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FRI 5/6

Aliens walk among us. Not those drab little gray monsters who lurk along the backwater highways of the American Southwest; no, these aliens are a riot of color and music, and they're right here in town. And they don't want to probe anything, so unclench. The Celestial Theatre, the home base for interstellar superheroes such as Millennium Bug and Solar Red (escort for the Trinket Queen), performs trippy black-light and Day-Glo art that reveals the baroque cosmology of other galaxies. And no, it's not as cultish as it sounds: The Celestial Theatre brings a sci-fi message of hope and wonder. That message is just delivered in the unconventional form of pantomime, with pulsing music and flashing lights as a backdrop.

The intergalactic adventurers tell a new tale at Dressel's (419 North Euclid Avenue; 314-361-1060) as the invited guests of the First Friday art opening in the pub's jungle room. The art of Cindy Royal, Craig Downs, Steve Truesdale and Judith Beck is on display from 7 to 10 p.m., and at 8:30 p.m. the Celestial Theatre busts out a 45-minute show that introduces a new character to the happy troupe. Admission is free. -- Paul Friswold

Nice Cantina Scene
Star Wars at Fred's

MON 5/9

You meet all kinds at Frederick's Music Lounge (4454 Chippewa Street; 314-351-5711). Tonight you'll meet just one kind: die-hard, lightsaber-swingin', wookie-lovin', Yoda-quotin' Star Wars fans. To stoke the already-blazing flames of anticipation crackling in the hearts of Star Warriors eagerly awaiting the last-ever installment of George Lucas' beloved film series, Fred's screens all three original movies (the Han and Chewie years) in one orgy of geek-love. Will impromptu trivia challenges break out among the faithful during the evening? Um, does Luke look strong enough to pull the ears off a gondark? Fred, seriously: Thank you. Doors open at 5 p.m., admission is free (as is the popcorn), and expect the bartenders to get busy when those damn Ewoks show up. -- Paul Friswold

South Side Story
Boys, books and trannies

SAT 5/7

"Tell me a story." These four words, timeless and vital, keep us entertained, inspired and accountable. Stories incite riots and heal hearts. Stories set worlds in motion. If we're lucky, we hear tales that intrigue us and jostle us out of complacency. Find such good fortune when the Community Arts and Media Project, or CAMP (3022 A Cherokee Street), hosts the Cross Gender Caravan's "Boys with Books Tour." Three storytellers -- Tennessee Jones, Andre Hewitt and Emil Heiple -- read from their books, which describe moving across geographic, economic and sexual boundaries. The raconteurs are joined by the Tranny Roadshow, a multimedia collaboration of transgendered visual artists, musicians, poets and more. Your introduction to these performers, the three young writers and an important, emerging story-world begins at 7 p.m. The event is $5 to $10; visit or for more information. -- Brooke Foster

Campbell's for Campbell

Modernist types claim they hate the elaborate excess of the Victorian era, but secretly they kind of love the richness of it all (partially because it inspired the minimalism they adore -- and partially because their low-line couches could be fluffier). You can celebrate the nineteenth century for these or whatever reasons you like at the Campbell House Museum, a super-accurately refurbished house at 1508 Locust Street (314-421-0325 or for times). This restoration took five years, and during May, the grand-reopening month, admission is buy-one-for-$6, get-one-free with a can of Campbell's soup -- an mmm, mmm good deal all the way around. -- Alison Sieloff

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