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The RFT Spring Arts Guide: 2012 Edition 

For many, the warmer months are a time to escape — to save up those vacation days and seek solace somewhere cooler, closer to a coast. They end up dieting for months to squeeze into an impossibly unflattering bikini or trekking to New York, where an entire year's entry-level salary might swing a week in a decent hotel and tickets to a Broadway show. The truly industrious ones have no need for sanctuary, knowing that everything far-off places have to offer can be found within the limits of the greater metro area. (Well, except for the ocean. But we have the majestic Mississippi, and its beaches are never crowded.)

Enter spring in St. Louis, a season that usually occupies that one week when the temperatures exceed 30 degrees Fahrenheit but haven't quite topped 85 yet. Thankfully, this year has shown mercy. Now in late April we've already seen two months of gorgeous spring weather, cool enough for sweaters but warm enough for flip-flops. Because we're gracefully easing into the summer heat rather than jumping into the deep end, it's easier than ever to stick out the oppressive St. Louis summer heat. And when things do get toasty, there are plenty of unique happenings to keep you occupied and entertained here at home in the summer sun — or at least in an air-conditioned venue.

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