This Week's Day-by-Day Picks

Week of November 16, 2005

Wednesday, November 16

Growing up, Ms. Day, who’s too young to really remember The Jeffersons, immensely enjoyed star Marla Gibbs on the show 227. So great was her enjoyment, in fact, that the comedy became ingrained in Ms. Day’s consciousness, and when her friends moved into an apartment with a front stoop reminiscent of those stairs on the beloved sitcom, and when these friends sat out there for hours talking about life, love and mac & cheese, Ms. Day felt that they were kinda “playing 227,” and she loved it. Try it for yourself sometime; there’s just something conversationally inspiring about sitting in front of your house as opposed to hanging out on the boring back porch. Anyway, Ms. Marla, a.k.a. the queen of gab, is also the queen of jazz standards, and she’s going to be at Vintage Vinyl (6610 Delmar Boulevard, University City; 314-721-4096) at 7 p.m. to meet fans and sign copies of her debut CD, It’s Never Too Late! This event is free. (Oh, and don’t worry about not being “conversationally inspired” when Marla’s talking to you; Ms. Day bets she’ll put you right at ease.)

Thursday, November 17

For newbie oenophiles, the various parts of the Thanksgiving dinner might make for some confusion as to what kind of wine is appropriate. Your instincts may be telling you to serve a sauvignon blanc with the bird, but the wintry meal seems to actually call for a red wine, perhaps a pinot noir or even a shiraz (or none of the above). What to do? Head to Grapevine Wines & Cheese (309 South Kirkwood Road, Kirkwood) at 7 p.m. for Wines for Holiday Dinners, a class that costs $20. The fine folks at Grapevine will help you perfectly pair a wine with turkey/stuffing/cranberries, or the less-traditional-yet-much-beloved turducken. Do three meats require three wines? Only Grapevine can help you now (and maybe a cardiologist after your over-consumption heart attack). Visit www.grapevinewinesandcheese.com to make your reservation, and call 314-909-7044 for more information.

Friday, November 18

Roy Lichtenstein used to tell his wife that he was "leaving his soul to science." The man who became a pop-art icon saw his work go from being derided to selling for millions of dollars, but he clearly never lost his sense of fun. And while his "torn from today's funny pages" style of art may be oft-imitated, no one can really duplicate Lichtenstein's sly, humorous touches. In his Modern Room (a lithograph, woodcut and screenprint from 1990), the trademark bright colors and zipotone are present, as well as an "unfinished" portrait of Mao Tse-Tung hanging in the background, wryly echoing Gilbert Stuart's unfinished portrait of George Washington. Modern Room is one of seven prints on display in the new Lichtenstein exhibition, Interiors, at the Greenberg Van Doren Gallery (3540 Washington Avenue; 314-361-7600 or www.greenbergvandoren.com). The show opens today with a 6-to-8-p.m. public reception and remains up through December 17.

Saturday, November 19

Ms. Day's a little behind on her reading, though she's been working really hard to finish up Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire before the movie is released this weekend. Why did that magical, fiery goblet spit out Harry's name? How will everyone's favorite young wizard do in the Triwizard Tournament? Shhh! Don't say it out loud! Ms. Day will be done with J.K. Rowling's fourth Harry Potter book by today, no doubt, and then we can discuss the finer points of Sirius' and Harry's relationship and exactly how an Age Line and a Sorting Hat might work — right after we see the movie at the Galleria 6 Cinema (Brentwood Boulevard and Clayton Road, Richmond Heights). There, we'll register at 10 a.m. for a special screening, enjoy Goblet with other costumed fans (there's a contest) and get popcorn, soda and a treat, all for $10 to $20; call 314-768-3000, extension 2207, to pre-order tickets. (Compassionate elf-defender Hermione will be glad to know that all of the proceeds from this screening support Saint Louis Crisis Nursery's efforts to prevent child abuse.)

Sunday, November 20

Despite being a devout fan of the meaty food groups, Mr. Night does enjoy the meat alternatives as well. Food is food, and if it tastes good, eat it, right? Exactly. So when the St. Louis Vegetarian Society throws its annual Turkey Free Thanksgiving, Mr. Night says, "Right on." An all-you-can-eat, all-vegan dinner prepared by the Culinary Arts School of the St. Louis Community College for only $15 (in advance; $20 at the door) is nothing to poo-poo (not until a few hours later, anyway). The menu includes turkey breast, sausage and crab cake (all made of AuraPro protein alternative), roasted harvest vegetables and something called "sweet potato duchess." And did we mention it's all you can eat? It's a meal so nice the SLVS serves it twice, at 5 and 7 p.m. at Eden Seminary (475 East Lockwood Avenue, Webster Groves; 314-995-2699). Advance tickets are available at Wild Oats Market, all three Natural Ways, Eternity Deli, MoKaBe's and Sappington International Farmers Market.

Monday, November 21

The shame of being unmasked as a fraud has scared Mr. Night straight. While for years he claimed his "Larks Tongues in Aspic" Pie was a unique, made-from-scratch creation, such is not the case. The tongues are merely gummi worms, the aspic is, in fact, mucilage, and the crust is (horror of horrors!) one of those pre-made deals from his grocer's freezer. But at this year's Holiday Party, the pie he serves shall be a genuine, hand-made delight. How will he turn it around? He's signed up for the Pies the Limit class with Bobby Sweet (co-owner of Black Bear Bakery) at the Kitchen Conservatory (8021 Clayton Road, Clayton; 314-862-2665). This 6-to-8:30-p.m. hands-on course teaches pie cheaters how to make flaky crusts and delicious fillings (pumpkin and pecan) without resorting to store-bought trickery. The session costs $50, and you can register online at www.kitchenconservatory .com. Mea culpa, mea hungry, so mea eata pie.

Tuesday, November 22

Um, the St. Louis Blues are experiencing technical difficulties right now. Injuries have been plentiful, wins are scarce, and the fans are hungry for better days. But lots of people in St. Louis are hungry — and for real food, not hockey victory. The fans can't do much to help the team, but we can help the less fortunate at the St. Louis Mills Shoot Against Hunger Night. Bring a non-perishable comestible or a cash donation to the Los Angeles Kings game, and after the pros finish, you get to take shots at the net for prizes courtesy of the St. Louis Mills mall (folks who can go topshelf may be propositioned by the Blues). The game starts at 7 p.m. at Savvis Center (South 14th Street and Clark Avenue; 314-241-1888 or www.savviscenter.net), tickets are $15 to $90, and regardless of the final score, people in St. Louis will feel better when the night is over.

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