Friday, July 8
We were thrilled when we received a multicolored set of Fiestaware for Christmas one year. But it turns out that the exciting gift barely even registers on the scale of dish creativity. At tonight's opening reception for Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Kansas City Clay Guild's Centered Earth Gallery (200 West 74th Street, 816-363-1373), ten artists each set a place of their own creations at the gallery's table. The dinnerware is hand-built or wheel-thrown and includes pieces of stoneware and porcelain, extensively carved or with simple surface decorations. "We hope the show will inspire people to think about their choices when it comes to how food can be displayed," says guild member Mike Miller. So tonight, they'll display food on all of the table's serving dishes. The exhibit closes July 29.
Not hungry? Then check out the 7-9 p.m. opening reception for the Summer Invitational at Sherry Leedy (2004 Baltimore, 816-221-2626). Artists include Annabeth Rosen, Jason Briggs, Mark Mulhern, Max Hammond and Ruth Borgenicht. The show's up through August 27.
Saturday, July 9
When we were 18 years old, careful makeup application ensured that we could fool most bouncers into believing we were older. But now that we're well into our 20s, we're not sure how to pass for 18 again. That's the only way the guys working the doors at the Plaza Tennis Center (4747 J.C. Nichols Parkway) are going to let us in for the youth tennis camps taught by members of the Kansas City Explorers. Sadly, there are no crushworthy marquee players this year, but we would like to know how it felt for 15-year-old Sesil Karatancheva to beat four-time Grand Slam winner Venus Williams in the third round of the French Open. The camp is scheduled from 9:30 to 11 a.m. today, and participants receive free tennis racquets (yet another reason to sneak in); call 816-513-1377 to register.
Sunday, July 10
Calling a show -- any show -- Let's Do It is just asking for trouble. Perhaps it's just our rather sophomoric sense of humor or the fact that a couplet from the same Cole Porter song makes us snort even louder (They say that roosters do it/With a doodle and cock), but we were a little sad to find out that the latest offering at Quality Hill Playhouse (303 West 10th Street, 816-421-1700) is actually quite tame. The trek though the timeless Porter songbook plays at 3 and 8 p.m. As for us, we're still fans of the gems from 1990's benefit compilation Red Hot + Blue. The Thompson Twins crooning over a staccato-rhythm "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" or Erasure's "Too Darn Hot" -- we just can't get enough.
Monday, July 11
We recently picked up a pamphlet that asked a weighty question: "Combine Native American spirituality and quantum physics ... what do you have?" We're guessing something like "Little Wolf Who Runs with Neutrons," but Phyllis "Playful Autumn Wind" Cronbaugh's Wild Woman Rites of Empowerment workshops aren't quite so simple. Tonight's intriguingly titled class, "You Aren't What You Eat ... You Are What You Feel! Attract Vitality Instead of Disease Into Your Life!" (6:30-9 p.m.), promises "explicit instructions on how to master the steps of consciously creating a life filled with vitality." As opposed to, say, the life filled with deadness and lethargy that we so often crave. We have to admit, though, that once we got past the pamphlet's overuse of italics and exclamation points, we found ourselves mulling over statements such as "What is true is that many of us are still victims of our thoughts, emotions, and words, which create chemical reactions inside our bodies that cause indiscriminate aging and even create the diseases that kill us." Great -- another thing for us to worry about. Call Cronbaugh for location and to register at 816-333-2691.
Tuesday, July 12
A new queer and gender-theory reading group gets under way tonight at 8. The first selection is the introduction of Judith Halberstam's Female Masculinity, an argument for the separation of masculinity from the male body. The reading group meets on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at Solidarity Library (1119 Massachusetts Street in Lawrence, 785-865-1374); its radical parent organization, Queer as Fuck, meets at the same place at 8 p.m. on the other Tuesdays.
Wednesday, July 13
The Society for Creative Anachronism is the international group "dedicated to researching and re-creating the arts and skills of pre-17th-century Europe." It's like being really, really into Ren Fest, but kind of more highbrow. And for a bunch of anachronists, theirs is certainly a Web site (www.sca.org) you can get lost in. We often find ourselves checking out the glossary for answers to questions we never knew we had. Like, have you ever found yourself wondering what "ermined tinctures" are? Heraldic furs. Local SCA members step out of the Internet age at the Oak Park Branch of the Johnson County Library (9500 Bluejacket in Overland Park, 913-752-8700) to put on a medieval fighting demonstration tonight at 7 on a re-creation of a medieval battlefield.