McTavish Weekend Extra | KCUR

McTavish Weekend Extra

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

How nutty is this weekend’s entertainment scene?

Pretty nutty, whether you’re attracted to a play about the influence of The Simpsons on post-apocalyptic America or the Kansas City Ballet’s revamped version of The Nutcracker – you knew that was coming, right?

Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a nutty ride.

1. ‘The Nutcracker’

Ron Baker / Wikimedia Commons

The great jazz saxophonist John Coltrane said, “You can play a shoestring, if you're sincere.”

While more sophisticated instruments will be used to engage entertainment seekers this weekend, the most rewarding displays of talent will still require sincerity to reach their full potential.

And sincerity is a two-way street. Frank Sinatra, the Chairman of the Board himself, said, “An audience is like a dame. If it ain’t sincere, it’s over.”

Paramount Pictures

It’s important to show appreciation. That includes showing up to laud cherished entertainment heroes and/or concepts when the opportunity arises.

Sometimes, the heroes are able to appear in person to receive their due. Other times, worthy stand-ins embodying the notion of the original’s excellence must suffice.

This weekend offers chances to be laudatory in both categories. Lay it on thick, because when we acknowledge what we admire, we bring out the best in ourselves.

1. Gladys Knight and the O’Jays

taymtaym / Flickr-CC

Dressing up as someone you’re not is more common than ever in today’s society.

It’s called costume play or "cosplay," and participants need only the slightest excuse to turn themselves into their favorite character from, say, "Game of Thrones," or maybe one of the nerds on “Big Bang Theory.” Because some people just think it’s fun to go out and pick up a quart of milk as Sheldon.

Rs-foto / Wikimedia Commons

Need a lift?

Whether you’re stuck on the side of the Road of Life or just feeling a bit down, we can all use a boost now and then.

So here are a few opportunities to feel better – not only about yourself, but about your fellow human beings. Wow, thank you, weekend.

Mike / Flickr-CC

As we have come to learn in our society, diversity is vital to achieving optimum success in the workplace. But did you know that it can also work wonders for your weekend?

Well, let me tell you. I mean, literally, right now. Yep, that’s what I’m here for.

Prepare to diversify!

1. Lenexa Chili Challenge

Cristina / Flickr-CC

Fall is in full swing – and fading fast.

That’s the funny thing about fall. One moment the leaves are changing color and the next they’re on the ground. Turn away and you’ll miss it.

Don’t be left holding a rake – or, worse, a snow shovel – before taking advantage of what this fun and fleeting season has to offer.

Kenneth Hagemeyer / Flickr-CC

As the Beatles posited in their pithy ditty, “Revolution”: “You say you want a revolution/Well, you know, we all want to change the world.”

Despite such lyrical caginess, John, Paul, George and Ringo couldn’t help but shake things up for all the world to see. That’s what revolutionaries do.

This weekend, the malleable ’60s mop-tops and other ground-breakers will be given their revolutionary due. Take to the streets! No, you can’t bring a torch. Nice try, though.

1. The Fab Four: The Ultimate Tribute

Premasagar Rose / Flickr-CC

Wondering how to get your ha-ha on this weekend? Funny you should ask!

1. The Comedy Get Down Tour

Robert Huffstutter / Flickr--CC

From the street to the stage, creative folks are sharing their talents and wares this weekend.

And you know what that means: You get to be creative, too, because it takes a creative mind to fully appreciate one. That might explain why you and I get along so well. Glad to be on the same creative team!

Plaza Art Fair

Kristina D.C. Hoeppner / Flickr-CC

In the minds of many, humans supposedly behaving like animals is a bad thing, as if all primal proclivities are something to be avoided.

But taking the obviously awful stuff off the table – like killing without conscience or not washing your hands before dinner – acting like a critter can be quite freeing.

Be – or at least think like – an animal this weekend. You can do it. But you already know that, don’t you?

1. Cheetah Run

Chris Murphy / Flickr-CC

There’s a first time for everything, right? Like your first kiss. Or your first job. Or your first kiss on the job – hold it now!

What things can you experience for the first time this weekend? There are some brand new events, familiar entertainers in fresh contexts and popular attractions that you may have overlooked or even avoided for some silly reason.

brent flanders / Flickr-CC

The looming wonders of weekend diversions can lure this enthusiastic messenger away from mere explication to attempt airy and alliterative turns of phrase in pursuit of apprising the public as appealingly as possible.

In other words: I can get carried away with this stuff, especially when it comes to a three-day weekend. But exaggerate? That’s never the plan.

Take this weekend’s arguably provocative promise of “wet and wild” things to do – really? Without a doubt. Pretty much. Mostly. Oh, well, let’s give it a whirl.

1. Kansas City Irish Fest

Ricky Brigante / Flickr-CC

People have so many different interests and ways to be individually enthralled, getting family members to agree on the same weekend action plan can be a challenge.

Still, I’d like to believe that the family that plays together, stays together.

Corny? I guess. Worth trying this weekend? You know it.

1. ‘Disney on Ice: Frozen’

cindyt7070 / Flickr-CC

Been there and done that? Lucky you. Not been there and done that? Lucky you, too.

That’s because whether you’re an old hand or a newbie regarding this weekend’s tried-and-true entertainment and attractions – some familiar annual events, some well-known in other ways – their established allure is undeniable.

Quinn Dombrowski / Flickr-CC

Kids have already started heading back to school. Yet, seasonally speaking, it’s still high summer out there.

And if summer’s traditionally about anything, it’s about putting down the work and picking up the play. So, this weekend, go and do whatever you want to in a carefree, summertime way – while you still can.

Alas, no vacation is endless. But maybe we can make this one last just a little bit longer in spirit. Yay, summer!

1. Grub & Groove Festival

Eli Christman / Flickr-CC

Colorful characters – both real and imagined – rule this weekend’s lively entertainment calendar.

Leading events range from a country superstar still successfully strutting her stuff during her first concert tour in more than a decade to fantasy fans gathering to fervently celebrate their favorite far-flung heroes. And would you believe a trio of First Friday artists having their way with used refrigerators? I didn’t see that coming.

Whatever intriguing activities await you this weekend, be sure to color outside the lines.

1. Kansas City Comic Con

SqueezeBoxCity /

Music isn’t just an open door – it’s a palace of passageways leading to all kinds of tunes around every corner.

This weekend, check out some of the different ways to explore the musical mansion, from superstar country to indie rock, jazz, blues and more.

The best part? You get to sing along.

1. Kenny Chesney and Jason Aldean

AllieKF / Flickr-CC

Move or be moved.

While that suggestion may seem like a marching order, I’d rather think of it as merely a heads up to anyone interested in having their emotions helpfully set in motion this weekend. That’s right, feelings matter. And if we don’t find meaningful ways to connect with them, it’s easy to become a hollow shell. Yuck.

So find a way to be moved this weekend – I said, move it! See how that works? I just discovered my inner drill sergeant.

1. Kansas City Dance Festival

Jon Sullivan--CC

The 11th annual Kansas City Fringe Festival kicks off this weekend offering various opportunities to experience edgy entertainment involving theater, comedy, music, dance and more.

Anirudh Koul / Flickr--CC

Everything old can’t be new again … or can it?

Events aiming to revive the past will give it a try this weekend by capitalizing on the feel-good vestiges of such throwback things as baby-boomer music tastes and the traditional farm life.

J. Robert Schraeder / courtesy of The Coterie Theatre

The extraordinary freedom of expression that we have in this country is routinely utilized by artists who choose to perform on stage, along with audiences that seek to be engaged by their efforts.

Keep that in mind this Fourth of July weekend, while enjoying the talents of actors and musicians who are free to go wherever their creative spirit leads.

That kind of liberty? Only in America.

1. ‘Pippin’

MoDot / Flickr-CC

It might not be much of an exaggeration to predict that no matter where you look in the night sky this Fourth of July, you’ll catch at least a glimpse of glittering fireworks.

That’s because we love our fireworks in Kansas City as much as we do our barbecue and baseball. To meet the demand, myriad community gatherings will take place Saturday night throughout the metro, where folks will get to “ooh,” “aah” and applaud in response to red-white-and-blue spectacles flooding across the heavens in the name of Uncle Sam.

Julie Denesha / KCUR

We’d all like to make our mark and leave something of lasting value. Of course, some of us are luckier than others in that department.

As luck would have it, though, this weekend offers emblematic entertainment of undeniable significance, as well as the efforts of folks still seeking to make an enduring difference – from the “world’s greatest rock ’n’ roll band” still successfully chugging away in its sixth decade to aspiring young makers trying to shake up the world with their inventions.

James Lee / Flickr-CC

Go north!

Hardly subtle, I know, but without action, you could miss out on what there is to do this weekend north of the Missouri River, which can be misperceived as a boundary instead of the bridge it is to the Northland’s significant entertainment, family attractions and natural charms.

So get some northern exposure this weekend. The all-embracing go-and-doer in you will appreciate it.

1. Parkville River Jam

Lance Rothstein / TBO

Feel good?

You can this weekend with spirit-lifting options that include front-porch music for the masses, the mythological power of a Broadway classic and an evening with one the most playful and insightful comic talents of the last 50 years.

I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to feel good already.

8one6 / Flickr-CC

The summer season boasts a bunch of festivals, but this weekend looks like a doozy for the get out-and-celebrate crowd.

An impressive assortment of public shindigs and get-togethers will recognize history, ethnicity, diversity, musicality and celebrity – hey, we love our famous folks in this country!

Pick a festival, any festival. Your shared experience awaits.

1. Downtown Days…Streets Alive Festival

Steven Depolo / Flickr-CC

What is time? A trick of the mind? Something you can never get back or something that lasts forever?

Answers may be revealed at some of this weekend’s community festivals and live shows that by their very nature promise to deliver a timeless appeal. Or there may be no answers at all, of course. That’s the way that might go. I mean, figuring out what time means in a weekend is a pretty tall order.

Still, it’s all in the doing, isn’t it? Dare to tap into the eternal!

1. Rockfest

South Dakota / Flickr-CC -- image cropped

As a famous song says, “Things will be great when you’re downtown.” And even more so this Memorial Day weekend.

Suffice it to say that downtown Kansas City will be a hub for music, art, sports and the biggest holiday party of its sort in the Midwest.

As the song says, “You’re gonna be alright now.” Just alright? Oh, I think we can do better than that.

1. Celebration at the Station

Julie Denesha / KCUR

Go outside and play.

Those are your weekend marching orders, whether you actually march (which would be impressive), meander or just look for a mellow place to plop down and ponder your alfresco options.

Choices for exterior fun encompass open-air art contests, bicycling events, canine carryings-on, craft beer drinking and assorted live music possibilities, along with the intrinsic value of freely mingling with your fellow humans – marching or otherwise – rain or shine.

1. Sunset in the Park & Plein Air Fest