It is an oft-cited piece of trivia that screenwriter Bob Gale was partially inspired to write Back to the Future after perusing his father's yearbook and wondering if he would've been friends with his father if the two had known each other back in Dad's heyday. And why is this tidbit important? Because Bob Gale is from St. Louis, and this just may be the only instance where the question "where'd you go to high school?" generated an interesting response -- not to mention a blockbuster film franchise (for the record, Bob Gale is an alumnus of University City High School, Class of '69).
But if you really want to know all the secrets of the making of Back to the Future, you must attend the twentieth-anniversary screening of the film at 7 p.m. at Webster University's Moore Auditorium (470 East Lockwood Avenue; 314-968-7487). Gale will be in the audience, and he'll answer questions about the film after the screening. Are those really the famous University City lions in front of the Lyons Estates? (Sort of; they were inspired by the U. City felines.) Is Huey Lewis really as good an actor as he appears to be in his cameo? (Maybe; see Duets for verification.) Is there going to be a Back to the Future 4? (Let's hope not; without Michael J. Fox, there just isn't any point.) See? We can't definitively answer these questions, but Gale can. Tickets for the evening are $5 to $6. -- Paul Friswold
Laumeier Sculpture Park's unique outdoor art environment receives some XL-size flair for the fall and winter, as several artists have been invited to create ten "billboard-size" paintings specifically for the park. The show, titled Public Notice: Paintings in Laumeier Sculpture Park, features pieces that not only run the gamut from abstraction to representation, but also present vastly different techniques and ideas -- from Joe Amrhein's text-heavy Retro (pictured) to the beguiling and ultra-real foliage of Carrie Waldman's Ginko Branch. Come meet some of the artists at the opening reception this Saturday, October 8, from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Laumeier galleries (12580 Rott Road, Sunset Hills); for more information call 314-821-1209 or check out www.laumeier.org. The exhibit remains up through January 15. -- Guy Gray
Art Full of Hope
This carnival is not taking place in Rio. There will be no nudity, no samba clubs and no caipirinhas. Instead, the St. Louis Mid-Sized Arts Cooperative focuses its formidable forces to aid Hurricane Katrina evacuees with twelve hours (10 a.m. to 10 p.m.) of art, music, dance, theater and interactive workshops at the Carnivale d'Art at the Touhill Performing Arts Center on the University of Missouri-St. Louis campus (1 University Drive at Natural Bridge Road). Enjoy performances by the aTrek Dance Company, Piwacket Children's Theater (pictured) and the Compton Heights Concert Band (among many others; see www.carnivaledart.com for a full roster), and help people at the same time. Tickets are free for Katrina evacuees; everyone else pays $5 to $11 (call 314-535-1135 for advance tickets). -- Christine Whitney
Party Hardy Arty
The folks at the Foundry Art Centre do not mandate that you have taste in art to get a taste of art -- they just want you to see it for yourself. And so to entice you to see the current show, Quilt National Exhibit 2005, the Foundry goes bistro, flinging open its doors (and dance floor) for anyone who wants to check out the quilts, the galleries, the renovation of the historic riverfront foundry or simply the noshes. Vocal quartet Velvet performs the hits of Motown for dancers in the Grand Hall, and a cash bar operates from 8 to 10 p.m. Admission to the Friday Night Bistro is $18 to $20, and the Foundry is located at 520 North Main Street in St. Charles. Call 636-255-0270 or visit www.foundryartscentre.org for more information. -- Anna Teekell