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Q in the Lou

Sun., Sept. 23, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

There's only one number you need to know to understand what Q in the Lou is all about: 18,000. That's the number of pounds of meat that will be barbecued in Kiener Plaza (500 Chestnut Street; www.qinthelou.com) this weekend. From 4 to 9 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday (September 21 to 23) that meat will be given the smoky respect it deserves from pitmasters Marlando "Big Moe" Cason, Carey Bringle and hometown favorites Mike Johnson, Christina Fitzgerald and Mike Emerson. If that's not enough, you can reserve one of eighteen slots in the Rib Rumble on Saturday and Sunday, which gives you ten minutes to eat as many ribs as you can. You can compete for the sheer joy of it, but prizes go to the biggest and fastest eaters. The Pernikoff Brothers, Hillary Fitz, the Darrells and Nate Lowry play live during the festival, and admission is free. You pay for BBQ and beer as you go, and VIP options are available. free admission

St. Louis Renaissance Festival

Saturdays, Sundays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Continues through Oct. 14

If the modern world has you down, you could always escape to the past in Wentzville. The St. Louis Renaissance Festival is back in action from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday through October 14 at Rotary Park (2577 West Meyer Road, Wentzville; www.stlrenfest.com), celebrating the better qualities of the sixteenth century. There are knightly jousts daily at 11:30 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., wandering performers, a royal court with no power to screw up anyone's life, belly dancers, pirates and giant turkey legs to gnaw on. This weekend (September 22 and 23) is Celtic Festival, with kilt contests, beard competitions, a "bonny knees" competition for, yes, the bonniest knees and a William Wallace costume contest. Admission is $10.95 to $19.95. $10.95-$19.95

Rotary Park (map)
2577 W. Meyer Road
Wentzville St. Louis Renaissance Festival

New Media Series: Cyprien Gaillard

Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through Sept. 30

Wild rose-ringed parakeets are found in Africa and India — and also in Düsseldorf, Germany. The German variety arrived as pets and then either were released or escaped into the city. The birds have made a home for themselves on one of the city's upscale streets, roosting happily in building façades. Artist Cyprien Gaillard followed the parakeets with a camera as they winged home at twilight. His short film KOE shows flocks of them as they fly past concrete and steel, thousands of miles away from their tropical ancestral lands. The silent film is a commentary on how humanity interferes with nature, and how animals are forced to adapt to a rapidly urbanizing world. KOE is shown on a loop in gallery 301 at the Saint Louis Art Museum (1 Fine Arts Drive; www.slam.org) as part of the New Media Series. It remains on display Tuesday through Sunday (April 20 to July 15), and admission is free. free admission

Love Never Dies

Tuesdays-Fridays, Saturdays, 2 & 7:30 p.m., Sun., Sept. 23, 1 & 6:30 p.m. and Sun., Sept. 30, 1 p.m. Continues through Sept. 30

Ten years after her horrific experience at and under the Paris Opera House, famed soprano Christine Daae arrives in America with her husband Raoul and son Gustave. Life hasn't been great; Raoul has both a gambling and drinking problem, and Christine needs to find success in New York to keep the family solvent. But little does the family suspect that its invitation to visit America came from the mysterious Phantom, who now operates (from the shadows, of course) a successful attraction at Coney Island. Can the Phantom reclaim Christine's love, which he possessed for one brief night, or will she remain loyal to her dissolute husband? The musical Love Never Dies is less a sequel to The Phantom of the Opera than a second story starring the same characters, according to composer Andrew Lloyd Webber. Love Never Dies makes its St. Louis premiere at the Fox Theatre (527 North Grand Boulevard; www.fabulousfox.com) this month. Performances are Tuesday through Sunday (September 18 to 30), and tickets are $35 to $99. $35-$99

Buy Tickets
The Fox Theatre (map)
527 N. Grand Blvd.
St. Louis - Grand Center
phone 314-534-1111
Love Never Dies

Chinese Buddhist Art, 10th-15th Centuries

Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through Sept. 30

Very rarely does an art exhibition include the actual wall an artist worked on, but the Saint Louis Art Museum does so for Chinese Buddhist Art, 10th-15th Centuries. A six-foot-by-four-foot section of a temple wall that has a painting of the Bodhisattva Akalokiteśvara (Guanyin) on one side is the focal point of the exhibition, and an exceptionally rare object. The show also includes four hanging scrolls, and a never-before-displayed painted, wooden sculpture of a seated arhat, the Buddhist term for a person who has achieved enlightenment. Chinese Buddhist Art, 10th-15th Centuries is open Tuesday through Sunday (March 30 to August 30) in gallery 225 of the Saint Louis Art Museum (1 Fine Arts Drive; www.slam.org). Admission is free. free admission

Evita

Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through Sept. 30

The Repertory Theatre St. Louis opens its new season with a bang — the Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice musical, Evita. It's the incredible, somewhat true story about the meteoric rise of Eva Duarte and her even swifter fall. Born into poverty, Eva pursued a career in show biz and rose above her humble beginnings, but a chance meeting with general Juan Perón altered the direction of her life. When Perón is elected president of Argentina, Eva chooses to help the poor, becoming a folk hero and cultural icon. The Repertory Theatre St. Louis presents Evita Tuesday through Sunday (September 7 to 30) at the Loretto-Hilton Center (130 Edgar Road; www.repstl.org). Tickets are $29 to $102. $29-$102

Muny Memories: 100 Years on Stage

Through June 2, 2019

The Muny is just about to open its landmark 100th season, and its neighbor, the Missouri History Museum (Lindell Boulevard and DeBalivere Avenue; www.mohistory.org), celebrates the occasion with an exhibit dedicated to the history of America's largest outdoor theater. Muny Memories: 100 Years on Stage features exhibits that explain the founding of the theater, display favorite memories from stars and staff, and give a look back stage to see how the dedicated technical crew creates and rigs all those sets and lights. You can also take a look at programs from the Muny's long, storied past. Muny Memories opens on Saturday, June 9, and remains on display daily through June 2, 2019. Admission is free. free admission

Missouri History Museum (map)
Lindell Blvd. & DeBaliviere Ave.
St. Louis - Forest Park
phone 314-746-4599
Muny Memories: 100 Years on Stage

Sanford Biggers and Basquiat Before Basquiat: East 12th Street, 1979-1980

Wednesdays-Sundays. Continues through Dec. 30

The Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis opens some of the most ambitious and vital shows in its history this month, with a series of exhibitions by, and about, black artists and the black experience. Sanford Biggers works directly with the materials of his forebearers — quilts and African sculptures — only he reshapes and repurposes them as contemporary statements about black identity, history and trauma. Biggers gives found quilts new life with new handwork, encoding personal messages into their original pattern. The fact that the work of an anonymous black craftsman or woman now appears in galleries and museums around the world, even in Biggers' modified form, is both subversive and celebratory. With wooden sculptures, some of which are copies, he dips them in wax and then works them over with firearms. What begins as a statue of a human or human-shaped supernatural being becomes obscured, disfigured and unrecognizable through the violence wrought upon it.

In addition to Biggers' work, CAM presents a show of the private photos of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Basquiat emerged from the New York City hip-hop/punk/graffiti scenes in the 1970s as one-half of the graffiti duo SAMO, along with Al Diaz. The pair together tagged buildings with cryptic phrases denouncing the establishment, politics and religion, always signed "SAMO" (an acronym for "Same Old Shit"). When the duo broke up, Basquiat performed in the noise rock band Test Pattern (later named "Gray") with Vincent Gallo and Michael Holman. He lived on the streets, sold drugs and experimented with Xerox art, painting and drawing. Basquiat Before Basquiat: East 12th Street, 1979-1980 will showcase everything the artist made while living in a small East Village apartment with his friend Alexis Adler before he hit the big time. It's a treasure trove of paintings, sculptures and works on paper, as well as Adler's photographs of his friend.

Both exhibitions open with a free reception from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, September 7, at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (3750 Washington Boulevard; www.camstl.org). The shows continue through December 30.

free admission

Crowns

Sundays, 3 p.m. Continues through Sept. 23

Yolanda's older brother has just been slain on the streets of Brooklyn by a random act of violence. Before she can fully process the murder, her mother ships her off to family in South Carolina in hopes of saving at least one child. The transition is jarring, to say the least. Yolanda doesn't understand country living or the culture of the South, and she certainly doesn't understand her relatives' fascination with hats. But for this older, more religious generation, chapeaus are both a sartorial expression of style and grace and an absolute necessity if you're going to church — and you are going to church. As Yolanda begins to know her relatives — especially her grandmother, Mother Shaw — she learns about dressing well, history and her own culture. And with that knowledge comes the realization that you earn as much pride as you give yourself. The Black Rep throws open the doors on its 42nd season with Regina Taylor's play Crowns. Performances take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday (September 7 to 23) at Washington University's Edison Theatre (6445 Forsyth Boulevard; www.theblackrep.org). Tickets are $15 to $45, and now more than ever, dress to impress on opening night. $15-$45

Buy Tickets
Edison Theatre (map)
6445 Forsyth Blvd.
Clayton
phone 314-935-6543
Crowns

Oklahoma!

Saturdays, 4 & 8 p.m., Tuesdays-Fridays, 8 p.m., Sundays, 2 p.m. and Sun., Oct. 7, 2 & 7:30 p.m. Continues through Sept. 30

It's been 75 years since Rodgers and Hammerstein transformed the Broadway musical with Oklahoma!, and the show remains as fresh and popular as ever. Farm girl Laurey Williams has two suitors — cowboy Curly and farmhand Jud Fry. When Curly waits too long to approach her, she agrees to go to the dance with Jud. He's the type of broody loner who brings a knife to the social, just in case he gets a crack at Curly, but all Curly wants is to convince Laurey he's ready to get serious. Can true love win? The show is packed with songs that have long been considered classics, from show opener "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'" to the frequently covered "People Will Say We're in Love." And then there's the boisterous title number, which is so irresistible that within a decade it became the state song of Oklahoma. Stages St. Louis presents Oklahoma! Tuesday through Sunday (September 7 to October 7) at the Robert G. Reim Theatre (111 South Geyer Avenue; www.stagesstlouis.org). Tickets are $41 to $63. $41-$63

Mark Dew:

Wednesdays, Fridays-Sundays, 8 p.m.

To walk into the Hideaway is to enter a place that seems frozen in time, where the dozen or so seats around the piano are packed with your grandparents' friends, decked out in chunky jewelry and tilted fedora hats. Ostensibly, they're here to listen to Mark Dew play — he's here Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights — but you're just as likely to hear one of those old-timers sitting around the piano trill Charlie Rich's "The Most Beautiful Girl." And when Dew finally has his turn at the mic, he'll say something humble, like, "I apologize; it should have been in the key of F." No matter. Dew is the conductor of this time-traveling train, and everyone's on board. Dew, who is blind, has been the piano man here for nearly a quarter-century and jokes that the best part about working here is, well, getting paid. He marvels at the younger set trickling in and its knowledge of the Cash and Sinatra songbooks: "The more the crowd gets into it, the more I play," Dew says. And that's enough to keep him around. "I'm not quite ready to be out to pasture," he says. "Yet." free

Compton Hill Water Tower Full Moon Viewing

Mon., Sept. 24, 6:30-9:30 p.m.

The first full moon of autumn rises on Monday, September 24, and if you want to really get a look at the old girl, there's no better view than from the top platform of the Compton Hill Water Tower (1900 South Grand Boulevard; www.watertowerfoundation.org). The full moon tour takes place from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., and it will take your breath away — it's 198 steps to the top. But what a reward for all that huffin' and puffin'. Admission to the tower is $5 cash, and the platform is limited to 25 people at a time, so there may be a wait. The moon ain't going anywhere, so just be patient. $5 cash

Compton Hill Water Tower (map)
1900 S Grand Blvd
St. Louis - South Grand
phone 314-552-9000
Compton Hill Water Tower Full Moon Viewing

St. Louis Cardinals vs. Milwaukee Brewers

Mon., Sept. 24, 7:15 p.m., Tue., Sept. 25, 7:15 p.m. and Wed., Sept. 26, 6:15 p.m.

The St. Louis Cardinals are hovering near a Wild Card slot for the playoffs, and at the time of writing the Milwaukee Brewers are the main obstacle. It just so happens that the Cards and Brewers have a three-game series here at Busch Stadium (700 Clark Avenue; www.stlcardinals.com), and it would help the home team's cause greatly if they could sweep the beer boys. It's the final homestand of the season and could be a tremendous cap to a year of surprises. First pitch is at 7:15 p.m. Monday and Tuesday and 6:15 p.m. Wednesday (September 24 to 26), and tickets are $5.90 to $254.90. $5.90-$254.90

Buy Tickets
Busch Stadium (map)
700 Clark Ave
St. Louis - Downtown
phone 314-345-9600
St. Louis Cardinals vs. Milwaukee Brewers

St. Louis Blues vs. Washington Capitals

Tue., Sept. 25, 7 p.m.

Hockey season ended June 7 when the Washington Capitals victoriously hoisted the Stanley Cup. Barely three months later, the Capitals roll into town for a pre-season game against the St. Louis Blues, ending the interminable period between seasons. Pre-season games don't normally bring much excitement, but hockey is hockey. A couple of young guys trying to win permanent spots on each team's roster may fight and there's a chance for a surprising goal or two, but what you most want to see is complete lack of injuries. Certain Capitals players may not yet have sobered up from the summer-long celebration, so don't expect to see a lot of the big-name players playing regular-season minutes. The game starts at 7 p.m. at the Enterprise Center (1401 Clark Avenue; www.stlblues.com) and tickets are $8.10 to $144. $8.10-$144

Enterprise Center (map)
1401 Clark Ave.
St. Louis - Downtown
phone 314-241-1888
St. Louis Blues vs. Washington Capitals

To Survive on This Shore: Photographs and Interviews with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Older Adults

Wednesdays-Saturdays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Oct. 10
,

While the transgender/gender-fluid community continues to become more welcome in American society with every passing year, for the most part, its younger members tend to be most visible within the mainstream. Youth is inappropriately valued in our culture, but you can be certain that a growing number of older trans and gender-non-conforming people are out there living their best lives. Photographer Jess T. Dugan and social worker Vanessa Fabbre spent more than five years traveling the nation to photograph and record the life stories of this hidden demographic, finding subjects in both big cities and small towns. The duo's work is compiled in a new book and exhibition, both titled To Survive on This Shore: Photographs and Interviews with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Older Adults. On Thursday, September 13, the exhibit opens and the book is officially released at a dual reception from 5 to 8 p.m. at Projects + Gallery (4733 McPherson Avenue; www.projects-gallery.com). A dozen large-scale photos of participants are on display, along with ten 18-by-24-inch portraits; all of them include a written narrative about the subject's life. The show continues through October 10. free admission

Projects + Gallery (map)
4733 McPherson Ave
St. Louis - Central West End
phone 314-696-8678
To Survive on This Shore: Photographs and Interviews with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Older Adults
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