Arthur Miller explored the ties that bind.
When Arthur Miller died last year, the gulf between intellectual artist and popular success widened further than ever. Just 40 years ago, a man who penned such painful truths as "After all the highways, and the trains, and the appointments, and the years, you end up worth more dead than alive" could get hitched to Marilyn Monroe. But like his own Willy Loman, Miller learned that in setting up house with the bombshell, he had the wrong dream. At 2:30 p.m. Sunday, the Plaza Branch of the KC Public Library (4801 Main, 816-701-3481) hosts a staged reading of Death of a Salesman, Miller's chilling 1949 Pulitzer Prize winner. Reservations are required, but the show is free. Just as cheap as our hopes and dreams but that kind of talk no longer gets you high-grade tail. Alan Scherstuhl
Everybody's a winner.
Club Wars still dominates the competitive-concert landscape, but Bands Across Kansas City enjoyed a successful if under-the-radar inaugural season. Instead of deciding its battles on stages, BAKC invited area bands to post tracks on its Web site; judges and fans voted for their favorites. This Internet whittling set the field for Tuesday's live show where all six finalists are already winners. Fourth- through sixth-place finishers each walk off with $50; those in medal positions take home $250, $500 or $1,000. Contenders include radio-ready hard-rockers (Albino Fly, the Disasters), adult-alternative acts (Bixby Lane, Motorcar Courtney), an emotive singer-songwriter (Cory Ryan) and an indie-sounding atmospheric outfit (Walter Alias). The show starts at 7 p.m. at the Beaumont Club (4050 Pennsylvania); see Bands acrosskansascity.com for tickets. Andrew Miller