelings when Tanner B's downtown (at 1113 Pine Street; 314-588-1229) hosts a pasta party -- you've grown up and so has the party fare -- to benefit the renovation of Fox Park. Teamwork comes into play with this party, too, because the more people who work together to eat salads, lasagna, garlic bread and dessert at Pasta for the Park, the better the park can be for the community. The dinner costs $19.94, and your receipt gets you into the Pepper Lounge for free following your meal. Visit www.bepartofthepark.org for more about the evening.
Sunday, September 25
The life of Mark Twain, the writer, intersected often and at odd times with Samuel Langhorne Clemens, the man who created the writer. Twain is far more famous than Clemens, but it's good to know that it was Clemens who wrote love letters to his wife, Olivia (letters he had to slip under the door because her doctors had recommended that the two not see each other after she took ill, as his forceful personality would sap her strength), and Clemens who decided that the squirrels in his yard were all named Blennerhasset. Ron Powers, author of the fascinating biography Mark Twain: A Life, reveals many small and beautiful details of Clemens' life and personality, making him and Twain that much more human and interesting. Powers reads from and discusses his book at 2 p.m. at the Missouri History Museum (Lindell Boulevard and DeBaliviere Avenue; 314-367-6731 or www.left-bank.com) as the guest of Left Bank Books. Admission is free, but only books purchased from Left Bank will be signed by the author.
Monday, September 26
Some around here would say that if the Big 550 KTRS' McGraw Milhaven is your cousin, then you've made it in the world. Still others would assert that it takes glowing reviews of your work to achieve the same level of accomplishment. Fortunately, these two very polarized groups can come together on J. R. Moehringer. With his recently published coming-of-age-in-a-bar story, The Tender Bar: A Memoir, Moehringer has all the above going for him and then some, and you can meet the author, a Pulitzer-Prize winner and Los Angeles Times correspondent, for free tonight at 7 p.m. at Left Bank Books (399 North Euclid Avenue; 314-367-6731 or www.left-bank.com).
But if regular book signings bore you, join Moehringer and his cousin at John D. McGurk's Irish Pub (1200 Russell Boulevard) at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, September 27, for a benefit that includes food, wine, beer, a private reading, music and more. Proceeds from your $25 ticket go to the Nurses for Newborns Foundation; call 314-367-8954 to save a seat for yourself at the bar.
Tuesday, September 27
John Bently's book Concerning the Poetry of Lost Things, Harrow (No. 27) was banned, and he didn't even write it. Harrow was filled only with writing he found on the streets of the English suburb; the Harrow Commission, which funded his book, was not happy with some of the things he stumbled across and pulled the plug. But Bently put out the handmade book anyway; after more than twenty years operating the Liver and Lights Scriptorium, he knows his subscribers appreciate his art more than a stuffy commission ever will. You can see examples of Bently's creations, along with custom-made and small-press books from across the world, at The Art of the Book: Collaboration, the new exhibit at the University of Missouri-St. Louis' Gallery FAB and Gallery Visio (both on campus, 1 University Boulevard and Natural Bridge Road; 314-516-5997). The exhibit opens today with receptions (4 to 5 p.m. at Gallery FAB, 7 to 9 p.m. at Gallery Visio), and in a nice change of pace, you can handle the books, which are displayed library-style on book cases (white glove must be worn to protect the books).