Friday, April 29, 2016

8 Fun Things to Do This Week for $20 or Less

Posted By on Fri, Apr 29, 2016 at 7:05 AM

click to enlarge CARRIE MEYER/INSOMNIAC STUDIOS
  • CARRIE MEYER/INSOMNIAC STUDIOS

It's the weekend — and you know what that means: arts, culture, and maybe a little nudity, too. Whether you plan to watch the Blues at one of the city's sports bars, catch some live music, or get literary with two different book-related events, there's plenty of stuff to do — and we've got a roster that runs all the way till next Wednesday.

Here are our picks for the best things to do in St. Louis this week.

1. See a classic play set in St. Louis
The Glass Menagerie was Tennessee Williams' first successful play, so it's fitting that this new production serves as the prelude to the Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis. Upstream Theater has assembled a cast of heavy hitters in Linda Kennedy, J. Samuel Davis, Sydney Frasure and Jason Contini; the company will undoubtedly find something new and fresh in the timeless classic. The festival doesn't officially open until May 11, but Upstream Theater starts performing the play at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday (April 29 through May 14), with a 2 p.m. performance on Sunday, May 15. All shows take place at the Kranzberg Arts Center (501 North Grand Boulevard; 314-863-4999 or www.upstreamtheater.org). Tickets are $20 to $30. Don't miss this one — it will surely sell out.

2. Check out the Greater St. Louis Book Fair
This is a great week to be alive if you're a book lover. Independent Bookstore Day is Saturday, and the Greater St. Louis Book Fair is back this week with more books than ever. As always, the fair is chock-a-block with great bargains on paperbacks, hardcovers, comic books, graphic novels and related ephemera. This year's crop of rare and collectible items is deep and fascinating as well. There's a copy of Andy Warhol's 25 Cats Named Sam and One Blue Pussy, a 1914 edition of The Book of Friendly Giants and, for the Mr. Show fanatic in your life, a copy of Charles Francis Jenkins' biography of Button Gwinnett (he signed the Declaration of Independence). The Greater St. Louis Book Fair takes place from 4 to 9 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday (April 28 to May 1) at West County Center (I-270 and Manchester Road; www.stlouisbookfair.org). Admission is $10 on opening night and free Friday through Sunday.

3. See the fashion highlighted on the cover of this week's RFT
The boutique Bespoke (2650 Cherokee Street; 314-665-2665 or www.bespokesaintlouis.com) is manufacturing fashion that is seldom sewn in St. Louis. Owner Dorothy Jones works rigorously in her shop, engineering made-to-measure, customized couture for her customers. In a new collaboration, Jones has teamed up with Victoria Cates, creating a twelve-piece line for their shared fashion show, Amare Elementorum. For these designs, Jones pairs her hand-made patterns with Cates' intricate beadwork embroidery in the theme of a cabinet of curiosities. You can see their handiwork at the free premiere party from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, April 29. The clothing will remain on display for one month after that.

4. Celebrate Independent Book Store Day
Groucho Marx once noted that, outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend (and inside the dog it's too dark to read). Damned if he wasn't right. Some of our best friends are in books, because a great story never lets you down. On Saturday Left Bank Books (399 North Euclid Avenue; www.left-bank.com) and Subterranean Books (6275 Delmar Boulevard; www.subbooks.com) both celebrate Independent Bookstore Day, which means we get to honor these fantastic bookeries and their contributions to the city's cultural life. Left Bank gets going at 10 a.m. with limited edition merchandise for sale, teatime for tots, a photobooth and YA author Antony John, who will critique your British accent from 1 to 2 p.m. Over at Subterranean the party starts at 11 a.m. Festivities include poetry written on demand, micro-story writing and the creation of a literary exquisite corpse (many people blindly adding a section to a story-in-progress). You can also get your picture taken with Teddy, Subby's bookselling dog (check out his recommended books; he knows his stuff). Admission to both parties is free, but bring money to buy books.

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Best Things to Do In St. Louis

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