10 Things to Do for $10 This Weekend in St. Louis, July 30 to August 1, 2010

This weekend's entertainment is a tale of opposites - short plays and towering monsters, psychedelic pop and underground emcees, art from prison inmates and musicals from Broadway stars. Let's see what we've got.

Memphis Pencils (Friday)
Reviewer Roy Kasten described the Memphis Pencils sound as "Sufjan Stevens filtered through the Mountain Goats' boom box and remixed with Sergio Mendes and Brasil '66 playing in the background." The psychedelic popsters take their act to Foam on Friday at 9 for a free show.
Insider Art (Opens Friday)
Subterranean Books kicks off its Insider Art exhibition with a free open house on Friday at 7. It will feature a variety of art created by prison inmates, and the sale of the art will benefit Inside Dharma, a local Buddhist organization that assists inmates and people recently released from prison.

DinoQuest Monster Movie Night (Friday)
The Missouri Botanical Gardens, home of serene rose walks and Japanese tea houses, is scrapping all that for a night to become a B-movie theater starring Mothra and other dubbed monsters. The gardens are open from 7 to midnight, and the double feature starts on the lawn at 8:30. Tickets are $10. Bring blankets and snacks or some extra cash for food.

Steddy P and DJ Mahf (Friday)
DJ Mahf of the Earthworms will take a break from his weekly gig at the Atomic Cowboy to team up with Kansas City's Steddy P for a show at Blueberry Hill on Friday night in support of their new mixtape "While You Were Sleeping." Earthworms, Ces Cru, Grea Tones and Farout are also performing. Doors are at 9, show is at 10, and tickets are $5.

Drawn and Quartered (Friday and Saturday)
Want to look classy at the theater without getting mired down in a three-hour Shakespearean production? Fear not: This weekend, Drawn and Quartered brings you 35 experimental plays, and each one is about two minutes long -- which is short enough to satisfy even the most ADHD among us.The shows kick off at 8 on Friday and Saturday nights at the Mad Art Gallery. Tickets are $8.

Gone With the Pope (Friday and Saturday)
The premise of this 1976 low-budget, cult classic is simple: Gangsters kidnap the Pope and demand $1 in ransom from every Catholic in the world. What could go wrong? The flick screens at midnight on Friday and Saturday at the Tivoli. Tickets are $9.

The Sound of Music (All Weekend)
One of the most famous musicals of all time will be playing at the Muny this weekend. Broadway star Ashley Brown portrayed English governess Mary Poppins last summer, so we have high hopes for her turn as Austrian governess Maria. Make sure to show up early so you can snag one of those free seats.

Theodore (Saturday)
RFT's Best Alternative Country Band of 2008, Theodore, will be playing a set at the Old Rock House on Saturday at 9. When we crowned the band among the best of St. Louis acts, we said, "Theodore's country trip is mostly doomed and desperate, but it's always earned, always deeply felt." So go see what all the fuss is about. Tickets are $7.

Darwin (Through Sunday)
If you haven't  been to the St. Louis Science Center's exhibition on Darwin, you only have this weekend left to visit. The exhibit focuses both on the biologist's work and the controversy it caused. Multimedia presentations let you retrace the voyage of the Beagle, and elsewhere visitors can learn about current work in the field of evolution. Plus, there are mounted skeletons! The event is free.

Shark Week (Begins Sunday)

Shark week kicks off its 23rd season with "Ultimate Air Jaws," an hour of sharks jumping in slow-motion, maw-first toward their hapless, hapless prey. The line-up for the rest of the week is a bit redundant - shark bites camera, shark bites human, how to not be a human that a shark bites - but still terrifyingly awesome. Craig Ferguson is on board to host. Ba-dum, Ba-dum...

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