Friday, April 22
Ask around about whether Grand Arts' ambitious eight-week series Mash-Up was a fantastic success or a disappointing failure, and you'll get varied responses. But we remain steadfastly supportive, because the gallery claimed from the beginning that the show was an experiment. We think it's fantastic that a pretty serious art space would indulge in pure play -- intellectual play, but play all the same. (After all, we might have wanted to sleep with them when we were 19, but solemn, serious art types are totally annoying now.) And with these themeless exhibits, what's most important are the ideas that are generated by thoughtful fun, like when a party -- complete with disaster movies, high temperatures and slow dancing -- encourages you to reflect on global warming. Which is why we'll stop by the closing celebration at Grand Arts (1819 Grand, 816-421-6887) from 6 p.m. to midnight tonight or from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow, when Yoshua Okon teams up with the Bordermates collective to create Viaje Todo Pagado, a simulated tropical oasis. And if you're just coming to slouch and smirk, don't bother.
Saturday, April 23
There was a time when we didn't understand dog people. Yo, it's an animal. But then we got one of our own, and things changed. Suddenly, we didn't blink at any cost for our little Harry (or, as he is often known, Se'or Woofles). Organic food? No prob. Monthly grooming? Of course. More toys than our spoiled cousins? You bet. Like-minded pet crazies undoubtedly share our excitement that Pete & Mac's, a "recreational pet resort," is opening its third area location in the Northland (5860 Prairie View Road, 816-587-3900). Today's festivities, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., have something -- treats from Three Dog Bakery, pet portraits, health tips, police-dog demonstrations -- for everyone. That is, if you're a dog.
Sunday, April 24
Lots of twins grow apart over time. Just look at Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen. One minute they're off to New York University together, purchasing a $7 million condo to serve as their dorm room, and before you know it, Mary Kate's in a treatment center for anorexia and Ashley's shackin' up with her 30-year-old restaurateur boyfriend. Seriously, we haven't seen them photographed together in months. Luckily, that never happened to the Brothers Quay. Born in 1947, the Philadelphia duo (Timothy and Stephen) moved to London together in the late 1960s to study at the Royal College of Art, made their first short films (now lost, unfortunately), and just never stopped. They spent the '80s producing commercials and music videos (they contributed to Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer") to fund their personal projects. Typically working in puppet animation, the brilliant brothers also often draw from obscure literary sources -- they certainly did both in what's widely considered their masterpiece, Street of Crocodiles. (For nonfilm snobs, they more recently participated in Frida. Remember the hospital puppet sequence?) Today, the University of Kansas' Spencer Museum of Art (1301 Mississippi Street in Lawrence) screens The Films of the Brothers Quay at 2 p.m. in conjunction with Invisible Revealed: Surrealist Drawings from the Drukier Collection, works by a whole bunch of other bizarro geniuses. Call 785-864-4710.
Monday, April 25
The May 2 meeting date for the Johnson County Democratic Women -- not oxymoronic, contrary to popular opinion -- has been moved to 7 tonight at the Mission Center mall (4801 Johnson Drive). Though they often work with the Kansas Democratic Party, these progressive women occasionally get together and talk politics without loudmouthed, know-it-all men getting in the way. (Not that guys ever do that or anything.) At tonight's meeting, they'll discuss environmental issues; e-mail Missy Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Tuesday, April 26
Sometimes you just want to go into a fancy-schmancy store and pretend that you're in the market for, say, a Gucci bag. Nevermind that your rent check just bounced or that your price range is more Old Navy than Neiman Marcus. Unfortunately, unless you can dress the part of a society matron -- or you're Jessica Simpson -- we can't guarantee that average (read: underdressed) folks will get treated like they can actually afford said bag. Not so at the Spring Homes Tour (through May 8). Walk into any home you like, whether it's a sprawling Mission Hills manse or something a little more in your price range, and we promise that no one will look at you funny. Homes are open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. ; call the Home Builders Association of Greater Kansas City at 816-942-8800 for more information.
Wednesday, April 27
The sixth annual Kansas City Regionwide Storytelling Celebration, a five-day event that kicked off yesterday, serves to remind (or introduce) the community to this artistic and historic tradition. And we like no stories better than scary stories. Tonight's "Ghosts in the Night Sky" is for adults only from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Central Library (14 West Tenth Street). We have to admit we don't know who Leeny Del Seamonds, Diana Ferlatte, Tim Tingle and Steve Otto are, but apparently they're major bigwigs in the national storytelling world. Which hopefully means they can scare the bejesus out of us. The event is free; call 816-437-3011. This Weeks Day-By-Day Picks