Here are our top picks for things to do in the Lou.
1. See the Blues take on the boys from Las Vegas
The NHL's newest team, the Vegas Golden Knights, embarks on its maiden voyage to St. Louis on Thursday, January 4. The expansion team is one of the surprise stories of the season, racking up wins with its no-star roster rather than turning in the woeful performance most experts predicted. Is this collection of unheralded players coming together as underdogs, or is it maybe their particular home-ice advantage? The Knights' lopsided home record strongly implies the latter — visiting young men with money can find just about any distraction with a free night in Sin City and no game until the following evening. And yet, here we are in January with the boys from Vegas still winning games. Fortunately, the Knights are the visitors on Thursday. The St. Louis Blues host the Vegas Golden Knights at 7 p.m. at the Scottrade Center (1401 Clark Avenue; www.stlblues.com). Tickets are $34 to $159.
2. Catch a theatre classic at the Black Rep
Troy Maxson is finally seeing real progress at age 53. The former Negro Leaguer great is on the verge of becoming the first black garbage truck driver in Pittsburgh. It's a small achievement, but it's one of the few allowed to a black man in the 1950s. His life is not all smooth sailing, though. He and his son keep fighting over the boy's future, and Troy can't get him to understand the value of a steady paycheck over the possibility of a career in football — but maybe that's just Troy's own deferred dreams talking. August Wilson's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Fences is about a man who has grown embittered over the years, becoming a cold and distant tyrant in his own home. The Black Rep performs Fences at 7 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday (January 4 to 21) at Washington University's Edison Theatre (6445 Forsyth Boulevard; www.theblackrep.org). Tickets are $15 to $45.
There hasn't been a successful girl group in the modern era since Destiny's Child, but back in the '50s and '60s the power of multiple women's voices could carry a group to the top. Those days are back again in Roger Bean's musical comedy The Marvelous Wonderettes. Members of the titular group are high school seniors in 1958 performing for their senior prom. During their show, the quartet discovers that two of them are dating the same boy, one of them has a secret love, and that all of them are in the running to become this year's prom queen. Ten years later, the group returns to perform for their high school reunion. It's a show packed with the songs of the '50s and '60s, as well as a few laughs. The Repertory Theatre St. Louis opens the second half of its season with The Marvelous Wonderettes. Performances take place Tuesday through Sunday (January 5 to 28) at the Loretto-Hilton Center (130 Edgar Road; www.repstl.org). Tickets are $18.50 to $89.
4. Laugh at the wit of Steve Martin in Webster
Steve Martin is perhaps better known for his work as a comedian and actor, but he's also written a selection of plays. His most recognized theatrical work, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, doesn't disappoint on the witty-intelligence front. His fantasy about Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso meeting in a Parisian dive in 1904 brings together titans of science and art when they were pre-titanic, emphasizing the humor and imagination that fosters genius. The Theatre Guild of Webster Groves presents Picasso at the Lapin Agile at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday (January 5 to 14) at the The Theatre Guild of Webster Groves (517 Theatre Lane; www.theatreguildwg.org). Tickets are $12 to $15.
5. Get a one-day-only sneak peek at a gory operetta
Gilbert and Sullivan's The Zombies of Penzance, or At Night Come the Flesh Eaters, never made it to stage during the duo's lifetimes. The musical was rejected by their publisher, and they reluctantly rewrote it as The Pirates of Penzance, while the original was lost to history. But New Line Theatre's Scott Miller has found it, or at least its fragments, and intends to mount a full production in October 2018, with composer John Gerdes reconstructing the score. The plot is close to that of its more famous rewrite, but here Major-General Stanley is a retired zombie hunter who hates the walking dead and refuses to allow his daughters to marry any of the Zombie King's decaying followers. New Line Theatre provides a sneak preview at a free public reading of the play. It takes place at 8 p.m. Monday, January 8, at the Marcelle Theater (3310 Samuel Shepard Drive; www.newlinetheatre.com).