Coming in second in the sprints leading up to October's Kansas City Gay and Lesbian Film Festival marathon is A Family Affair, an offering for the ladies to balance last month's beefcake title for the boys (The Trip). The low-budget romance -- written and directed by its high-strung star, Helen Lesnick -- screens at 7 p.m. Friday at Tivoli Cinema (4050 Pennsylvania). The movie will be followed up by a she-devil of a Q-Dating party and a weeklong regular run.
Lesnick's girl-meets-girl story follows one of Sex and the City's plots this season: pretty shiksa Charlotte converts to Judaism -- with an obvious twist. Sitcom trivia fans will delight in the women cast as the betrotheds' mothers, Barbara Stuart (Gomer Pyle) and Arlene Golonka (Mayberry R.F.D. ). With the exception of a gag about how the word share has replaced the verb talk, Lesnick's humor is stiff and punny, to the point of requiring a "no pun intended" after one line. And the New York-versus-California jokes suffer from the ring-around-the-collar of '60s standup. Sapphic film loyalists will get a kick out of it (lesbian comic Suzanne Westenhoefer plays the film's heterosexual), but beware: It's a poor woman's Kissing Jessica Stein. Call 816-931-4420 for more information.-- Steve Walker
Designers talk cities.
In these heady days of public debates over performing-arts centers, sports auditoriums and downtown parking, it might be fun if the politicos turned over some airtime to experts with a more inspired approach. That seems improbable, but at least this week Kansas Citians interested in a different perspective aren't limited to playing SimCity (a computer game in which players create their own cityscapes, then see how they work for the inhabitants; in the wrong hands, the outcomes can be pretty freaky). They need look no further than the Kansas City Design Center and the Kansas City Art Institute, which combine forces Wednesday to present a free lecture at the Linda Hall Library (5109 Cherry) by Mark Coir. He will discuss the Cranbrook campus in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, widely considered to be one of the best-designed environments around -- and it's located just outside Detroit, of all places. A reception begins at 5:30 p.m., followed by the lecture at 6. For more information, call 816-421-1539.-- Kelly Sue DeConnick
Landscape This, Buddy
Joe Gregory branches out.
Joe Gregory usually paints fruit. Although his fruit pieces have been described as sexy, we can't really confirm or deny that assessment, because we have not the means of evaluating the sex appeal of everyday edibles.
But the paintings Gregory has on display at the new MoMo location (1830 Locust) are very cool. They're landscapes in which the trees look strikingly similar to Gregory's signature pears, only turned upside down. Also on display are works by Mott-ley, Larry McAnany and Jennifer Field. The show lasts through Sunday. Next week, check out paintings by Anne Austin Pearce. For information, call 816-474-4814.-- Gina Kaufmann
First, there was Doctor Frankenstein of Transylvania. Then, with The Rocky Horror Picture Show, came the mad Doctor Frank N. Furter, a transvestite from the planet Transsexual in the galaxy of Transylvania. The outré, rabble-rousing film is part of the Frankenstein-inspired mythology that has permanently etched itself into our warped psyches. The Waldo Branch of the Kansas City Public Library (201 East 75th Street, 816-701-3518) screens the cult classic at 7 p.m. Wednesday; costumes are optional.-- Kaufmann