Is the world ready for the belly-dance equivalent of Riverdance? Miles Copeland thinks so, and he was correct in thinking the world was ready for the Police, so you have to give him the benefit of the doubt (certainly his brother Stewart being in the band had nothing to do with Miles' belief in its talent). Bellydance Superstars and Desert Roses, Copeland's touring group of undulating beauties, shimmies through a hybrid of tribal, Egyptian and "cabaret"-style belly dancing at 8 p.m. at the Ethical Society (9001 Clayton Road, call 314-961-3790 for tickets). Who knew there were different styles of belly dancing, and is that cabaret method derived from Joel Grey or Liza Minnelli? Regardless of the point of origin, there are certainly worse ways to spend an evening than enjoying a belly-dance spectacle. And despite taking their inspiration from the sensory overload of the Lord of the Dance, there is no Michael Flatley of belly dance; it's all ladies. Tickets are $18 to $20.
Thursday, March 25
If the action known as "jazz hands!" has a creator, that person would have to be dancer/choreographer/ director Bob Fosse. His dynamic, angular/fluid style of movement emphasized precisely controlled small details that made a unique whole. The cock of a hat, the tilt of a shoulder, a slinky hip-swivel and then an explosion of the entire body (with jazz hands!) made for a hyperkinetic art that continues to thrill audiences. Fosse, the Tony-award winning musical, celebrates the life and work of this unique visual artist with highlights of his highly stylized dance pieces from Sweet Charity, Cabaret, Chicago and many others at 7:30 p.m. at the Touhill Performing Arts Center (8001 Natural Bridge Road, 314-516-4100). The show is performed by the touring cast of NETworks, tickets are $19 to $37, and you're sure to love it if you love all that jazz.
Friday, March 26
Hello, funky. Been to the Saint Louis Art Museum lately, or have you been feeding your groove jones at the finer nightclubs and block parties instead? Well, rectify that and testify to it in the auditorium at the Saint Louis Art Museum (1 Fine Arts Drive, in Forest Park, 314-721-0072) with From African Drumming to Hip Hop, an evening of discussion and performance hosted by Sylvester Brown Jr. of the Post-Dispatch. Highlights include Vintage Vinyl honcho Tom Ray discussing the history of the blues, followed by Leroy Pierson musically demonstrating the soul that Papa Ray has discussed; Orlando Taylor will create a spoken-word tribute to jazz, and then Henry Biggs delves into hip-hop' s past while DJ Needles spins the present and future of the art. The evening concludes with a mind-blowing and body-rocking break-dance spectacle. The show starts at 7 p.m. and is part of the museum's Ford Free Fridays series, so there's no charge. Ain't it funky now?
Saturday, March 27
There is no shame in being a Death Cab for Cutie fan if you're older than 25. It's okay, really. So you might be a little more "mature" than everyone else at the show, but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't go. You know you love Ben Gibbard's earnest, melancholy voice, even though sometimes his lyrics make you sad. But rejoice! You have the life experience necessary to be really sad. Hopeful, huh? So get up, get showered and get to Mississippi Nights (914 North First Street, 314-421-3853) for DCFC along with Ben Kweller and +/-. The doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are only $16 in advance, so you'll have plenty of money left to drown in drink and lament love lost. And because you'll be in the minority age group, hopefully there will more room at the bar and in the seats.
Sunday, March 28
Remember those really fat crayons you had as a kid? Those crayons that your short little fingers could barely grasp, the crayons that were like baseball-bat barrels in your hand? You're going to wish you still had 'em. Really Big Coloring Books Incorporated unveils the "World's Largest Coloring Book" at the Center of Clayton (50 Gay Avenue, 800-244-2665) at 1 p.m., and they ain't kidding about the size of their tome. The coloring book, a whopping 66 inches wide and 78-and-a-quarter inches tall, has been accepted by the Guinness Book of World Records, completely blowing all other "large" coloring books out of the field. Okay, so it was the first and only entry, but still, it's in there, big as life and twice as bold. And uncolored. But you can't color it, because it's going on tour and RBCBI wants it to remain pristine. You can, however, look at it for free and marvel at how tiny man is compared to its blank majesty. And the first 210 kids who show up receive free giant coloring books (not Guinness-big, but not too shabby at 18-by-24 inches).
Monday, March 29
Drunk rhymes with crunk, so what does "Tipsy" rhyme with? Gypsy? Well, that's not very party. Good thing St. Louisan J-Kwon can turn a phrase better than that, filling his aforementioned celebratory hip-hop single (coming in at number three on Billboard's Hot 100 list, thankyouverymuch) with plenty of club bounce and a chant-along chorus. J-Kwon's rhymes are hard-core so far, but will his full-length release Hood Hop deliver more of the same? The moment that everyone has been waiting for, the album drop heard round the world, is tonight at midnight at Vintage Vinyl (6610 Delmar Boulevard, 314-721-4096). Get your stomp, clap and count on and head down to the Loop. J-Kwon will be there, and you should be too -- after all, he already has groupies and he ain't even on tour (yet).
Tuesday, March 30
For years you have wondered, "Who is Molly Brown, and why are all those fireworks stands named after her?" Here's your chance to find out. Windwood Theatricals brings the touring version of the beloved musical The Unsinkable Molly Brown to the Florissant Civic Center (Parker Road and Waterford Drive, 314-921-5678), and once you go, you'll know. Hailing from Hannibal, Missouri, Molly was an adventurous free spirit who survived the sinking of the Titanic (and being portrayed by Kathy Bates in the blockbuster of the same name) to laugh and love and sing again. She was able to hang with the boys, kick it with royalty and party like a mug; she's what the hepcats used to call a firecracker, dig? The musical based on her amazing life begins at 8 p.m., and tickets are $20 to $22. Light a ladyfinger in the parking lot on your way home.
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