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Friday, April 22, 2016

9 Things to Do This Week for $30 or Less

Posted By on Fri, Apr 22, 2016 at 6:00 AM

click to enlarge The Quay brothers' films have inspired no less than Christopher Nolan. They screen at Webster U. all weekend. - COURTESY ZEITGEIST FILMS
  • The Quay brothers' films have inspired no less than Christopher Nolan. They screen at Webster U. all weekend.
This week has it all going on. From Sunday's Earth Day Festival (which features some really cool bands, BTW), to cult cinema favorites at Webster U. and Shakespeare at Urban Chestnut (yes, really!), here are our picks for the week's top events.

Bonus: Not only are most of these events under $30, but in three cases, they're totally free. 

See also: A late-breaking tribute to Prince in the Loop

1. See the Quay Brothers on the big screen
Stephen and Timothy Quay — better known as the Brothers Quay — create some of the most imaginative and unsettling films ever seen. Their stop-motion animated films are shot with looming shadows and unidentifiable sounds that enhance the otherworldliness of their partially-disassembled puppet actors. Director Christopher Nolan was so inspired by their work, he's curated a touring package of three of their films. The Quay Brothers in 35mm includes "In Absentia," "The Comb" and their brilliant "Street of Crocodiles," which is based on Bruno Schulz's short story of the same title. Nolan's own short film "Quay," which takes you into the brothers' studio, rounds out the program. The Quay Brothers in 35mm is screened at 7:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday (April 22 to 24) at Webster University's Moore Auditorium (470 East Lockwood Avenue; 314-968-7487 or Tickets are $4 to $6.

2. Catch an acclaimed Ozarks version of As You Like It
Slightly Askew Theatre Ensemble brings back its delightful adaptation of As You Like It for the Shake 38 Festival, and you should see it. This version of the comedy is set in the Ozarks during the 1929 farm buyouts. Rosalind disguises herself as a boy for safety and heads out to the forest with her friend, Celia. She meets the handsome Orlando, a displaced farmer, and feels an immediate attraction to him. Orlando feels something too, but is puzzled because he's not normally attracted to men. Don't worry, they work it out — and along the way Rosalind learns to love country life, with its handsome farmers and all-night dance parties, courtesy of local band the Foggy Memory Boys. This bucolic, bluegrass version of As You Like It is performed at 9 p.m. Friday at Urban Chestnut's Midtown location (3229 Washington Avenue; Admission is free.

3. Applaud Shakespeare at the library
Soldiers feature prominently in Shakespeare's plays, from the histories (Macbeth) to the comedies (Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing). When the characters' respective wars ended, Shakespeare had the luxury of deciding whether to allow them to transition easily back into society or to have a rough go of adjusting to peacetime. For real-world soldiers, the re-entry to society is something that must be navigated alone. Stephan Wolfert's one-man show Cry Havoc blends the speeches of Shakespeare's soldiers with his personal experience to offer insight into the difficulties soldiers endure when they become civilians again. Cry Havoc is performed at 2 p.m. Saturday at the St. Louis Public Library's Central Branch (1301 Olive Street; as part of the Shake 38 Festival. Admission is free, but reservations are requested as seating is limited.

4. Learn about a St. Louis music legend at Wash. U
Donny Hathaway had everything going for him. He left St. Louis' Carr Square housing project for Howard University and became tight with Roberta Flack, but abandoned school to work for Curtis Mayfield's Custom Records as an arranger, writer and producer. In four short years he released a massive single ("Where is the Love?" — a duet with Flack), a revered live album and co-wrote and sang the Christmas standard "This Christmas." At the peak of his professional career Hathaway began to suffer from crippling depression and paranoid delusions, which were eventually diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenia. Medication helped, but only when he took it regularly. Playwright Kelvin Rolston Jr.'s drama
Twisted Melodies is a fictionalized journey into Hathaway's mind during the time he was trying to navigate his way through schizophrenia, the music industry and his home life. The Black Rep closes its season with Twisted Melodies. Performances take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday (April 22 through May 1) at Washington University's Edison Theatre (6445 Forsyth Boulevard; Tickets are $30.

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