6 People-Pleasing Things To Do In Kansas City This Weekend

Jul 6, 2017

Queen & Adam Lambert.
Credit Smugmug / Wikimedia Commons

The working week has its own rewards, like, um, well … let me get back to you on that. For now, prepare to enter the weekend zone, where most folks can be gratified as they so desire.

And the next few days are a doozy in that department, with people-pleasing events that include one of the world’s greatest bands reborn, one of the greatest bands that never quite was, the youth-fueled glories of summer camp and the playful entertainments of half-naked (at least) ladies.

So get your kicks, until – pardon the expression – Monday. Hey, I don’t make the rules. I just try to avoid them.

1. Queen + Adam Lambert

The death of remarkable frontman Freddie Mercury in 1991 seemingly put an end to the rock band Queen, even as such majestic Queen hits as “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “We Will Rock You” and “We Are the Champions” only became more famous. So why not give the people what they want? From 2005 to 2009, former Free and Bad Company singer Paul Rodgers fronted a reconfigured Queen on tour. In more recent years, “American Idol” runner-up Adam Lambert has ably occupied the vocal spot alongside original band members Brian May (guitar) and Roger Taylor (drums). Lambert didn’t quite take the crown on “American Idol,” but it’s good to be in Queen.

Sunday, 8 p.m.; Sprint Center, 1407 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $47.50-$173.

2. ‘Million Dollar Quartet’

A jam session involving Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins on Dec. 4, 1956, at Sun Studio in Memphis, Tennessee, was the only performance of what came to be known as the Million Dollar Quartet. Thankfully, tape was rolling! A half-century later, the musical meeting of the four pioneering rock ’n’ rollers was theatrically ramped up into the people-pleasing stage musical, “Million Dollar Quartet.” Presented as more of a party than a bona fide recounting of that special evening, the show continues to pack seats by pulling out the stops on such classic songs as “That’s All Right,” “Great Balls of Fire” and “I Walk the Line.” It’s enough to make you want to break out the Brylcreem.

Thursday and Friday, 6:30 p.m.; Saturday, 11:40 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.; Sunday, 12:15 and 6:30 p.m.; New Theatre Restaurant, 9229 Foster St., Overland Park, Kan.; tickets: $49-$63.

3. ‘Disney’s Camp Rock, The Musical’

Summer music camp gets the Disney treatment in this tune-laden tale of what happens when the kids at Camp Rock must marshal their musical forces against the way more upscale Camp Star. Only confirmed fussbudgets might be displeased at the resulting class warfare-lite, since this is Disney, after all, and there’s bound to be a happy ending.

Thursday through Saturday, 8:30 p.m.; Theatre in the Park at Shawnee Mission Park, 7900 Renner Road, Shawnee, Kan.; tickets: $8, $6 for ages 4-10, free for ages 3 and younger.

4. Burlesque Downtown Underground 10 Year Anniversary Extravaganza

Ready for a possibly guilty pleasure? Then you’re set to take in Burlesque Downtown Underground’s 10th anniversary blowout. Promising four all-classy, all-different shows this weekend, BDU will strive to deliver what it calls “fun, classy, scintillating, artful, high performance tickle and tease.” So, you see, there’s really nothing to feel the least bit guilty about. 

Friday and Saturday, 7 and 10 p.m.; Musical Theatre Heritage Theater at Crown Center, 2450 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $20-$30.

5. Corey Feldman & the Angels

Ready for a possibly even guiltier pleasure? No one is supposed to strip, but Corey Feldman is currently laying bare his controversial pop-music side on a 40-city concert tour. The former child movie star,  who was in such 1980s box-office winners as “Gremlins,” “The Goonies” and “Stand By Me,” got made big fun of on social media last year after oddly singing and dancing on “The Today Show” with his all-female band the Angels. But in the words of one-time teen idol Ricky Nelson: “You can’t please everyone, so you got to please yourself.” For Feldman’s most devoted followers that might mean paying an extra $75 for a “Meet and Greet” with him at his show. Go for it? I mean, go for it!

Friday, 8 p.m.; recordBar, 1520 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $20.

6. Kearney Fireworks Celebration

Fourth of July fireworks fanatics will get a belated blast at this charming, small-town event that was rescheduled after forecasts of rain earlier in the week. Less than a 30-minute drive north on I-29 from downtown KC, Kearney is also the birthplace of Wild West outlaw Jesse James, so you might want to look into that, as well. Whatever it takes to put a smile on your face!

Saturday, 7:30 p.m. (fireworks 9:30 p.m.); Kearney Amphitheater, 3001 N. Highway 33, Kearney, Mo.; admission: free.

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