Week of July 15, 2004

Night & Day Events 

Week of July 15, 2004

Thursday, July 15
Ever get so sick of the piece of shit you've been driving for 8 years that even a test drive of another car -- without any intention to buy, of course -- sounds fabulous? We think it would be fun just to sit in a BMW, engulfed in a cloud of new-car smell, without a cigarette burn or sticky coffee stain in sight. Or how about those environmentalists who have deep, dark urges to off-road in Hummers? The reality is, more people would indulge their vehicular fantasies if it weren't for those very scary salespeople. Well, not today. At AutoShow in Motion, the vehicles are unlocked, the keys are available and there isn't a creepy car dealer in sight. Plus, real-life driving courses actually include potholes and dirt tracks. The event, which starts today at 8 a.m., lasts all weekend at the Woodlands Race Track (9700 Leavenworth Road in Kansas City, Kansas). Call 877-843-2746 or see www.autoshowinmotion.com for more information.

Friday, July 16
Meredith Vacek, of Dance! Dance! Revolution fame, and Chris Shivley, an 8-year veteran of the DJ circuit, are combining their practiced efforts to bring you a new dance night called Shameless every third Friday at the Eighth Street Tap Room (801 New Hampshire in Lawrence). It's a steal of a deal -- just $2. The esteemed DJs blend electro, retro, disco, new wave and no wave for a melange of beats guaranteed to make even wallflowers deposit their insecurities at the door. Shameful nondancers should arrive early; the booths fill up in the intimate Tap Room, no matter what night it is. The party begins at 10 p.m., and you must be 21 to enter, because rarely is one truly shameless without the aid of the great social lubricant. Or is that just us? Call 785-841-6918 for more information.

Saturday, July 17
Size matters to Late Night Theatre. At today's fund-raising car wash and garage sale, Ron Megee and fellow players charge according to the size of the ride. In time for weekend cruising, the wash goes all day, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in front of Birdies (116 W. 18th Street). Call 816-842-2473 for details.

Today the Macanudo Traveling Cigar Lounge, a huge humidor on wheels, pulls into town at the Outlaw Cigar Company (6234 Chatham Avenue) stocked to the gills with tobacco. From 1 to 5 p.m. today, the Macanudo Tour Ambassadors hand out free cigars to visitors of age, teach budding aficionados how to roll stogies, give out tons of free shit and answer such questions as "So, how come there's no warning on the damn wrapper? Don't inhale! Is turning green from cigars a modern rite of teenage passage?" We generally can't stand cigars, but this is too audacious an event not to partake. Call 816-505-2442 for details.

Sunday, July 18
Usually when we hear "informal event," we think keg beer and plastic cups in somebody's backyard. Or maybe a box o' wine or two. For an "informal kickoff event" to herald the arrival of Great American Desert, a new local film company, David Casey and friends polish our definition of informal. Today, the film-producer-to-be fills 40 Sardines (11942 Roe in Leawood) with the photography of Sean McCabe, the New York City photographer who provided the vivid cover image for Interpol's Turn on the Bright Lights, and selected sounds by Robert Moore of KCUR 89.3's Sonic Spectrum, in addition to other top-secret aural treats. In keeping with the new formality of informal events, a three-course dinner complete with wine ties the evening together for a mere $55 a person. To reserve a place at the table, call 913-451-1040.

Monday, July 19
Thrift stores love theme parties. If it weren't for '70s parties, how else could a secondhand store move fifty pairs of puke-green, plaid bell-bottoms in one afternoon? Even more mind-blowing: At least half of this theme attire will end up back in circulation on secondhand shelves around town. Doing their part to keep Kansas City's thrift stores in business, the good people at the Empire Room (334 East 31st Street) choose a monthly theme for their Monday Night BLO parties. Past months have seen Empire-goers dressed for the prom, for a luau and like Rick James, bitch. As of this writing, the Empire management hadn't decided on a theme for this installment, as if to keep the thrift stores on their collective toes. We humbly submit the following themes for the Empire's approval: "We Love the '80s," "Hair Metal," "The Royal Tenenbaums," "James Bond" and, to suit our current wardrobe, "Dickies Pants and Concert T-shirts of the '90s." That last one would be a rager, for sure. The party starts around 10 p.m.; admission is $5. Lucky bargoers may recoup the cost with a complimentary shot, counting the savings from dollar wells and PBRs. Call 816-753-9990, extension 3, to get the scoop on the next theme.

Tuesday, July 20
For most casual drinkers (like us), wine tastings can be a painfully stuffy affair. We find it difficult to contain our laughter as the connoisseurs around us discuss the wines in great detail as they swish, gargle and spit. Spit out wine? Good gawd, we'd rather drink gasoline than spit out perfectly good alcohol. Good thing Kabal (503 Walnut) offers, in chef Ryan O'Rear's words, "an extremely less formal" wine tasting on the third Tuesday of every month. For $25, wine fans sample from an endless flow of four different wines -- two reds and two whites -- selected by Eric King. Before the wines are corked, O'Rear prepares appetizers and other dishes to complement the selections. The tasting begins at 7 p.m. Spit or swallow? It's up to you. Call 816-471-0017 for details.

Wednesday, July 21
We always feel really guilty that we don't know enough about what's going on politically. But we know it's important, and time is running out to figure out where we stand on local candidates, so we're going to step it up. Fortunately, a number of women's political organizations in Kansas City have organized a forum for Missouri's 5th District congressional primary. We might not know much, but we know it's a pretty hotly contested race. Vying for the position are Democrats Emanuel Cleaver and Jamie Metzl; Republicans Annalisa Zapien-Pina, Jeanne Patterson and Clay Chastain; and Libertarian candidate Rick Bailie. The forum takes place from 7 to 9 p.m. tonight at White Recital Hall (4949 Cherry) at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Call Delores Blaser at 816-942-6040 for more information.

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