McTavish Weekend Extra | KCUR

McTavish Weekend Extra

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

Wikimedia -- CC

Did you know that every day is Mother’s Day? If you’re fortunate enough to have your mother in your life, just ask her. She’ll tell you.

Even so, extra-special attention is formally awarded to Mom once a year. When that happens this weekend, grateful progeny will honor the woman who brought them into this world and did her best to set them on the right path. Cards, flowers and brunches will ensue.

What else might you do with Mom to show your appreciation? Naturally, I have suggestions. Or just ask her. She’ll tell you. That’s Mom.

Ryan Hyde / Flickr--CC

First things first: Are you ready for the weekend? OK, that’s a silly question. But how might you get the most out of it?

Fortunately, several singular pleasures can help make the first weekend in May a memorable one – whether you’re a fine-art lover or a comic-book fan, a follower of the “Piano Man” or an admirer of the animal kingdom. And if you like merrymaking powered by Mexican-American entertainment and food? Then you’re in luck, my friend.

Be among the first to take part.

1. First Friday in the Crossroads

unknown / Wikimedia -- CC

Get ready to witness big change this weekend.

The transforming power of music-idol memories, all-natural body builders, souped-up collector cars and even moonlighting movie stars are among your options to shake up the norm.

Might you be forever altered by the experience? Wow, that got heavy in a hurry. See how quickly things can change?

1. Neil Diamond

Worm That Turned / Wikimedia -- CC

What makes a classic? Well, that depends on your opinion. One person’s gratifying archetype can be another’s utter dud, and impassioned arguments may ensue.

Even without classic consensus, most of us tend to seek quintessential quality in the things that interest us; the quest for which can be appreciated in a variety of events around the area that clearly aspire to be memorable. Succeed or fail, let the classic chips fall where they may.

Isn’t it great when we work together? Have yourself a classic weekend.

Frank Thompson photos / Flickr-CC

Spring has more than sprung – it’s sprouting with opportunities to get out and about this weekend.

From alfresco amusements to lively music and theater events, there’s stuff to put a spring in your step all around the town before the work week comes back around.

Dare I say, spring into action? I dare.

1. Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain

Paul Mesner Puppets

Ever want to be a kid again? Join the club.

But even though the Fountain of Youth has yet to be found, adults wishing to revisit their salad days – as well as kids just wanting to be kids – can find and share in engaging events that speak to the ephemeral sense of wonder embodied by youth.

So go ahead and be a kid, if only for the weekend. Don’t dilly-dally. It’s not like you’re getting any younger!

1. Peter and the Starcatcher

The Conmunity / Flickr-CC

Maybe it’s just in anticipation of the seasonal bunny that will soon be bringing hard-boiled gifts, but I’ve got eggs on the brain.

As will those taking part in all sorts of egg hunts this weekend, along with other entertainment and activities appealing to eggheads, good eggs and even folks who have a thing for free-range eggs.

However you go about it, eggs-press yourself!

GisleHaa / Wikimedia Commons

Want to have a rootsy weekend? It might take some digging. Don’t worry — no tools are required, only the desire to drill down into your pleasure zone.

If you’re into rock music, why not experience a new take on the world’s first hippie rock musical? Is rhythm and blues your deal? Then one of its vital purveyors could be at your disposal. Or maybe you enjoy the sheer spectacle of expert female impersonation. There’s a way to make that happen, too.

Kevin Dooley / Flickr--CC

  What does it take to be considered truly super? True believers.

Without fantastic fans, how would talented singers get their chartbusters? Rising comedians their hit shows? World-saving superheroes their blockbuster movies?

It’s no superlative to suggest that this weekend should please devotees of many different pop-culture persuasions, including fans of increasingly pervasive comic book culture, classic rock, stand-up comedy and the most awesome figure of them all – which, surprisingly, doesn’t belong to Wonder Woman. But I wouldn’t tell her that.

Tony Alter / Flickr-CC

Eschew the same ole same ole this weekend by embracing an alternative. You can begin by saying “eschew” with me. Ooh, that was different.

Try something novel, such as exploring the fascinating artistic world of tattoo culture, viewing female Hamlets in existential action or appreciating this month’s full moon in a whole new way.

You don’t have to reinvent your leisure-time wheel. Just steer it in a new direction. The unusually rewarding is right around the corner.

Courtesy / Evening with the 'Rents

There are lots of kinds of laughs – warm laughs, hysterical laughs, astonished laughs, cute laughs and sometimes even naughty laughs. And that’s just for starters.

You’re sure to find one or another that will suit you this weekend, whether that means busting a gut or merely having a good giggle. You can do it purely for a lark or maybe for a worthy cause that helps others.

Ah, so many laughs to be had, yet so little time. Better get going. It’ll be Monday before you know it.

Suzanne Hogan / KCUR

Wyandotte County, Kan., claims the Kansas Speedway, Sporting Kansas City major league soccer and the Kansas City Renaissance Festival among its popular attractions.

While those seasonal experiences won’t be available until later in the year, the county offers other significant pleasures that can be thoroughly enjoyed this weekend – from delicious ethnic food and indoor water fun to fascinating historic sites and eye-opening prospects for nature enthusiasts.

Not been to the "Dotte" recently? Explore the possibilities. Your free time will thank you.

Cupid's Undie Run KC

Woe to those who underestimate the power of Valentine’s Day.

You think all you need is love? You think love means never having to say you’re sorry? Well, you’ll need a quality apology for that special someone if you try avoiding Cupid on the calendar.

At the risk of over-functioning in this space: Be sure to give candy or flowers or whatever else says “I care” to your sweetie. Then do something unforgettable together, like taking in a romantic concert or running in the street in your underwear. Yes, love is strange. Go with it.

The DLC / Flickr-CC

Think of Johnson County as a flower – which, of course, many folks already do.

Better yet, make it a field of flowers, whose nectar is available to all – which it is, of course, no matter where you may live in the Kansas City area.

Wherever your head hits the pillow at the end of the day, get out this weekend and make your own Johnson County bouquet of fun. Which go-and-do activities to pick? Glad you asked.

1. Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art

Jeremy Bernfeld / KCUR

Confession time: I used to think that “free” was a four-letter word. F-R-E-E. Oh, wait, it is.

Let me start over: I used to believe that anything free couldn’t be worth that much. This is America, right? You pay for what you get. If you wanted to “See The U.S.A. in Your Chevrolet,” it was going to cost you and be worth every gas-guzzling penny.

Bekah Cope / Flickr--CC

It takes guts to get through this life. And this weekend? Well, perhaps that, too.

From gutsy theater and sports to daring feats of musical fortitude, the next few days will deliver ample opportunities for others to show what they’re made of.

Yes, others. I’ll bet you thought I was going to put you on the spot. No way. That would have taken guts. And, besides, I know which side my bread is buttered on. Read on!

1. Missouri Mavericks Hockey