Simply put, legends last.
Demonstrating such qualifying staying power this weekend are entertainments whose appeal has persisted for decades, even centuries – from a veteran country-music king holding court to an ancient Egyptian-inspired soap opera updated for modern audiences.
So in 10, 50 or 100 years, what seemingly momentary allures might still be enjoyed by the masses? There I go again, asking questions that I can’t possibly answer. In the meantime, peruse the following totally legendary supply!
Here’s one way to ascend to legendary country music status: be the best-selling recording artist in U.S. history. That would be none other than Garth Brooks, who after more than a quarter century of fame still has more than enough “Friends in Low Places” to pack ‘em into five shows this weekend (and two more next weekend) at the Sprint Center. Historical note: Brooks was also the center’s inaugural performing artist in 2007 with nine consecutive shows. Powerhouse country vocalist and Brooks’ wife, Trisha Yearwood, is also a key component of Brooks’ current world tour. Expect nothing less than a duet for the ages.
Friday, 7 p.m.; Saturday, 3 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; Sprint Center, 1407 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $74.98.
2. The Fab Four
Beatles tribute bands come and go, but the Fab Four, founded in 1997 by John Lennon imitator Ron McNeil in Southern California, is one of the most successful touring acts bringing to life the legendary rock music of John, Paul, George and Ringo. Like other Beatles tributes, the Fab Four have their accents and costume changes down pat, but it’s how they sound so very much like the real thing that will leave a lasting impression.
Friday, 8 p.m.; Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland, 1228 Main St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $24.50, $29.50.
3. ‘42nd Street’
It’s the ultimate showbiz stage musical, based on the legendary 1933 Hollywood movie of the same name. The show-within-a-show plot of this lavish, Tony Award-winning crowd-pleaser follows the wild highs and crazy lows of staging a Broadway musical. Besides the peppy title tune, great songs include “Lullaby of Broadway,” “Shuffle Off To Buffalo” and “We’re in the Money.” Go out there and break a leg. But not before you tap your troubles away!
Thursday, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, 2 and 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, 1 and 6:30 p.m.; Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1602 Broadway, Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $41.50-$91.50.
Spanish singer and comedian Cristina Bernal will perform as her vaudeville stage character, La Bernalina, in honor of Kansas City’s 50-year sister-cities bond with Seville, Spain. The form of legendary Spanish entertainment embodied by Bernal is called Cuplé, which features one female singer and an accompanying pianist, with plenty of amusing dialogue between the two. For this show, the dialogue and at least two or three songs will be in English. It’s appreciated!
Sunday, 7 p.m.; rooftop of Lead Bank Crossroads, 1801 Main St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $45.
Such legendary comic-book characters as Superman, Spider-Man, Batman, Wonder Woman and Groot (yes, Groot), will star in some of the most anticipated comics to be given away during Saturday’s Free Comic Book Day at participating area comic shops. The first FCBD in 2002 piggybacked on the opening of the first “Spider-Man” movie. This year, the day’s annual Hollywood tie-in is the opening of Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2” (co-starring Groot). Some shops taking part will also have local comic artists as guests. Ask for a sketch. Or just get into a heated discussion about your favorite comic character. Do it and you’ll fit right in!
Saturday; to find a participating local comic shop, go to freecomicbookday.com.
They lived, they loved, they lost. The legendary story of “Anthony and Cleopatra” gets a kick in the asp, courtesy of UMKC Theatre’s OriginKC: New Works Festival. This student workshop production offers contemporary English in place of Shakespeare’s ye old Elizabethan language. So now you have no excuse not to go!
Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m.; Spencer Theatre, 4949 Cherry St., Kansas City, tickets: $20.
Brian McTavish is a regular arts and culture contributor for KCUR 89.3. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.