Hedwig and the Angry Inch, an autobiographical rock concert, stars Hedwig, a German-American transsexual glam rock star who advocates the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of a specific gender. After a botched sex-change operation, making "he" a "she ... with a little something extra," Hedwig goes on to tell a tale of, as John Cameron Mitchell of Out Magazine explains, "trying to figure out what it means to fill up a hole after having had something ripped away -- and what to do with the inch you've been given." The show opens tonight at the Unicorn, 3828 Main Street, at 8. For more information, call 816-531-7529.
Sculptor Robyn Nichols reminds visitors who view her artwork at The Pearl, 1818 McGee Street, that while metallic objects usually are associated with technology, metals are earth elements. Her tableware and jewelry -- which are fluid, elaborate, and apparently seamless -- conjure up organic images of the natural world. Her work is shown alongside the works of artist Christopher Leitch, who produces textiles that he patterns by cultivating molds and fungi on the surface of the cloth. The avant garde might get its hip clothes dirty this evening at The Pearl when this show's opening reception gets underway from 5 to 9. For more information, call 816-474-1731.
Kansas Citians have two opportunities to get copies of Souls of My Sisters: Black Women Break Their Silence, Tell Their Stories and Heal Their Spirits, a collection of essays by African-American women, signed by local contributors Michelle Buckley, Tara Marrow and Monica Jackson. The essayists stop by Barnes & Noble on the Plaza, 400 W. 47th Street, at 1 p.m. today, and move on to Nia's Hallmark in the Linwood Shopping Center, 3120 Prospect Avenue, for a 4:30 p.m. appearance. The book has been compared to sharing secrets with a best friend over a cup of coffee or on the phone late at night. Buckley's essay includes some particularly encouraging confessions regarding the treatment of our nation's collective breasts, which have been "padded, lifted, powdered, pushed up, pushed out, contoured, shaped, supported, minimized and maximized," followed by a conclusion that inner human qualities "cannot be held up by underwire or by straps -- spaghetti, camisole, crisscrossed, or otherwise." For more information, call 816-716-6579.
Today's performance of A Victorian Christmas: Music Fit for a Queen probably isn't suitable for the kind of queen who orders French revolutionaries to be beheaded. The Heartland Men's Chorus has another kind of queen in mind. While the first half of the concert promises to be a journey through musical styles of the 19th century, the second half is a premiere of the group's version of A Christmas Carol (the singers send their apologies to Dickens). The show starts at 4 this afternoon at the Folly Theater, 300 W. 12th Street. For more information, call 816-931-3338.
The American version of Cinderella is nothing compared to the Russian Cinderella tale, Jack Frost, performed by Stone Lion Puppet Theatre today at 10 a.m. at The Fine Arts Theatre, 5909 Johnson Drive. When the frigid and supposedly evil Jack Frost comes through the village, the despotic stepmother sends the heroine, Mashka, to freeze in the cold. But Jack Frost is neither as frigid nor as old as her stepmother hopes. The production is performed by bridge marionettes with a Russian-influenced original score and lots of snow. Tickets cost $6. For more information, call 816-235-2700.
It might seem as if red and green never have been challenged as the official colors of the Christmas season. Yet, in the 1950s, housewives were encouraged to integrate household color schemes, such as the pastels that were in vogue, into their decorations. The Johnson County Historical Museum, 6305 Lackman Road in Shawnee, hosts an exhibit called A Very Fifties Christmas that allows visitors to experience such dated Christmastime practices as lead foil icicle decorations and bubble lights produced in the shapes of globes, discs, and Cold War rocket ships. The exhibit is on display through December 30, with tours available every half hour Tuesday-Sunday, 1-4 p.m., and on Saturdays 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tickets cost $2. For more information, call 913-631-6709.
Flamenco dancers' hand movements create an often-overlooked forearm prowess that deserves recognition, especially considering how much a flamenco dancer's wrists can ache after a night of dancing. Tamara La Garbancito, a guest artist dancing in the University of Kansas Dance Company's Fall Concert at 8 tonight at the Lied Center on the KU campus, probably is accustomed to this kind of strain by now, having trained with the Andalusian Gypsies in Barcelona, Spain, and performed extensively for years. Tonight, La Garbancito performs Solea y Sevillanas in Lawrence, accenting Walter Clark's guitar music with the rhythm of her heels and castanets. The evening's program also includes a number of other multicultural pieces presented by the University Dance Company. For tickets, $7 each, call 758-864-ARTS. For more information, call 758-864-4264.