Paula Poundstone brings her jokes -- and zany neckties -- to Kansas City this weekend, her first visit since the summer 2001 fiasco that would have sent most people running as far from the spotlight as possible. Hers was a Nick Nolte scandal with a Michael Jackson twist: Arrested during a drunken ice-cream run with children in tow, Poundstone wound up pleading no contest to felony counts of child endangerment; charges of lewd conduct with a girl who wasn't yet fourteen years old were later dropped.Maybe Poundstone would have retreated into the annals of celebrity shame if she hadn't accrued thousands upon thousands of dollars in legal fees dealing with the charges and attempting to regain custody of her adopted and foster children. She swapped her Santa Monica digs for a rental and hit the road for two much-needed resources: money and therapy. Post-scandal Poundstone still commands a hefty check for her wry, observational humor. ("She was Ellen before Ellen," says Stanford & Sons' Craig Glazer.) And in the artist-deals-with-her-pain-through-art tradition, she addresses her now infamous demons on this nine-stop "Unauthorized Autobiography" tour. Her new routine dishes on her jail time (during questioning, an official asked her, "Whaddaya like, men or women?"; she replied, "I don't like attackers of either gender"), her relationship with her kids (all of whom are special-needs children) and her addictions (alcohol and Pop Tarts among them).
Glazer says the club didn't mean to book Poundstone for Mother's Day weekend. "That was some irony we didn't intend," he says. Shows start at 7:45 and 9:45 p.m. at Stanford & Sons (504 Westport Road). Tickets cost $20 for Friday shows and $22 for Saturday shows. For tickets, call 816-561-7454.--Sarah Smarsh
Cool locations and film-noir ambitions are part of the draw of The Wild Card, a movie about a screwed-up businessman, his unfaithful fourth wife and a plot to kidnap her and her daughter in Las Vegas. "It's an intimate story from the point of view of the bad guys," says director and part-time Kansas Citian Tom Whitus, whose Waldo West Productions keeps offices here and in Los Angeles. Whitus and a few cast members will be at the Tivoli Cinema (4050 Pennsylvania) for a 7:30 p.m. screening sponsored by the Independent Filmmakers Coalition. Though Whitus says The Wild Card falls outside his mission of making "family thrillers," it sounds like a fun ride. For information, call 816-753-7243.-- Steve Walker
Hit the West Bottoms this Friday. The Sequence show is finally here, and from 7 to 10 p.m., people will be milling about looking at sequential art and comics at the Green Door Gallery (1229 1/2 Union Avenue), The Old Post Office (1229 Union Avenue) and Panacea (1317 Union). Then, from 10 p.m. until
2 a.m., an eighteen-and-over afterparty offers music by the Swillhound String Band, Silvermen, Krystle Warren and BoyMeetsMoog! -- in case you're wondering, the exclamation point is part of the band's name. There's booze on tap for people with valid IDs; have $7 donations ready to go. The party's at the Fahrenheit (1717 West Ninth Street). For information, call 816-421-6889. -- Gina Kaufmann
New coffee-house alert! Signs of Life (722 Massachusetts St. in Lawrence) opened a month ago, but the orange-ish walls and modern furniture still smell new. Beyond the espresso bar lies a sizable selection of books and CDs for sale, and the two vast, hardwood-floored rooms upstairs serve as an art gallery. It's heavy on theology -- much of the literature, music and art selection follows a Christian theme, though the owner says he doesn't think of the place as a Christian bookstore. But if righteous rockers Creed metamorphosed into a coffee shop, this is what it would look like. Signs of Life is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. For information, call 785-830-8030. -- Sarah Smarsh