Cher is in the midst of another farewell tour, and this time she means it. Or not. Who knows when the urge to throw on a Bob Mackie original and belt out the spine-tingling anthem to racial injustice, "Half Breed" (perhaps her greatest recorded moment), will overpower her urge to putter around the house and publish her sorely missed gothic home-decorating magazine once again (the singing urge strikes around the RFT offices at least once a week). This evening's show is rescheduled from August, when she had to cancel her final-for-forever St. Louis show for mysterious reasons (rumors abound that she was watching Queer Eyeand couldn't be bothered to leave her Fortress of Diva-tude, but you know how gossip spreads -- unlike Cher's tattooed derriere, which is still as taut as it was during the Bono years). Cher says goodbye to fans, St. Louis and Savvis Center (1401 Clark Avenue, 314-241-1888) at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $37.75-$77.75, and tickets from the August show will be honored. $77 is a hefty charge, but you receive thirty-plus years of hit music, a cavalcade of wigs and fashions, and the spectacle that is Cher. -- Paul Friswold
Skeletons burst from Alton closets
Over in Alton, a pack of actors assembled by Sharlene Meyer goes Hamlet's "Alas, poor Yorick" speech-to-a-skull one better. These East Side thespians pop out from behind the tombstones of various noteworthy locals in the Alton Cemetery (Fifth at Vine streets) and perform one-person shows in period costume in the middle of the boneyard. From 1-3 p.m. each Saturday in October, Vintage Voices presents thirteen actors who, for five minutes apiece, become various Civil War prisoners, gold miners, freed slaves and even a movie star. At one stop on the tour, three former socialites rise from the grave to chitchat at a spectral tea party -- creepy! Call 618-474-2006 for tickets to the tour ($6-$12), or visit www.altoncvb.org/vintage.htm for more info. -- Byron Kerman
Take Me to Your Lieder
Rilke in song
Who was Rainer Maria Rilke? Among English students, Rilke (1875-1926) is the German poet known for capturing the essence of an animal trapped in a cage in "The Panther": "As he paces in cramped circles, over and over, the movement of his/powerful soft strides is like a ritual dance around a center in which/a mighty will stands paralyzed." Rilke is also known for his "Archaic Torso of Apollo" poem with its abrupt ending ("You must change your life"), along with gobs of other romantic, top-shelf verse and prose, and for literally living in the tower of a castle, disconnected from the world.
The ambitious St. Louis Chamber Chorus mounts a season of music inspired by poetry, beginning with a tribute to Rilke at the Ethical Society of St. Louis (9001 Clayton Road, 3 p.m., $16-$18, 314-534-1111, www.chamberchorus.org). Hopefully, the gorgeous choral treatments of the SLCC will bring Rilke's genius to the ears. -- Byron Kerman
Once upon a time, a noisy metal band with an operatic singer became a prog-metal band. The rock got slower and, eventually, they totally sucked and lost all their hair. It's not the most remarkable story, unless you're a fan of Queensryche's 1988 album Operation Mindcrime, an LP jammed with good metal, soaring vocals and an intensity they could never approach again. Please live in the past, Queensryche. Please play "Spreading the Disease" at 8 p.m. at the Pageant (6161 Delmar Boulevard, $25, 314-241-1888). -- Byron Kerman