Oct. 03--The government might be partially shut down, but life goes on in the Midland Empire. This weekend's entertainment best bets include the sci-fi-thriller "Gravity," a film festival at Foster's and the Josephine Expo at Civic Arena.
In theaters: The first ballyhooed Oscar contender of the year hits theaters on Friday. Alfonso Cuaron directed "Gravity," which is being hailed by critics for its stunning visuals as well as tremendous performances by Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, who star as a medical engineer and an astronaut who must work together to survive after a shuttle accident leaves them adrift in space. "Runner Runner" also comes to theaters on Friday. In the movie, Justin Timberlake plays a poor college student who cracks an online poker game but gets swindled and arranges a face-to-face with the man he thinks cheated him, a sly offshore entrepreneur played by Ben Affleck.
The Shakespearean classic: "A Midsummer Night's Dream" -- Shakespeare's magical romantic comedy about confused lovers, warring fairies and terrible actors set against a moonlit forest on a midsummer night -- will open tonight (Oct. 3) at Missouri Western's Potter Hall Theater. Performances on Oct. 3, 4, 5, 10, 11 and 12 will start at 7:30 p.m. Performances on Oct. 6 and 13 will be at 3 p.m. For more information about the play, check out St. Joe Live in Friday's edition of the News-Press -- online at stjoelive.com.
Brass appeal: Fanfare and a special guest ensemble will get the spotlight treatment in the Saint Joseph Symphony's season-opening concert "Brilliance of Brass" at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Missouri Theater. The multiple-award-winning and audience-friendly Fountain City Brass Band will join the orchestra at the concert. The program will include "Olympic Fanfare and Theme" by John Williams, "The Fanfare to New Atlantis" by Alan Hovhaness, "Sinfonietta" by Leos Janacek and "The Pines of Rome" by Ottorino Respighi.
Films at Foster's: It might not be Sundance, but it's definitely cool, new and unique for St. Joseph. Foster's Wine and Martini Bar will host the inaugural Foster's Film Festival starting at 7 p.m. Saturday. Over the course of three hours, 10 short films will be shown: "Knapper" and "Unfortunate" by Kelsey Houser, "Hangdog" and "Lift" by Kieran Valla, "Kalifornija" and "For Abigail, Love Benjamin" by Tomas Vengris, "Finding Johnny" by Justin Leyba, "Deevil Kneevil" by Kallie Hartigan, "My Boy Rob" by Chance Parsons and "Children of Immy Yethu" by Courtney Hopkins. An awards ceremony will follow at 10 p.m.
Music at the Expo: The Josephine Expo will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Civic Arena. And although most of the ladies will attend to peruse the booths, shop the various wares, enjoy local food or take in a fashion show, the expo also will feature four solid local music acts. Therapeutic singer/songwriter Stephanie Glenn will kick off the music at 10 a.m., and local bluegrass band Whiskey for the Lady will follow at 11 a.m. The indie folk band Eyelit will ring in the afternoon with a performance at 1 p.m., and roots and rock band The Wood Pile will wrap things up at 3 p.m.
Shea Conner can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @stjoelivedotcom.
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