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Friday, January 22, 2016

6 Fun Things to Do in St. Louis This Weekend

Posted By on Fri, Jan 22, 2016 at 7:30 AM

click to enlarge Taste a shit-ton of whiskeys in Soulard Market Park tonight from 7 to 11 p.m. - PHOTO BY MICAH USHER
  • Photo by Micah Usher
  • Taste a shit-ton of whiskeys in Soulard Market Park tonight from 7 to 11 p.m.

Wine, whiskey and song — this weekend's got it all going on! Head to Soulard Market Park tonight to chow down on barbecue and try more than 50 beers, wines and whiskeys. Or mosey on over to City Museum and catch its in-house troupe, Circus Harmony, showing off its stuff. There's a ton more, too, so read on for all the highlights.

Interested in art galleries instead? We've got the details on four great openings as well.

1. Get a taste of the good stuff in Soulard

Mardi Gras is just over the next hill — are you prepared? If not, you can do some training at the L'ecole Culinaire Wine, Beer and Whiskey Taste. You'll get to sample more than 50 wines, beers and whiskeys from 7 to 11 p.m. tonight at the Bud Light Party Centre in Soulard Market Park (Lafayette Avenue and South Ninth Street; Sommeliers and cicerones (that's a beer genius, if you didn't know) will be present to explain what you're drinking and where it comes from, and barbecue treats from Pappy's, Salt + Smoke and Sugarfire Smokehouse are included in the ticket price ($40 to $50). If you're still unsure, consider this: Anheuser-Busch will be sampling an "unnamed, experimental product" during the event. There's only one way to find out what that beverage is.

2. See a premiere dance company premiere new work

Big Muddy Dance keeps the "contemporary" in contemporary jazz dance with Mud Tracks, a show packed with premieres. The company unwraps its first production of artistic director Brian Enos' Diphthong, which is set to the music of Zap Mama and was originally created for Chicago's Hubbard Street Dance. Chicago dancer Autumn Eckman has choreographed a new piece for the troupe, while company dancers Thom Dancy and Dustin Crumbaugh will both perform a piece that is new to Big Muddy's repertoire. But the centerpiece is a new work created by Josh Manculich, who won a Princess Grace Choreography Fellowship in 2015. Manculich was in fact nominated for the award by Big Muddy Dance, so it's fitting that St. Louis would be first to see the piece. Mud Tracks is presented at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday (January 22 and 23) at the Pageant (6161 Delmar Boulevard; Tickets are $22 to $25.

See also: With "Mud Tracks," Big Muddy Aims to Bring Flash Mob Audiences to the Theater

3. Enjoy some gorgeous guitar music

Internationally, the guitar is often considered the essential instrument for tango, but in Argentina you're not tangoing until someone breaks out the bandoneon. The squeezebox instrument has a plaintive, yearning tone when played by a master such as Cesare Chiacchiaretta. Together with the gifted guitarist Giampaolo Bandini, Chiachiaretta coaxes aching desire out of his instrument while performing the music of Ástor Piazzolla and other Argentinian greats. Even their silences are dramatic, as heard on the Duo Bandini-Chiacchiaretta rendition of Gerardo Matos Rodríguez's familiar "La Cumparasita" — they hang so long on the pause before the final refrain you find yourself leaning forward in anticipation. The St. Louis Classical Guitar Society presents Duo Bandini-Chiacchiaretta tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Sheldon (3648 Washington Boulevard; 314-533-9900 or Tickets are $26 to $30.

Turn the page for more great events in St. Louis this weekend

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Best Things to Do In St. Louis

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