There's a Curtis Mayfield song called "(Don't Worry) If There's a Hell Below We're All Gonna Go." In that case, we'll just come right out and say it: Nuns horrify us. It probably has a lot to do with Sister Mary, the teacher who scared the bejesus out of us in the first grade. A lifetime of abstinence is sure to make even the nicest old lady crack in front of a classroom full of seven-year-olds. Especially if you call her Darth Vader behind her back -- which is a bad idea, unless you want to count rosaries after school. That was a long time ago, but we still weren't sure about recommending Nuncrackers: The Nunsense Christmas Musical until we knew these nuns were cool. And they are. Nuncrackers pokes good-natured fun at the Catholic Church, Protestant life, home-shopping networks, Julia Child and The Nutcracker. Tonight's show starts at 7:30 in the Blue Springs Civic Center, 2000 Northwest Ashton Drive. Tickets cost $7. If we don't see you there, we'll see you in hell. For information, call 816-228-0137.
Friday, December 12, 2003
Imagine you're shopping at Wal-Mart, humming along to a mellow flugelhorn elevator jam, when you turn down aisle seven and run right into Chuck Mangione himself. That's what shopping at Recycled Sounds will be like tonight, but instead of coming nose to nose with the famous flugelhornist (rendered pestilent by King of the Hill), you'll run into ambient experimentalists from the underground band Sky Burial. From 5 to 7:30 p.m., the record shop hosts a free in-store performance to celebrate the band's new release, Distance to the Ginko. These musicians don't have any flugelhorns, but Sam Hughes can do that crazy circular-breathing throat-singing thing that lets him hit two notes at the same time -- with his voice! And he has a theremin. On top of that, most of the store's stock will be marked down. That's the kind of holiday spirit we can feel. For details, call 816-531-4890.
Saturday, December 13, 2003
There's nothing like a good after-school scrap to expose mankind's most base and brutal instincts. We're still getting over the sight of two hessians beating the crap out of each other at the smoker's corner between the high school and the police station in Prairie Village. The metalheads had the good sense to step off school property before wailing on each other, but it was ultimately a poor choice of venue, so close to the cop shop. Fighting and good sense don't go together very often, but the kids in the Whatsoever Boxing Club have wisdom beyond their years. The eight-to-fifteen-year-old boxers prefer to pad up and get in the ring before they trade blows. They've even got a referee. Starting at 6 p.m. in the Whatsoever Community Center (1201 Ewing Avenue), you can check out the little contenders as they battle for the chance to represent in a regional tournament next month. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children. For more information, call 816-231-0227.
Sunday, December 14, 2003
Pagans have feelings, too, you know. They're not all like the criminals in the 1987 Dragnet movie. Those woolly-chapped degenerates were more of a terrorist cell (People Against Good And Normalcy) than a spiritual group, stealing pornography and zoo animals while distributing drugs and other very bad things. But the Gaia Community is more about crafts, herbs, candles, drums, jewelry and pottery. Today is your chance to infiltrate their circle at the Fifth Annual Winter Bazaar in the Shawnee Mission Unitarian Universalist Church (8828 West 87th Street in Overland Park). From 3 to 7 p.m., these nonthreatening pagans sell their wares and offer tarot-card insight or a relaxing chair massage. Find the perfect ritual item to complement your altar. Proceeds benefit the church's general fund. For more information, call 816-931-9900.
Monday, December 15, 2003
We dare you to make a collage that doesn't look random and hurried. If you have seen a collage that really did look thought-out and cohesive, it's probably because Danny J. Gibson made it. Under the name of DJG Design, Gibson's done record covers and concert posters in his unmistakable style for bands such as the Elevator Division and Casket Lottery. His job as a janitor gives him access to unlimited amounts of art supplies -- or garbage -- so you know he's been busy. Check out what else he's been up to at his Circumambulation show at the Brick, 1727 McGee. For details, call 816-531-0651.
Tuesday, December 16, 2003
The Kemper has been holding out on us. The museum's collection of art has tripled since its 1994 opening, but the museum's staff is hesitant to show all of its cards at once. If the cluttered, all-sorts-of-crazy-shit-on-the-wall look works for dorm rooms and T.G.I. Friday's, then why isn't the Kemper covering every inch of wall space with its permanent collection? That will never happen, but the Kemper staff did pick out forty paintings, sculptures, prints, photographs and other works for its exhibit Staff Selections: Permanent Collection. It just opened this week, so the works by Jim Hodges, Duane Hanson, Georgia O'Keeffe and Andy Warhol, among many others, are still fresh. The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art (4420 Warwick Boulevard) is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today; admission is free. For details, call 816-753-5784.
Wednesday, December 17, 2003
The book Last Night a DJ Saved My Life suggests that DJs are among the last century's most important contributors to popular culture and modern communications. They are, after all, the masterminds behind the soundtrack to our lives. But what does DJing really involve besides twisting some knobs behind a record player with your headphones half on? Go to the Cup and Saucer (412 Delaware Street) tonight to observe DJs cQuence and SL8TER as they spin drum-'n'-bass and hip-hop records starting at 9. Being there on a Wednesday night should make it easy to carefully observe the finer points of DJing without the hassle of a weekend crowd. For information, call 816-474-7375.