Photograph courtesy of Cirque du Soleil
From politics to puppets, Jackson to Journey, there's plenty to see, hear, and do this month in St. Louis. Here's our list of the top 10 things not to miss from the SLM calendar (in chronological order):
1. February 3: Lewis Black
Is there an angrier comic working than Lewis Black? The Daily Show contributor's red-faced rants about politics, the economy, and whatever else happens to be on his mind seem to bulld toward a meltdown—but the results are always entertaining. $36.50–$72. Time: 8 p.m. Peabody Opera House, 1400 Market, 800-745-3000, peabodyoperahouse.com.
2. February 3–5: Rock of Ages
She’s just a small-town girl who falls in love with a rocker in L.A. This musical includes some of the’80s greatest arena rock hits, by artists like Asia, Pat Benatar, Journey, Night Ranger, Poison, and REO Speedwagon. $30–$75. Times: 8 p.m. Fri & Sat., 2 p.m. Sat & Sun. Fox Theatre, 527 N. Grand, 314-534-1678, fabulousfox.com.
3. February 7 & 8: Michael Jackson The Immortal World Tour
You might recall what happened when Cirque du Soleil reimagined the music of The Beatles: Its LOVE production spurred the creation of an album, a documentary, and a long-running show at the Mirage in Las Vegas. Now, Cirque brings to life the hits of the late King of Pop during its Michael Jackson The Immortal World Tour. $50–$175. Time: 8 p.m. Scottrade Center, 1401 Clark, 314-622-5435, scottradecenter.com.
4. February 9: Amy Chua
Yale law professor Chua’s controversial book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother showcased her strict, traditional Chinese style of child-rearing, which included threatening to donate her child’s favorite toy if she didn’t learn a difficult piano piece. Free. Time: 7 p.m. St. Louis County Library, Headquarters Branch, 1640 S. Lindbergh, 314-994-3300, slcl.org.
5. February 10: Craig Finn
The Hold Steady’s frontman recently started touring with his solo side project behind his new album, Clear Heart Full Eyes, which was set for release in January. With Mount Moriah. $12–$14. Time: 9 p.m. Off Broadway, 3511 Lemp, 314-773-3363, offbroadwaystl.com.
6. February 17: Henson Alternative’s Stuffed and Unstrung
This show featuring The Miskreant Puppets is part Muppet Show, part Second City improv, and for mature audiences only. Jim Henson Company puppeteers put on this show built around suggestions from the audience. $30–$65. Time: 8 p.m. Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center, University of Missouri–St. Louis, 1 University, 314-516-4949, touhill.org.
7. February 17–19: Hubbard Street Dance Chicago
This group combines modern dance, jazz, and ballet for a unique performance that also explores the relationship between music and movement. $25–$113.Times: 10:30 a.m. & 8 p.m. Fri, 8 p.m. Sat, 3 p.m. Sun. St. Louis Symphony, Powell Symphony Hall, 718 N. Grand, 314-534-1700, stlsymphony.org.
8. February 18: River City Casino Grand Parade
Weeks of Mardi Gras festivities lead up to the River City Casino Grand Parade, with this year’s theme being “Famous Threesomes.” (Our best advice: Buy the beads before you go to Soulard—it’s cheaper, and you won’t have to fight for a front-row seat.) Free. Time: 11 a.m. Soulard, Seventh Street between Clark Avenue and Lynch Street, 314-771-5100, mardigrasinc.com.
9. February 26: Los Lobos
The music of Los Lobos (Spanish for “the wolves”) bridges an array of cultures and genres: rock, folk, country, blues, zydeco… Since the ’70s, the L.A. natives—perhaps best known for covering Ritchie Valens’ “La Bamba”—have made this eclectic mix seem natural. The band’s latest, Tin Can Trust, was nominated for a Grammy last year. $40–$75. Time: 7:30 p.m. Sheldon Concert Hall, 3648 Washington, 314-533-9900, thesheldon.org.
10. February 29: Jeff Dunham
What do a beer-drinking bumpkin, a grouchy geezer, and a dead terrorist have in common? They’re all part of ventriloquist Jeff Dunham’s act—one that’s drawn both criticism and waves of fans. Dunham’s tour comes on the heels of his most recent DVD release, Controlled Chaos. $48.50. Time: 7:30 p.m. The Family Arena, 2002 Arena, St. Charles, 636-896-4200, familyarena.com.
By Rosalind Early and Nancy McMullen