TUES 4/19

It is difficult to mark when the change occurred. Perhaps it was when a healthy breakfast cereal was purchased, rather than the usual sugar-encrusted heart-attack shards. Maybe it was when the bar order changed from beer to Scotch. Was it the successful application for a loan? It could have been any number of incidents such as these that signaled adulthood, when the sober grip of maturity finally took hold.

It doesn't matter when it happened so much as it matters that it happened. Now that you've matured, your taste in entertainment should match your sophisticated lifestyle. Rather than renting both Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies, as you have done every Tuesday night for eleven years, instead partake of the sophisticated art of cabaret. Christopher Jackson (pictured) debuts his latest collection of songs (with the help of Vernon Goodman) at 8 p.m. at the Sheldon Concert Hall (3648 Washington Boulevard), and if the title of the show, It Ain't Pretty Bein' Easy, isn't enough to sway you, well, what will? Jackson has a gift for clever wordplay and catchy melodies, and now's as good a time as any to learn about the astringent sting of double-entendre and innuendo. Come on, it'll be grown-up fun. Cabaret seating and bar service during the show are amenities you'll grow to love. Tickets are $12 to $15, with the option of a $25 sponsor ticket that is good for the afterparty. Reservations can be made by calling 636-227-8762. -- Paul Friswold

South Side Exposure
Tours of Grand homes

Heads up, south-siders: Mr. Night's in the house. On Saturday and Sunday, April 16 and 17, if yours is one of the featured homes on the twelfth annual Grand South Grand House and Garden Tour, he'll be dropping by. Join him and view characterful Tower Grove Park-area houses room by beautiful room. (Night's a civil gent -- he'll remove the muddy Gene Simmons boots upon entering each home.) A free shuttle bus departs from the northeast corner of Grand Boulevard and Juniata Street during tour hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. Tickets are $14 in advance, $16 day-of-tour. (The Compton Heights Water Tower is on the itinerary for an additional fee.) Call 314-773-4844 for participating ticket vendors, or e-mail [email protected]. -- Alex Weir

It's the Spice of Life
Party for Variety

FRI 4/15

For those of us who pay attention, Friday is tax day, the day we make a down payment on the war. If that thought is too depressing to stomach, you can spend your money at the seventh annual St. Louis Variety "Night of the Rising Stars" beginning at 7 p.m. Sat the Pageant (6161 Delmar Boulevard) instead. St. Louis Variety is, of course, a local children's charity, and "Night of the Rising Stars" is a night of crazy live music featuring soul funksters Boogie Chyld, DJ Sara Cox, DJ Mark Lewis and super-rockers Gargoyle Reign. Admission is $40, but that breaks down to ten bucks per act -- not a bad deal. And the money (if you're wondering) stays in St. Louis to help disabled and disadvantaged children. It's much better to enjoy some music, have some drinks and dance instead of whiling away the hours in a bar, wondering how your money will be spent. Call 314-453-0453 or visit www.thepageant.com (or www.varietystl.org) for tickets and more information. -- Mark Dischinger

The Spirit of Desegregation

Even though they can't vote, sometimes kids are instrumental in bringing about change. Like the nine teens who challenged segregation at Central High School in Little Rock in 1957: What a powerful statement they made! This month, the Old Courthouse (11 North Fourth Street; 314-655-1600) hosts a Brown vs. Board of Education traveling exhibit and several related free events, including a talk at noon on Wednesday, April 13, with Spirit Trickey (pictured) -- she's the daughter of Minnijean Brown Trickey, one of the Little Rock Nine. -- Alison Sieloff

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