Kabin fever (pediatric cabin fever) strikes children with nary a warning sign. It picks no favorites and shows no mercy. Whether you're in charge of them for a day or for life, you'll want to exercise vigilance to protect the little moppets from this affliction. Check for dilated pupils during cartoon viewing. Listen for babbling in closets. Are pants being worn on arms? If so, you may have a problem -- and since the dogs are in, you're sitting on a powder keg. Kids need extra helpings of colorful, live-action entertainment to regulate the uptake of brain chemicals during winter's depths. We have three suggestions for this week.
The amazing acrobatic comedy and choreography of Galumpha (pictured) comes to the Edison Theatre (6445 Forsyth Boulevard; 314-534-1111) on Saturday, January 15, at 11 a.m. Intertwining bodies creating moving sculpture? Audience participation? You can treat the whole family to these phenomena and more when tickets are only $7 a pop.
At 4 p.m. on Sunday, January 16, the live production of Nickelodeon's award-winning Blue's Clues storms the St. Charles Family Arena (2002 Arena Parkway, St. Charles; 314-534-1111). Follow Blue, her good friend Joe and other familiar pals in a search for hints as to what the blue dog wants for her birthday. Notebooks and crayons are provided so kids can keep track of the dizzying whirl of clues. Tickets are $18 and $25; kids younger than two get in free.
If one dose of giant puppets isn't enough, you can join Elmo, Big Bird and Cookie Monster at the Savvis Center (14th Street and Clark Avenue; call 314-241-1888 for times and prices) for Sesame Street Live's Elmo's Coloring Book Wednesday through Sunday (January 12 through 16). What would the world be like if all the colors disappeared? The Muppets join Professor Art to find the answer, which comes with valuable lessons about diversity, tolerance and acceptance.
Cola, cotton candy and an onstage extravaganza all add up to hyperstimulation, followed by the inevitable crash-and-burn well before bedtime. Kabin fever is quashed. You can start drinking your schnapps. Everyone wins. -- John Goddard
Et Tu, Karl?
Have a Caesar
The pre-eminent military theorist and noted St. Louis Cardinals fan Karl von Clausewitz once said that war is the extension of politics by other means. But William Shakespeare knew it was really the other way around. Come see his powerful argument to this effect when St. Louis Shakespeare brings down the curtain on its twentieth season with Julius Caesar at the Lee Auditorium in the Missouri History Museum (Lindell Boulevard and DeBaliviere Avenue). Performances are at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday (January 14 through 23). Tickets cost $22 ($20 for students and seniors); call 314-534-1111 or visit www.metrotix.com to make a purchase. -- Ian Froeb
Hotel San Diego
A Pulitzer Prize winner, a surfer and a Filipino walk into a hotel. Sounds like the start of an off-color joke, but really we're talking about the plot of The Last Days of Café Café, a new "seriocomedy" written by St. Louisan Mario Farwell and produced by First Run Theatre.
Set in San Diego circa 1984, Café Café tells the story of a rundown residential hotel about to be replaced by luxury condos. The hotel's ragtag inhabitants band together in a literal and figurative fight for their lives.
The show begins at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and at 2 p.m. on Sunday (January 14 through 23) at DeSmet High School's Hunter Theatre (223 North New Ballas Road, Creve Coeur). Tickets cost $8 to $12; call 314-680-8102 or visit www.firstruntheatre.com for more information. -- Rose Martelli
For parents of small children, the weeks after Christmas vacation can be just as bad as the holidays themselves. The kids are cranky, the toys are already broken, and everyone's clothes don't quite seem to fit. To help alleviate the back-to-school blues this weekend, along comes The Adventures of Curious George, the stage adaptation of the popular children's book, at the Florissant Civic Center Theatre (Parker and Waterford roads, Florissant; 314-921-5678 or www.florissantmo.com). You know you love that damn monkey, and if you can get little Jimmy to leave the GameBoy Advance in the car for an hour, so will he. George gets into trouble at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and at 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday (January 14 through 16). Tickets are only $7 for each performance. -- Mia York