Thursday, February 13
Inspired by Chicago's Neo-Futurists and their long-running comedy/drama free-for-all "Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind," local thespian couple Kirsten Wylder-Mitchell and Bob Mitchell created a St. Louis version called The Militant Propaganda Bingo Machine. This sketch-comedy show uses the best elements of the Chicago version: Audience members receive a menu with curious titles and shout out the numbers of the skits they want to see performed. After two hours or so, the Mitchells' twelve-member NonProphet Theater Company has performed no fewer than 28 individual comedy sketches, ranging in length from seven seconds to nine minutes. The skits include "8 Miles to Mordor," a marriage of the Eminem movie 8 Mile and the Lord of the Rings films, and another called "Al Pacino's Deli." The NonProphets also promise a kind-of bingo game with prizes including sauerkraut juice and comic books. A random draw of a playing card at the door determines your admission price ($4-$7). If you miss tonight's 10 p.m. show, come back to the Hi-Pointe Café (1001 McCausland Avenue) any Thursday night in April for more of the same (with new skits added each week). Call 314-752-1302 or visit www.nonprophets.com for more info.
Friday, February 14
Superfly superflack Gentry Trotter has threatened us with bodily harm if we don't promote his Rise & Shine for Heat-Up St. Louis, an annual event at area Missouri and Illlinois Hardee's locations. From 6-10:30 a.m., you can buy discounted $1 sausage-and-egg biscuit sandwiches, and the whole dollar goes to help the needy pay their winter heating bills. The Have a Heart ... Heat a Home event also features celebrity counter workers in hair nets forced to grovel before the customers. Call 314-241-7668 or visit www.heatupstlouis.org for more info.
Saturday, February 15
One year ago, something funky was birthed in the 3100 block of Cherokee Street, and we're happy to report that Fort Gondo Compound for the Arts is still going strong. The art-and-performance space celebrates its first birthday with Untitled, the Sequel: Smaller & Cheaper, a free group art show of creative mayhem from 2-9 p.m. You can check out digital collages by Randall Seifert, a giant birthday cake by Erin Kuechler, paintings in nail polish by Jason Hoeing, a one-on-one basketball challenge, outdoor video projections and work by more than 30 other artists. Pushcart shuttles will roll from space to space near 3151 Cherokee Street. Some will recall ArtParts, the former auto-parts store still lined with huge metal shelves, that became part of a hilarious performance piece involving fresh fruit and artists in lion, duck and rabbit fur suits at the last big Fort Gondo group show. ArtParts will again be used for mysterious interactive fun during U2:S&C. Call 314-772-3628 for more info.
Sunday, February 16
You can dine on veggie eggrolls, gyros, empanadas and Serbian pastries at Celebrate the World, an international festival at the Maryland Heights Community Center (2344 McKelvey Road) from noon-5 p.m. There's a kids' area where our youth can make Kewpie dolls, masks, Islamic geometric designs, Egyptian pyramids, woodcrafts and origami, and write in calligraphy. After the parade of flags opening ceremony, visitors can watch Japanese and African drummers; Caribbean, Vietnamese, Greek, Indian and Irish dancers; and Native-American, Scottish, Slovenian and Scandinavian musicians. Don't forget theatrical performances, displays of folk art and an all-day amateur-film fest and seminar. Call 314-434-1919 for more info; admission is $1.
Monday, February 17
Bushmill's, Guinness and Harp's are the drinks of choice at the bar when the River Styx at Duff's Series welcomes the Irish and Irish-Americans for a night of poetry and music. University of Missouri-St. Louis professor Eamonn Wall has emerged as the point man for all things Irish in America. His poetry continues to revolve around the experiences of being uprooted from his native Ireland to live and travel through the strange land of America. Accomplished poet Susan Firer is a native Michigander who, in her poem "Hsuan T'sao," explains that Chinese women once believed the titular flower would help them give birth to sons. The poet serves a meal with the flower as her table's centerpiece, pondering its effect on modern women. Successful musician Gearoid O hAllmhurain, also a UM-St. Louis prof, whips out his concertina and plays between the verse at Duff's Restaurant, 329 North Euclid Avenue, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Call 314-533-4541 for more info; admission is $4-$5.
Tuesday, February 18
In a way, it doesn't seem hard to do what Carol Carter does. She takes pictures of palm trees or birds or women in swimsuits and paints realistic watercolors of them on large canvases. She has a way of making it look easy. Yet there's no explaining her choice of colors. The swimmers rise from the pool with skin tones of otherworldly bruised violets and supernatural oranges. A field of sugarcane recedes into the distance in a burning rainbow. A nude man and woman painted in grays, blacks and blues embrace, looking like a photographic negative dipped in ink. Hear her explain the hows and whys of her world of bizarre colors at a slide show and talk sponsored by the St. Louis Watercolor Society, at 7 p.m. at the First Congregational Church of Webster Groves (10 West Lockwood Avenue). Call 314-878-1828 or visit www.carol-carter.com for more details; admission is $5.