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

April Showers of Stuff to Do
By Thomas Crone, Amanda E. Doyle and Brian H. Marston

Friday, April 4
Gallery Opening: Urbis Orbis
Art Opening: "Environments," by photographers Ken Konchel and Bob Reuter
Gallery Urbis Orbis, 1409 Washington
Free, 5-9 p.m., 314-406-5778,

Gallery Urbis Orbis We're just going to be honest with you: if you miss this, you will have no one to blame but yourself when you can't share stories of being there for years to come. Downtown power duo Margie Newman and Alan Brunettin continue to put their money — and their art, and their time — where their mouths are, and their new, industrial-chic gallery next to Tangerine is one of the brightest of Washington Avenue's slowly returning thousand points of light. This show features the stunning architectural photography of Ken Konchel and new work — not, as it happens, featuring any of the bartenders at Black Thorn Pub — by the legendary Bob Reuter. (AED)

Friday, April 4
Lab Partners with Tone Rodent & The Floating City
The Hi-Pointe, 1001 McCausland
$5-6, call club for age restrictions, 9 p.m., 314-781-4716

There will be many distorted guitars and six-minute songs on this evening, as two of St. Louis' top shoegazing bands meet up with the touring Lab Partners for a night of rockin' over Clayton Avenue. (TC)

Friday, April 4
MU330 & The Reactions
Frederick's Music Lounge, 4454 Chippewa
$7, 21-up, 9 p.m., 314-351-5711

St. Louis' ska kings return to town for a couple of dates in April. This one's for the old folks. (We're assuming less of an active pit than the one at Creepy Crawl later this month.) Still, the music's the music, and there are few more fun and active bands in town than MU. Teen stars The Reactions open. (TC)

Saturday, April 5
Forest Park Southeast First Saturday Peace Walk
Starting from Agape Outreach Center, 1201 Tower Grove Ave.
Free, all ages, 8:30 a.m. meet/9 a.m. start, 314-908-8190,

The FPSE neighborhood knows a thing or two about hope and despair, rebirth and carrying on. It's in that spirit that they gather on the first Saturday of each month (often starting from the Lighthouse Church, nearby) to walk through the streets of the area, in the name of peace "in our lives, homes, families, neighborhood and world." Periodic stops for prayer occur at locations of past violence in the neighborhood. Fellowship time follows the walk; it's a great way to see the new development going on, too. (AED)

Saturday, April 5
Public Charrette on the New Stadium
The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand in Grand Center, one block north of the Fox
Free, all ages, 1-6 p.m., 314-533-7458 x3,

Are you an interested citizen-about-town? Or studying architecture? Or just generally less-than-enchanted with the proposed demolition of Busch Stadium and/or its replacement (the vaunted Ballpark Village)? Bring your ideas — even done up in some kinda diorama-like form, as long as it's no bigger than 18 by 24 inches — or just your curiosity to this public forum, co-sponsored by the Urban Design Forum, a midtown design firm. We're interested in dialogue and creative ideas for reusing the current Busch, projecting innovative proposals for a new stadium, and just generally elevating our town's architectural profile. If you're planning to present, you'll get five minutes. Go! (AED)

Saturday, April 5 & Sunday, April 6
Annual Book Arts Fair
Taproots School of the Arts, 4021 Iowa Ave.
Free-$5, all ages, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday / noon-4 p.m. Sunday, 314-752-9752,

Julia Glass The book arts, in case you don't know, cover a lot of ground. Like to read? Like paper? Like to write? Like hunting for hidden treasure? Like old-school printing styles? Like zines (hey, you're reading this one)? Like writing letters? Check — book arts, all. Taproots' fair is a must for the whole family, and this year's installment promises: a reading and talk by Julia Glass — winner of the National Book Award for "Three Junes" and an inspiration if for no other reason than the fact that she was 46 when she wrote her first book and, damn, she won the National Book Award!; poetry organized by Kent Shaw; a lovely café run by the folks at Wild Oats; an artists' market, letting you get a jump on gifts for the year for all your friends; all kinds of hands-on workshops in calligraphy, bookbinding, papermaking, rubberstamping and more; a "how-to-turn-your-journal-into-the-beginnings-of-art-therapy" workshop; parent and child activities and so much more. Embrace your inner bookworm! (AED)

Sunday, April 6
St. Louis Go Club
The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand in Grand Center, one block north of the Fox
Free, all ages, noon - 4 p.m., 314-531-1707

"Go is to chess as philosophy is to double entry bookkeeping." —Trevanian

You may recognize the game from the movies "Pi" and "A Beautiful Mind." The American Go Association sums it up like this: "Go is an ancient board game that takes simple elements — line and circle, black and white, stone and wood — combines them with simple rules and generates subtleties that have enthralled players for millennia. Beyond being merely a game, Go can take on other meanings to enthusiasts: an analogy with life, an intense meditation, a mirror of one's personality, an exercise in abstract reasoning, or, when played well, a beautiful art in which black and white dance across the board in delicate balance. But most important for all who play, Go is challenging and fun." Whether you're a ranked expert or interested in learning how to play, stop by to pick up a game, and be sure to sign up for the stlgo Yahoo! Group. (BHM)

Sunday, April 6
Friends of Tower Grove Park Lecture Series: "David R. Francis, a St. Louis Hero," by Harper Barnes
Stupp Center, corner of Grand & Arsenal
Free, all ages, 2 p.m., 314-865-2394

If all you know of Harper Barnes is that he sometimes writes video reviews for a local magazine, time to expand your horizons. The author of the book "Standing on a Volcano: The Life and Times of David Rowland Francis" sheds much light on a man who was, in turn, mayor of St. Louis, governor of Missouri, U.S. Secretary of the Interior, president of the 1904 World's Fair (it happened here, did you know?), and Woodrow Wilson's ambassador to Russia during the 1917 overthrow of the czar. No shrinking violet, this man, and his imprimatur remains on our town to this day. Barnes is no slouch, himself, quite capable of holding your rapt attention. (AED)

Tuesday, April 8
"The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of the 1904 World's Fair," talk by Prof. Karl Lindt
Buder Branch, St. Louis Public Library, 4401 Hampton Ave.
Free, all ages, 7 p.m., 314-352-2900

Now that you know all about David R. Francis' role in the Fair, come find out a little more about the seamy side, complete (presumably) with the good stuff about pygmies, reputed dog eaters and more. Lindt has a multimedia presentation and will also display items from the library's archives. Gotta get geared up for that hootenanny/shindig somehow! (AED)

Wednesday, April 9
World Wide Wednesday: Dr. Michael Dulick on Honduras
The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand in Grand Center, one block north of the Fox
Free, all ages, 6:30 p.m., 314-531-1707,

After first visiting the Central American country of Honduras in his training for the Jesuit priesthood, Dr. Dulick fell in love with the land, its people and its way of life. He's visited 22 more times, often taking along one of the students in his higher-level Spanish classes from Parkway North High School; in fact, Dulick's vivid descriptions, photographs and stories of his many friends there have made Honduras and its people an adopted cause of Parkway students, who have raised money and sent along toys and clothing over the years. This year, Dulick retires after many years of teaching at Parkway, and guess where he's retiring? He'll show us photographs of his new home in Honduras, along with sharing tales of life in this relatively poor land, often prey to the vagaries of politics, weather (remember Hurricane Mitch?) and other forces. (AED)

Friday, April 11
"Resurrected: New Works from Old Materials" opening, featuring art by Andrea Avery, Katy Fischer and Caroline Huth
Mad Art Gallery, 2727 S. 12th St.
Free, 7-10 p.m., 314-771-8230,

Girl power was never so powerful as when these three St. Louis artists get together; their show assembles found objects, old photographs, forgotten mementoes and more into genuinely moving art, each a mini-treasure hunt for the viewer. We like, especially, Avery's basis for her work in this show, a reading of "Pilgrim's Progress." Here's what she ends up with: "In the end, my work isn't an endorsement of any particular religion, but rather an endorsement of personal journey...coming to peace with the facts of your life and your death...the story of how you came to be...the influence of family...laughing at the ironies...letting go of the guilt...loving the whole kit and caboodle." Can I get an amen? (AED)

Saturday, April 12
Linux InstallFest
The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand in Grand Center, one block north of the Fox
Free, all ages, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., 314-531-1707,

Looking for a free, rock-solid, fast operating system for your computer? Enjoy sticking it to The Man? Well then, bring your machine down to The Commonspace post haste, and let one of the friendly experts there help you install and configure Linux, the revolutionary open source OS. We have a high-speed wired/wireless Internet connection and plenty of outlets. Be sure to back up your system before you come, and bring all the parts and cables for your computer, including the monitor, keyboard and mouse. This event is co-sponsored by Stone Linux, PC Xperience and Primary Network. Got questions about Linux? We've got answers. Penguin power! (BHM)

Saturday, April 12
One World/One Sound
Art Coop, 1520 Washington Ave.
$10, 9 p.m.,

Here's something to know when dealing with modern-day Dadaists: they tend to be a little loose and light with the details in a press release. Still, we honor their efforts. So, it seems that what you should know is that this evening downtown on Wash Ave. is channeling the Dada spirit, which involves, among other things, "rebuffing frequently assumed morality." And, uh, costumes are encouraged, and the drum-n-bass will be in full effect. That's all we know. (AED)

Sunday, April 13
Signature Series: Ralph Nader
Mildred E. Bastian Theatre, St. Louis Community College at Forest Park, 5600 Oakland
Free, all ages, 2 p.m., 314-539-0305,

Ralph Nader Spoiler? Crusader for our time? Whatever your take, Nader always delivers a memorable speech, and his appearance here will likely be no exception. He'll share his vision of America and explain how ordinary Joes and Jills can empower themselves against the "negligence of corporate America and the indifference of government." One of his latest endeavors is working with alumni classes to effect social change and justice, not just plan happy hours and reunions. Right on, brother. (AED)

Monday, April 14
Paul's Monday Movies: "Pee-Wee's Playhouse" Marathon
Frederick's Music Lounge, 4454 Chippewa
Free, 21-up, 5 p.m.-1 a.m., 314-351-5711

It was a brilliant show. Let's start from that assumption. "Pee-Wee's Playhouse" was loaded with memorable side characters, hilarious running gags and a degree of audience participation. Intended for kids and adults alike, the show's sly, subversive edge still comes through, well over a decade since its departure from the airwaves. Now, that doesn't mean that you want to spend eight straight hours watching Paul Reubens and company. Then again, four hours? Five? Sounds about right! (TC)

Monday, April 14
The Webbies: Webster U's 15th Annual Media Excellence Awards
Loretto Hilton Theatre, 130 Edgar Rd.
6 p.m., 314-650-8685,

Beatle Bob In their 15th year, the Webbies are a tradition at Webster, a way to showcase the best work of the university's School of Communications, in fields like photography, scriptwriting, public relations and more. This year's host, Beatle Bob, is sure to draw a crowd on his own, to say nothing of the complementary appetizers, drinks, jazz band and program, which includes "humorous skits" pertaining to the evening's theme, "Exposed: Webster Secrets Revealed." We know how many Webster alum lurk here in the Lou; head on back and scarf up your tuition's worth of free eats. (AED)

Thursday, April 17
Ciné16: "The Material"
Mad Art Gallery, 2525 So. 12th
Free, all ages, 8 p.m.,

Going back to its crowd-pleasing roots, Ciné16 looks at all kinds of humorous topics this month, including tops, ostriches and puppets. Few better ways to spend an evening, than spending it with obscure, out-of-print films. And that's no exaggeration. (TC)

Friday, April 18
Lecture: "Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling"
Saint Louis Art Museum auditorium, One Fine Arts Drive, Forest Park
Free, all ages, 7 p.m., 314-721-0072,

I mean, imagine if the Pope was your boss! That's precisely the situation faced by our man Michelangelo, who clashed often with Pope Julius II during the long process of painting the legendary frescoes on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Author Ross King wrote a book about the whole tortured affair, and will retell its highlights this evening. (AED)

Saturday, April 19
Breakin' @ The Commonspace
The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand in Grand Center, one block north of the Fox
Free, all ages, 2-4 p.m., 314-531-1707,

DJ Espi and Mike the 2600 King bring the noise and the breakdancers bring the moves for an afternoon b-boy/b-girl session. And don't worry if you don't want to bust a move; enthusiastic audience members are welcome, too. Awwww yeah! (BHM)

Friday, April 25
Art Opening: "Strange Garden," paintings and prints by Shane Simmons
The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand in Grand Center, one block north of the Fox
Free, 7-10 p.m.,

The artwork of Shane Simmons continues to pull the viewer to and fro between opposite urges: abstraction and representation, free-flowing expressionist brushwork and tight technical control of minute passages. In this, his most recent body of work, Simmons weaves color and texture, light and shadow to create impressionistic narratives that transport the viewer from garden to wasteland and back again in settings that might exist on the head of a pin or in the vastness of space. DJ Origami will provide mellow tunes for your art viewing pleasure. Our art happenings draw a diverse crowd of artists, art lovers, social butterflies and all sorts of other interesting folk: all we're missing is you! (JWT, AED)

Saturday, April 26
Crazy Eights Trivia
Grand Oak Hill Community Center, 4168 Juniata
$88 per table, all ages, 8 p.m., 314-865-0060

Here's the idea behind "Crazy Eights": eight players per team, eight teams total, eight o'clock start time, eight questions per round. And probably some other eights we're forgetting. All questions will be arts-oriented, including some asked with visual and audio aids, or via the acting of local artist/man-about-town Jeff Miller. Proceeds will benefit the creation of a mural on the side of South City's GOH Community Center, done by kids who use their programs; and by kids from the South City Open Studio and Gallery, in nearby Tower Grove Park. (TC)

Saturday, April 26 & Sunday, April 27
WU Film Series: "Power and Terror: Noam Chomsky In Our Times"
Winifred Moore Auditorium, 470 E. Lockwood
$4-6, all ages, 7:30 p.m., 314-968-7487

It's hard to imagine that director John Junkerman could condense Chomsky's talks down to a 74-minute film, but that's what we have here, a (relatively) bite-sized look at one of the most compelling critics of U.S. foreign and domestic policies. Combining interview footage with lectures given during the spring of 2002, this film is heaven for lefty wonks. (TC)

Sunday, April 27
Tour de Fat, A Ballyhoo of Bikes and Beer
World's Fair Pavilion in Forest Park
$5 for bike rides (free for children under 12), other activities free
All ages, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., 314-416-9930

Mmm, biking and beer...goes together like, say, Jack Daniels and cornflakes. (My dad actually was reduced to that combo once, when he'd followed a ladylove to Paris and run out of money before securing her affections...but that's another story for another time.) This event is much more wholesome, brought to you by the geniuses at New Belgium Brewing Co., purveyors of the fine Fat Tire ale. For cyclists, the morning starts with 14-, 28- or 37-mile rides leaving and returning to Forest Park. Returning cyclists or even (gasp!) the non-athletically inclined then have the afternoon to look forward to, with kegs of Fat Tire, crazy bicycle games (including something called the "paperboy challenge"), food for sale, a vintage bike show, music by local bands and an appearance by the zany Banana Bike Brigade. Also worth eyeballing is the amazing free stuff, like tire patch kits, groovy lip balm made with Sunshine Wheat beer and more. All proceeds go to Trailnet, a local organization that advocates for recreational trails, cycling and other good things. (AED)

Sunday, April 27
Budding Urbanists' Reading Hour
The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand in Grand Center, one block north of the Fox
Free, all ages welcome (stories aimed at 4- to 10-year-olds), 3:30 p.m., 314-531-1707,

Come enjoy the afternoon with the real next generation of St. Louis-philes: the under-10 crowd! Misses Amanda and Rachelle — along with our great friends at Left Bank Books — have cooked up an afternoon of entertaining, out-loud storytelling, including such city-friendly treasures as: "Alphabet City" (a wordless book where kids can spy the letters of the alphabet in common city sights — a construction horse is an "A," viewed just so); "Zin Zin Zin, A Violin!" (which explores the various musicians in a symphony and the instruments they use); a reprise of last month's overwhelming favorite, "Dogzilla" (wherein the citizens of Mousopolis have to come together to rebuild after a withering attack by Dogzilla); and more. We'll have celebrity readers, special guests, refreshments and copies of our featured books available for purchase, a sing-along and much more! Bring your child, your inner child, your neighbor's child or just your sense of childlike wonder and hang out with us. (AED)

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