If you can't quite swing the Chicago or New Orleans Blues Festivals budgetwise, you can at least make the 25-minute river drive to Weston, a town that feels infinitely more distant from Kansas City thanks to its plentiful shade and relaxation. This year's Weston Music Festival will be a daylong tunes-and-food affair by the comfortable stage outside O'Malley's Pub (540 Welt Street). The festival kicks off at 11 a.m. with the likes of Loosenz and the Tighten-up Horns, Michael Elrod and In Hot Water, later building to after-dinner homegrown heroes like the ever-earthier Brody Buster Band and our own R&B queen Kelley Hunt, who's rapidly becoming the region's best-known blues-festival export. Western Oklahoma-raised, Fort Hays State-educated Mark Selby is another prime attraction, a roots-blues rocker who, in addition to penning the Dixie Chicks' "Here Comes Trouble" and some of Kenny Wayne Shepherd's best stuff, recently released the soulful grit-and-brimstone Dirt -- which we'll go ahead and call one of the strongest roots records of the year. For information, call 816-640-5298.-- Mike Warren
Next's Big Thing
Last winter, when Princess Squid Productions made its debut with a rock-and-roll bio of Joan of Arc called Joan the Maid, it drew theater, art and music fans together in one room. And it wasn't your grandpa's Joan of Arc. Princess Squid's new show, Furies, opens May 30 at the Next Space (512 East 18th Street) on a strip of East 18th Street where potential has ebbed and flowed for a couple of years. Created by the company's cofounders, Kara Armstrong and Michael Smith (along with Melissa Carle, Katie Gilchrest and Heidi Van Middlesworth), the show promises a first act that looks like theater and a second that's more like participatory performance art -- the latter involving art materials courtesy of Princess Squid. Furies runs weekends through June 7, with shows beginning at 8 p.m. Tickets are $8 or $5 for students. Call 816-531-6639 for reservations. -- Steve Walker
But seriously: Bill Cosby is edgy.
As the eternal TV patriarch and the wide-eyed pitchman for pudding pops and Jell-O, Bill Cosby has always been ripe for imitation and mockery. So, while watching the documentary Comedian, it comes as a shock to see Chris Rock and Jerry Seinfeld awestruck by the elder spokesman's newest comedy.
"The funniest show I've ever seen," Rock insists. "It made me feel like a fraud." Seinfeld's jaw drops when he hears that Cosby does a straight two hours of all-new material with no intermission. Cosby, whose comedy is described by these newcomers as "edgy" and even "mean," sagely replies by asking Seinfeld, "Isn't it fun?"
He performs at 8 p.m. Saturday at Starlight Theatre, 4600 Starlight Road. For tickets or information, call 816-363-7827.-- Christopher Sebela