Like being in the mood for chocolate, sometimes you just have a hankering for some comforting art. Gail Soliwoda Cassilly's sculptures now displayed in the exhibit Figurative Sculpture at the Xen Gallery (401 North Euclid Avenue; 314-454-9561 or www.xengallery.com) really hit the spot -- like a chunk of chocolate the size of your head. Cassilly's First Time in Vegas depicts a woman who is pleasantly plump (she's probably been eating chocolate) and whose toes hang over the edges of her sandals. Some would say she's not perfect, but to us she's real -- and she's brave enough to be in a swimsuit, albeit a modest one, in front of everyone. Fill your eye-candy quota for the week and go see this Vegas virgin, along with Cassilly's other pieces and Deborah Douglas' Recent Paintings, for free any time from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. before Friday, May 13, when both exhibits close.
Thursday, May 12
Much like Andrew W.K., when it's time to party, Mr. Night parties hard. Hard to the point of nosebleeds and violent blackouts, if necessary. Mr. Night shall attempt to rein in his most ferocious party tendencies at Midwest Mayhem, despite the inflammatory name. The KDHX (88.1 FM)-sponsored party has all the makings of a truly memorable bash (palm readers, poets, caricature artists), but since it takes place at the City Museum (701 North 15th Street; 314-231-2489 or www.kdhx.org/party), it would behoove everyone to keep their wits about them. One wrong step at the City Museum, and you're rocketing down a four-story-high slide. Besides, with live music from the Fab Foehners, Rough Shop, Bob Reuter and Dubtronix (among others), you'll want to be able to appreciate the wonder of it all. Tickets for Midwest Mayhem are $10 to $15, and the shindig digs from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Wednesday, May 13
Truly, life is just one big scavenger hunt -- without any real prizes. We always run around and eventually find the random stuff we're looking for, but all for nothing. Sure, you could say that "true love" or "happiness" or some other vague ideals are prizes, but the kind of rewards we're wanting are of the more tangible variety. And the Saint Louis County Parks' event planners seem to be on our level. This weekend, they offer a couple of BYO-flashlight Scavenger Hunts at Laumeier Sculpture Park (12580 Rott Road, Sunset Hills) -- with real prizes! Of course, the Night & Day team is super-stoked about the adult hunt Saturday, May 14 ($15), and its wine-and-cheese reward. Now that's what we're talking about!
But the all-ages Friday-the-Thirteenth scavenge ($7) should be excellent, too (don't worry, its prizes are more kid-appropriate). And while you and your child are attempting to complete your list, make mental notes for Saturday night's event and remember: You have to work if you're gonna win. Both hunts run from 7 to 10 p.m.; pre-register by calling 636-391-3474 (required).
Saturday, May 14
Shameful admission time: Mr. Night recorded the final episode of Dawson's Creek -- but on audio tape only. He's not a total moron, see; he just wanted to preserve that horribly verbose dialogue for his files. Now, he has a chance to perhaps re-enact Jen's deathbed scene with James Van Der Beek (Dawson) when the VDB comes to town for the Hollywood All Stars Softball Game at GMC Stadium (Sauget Industrial Park and Goose Lake roads, off I-255 in Sauget, Illinois; 618-337-3000 or www.gatewaygrizzlies.com), home of the Gateway Grizzlies. This fundraising game pits celebs such as Meat Loaf, Norm MacDonald and the VDB against former Cardinals like Andy Van Slyke and Jack Clark. Can Van Der Beek hold on to a Van Slyke line drive the same way Dawson held on to his virginity all those seasons? Probably not, but who cares? It's a fundraiser for the St. Louis Children's Hospital (Dawson always did the right thing, didn't he?). Tickets for the 7 p.m. game are $10.
Sunday, May 15
So maybe you're still on the morning-side of 25, but for those of you riding that twenties sun down to the big three-oh (or who are, sniff, even older), think back to how you spent your 25th birthday. Maybe you stayed up all night, drinking and dancing until dawn. Wow, that was fun. Wow, that was a lo-o-ong time ago. Well, it's time to get out of the house and relive that birthday all weekend at the Oz Nightclub's 25th Anniversary Festivities (300 Monsanto Avenue, Sauget, Illinois; 618-274-1464 or www.oznightclub.com). Where else would you go for an all-weekend debauch?
On Friday, May 13, party with DJ Reach (from Last Call with Carson Daly), DJ Charlie Chan and DJ Gary Mac, and enjoy '80s drink prices ($2.50 per). Saturday, May 14, the Mac returns with DJ AM, DJ Reece and DJ Bill Pile; while they're spinning, you can try to win $25,000 at the craps table -- some birthday present! And tonight is the grand anniversary finale: Each of the Oz's three rooms features music from all the decades the Oz has been in operation. In other words, no matter how old (or young) you are, these tunes should bring back -- and help make -- some memories. Thanks, Oz! We needed that! The club opens at 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and at 10 p.m. on Sunday ($5 cover all weekend) -- see you there!
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.