You aren't supposed to dive while dodging laser beams at Laser Storm Family Center (138 South Clairbourne in Olathe). It's against the rules. We dived anyway, and we have nothing but skinned knees to show for it. We were playing Laser Storm to celebrate a friend's 28th birthday. Our opponents were there because that's where their parents dropped them off. We ran, we ducked, we shot. With six of us against three of them, they still won.
So we're not experts at winning, but we can sure tell you how not to win. Foolproof ingredients for going down in Laser Storm include wearing conspicuous white shirts, crouching behind barricades for long periods of time and being older than fourteen.
The game itself is simple. Everyone gets a vest, a "phaser" (the thing that shoots the lasers) and a headset. You file into an arena filled with black lights and fog. After energizing at a pod, you try to shoot the red lights on opponents' headsets, aiming -- we learned too late -- a little to the left. You know when you've been hit because a voice in your headset instructs you to re-energize.
And another thing: Your phaser won't shoot right after you energize. Stay behind the barricades till you've had a chance to test fire.
For information, call 913-393-4386.-- Gina Kaufmann
And they called it puppy love ...
It's a good thing the Coterie decided to stage 101 Dalmatians in the summer rather than in the winter. Packs of kids primed for lifetime involvement in PETA by the tale of Cruella De Vil's evil plot to turn dalmatians into fur coats would have been a force to reckon with -- especially if they'd run into a woman wearing mink on their way out of Crown Center. (On second thought, maybe the Coterie should have scheduled this play in the winter.) Either way, this is the last week to catch the classic Disney tale adapted for the stage and featuring dalmatian puppets from Paul Messner's troupe. For information on the fun and faux fur, call the Coterie, 2420 Grand, at 816-474-6552.-- Kaufmann