Friday, August 26
Confession: We like John Denver. That whole experimental-plane thing was a bit whacked-out, to be sure, but we can't exactly begrudge the man who wrote "Annie's Song" his idiosyncrasies. (We can, however, begrudge him those glasses. Perhaps on top of being heinous, they carried the incorrect prescription -- so Denver never even knew what a spectacle his spectacles were making.) For its fall membership drive, KCPT Channel 19 has teamed up the folksy singer-songwriter with an artist equal in idiosyncracy but abundant in fashion sense, thus enacting a divine balance in style: David Bowie. The station broadcasts concerts by the two this week (separately): Bowie's, tonight at 10, is a November 2003 stop in Dublin; Denver's special, A Song's Best Friend, begins at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday. See www.kcpt.org for more information.
Saturday, August 27
If you're not into charitable events involving food (see Thursday), how about charitable events involving the art of belly-dancing? Tonight's YANA (You Are Not Alone) benefit brings dance diva Sharon Kihara (from the international Bellydance Superstars tour) to the same stage as local dancers Zaina Ali and Anya Lahara and a lot of other women who, like Madonna, go by one name only. The $20 donation goes to Hope House, Missouri's largest domestic-violence shelter. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. at the Osborne Performing Arts Center (311 East Park Street in Olathe). See www.worlddancestudios.com for more information.
Sunday, August 28
When we were in second grade and had to write an essay on our career plans, we envisioned a future in which we'd work as a professional figure skater. We were probably just a little too attached to the shiny white skates and the flippy skirts, though, not to mention the thought of being showered with roses like that scene in Ice Castles (which, embarrassingly enough, still makes us cry). Now that we've moved on, we're thinking it's time to check out curling -- a considerably less fashion-conscious ice sport, but one that doesn't require participants to wear creepy suntan hose. Plus, curlers get some superb lingo: a bonspiel is a curling tournament, and ice is described as keen or swingy. Learn more at the Kansas City Curling Club's open house from 3 to 5 p.m. today at Pepsi Ice Midwest (12140 West 135th Street in Overland Park). Watch a demonstration game to see if you're curling-club material. Dress in layers and wear rubber-soled shoes that can grip the ice if you're feeling brave enough to step onto the rink. See www.kccurling.com for more information.
Monday, August 29
The Good Samaritan Project got its start back in 1985 as the first AIDS service provider in Kansas City, when its founders coordinated volunteer activities from the basement of a local church. In the 20 years since, the GSP has evolved into a professional nonprofit agency that serves 15 counties -- and the organization intends to celebrate. Week of Awareness kicks off from 4 to 7 today with a citywide appreciation party for clients and volunteers at the Union Hill Veteran Hall parking lot (3032 Walnut) ... which means that if you aren't a client or a volunteer, you should probably skip it. But feel free to attend Wednesday's Skate-a-Thon fund-raiser from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at the Winnwood Skate Center (4426 Northeast Winn Road in North KC) or the Night of Remembrance ceremony at Liberty Memorial (100 West 26th Street) from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Thursday. For a full schedule, see www.gspkc.org or call 816-561-8784.
Tuesday, August 30
Until the fall television season gets under way, reducing our normally well-spoken and witty friends to people who need to seek help for TiVo addiction, we're recommending nontelevised culture in any way they can get it. William Rainey's solo exhibit, Carnival, opened Friday night, but his vibrant paintings hang on the walls of the Blue Gallery (7 West 19th Street, 816-527-0823) until September 26. We're fascinated -- and, OK, a little disturbed -- by one title: "Bumpin & Grindin at the Shake House." As for fall TV: Thank you, powers of the universe, for finally giving Jason Lee a show to call his own. We're boycotting life if My Name Is Earl isn't a breakout hit.
Wednesday, August 31
We find it a little ridiculous that Air America Radio, a safe haven for talk personalities such as Chuck D, Janeane Garofalo and Randi Rhodes, among others, has a syndicate in Davenport, Iowa -- and not in Kansas City. But we're willing to wait one more day to pack our bags, in high hopes that we'll find kindred spirits tonight at the Dark Horse Tavern (4112 Pennsylvania). Like-minded folks screen Left of the Dial, an HBO/Cinemax documentary about the trials and tribulations of AAR, and discuss bringing the network here. Admission is free, but an RSVP is always polite; e-mail email@example.com or call Mike at 816-455-4831.
Or, if you'd prefer a socially unconscious activity, catch Amadeus at 7 p.m. in Rockhurst University's Mabee Theater (Sedgwick Hall, 54th Street and Troost). The film, which won eight Academy Awards in 1985, tells the story of Mozart through a series of flashbacks by his rival. Timothy McDonald -- one of the nicest, smartest professors we ever had (he's single-handedly responsible for introducing us to and making us love Debussy) -- leads a discussion before the movie. Call 816-501-4828 to register.