15 Things to Do in St. Louis This July
By Rachel Huffman
This time of year, the region’s pools, lakes and rivers beckon, but when you’re not in the water, you’re going to need something fun to fill your time. Luckily, we’ve got 15 things to do in St. Louis this July that will make this the most memorable month of the summer.
African Modernism in America
Until August 6
On view at the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, African Modernism in America is the first major traveling exhibition to examine the complex connection between modern African artists and U.S. patrons, artists and cultural organizations amid the interlocking histories of civil rights, decolonialization and the Cold War. During these years, institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and Historically Black Colleges and Universities collected and exhibited works by many of the most important African artists of the mid-20th century, including Alexander “Skunder” Boghossian (Ethiopia), Ibrahim El-Salahi (Sudan), Ben Enwonwu (Nigeria) and Gerard Sekoto (South Africa). The inventive and irrefutably contemporary nature of these artists’ paintings, sculptures and works on paper defy typical Western narratives about African art being isolated to a “primitive past,” and their presentation in the U.S. rooted these vital works firmly in the present for American audiences. Organized by the American Federation of Arts and Fisk University Galleries, the exhibition features more than 70 artworks by 50 artists, which exemplify the relationships between the art that emerged in Africa during the 1950s and 1960s and the art and cultural politics of the U.S.
July 5 to 11
Before Mamma Mia!, members of ABBA teamed up with Tim Rice (Jesus Christ Superstar, The Lion King, Evita) to create a dynamic drama centered on the World Chess Championship, mirroring the 1980s Cold War tensions between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. The dazzling and beautiful pop rock score, including hit single “One Night in Bangkok,” became a worldwide smash. Chess makes its move to St. Louis – host of the first World Chess Championship – and onto the Muny stage for the first time, as the game’s long history continues to rise in popularity. In partnership with the Saint Louis Chess Club and World Chess Hall of Fame, The Muny will show Chess from July 5 to 11.
Let Them Eat Art
A celebration of the arts and a whimsical tribute to Bastille Day, Let Them Eat Art will take place in Maplewood on July 7. As you stroll through the streets and shops of the historic downtown, enjoy the sights and sounds of the annual festival. This year, Let Them Eat Art will feature live art demonstrations, performances by regional musicians and children’s activities – plus, food and drinks from the neighborhood’s award-winning purveyors.
July 7 to 10
This is your chance to drive a supercar at World Wide Technology Raceway! Xtreme Xperience allows you to drive or ride on the world-class racetrack in a Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche and more. You don’t need any experience – professional instructors will teach you how to drive the racing line as you cross an item off your bucket list.
The Turn of the Screw
July 7 to 15
Not all secrets stay in the grave. Such is the case at Bly Manor. Hired by a mysterious and absent guardian, a young governess travels to a remote English country house to care for two precocious young orphans. Greeted by the housekeeper, Mrs. Grose (Christine Brewer), she is soon faced with the possibility that something sinister is afoot. Based on the mid-19th century horror novella by Henry James, The Turn of the Screw, Benjamin Britten’s seductive, luminous and brilliantly structured score builds delicious tension to create one of opera’s greatest ghost stories. The Turn of the Screw, presented by Union Avenue Opera, will be sung in English with projected English supertitles.
West Side Story
July 15 to 21
One of the greatest and most powerful musicals of our time, West Side Story is loosely based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, a love story that has endured the test of time. Tony and Maria find themselves in each other’s arms in a dance of romance, but can they escape the tensions in the streets? The iconic rivalry between the Sharks and the Jets leaps onto the Muny stage for the first time in a decade. Tapping your toes to “Maria,” “Tonight” and “I Feel Pretty,” you’ll fall in love with this story all over again.
Not So Quiet! Live on the Road
The St. Louis Public Library is proud to present the free concert series Not So Quiet! Live on the Road. On July 20, Bad Habit will perform on the steps of the St. Louis Public Library – Central Library. Bring a lawn chair or blanket – plus, a cooler – and enjoy this experience with your family and friends. Bad Habit has a reputation as one of the most versatile, enjoyable and high-energy acts in the Midwest, showcasing music by the brightest stars in pop and rock such as Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, Alanis Morissette, Katy Perry and Madonna. Every Bad Habit performance comes with striking visuals and unique medleys, so get ready to dance and sing along.
Bringing his All-American Road Show to Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre – St. Louis, Chris Stapleton will perform hits such as “Tennessee Whiskey,” “You Should Probably Leave” and “Broken Halos.” This month, the venue will also host El Monstero (July 8), Tears for Fears (July 13), Eric Church (July 15), the H.S. Reunion Tour with Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa, Too $hort and more (July 16), Godsmack and Staind (July 18), Foreigner (July 19), 50 Cent (July 25), Bret Michaels (July 28) and Sam Hunt (July 29).
July 20 to 22
Spotlighting the spectacular capabilities of the theater program at COCA, Pippin is a coming-of-age story about a young man’s journey to become extraordinary. “The most recent production had a lot of circus elements,” artistic director of theatre Jennifer Wintzer says, “and we have a strong circus program at COCA, which we’re interested in highlighting.” Winner of four Tony Awards, including Best Musical Revival, the updated circus-inspired version of Pippin appeals to the young at heart; plus, it boasts an unforgettable score from Stephen Schwartz along with captivating dance numbers.
St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase
July 21 to 30
In its 23rd year, the St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase continues to screen films written, directed and produced by St. Louis residents as well as films shot in the St. Louis region. During the showcase, which is presented by Cinema St. Louis, audiences can watch a range of films, including narrative features, documentaries and multi-film compilations of fiction, documentary and experimental shorts. Cinema St. Louis aims to create cinematic experiences, such as the St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase, that enrich, educate and entertain our community.
July 21 to August 20
Based on the iconic 1985 Paramount Pictures film, which was inspired by the classic Hasbro board game, Clue is a hilarious farce-meets-murder mystery. The play begins on a dark and stormy night at a remote mansion, where six mysterious guests assemble for an unusual dinner party. When their host turns up dead, they all become suspects. Sip soup with Miss Scarlett, Professor Plum, Mrs. Peacock, Colonel Mustard and a host of other classic oddballs as you unravel this whodunnit. Performed by STAGES St. Louis at the Kirkwood Performing Arts Center, Clue is laugh-a-minute, high-octane fun for the entire family.
Little Shop of Horrors
July 25 to 31
A delicious comedy for the heart of summer, Little Shop of Horrors is a campy thriller that follows meek floral assistant Seymour on his quest to win over the love of his life, Audrey. Unfortunately, a total eclipse of the sun and a scheming man-eating plant take over Seymour’s life and threaten his dream. Expect the unexpected from this production at The Muny. The hangry tale will feed your inner quirkiness, but remember: Whatever you do, don’t feed the plant!
MO History Riverfront Takeover Cruise
Brush up on the history of the Mighty Mississippi while cruising the river. The Riverboats at the Gateway Arch have partnered with the Missouri History Museum to introduce a new cruise experience. Amanda Clark, manager of community tours and the See STL tour program, will lead the one-hour MO History Riverboat Takeover Cruise, sharing her wealth of intriguing tidbits.
Pig & Whiskey Festival
July 28 to 30
Schlafly Beer, in partnership with The Riverfront Times, brings you the ultimate summer festival. Featuring some of the area’s most beloved barbecue joints, craft cocktails, plenty of Schlafly beer and, of course, whiskey, bourbon and scotch, the Pig & Whiskey Festival will take over Maplewood from July 28 to 30. Local and national bands will help set the tone for the largest block party in the neighborhood. Pig & Whiskey is a family-friendly festival, complete with interactive games for all ages, bounce houses, bull riding, a vendor village and more. Adults can also stroll down Whiskey Row or learn new recipes from local mixologists and chefs.
Comprised of lead vocalist Hayley Williams, guitarist Taylor York and drummer Zac Farro, Paramore is an American rock band best-known for hits such as “Misery Business,” “Ain’t It Fun” and “Still Into You.” They will perform with special guests Foals and The Linda Lindas at Enterprise Center on July 30. Bryan Adams and Alicia Keys will also perform at the venue in the Downtown West neighborhood on July 1 and July 21, respectively.