6 Weird Things To Do In Kansas City This Weekend

Oct 26, 2017

With Halloween just around the door-creaking corner, plenty of purposely peculiar events will be going on this weekend. There will also be some things that just happen to be a little weird.

Into gore and zombies? Bizarre glitz? What about an uncanny glissando?

And you thought you knew weird!

1. ‘Chainsaw, the Musical’

What’s a body to do this weird time of year, when a moody man-boy trapped in a world he never made and his trusty chainsaw are only a dismembering tantrum away? Strangely enough, the safest place to hang might be at “Chainsaw: The Musical,” as long as you’re in the audience and not on stage, where ill-fated characters are likely to lose their heads or other favorite body parts. A funny splatter-fest that received its world premiere a couple of years ago in KC, here’s a parodic yet poignant horror show that continues to wear its heart on its sleeve – don’t get too close or it could be on yours!

Thursday-Saturday, 8 p.m.; Sunday, 6 p.m.; the Arts Asylum, 1000 E. Ninth St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $25.

2. The Running Dead 5K

Some are born to run. Others die for the chance to chase. In the case of The Running Dead 5K, the pursuers are zombies, so they’re already dead, sort of. But that won’t stop them from jumping out and shambling after 5K participants, who will be provided with “zombie ammo” (powder bombs) to help make it to the finish line in lieu of being finished off. Participants in this athletic riff on the TV series, “The Walking Dead,” can choose whether to be regular runners or supernatural chasers. Costumes are encouraged with awards for best group and individual getups. Kids are welcome, but no dogs. Organizers say canines would be “far too tempting for the zombies to snack on.” Thanks for looking out for Fido.

Saturday, 11 a.m. (check-in 9:30 a.m.); rear entrance to Kansas City Renaissance Festival, 628 N. 126th St., Bonner Springs, Kan.; registration fee: $30 (advance), $40.  

3. Katy Perry with Noah Cyrus

What’s weird here? That there are apparently plenty of tickets left to experience pop star extraordinaire Katy Perry at Sprint Center. Sure, the lack of a true anthem on her new album, “Witness,” doesn’t help spur excitement. But this is Katy we’re talking about. Her wild outfits and wilder production numbers in concert are worth the price of admission. The enthusiastic singer’s spectacle-driven performance – whether hovering over the crowd or interacting with over-the-top props – will be accompanied by no shortage of her greatest hits, including “I Kissed a Girl,” “Teenage Dream,” “Roar,” “Firework” and an especially appropriate rendition of “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)." Love ya, Katy.

Friday, 7:30 p.m.; Sprint Center, 1407 Grand Boulevard, Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $48-$128.50.

4. Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue

A glissando is achieved by gliding from one pitch to another on a musical instrument, and the slide trombone can pull it off like no other. Masterfully utilizing that effect and many more on his instrument is New Orleans native Troy Andrews, better known as Trombone Shorty, who refers to his weirdly effective amalgam of rock, pop, jazz, funk and hip-hop as “supafunkrock.” Whatever you call TS’s music, the excitement it generates quickly turns appreciative listeners into non-stop dancers.

Sunday, 7:30 p.m.; the Truman, 801 E. Truman Road, Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $32.50 (advance), $35.

5. The Flamin’ Groovies

The Flamin’ Groovies’ name alone qualifies them as slightly weird. But there’s something even weirder about these old-time rock ’n’ rollers with an obsession for the British Invasion: Despite starting as an out-of-step retro rock act in the psychedelic San Francisco music scene of the 1960s, the band’s commitment to its own underground ethos eventually influenced the punk rock/new wave movement of the 1970s. The Groovies’ signature track, “Shake Some Action” from 1976 will be among the tunes that true believers will savor when the band pays a visit to KC this weekend. With the Garage Kings and the Broken Arrows.

Friday, 8 p.m.; Knuckleheads Saloon, 2015 Rochester St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $18.

6. Ellen Fullman: The Long String Instrument

Ellen Fullman’s handmade “long string instrument” is both a unique work of art and a form of musical expression. Is it weird? You can mull that over at Fullman’s site-specific installation and performances this weekend at the KCAI Crossroads Gallery, including a Saturday afternoon collaboration with musicians Robert Carl and Dwight Frizzell titled “Sounding Sculptural Space.” Oh, yeah, it’s weird.

Friday, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday 1 p.m.; KCAI Crossroads Gallery: Center for Contemporary Practice, 1819 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Mo.; admission: free.

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