A bar may seem like an inappropriate site for a September 11 commemoration -- but then again, the play The Guys is no ordinary memorial. Written by first-time playwright and New Yorker Anne Nelson a few months after the Twin Towers attacks, the piece became an instant off-Broadway hit and starred the likes of Sigourney Weaver, Anthony LaPaglia and Bill Murray. Two years later, the play premieres here on a small stage upstairs at Panama Red's, located at 1909 Locust Street.
The two-character, one-act play jives perfectly with the mission of Barfly Theater, a new company dedicated to staging dramatic works in local bars and other intimate, offbeat venues. (The group's début show, David Mamet's Sexual Perversity in Chicago, was staged at the Commonspace in July.) But that noble duty can sometimes prove daunting, says Barfly president Bob Atchisson. "The hardest part about putting on these shows is convincing everybody that it can be done," he says. "Bar owners worry about taking a chance on this kind of entertainment, while theater purists feel we're dumbing down theater. But really, we're just trying to introduce it to a different audience."
The Guys is performed at 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays, September 11-28 ($11, 314-842-6684, email@example.com). -- Rose Martelli
Two Tusks Up
Mastodon's prehistoric metal
Forget Slayer and fuck Metallica: Mastodon (after Neurosis) is the best metal band around at the moment. These four horsemen of the metal apocalypse wage war on the tired and boring metal bands; they bring pestilence to turntable-ridden jock rock, famine to the predictable and death to all that is uninspired and insincere. Their most recent album, Remission, pleased both run-of-the-mill metalheads and discerning critics alike with its gritty riffs, ornate song structures and heartfelt delivery. Their live show's also a scorcher -- pay attention to drummer Brann Dailor; he's got skills that would make Keith Moon jealous. Head over to Pop's (1403 Mississippi Avenue in Sauget, Illinois; 618-274-6720 or www.popsrocks.com) for one last time because Mastodon will probably level the joint. Tickets are $15, and the show starts at 8 p.m. -- Guy Gray
Pink Floyd tribute at Pop's
No matter what kind of music you're into now, if you grew up in St. Louis, chances are KSHE-95 provided the soundtrack for your first high-school party, first beer and first car accident. And if you've listened to KSHE at any point in your personal history, you know every word to every song on Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall.
Pink Floyd cover band The Pink Wall wants ta give ya more. Their live show features an eight-piece band, female backup singers, a saxophonist, large backdrops and a commemorative water pipe for each audience member (just kidding about that last one). In the spirit of the "laser Floyd" shows that played in planetaria throughout the '80s, The Pink Wall's show also offers lasers and an effect called "intelligent lighting." The band's setlist is comprised of songs from six different Floyd albums, including some post-Roger Waters stuff, and, of course, nearly all of Dark Side and The Wall (8 p.m., Pop's, 1403 Mississippi Avenue in Sauget, Illinois; $8-$10, www.thepinkwall.com).
Oh by the way, which one's Pink? -- Byron Kerman
Lids for Kids
Anyone who's seen a Historyonics play knows that the company tends to cater to children. So we have to wonder how they're going to handle the liquor- and drug-fueled history of the defunct Gaslight Square district. Joe Dreyer's Cool & Hip: Gaslight Square, featuring Gaslight entertainer Jeanne Trevor, opens the new season of dramas at the Missouri History Museum (DeBaliviere Avenue at Lindell Boulevard; 8:00 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 2:30 p.m. Sundays, through September 28; $8-$17; 314-361-5858.) -- Byron Kerman