Six Things to Do This Weekend for $15 or Less

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Heather Headley stars as the Witch in the Muny's Into the Woods. - Courtesy of the Muny
Courtesy of the Muny
Heather Headley stars as the Witch in the Muny's Into the Woods.

4. Remember When Balloons Were Awesome Why are balloons terribly exciting for kids and terribly "meh" for adults? And when does the change in attitude occur? Theatre Nuevo asks the tough questions about balloon frivolity, especially as they relate to our conception of adulthood and its origins in its new group-devised piece, This Is Not Funny. Using recreations of actual newscasts and a Vaudeville-type framework, Theatre Nuevo dives deep into the mysteries of wonder, fear and our shifting sense of what's fun. The group advises that, despite the show's title, This Is Not Funny is in fact funny. Ah! The mystery begins. This Is Not Funny is performed at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday (July 23 through August 2) at the Chapel (6328 Alexander Drive; Tickets are $15 to $20.— Paul Friswold

5. Watch a Face in a Crowd If the woman in the film Face in the Crowd looks uncannily like Elizabeth Banks, you're not losing your mind. Video artist Alex Prager often recruits professional actors for her projects, and that is indeed Banks dressed in 1950s garb and wading into a crowd of people. The eleven minute long, single-channel film begins with Banks watching a thick crowd of people from her window, and then entering into the tide of humanity. Walking against the crowd's flow, polite greetings and friendly smiles soon turn into collisions, slowed progress and a suffocating sense of claustrophobia. Alex Prager: Face in the Crowd is shown on a loop in gallery 301 at the Saint Louis Art Museum in Forest Park (314-721-0072 or through Sunday, November 1. Admission is free, and the museum is open Tuesday through Sunday.— Paul Friswold

6. Take in a Musical Fairytale Fairy tales are often dismissed as "kids' stuff" because people mistake the form's simplicity of storytelling for being simplicity of meaning and moral. But Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine realized that the inherent simplicity allowed them to tell an emotionally complex story with Into the Woods. The duo set the stock characters of fairy tales -- Cinderella, Rapunzel, bold princes and horrid witches -- in the same magical forest and let their desires and motivations create a tangle of plots and cross-purposes that result in an emotionally complex (and satisfying) story. The Muny presents its first-ever production of Into the Woods at 8:15 p.m. Tuesday through Monday (July 21 through 27) at the Muny in Forest Park (314-361-1900 or Tickets are $14 to $87.—Paul Friswold

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