Friday, August 13
The on-again, off-again tradition of Free Play at the Replay Lounge (946 Massachusetts in Lawrence) has been resurrected -- for now. From 3 to 6 p.m., the pinball games are turned on for unlimited free fun -- we'll be there pretending to be pinball wizard Brooke Shields in her 1979 flop Tilt. Hipsters, scenesters and nerds galore revel in Monster Bash, Playboy, Attack from Mars, Monopoly, Theatre of Magic and The Simpsons Pinball Party while chugging cheap beer and making sinister plans for the night -- it's Friday the 13th, after all. Can't make it today? It's going on again from 3 to 6 p.m. tomorrow; call 785-749-7676 for more information.
Saturday, August 14
Civil War re-enactors are more retro than anyone we know. Their style is totally 1862. Anyone leery of approaching battlefields could simply watch 2002's Battle of Lone Jack re-enactment online at www.friendsofhistoriclonejack.org. (The video seems to have been taped through a cannon -- very arty.) But if the Blue and Gray Pickers' song about Lone Jack is any indication of the entertainment, attending might be worth the discomfort. Pitting free-state Kansans as villains, the song is an ode to confederate men just tryin' to protect their way of life. It's pretty ... and pretty scary. We hope the nostalgia for pre-Civil War Lone Jack has less to do with slavery than with the prosperity of the region at the time, before much of Jackson County was depopulated and burned. But unless you want those re-enactment props turned on you, we wouldn't recommend pushing the issue during today's anniversary re-enactment. The event includes a memorial service for the fallen soldiers of the Battle of Lone Jack, along with a parade and pancake breakfast. Area Civil War re-enactors also will hold period vignettes throughout the day. Call 816-697-3558 for details and times.
Sunday, August 15
Leave it to the Missouri State Fair to bring Extreme Canines as a feature attraction. The show brags that it has five main "animal performers" that flip and fly through the air in choreographed routines set to music. And apparently they can jump rope. The dogs, with names such as Air Ripley and Skyrocket Skid, perform four times today -- at 11 a.m. and at 3, 4:30 and 6 p.m. -- at the fairgrounds in Sedalia. We always thought the State Fair was the most fabulous collection of denim shorts and scrunchies around, but the fair's promotional materials correct us: "The Missouri State Fair is a singing, thrilling, whooping it up kind of place." Aha ... that's what we've been missing. Call 800-422-3247 or see www.mostatefair.com for more information.
Monday, August 16
Every Monday night at Davey's Uptown Ramblers Club (3402 Main), art school kids, bar regulars and unwitting stumblers-in convene a throbbing, dancing mass of anonymity at Evolution, the venue's industrial and goth night. Unlike typical Davey's events, this one is decidedly uncountry. (In fact, on the last Monday of each month, Davey's ups the ante and includes "bondage a-go-go.") Tonight's festivities include 75-cent Pabst Blue Ribbon draws. It's also the last Monday before Kansas City Art Institute students come back. Evolution starts at 9 p.m.; there's a $3 cover at the door. Call 816-753-1909 for more information.
Tuesday, August 17
The Irene H. Ruiz Biblioteca de las Americas (2017 West Pennway), which owns a wide variety of Spanish-language books, magazines, fotonovelas, CDs and videotapes, also is home to Latino Voices, a monthly literary discussion group. At 6 p.m. on every third Tuesday, Judith Richards leads a book-discussion group that explores the written traditions of Latin America. Today's offering is Judith Ortiz Cofer's Latin Deli, a combination of poetry, short fiction and personal narrative. Cofer, who was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for her novel The Line of the Sun, is well-known for her coming-of-age stories set in Puerto Rican communities outside of New York City. Call 816-701-3487 for more information.
Wednesday, August 18
Because we're smack in the middle of tomato season, it only makes sense to take advantage of the flavorful fruits. Jasper Mirabile Jr., chef and co-owner of Jasper's (which has served Italian food in Kansas City since 1954), offers his Summer Tomato Festival class from 6:30 to 9 tonight at the Culinary Center of Kansas City (7917 Foster in Overland Park). Mirabile will prepare tomato carpaccio, panzanella, roasted sweet tomatoes and his specialty summer pasta, doling out the recipes as he goes along. He also will introduce participants to heirloom tomatoes, a cooking cult favorite. The price is a little steep -- $50 -- but if you're as serious about tomatoes as your esteemed professor, it may be worth it. Call 913-341-4455 for more information.