For all its polish and techno splash, the UniverSoul Circus takes place on the mundane plane of the Northland Shopping Center parking lot (Lucas & Hunt Road at West Florissant Avenue). The magic of a vibrant folk art sprouting from the barren concrete of an urban environment underscores the hip-hop nature of UniverSoul's blend of traditional European circus arts with African-American soul-powered sensibility.
Now in its tenth season, the current UniverSoul show is called "Poppin' Soul 2003," and it promises more of the butt-bouncin' music, lights, animal acts and human flimflam of years past, orchestrated once again with the unique flair of Ringmaster "Casual Cal" Dupree and his sidekick Zeke. Shows take place August 15-17 and August 20-24 several times daily. Tickets for each performance cost $13.50-$25 and are available through Ticketmaster (314-421-4400) or online at www.universoulcircus.com. -- Thomas R. Raber
Hey! Where's My Wallet? Magic confab mystifies
Hey, kids! Do ya like magic? No, not that lame "got-your-nose" or "pull-my-finger" stuff. We're talkin' con artistry, bar tricks, diversionary illusions and sleight-of-hand action -- stuff you can fall back on if college doesn't work out.
Learn from the masters at the annual Midwest Magic Jubilee, Wednesday-Saturday, August 13-16 (Airport Marriott, I-70 at Lambert International Airport), where magicians from all over the country will be performing for the public (each night at 7 p.m.) while they hone their skills during ultra-secret training.
"We're bringing Las Vegas to St. Louis," promises stage magician and local organizer Terry Richardson. "We'll have everything from comedic magic to Copperfield-type tricks. There will even be a guy catching a bullet from a .357 in his teeth." College isn't sounding so bad now, is it?
Tickets are $14 for adults and $8 for children. Call 314-298-8300 for more info. -- Tom R. Arterburn
Jaws of Death
The mighty Tyrannosaurus Rex, although long extinct, still holds considerable power over the imaginations of children of all ages. Those vainglorious jaws, the massive legs, the puny arms and dainty claws, yes, T. Rex's physique and mystique still thrills the crowds millions of years after his final curtain call. Mr. Bones, a Tyrannosaurus impersonator decked out in a Rex-skeleton costume with working jaws, will be stalking the floor of the Gem, Fossil and Mineral Show at Greensfelder Recreation Complex (Queeny Park; 550 Weidman Road; $2-$4; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 15; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 16; and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 17; 636-462-4423), posing for pictures and perhaps eating big sisters. -- Paul Friswold