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My Bloody Valentine's

Sat., Feb. 17, 7-11 p.m.

Valentine's Day is touted as a day of romance and tender feelings, but that's not everybody's idea of love. Some people feel a descent into the realm of horror, madness and nightmares is what love is all about (we call them "married people"). Famed haunted house the Darkness (1525 South Eighth Street; www.scarefest.com) is newly renovated, and it will be open tonight for My Bloody Valentine's, the perfect day for those who can only say "I love you" while screaming. Terror Visions 3D and Zombie Laser Tag are part of the deal, but only the first 500 people will be allowed entry. My Bloody Valentine's runs from 7 to 11 p.m., and tickets are $25. $25

The Darkness (map)
1525 S. Eighth St.
St. Louis - Soulard
phone 314-631-8000
My Bloody Valentine's

SLLAW XV: Masquerade Brawl

Sat., Feb. 17, 9 p.m.
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The St. Louis Lady Arm Wrestlers (SLLAW) combine the theatricality of professional wrestling with the over-the-top power of Sylvester Stallone's character in cult film Over the Top. These hand-grapplers wear outlandish costumes and develop wild personae to aid them as they test their strength. The Masquerade Brawl is the group's first bout of 2018, and it features old favorites such as Lucille Brawl, Surly Temple and Betsy Boss, as well as some new competitors. The Masquerade Brawl starts at 9 p.m. tonight at the Heavy Anchor (5226 Gravois Avenue; www.sllaw.org), and poet/bassist Tonina provides the halftime show. Admission is $10, but cash to bribe competitors is often useful. Proceeds benefit the Center for Women in Transition. $10

The Heavy Anchor (map)
5226 Gravois Ave.
St. Louis - South City
phone 314-352-5226
SLLAW XV: Masquerade Brawl

Red Scare on Sunset

Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m. Continues through Feb. 24

No real American will be surprised to learn that the local Method acting class is actually a recruiting tool of those godless communists — except for Mary Dale. As cinema's leading lady, Mary depends on the studio's star system to maintain her career and top billing. When she discovers her husband is learning the Method, she realizes it's up to her to stop the commies and emotion-driven acting in order to save her country. Charles Busch's comic play Red Scare on Sunset mixes the McCarthy era with A Star Is Born, with a touch of Reagan-era conservatism. Stray Dog Theatre presents Red Scare on Sunset at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday (February 8 to 24) at Tower Grove Abbey (2336 Tennessee Avenue; www.straydogtheatre.org). Tickets are $25 to $30. $25-$30

Tower Grove Abbey (map)
2336 Tennessee Ave.
St. Louis - South Grand
phone 314-865-1995
Red Scare on Sunset

Identi-TEA

Mondays-Saturdays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sundays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through March 18

The humble teapot is a staple for ceramicists. They're functional and make good gifts (mothers love them), as well as allowing the artist to stretch creatively. A handle, a lid and a spout are the essential elements, but beyond that, anything goes. Identi-TEA: The Sixteenth Biennial Teapot exhibition at the Craft Alliance Center of Art + Design (6640 Delmar Boulevard, University City; www.craftalliance.org) features a wild and whimsical selection of teapots. The opening reception takes place from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, January 12, and the show continues through March 18. The gallery is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free. free admission

Living Proof: The Art of Japanese Draftsmanship in the 19th Century

Thursdays, Fridays, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. and Wednesdays, Saturdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through March 3

As strange as it seems to us in the West, Japanese artists in the nineteenth century did not view their own drawings as individual works of art. They were "thinking on paper" or creating visual aids for wood carvers and printers who would create the actual work of art: the woodblock print. But despite their creators' misgivings about the artistry, drawings by master woodblock printers such as Utagawa Kuniyoshi and Katsushika Hokusai are indeed works of art. Living Proof: The Art of Japanese Draftsmanship in the 19th Century, the new exhibition at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation (3716 Washington Boulevard; www.pulitzerarts.org), collects more than 80 such "throwaway" drawings that capture the artists' work in their own hands, with corrections and alterations that demonstrate how they thought about and edited their projects "in camera." Living Proof is on display November 3 through March 3. free admission

Pulitzer Arts Foundation (map)
3716 Washington Blvd.
St. Louis - Grand Center
phone 314-754-1850
Living Proof: The Art of Japanese Draftsmanship in the 19th Century

Dario Calmese: amongst friends.

Wednesdays-Saturdays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through March 31
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Harlem preservationist Lana Turner is known for her collection of vintage fashions, among many other things. St. Louis-born artist Dario Calmese originally wanted to photograph her numerous hats, but quickly realized that Turner's personal style (she believes dressing is an artistic medium) should be captured in whole. Calmese photographed her in her Sunday best, tapping into the long black church tradition and Turner's own recreation of her identity through her savoir faire, which he fixed in black and white images. Calmese's photographs of Turner are partly theatrical, partly a statement of black identity, and they comprise his new exhibition, Dario Calmese: amongst friends. The show opens with a free public reception from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, February 16, at Projects+Gallery (4733 McPherson Avenue; www.projects-gallery.com). At 1 p.m. Saturday, February 17, Calmese and Tuner discuss their collaboration at the gallery. Dario Calmese: amongst friends. remains up through March 31, and the gallery is open Wednesday through Saturday. free admission

Projects + Gallery (map)
4733 McPherson Ave
St. Louis - Central West End
phone 314-696-8678
Dario Calmese: amongst friends.

Tom Huck: Electric Baloneyland

Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through March 31

For decades, St. Louis artist Tom Huck has been delighting and revolting the masses in equal parts with his beautifully grotesque woodcut prints. From his Evil Prints outpost on Washington Avenue, Huck creates incredibly intricate, satirical images that call to mind the best of the Garbage Pail Kids as passed through an Albrecht Dürer filter. His latest show, Electric Baloneyland, catalogs the downward trajectory of American society through the lens of a county fair in Huck's patented confrontational style. The exhibition makes its St. Louis debut this week with an opening reception from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, February 16, at the Duane Reed Gallery (4729 McPherson Avenue; www.duanereedgallery.com). The show continues through March 31. free admission

Duane Reed Gallery (map)
4729 McPherson Ave.
St. Louis - Central West End
phone 314-361-4100
Tom Huck: Electric Baloneyland

Global Moves: Americans in Chess Olympiads

Mondays, Tuesdays, Saturdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sundays, 12-5 p.m. and Wednesdays-Fridays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Continues through April 1

The Chess Olympiad is a biennial competition in which national teams compete for the title. America is the current holder, triumphing against 180 other nations to achieve the victory. It was our first win since 1976, and so the World Chess Hall of Fame takes this golden opportunity to honor the reigning champions. The exhibition Global Moves: Americans in Chess Olympiads is a celebration of America's current and past glories, with numerous historic chess artifacts being displayed — among them, a gold medal from the 2016 team. Grandmasters Fabiano Caruana, Hikaru Nakamura, Wesley So, Ray Robson and Sam Shankland, who all played for the 2016 American team, will attend the opening reception, which takes place from 6 to 8 p.m. tonight at the World Chess Hall of Fame (4652 Maryland Avenue; www.worldchesshof.org). Also on display is the Hamilton-Russell Cup, the trophy granted to the Olympiad's winning team. Global Moves continues through April 1. $3-$5 suggested donation

Mane 'n Tail

Thursdays, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. and Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, 12-6 p.m. Continues through March 8

For young black women, beauty supply shops provide their first real creative outlet. Keeping up with the latest trends allows them to learn how to protect and care, use makeup and get pointers from older women. It's a communal experience that the rest of us seldom, if ever, experience. In her art, Katherine Simóne Reynolds explores how commerce and her community meet in these shops every Friday night. Her new exhibition, Mane 'n Tail</b>, shows her work and also has artists LaKela Brown, Narcissister and Rachel Youn interpreting this idea. Mane 'n Tail opens with a free reception from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, January 19, at the the Luminary (2701 Cherokee Street; www.theluminaryarts.com) and continues through March 8. free admission

The Luminary (map)
2701 Cherokee St
St. Louis - South City
phone 314-773-1533
Mane 'n Tail

Postwar Prints and Multiples: Investigating the Collection

Mondays, Wednesdays-Sundays. Continues through April 16

Like many collecting institutions, the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum (1 Brookings Drive; www.kemperartmuseum.wustl.edu) houses more art than it can easily display. As part of its continuing mission to bring stored pieces out for the public to enjoy, the Kemper presents its new exhibition, Postwar Prints and Multiples: Investigating the Collection. The exhibit draws on the wealth of printed artwork by a range of artists who rose to prominence during the twentieth century from a host of artistic movements. Among the artists represented by key works are Ellsworth Kelly, Claes Oldenburg, Man Ray, Meret Oppenheim, Roy Lichtenstein and La Monte Young. Postwar Prints and Multiples opens with a free reception from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, February 2, at the museum. The show remains on display through April 16, and admission is free. free admission

Trenton Doyle Hancock: The Re-Evolving Door to the Moundverse

Fridays, Saturdays, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. and Wednesdays, Thursdays, Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through April 22

Drawing inspiration from the morality tales of cartoons (a cat is always bad, but birds or mice are good; dogs also are heroes), comic books (equally flamboyant bad guys and good guys), video games and films, Trenton Doyle Hancock created his own private universe, one in which the Mounds (half-plant, half-animal, all-good living forest) and the Vegans (they eat Mounds!) endlessly battle it out for supremacy. Both Coonbear and Bringback, a henchman in a striped unitard, are part of the battle, because they're also some part of Hancock. Politics, race, class, identity and issues of social justice are hidden in these stories, just like Sun Ra's own fully scored space operas in the jazz world. Trenton Doyle Hancock: The Re-Evolving Door to the Moundverse is a collection of these drawings, sculptures and prints that show part of the eternal struggle of good and evil, right and wrong, moral and immoral. The Re-Evolving Door to the Moundverse opens with a free reception at 7 p.m. Friday, January 19, at Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (3750 Washington Boulevard; www.camstl.org). Hancock will discuss the Moundverse and his work at 11 a.m. Saturday, January 20. The show continues through April 22, and the gallery is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Admission is free. free admission

Blackbird

Sundays, 3 p.m. and Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m. Continues through Feb. 25

Old lovers reunite in David Harrower's play Blackbird, but this get-together is far from a happy one. Una shows up at Ray's office and demands to speak with him about the way things between them ended. Ray would rather not, because he's made a new life for himself and doesn't want to ruin it. Una feels she's owed something from Ray, however — he did leave her when she was just twelve years old, and as an adult he should have handled it better. Blackbird is a tense (and potentially upsetting) play about uncomfortable subjects, and a happy end is not in store. St. Louis Actors' Studio presents Blackbird at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday (9 to 25) at the Gaslight Theater (358 North Boyle Avenue; www.stlas.org). Tickets are $30 to $35. $30-$35

The Humans

Thursdays, Fridays, 8 p.m., Saturdays, 4 p.m., Tuesdays, Wednesdays, 7 p.m., Sat., Feb. 24, 4 & 8 p.m., Saturdays, 4 & 8 p.m., Sundays, 2 & 7 p.m., Wed., Feb. 28, 1:30 p.m. and Fri., March 2, 8 p.m. Continues through March 4

Brigid Blake has invited the family to her place for Thanksgiving, despite her place being a basement apartment in New York's Chinatown. Her older sister is distracted, her parents are worried about the economy, her grandmother has Alzheimer's disease and drifts in and out of the gathering, and her trust-fund boyfriend is strangely attracted to all of these new people and their various real-world problems. Stephen Karam's Pulitzer Prize-winning play The Humans shows a regular working family come together, drive each other slightly crazy again and also realize what they have in each other. The Repertory Theatre St. Louis presents The Humans Tuesday through Sunday (February 9 to March 4) at the Loretto-Hilton Center (130 Edgar Road; www.repstl.org). Tickets are $18.50 to $89. $18.50-$89.50

Infected

Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m., Sundays, 7 p.m. and Sun., Feb. 25, 2 p.m. Continues through Feb. 18

Albert Ostermaier's drama Infected centers on a lone day trader. He's under quarantine, and his mental health is swiftly deteriorating under his protracted isolation — or maybe it's his mysterious malady that's eating away at his brain? Whichever it is, he's definitely slipping free of reality; he's begun to think he caught his virus from the stock market itself, as he explains in a frantic monologue about his life, his work and his disease. Upstream Theater presents the American premiere of Infected, translated by Philip Boehm from Ostermaier's original German. Performances take place at 8 p.m. Thursday to Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday (February 9 to 24), with an additional 2 p.m. show on Sunday, February 25, at the Kranzberg Arts Center (501 North Grand Boulevard; www.upstreamtheater.org). Tickets are $25 to $35. $25-$35

Buy Tickets
Kranzberg Arts Center (map)
501 N Grand Blvd
St. Louis - Grand Center
phone 314-533-0367
Infected

Silent Sky

Sundays, 2 p.m. and Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m. Continues through Feb. 18

Henrietta Leavitt has questions about deep space and Earth's place and role in the universe, so she gets a job at the Harvard Observatory in hopes of finding satisfying answers. Instead, she's confronted by the very unsatisfactory reality that women aren't allowed to use the telescope. Her dream job turns out to be grunt work, as she's expected to catalog all the stars revealed on the telescope's photographic plates, while men pursue the business of discovery. Women are capable of seeing what men cannot, and in those plates Leavitt found something no one else had noticed and broke new ground in astronomy. Lauren Gunderson's play Silent Sky charts the lives and work of early twentieth-century female astronomers, and how they defied the odds to do great work in an age when society mostly demanded they stay out of the way and procreate. West End Players Guild presents Silent Sky at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday (February 9 to 18) at the Union Avenue Christian Church (733 North Union Avenue; www.westendplayers.org). Tickets are $20 to $25. $20-$25

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