6 Recycled Things To Do In Kansas City This Weekend

Jul 14, 2017

The U.S. Air Guitar Championships Midwest Finals will be held at recordBar this weekend in Kansas City.
Credit Pat Paulsen

Everyone should recycle as much as they can.

That goes double this weekend, with recycled but still raring to go entertainments and events that include reimagined musicals, repackaged Top-40 hits and repurposed finds for the out-of-control vintage collector (a.k.a. packrat).

Why throw something away when it can be used over again? Especially when it’s a lot more exciting than separating paper, plastic, metal and glass.

1. ‘An American in Paris’

If it worked once, it can work again. That’s the idea behind the hit Broadway musical, “An American in Paris,” based on the 1951 Hollywood classic of the same name that featured songs by George and Ira Gershwin and starred Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron as young lovers in post-WWII Paris. Most of the music and story from the MGM original remains intact on stage, as well as the epic fantasy ballet sequence at the end. This show is so fulfilling, you may want to experience it more than one. Way to recycle!

Friday through Sunday, 8 p.m.; Starlight Theatre, 4600 Starlight Road, Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $15-$142.

2. Summer Breeze

Somewhere along the line, what used to be called “soft-rock” became known as “yacht rock.” There’s even a satellite radio channel or two devoted to the recycled music genre. But the oh-so-laid back songs from the 1970s and early ’80s that originally popularized the format on terrestrial radio still sound the same as performed by local cover band Summer Breeze, which by no coincidence is also the name of the 1972 Seals and Crofts No. 1 hit. Have a blast "blowing through the jasmine in my mind.” OK, your mind, if you must.

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

3. ‘Back to the 80s’

The pleasure parade of 1980s pop-rock hits propelling the high-school jukebox musical, “Back to the 80s,” delivers a whammy to be re-reckoned with, including Wham’s “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” Cindi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want To Have Fun,” Katrina and the Waves’ “Walking on Sunshine,” Madonna’s “Material Girl” and even the Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star.” Sure, it did – but apparently not forever.

Friday through Sunday, 8:30 p.m.; Theatre in the Park at Shawnee Mission Park, 7900 Renner Road, Shawnee, Kan.; tickets: $8, $6 (ages 4-10).

4. U.S. Air Guitar Championships – Midwest Final

Rock guitar players have long been accused of recycling riffs – I mean, how many ways are there to pluck your ax? Any and all of them are up for grabs at the Midwest finals of the U.S. Air Guitar Championships, hosted by 2013 world air guitar titleholder Eric “Mean” Meline. An ambitious lineup of totally imaginary guitarists will share their real talents to the recorded rock songs of their choice. Whatever they “play,” just please do the Pete Townsend windmill move. As many times as necessary.

Saturday, 8 p.m.; recordBar, 1520 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $15.

5. All Things in Common: Jambaroque

Ancient instruments sage and Kansas City treasure Gerald Trimble hosts this fascinating roundup of music from the baroque period (and maybe earlier) to the Beatles. Trimble and his handpicked musical pals will not only impress with their virtuosity on different and sometimes weird-looking stringed instruments, but also reflect on the important connections between music from different eras.

Saturday, 8 p.m.; Prospero’s Books, 1800 W. 39th St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $12.

6. Junk Jubilee

The ultimate recycling event when it comes to finding cool old stuff to redecorate your living room with – or maybe just stick in your basement – the Junk Jubilee offers antique items of every description from vendors who’d like nothing more than to recycle their items into your cash. Talk about going green!

Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Overland Park Convention Center, 6000 College Blvd., Overland Park, Kan.; tickets: $8 (ages 14 and younger free).

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