Poet, playwright and activist Sarah Jones started performing in high school, helping her friends play hooky by calling their schools and pretending to be their mothers -- pulling off convincing German and Indian accents. Now, in her one-woman shows, she inhabits characters such as a Jewish grandmother who can't understand why her grandson wants rap music at his bar mitzvah party, a homophobic New York City cop and a black actress from London. Having started out in the hip-hop scene, Jones gravitated toward poetry after one unpleasant night at a club where she was being groped to the song "Bitches Ain't Shit But Hoes and Tricks." Since then, Jones has taken the art of the spoken word beyond metered rants, winning the renowned Nuyorican Poets Café's Poetry Slam in 1997. Her anthem "Your Revolution" is intended to help women enjoy the spirit of hip-hop without feeling like hoes or tricks, opening with the line, The revolution will not take place between my thighs (a reference to Gil-Scott Heron's "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised"). At 11:30 a.m., Jones performs Waking the American Dream at a Harmony luncheon at the Downtown Marriott (200 West 12th Street). For information, call 816-231-1077, extension 103.
Friday, March 28, 2003
It's sad but true: The Dirt Gallery (1323 Union) is closing. Tonight is the reception for the gallery's last hurrah, advertised all over town with fliers stating that Everything Must Go! "It's really just a hyped-up garage sale," gallery co-owner Davin Watne explains, noting that the show consists of art that's been left there in addition to Dirt Gallery paraphernalia. Given that they wrap up eight years of a laid-back and fun approach to showing visual art, tonight's festivities, from 7 until 11, will be bittersweet. Nonetheless, people should attend. After all, the gallery's opening-night parties will be almost as sorely missed as the art itself. Now who's going to set up break-dancing mats in the middle of the street and pit artists against one another in boxing matches? For information, call 816-471-3278.
Saturday, March 29, 2003
What the hell!? Let us reiterate: What the hell!? You know William Wegman's photographs of adorable, floppy-eared weimaraners? They appear regularly on calendars and such? Well, Kansas Citians can get their pictures taken with those very dogs -- those very dogs -- if they play their cards right. A photo session with Chip, Candy and Bobbin (those are the weimaraners' names!) is among the items for sale at tonight's Kansas City Art Institute Art and Design Auction. You have to admit it's pretty cool. Other prizes include a day as a student at the Kansas City Art Institute (incognito if you wish, but who could feign the complex wardrobe and counterintuitive hairstyle?) and tickets to a Cubs game at Wrigley Field in April. The bidding begins at 6:30 p.m. at Crown Center Exhibit Hall (2323 McGee), and admission ain't cheap: $125 -- or $75 for "young guests" under 35. For information, call 816-802-3417.
Sunday, March 30, 2003
It's the last day of Planet Comicon. Let's say, just for the sake of argument, you don't know what to do at a comic-book convention. First, do not pronounce the last two syllables of the word convention, or your ignorance will be evident to one and all. Now, to get your bearings, locate and identify each of the following in less than fifteen minutes: one aging Playmate, one copy of Archie, collectible figurines from Tim Burton movies, three local comic-book artists and -- most important -- a book that contains images and ideas you never expected to find in a comic. The extravaganza lasts from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Overland Park International Trade Center, 6800 W. 115th Street. For more information, call 913-345-1069.
Monday, March 31, 2003
Reality's got us down, we'll just be honest about that. We think it's high time everyone went out to enjoy karaoke and became the superstars they always dreamed of being. How about opening your acts with impersonations of pop stars speaking out against the war? It can't hurt. Brodioke, as always, goes from 5 to 7 p.m., then resumes later in the night for the crazier fun. Mr. Shy Britney Spears Impersonator, we expect you to be there singing "Oops, I Did It Again" -- that's the kind of entertainment we're counting on tonight. For information, call the Brick (1727 McGee) at 816-421-1634.
Tuesday, April 1, 2003
The pressure we feel to carry out some sort of ruthless prank is overwhelming, today being the only day of the year when it is even remotely appropriate to lie and take advantage of people's gullibility. But we will neither put tacks on your chair nor hide whoopee cushions in your bed. The Kansas City Filmmakers Jubilee begins today, so we don't have anything to gain by sending you to a nonexistent event. With movies showing at Tivoli Cinemas (4050 Pennsylvania), Westport Coffee House Theater (4010 Pennsylvania) and Cinemark Palace on the Plaza (47th and Jefferson), it would be downright assholic of us to steer you off course. For information or advance tickets, call 816-960-4636. For showtimes and a more detailed schedule, see the Calendar Events.
Wednesday, April 2, 2003
At 8 p.m., the magic of theater and a little suspended disbelief can take you to Catholic school. In Late Night Catechism, the character known as Sister goes from being a kindly instructor who rewards the audience for correct answers (prizes include glow-in-the-dark rosaries and laminated saint cards) to being more of a disciplinarian. It's a show that's been lauded by The New York Times for "[speaking] to an audience much broader than the membership of any one church." It all takes place at Union Station, 30 West Pershing Road. For information, call 816-460-2020.
It's also a good night to resist the xenophobic jerk within as author Alexandra Fuller discusses her new book, Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight, at Unity Temple on the Plaza (707 West 47th Street). The daughter of hard-drinking Brits who slept with loaded guns on their bedside rugs, Fuller grew up in war-torn Africa during the volatile '70s and '80s. She's lived to tell about it with candor, writing from a safe haven in Wyoming. For information on the 7:30 p.m. reading, call Rainy Day Books at 913-384-3126.This Weeks Day-By-Day Picks