If you measure "summer" as running from Memorial Day to Labor Day, this is the last full week of summer. Good thing it's filled with great things to do. From burlesque to the Festival of Nations, from a new show at COCA to a fascinating fan film, this week has it all going on — and a whole lot of isn't just cheap, it's absolutely free.
Here are our picks for the week's best things to do.
1. Say goodbye to a burlesque troupe at Atomic Cowboy
Summer is coming to an end, and so are the Randy Dandies. The St. Louis burlesque troupe calls it a day with a return visit to Camp Lik-a-Twa-Ta-Lotta. The camp is broke and the counselors are running out of options to save the day. Meanwhile, the rich kids across the lake at Camp Kik-A-Dong still have everything. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and those Lik-a-Twa-Ta-Lotta gals and guys fight dirty. Expect shenanigans in Camp Lik-a-Twa-Ta-Lotta 2: Beating Around the Bush, which takes place at 9 p.m. Friday at the Bootleg at Atomic Cowboy (4140 Manchester Avenue; www.atomiccowboystl.com). Get there at 8 p.m. to see Narvel P. Tuffnuts' hot dog eating contest and Blyre Cpanx's hula hoop competition. Tuba-and-ukelele duo Sophisticated Babies round out the pre-show fun. Tickets are just $15.
2. See a play at the Ivory Theatre
The wealthy Geronte is sadly dying. He's very old, and he's been dying for a long time now, but this is surely the end. Still, he bravely soldiers on with his plan to wed the lissome Isabelle. But Isabelle loves Eraste, Gerona's upstanding and penniless would-be heir. Their plan was to wait out the old man and then live happily ever after on Eraste's inherited wealth. Now what? Geronte's servant Lisette conspires with the youngsters and Eraste's servant Crispin to make sure their dream wedding comes true — and if Geronte has to die, let him die. David Ives' witty update of The Heir Apparent, a little-known French farce written by the even lesser-known Jean-François Regnard, took Off-Broadway by storm in 2014. Now St. Louis Shakespeare presents The Heir Apparent at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday (August 26 to September 4) at the Ivory Theatre (7620 Michigan Avenue; www.stlshakespeare.org). There is one 7:30 p.m. show on Thursday, September 1. Tickets are $15 to $20.
3. Remember recent history with a new art show at COCA
In the aftermath of the unrest following the death of Michael Brown, artists of all skill levels and backgrounds came together to transform the boarded-up storefronts in Ferguson and along South Grand through the power of art. Those blank plywood facades went from being grim reminders of our failings to colorful and hopeful signposts on the way to reconciliation and mutual empathy. Those original murals of doves and mandalas and affirmations of peace and community were taken down and preserved during the rebuilding process so that they could go on display at a later date. The time is now. Outside In: Paint for Peace, the new exhibition in the Millstone Gallery at the Center of Creative Arts (524 Trinity Avenue, University City; www.cocastl.org), is a selection of those Ferguson murals. More of them will be displayed concurrently at the Ferguson Youth Initiative, Missouri History Museum, Vaughn Cultural Center, University of Missouri-St. Louis' Gallery 210 and the Sheldon. Outside In: Paint for Peace remains up at COCA from August 27 to October 30. Admission is free.
4. See an homage to Indiana Jones at Webster U
How much do you love your favorite movie? Can you quote it all the way through? Do you dress up as your favorite character for Halloween? No matter how great your love for Mannequin (we're assuming here), Chris Strompolos, Eric Zala and Jayson Lamb loved Raiders of the Lost Ark even more. The trio channeled that love into a shot-for-shot recreation of the film — as twelve-year-old kids. With Strompolos as Indiana Jones, Zala doubling as producer and the villainous Belloq, and Lamb serving as cinematographer, the trio spent the next seven summers finishing their version of the film. All that was missing was the fight between Indy and the hulking Nazi underneath and on the Flying Wing. Twenty-five years later, the boys returned with a Kickstarter campaign to raise the necessary funds to get that final shot. It sounds insane, but it's all true. Jeremy Coon and Tim Skousen reveal the truth behind the childhood obsession in the documentary Raiders! The Greatest Fan Film Ever Made. The doc is part of a double feature with the boys' summer project, Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation, at the Webster Film Series. Screenings take place at 7:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday (August 26 to September 4) at Webster University's Moore Auditorium (470 East Lockwood Avenue; www.webster.edu/film-series). Tickets are $4 to $6.
Turn the page for more great events, including a free festival.