The World Naked Bike Ride takes over the Grove this Saturday.
Whether you’re a lifelong St. Louisan or relatively new to the Lou, we guarantee you will discover something about the city at Secret St. Louis, Hidden Gems of the Gateway City, a new exhibit at the Green Door Art Gallery (21 North Gore Avenue, Webster Groves; 314-202-4071). The exhibit, which runs through Saturday, August 26, features works of art that showcase “the lesser-known places and scenes around our beloved city.” The collection of art is juried by internationally renowned painter Marilynne Bradley, and is sure to introduce you to some hidden beauty nestled within city limits. Admission to the gallery is free. The Green Door is open Wednesdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. More info at greendoorartgallery.com.
Tina Dybal might actually be the funniest person living in St. Louis right now — and we’re not just saying that because she had the title bestowed upon her by the Helium Comedy Club in 2018. A standup comedian from Belarus who is now a United States citizen, she first came to our attention during the 2018 Flyover Comedy Festival with a joke about her father making good on a common childhood threat — We won’t ruin it and hope she’s still performing it — that had us snorting our beer up through our nose and onto the Ready Room’s concrete floors. In other words, Dybal shone, even next to headliner Cameron Esposito, which is saying something. On top of that, her podcast, Slop City, delivers some serious laughs as well. But one of the best things about Dybal is that she’s ours, and we St. Louisans have the added privilege of being able to see her perform in her hometown. A great time to do so this week is during the Future is Female+: A Stand-Up Comedy Show event on Friday, August 4, at the Heavy Anchor (5226 Gravois Ave, 314-352-5226). The 21-and-over show starts at 8 p.m., and tickets are $10. For more information about Dybal’s work, visit tinadybal.com.
There’s no day but today — well actually, there’s Friday, August 4, through Thursday, August 10 — to catch the enduring theater powerhouse that is Rent on a St. Louis stage. And there’s no place like the scenic and welcoming environs of Forest Park to do so. At 8:15 p.m. each night, the Muny (1 Theatre Drive, 314-361-1900) celebrates the groundbreaking musical that first took the theater world by storm in 1996. The show, which is loosely based on the 1896 opera La bohème by Giacomo Puccini, Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa, tells the tale of a bohemian friend group struggling to make ends meet in Manhattan’s East Village amid the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Bound by their desire for “being an us — for once — instead of a them,” the group navigates their own identities in a society often working against them. As one of the longest-running shows in Broadway history, Rent is a critical darling and a winner of numerous awards up to and including a Tony Award and a Pulitzer Prize. Tickets to the Muny production start at $19. More information at muny.org/show/rent.
Bare As You Dare
The World Naked Bike Ride is one of the cheekiest events of the year. (And yes, we mean that literally.) It’s also exactly as it sounds: a collection of people peddling their bicycles in all manner of undress, all around the world. A fair question might be: Why? The annual event, for which the first ride was held in Spain in 2001, started as a protest against oil dependency, but has since become a combined celebration of the human body and the act of riding a bicycle, as well as a form of First Amendment protest. Regardless of the specifics, the yearly ride is a lot of fun, and people flock to the St. Louis iteration of the event each year to show off their stuff or to get a look at other people’s stuff. It’s a buoyant, joyous celebration of what it is to be human, and it kicks off in the Grove this Saturday, August 5. Folks will gather at HandleBar (4127 Manchester Avenue, 314-652-2212) at 4 p.m. and leave for a ride around the city at 6 p.m. Attendance and participation are completely free. Visit tinyurl.com/453dkanu for more information.
Walk the Walk
Before the Grove, the Central West End was St. Louis’ premiere gayborhood. The Mandrake Society, the city’s first gay liberation organization, whose purpose was “equalizing the status and position of the homosexual with the status and position of the heterosexual,” met at a church in the neighborhood, which was one of the first to open its doors to queer people. In the mid-20th century, gay-friendly bars and restaurants dotted the neighborhood, making for a welcoming experience for queer St. Louisans. Openly gay playwright Tennessee Williams spent three years of his childhood in the CWE; we like to think it influenced his sensibility. This Saturday, August 5, the Missouri Historical Society’s See STL: Gay Liberation in the Gateway City walking tour will explore such sites and dig into the history of the neighborhood’s ties to the local gay community, starting at the location of St. Louis’ first pride march. The tour starts at 6 p.m. and ticket prices range from $15 to $20. Advance registration is required. For more information, visit mohistory.org.
All Dolled Up
Calling all Barbies and Kens! This Saturday, August 5, Great Skate (130 Boone Hills Drive, St. Peters; 636-441-2530) will play host to a Barbie-themed skate party in honor of everyone’s favorite plastic person’s recent run on big screens across the country. Come dressed as your favorite version of Barbie or Ken — whether that be Stereotypical, Madam President or just Beach — and live out all your fantastic plastic four-wheeled fantasies. The Barbie & Ken Adult Skate Party will run from 9:30 pm to midnight, and is restricted to those 21 and up. Tickets are $12 each and include skate rental. Prizes will be awarded to those sporting the best costumes. Visit greatskaterocks.com for more info.
Diva Dance Party
There’s one critical cultural debate that still rages from the early aughts. No, it’s not who really won the presidential election in 2000 (Al Gore), or if Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie really didn’t know what Walmart was. (They’ve really never asked any of their rich Walton family friends how they made their money?) No, we’re talking about the raging fight over who served harder, Britney Spears or Christina Aguilera. While Christina definitely had the vocal chops and the range, Britney served us pure attitude. And both had bops that you can still sing along with in the car and that have turned into karaoke mainstays. This Saturday, August 5, you get your chance to decide who can really slay the house boots down at the Britney vs. Christina Ultimate Dance Party at Delmar Hall (6133 Delmar Boulevard, 3214-726-6161). Listen to “Slave 4 U” and “Genie in a Bottle” in your jean miniskirts and Ugg boots and decide who did it better. The party kicks off at 9 p.m. (doors at 8 p.m.) and tickets are $20 in advance and $25 on the day of the show. Head to delmarhall.com for more information