Spring is finally here, and this long-awaited seasonal blossoming brings big changes like warmer, stormier weather and longer days. But it's really the little things that show that spring has sprung -- flowers here, buds there, more loud birds chirping outside your window and of course the Miniature Museum of Greater St. Louis' Spring in Bloom Exhibit. (Contrary to popular belief, this museum is full size; it's the things inside that are small.) The au printemps display features teeny-tiny gardens, itsy-bitsy essence-of-Easter pretties and the debut of a fantastically infinitesimal Easter house. Hop on down to 4746 Gravois Avenue (314-832-7790, across the street from Bevo Mill) before April 25 to witness spring in all its petite glory. Admission ranges from $2 to $5, depending on visitors' ages.
Thursday, April 1
Fans of the almost-forgotten art of humorous punk rock have been deeply saddened of late: Dave Blood, bassist for the incomparable Dead Milkmen, committed suicide a few weeks back, and the world is now a grimmer, less-amusing place. At least we still have Lester Shy and the Shyphonics, St. Louis' only Dead Milkmen tribute band. And before you scoff at the "tribute band" appellation, remember, if any band deserved tribute, it was the Milkmen. Bucky Fellini and Eat Your Paisley are crucial albums, worthy of praise and accolades far beyond their cult status. The Shyphonics celebrate the Dead Milkmen, April Fools' Day and life itself at 8 p.m. at the Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center (3301 Lemp Avenue, 314-771-1096). Tickets are $5, and fezzes are optional but not required.
Friday, April 2
OK, for all those people who claim there's never anything exciting happening in town, get to the Soulard Theatre (1921 South Ninth Street, 314-966-5827) at 8 p.m. for the newest in new theater: Study #147. Flux/Art Theatre is presenting this original production, which it claims is "more of a science experiment than a show." Flux/Art has also managed to rile up most of the local theater community with its claims that the production will create a "more genuine connection with the audiences," which implies that some local groups aren't providing a genuine emotional experience. Isn't that what all theater should do? Yup. Does all theater do that? Not always, so let's give Study #147 a shot. Flux/Art promises "experimental antics and Shakespearean scenes," plus audience laughter and tears. You'll never know if Flux/Art is blowing smoke or spreading joy unless you see for yourself, so why not risk something new? Tickets are $10 to $12, which is a small price to pay for a potentially life-transforming experience. Good luck.
Saturday, April 3
You don't do enough stuff with your mom. Maybe it's time to think of someone else for a change. Take her to the indoor Greensfelder Recreation Complex at Queeny Park (550 Weidman Road, 636-391-0900) to fill her eyes with the Greater St. Louis Art Association's Spring Festival of Art (www.gslaa.com). The $5 admission fee helps fund art scholarships and grants and allows you both to enjoy the juried exhibit and sale (Saturday, April 3, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, April 4, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.). More than 140 artists come from as far away as Pensacola, Florida, to show their wares in a variety of media including oil, clay, glass, wood, watercolor, sculpture, fiber and photography. Oh, and there will be jewelry there too. Maybe Mommy will buy something sparkly for you.
Sunday, April 4
Just as there are frequencies so high only dogs can hear them, so too are there frequencies so schizo only noise junkies can love them. The lineup at Radio Cherokee (3227 Cherokee Street, 314-773-2164) is composed of bands that manipulate those frequencies with the dexterity of Thorazine-fogged Huns. Hair Police have been anointed by Thurston Moore as one of the most "exciting bands from the American Midwest since the Stooges and MC5," but they don't actually sound like either of those bands, opting instead for noise-rock overload akin to falling out of a 90-story building with an electric guitar clenched between your teeth. Prurient, aside from having one of the best names ever, is a one-man strike force waging a war on technology (here's the twist) with technology. Microphones and analog tape machines conspiring to kill their brethren is a war on terror worth backing. Local collaborative Brainpaw (half-Brain Transplant, half-Wiggpaw) also messes things up. The show starts at 9 p.m. and admission is $5.
Monday, April 5
Sneak previews aren't just for movies anymore. The Opera Theatre of St. Louis previews its forthcoming season several times in the next month. Why, here's one now: 7 p.m. at the St. Louis County Library-Daniel Boone branch (300 Clarkson Road, 636-227-9630), and it's free. If you've always been a little opera-curious but kinda stingy, this is a perfect opportunity to sample the excellent wares of OTSL. Selections from Bizet's Carmen (yes, the basis for that MTV "hip-hopera" starring Beyoncé) will be compared and contrasted with the modern sounds of American composer John Adams' Nixon in China. If you like what you hear, keep your eyes and ears open for the OTSL's regular season; it costs a little more than free, but you'll definitely get what you pay for.
Tuesday, April 6
The Midnight Company is taking theater out of the theater proper and bringing it to the people in a big way with its production of Conor McPherson's drama St. Nicholas. The one-man show (starring Joe Hanrahan, last seen as Beethoven in Midnight's The Hunchback Variations) plays at 7 p.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays in April (through April 20) at John D. McGurk's Irish Pub (1200 Russell Boulevard, 314-487-5305). The business-types call that synergy, but it's really just common sense. St. Nicholas is the story of a burned-out theater critic's unnatural obsession with a much-younger actress and said critic's spiral into an underworld of vampires; who's not going to need a nip or two while watching an Irish drama about an Irishman with a wretched love life and a monster problem? Tickets are $10, and reservations are recommended.