At the Night & Day lair, we believe that basically every event this year can somehow be tied to the 1904 World's Fair. The Saint Louis Symphony Showhouses and Gardens fundraising tour is no different. Perhaps, while enjoying coffee at the Grind or Coffee Cartel, you've looked at the old manses across Maryland Plaza and wondered what those buildings look like on the inside. From now until October 3, you can tour three of these now-interior-designed homes and landscaped gardens for $20 to $22, and you can do a little boutique shopping in a fourth. And guess what? These homes were built right after the World's Fair. The tour runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday evenings; you can also visit on weekends (10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday). For more information visit www.symphonyshowhouse.com, or call 314-286-4468.
Thursday, September 23
Fashion is second nature to Mr. Night; it's his sixth sense, if you will. Whether it's the kilt he made from his mother's Naugahyde davenport at age fourteen or his current one-piece body stocking with air-brushed chest hair, Mr. Night is a dapper dandy at all times. So won't you join him at 6 p.m. at the Contemporary Art Museum (3750 Washington Boulevard; 314-727-0900 for info) for FEVER! After a cocktail hour of Wolfgang Puck treats and a complimentary flute of Moët, you can enjoy the hottest fashions of next season as they parade by on the forms of delectable young models. Standing-room-only tickets are $30, VIP reserved seating is $60, and the proceeds benefit the Ranken Jordan Pediatric Rehabilitation Center. Look for Mr. Night down front, sporting his taffeta "action suit" in taupe and mauve.
Friday, September 24
Here's a list of some things you probably like: supporting the arts, booze, poetry, music. But how can you enjoy all these things at once? Gallery Urbis Orbis at 419 North Tenth Street (314-406-5778) can help! For a mere ten-spot, drink some complimentary wine and hear Heidi Dean, Sunyatta Marshall (of Fred's Variety Group), Micah Gray, and Redass Jones and the Goldbondsmen show off their acoustics from 7 to 10 p.m. in the gallery's space. The money you pay helps to fund Readings @ the Contemporary (Art Museum, that is), an almost-monthly six-part poetry series. At the first installment on October 7, Carl Dennis and Rodney Jones read. All right, so the poetry portion isn't tonight -- but aren't song lyrics just poems set to music? For more info visit www.belz.net/readings.
Saturday, September 25
Of all the deadly undersea predators, none is more popular than the shark. Look how many movies feature sharks! Why, just this month, DreamWorks' new animated feature, Shark Tale, comes out. To celebrate the shark and, more important, to educate people about these feisty felines (kidding; they're actually canines), the City Museum and the World Aquarium (both at 701 North 15th Street; 314-231-2489) hold their inaugural Shark Tale Saturday. You can watch clips of the new movie (and maybe win tickets to see it at a later date) and view the awesome shark feedings while aquarium personnel separate shark fact from shark fiction. Admission to the museum and aquarium is $10 to $12.50, and the museum is open from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m.
Sunday, September 26
Almost everything in the world fits into one of two categories: modern or old-fashioned. Did you ever wonder when that precise transition occurred for art? We bet painter Charles Demuth knew: He was one of the first Americans to work in the modernist style. Check out a few of his and his contemporaries' pieces in American Modern: Six Works on Paper in Gallery 321 at the Saint Louis Art Museum in Forest Park. The exhibit is up from Friday, September 24, through December 12, but Sunday is always a good day to visit the art museum. Staring at the super-colorful Chihuly chandelier as you eat a yummy brunch at Puck's (available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) is a great way to begin a day of exhibition exploration, even if there are only six pieces to see. The museum obviously has a lot more for you to view with your extra energy. For more info visit www.slam.org, or call 314-721-0072.
Monday, September 27
We're livin' in a highlights-only, blooper-reel kinda world. Stages St. Louis clearly understands this, as the cast and crew of the current production of Camelot present a Broadway revue entitled Miscast: The Right People Singing the Wrong Songs. See, the revue works because it features the juiciest tidbits from the smash hits, and the Stages cast performs these songs with a sense of silliness and whimsy. Gender roles are flipped, unexpected performers tackle showstoppers, and anything can happen. The evening is a benefit for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, and tickets are $20 to $25. Get to the Robert G. Reim Theatre (111 South Geyer Road; 314-821-2407) by 6 p.m., and you can also enjoy a Champagne reception before things get wacky.
Tuesday, September 28
The pinhole camera is a nifty little gadget most of us learned to make in science class long, long ago. But the pinhole camera is more than just a novelty, as Jeffrey Sass demonstrates in his current show, Robots and Anachronisms, on display in the almost-brand-spanking-new gallery space in Subterranean Books (6275 Delmar Boulevard; 314-862-6100). All of the photos in Sass' show were made with either pinhole or homemade cameras and then manipulated, and none of them look like child's play. Shots of boxy, '50s-era toy robots have a hazy cast (a consequence of pinholes) that Sass emphasizes by displaying his photos in old bottles and jars. Also notable is his photo of the Brooks Catsup Bottle water tower in Collinsville, Illinois, which sits atop wobbly legs under a sky that's cracked and reticulated like a dried desert floor. The show remains up through October 2, and Subterranean is open seven days a week.