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Sep 2005 / it's all happening :: email this story to a friend

September Shuffle
By Amanda E. Doyle

Thursday, September 1
Poetry: Readings at the Schlafly Tap Room
2100 Locust St.
Free, 8 p.m.,

Poetry promoter Aaron Belz (we like to imagine him with a poufy hairdo, like boxing promoter Don King, shuffling through town and making sing-songy but ultimately confusing pronouncements about poets kicking each others' butts...although that's not what he does at all) brings his popular reading series to the spacious upstairs Club Room at the Tap Room. The '05-'06 season kicks off tonight, and is a great example of the local talent/out-of-town talent mix Belz likes to promote: Geraldine Kim of San Francisco (author of "Povel," the 2005 Fence Books Modern Poet Series winner) and Stephanie Schlaifer of St. Louis (girl after my own heart for proclaiming that the South has it right — Coke is the only "soda") share the bill.

Saturday, September 3
Art Opening: "Doors of South St. Louis," by Sheila M. Harris
Carondelet branch of St. Louis Public Library, 6800 Michigan Ave.
Free, 2-4 p.m., 314-752-9224

St. Louis watercolorist Harris, a longtime area art teacher born and raised in South St. Louis, has captured the face of South City architecture in her renderings of doors and surrounding doorways from Holly Hills to Soulard. Ranging from intricate, carved wood awnings to ornamental terra cotta and patterned brick arches, the entries are from single-family homes, former factories, old schools and the ubiquitous corner storefront. The exhibit continues through the end of the month, with twenty percent of any proceeds benefiting St. Cecilia Parish.

Sunday, September 4
Theatre: "Icons II" presented by Ragged Blade Productions
Theatre at St. John's, 5000 Washington Pl. @ Kingshighway
$15, 3 and 8 p.m., 314-276-8693,

Jade Esteban Estrada Jade Esteban Estrada, one-time lead choreographer for Charo and a gay Latino icon, brings the second volume of his one-man/woman musical show to the intimate space at St. John's, exploring gay icons from Alexander the Great to Billie Jean King. Estrada's irreverent but well-researched presentation means you'll be entertained and learn something; here's his take on Queen Christina of Sweden later in life: "By 1651, there was a huge shift in her personality. She just didn't care anymore. She demonstrated a contempt for the Protestant religion and her foreign policy was like whatever."

Thursday, September 8
Panel Discussion: "What Makes a Church a Good Neighbor?"
J.C. Penney Conference Center at UM-St. Louis, 8001 Natural Bridge
Free, 3-5 p.m., 314-516-5276,

In so many neighborhoods in the city and inner-ring suburbs, churches are the glue that continues to hold communities together when other ties have loosened. And in new residential developments, places of worship are among the first institutions to move in. So, what is the importance of these places (be they temples, mosques, churches or synagogues) and what defines a "good" one? This seminar will examine the efforts of churches in two areas of concern to neighbors: housing and neighborhood stability. Panelists include Charles Bryson, of Mayor Francis Slay's office, and Father Rich Creason, pastor at Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church.

Friday, September 9
Film: "Sing-Along to Grease"
St. Louis County Library Headquarters, 1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd.
Free (reservations requested), all ages, 7 p.m., 314-994-3300,

But oh! Those hot summer nights...Wella, wella, wella you should definitely bid farewell to them in style by dragging a group of your best pals, or maybe your mom and aunts, out to the library's screening of the classic feel-good film, "Grease." You could do like the Rocky Horror kids do and dress up, say, as Betty Rizzo or the Teen Angel. Refreshments, door prizes and the fun of "Greased Lightning": what could be better?

Friday and Saturday, September 9 and 10
St. Louis Fringe Festival
Center of Creative Arts (COCA), 524 Trinity Ave. in University City
$5-$10, 8 p.m. both nights, 314-647-8030,

From improv comedy (yes, kinda like the stuff you've seen on the t.v.) to political satire cabaret, the fledgling St. Louis Fringe Festival stretches its wings a bit more this year, still building on an improv-heavy base of performances. We know you'll want to go, but figured it's best if you hear it straight from the horse's mouth, so click here to read more from festival founder Ed Reggi.

Saturday, September 10
Film: "The Oil Factor"
Carpenter branch of the St. Louis Public Library, 3309 S. Grand
Free, 2 p.m., 314-892-2006,

In case you're bored of the summer comedies at the multiplex, try this documentary (narrated by Ed Asner) on for size: with footage from Iraq and Afghanistan along with interviews with Noam Chomsky, Zbigniew Brzezinski and Karen Kwiatkowski of the Pentagon, there's sure to be plenty of fodder for thought and discussion. This is the first film in a new series co-presented by the Committee Against US Empire, Two Rivers Greens and Veterans for Peace.

Saturday, September 10
Concert: The Floating City with Sex Robots and A Fir Ju Well
Radio Cherokee, 3227 Cherokee (@ Virginia)
Call for cover, all ages,

Ya gotta support the independent rock, and it just doesn't get any more indy than the scrappy little space we call Radio Cherokee. Come down tonight to check it out, and be rewarded with the sounds of The Floating City (on local label First Flight), who are touring in support of their newish album "Entering a Contest." The sound of the album is complex and lush, and includes some out-of-the-ordinary instrumentation for pop-rock (cello and Rhodes piano, anyone?) We have a theory that shows at Radio Cherokee are the fountain of youth: come see if you don't agree.

Saturday, September 10
Film: "Napoleon Dynamite"
Tivoli Theatre, 6350 Delmar
$6.50, midnight, all ages, 314-995-6270,

Are you among the 47 people in the U.S. who haven't yet seen the instant classic? Idiots! You simply must correct the problem, and pack into what will surely be popular showings at the Tiv, getting acquainted (or, hopefully, reacquainted) with your old favorites, plucky Napoleon and his snerdly brother Kip, Uncle Rico (living in the glory days of 1982), Summer Wheatley and all the rest of the gang. It's pretty much my favorite movie, bred for its skills in humor.

Tuesday, September 13
Lecture: Spike Lee, "America Through My Lens"
Touhill Performing Arts Center on the campus of UM — St. Louis
let's make our own movies like Spike Lee $30-$40, 7:30 p.m., 314-516-4949,

The acclaimed (and sometimes controversial) director of such landmark films as "Do the Right Thing" and "Jungle Fever" brings his sensibilities to the stage of the Tou-PAC, as part of the facility's new lecture series. Whatever you think of his movies, you're sure to be engrossed with the presentation of one man's bold take on American culture and history.

Thursday, September 15
Film: "The Human Hambone"
Winifred Moore Auditorium at Webster University, 470 E. Lockwood
$5, 8 p.m., 314-968-7487,

One of the people in my household spends a lot of time making noises (mostly voluntary) with his body...a not-uncommon phrase is, "Hey, look what I figured out how to do!" For him and others like him, this documentary, part of Webster Film Series' "Thursday Night Docs" programming, should prove enlightening. Challenging, even! Filmmaker Mike Morgan has captured all manner of human body instrumentation, from tap and step dancing to beat-boxing to the eponymous hamboning.

Friday, September 16
Sixth Annual Meramec River Expedition
Departs from Shaw Nature Reserve in Gray Summit, MO
$40, 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 636-733-0088,

Today would probably be a fantastic time to use one of those dwindling "personal" days. The weather's cooling off a bit, and for your admission charge, you'll get transportation, canoe, a t-shirt, food, drink and all the knowledge about the Meramec River Greenway you could possibly handle! Learn about the natural history of the Meramec, west of Pacific, and hob-knob with area politicians and conservationists while you identify native flora and fauna. Hey, Mr. Mayor, is that a spotted salamander?

Saturday, September 17
15th Annual Great Green Pesto Feast
Eden Theological Seminary, Commons Dining Hall, 475 E. Lockwood Ave.
$15-$20, all ages, 5:30-8 p.m., 314-727-8554,

Mmmmm, dinner with a higher purpose tastes that much better. The Great Green Pesto Feast, an annual fundraiser for the Gateway Green Alliance, is one of your better vegetarian feasts of the year, with a side of social justice. This year's theme is "Food Crisis in Africa," and although recent events stateside may have taken our attention away for the moment, the African problem remains real and grows larger every day, exacerbated by certain aspects of globalization. Raheem Adegboye will discuss "Nigeria and African Food" and how the eating habits of the continent are changing under Western influence.

Saturday, September 17
Springboard to Learning's 40th Anniversary Dinner/Dance
Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, 3750 Washington Ave.
$45-$175, 6:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m., 314-534-4337,

We know things are said to be looking up in the St. Louis Public Schools, but honestly, it's hard to imagine that they can't use every scrap of help they can get. Enter Springboard to Learning, a nonprofit organization that provides enrichment programs from "Haitian Culture" to "African Drumming" to "Young Storytellers," all to expand the horizons of kids in the public schools. Their fundraiser keeps their good works going, yes, but also provides you a sneak peek at the new exhibits at CAMSTL, "Girls' Night Out" and the Cindy Sherman retrospective, "Working Girls."

Monday, September 19
Discussion: "Gay, Straight or Whatever: Does Any Marriage Matter?"
Schlafly Bottleworks, 7260 Southwest Ave.
Free admission, 7 p.m.,

So, here's our idea: would this make the best first or second date or WHAT? Might as well cut right to the chase and find out if Mr. Right believes in monogamy and marriage and all the rest of it. If not, hey, at least you got a decent beer out of the evening. Besides, there are surely not enough situations designed to "engage minds, create dialogue and consider multiple perspectives on subjects of significance." We must nourish those we find. Cheers to that!

Tuesday, September 20
Film "Lawrence of Arabia"
Winifred Moore Auditorium at Webster University, 470 E. Lockwood
$6, 7 p.m., 314-968-7487,

Lawrence of Arabia Okay, kids, might want to take along the donut pillow, because this 1962 classic, directed by David Lean, clocks in at a hefty 227 minutes. But oh, those 227 minutes! The epic covers the exploits in Arabia of WWI-era soldier T.E. Lawrence, who was sent to find Prince Feisal and ended up staying to help the Prince in his struggles against the Ottoman Empire. Breathtaking cinematography and defining performances by Peter O'Toole, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn and others.

Saturday, September 24
Midwest Mysteryfest
St. Charles Community College, 4601 Mid Rivers Mall Drive
$75-$110, 18+, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., 636-922-8000,

Have you ever spent your lunch break sketching out the basic plot for a thriller in which that annoying guy in the next office over is found one morning, staple-gun wound to the head, while everybody wonders whodunit? Aspiring and published mystery authors alike are invited to share their ideas, inspirations and challenges at this year's Mysteryfest, sponsored by the Sisters in Crime, an organization for mystery writers. The daylong conference is packed with sessions (everything from marketing and promoting your book to a crash-course in criminal profiling) and the opportunity to make a 5-minute pitch to various representatives from mystery publishers. (Publishers of mystery novels, that is, not that the publishers themselves are a mystery. But wouldn't that be fun?)

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