Lights! Action! But no camera, just the exuberant dancers of the Sydney Dance Company. Hailing from Australia (and last seen in St. Louis in 2000, performing their passionate Salome), the world-renowned modern dancers pair off for dramatic romance and merge for a high-energy finale set to lush, sometimes techno-inspired music by Matthew Hindson in Ellipse, an evening-long performance in seven parts. Enhanced by computerized, shifting lights that create leaping shadows and changing shapes, the dancers' already gorgeous, sculpted bodies find new beauty. The innovative piece explores a variety of moods against the themes of love and longing and was choreographed by Graeme Murphy, who has created pieces for dance companies around the world as well as for Opera Australia and the skating legends Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean. It's no wonder Australia named Murphy a "National Living Treasure."
The Sydney Dance Company performs Ellipse at 8 p.m. on Friday, February 27, and Saturday, February 28, at the Fox Theatre (527 North Grand Boulevard). Tickets are $24 to $49 for adults, $20 to $40 for students and seniors, and they can be reserved through Dance St. Louis at 314-534-6622 or MetroTix at 314-534-1111. -- Regina Popper
Blanche at the Blanche
Streetcar runs again
You can't swing a cat named Maggie these days without whapping into Tennessee Williams mania. Earlier this month, Wash. U. staged the world premiere of a long-lost Williams one-act (Me, Vashya, written while he was a student at the university), then followed it up with the Tennessee Williams International Symposium. And now, the University of Missouri-St. Louis hosts the Montana Repertory Theatre's national touring production of A Streetcar Named Desire.
To witness arguably the best play written by arguably the best playwright to come out of St. Louis, head to the Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center (8001 Natural Bridge Road) at 8 p.m. Tickets are $16 to $32; call 314-516-4949 or visit www.touhill.org for more info. -- Rose Martelli
They're the Boss
Because metal is boss
When someone says "heavy metal," what comes to mind? Do you picture a rail-thin man in leopard-print spandex singing thinly veiled odes to oral sex in that irresistible cat-in-heat falsetto? Or is it a darker image that forms, such as a scowling Norwegian in a black hood growling curses against God like a deranged Cookie Monster? These images will be shattered tonight by the Tony Danza Tap Dance Extravaganza, a tongue-in-cheek metal band that pummels crowds with all the visceral sonic rage you love and none of the transparent sexy/ scary shtick you've grown to abhor. (Sadly, Tony Danza is not a member of the band.) See them for a mere $5 at the Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center at 8 p.m. (3301 Lemp Avenue, 314-771-1096), and wear your tap shoes. The band prefers that audiences shuffle off to Buffalo in lieu of applause. -- John Goddard
It's more metal than you can shake two pairs of devil horns at: Emaciation, Exhumed, Vile, Hypocrisy and the mighty Cannibal Corpse descend on Pop's (1403 Mississippi Avenue in Sauget, Illinois; 618-274-6720; $15 to $17) at 8 p.m. and then proceed to tear the place a new one. This is the real deal here; angry music for angry people and nothing but ugly groupies in sight. Semper Metal, baby. -- Paul Friswold