THUR 8/5

According to official anniversary rules, the third-year gift is supposed to be either leather (traditionally) or crystal or glass for the modern triennial celebrator. And we all know how contemporary RFT readers are, so it seems only right that if we're not going to shower Miso on Meramec and its owner, Brad Beracha, with crystal gifts, then we should at least drink from their glasses on this, their third anniversary!

Think we don't have much to celebrate? Where were we in 2001? Wandering around Clayton without a home, without a downstairs place to call our own, that's where we were. But look at how far we've come! We eat delicate sushi and Asian-esque tapas, we listen to Mike Gow's DJ magic, and, most important, we drink (so we did that before, but we're keeping at it). Make your dinner reservations by calling 314-863-7888, then come on down to 16 North Meramec Avenue for the big party. The earlier you get there, the better your chances at being one of the first 150 guests -- these lucky celebrants get a free Miso Mix Series Volume 1 CD. You know you want it. And maybe you'll even get to be a little St. Louis-fab-famous and get your paparazzi shot on Oh, me so excited! -- Alison Sieloff

Shutter to Think
Some of this, some of that

Used to be that photography was about anticipation -- you'd get antsy waiting for your film to develop, so that you could see what turned out (or didn't). Then along came the Polaroid and the digital camera, which fanned the flames of instant gratification even higher until immediacy became the norm. Well, no worries: Satisfaction will be available as soon as you get to the Commonspace (615 North Grand Boulevard; 314-531-1707 or for misc., St. Louis Community College-Forest Park's free student photography show. Both traditional and digital photographic prints will be on display. The opening is from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, August 6, and the show is up until September 7. Call the college at 314-644-9350 for more info about the participating photographers. -- Guy Gray

Through the Crystal, Darkly
Jim Henson's other masterpiece

Holy crap, The Dark Crystal. Where do you begin? A Jim Henson-conceived, all-Muppet fantasy epic about a dying race (the heroic Gelflings, down to just two representatives) questing against the evil of the Skeksis (totally rad vulture wizards), The Dark Crystal unfolds its mysteries over a lifetime of viewing enjoyment. The more times you see it, the more you get out of it. Like the music played at the wild festival in Kira's adopted hometown: That could totally be something off a Sunburned Hand of the Man album. Or the massive solar-system sculpture in Aughra's lair -- is that the same planetary system E.T. made out of fruit and baseballs in E.T.? The Dark Crystal, screening at midnight on Fridays and Saturdays (August 6 through 14) at the Tivoli (6350 Delmar Boulevard; call 314-995-6270 for prices) continues to amaze after 22 years. Here's to another two decades of wonder. -- Paul Friswold

Hit the (42nd) Street

Good ol' Forest Park combines the best of indoors and outdoors at the Muny, the largest and oldest outdoor theater in the U.S. of A. Starting its run at 8:15 p.m. on Monday, August 9, is 42nd Street, which is dearly beloved by die-hard musical fans. A true musical's musical, 42nd Street features tap dance, romance and a slew of catchy show tunes you'll be humming for the next few days. Tickets are $8 to $56 (call 314-361-1900), and the show continues through August 15. -- Christine Whitney

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