Wednesday, December 8
"Baby, It's Cold Outside" is the greatest Christmas song of all time, because it is a song of seduction: The man in the song is trying to weasel his way into spending the night at his ladyfriend's place on account of the harsh weather. It's genius, really, and it's also the title of the Washington Avenue Players Project's holiday spectacular, which shares the goal of getting you to spend the night with them (but at the Sheldon Concert Hall, 3648 Washington Boulevard). At 8 p.m. a cast of St. Louis theater all-stars sings the holiday classics, such as "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm" and "Hard Candy Christmas," with a three-piece combo backing them up. No choirs, no organs, just vocals and charisma to woo and wow you. Tickets are $15 (call 314-534-1111), and the show plays again at 8 p.m. on Thursday, December 9.
Thursday, December 9
If there's anyone who shouldn't get a visit from Santa this year, it's little Tina Denmark. She's one of those kids who knows exactly what she wants -- but it's not even wanting so much; Tina has her sights focused on what she will have. Learn all about this little brat as Webster University's Conservatory of Theatre Arts presents Ruthless! The Musical tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Stage III in Webster Hall (470 East Lockwood Avenue, Webster Groves). This comedy costs $3.50 to $8 to get in, but laughs are free. To reserve your tickets for tonight's performance, call 314-968-7128. And if tonight's no good because you're watching The Apprentice or something (now that Ivana has been fired! Yay!), the play runs from Wednesday through Saturday (December 8 through 11) at 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday, December 12, at 2 p.m.
Friday, December 10
Back in the '70s, Mark Twain Bank Chairman Adam Aronson proffered a unique deal to St. Louis artists: If Aronson liked your stuff, you could work for his Fortune Bank Building Design and Equipment division. In return for designing and building furniture and interiors for Mark Twain Banks, the artists were given studio space within the company so that they could work on their own art, which was often purchased for display in Mark Twain Bank lobbies. Sadly, Fortune ceased operation in 1989, but the Regional Arts Commission (6128 Delmar Boulevard; 314-863-5811) has reunited eighteen former Fortune artists for the new exhibit Fortune: Then and Now. The show opens with a reception for the artists and the public from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and remains up through February 5.
Saturday, December 11
Must...have...hockey. Dying. Need hockey. Please. Hockey. Wh-wh-wh-what?! At 7 p.m. at the Summit Center (16851 North Outer 40 Road, Chesterfield), real live hockey drops the puck in St. Louis again! And there're Blues involved! OK, they're a little older than last year's team, but that's irrelevant. What matters is there's a game on: The St. Louis Blues Alumni face off against the Norris Division Stars in the 2004 Blues Alumni Holiday Bash. See former Blues Kelly Chase, Basil McRae, Rob Ramage and the incomparable Bernie Federko take on Geoff Courtnall, Joey Kocur and Mike Liut (sweet!), with ticket proceeds going to the United Way of St. Louis' "100 Neediest Cases" program. Yes, it's a charity game, but will "Chaser" and Kocur please go at it? It's been too long since we've had a hockey scrap in this town. Tickets are $10 for the game and $60 for the game and the fancy post-game meet-'n'-greet and dinner. Call 314-241-1888 for either ticket option.
Sunday, December 12
This year, Hanukkah is cooler than ever. Because of why, you ask? Because of the Source Unlimited's walk-through Dreidel House, that's why! The Source Unlimited (11044 Olive Boulevard, Creve Coeur; 314-567-1952) has arranged for a very large dreidel to be constructed onsite so that everyone, Jew and Gentile alike, can experience the wonder of Hanukkah from a new perspective. This unique dreidel is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through December 15 (with shorter hours on Friday, December 10, and no hours on Saturday, December 11), but between 4 and 5 p.m., a costumed Judah the Maccabee patrols the dreidel in all his martial splendor, serving to remind everyone that ultimately good prevails over evil. This may be the greatest Hanukkah yet, folks; don't miss out! Admission is free.
Monday, December 13
Americans are taught from an early age to revere the nation's Founding Fathers, but what about the Founding Mothers? While the men were planning and fighting the Revolutionary War, women were running farms, raising families, and planning and fighting the Revolutionary War. Journalist Cokie Roberts tells the stories of these overlooked (and overworked) women who held the country together during its earliest days in Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised A Nation. She discusses her book at 7 p.m. at the Missouri History Museum (Lindell Boulevard and DeBaliviere Avenue) as the guest of the Religious of the Sacred Heart and Left Bank Books (call 314-367-6731 for information). Benjamin Franklin may have received all the glory and the fame, but while he was discovering electricity, you know Deborah Reed Franklin was probably watching from the kitchen window with a broom handle and a defibrillator close at hand, just in case Mr. "I'm-Too-Busy-to-Take-Out-the-Trash" was wrong about the lethality of lightning bolts, too. After the free discussion (which will be more accurate than any of this), Roberts signs copies of the book.
Tuesday, December 14
Parents, if you're in the market for a gift that will knock your kids' socks off, consider purchasing classes at the Dave Simon's Rock School, which celebrates its grand opening at its new location (1305 Baur Boulevard in Olivette) with an open house. The DSRS is exactly what the name implies: an educational facility that teaches your little Johnnie or Janie B. Goode to play an instrument and, more important, to rawk! True, rockers are born and not made, but getting a band together at age twelve can be a daunting task. The DSRS places students in a band of their peers and then instructs them in the art of rocking through class work and the all-important performance experience. Start 'em young and let Angus sort 'em out -- that's our motto. The free open house at 6 p.m. offers plenty of Q & A time, a tour of the facilities and, if you're lucky, a performance by current students. Call 314-692-7625 for more information.