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Best Bets: Festival of the Little Hills, St. Louis World's Fare, YMCA Book Fair, BrewFest, An Under Cover Weekend

Best Bets: Festival of the Little Hills, St. Louis World's Fare, YMCA Book Fair, BrewFest, An Under Cover Weekend

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Festival of the Little Hills

When 4-10 p.m. Friday, 9:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday • Where Main Street and Frontier Park, St. Charles • How much Free; shuttles from parking at several locations • More info 636-940-0095;

This popular festival, now in its 46th year, is at the base of the “little hills” that gave the city of St. Charles its original name, Les Petites Côtes. Food, music and vendors line Main Street and Frontier Park on the Missouri Riverfront. By Valerie Schremp Hahn

Conquest: A Tribute to the Metal Gods, Savage Amusement: A Tribute to the Scorpions

When 7 p.m. Friday • Where The Family Arena, 2002 Arena Parkway, St. Charles • How much $10 • More info

The Family Arena is being overtaken by retro rock sounds this weekend, beginning with the double billing of Conquest: A Tribute to the Metal Gods and Savage Amusement: A Tribute to the Scorpions. That’s followed on Saturday by “Back to the Eighties.” By Kevin C. Johnson

Finesse Mitchell

When 7:30 and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday • Where Helium Comedy Club, St. Louis Galleria, 1151 St. Louis Galleria Street, Richmond Heights • How much $20-$31 • More info

Finesse Mitchell didn’t leave much of an impression from his stint on “Saturday Night Live” years ago. But don’t take that to mean he’s not a funny guy. Find out for yourself at his run of shows this weekend at Helium Comedy Club. By Kevin C. Johnson

The St. Louis World's Fare Heritage Festival

Jill Terry with Circular Inspirations mesmerizes a small crowd at the St. Louis World's Fare Heritage Festival on Sunday, Aug. 21, 2016, in Forest Park. Photo by Laurie Skrivan,

St. Louis World’s Fare

When 5-10 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday • Where World’s Fair Pavilion, 1904 Concourse Drive, Forest Park • How much Free • More info

Built in 1909 with proceeds from the 1904 World’s Fair, the World’s Fair Pavilion has seen its share of summer fun. But with another season drawing to a close, why not stage another festival celebrating St. Louis history and community? All weekend, the St. Louis World’s Fare will be set up at the pavilion, with live music, local food trucks, local art and backyard fun for all. Paint Louis will bring a graffiti wall, Urban Chestnut will bring a beer garden, and a Ferris wheel will take fairgoers high above the festivities, just as it did way back in 1904. By Wes Jenkins

Bibliophile bonanza!

A full room of bibliophiles amble through tables and tables of books on Friday, Aug. 19, 2016, at the first day of the 38th Annual YMCA Book Fair at Greensfelder Recreation Complex in Queeny Park. The fair continues through Tuesday from 9am to 9pm. On Monday, all books are half-price. Tuesday, book lovers can fill up any box they can carry out for $10. Proceeds benefit Y Community Literacy and youth programs at the Carondelet Park Recreation Complex and Washington University Campus YMCA. Photo by Christian Gooden,

YMCA Book Fair

When 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday through Tuesday • Where Queeny Park, 550 Weidman Road, Ballwin • How much $10 Friday; free admission on other days • More info 314-353-4960;

The 39th YMCA Book Fair is a great place to pick up inexpensive treasures. Admission is charged only on the first day, when fans of rare books may want to attend. Special offerings are always intriguing: a collection of 1960s-era children’s books in German; an 1878 copy of Jules Verne’s “Hector Servadac”; and a 115-book lot of vintage mystery and science fiction paperbacks. The fair has made remembering hours easy: Each day runs from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. As usual, Monday is half-price day, and on Tuesday a box of books goes for $10. By Jane Henderson

'Hansel und Gretel,' Union Avenue Opera

Julie Tabash as Gretel and Emma Sorenson as Hänsel in Humperdinck's 'Hänsel und Gretel' at Union Avenue Opera. Photo by John Lamb

‘Hänsel und Gretel’

When 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and Aug. 25-26 • Where Union Avenue Christian Church, 733 North Union Boulevard • How much $32-$55 • More info 314-361-2881;

The third and final production of the Union Avenue Opera season is a sleeper, Engelbert Humperdinck’s “Hänsel und Gretel.” Too often dismissed as a children’s opera, it’s actually the missing link between the operas of Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss, a musically and dramatically rich work. It’s based on the sinister fairy tale told by the Brothers Grimm, considerably lightened for the stage. Hänsel and Gretel are driven out of the house by their mother when they play instead of work but manage to outwit the witch. (The witch gets the best parts, though.) The cast includes mezzo-soprano Emma Sorenson as Hänsel, soprano Julie Tabash Kelsheimer as Gretel and mezzo Melisa Bonetti as the Witch. Karen Coe Miller directs. It’s presented in German with English supertitles. By Sarah Bryan Miller

‘In the Heights’

When 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 7 p.m. Sunday; Friday through Sept. 3 • Where .ZACK Performing Arts Incubator, 3224 Locust Street • How much $20-$25 • More info 314-534-1111;

Before the mammoth triumph of “Hamilton,” Lin-Manuel Miranda won his first Tony for best musical for his warm portrait of a Latin neighborhood, New York’s Washington Heights. Artistic director Christina Rios directs R-S Theatrics’ production of this ensemble show, the troupe’s first production in its new home, the .ZACK. By Judith Newmark


SciFest: Eclipsed

When 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Sunday • Where St. Louis Science Center, 5050 Oakland Avenue • How much $6-$7 per event • More info

Prepare for Monday’s total solar eclipse by learning all about the science and history behind celestial movements at the St. Louis Science Center. The first 100 attendees will receive a free pair of eclipse viewing glasses. NASA scientists will explain the phenomenon, give instructions on how to safely view the eclipse, clarify how weather could affect the event and explain St. Louis’ extensive aerospace history. By Wes Jenkins

Top 50 Car Show

When 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday • Where Festival & Parking Plaza (Upper Muny Lot), Forest Park • How much free to attend; $10-$20 bring a car • More info 314-444-2531;

A car show will benefit Sheena Smith and Gary Glasby, St. Louis Metropolitan Police officers who were injured in a patrol car crash in March. Smith has returned to work part-time while she recovers, and Glasby is in rehabilitation at a hospital in Denver. Food and beverages will be available at the show, and all proceeds will benefit the officers and their families. Registration is from 8 a.m. to noon; the top 50 awards will be presented at 3 p.m. and will include dash plaques for the first 100 cars. By Valerie Schremp Hahn

‘Back to the Eighties’

When 7 p.m. Saturday • Where The Family Arena, 2002 Arena Parkway, St. Charles • How much $45-$95 • More info

“I Love the ’90s” may not have proven so lovable for the Family Arena — the tour stop scheduled there for September was canceled — but the ’80s seem just fine. “Back to the Eighties” is this weekend with Howard Jones, the English Beat, Men Without Hats, Modern English, Katrina, and Annabella (from Bow Wow Wow). By Kevin C. Johnson

BrewFest 2017

When 1-5 p.m. Saturday • Where Budweiser Brew House, Ballpark Village, 601 Clark Avenue • How much $30-$50 • More info

More than a few great professional brewers started out as homebrewers. See if you can spot a future star of the beer world at the fourth annual BrewFest at the Budweiser Brew House in Ballpark Village. The event features more than 60 beers for sampling, with homebrewers competing to have their versions of a Belgian dark strong ale brewed by Anheuser-Busch’s Research and Pilot brewery. By Ian Froeb

Rise Up Festival

When 2-11 p.m. Saturday • Where Washington Avenue between 15th and 17th streets • How much Free • More info

Returning for its fifth year, the Rise Up Festival is a good, old-fashioned street party to celebrate community building in St. Louis. From music to circus acts, with Zumba and some taste-testing in between, the festival offers all sorts of entertainment. New this year is the announcement of the Fantasy Food Fare Competition winner along with the three finalists serving up their dishes. The Bottle Rockets will headline the main stage; Joe Metzka, Tidal Volume and Beth Bombara perform earlier in the day. By Wes Jenkins

Hermann Wine & Jazz Festival

When 12:30 to 9 p.m. Saturday • Where Clara Eitmann Messmer Amphitheater, 231 East Fifth Street, Hermann, Mo. • How much Free • More info

The Funky Butt Brass Band, Bach to the Future and the People’s Key are among the acts scheduled to perform at the Hermann Wine & Jazz Festival. Bring along lawn chairs and blankets, and bask in music under the sky. By Calvin Wilson


Hungry Young Poets

When 7:30 p.m. Monday • Where Tree House Restaurant, 3117 South Grand Boulevard • How much $3 • More info

River Styx’s annual summer reading series features a musical guest (Miss Jubilee) and regional poets. Look for Alison C. Rollins, Kyle McCord, Teresa Lynn Hasan-Kerr, Traci Brimhall and Zachary Allen. By Jane Henderson


An Under Cover Weekend

When 7:45 p.m. Thursday; continues Aug. 25-26 • Where Delmar Hall, 6133 Delmar Boulevard • How much $12-$15 • More info

St. Louis bands are just not themselves during An Under Cover Weekend, when they’ll take on the persona of a superstar act for one night only. The event, which moves from the Firebird to Delmar Hall, kicks off Thursday with Night One: the ’90s, with Theresa Payne as Chaka Khan, Tortuga as Dolly Parton with Kenny Rogers, Paige Alyssa as Janet Jackson, Too Deep as Madonna and Tenement Ruth as Stevie Nicks. An Under Cover Weekend continues Aug. 25-26 with many more tributes. By Kevin C. Johnson

‘Uncle Vanya: Valiantly Accepting Next Year’s Agony’

When 7 p.m. Thursdays-Mondays, Thursday through Sept. 3 • Where 110 Dielman Road • How much $45, $30 for students; 18 and up only • More info theimmersivetheatre

First Kelly Hummert, artistic director of Rebels and Misfits, gave us “Hamlet: See What I See,” a production in which actors and audience ranged through the Barnett in Grand Center. Sometimes they spoke to one another, or touched; they all explored the building from new perspectives. Now Hummert directs a special take on Chekhov’s classic about an elderly professor who retires to a country estate with his glamorous young wife. A private home in Ladue stands in for the estate; the cast includes Peter Mayer as the professor and Sophia Brown as his wife, plus Jim Butz, Kent Coffel, Francesca Ferrari, Suzanne Greenwald, Andrew Michael Neiman and Donna Weinsting. A formal tea will be served at 7 p.m.; the play starts at 8, with Russian libations between the acts. By Judith Newmark

Fast forward

Festival of Nations, Aug. 26-27 in Tower Grove Park: The International Institute’s annual festival is a showcase of more than 40 ethnic food vendors, dance and music, and arts and crafts from around the world

Zac Brown Band, Aug. 27 at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre: The platinum “Jekyll+Hyde” is the latest from the three-time Grammy-winning band, which skipped St. Louis last summer

“Panoramas of the City,” Sept. 2 through Aug. 12, 2018, at Missouri History Museum: A 6,000-square-foot exhibition will explore the history of St. Louis from 1900 to 1950 using large-scale panoramic backdrops

“Dot,” Sept. 6-24 at the Edison Theatre: The St. Louis Black Rep opens its 41st season with Colman Domingo’s new comedy that deals with aging parents and midlife crises

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