Fourth of July festivities may be over, but that shouldn't stop you from planning a week full of things to do. This week relies heavily on the arts scene to bounce us back from our fireworks-induced hangovers, so be sure to check it out. As always, don't forget to plan your weekend out here:
A Return to the Middle Passage
The Black Rep's Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea blends poetry, wordplay, humor and ritual to tell the story of 18-year-old Dontrell Jones. Jones voyages into the Atlantic Ocean searching for an ancestor who was lost during the Middle Passage, the portion of the Atlantic slave trade where enslaved people were transported to the Americas. Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea can be seen at Washington University's Edison Theatre (6465 Forsyth, 314-935-6543, theblackrep.org). The show opens Wednesday, July 6, and runs through Sunday, July 24. Shows are at 7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 3 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $15-$50.
Not Your Average Picnic
If you fancy a camping trip with a bit more pizzazz, St. Clair is hosting their Pickin' On Music Festival that combines nature, live music and workshops. Find yourself taking in the scenic bluffs, enjoying river and lake access, or singing by the campfire at night with more than 10 musical acts booked for the weekend jamboree. The festival is family and dog friendly. In addition to live music, there are workshops and local vendors scheduled to come out to the 50-year-old walnut grove. Lost Hill Lake (2300 Mill Hill Road, St. Clair; pickinfestival.com) hosts the festival beginning on Thursday, July 7, and running through Sunday, July 10. Tickets for a single-day admission are $95.
Post-Fourth of July festivities depression may be hitting you this week, but fear not: St. Charles may offer you some relief. Fair favorites are coming to the town across the river in the form of Thrillville with carnival rides, games and classic fair food. Circus shows and a petting zoo will be there, too.
Other features of the festival-inspired event include magic and comedy shows. It's family friendly, with unlimited-ride wristbands available for purchase to help you satisfy your thrills. Visit Thrillville at the St. Charles Family Arena (2002 Arena Parkway, St. Charles; discoverstcharles.com/event/thrillville-fair/3611) any day of the week, from Thursday, July 7, to Sunday, July 17.
Music in the Garden
If you still haven't been to Missouri Botanical Garden (4344 Shaw Boulevard, 314-577-5100; missouribotanicalgarden.org) for the Whitaker Music Festival, time is running out. This week's act is Sweetie and the Toothaches. The concert is free but reservations are required. Catch the Whitaker Music Festival on Wednesday, July 13. Music begins at 7 p.m. and last entry is at 8:15 p.m.
Prints on Prints on Prints
Ted Simmons is a former Cardinals baseball player who was named to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2020. His wife, Maryanne, is a fine-arts printer and publisher who has had her own publishing enterprise since 1996. Together, they collected art — and now, part of their collection makes up Catching the Moment. The exhibit primarily focuses on printmaking, but also has collages, a painting, sculptures, drawings and photographs. The Simmonses focused on contemporary art and artists, wanting to form a collection that critiqued broad social, historical and political issues. Catching the Moment is at the Saint Louis Art Museum (1 Fine Arts Drive, 314-721-0072, slam.org/exhibitions/catching-the-moment) now until Sunday, September 11. Tickets to the exhibit are $6 to $12. n