6 Mixed-Up Things To Do In Kansas City This Weekend

May 19, 2016

When things don’t necessarily go together, that doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t put them together.

Like a weekend mix tape. What do all those songs have in common? Maybe nothing, except they’re all on the same weekend mix tape.

See how this works? With or without a pre-selected soundtrack this weekend, try mixing up a combo of asymmetrical activities, a potpourri of divergent diversions – you know, a bunch of stuff. It’s your weekend. You should do what you want.

1. Planet Comicon

Stantastic! That’s the headline when it comes to this year’s Planet Comicon, with Stan Lee of historic Marvel Comics fame as the con’s special guest. Lee led the “Mighty Marvel Bullpen” that made comics hip in the 1960s by concocting a titanic tapestry of superheroes with super problems – like the Amazing Spider-Man, who might be able to sock it to the Green Goblin as the wondrous wall-crawler, but couldn’t get a date as awkward high-school wallflower Peter Parker. Pimple-faced young readers could relate!

The con’s impressive passel of pop-culture guests includes George Takei (“Star Trek”), Tom Felton (“Harry Potter”), Hayley Atwell (“Agent Carter”), Barbara Eden (“I Dream of Jeanie”) and Peter Mayhew (“Star Wars”). Plus there’s cosplaying, competitive gaming and loads of comic creators and retailers offering massive amounts of comics and related paraphernalia. Got to keep the collection going!

Friday, noon-7 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Bartle Hall, 301 W. 13th St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $30-$75 (two kids under 10 get in free with each paid adult admission).

​2. Tengger Cavalry

Here’s something different: Nomadic folk metal. What’s that? Like most everything, what you make of it. New York-based trio Tengger Cavalry makes the self-styled music genre a treat for open-minded listeners by combining age-old Mongolian folk traditions – including throat singing – with heavy metal. The result on the band’s current “Blood Sacrifice Tour” promises to be primal yet modern, bracing yet entrancing. That’s right, I said throat singing.

Friday, 8:30 p.m.; Riot Room, 4048 Broadway, Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $10-$12.

3. National Tap Dance Day Celebration

Still light on her feet at 88 – hop, leap, jump, brush, scuff – Kansas City tap-dancing idol Billie Mahoney will be leading the local celebration of National Tap Dance Day. And she’s inviting all interested dancers with a pair of tap shoes to come join the “tap jam.” Even if you’re a watcher and not a hoofer, the pure entertainment value promises to be considerable. Peppy musical accompaniment will be provided by Mike Ning and Victor Perelmuter.

Saturday, 7-9 p.m., Uptown Arts Bar, 3611 Broadway, Kansas City, Mo.; admission: $5.

4. Body Worlds & the Cycle of Life

You might think you can see through people, but not the way you can see through them at this fascinating traveling exhibit opening this weekend at Union Station. Offering awesome cut-away looks at more than 100 human specimens conserved through “plastination” – oh, my – visitors will behold how our bodies are dramatically altered by such factors as aging, work, play and illness. Although the exhibit is tastefully presented, the easily squeamish may need extra encouragement to attend. Aw, c’mon, it’s educational!

Saturday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday, noon-5 p.m.; Union Station, 301 W. Pershing St.; tickets: $16.95-$24.95.

​5. Troost Festival

The 12th annual Troost Festival takes place on the Midtown thoroughfare that has too long represented a dividing line between black and white citizens in Kansas City. The event features daylong family entertainment and the chance to listen, learn and provide feedback at a community oriented “dialogue tent.” Pertinent topics will include art, spirituality, the environment, resources, health, science, education and justice. We’re all in this together, people.

Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., 31st Street and Troost Avenue, Kansas City, Mo.; admission: free.

6. Classic Album Sunday KC: The Beach Boys’ ‘Pet Sounds’

I pointed out last weekend that the Beach Boys were performing in Kansas City. This weekend, the boys are back in town, albeit in a solely sonic way: Perfectly preserved on vinyl for a hi-fi listening party of the group’s classic 1966 album, “Pet Sounds.” The Beach Boys’ greatest album is also one of the greatest pop masterpieces ever recorded, featuring such timeless tracks as “God Only Knows,” “Caroline No” and “Wouldn’t It Be Nice.” Here’s something extra nice: All cell phones must be put away during the playing of the album. Thank you!

Brian McTavish is a regular arts and culture contributor for KCUR 89.3. Send him an email at brianmctavish@gmail.com.