Masqueraders made their own costumes.

Freaky Outfits 

Masqueraders made their own costumes.

SAT 3/27

Wispy angels shimmering and skittering among the platforms, pursued intently by a 12-foot-tall lumbering beast, his devilish cohorts in tow ... welcome to Masquerade 2004: Mythopolis. The evening promises lighthearted entertainment fused with something a little darker and more dramatic and (gasp!) a shocking finale. Masquerade is the Kansas City Art Institute's biennial student-scholarship benefit. This year's gala stars students in costumes they designed and created in an intensive three-week course taught by Brenda Kopmeyer-Kaspar, producer of the show and member of school's fiber faculty.

"We would start at 9 a.m., and the students would still be there working at four o'clock the next morning," Kopmeyer-Kaspar says. "I've never seen the kids get so into Masquerade before." The performance consists of astrological characters, Greek gods and goddesses and all sorts of diametrically opposed forces certain to make members of the audience feel a bit like misbehaving. Or maybe that's just us. Perhaps the fortune-teller slated for cocktail hour will provide a clue.

The benefit, from 7 p.m. to midnight at the Hyatt Regency Hotel (2345 McGee Street), will also include dinner, dancing and a performance by members of the Kansas City Ballet. Tickets start at $125; a $25 discount is available for those under 35. For more information, call 816-802-3468.-- Annie Fischer

TV Party

MON 3/29

American reality television sucks. In 1999, the BBC's Channel 4 treated England to Disinformation: The Series, on which host Richard Metzger (pictured) traveled the outskirts of believability through accounts of pioneers in time travel, extreme pornography and the Montauk Project. The show was a spinoff from the Disinformation Web site (www.disinfo.com); the Sci Fi Channel bought it but never aired it here, apparently because of contractual obligations to run Sliders eight times a day. The complete series screens at the Stray Cat (1319 Grand) starting at 7 p.m. Monday. The $2 admission benefits the independently owned venue. It's B.Y.O.B. for 21-and-over; B.Y.O. seating is advisable for everyone.-- Robert Bishop

Slaves to Convention

3/27-3/28

Those old comic books were dog-eared from multiple readings, but damn, it would've been cool to have all those Spider-Man issues around for future offspring to see. Planet Comicon, a two-day pop-culture convention at the Overland Park International Trade Center (6800 West 115th Street), will have thousands upon thousands of comics of every genre and condition for sale, along with many other collectible items. Who knows? Maybe we can find the first Playboy we ever opened. If we can't find it, there will always be former Playmates and other B-list celebrities signing autographs (for a small fee). For information, call 913-451-7691.-- Michael Vennard

Fresh Aries

3/25-3/27

We could say that Aries Spears is the token black guy on Fox's answer to Saturday Night Live, or we could just say that he's the funniest guy on Mad TV. Because aren't the token black dudes usually the funniest comedians on those shows? Flash back to 1980: Eddie Murphy was, and continues to be, funnier than Gilbert Gottfried. Interestingly, some of Spears' best material involves impersonating Murphy. Spears brings his routine, which can be heard on his album I Ain't Scared, to Stanford & Sons Comedy Club (504 Westport Road) through Saturday night. For more information, call 816-561-7454.-- Vennard

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