6 Insightful Things To Do In Kansas City This Weekend

Nov 3, 2016

What does it say about us that we like to see majestic animals tear apart Halloween pumpkins? Hmm.
Credit Greg Boege / Flickr - CC

Scratching the surface may be fine, if you’re halfheartedly cleaning the basement.

But this weekend’s entertainment choices are begging to be fully experienced, if only so they can offer insight into some of the deeper meanings of life. Well, they will, if you want them to.

And who wants to clean the basement, anyway? I can’t believe you even brought that up.

 

1. Amy Schumer

It’s OK to be yourself. That’s the message behind the highly intelligent and frequently sex-drenched humor of Amy Schumer, the very funny TV and movie actress (“Inside Amy Schumer,” “Trainwreck”) who’s killing it right now. Schumer’s approach to stand-up comedy includes unashamedly accepting the mantle of “slut,” but on her own terms that can also help people consider inner truths that they might be afraid to admit. Of course, unless you’re a professional comedian, maybe don’t blurt them out and expect people to be instantly amused. Just a tip!

Thursday, 8 p.m.; Sprint Center, 1407 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $39-$109.

 

2. ‘Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus – Live!’

Call it a stereotype, but men and women are waaay different. You might say that they have about as much in common as a lighted match and dry kindling. Put them together and you get a fire. But will it be a comfortably warm result or burn down everything in sight? Yep, male-female relationships can be a toughie to manage and appreciate. But there’s hope for happiness, even though the two genders appear to be so different on a fundamental level, as explained in this one-man comedy stage show that was an Off Broadway hit based on the book of the same name by relationship counselor John Gray. You’ll laugh. You’ll nod. You’ll get stuck in the ribs by an elbow – at least you will if you’re a guy.

Thursday and Friday, 8 p.m.; Saturday, 4 and 8 p.m.; Cohen Community Stage House at Starlight Theatre, 4600 Starlight Road, Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $52.

 

3. ‘The Price is Right – Live!’

Money, so the song tells us, changes everything. Sure, it’s easy to say, “No, not me,” until some moolah gets dumped in your lap. And even if it never does (bummer), some people (not you, of course) can get pretty excited at the prospect of major greenbacks suddenly entering their lives. So que the iconic TV game show theme music and watch folks “come on down” to crazily compete in this touring live version of “The Price is Right,” which has sold more than 1 million tickets and bestowed more than $10 million in cash and prizes on demonstrative audience members. But, again, not you – unless you just happen to show up three hours early at the box office and get talked into registering to be a potential onstage participant. Admit it, you always wanted to spin The Big Wheel!  

Thursday, 7:30 p.m.; Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland, 1228 Main St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $39.50-$59.50.

 

4. Official Blues Brothers Revue

We hate it when our heroes leave us. Driving home that understanding is the Official Blues Brothers Revue dedicated to the musical and comedic memory of the original Jake and Elwood Blues – a.k.a. John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd – as originally depicted on “Saturday Night Live” and in the 1980 “Blues Brothers” movie. The only show of its kind sanctioned by Aykroyd and Belushi’s widow, Judith Belushi, this vehicle for nostalgic good times is driven by a live band and sunglasses-and-pork-pie-hat-wearing tribute entertainers Wayne Catania as Jake and Kieron Lafferty as Elwood. And, yes, they’re still on a mission from God.

Sunday, 7 p.m.; Yardley Hall, the Carlsen Center at Johnson County Community College, 12345 College Blvd., Overland Park, Kan.; tickets: $35-$65.

 

5. Bettye LaVette

Whether it’s her exquisitely expressive singing about love lost and found and perhaps lost again or her never-quit attitude over the course of a more than 50-year career, award-winning soul blues artist Bettye LaVette remains a persistent talent for the ages. She teaches about the ups and downs of the human condition in every lyric that she insightfully interprets. A favorite: LaVette’s heartrending 1965 recording of “Let Me Down Easy.” Hey, I always appreciate it.  

Saturday, 8 p.m.; Knuckleheads Saloon, 2715 Rochester St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $35.50.

6. Great Pumpkin Smash

Keep an eye on the fascinating expressions of the humans watching the elephants, rhinos, chimpanzees, tigers, camels and other animals having their post-Halloween fun with pumpkins this weekend at the Kansas City Zoo. What does it say about us that we enjoy beholding such antics as practiced by critters? Maybe that there’s more than a little critter in us, as well. Alright, maybe more than a little.  

Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.; Kansas City Zoo, 6800 Zoo Drive, Kansas City, Mo.; admission: $11.50-$14.50 (ages 2 and younger free).

Brian McTavish is a regular arts and culture contributor for KCUR 89.3. You can reach him at brianmctavish@gmail.com