7 Things to Do This Week for $10 or Less

Categories: Arts

Photo by Theo Welling
Pridefest returns to St. Louis this weekend -- just one of several free events happening around town.

It's the last weekend in June, and St. Louis is jam-packed with fun stuff to keep you busy. And whether you're into Pridefest or Pink Flamingos, the Breakfast Club or Babes in Brassland, nothing will cost you more than an Alexander Hamilton.

Here are our seven top picks for this week's events.

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St. Louis Photo Project Shows Garbage Pail Kids All Grown Up -- And as Gross as Ever

Categories: Arts

Brandon Voges/Bruton Stroube
One of the six cards showing the Garbage Pail Kids 30 years created by Brandon Voges and Jordan Gaunce.

At first, they were just part of the mounds of junk in Jake Houvenagle's mother's basement. Stacks of paper, old Halloween decorations he'd made as a third grader roughly 30 years ago, and then, the childhood collection that would inspire him all over again as an adult: his original Garbage Pail Kids cards.

Produced by the Topps Company, Garbage Pail Kids came out in 1985 as a big middle finger to Cabbage Patch Kids, which were then wildly popular. Depicted on a series of trading cards, the Garbage Pail Kids were the dolls' grotesque cousins. There was Noah Body, a kid with just a head; Armpit Britt, a girl with massive amounts of armpit hair; and Bony Tony, a boy whose skin unzips to expose his skeleton.

"What was not to love? Bizarre kids with bizarre afflictions all with common names of people I knew -- Topps made it easy to make fun of your friends," Houvenagle explains.

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Upcycle Exchange Leaving South Grand for New Venture on Cherokee

Categories: Arts

Photo by Sarah Fenske
Upcycle Exchange's current home on South Grand.

It's not just Strange Folk Festival that's moving to a new location in the coming months.

Autumn Wiggins, who founded the much-loved crafts festival, announced last week she's moving it from O'Fallon, Illinois, to St. Louis' Union Station. And, she told Riverfront Times in a follow-up phone call, she's also uprooting her craft shop, Upcycle Exchange, from South Grand to Cherokee Street.

The South Grand shop will close its doors this Wednesday, June 24. Wiggins isn't sure yet when she'll open the new shop at 2900 Cherokee. "I will play it by ear," she says.

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8 Fun Things to Do While It Rains This Week

Categories: Arts

Photo Courtesy of Universal
They're going to need a bigger boat....

So far, summer in St. Louis has been a bit of a bust -- yes, it's gotten hot, but it seems to rain every damn weekend (and, lately, most of the week too). How can we enjoy yourselves if we keep getting stuck in a downpour?

Fortunately, this week's roster of events contains a whole bunch of cool stuff you can do indoors. From a screening of one of the greatest summer blockbusters of all time to a visit from no less than Judy Fucking Blume, here are eight things you could do for fun even while keeping high and dry this weekend.

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Strange Folk Festival Coming to Union Station in September

Categories: Arts, Bidness

Autumn Wiggins
Photo by Jennifer Silverberg
Strange Folk Festival is coming to St. Louis.

That's the word from Autumn Wiggins, who released a flyer via email this afternoon, indicating the arts-and-crafts festival she founded will be held September 26 and 27 at Union Station. Wiggins indicated she'll be making a statement tomorrow.

See also: Strange Folk Festival Founder Autumn Wiggins Battles O'Fallon Over Event She Created

Wiggins founded the festival ten years ago in her hometown of O'Fallon, Illinois, and grew it into what's arguably the premiere crafting festival in the entire region. But when Wiggins attempted to tell O'Fallon earlier this year that she was pulling the plug after nine years, things got messy -- the city attempted to claim that it owned the event, and that Wiggins was merely a vendor. The police even got involved after O'Fallon reported a laptop stolen.

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Game of Thrones Parody Is Chaotic -- and Very, Very Funny

Categories: Arts

Steve Truesdell
House Stark welcomes you (not you, Jon Snow).
When watching Magic Smoking Monkey's Game of Thrones: GoT Parody?, you have two choices. You can either try to remember actors' faces and names so you know who is playing whom, or you can lean into it and just let the show explode all over your face. I strongly recommend the latter. This advice holds even if you've never seen the TV show -- I haven't -- or read the books. (I read one, and it was OK at best. George R.R. Martin is no Maurice Druon.)

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8 Cool Things to Do in St. Louis This Week

Categories: Arts

Gary Cooper in High Noon: The man our U.S. Presidents wish they could be.
No central air? No problem! This week is full of exciting events that'll get you out of your hotbox of an apartment and into a well-cooled seat. From a modern opera to the Gipper's favorite black-and-white film, you can enjoy some high culture without breaking a sweat.

Feel like heading outdoors for some low-key fun instead? Get thee to the Soap Box Derby on Saturday, conveniently located in The Hill. Yes, you'll sweat, but you'll have a damn good time cheering on St. Louis' youth as they vroom down Macklind Avenue.

Here are our eight recommended events for the week:

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Stray Dog's Latest, Dog Sees God, Is, Well, a Dog

Categories: Arts

John Lamb
Ryan Wiechmann, Sara Rae Womack and Eileen Engel as Van, Tricia and Marcy
Being a theater critic has its perks. You always get a good seat if you want it. You have access to a lot of interesting work being done by actors in all stages of their careers. You occasionally see a director try something new or daring, and as a result experience a well-known show in a different light.

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Who's Who in Magic Smoking Monkey's Game of Thrones

Categories: Arts

Photo by Steve Truesdell
Curious to know more about the characters in Game of Thrones before you buy tickets for Magic Smoking Monkey's parody, which kicks off this weekend at the Regional Arts Commission? We recommend this handy guide to the haters and the heroes in Magic Smoking Monkey's fake Westeros.

All photos by Steve Truesdell

See also: How Magic Smoking Monkey Is Taking on Its Biggest Target Yet: Game of Thrones

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How Magic Smoking Monkey Is Taking on Its Biggest Target Yet: Game of Thrones

Categories: Arts, Longform


I. Watch the Throne

Game of Thrones, like many figures in the entertainment biz, had to change its name before it really became successful. It began life as A Song of Ice and Fire, George R.R. Martin's trilogy-cum-septology of high-fantasy novels. Martin is often praised for bringing realism to the genre, a compliment that should probably be taken as tongue-in-cheek, considering his realistic world includes dragons, icicle zombies, giants and a 700-foot-high wall of ice that spans most of a continent. (So, you know, just like Green Bay.)

The books were solid sellers that spread mostly by word of mouth, eventually growing into a cult classic that crept into the gyre of mainstream readers by the time the fourth volume, A Feast of Crows, was published in 2005.

But when David Benioff and D.B. Weiss adapted the books into a serial drama for HBO, Martin's baby hit the big time. The fantasy-reading cognoscenti who lauded ASOIAF, as it's often short-handed in online forums, suddenly discovered that hipsters, housewives, chick-lit lovers and young-adult readers were ready to play in Martin's big back yard. All it took was a weekly TV series with massive production values, a beautiful cast and more blood and tits than your average grandmother could tolerate in one hour and et voilaGame of Thrones became a pop-culture juggernaut.

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