Wednesday, July 2 Quiet Riot. The name alone is enough to send either a shiver of '80s-flashback remorse or a tingly "must ... rock!" paroxysm down one's spine. Sure, they've been around forever, they've never met a Slade song they didn't love, and they're relegated to playing Lucky's Bar and Grill (618 North Second Street, 314-231-5825), but you know what? They've survived Fate's Wheel of Destiny intact. They've re-formed with their "classic" line-up of Carlos Cavazo, Rudy Sarzo, Frankie Banali and, yes, the man with the most face to wash in all of rock and roll, Kevin DuBrow -- and as of yesterday they have a brand-new live DVD documenting their reunion tour. But there's time for that later. Right now, you need to be front and center when they set the place on fire (metaphorically, not Great White-like) with "Mama, Weer All Crazee Now." Yes, we ARE all crazy -- crazy for Quiet Riot. Tickets are $12-$15, and they take the stage at 10 p.m.
Thursday, July 3The art created by students in the St. Louis ArtWorks program becomes part of the city. Whether it's a mural, a park bench, a path made from stepping-stone mosaics or even an ephemeral dance, poetry or radio project, it's all part of what makes the area arts scene so lively. The 14-21-year-olds in the program are mentored by professional artists, and it shows in the work. Take home a piece made by one of these apprentices at the annual art-sale benefit, from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at the Adams Park Community Center (4317 Vista Avenue at Tower Grove Avenue) in the Forest Park Southeast neighborhood. Check out the ceramic tiles, prints, mobiles, journals, paintings, collages and other goodies made by these young achievers, and enjoy dance performances at noon and 12:45 p.m., along with refreshments. Call 314-941-4402 or visit www.stlartworks.org to learn more.
Friday, July 4Where you gonna get your fireworks on tonight? May we suggest the Fireworks Pyromusical lighting up the sky above the Florissant Civic Center grounds (at the intersection of Parker and Waterford roads)? No, it's not an explosive musical about arson but a major fireworks display choreographed to music. Show up at the park around dusk with a battery-powered radio set to 94.1 FM (yep, it's just like going to the drive-in). When the bombs go-a-bursting in air, you'll hear music that complements the show, and vice versa. Do you think they'll throw in some Nelly? "Hot in Herre" would really bump with some smokin' fireworks. Bring your lawn chairs, bug spray, water, radios, children, grandparents and glow-in-the-dark hacky sacks. Call 314-921-5678 for more details.
Saturday, July 5Yu-Gi-Oh! is one of those Japanese imports that makes little sense to adults. It's a card game? It's a cartoon? It's a comic book? Oh, it is all this and more. The byzantine plot of the show and tie-in comic book, and the impenetrable rules to the card game, are exactly what make it so attractive to the hordes of boys who comprise Yu-Gi-Oh!'s target market. Yu-Gi-Oh! is another step forward in the secret language of childhood, an impenetrable code that adults can't crack (trust us, we've tried). Just because you don't understand the intricacies of the game, don't dismiss it: all those boys memorizing combinations and computing scores are learning valuable math and problem-solving skills; mostly though, they're just enjoying whomping each other's alter-egos with monster-card combos. They can practice their devastating attacks this Saturday, July 5, at 1 p.m. at Gathering Ground (2635 Hampton Avenue, 314-333-4300) in the Collectible-Card Game Tournament. It's $5 to enter, but the satisfaction that comes from defeating friends and neighbors is priceless.
Sunday, July 6Guys and Dolls is one of those pervasive, all-American theatrical events (five, six, seven, eight) that has completely insinuated itself into the American psyche -- a.k.a. pop culture. The musical adventures of gangster/hoofer Nathan Detroit and his band of singing thugs are so deeply ingrained in Americana that Guys and Dolls has been spoofed by everybody from The Simpsons to the seminal '70s fanzine Punk, which re-imagined the classic as a scummy comic-book noir starring Richard Hell and Debbie Harry. This is obviously a musical that lends itself neatly to almost any flight of fancy. So, for an alternative to yet another afternoon of barbecue and fireworks, drive west for about 160 miles to Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre (High Street, Arrow Rock, Missouri, 660-837-3311) this Sunday, July 6, for the 2 p.m. matinee of this mutable American classic. You can see some of our great nation on the trip, listen to Hell's Blank Generation (another American classic) on the way, and enjoy live theater for $24 and gas money. USA!
Monday, July 7University City is loading up on free outdoor concerts this summer, with a couple of shows this week. Today's Starlight Concert Series at Heman Park (Vernon Avenue at Pennsylvania Avenue, near the swimming pool) features the soulful folk/country music of Mitzi McDonald and Keltic Reign. They take the stage at 7:30 p.m. The lovely and talented McDonald is a Nova Scotia native, a former winner of the Blueberry Hill Songwriting Contest and a proponent of organized spirituality (check out her Web site, www.mitzimacdonald.com). Food and drink will be available for purchase; call 314-863-3208 for more info, and bring lawn chairs, blankets, picnics and cleverly concealed porn. Tomorrow, the University City Summer Band comes to Market in the Loop (6655 Delmar Boulevard) for a 7 p.m. concert of show tunes, marches and other pop fare. If you miss this week's concert, come back any Tuesday through August 5. Call 314-862-8249 for more info.