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Love Vigilantes 

The Robber Bridegroom steals into town

Prudes had best lock up their daughters and wives for the next four weeks. Jamie Lockhart, the dashing robber bridegroom, is headed our way. Jamie (Mike Heeter, left) loves to steal with style -- and not just money. He's especially partial to "love stolen from the cookie jar." And he ain't talkin' Pepperidge Farm.

Based on Eudora Welty's novella set in the 1790s on the historic (and dangerous) Natchez Trace, The Robber Bridegroom is a rambunctious fairy tale about a Robin Hood-like bandit and his courtship with the rich-yet-bored Rosamund (Leah Schumacher, right), an eighteenth-century Paris Hilton who has this thing about wanting to shed her clothes. Toss in an odd array of rival thieves, jealous stepmothers and local simpletons, and you have a show that is fast-paced, wickedly funny and a lot sexier than most musicals would dream of being.

Book and lyrics are by Alfred Uhry, who went on to write the Pulitzer Prize-winning Driving Miss Daisy. The toe-tapping, mostly bluegrass music is by Robert Waldman. The Robber Bridegroom was originally staged in 1975 by The Acting Company; that now-legendary touring production featured young unknowns Kevin Kline as Jamie and Patti LuPone as Rosamund. When a new version opened on Broadway in 1976, Barry Bostwick won the Tony Award for his role as Jamie.

So why isn't The Robber Bridegroom staged more often? Good question. The nudity surely keeps it out of high schools. But it's here now, and there's no telling when you'll have another chance to see it. So steal a night for yourself and take a gander at a musical that, when done right, is contagious fun, fun, fun.

The New Line Theatre presents The Robber Bridegroom at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday (March 3 through 26) at the ArtLoft Theater (1527 Washington Avenue; 314-534-1111). Tickets are $10 to $18. -- Dennis Brown

Wanna Bet?
Win Big

FRI 3/4

Your favorite casino is always the one at which you've won big, and Ms. Day's preferred gambling destination is the City Museum (701 North 15th Street). So fine, it's not a casino per se -- but it is where she hit her first 21 at the blackjack tables (a glorious night indeed, even though sweet satisfaction was her only prize -- but alas, we digress). Watch out for Ms. Day at Hostelling International's Casino Night 2005 at the museum, which costs $25 to attend (call 314-644-4660) and runs from 8 p.m. to midnight. While she's winning gift certificates for dinners at her favorite restaurants and a new Asian rug, go ahead and enjoy free drinks and play a little roulette or craps -- just stay away from her blackjack table: You don't want to lose your shirt. Visit for more information. -- Alison Sieloff

Must Be the Money

SAT 3/5

If hours and hours of playing PaRappa the Rapper have taught us anything, it's that when it comes to hip-hop, "money money money is all you need." Mad loot, son; that's what it's about. But is money actually the be-all, end-all in hip-hop? (BET says yes, but Huey Freeman says no.) Leota Blacknor, director of urban marketing for Virgin Records and one-time general manager of Ruff Ryder Records, discusses the financial realities of hip-hop at 1 p.m. at the Missouri History Museum (Lindell Boulevard and DeBaliviere Avenue; 314-746-4599 or as part of the museum's "Race, Power and Money" program. Blacknor's presentation, "The Economics of Hip-Hop," costs $4 to $5. -- Paul Friswold

See Schnucks' Giant Cart!

Oh, Cracker Barrel, we love you (and your hash-brown casserole)! But we're sad because your quaintness is false -- all 500-plus Barrels have the exact same vibe. And that kind of "genericana" is just what artist Erika Nelson wishes to combat with her traveling exhibit of "The World's Largest Collection of the World's Smallest Versions of the World's Largest Things." She's bringing her vast-but-tiny collection here and checking out some of the area's big things, like our bowling pins and ball, and Collinsville's ketchup bottle (or, more accurately, "catsup" bottle). And you can check out Nelson's tiny things at the City Museum (701 North 15th Street) Saturday and Sunday (March 5 and 6) and at other places around town through March 9; check for exact locations -- maybe our giant Vess bottle can be one of them! -- Alison Sieloff

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