Tune in Tokyo
This style star took a serious turn.
With Gwen Stefani's Harajuku girls labeled the hottest Asian export to hit the United States, fashionistas and other interested parties should take notice of someone who really knows about Japanese culture and style. Amanda Mayer Stinchecum is a veteran of the Fashion Institute of Technology and Women's Wear Daily who holds a doctorate in Japanese and comparative literature. She comes to Johnson County Community College's Carlsen Center (12345 College Boulevard in Overland Park, 913-469-4445) to discuss the relationship between life and art in Japanese textiles. "Working in the fashion industry, she saw commercially the influences from Japan and eventually sought to better know the culture and the people," says Sheilah Philip, director of JCCC's theater department. Friday's 7 p.m. lecture is a prelude to JCCC's Eighth Annual Greater Kansas City Japan Festival on Saturday and Sunday. See www.kcjapanfestival.com for details. Kate Smith
In Good Company
Lake Wobegon comes to Kansas City.
By Jason Harper Anyone who's heard A Prairie Home Companion knows that Garrison Keillor is a terrible singer. But, man, is he a good talker. Never in the history of entertainment has such a self-deprecating, socially clueless host been such a long-standing source of liberal wisdom and classic American satire. Yes, his atonal yowling drives the children of public-radio buffs to acts of self-mutilation, but this is the guy who figured out that ketchup is inherently funny and that even Lutherans like to screw. Hear him talk not sing about perpetually deflecting the title "America's Greatest Storyteller" at 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Carlsen Center (12345 College Boulevard in Overland Park, 913-469-4445). Admission starts at $25. Jason Harper
A collection of artsy reads hit the road.
In another step toward Canadian-American unity, the Montreal and Philadelphia-based project Mobilivre-Bookmobile project, an exhibit of artists' books, 'zines and independent publications touring in an Airstream trailer, parks at the H&R Block Artspace (16 East 43rd Street, 816-472-4852) from 2:30 to 8 p.m. Monday and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday. Stop by to read or to meet an emerging artist. See www.mobilivre.org. Rebecca Braverman