The Cairo in Cairo, Illinois, is pronounced "Karo" like the syrup, but there's nothing sweet about Cairo in Gregory Carr's two-act play, Ain't Got Time to Die. Young Jeremiah Trueblood, an African American trapped in the racism of Cairo in 1936, believes he can escape his dead-end life through the auspices of President F.D. Roosevelt's W.P.A. Federal Theater Program, if only his father would let him. Drawn to the works of Shakespeare, Jeremiah defies his father and follows his dream. His triumphant return to Cairo breeds disastrous results when the Bard's Othello hits too close to home. First Run Theatre presents Ain't Got Time to Die at 8 p.m. on Friday, August 20; Saturday, August 21; Thursday, August 26; and Saturday, August 28; and at 2 p.m. Sunday, August 22 and 29 at the DeSmet High School theater (223 North New Ballas Road). Tickets are $8 to $12; call 314-680-8102 for more info. -- Paul Friswold
Wall of Sound
Admit it: You've always wanted to gnaw on some barbecue or pizza while listening to the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra perform Verdi and Joplin. Licking funnel-cake sweetness from your fingertips in time with a performance of W.C. Handy's St. Louis Blues has long been your naughty little fantasy. At River Splash at the Gateway Arch, you finally get the chance to make your dream come true: The SLSO performs for free beginning at 7 p.m., and food and beverage sales begin at 5 p.m. The 75-by-150-foot water-screen show on the Mississippi River immediately follows the concert. For more information visit www.celebrate2004.org or call 314-436-2004. -- Amy Helms
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