Friday, September 2, 2016

6 Things to Do in St. Louis This Weekend for $15 or Less

Posted By on Fri, Sep 2, 2016 at 6:10 AM

Page 2 of 2

click to enlarge The Japanese Festival comes to the Missouri Botanical Garden — and it's free. - J  MONKEN/MOBOT
  • The Japanese Festival comes to the Missouri Botanical Garden — and it's free.

4. Celebrate Japan at MoBOT
The Missouri Botanical Garden's Japanese Festival celebrates its 40th anniversary this year with some new additions. Luck Eisa is a dance troupe that specializes in the Okinawan folk dance style eisa, which is performed by young people dressed in colorful outfits and wielding three types of drums. Also making its St. Louis debut this year is Samurai Sword Soul, a theater company that specializes in tate, which is Japanese sword stage fighting. Tate blends real martial arts with theatrical embellishment to create a dramatic form of highly choreographed combat. Both groups perform all three days of the festival, which takes place from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday (September 3 to 5) at the Missouri Botanical Garden (4344 Shaw Boulevard; Admission is $5 to $15.

5. ... or Greece in the Central West End
The joy of grilling throughout a three-day weekend fades a little by by the end of day two. The heat starts to get to you just about the same time somebody's girlfriend shows up with a portobello mushroom and a bowl of marinade. Take that third day off and head to the St. Nicholas Greek Festival, where the cooking is done for you. Now in its 99th year, the St. Nicholas Greek Festival offers Olympian amounts of food and drink as well as Greek dancing, music and tours of the historic St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church (4967 Forest Park Avenue; This year's festival is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday to Sunday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday (September 2 to 5). Admission is free and so is the parking in the nearby BJC garage.

6. Catch a play by that Miranda guy you've been hearing about

If news of Hamilton coming to St. Louis has you aching for a little of that Lin-Manuel Miranda magic, you can get an early fix at the start of September, courtesy of R-S Theatrics. The company opens its season with Love? Actually ... An Evening of Musical One-Acts. The first show is the audience-controlled "Out of A Bowl," and the second is Steven Serpa's short opera "Thyrsis & Amaranth," based on the La Fontaine fable of the same name, about young shepherds in love. The finale is Miranda's "21 Chump Street," a musical about a high school student infatuated with the new kid at school — who is actually an undercover cop. You may have heard both the musical and the real-life story that inspired it on This American Life, but now you can hear and see it live and in person. Love? Actually... is performed at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 7 p.m. Sunday (September 2 to 18) at the Westport Playhouse (635 Westport Plaza, Maryland Heights; Tickets are $15 to $25.

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