Every Time a Bell Rings

A monkey gets its wings

Bells serve many purposes. Sometimes the bell on your alarm clock wakes you up. If not, church bells may wake you, or perhaps summon you not to church but to Taco Bell. If you believe in the movie It's a Wonderful Life, you probably think that every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings. (On Sundays in the Central West End, it seems like 3 million angels are anointed with wings -- come on, Cathedral Basilica, it's 2 p.m., and we're up already!)

So maybe that winged-creature line from the 1946 holiday classic is a bit much. OK, fine, the whole movie is a little bit corny -- but in that sweet, feel-good, Jimmy Stewart sort of way. Magic Smoking Monkey Theatre agrees. That's why it's putting on its own parody adaptation of the film, It's a Wonderful Life: Live!, November 12 through November 27. Get into the lighthearted, bell-filled holiday mood each Friday and Saturday night at 8 and 10:30 p.m. at the Regional Arts Commission (6128 Delmar Boulevard). Tickets cost $10 to $15 and are available by calling 314-534-1111. For more information visit www.stlshakespeare.org or call 314-361-5664. And you just never know, maybe you will cry at the end of the parody, too -- tears of laughter, though, not the usual sentimental tears. -- Alison Sieolff

Mary (Julie Layton) and George (Chopper Leifheit) 
moments after they received the good news that it is 
indeed a wonderful life.
Mary (Julie Layton) and George (Chopper Leifheit) moments after they received the good news that it is indeed a wonderful life.

Holy Schwitz!
Steambath returns to the stage

The older readers may remember a short-lived early-'80s series named Steambath that was broadcast on the Showtime channel. Starring a young Robert Picardo (Star Trek: Voyager alert, geeklords!) as Tandy, a man trapped in a steambath Limbo populated by attractive people in various states of undress, the show was a meditation on life and what it all meant. God was also a character in the proceedings, and he appeared to be a Puerto Rican towel boy with an ever-ready snappy comeback. The Olympus Theatre presents the stage version of Steambath at SPOT (4146 Manchester Avenue; 314-371-1330) at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday (November 12 through 20). Tickets are $15, and just like the televised version, this show features nudity. -- Paul Friswold

Time to Put on the Goggles
And study some beer

WED 11/10

Sure, you majored in beer in college (you are a St. Louisan, right?), but how smart are you about the old barley and hops? Can you tell the difference between a lager and a pilsner, a stout and a porter? Do you know why it's called India pale ale when it's not from India? Are you already reaching defensively for that can of thin, sweet water from St. Louis' other brewery? Relax, and take a sip if you must. After that join Schlafly brand manager Mitch Turner at Schlafly Bottleworks (7260 Southwest Avenue; 314-241-2337) from 6:30 to 9 p.m. for Beer 101. This class offers a brewery tour, a discussion of beer styles and, best of all, a tasting glass and samples of five Schlafly brews. Register through St. Louis Community College-Forest Park (314-644-9175); the cost is a $7.50 registration fee (payable to the college) and a $12 materials fee (due at class). -- Ian Froeb

Bring a Beret

MON 11/15 Felicity La Fortune and Matt Landers, the stars of the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis' play A Picasso, are so into their roles that they set up their own WWII-era Parisian cabaret show as a sideline to the main performance. They perform the music of Weill, Porter, Coward and others in An Evening at Le Perroquet Cabaret at 7:30 p.m. at Cookie's Jazz & More (20 Allen Avenue; 314-968-4925). Tickets for this multilingual evening of song are $30 to $35. -- Paul Friswold

 
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