of Commerce hosts the monthly networking event from 5 to 7:30 p.m.
at the Kansas City Zoo's African Marketplace Boat House (6800 Zoo Drive). You can demonstrate some serious initiative by distributing business cards to anyone and everyone -- a task made much easier by the free-flowing margaritas. Complimentary hors d'oeuvres and boat rides are also included in the price of admission
($5 for members, $10 for nonmembers). Park in the "rhino lot," and a free tram picks you up; call 816-472-6767, ext. 213, for more information.
And don't think we haven't come up with something for unemployed people to do, too. Consider this: The overblown popularity of American Idol reject William Hung has carried over to his extended family. His cousin, country-blues musician Eddie Yang, plays at 8 tonight at Black Dog Coffeehouse (12815 West 87th Street in Lenexa). It's free -- shocking. Call 913-909-8684 for more information.
Friday, September 3
Whether Jackie Denning's artwork will prove popular, we can't say. We can note, however, that her artist's statement is pretty funny. For Obsession: Men Shopping Food, opening from 6 to 9 tonight at Bar Natasha (1911 Main), the KC native writes an introduction that reads like a page out of Bridget Jones' diary, including a description of the agony a girl goes through waiting for "the phone call." It might not be admirable to discuss how buying new stuff can help cure a minor bout of depression, but we appreciate her honesty. We like buying new stuff, too. Call 727-443-7575 or see www.jackiedenningart.com for information.
Saturday, September 4
In fashion's recent return to femininity, where the hell are the tutus? They might not fit in with all of those grown-up expressions on the fall runways, but pink tulle is about as goddamned girly as you can get. We'll just consider Ballet in the Park, a free performance at Powell Gardens (1609 Northwest U.S. Highway 50), the catwalk that should have been. Starting at 6:30 p.m., dancers pirouette among the peonies in excerpts from Twyla Tharp's Nine Sinatra Songs, George Balanchine's Square Dance and others, strung together and choreographed by William Whitener, the Kansas City Ballet's artistic director. Tonight's hourlong performance is the third of four; call 816-444-0052 for other dates and venues.
Sunday, September 5
A Sunday drive sounds nice. Roll down the windows, unwrap a fresh pack of smokes and gun it all the way to ... Wichita. Nope, not kidding. Wichita State University's Ulrich Museum has two interesting exhibits going on right now. Constructed Identities: Contemporary Photography From the Collection showcases the museum's growing stash of recent photography by international artists such as Zhang Huan, Nic Nicosia and Andy Goldsworthy. And in the Ulrich Project Series' Jean Shin, Brooklyn-based artist Shin uses recycled materials to create large sculptures and site-specific installations. One example is "Hide," made of hundreds of worn leather shoes deconstructed, paired and stitched together by the artist to form hanging sheets of loopy, rich color. The Ulrich is located on the university's campus at 17th Street and Hillside Avenue; call
316-978-3664 for information.
Monday, September 6
So we all know Kansas City is famous for two things -- jazz and barbecue. We're force-fed that notion so often that sometimes we want to renounce the honor and celebrate the rest of KC's heritage -- like Walt Disney and those lovely Mickey Mouse renditions. Right. Um, we'd take jazz over those freaky figurines any day. So we recommend paying tribute to KC's musical heritage by attending the 2004 Elder Statesmen Induction Ceremony at noon today at the Mutual Musicians Foundation (1823 Highland Avenue). The induction (into the nonprofit organization whose mission is to "foster present and future generations of jazz legends while helping to maintain the legacies of the city's greatest performers") is the centerpiece of a week of performances by area favorites, including the Scamps, the Youngbloods and Ida McBeth, in venues such as the Red Vine, the Blue Room and the Mutual Musicians Foundation. Call 913-342-4233 for more information.
Tuesday, September 7
Normally we wouldn't suggest that our readers stay home and glue themselves to the television. But it's Tuesday night -- what else are you going to do? You could drink your weight in quarter draws at Harpo's, but we have something that won't make you feel like shit tomorrow morning. As part of the PBS series P.O.V. , the legendary film Wattstax gets its first-ever national broadcast tonight. From director Mel Stuart (Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory), the concert documentary captures a heady movement in African-American culture, one of rediscovered hope and survival after the Watts riots of 1965. "Early on, we knew we didn't want just a concert film," Stuart has said. "We wanted a deeper reflection of the black experience." Flip the tube to KCPT Channel 19 at 10 p.m.
Wednesday, September 8
From 1887 to 1924, Kansas City hosted a highly popular festival called Priests of Pallas. Tom Spencer, associate professor of history at Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, recalls the annual celebration twice today with Kansas City's Forgotten Fall Festival. We don't know that much about it (that's why we're checking out the speaker), but we did read that the festival queens were disguised during the events, and it was later revealed that the queens were actually men. It was believed at the time that the parade and other activities would be too strenuous for a woman. Gosh, thanks for looking out for us. We are so very delicate, aren't we? The first lecture is from 1 to 2 p.m. at the Truman Memorial Building (416 West Maple in Independence), and the second is from 4 to 5 p.m. at UMKC's Linda Hall Library of Science (5109 Cherry Street). Call
816-252-7454 for more information.