Monday, May 16
For some performers, fame is fleeting. Beautiful Jim Key was beloved by the crowds at the 1904 World's Fair. People thrilled at his math skills, his ability to sort mail and his citation of Bible passages. But now, nobody lists Jim as one of the great performers of the last century. Is it because Beautiful Jim Key was a horse? Mim Rivas examines the life and times of this equine wonder in Beautiful Jim Key: The Lost History of a Horse and a Man Who Changed the World. Rivas reads from and discusses this amazing human-animal relationship at 7 p.m. at St. Louis County Library Headquarters (1640 South Lindbergh Boulevard, Ladue; 314-367-6731 or www.left-bank.com) as the guest of Left Bank Books. Admission is free.
Tuesday, May 17
Ah, The Producers. Mel Brooks' smash stage production has taken the world by storm, and to that we say, "Good for you, Mel." The diminutive comic genius deserves all the plaudits he's earned, and then some. Mel's musical comedy about a meek accountant and a cunning theatrical producer teaming up to defraud investors by staging the worst musical of all time (a tribute, in song and dance, to the Third Reich) was uproariously funny as a film (starring young Gene Wilder and the irrepressible Zero Mostel), so it's rewarding to see it conquer Broadway and the world with equal parts music and chutzpah. The touring production of the entertainment juggernaut returns to the Fox Theatre (527 North Grand Boulevard; 314-534-1111) at 8 p.m. Tickets are $30 to $80, and the show runs through May 22.