You-know-what happened two years ago, and there's just not much to say about it that hasn't already been said. Here at the Pitch, we neither endorse nor discourage sentimentality; however, it's out there if you want it. The City of Fountains Chorus presents a special program to honor Kansas City's firefighters, paramedics, EMTs and office personnel at the new MAST Headquarters (6750 Eastwood Trafficway). The chorus will join other worldwide members of the Sweet Adelines International (in thirteen countries) at 11 a.m. to "Sing Out for Peace." For information, call 816-765-1911.
In a quieter yet more bizarre form of tribute, the University of Missouri-Kansas City's Linda Hall Library (5109 Cherry) and, presumably, other area libraries join libraries nationwide in keeping their doors open all night. We remain unclear as to what 24-hour access to the Library of Congress catalog system has to do with the event being memorialized, but hanging out in the library after hours sounds fantastic. Enjoy the opportunity to get plenty of uninterrupted reading done without having to check out anything! For information, call 816-363-4600.
Friday September 12
Emanuel Cleaver sometimes surprises us with unusual topics for his weekly Under the Clock program, which airs on KCUR 89.3. Today at noon, join him at Union Station (30 West Pershing Road) as he brings the very unlikely African-American Jewish gospel singer to the City Stage. Does she sing traditional gospel tunes, we wonder, or are they originals that reflect the Hebrew faith in place of the Christian themes (i.e., Jesus) more typical of gospel? Is "Jewish gospel" an oxymoron? Frankly, we're not sure. We'll just listen. For information, call 816-460-2020.
The Crossroads Art District gallery crawl has dibs on the first Friday of every month. That's why Second Fridays (from about 7 to 10 p.m.) are reserved for West Bottoms gallery crawls. Like the West Bottoms itself, the neighborhood's gallery crawl is a little grittier than the Crossroads version. Wine pours from a box or large jug -- and it pours fast. The BYOB rule often goes into effect when thirsty crowds drain the supply. The artwork isn't limited to the galleries, either; passing freight trains offer their own traveling graffiti exhibits. See the rest of the Calendar pages for information on specific shows opening tonight.
Saturday September 13
Nevermind who was in the original lineup or that the names have changed because of litigation. The songs remain the same. Three of the most famous doo-wop groups of the 1950s, or at least remnants of them, perform one night only at Rockhurst High School (9301 State Line). The Platters ("Only You," "Try a Little Tenderness"), Beary Hobbs' Drifters ("On Broadway," "Under the Boardwalk") and a Coasters ("Poison Ivy," "Yakety Yak") tribute band (sadly containing no original members) nonetheless bring out the matching suits, subtly choreographed dance steps and four-part harmonies at Rose Theatre starting at 7:30 p.m. Ticket prices start at $35 and can be purchased by calling extension 581 at 816-363-2039.
Sunday September 14
The last thing most of us want to think about this week is riding in airplanes, but put a bare-chested woman on a plane and attitudes change. Sam Sblendorio, a U.S. Army marshall who also happens to be a damn talented amateur photographer, shows his work at the Late Show beginning this weekend. Anyone who's seen Greg Eltringham's paintings has seen something similar to Sblendorio's photograph of the half-naked lady in a flight cabin wearing boxing gloves, because Sblendorio and Eltringham were looking at the same model for reference. Sblendorio alters his images on a computer, so they end up with unnaturally vivid and rich colors and slightly blurrier-than-life outlines of forms. An artists' reception for Sblendorio and local painter Steve Frink lasts from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Late Show, 4222 Charlotte. For information, call 816-531-8044.
Monday September 15
Remember in the 1985 Clue movie when the lights went out and Lee Ving of punk rock's Fear got killed? Talk about random casting -- all those stiffs in Hollywood, and they pick him to play a corpse. The City Theatre of Independence holds open auditions tonight for an Agatha Christie play that may well have invented the lights-out-resulting-in-a-corpse mystery staple. The Roger T. Sermon Community Center (201 North Dodgion Road at the corner of Truman and Noland roads in Independence) holds A Murder Is Announced auditions at 7 tonight and tomorrow. Director Dean Mehling is looking for five men and seven women; a British accent goes a long way. Call 816-325-7367 for more information.
Tuesday September 16
Nobody wants to watch your home movies. Sure, your newborn baby has your eyes, and you got some nice shots of the Grand Canyon, but nobody can tell because your in-camera editing yielded some really lame transitions, your panning shots are all shaky, and the audio is just plain bad. Instructors at Blue River Community College (20301 East 78 Highway in Independence) will help you realize your vision, and they don't even want a producer credit -- just $29. Starting at 7 p.m., a two-session class uses iMacs to teach digital video editing techniques. (The lesson concepts are interchangeable with the Windows platform.) In two Tuesdays, you'll have two thumbs up for smooth transitions, an audible soundtrack and maybe even some special effects. Call 816-220-6518 for more information.
Wednesday September 17
Commercial radio stations in Kansas City have always been terrible about supporting local musicians. In something of a fluke, a local hip-hop artist blazed his way into KCHZ 95.7's rotation. (And, surprise, it's not Tech N9ne.) Asa's new single, "Kick It" (featuring Lawrence's SoundsGood duo), got a favorable ratio of call-in listeners requesting that the station "pump it" rather than "dump it." The single was 95.7's most requested song for two weeks. Catch Asa and SoundsGood as they perform together for the first time at the River Market's Kabal Nightclub, 503 Walnut. Call 816-471-0017 for the 411.