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Jan 2003 / it's all happening :: email this story to a friend

Stuff To Do Beyond 2002
By Thomas Crone and Amanda E. Doyle

Friday, January 3
Ford Free Friday films: "Meet Me in St. Louis"
Saint Louis Art Museum auditorium, Forest Park
$5, all ages, 1 p.m., 314-721-0072,

Judy Garland Oh, to have a Friday afternoon in January off work to take in the glorious, full-color screen gem that is Judy Garland! Well, if you do, or you can sneak out of your daytime obligations, this presentation at the art museum is a don't-miss...for one, you can learn where all those folks around the country learned to call our town "St. Louie." If, after the screening, you must have your very own piece of movie memorabilia, I am in possession of a brick from the "Meet Me in St. Louis" film house...let's talk. Can't get enough Judy? Stick around for the 7 p.m. screening of "The Wizard of Oz." (AED)

Sunday, January 5
"Rough Science" Sunday
Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw
Free (reservations required), ages 9-up, 1 and 3 p.m., 314-577-0254,

If you missed the recent "Rough Science" series on public television (KETC-Channel 9, locally), you missed some of the best t.v. since...oh, I don't know, "Frontier House" last year on that same channel. The premise is like a brainiac's Survivor, with a group of five scientists (specialists in various disciplines) plopped down on a tropical island and given three days to meet several scientific challenges, using only the primitive tools and resources at their disposal. St. Louisan (and Garden ecologist) Ellen McCallie was the star of the show, with her chipper attitude and delightful explanations about creating pigmented inks and such. Well, now you can live the adventure yourself, as the Garden shows an episode of the BBC-produced show and then offers a hands-on challenge overseen by McCallie herself. Good family fun, that. (AED)

Wednesday, January 8
Cinema in the City: "THX-1138"
Beatnik Bob's Café, City Museum, 15th & Lucas
$4, all ages, 7:30 p.m., 314-968-7487,

This is George Lucas' seldom-seen debut film, based on a short he made as a student at USC and boosted to feature status by producer Francis Ford Coppola. Relatively primitive in its look and feel — the future as imagined by auteurs three decades ago is quite a future, indeed — the film maintains a vibe reminiscent of such films as "1984" and "Brazil," a pessimistic, at best, look ahead at "a society dominated by technology and commerce." Because New Year's Day falls on the 1st Wednesday of the month, this event slides back one week. (TC)

Thursday, January 9
Reading: J. Martin Rochester, "Class Warfare: Besieged Schools, Bewildered Parents, Betrayed Kids and the Attack on Excellence"
Left Bank Books, 399 N. Euclid
Free, all ages, 7 p.m., 314-367-6731,
Buy it at Left Bank Books!

It's probably a fair bet to say some sparks will fly as UMSL poli-sci prof Martin Rochester presents his unflinching critique of all that is wrong with American education and educators. No fan of the trends of phonics, new math, multiple intelligences and more, Rochester argues against what he sees as dumbed-down curricula and the "pack pedagogy" he claims emanates from schools of education. Bring your teacher friends and see if he gets 'em going. (AED)

Mary Alice Wood Friday, January 10
Mary Alice Wood and Porter Hall Tennessee
Frederick's Music Lounge, 4454 Chippewa
$7, 21-up, 9 p.m., 314-351-5711,

Local songwriter Mary Alice Wood (formerly with the 1990s faves the Belinda Chaire and Sugarstickygirl) is putting together a CD for spring release. Expect to hear some of those country-dappled folk tunes, along with old faves like "Girl from the South Side." (TC)

Sunday, January 12
Improvisation concert
The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand
$4 ($3 for TCS Friends), all ages, 8 p.m., 314-531-1707

According to organizer Eric Hall, one of the early thoughts for this night was an improvisational take on Foreigner's "Jukebox Hero." With Hall, anything's possible. And with the lineup for this show, that's even more true. Joining Hall will be a trio of guitarists: Blueberry (The Star Death, Dave Stone's Free Jazz Unit), James Weber (The Julia Sets) and Jason Hutto (The Phonocaptors); drummer Jeremy Brantlinger rounds out the combo. A different way to spend your Sunday night, for sure. (TC)

Tuesday, January 14
Discover St. Louis Communities Series: The Boom in the American Central City - Is St. Louis Next?
Missouri Historical Society, Lee Auditorium, Lindell and DeBaliviere
Free, all ages, 7 p.m., 314-746-4599,

Well, we certainly hope so. There, I've answered the title question for you! But seriously, for a more informed opinion, truck on over to the pleasingly sleek Lee Auditorium for tonight's lecture by Dr. Robert Bruegmann, a University of Chicago art history professor who's turned his attentions to the waxing and waning of cities' fortunes. Along with a panel of St. Louis architects, Bruegmann will weigh in on whether what happened from London to Detroit (population loss followed by dramatic turnarounds) is headed our way. (AED)

Wednesday, January 15
Poetry reading
The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand
Free, all ages, 8 p.m., 314-531-1707

In honor of Martin Luther King's birthday, poets Larry Jamerson and Chris Hayton will read their verse at the 'space. Jamerson, the "People's Poet," was recently quoted in Reno News and Review as saying, "I've had pimps and hookers in Vegas and Atlantic City, who read my poetry, who have gone to higher game." As he puts it, "Once you know who you are, you can't fail at being yourself. Success isn't measured in dollars and cents. It's measured in making a difference." Word. (BHM)

Thursday, January 16
Ciné16: "Send Me a Postcard"
Mad Art Gallery, 2727 S. 12th
Free, all ages, 8 p.m., 314-241-4950,

Now in its fourth month, St. Louis' film series dedicated to the "lost world" of 16mm educational films clicks along, with an increasingly devoted fan base and a nice night of mixed shorts. Among the highlights on this evening are "Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom," a non-traditional 1954 Disney short that won an Academy Award; "Carnivorous Plants," a look at the night life of your houseplant; and "Killers of the Insect World," a 1939 look at battling scorpions and spiders. (If past shorts dedicated to the natural world are any indication, these should be priceless views.) And while the movies are quality, it has to be noted that the Ciné16 performances have been drawing some of the coolest and most attractive crowds in town; no lie. I'm just sayin'. (TC)

Henry Rollins Friday, January 17
Henry Rollins
The Pageant, 6161 Delmar
$19.50, all ages, 8 p.m., 314-726-6161,

The Black Flag/Rollins Band frontman returns to town for another gig as the muscular Spalding Gray. Our guesses for topics discussed on this evening: sell-out punks; cops; record labels; President George W. Bush; the need for a strong mind in today's confused society. (TC)

Friday, January 17
Tone Rodent, The Black Rainbows, Curtis Judge vs. Chris Parr
The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand
$5 ($3 for TCS Friends), all ages, 8 p.m., 314-531-1707

Tone Rodent plays atmospheric, Brit-pop-inspired rock'n'roll. For the evening, lead Rodent Adam Watkins is promising a more ambient take; expect washes of guitar from he and his guitar army cohorts, in their first show since opening for the Warlocks at Blueberry Hill. Also intriguing will be Judge vs. Parr, as the DJ spins the beats and the poet provides the verse. With the Black Rainbows also on the bill, expect a fair amount of membership swapping and unpredictability. (TC)

Saturday, January 18 & Sunday, January 19
Eagle Days
Old Chain of Rocks Bridge, Riverview and I-270
Free, all ages, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., 314-416-9930,

The eagles are back — wake up the kids! Yes, it's time for the annual pilgrimage out to the super-fly Chain of Rocks Bridge (one of the longest bridges in the world, actually), to watch another annual pilgrimage: the glorious winter swooping and feeding of our national bird. Spotting scopes with helpful volunteers will be set up along the bridge, along with periodic live eagle education programs. Also, in a dry-run gearing up for the big 2004 hoohah, Lewis and Clark re-enactors will be providing historical edutainment. Not provided on the bridge? Heat; dress appropriately, or those re-enactors will laugh their butts off at you. (AED)

Saturday, January 18
Mad Art Gallery Second Anniversary: "Elvis on Black Velvet"
Mad Art Gallery, 2727 S. 12th
$5, 8 p.m., 314-771-8230,

The King serves as the night's foil, as the Mad Art staff celebrates two years of life in the old Third District Police Station. At one of St. Louis' best venues, this night will feature Elvis-inspired artworks, songs from Jenna Bauer and Bob Reuter, Elvis impersonator Johnny Harra Jr., and the DJ stylings of yours truly and Randall Roberts. (TC)

Thursday, January 23
Reading: Calvin Trillin, "Tepper Isn't Going Out"
Left Bank Books, 399 N. Euclid
Free, all ages, 7 p.m., 314-367-6731,
Buy it at Left Bank Books!

Violation Grab all your parking-obsessed (or parking-obsession-scoffing) friends and prepare for an evening of subtle hilarity as columnist/memoirist/novelist Trillin reads from his latest book, the story of an ordinary New Yorker named Murray Tepper who sparks the popular imagination of his city by spending his days reading the newspaper, in his extremely desirable Manhattan parking spots. Why give up a good thing when you've found it, and you still have 15 minutes on the meter? After a Christmas season in which I saw folks literally fist-fighting over parking at the mall, this will be the perfect antidote. Get there early to get a good spot...(AED)

Friday, January 24
Art Opening
The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand
Free, 7-10 p.m., 314-531-1707,

The second gallery show of The Commonspace's fabulous life opens tonight, featuring St. Louis artists Sandra Marchewa and Carmelita Nuñez. Come for the art, the friends, the panoramic view of Grand Center from our front windows...and the boxed wine. Yum! (AED)

Wednesday, January 29
Dick Gregory
St. Louis County Library, 1640 S. Lindbergh
Free, all ages, 6:30 p.m., 314-994-3300,

A St. Louis original, Dick Gregory has packed several lifetimes worth of living into one. He's run for President as a protest candidate. He's written diet books. He's been a star high school athlete, author, comedian, and current events speaker. It's in the latter role that he'll be at the St. Louis County Library on this evening, addressing the topic, "Dream Weavers: And Still We Rise." The Hazelwood East Gospel Choir will provide musical interludes. (TC)

Friday, January 31
"In July" ("Im Juli")
Tivoli Theatre, 6350 Delmar
All ages, 314-862-1100,

An enchanting and hilarious German road comedy, "In July" tracks a pair of dreamers on a trip through Europe, each searching for true love. One of the most popular titles from the 2000 St. Louis International Film Festival, "In July" serves as a great vehicle for both leads: the bookish Daniel (Moritz Bleibtreu of "Das Experiment") and the winsome Juli (an utterly charming Christiane Paul). Director Fatih Akin throws in enough side characters and wacky scenarios to keep the film clicking along at an amusing pace, with the occasional bit of quirky cinematography. A hip, pleasant comedy that deserves a wide audience. (TC)

Friday, January 31
Art Opening: "New Paintings" by Jamie Gartelos and "Birch and Blue the Sky" by Jenna Bauer
Mad Art Gallery, 2727 S. 12th (at Lynch)
Free, 7-10 p.m., 314-771-8230,

We've said it before and we'll say it again: Mad Art, the converted former police station/pokey is as fun and creative a space as you'll find in town...well, right up there with our own spot at The Commonspace, of course! The last night of January brings a pleasing show by St. Louis artists Gartelos and Bauer, the latter being the brains behind the South City Open Studio and Gallery for Children. Bring some friends you'd like to lure into the cells...(AED)

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