Showcase Short Cuts

Advertising for the Mob
It sounds ridiculous: Hopeless failure of an adman gets canned from his twelfth agency and starts a crime family. The whitest white guy this side of the Mississippi, said adman happens to be adopted, with no union-labor lineage to speak of. One chosen brother in crime is Filipino, another African-American. But wait, there's more! The new mobsters christen themselves "La Familia," don neon-colored zoot suits and — insert drumroll here — attempt to take over the "protection business" on the Hill. A ridiculous plot line, yes, served up with a hokey score to match. Yet director Scott Wibbenmeyer nonetheless manages to yield a lot of laughs with Advertising for the Mob. The fabulous casting includes a number of local celebrities in off-color positions: Kim Tucci liberally dropping F-bombs as Godfather of the Hill; Victoria Babu mocking a blowhard of a newscaster while on air; Tony Twist wreaking environmental havoc while simulating a sex act, and Adriana Fazio maiming La Familia with a handheld bottle of fertilizer. All in all, this romp of a crime flick pays off. Monday, July 21, 7:15 p.m., at the Tivoli Theatre. — Kristen Hinman

The Color of Justice, Episode 1: "The People vs. The Dollar"
Missouri's execution rate is one of the highest in the nation, and Ronnell Falaq Bennett and Damon Davis take that disturbing fact to the streets in a memorable opening scene of their documentary, The Color of Justice. The wavering voices and faltering opinions of local passersby questioned about their views on the death penalty — as well as the tales of former police officer Redditt Hudson, who is now a Racial Justice Associate for the American Civil Liberties Union — preface the murky details surrounding two death penalties resulting from the murder of sisters Robin and Julie Kerry, who were sexually assaulted and pushed off the Chain of Rocks Bridge in 1991. Though two men, Marlin Gray and Antonio D. Richardson, were sentenced to death for the incident, the documentary offers evidence of several injustices related to the case, including that Marlin Gray, who was executed in 2005, may have been physically assaulted by police officers directly before his confession to the crime. While the directors' sometimes forcefully obvious attempts to sway viewers' opinion were evident, they provide a riveting look into the local racial divide surrounding this case. Monday, July 21, 5 p.m., at the Tivoli Theatre. — Kristy Wendt

Say Goodnight
The word "dude" made its first first public appearance when, in 1883, Jonathan Periam used it to describe men that were "ill-bred, ignorant but ostentatious, [and] from the city" in his citizen's guide The Home and Farm Manual. Though the guide has fallen out of use and the word "dude" now also potentially conveys any number of emotions, Periam's definition is the best one for the male characters in David VonAllmen's comedy Say Goodnight. Three dudes, Leroy (Rob Benedict), Mason (Christopher Gessner) and Bernard (David Monahan) meet a mutual friend to hash out relationships gone kaput, and through the course of their conversation and several beers, the viewer is whisked back in time to a series of chance encounters, first dates, and embarrassingly rookie relationship foibles as they occur. For those who've tired of the bar scene, this movie is a tour de force reminder of why: Those first superficial conversations, not really compelling to begin with, can lead to worst case scenarios of intense relationships consisting of little more than cruelly intimate one-upmanship. Tuesday, July 22, 7 p.m., at the Tivoli Theatre. — Kristy Wendt

That All May Be One The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet have been a continued presence in St. Louis since 1836 when the first six sisters arrived from France. Then, as now, they lived in a motherhouse in Carondelet which has expanded from a log cabin to a large building that, as more than one sister has observed, resembled a prison before its recent renovation. They established and operated the St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf, St. Joseph Academy and the Nazareth Living Center, a retirement community. Karen Kearns’ documentary That All May Be One chronicles this remarkable group of women who have always been self-governing and respectfully defiant of the Church patriarchy. They were also, as several sisters note proudly, the first order to abandon the habit after Vatican II. Today their numbers are dwindling — 444 sisters remain, and their average age is 71 — but they have vowed, as long as any sisters survive, to continue to serve St. Louis. We, in turn, should be proud to have them. Wednesday, July 23, 5 p.m., at the Tivoli Theatre. — Aimee Levitt