People deserve to have more than their parking validated.
So be a validating force at weekend events focusing on folks whose contributions to the world continue to have meaning. Some are still with us. Some aren’t. Beyond their achievements, all deserve affirmation of their inherent worth – as do you, too, friend.
And if your corner of the world has free validated parking? It’s a great place to start!
The Kansas City Ballet salutes country music legend Johnny Cash, whose autobiographical protest song, “The Man in Black,” indelibly explained why he chose to dress in the darkest of hues. It was for “the poor and the beaten down,” he sang, and so many others for whom life had dealt a bad hand. The man had a voice for the ages and a deeply caring message to match, yet he also knew how to have a darn good time. Which is why the tribute to Cash also looks to kick up its heels in a rockabilly way. So there’s your excuse to wear jeans to the ballet.
Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m.; Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway, Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $40.50-$130.50.
Kiefer Sutherland is famous for his fearless anti-terrorist character Jack Bauer on the TV series “24.” Yet it’s the hidden, flawed characters in Sutherland’s country songs that will be the focus of his country music concert in KC. Credible screen actors seeking further validation as singers with touring bands isn’t an unfamiliar undertaking – Kevin Costner and Kevin Bacon come to mind. Yet Sutherland may bring more gravitas to his endeavor. In “Not Enough Whiskey,” his sober delivery slyly belies the alcohol-fueled tears to come: “Tell yourself it’s alright/She’ll be comin’ home tonight/But you know that ain’t true/Cause she’s with someone new.” OK, let’s switch to vodka.
Friday, 8 p.m.; Knuckleheads Saloon, 2715 Rochester St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $22.50.
Former longtime “Saturday Night Live" cast member Kevin Nealon (Hans and Franz, Mr. Subliminal, Mr. No Depth Perception) will perform his stand-up comedy act to raise money for Gilda’s Club Kansas City in support of cancer patients and their families. Gilda’s Club was founded in memory of "SNL" legend Gilda Radner, who died of ovarian cancer in 1989. Nealon may be the perfect everyman comic to host this event – ever-affable and able to humorously validate aspects of life that might otherwise get us down. Thank you, Kevin. And thank you, Gilda.
Thursday, 8:30 p.m.; Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland, 1228 Main St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $35-$200.
This concert and ceremony honoring bands and other historically significant contributors to the Sunflower State music scene features live performances by all of the inducted acts: Birth, the Elders, Split-Lip Rayfield, Submytion and Together. Veteran Kansas City-area music promoter Chris Fritz will receive the Director’s Award. Fritz has traditionally found his validation behind the scenes, but if there’s a baton handy, anything could happen.
Saturday, 7 p.m.; Liberty Hall, 644 Massachusetts St., Lawrence, Kan.; tickets: $25.
Here’s an easy premise to validate: Evil Nazis must be brought to justice. But getting it done was painstaking work for Simon Wiesenthal, who spent his long life hunting down more than 1,100 Nazi war criminals in hiding around the world. As writer and star of the one-man show, “Wiesenthal,” Tom Dugan duly conveys the amazing story of the man also known as the “Jewish James Bond.” Good luck topping that nickname.
Thursday and Friday, 7:30 p.m.; Lewis and Shirley White Theatre at Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City, 5801 W. 115th St., Leawood, Kan.; tickets: $25 (students $16).
Fans of Selena Quintanilla-Perez – or Selena – lost a heroine of Tejano music when she was cut down by a twisted associate in 1995. But thanks to leading Selena tribute entertainer Karla Perez, the music and style of Selena rightly lives on. ¡Viva validation!
Saturday, 9 p.m.; Voodoo Lounge at Harrah’s Casino, 1 Riverboat Dr., North Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $9.50 (standing room only).
Brian McTavish is a regular arts and culture contributor for KCUR 89.3. You can reach him at email@example.com.