Susan Casserley 
Member since Aug 20, 2012

Saved Events

Al Latta

Wednesdays-Saturdays, 8:30 p.m.
@ The Cigar Box 1519 Grand (map)
Kansas City Downtown
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Al Latta
Latta says he's 50. Accompanied not by a band but by a simple amplifier and a minidisc player loaded with backup music, Latta covers standards by Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, Sammy Davis Jr. and Neil Diamond, singing in a low growl just ... behind ... the beat, then rushing to finish each line.

Words come out fast and sometimes garbled. He changes costumes constantly, using the kitchen as a dressing room. He wears a black-and-gold jacket for Sinatra, a white jacket with blue and red sequins for Neil Diamond.

Request a song and he'll sing it. Buy him a shot and he'll take it. Again and again, he leans too close to his sound system; each song is followed by a trail of feedback.

His repertoire is deep -- between songs made famous by Elvis, Wayne Newton and Kenny Rogers, he does impressions of Clint Eastwood, Muhammad Ali, Sylvester Stallone, Ronald Reagan, Rodney Dangerfield, Jack Nicholson, Archie Bunker, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Elmer Fudd, Bugs Bunny, Yosemite Sam and Porky Pig.

"You want the audience. That is your high," he says. "It's like anything else -- there are times I don't want to get to work, but then I come in, and then I hit the first note, and then I'm fine."

He'd never sung Sinatra before gigging in Kansas City, but the audiences demanded it, so he learned the songs -- not just the words but what they meant. "The music is so soothing, and there's something about the songs. Everybody knows them," he says. "Someone in their 60s is singing it, and someone in their 20s is singing it. And the words are the real magic, maybe, that's in the heart." free

Shuttlecarts

Wednesdays-Sundays
@ Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art 4525 Oak (map)
Kansas City Plaza
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Shuttlecarts
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (4525 Oak, 816-751-1278) sprawls across property once owned by William Rockhill Nelson, who really liked to spread out. Did Nelson grow old and eccentric, exploring his enormous home's interior astride a favorite stallion? The world will never know the answer to that question. We do know that the square footage of the museum's galleries and public spaces constitutes either a daunting physical challenge or a tribute to human imagination, depending on how you look at it. Not everyone is able to explore the entirety of the museum on foot, so the Carter Community Trust has funded two electric carts to shuttle visitors along two routes through the galleries. The museum commissioned Kansas City artist Peregrine Honig to transform the shuttlecarts into rolling works of art. Her "Gilded Cage" and "Sweet Chariot" incorporate visual echoes of carnival rides, Mardi Gras and the vintage coaches of European aristocracy. Y'know, Peregrine stuff. Rides are free. See nelson-atkins.org.
 

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