The "Off the Wall" free movie series continues this week with The Bad News Bears. The near-classic tale of a washed-up minor-league baseball player (Walter Mathau) who is conned into coaching an exceptionally undertalented Little League team stands as the greatest kids-'n'-sports movie of all time. That said, the film may be a little rough around the edges for the PC-Age parent. Mathau's Coach Buttermaker drinks openly, swears often and doesn't sugarcoat anything for his hapless team. The kids, for their part, swear quite a bit but don't drink nearly as much. It's definitely more South Park than Mighty Ducks, which explains the movie's rough charm. The film starts at 8:30 p.m. at Kiener Plaza (Seventh and Market streets; www.downtownstlouis.org) and is preceded by games and karaoke, which begin at 7 p.m.
Thursday, July 14
From time to time, everyone laments the genetic hand he or she was dealt. Whether grumbling about getting Dad's chicken legs or Mom's double chin, most people forget about their positive inherited attributes and instead focus merely on the big feet of their genetic makeup. Well, the exact opposite is true of the Jefferson family. Father Melvin, son Daniel and daughter Lauren are highlighting their artistic familial trait in an exhibit called Fasonda (get it? Father, son and daughter?). Check out the artists' works and see how their individual styles shine through at the City Studio Art Gallery (4397 Laclede Avenue; www.thecitystudio.com). The show remains on view through September 18; call 314-533-4142 for more information and to make a viewing appointment.
Friday, July 15
Terence Rattigan has been called "the master of the well-made play." His works typify the upper-middle-class comedy of manners that most embody the stereotype of the staid Englishman. In Rattigan's Separate Tables, the permanent residents of a seaside hotel struggle to maintain their carefully crafted public faces while grappling with devastating personal issues. Repression, both emotional and sexual, abounds. Stiff upper lip and all that, you know. ACT Inc. opens its run of Separate Tables at 8 p.m. at Fontbonne University's Fine Arts Theatre (6800 Wydown Boulevard; 314-725-9108 or www.actinc.biz), with additional performances at 8 p.m. every other week on Friday and Saturday, with 2 p.m. matinees on Sunday (through July 31). Tickets are $12 to $15.
Saturday, July 16
Remember when you used to go to clubs all the time? And stay up until sunrise at least once a month? What happened to you? Why has a sensible bedtime become so important? You don't want people to think you're old, do you? Didn't think so. Besides, Rue 13 (1311 Washington Avenue; call 314-588-7070 for prices) is one of your favorite places. You know where your favorite seat is (although you won't be sitting in it -- ahem, because of the dancing); you know what your favorite drink is (you will have more than a few chocolate martinis); you even know where your favorite sneaky parking spot is (we'll let you keep that to yourself) -- so head out tonight at 9 p.m. Ten-year DJ veteran Lady D is headlining, and you just love Chicago house! And after the show at Rue, you may as well head to Faces (132 Collinsville Avenue, East St. Louis, Illinois; 618-271-7410 or www.facesnolimits.com) for the Lady's second set of the evening, beginning at 3:30 a.m. Why not? You have all day tomorrow to sleep (baby).
Sunday, July 17
Soldiers often have quite a bit of downtime in their lives. Having been trained to keep busy at all times (or at least look busy), they can create some interesting things in these extended moments of quiet. Busy hands and empty shell casings become ashtrays, a few hours spent waiting in the office leads to a unit newsletter, and a strange amount of solitary time and a lonely soldier can somehow result in a sweetheart pillow. Artifacts, Souvenirs and Miscellaneous Junk, the new exhibit at the Jefferson Barracks Historic Site (533 Grant Road; 314-638-2100), collects these objects and others like them, offering an intimate look at a rarely seen (or studied) part of the soldier's life. The exhibit, which runs through November 27, is open from noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Admission is free.
Monday, July 18
It took almost twenty years for the rest of the world to catch up to Klaus Nomi. The sci-fi diva had captivated the world (well, New York City at least; almost the same thing) in the very early '80s with his combination of 22nd-century costumes, dance beats and soaring, counter-tenor vocals. Then AIDS ended his wonderfully bizarre life, and Nomi's legacy faded into the background, popping up only now and again (most frequently in reruns of his Saturday Night Live appearance with a Scary Monsters-era David Bowie). Filmmaker Andrew Horn attempts to revive interest in the cheerful German from another dimension with his award-winning documentary, The Nomi Song. Much like his subject, Horn has a playful sense of visuals that elevates the film above staid "talking head" interviews with Nomi's friends; a paper doll stands in for Nomi's camera-shy aunt, and excerpts from It Came from Outer Space buttress Nomi's myth of an extraterrestrial origin. Frederick's Music Lounge (4454 Chippewa Street; 314-351-5711) screens The Nomi Song at 6:30 p.m. as part of the free Monday Movie Night, with a David Bowie chaser of the excellent The Man Who Fell to Earth.