If we had anything to do with it, Kansas Day celebrations would be anything but tame. Imagine if the anniversary of Kansas' statehood were celebrated with an enormous party on a par with the debauchery of Atlanta's dearly departed Freaknic, the citywide bash of epic proportions that fell victim in recent years to overeager partygoers and repressive squares. Just picture the clean streets of Johnson County erupting with traffic-stopping, booty-quaking, bass-thumping depravity. Oh, what a sight it would be. We like the mental image of every SUV in Kansas blasting "Hey Ya!" at the same time. After a party like that, all the other states would finally know that the only thing flat in Kansas is the geography. Unfortunately for us, the history and heritage of Kansas has very little to do with partying in the streets -- except when the Jayhawks make it to the Final Four, and even then it's isolated to Massachusetts Street in downtown Lawrence. The Carlsen Center's Yardley Hall at Johnson County Community College (12345 College Boulevard in Overland Park) celebrates the real heritage of Kansas on its 143rd anniversary with a 1 p.m. reception featuring booths and exhibits provided by local historical societies and museums. A lecture on Lewis and Clark follows at 2 p.m., with a performance titled A Most Perfect Harmony: Lewis and Clark, a Musical Journey following at 3 p.m. No tickets or reservations are required. For details, call 913-495-7548.
Friday, January 30, 2004
Remember the end of 1984's The Natural, when Robert Redford's character smacks a fastball through the lights and out of the park? Yeah, it was great seeing his team win, and that whole rain-of-sparks thing was a cool effect, but what the hell happened next? That was a playoff game, remember? Did the Knights go on to win the World Series? Did Hobbs play another game? And where the hell did that friggin' baseball land after it destroyed the outfield lights? Maybe some things are better left unanswered. If you disagree with that last statement, then After Juliet is right up your alley. Sharman Macdonald penned the unofficial sequel to Romeo and Juliet nearly five centuries after Shakespeare wrote the original tale of doomed love so that we finally could find out what unfolds between the mourning Capulet and Montague families. After Juliet goes on at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. today in the Coterie Theatre in Crown Center (2450 Grand). Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students and seniors. Attendees of the 7 p.m. performance get a meal discount at the nearby d'Bronx deli. For tickets, call 816-474-6552.
Saturday, January 31, 2004
We're not math majors, but we know enough about subtraction to steer clear of casinos and strip clubs. On the other hand, we figure, if you're going to go to a casino once in Kansas City, tonight might as well be the night. See, it's the final night of the Argosy Casino's (777 N.W. Argosy Parkway in Riverside) extended grand-opening celebration, and that means the casino will wow its customers with high entertainment value. Sure, there will be hoop contortionists, Chinese pole acrobatics, a silk aerial act, showgirls in full regalia from 6 to 10 p.m. and "living canvases" (read "naked men and women painted to look like marble and ivy") from 5 to 9 p.m., but think again if you believe it will be like that every day. It's kinda like cigarettes. You get a buzz the first time, but after that, you're a sucker. For more information, call 816-746-3100.
Sunday, February 1, 2004
If you're religious in the traditional sense, stop reading right now, because this will surely piss you off. Now that it's just us agnostics and atheists, let the trash-talking begin. The first thing we dislike about organized religion has to be war in the name of a deity. That's stupid and wrong. The second reason we're not down with that stuff is religion in politics. What the hell is wrong with gay marriage? Or art? The third good reason to think for yourself is probably sleeping in on the weekends. We know there's more, but there are so many bad things about organized religion that we can't keep track of them all. That's why we'll be at today's Sunday School for Freethinkers' 1 p.m. discussion, "When Religion Does More Harm Than Good. " At the Hogan College Preparatory Academy (1221 East Meyer Boulevard), Dr. Richard Childs, a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UMKC School of Medicine and founder of the KC Friends of Jung, will examine the negative effects of organized religion. Dude, if he's wrong, we're totally going to hell. See ya there. For details, call 816-561-1866.
Monday, February 2, 2004
Hot damn! Has it been five years already? Seems like just yesterday we went in for a quick drink at the Grand Emporium (3832 Main) and stumbled upon this freewheeling country and bluegrass happy hour. If you're hankerin' for a good time, or if you simply use the word hankerin' on a regular basis, then you shouldn't miss this down-home good time. The Rural Grit Happy Hour Fifth Anniversary Show, from 6 to 9 p.m., costs just $3 at the door. If you've never been, the Rural Grit crowd plays old-timey music in an atmosphere that can be created only by a tight gang of old friends. For details, call 816-531-1504.
Tuesday, February 3, 2004
Hey, remember that one time when that monkey-looking guy from Texas stole an election? It pissed you off so bad that you swore you'd never let that happen to your beloved country again. But it takes a village, right? So round up your bros, head down to the polls and go for it. Wait, let us guess: The last election bummed you out so bad that you blocked out any memories of that fateful, dark day, thus forgetting where to go to vote for the Missouri Presidential Primary. Just give the Kansas City Board of Elections a call. After you answer a few simple questions, they'll tell you where you can go to take part in what we hope will result in a democratic process. Call 816-842-4820. The rest is up to you.
Wednesday, February 4, 2004
On the list of professions that rank as thankless, the job of carrying mail must rank pretty high. We can't think of too many other occupations that have their own saying to describe how shitty a day at work can be: "Through rain or sleet or snow, the mail must go through." We feel a cold coming on just thinking about delivering mail this time of year. That's why some wise soul marked this Thank a Postal Worker Day. If you decide not to show your appreciation for our mail-carrying friends, just remember the not-so-wise soul who inspired the phrase "going postal."