This Week's Day-by-Day Picks

Week of August 18, 2004

Wednesday, August 18Newly crowned Last Comic Standing winner John Heffron begins his reign with a four-night stand at the Fairview Heights Funny Bone (6900 North Illinois Street, Fairview Heights, Illinois; 618-628-4242) that starts at 8 p.m. Wednesday, August 18, and continues through Saturday, August 21. Heffron is more than just a comic, though; he's also an inventor. The That Guy! card game, suitable for both bachelorette parties and sorority get-togethers, is the brainchild of Heffron's, um, brain. The game is a scavenger hunt for dudes and has been popularized by celebrity devotees Drew Barrymore and Julia Roberts, which may not be the best endorsements. Neither of those ladies has really hit a home run in the husband department, if you know what we're saying. Tickets for Heffron's standup act are $13 to $20.

Thursday, August 19Remember those ancient-even-when-you-were-a-kid educational movies you were forced to watch during your elementary school years? The wooden acting, the obvious plots, the pedantic tone of every narrator? Well, they're back and better than ever. Cine16, the free educational/art film series hosted by Mad Art Gallery (2727 South 12th Street; 314-771-8230) at 8 p.m. on the third Thursday of the month, has inherited a treasure trove of these films from the St. Louis Public School system, and the group has culled some winners for your viewing entertainment. It's a chance to relive your childhood as well as be shocked at what once passed for edu-tainment. The scheduled films include Moonbeam Princess, a Japanese puppet-animation about a kind-hearted woodcutter; an episode of Zoom; and a teen-drinking drama called The Glug. Bring a pint of warm milk with you for the total past-life-regression experience.

Friday, August 20As a member of local music groups Brain Transplant, Sasquatch Telepath and (briefly) Judas Priest (touring keyboard player on the "Juggulator" tour; pass it around), Chris Smentkowski may be better known as a noisenik than a painter. But that doesn't mean he can't do both, as his half of the new art show Super Today proves. Here Smentkowski shows off his quieter side, keeping his art in the two-dimensional realm of abstract geometric painting rather than in psycho-traumatic sound warfare. Brittany Lueken, the other artist exhibiting work, has created an installation of 200 book-holding wax figures to go with her collection of cryptic drawings. There may or may not be a sound installation devised by Smentkowski; according to his artist statement, it depends on if "time and space allow." Super Today explodes into being at 8 p.m. at Fort Gondo Compound for the Arts (3151 Cherokee Street; 314-772-3628). Admission is free, but you should donate something at the door, because time is money, so money is time, so if you pay, then the sound installation will have to go off as planned. Deep, huh?

Saturday, August 21Dr. Barkapotomus, the Night & Day dog, has been busy the past few weeks helping keep Mr. Night in line (this is practically a full-time job -- Night has a tendency to act up more than just "on occasion"). The good Doctor was ready for a vacation, so he scheduled some time off to watch the puppy dogs in the Olympics. Only after he started watching did he realize that there are no puppy-dog events in the Olympics. Talk about crying in his chow! Is your dog feeling the same overworked, underappreciated sadness deep in his paws? Then now's the time to join the nonprofit St. Louis chapter of Dockdogs! The American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog (1721 South Mason Road; 314-821-3647) is host to this group's free meeting. Bring your dog (and a crate) and your ears at 1 p.m. to find out more. More, that is, about practicing doggy jumps (sometimes into water!) for doggy competitions. Now that's right up Dr. B.'s alley!

Sunday, August 22Maybe you didn't get enough Deutschin' in the streets at Strassenfest two weeks ago. If this is the case, hop in your Volkswagen and drive over to Germantown, Illinois, for Spassfest. With a name like "Germantown," you know their Spassfest is going to be recht und korrekt. Seeing as how spass is the German word for "fun," the fest features traditional German events such as the washers tournament at 1 p.m., carnival rides and -- wait, those aren't very German. Here we go: Biergarten tent with Trio Freddie and Dynamic Combo providing the music, and all the bratwurst, knackwurst and funnel cake your tummy can conquer. Admission to the Spassfest (Red Schoendienst Park, just off Illinois Route 161) is free, and it starts at 8 a.m. sharp with a good German breakfast. Call 618-523-4202 for more information.

Monday, August 23Mr. Night has never indulged in the martini style of cocktail. It's not that he doesn't imbibe, oh heavens no; just this morning, Mr. N. quieted his night terrors with a half-dozen bottles of cherry-flavored Wal-tussin. Rather, the martini seems a little too "Rat Pack" for him. Martinis are the drink of Dino and Ol' Blue Eyes, and Mr. N. is more of a DRI and the Dirty Sanchez kinda guy. Still, it's never too late to change, and so the evening destination is Rue 13 (1313 Washington Avenue; 314-588-7070) and Martini Madness. Between 5 and 9 p.m., Rue serves up half-price martinis and "timeless tunes" rotated by the classy hands of DJ Raffi. Will tomorrow bring a clean shave and the toilet seat in the down position for Mr. Night? Don't bet on it.

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