This may sound like a cruel April Fool's Day joke, but we're totally serious. The West Wyandotte Branch of the Kansas City, Kansas, Public Library (1737 North 82nd Street) will be hosting a Bird Circus at 6 p.m. and again at 7 p.m. Yvonne Patterson is back with her talented, feathered flock. The four macaws, a large cockatoo, two talking parrots and a lory (a big parrot) will astound you as they roller-skate, cruise on a scooter, ride a high-wire bicycle, spell out words and take an IQ test, among other routines. You can even cheer on your favorite bird during the basketball game and the ring toss. The program is free, but registration is required. Call 913-596-5800, ext. 1016, for details.
Friday, April 2, 2004
Apparently that whole story that Native Americans won't have their pictures taken because the camera steals their souls is a myth. And we can prove it. Storytellers Telling Stories, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art's latest Electromediascope offering, features Inuit and American Indian artists using digital video and new media to produce contemporary works that draw upon a wealth of stories and knowledge derived from the oral traditions of their societies. Cultural storytelling is finally achieving its rightful place as a significant art form. The three-week series kicks off at 7 p.m. at Atkins Auditorium (inside the Nelson, 4525 Oak Street) with three episodes from Nunavut (Our Land) in Inuktitut with English subtitles. The series continues with next week's screening of the film Atanarjuat (The Fast Runner), winner of the prestigious Camera d'Or at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival, and ends with five short films on April 16. For information, call 816-561-4000.
Scrubs are not welcome at tonight's FFantasy party at the Truman Sports Complex's Arrowhead Pavilion, next to Arrowhead Stadium. The First Friday (not associated with the art district) party that's billed as "spring break for grown folks" has a strictly enforced dress code to encourage what Higher Ground Entertainment promoters call an "upscale groove." Leave the workout gear and Nikes at home and dig those suits and cocktail dresses out of the back of the closet, because nobody's getting through the door wearing T-shirts, dirty jeans and work boots. The party promises to have everything partygoers need for a good time -- as long as they're looking fresh and clean. Admission to the 7:30 p.m. party is $10; VIP tickets are $25. For details, see www.hgekc.com or call 816-965-7697.
Saturday, April 3, 2004
We know that mingling with muskrats isn't typically a desirable plan on the Saturday for which you waited all week. We prefer to keep a different kind of company on the weekends, too. However, those poor little urchins are losing their homes because of illegal dumping. Solution? The Project Blue River Rescue. This annual cleanup project, today from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., restores the beauty of wildlife habitats and recreational areas. Volunteers meet for a free breakfast at 8 a.m. at Lakeside Nature Center (4701 East Gregory) and are assigned to a team. Each team works on one area, which they heroically restore in a single day. It might lead to exhaustion on Saturday night, but just think about the smirk you can wear to work Monday when you guilt-trip your coworkers about how socially unconscious they are. Even better, the first 500 volunteers get a free T-shirt to really rub it in people's faces. Call 816-513-8960.
Sunday, April 4, 2004
If you have a soft spot in your heart for pills, razors or rope, we recommend that you read no further. Only the perpetually cheery folk we're happy to call our readers should take tonight's recommendation. The Westport Presbyterian Church's Arts Ministry (201 Westport Road) screens Ingmar Bergman's devastating 1972 film Cries and Whispers at 6:30 p.m. as part of its Cinema 'n Soul series. The movie deals with the fractured relationships among three sisters and is set in a vast turn-of-the-century manor where unidentified voices continually whisper and mingle with a dying woman's cries of pain. Sounds uplifting, huh? A Best Director Academy Award nominee in 1973 and winner of a Best Cinematography Oscar, this drama's got it all: disease, death, sex, injury, repression and revelation. As long as you make a pit stop to have your soul saved at Y.J.'s (refer to the See/Be Seen page), you can probably handle it. For details, call 816-931-1032.
Monday, April 5, 2004
We must admit we were happily surprised that The Hours, a novel that seamlessly weaves together the lives of three women, was so beautifully executed by a man. The oft-used male excuse that women are impossible to understand has been giddily tossed out the window. The brilliant man responsible for this paradigm shift, Michael Cunningham, comes to the University of Missouri-Columbia's Jesse Auditorium (329 Jesse Hall) at 7:30 p.m. Cunningham is the author of A Home at the End of the World and the aforementioned The Hours, which won the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction and was adapted into an Oscar-winning movie starring Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore and Nicole Kidman. Yes, we know Columbia is a bit of a hike, and in the great MU-KU debate, Lawrence has proximity on its side. But Lawrence doesn't have Michael Cunningham, does it? Suck it up and get in the car. For information on this free event, call 573-882-6211.
Tuesday, April 6, 2004
When Moses saw God, he was high on some potent, Snoop Dogg-grade green. What we're saying is, Moses was a stoner, and it's in the Bible. Check it out: And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush; and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. Don't believe it? Let us now turn to Exodus 3:2. It's right there, man: Out of the midst of a bush translates as Moses got so high that he thought he saw God. Behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed means that Moses rolls his shit tight and hits it hard, and it still burns nice and slow. Either that or the whole burning bush thing means Moses had some wicked, hallucination-inducing STD. To clear up different interpretations of the word of God, Jorge J.E. Gracia speaks at 7:30 p.m. at Rockhurst University's Sedgwick Hall (1100 Rockhurst Road). In his presentation, titled "Revelation and Tradition: A Way Out of the Language Circle," Gracia will share his views on biblical interpretations. To register, call 816-501-4828.
Wednesday, April 7, 2004
The Beaumont Club (4050 Pennsylvania) fills up with an unusual crowd for the Westport neighborhood today. Instead of drunks, the Beaumont will be full of dorks and Xboxes. GameRiot, a traveling video-game competition with DJ accompaniment, brings its gaming stations to town with new and unreleased games. The GameRiot flyer claims there will even be girls in attendance -- the "celebrated GameRiot Girls" -- not to be confused with gay riot grrls. Fifteen bucks buys a pass for one of three gaming sessions between 2 and 10:30 p.m.; $30 gets an all-day pass. The event is all-ages. For tickets, call 816-931-3330.