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6 Famous Things To Do This Weekend In Kansas City


Shocking as it may seem, everyone can’t be famous.

No matter how many technologically driven opportunities are being created to enlarge one’s legend on this channel or that screen, true fame lasts longer than whatever fleeting bit of time the modern news cycle allows for instant renown.

But have no fear, fame junkies. Even if most of us are doomed to be left at the fame altar, the persistent distinction of other people, places and things can be accessed and even reveled in this weekend in Kansas City. Prepare to share the spotlight!

1. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer: The Musical

Ever since Gene Autry cut a hit record in 1949 about an odd creature that became Santa’s favorite sleigh-puller, the underdog story of the shiny-nosed reindeer has been a staple of the holiday season. When the tune was turned into a stop-motion animation TV classic in 1964, the tale only gained more tinsel-happy traction. It’s that charming and inspiring animated special, including such iconic songs as “Have a Holly Jolly Christmas,” “Why Am I Such a Misfit” and, of course, “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer,” that the Coterie Theatre is deftly adapting onstage with a local cast of 21 actors. Like Rudolph, something tells me this show will “go down in history.” Thursday, 10 a.m., Friday, 10 a.m. and 7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 2 p.m.; Coterie Theatre at Crown Center, 2450 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $12-$17.

2. Shear Madness

Richard Karn, who gamely played second banana to Tim Allen on all 203 episodes of the famous 1990s TV sitcom Home Improvement, gets to be the celebrity star of the New Theatre Restaurant’s latest eat, laugh and applaud stage comedy. In Shear Madness, Karn is part of a crazy whodunit after a celebrated classical pianist is murdered in her apartment above the Shear Madness beauty salon. Audience members get to interrogate suspects and try to solve the mystery in a show that always winds up differently. You may also remember Karn for his four-year stint as affable host of the TV game show, Family Feud. That’s fame, baby! Thursday and Friday, 6 p.m., Saturday, 11:15 a.m. and 6 p.m., Sunday, 11:45 a.m. and 6 p.m.; New Theatre Restaurant, 9229 Foster St., Overland Park, Kan.; tickets:$41-$57.

3. Fiddler on the Roof

One of the most famous Broadway musicals ever returns to enliven the spirits of local audiences in Fiddler on the Roof. In the show, work-a-day dairyman and armchair philosopher Tevye dreams about how he “wouldn’t have to work hard” if he were a rich man. Audiences won’t have to work at all to enjoy “Fiddler’s” rich storytelling and moving words and melodies in such timeless songs as If I Were a Rich Man, Tradition, Matchmaker and Sunrise, Sunset – that last one always chokes me up. Saturday, 7:30 p.m., Sunday, 2 p.m.; White Theatre, Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City, 5801 W 115th Street, Overland Park, Kan.; tickets: $12-$23.

4. Walking with Dinosaurs: The Arena Tour

Starring Tyrannosaurs Rex, the most famous and fearsome dinosaur of all (yet such tiny hands), Walking with Dinosaurs promises a visual spectacular that’s part natural history lesson and all-adventure story. An Indiana Jones-like paleontologist narrates as life-size dinos stride the Earth once more for all ages to “ooh” and “ahh” at. Advice to parents: Don’t even think about not taking home a T-Rex souvenir for the kiddos. And you think T-Rex has a temper? Friday, 7 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., Sunday, 1 and 5 p.m.; Sprint Center, 1407 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $21.50-$74.50.

5. Buck O’Neil Walk/Run

We all know Buck O’Neil, the late Negro Leagues Baseball legend and Kansas City’s most famous ambassador of the National Pastime. All ages and ambulatory styles are welcome in this 2.2 mile walk and 5K run through the historic 18th and Vine Jazz District in memory of the man whose advice to all said it all: “Keep swinging.” Sunday, 9 a.m.; Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, Kansas City, Mo.; registration: $22 for walk, $30 for run (buck2point2.com).

6. Crown Center Ice Terrace

Believe it or not, it’s already time to strap on those ice skates and try to stay upright on the area’s best-known skating rink couched in the great urban outdoors of Crown Center Square. Go it alone or hug the rail. Wobble or whiz around like a pro. It’s up to you and the ice-skating skills you either do or don’t have. Just in case, bring a friend to catch you – or at least fall down on. It always works for me. Opening day Friday (free skate 6-9 a.m.); Crown Center Ice Square, 2450 Grand Blvd.; Kansas City, Mo.; regular admission: $6; free to adults older than 60 and younger than 4; skate rental $3. 

Brian McTavish follows popular culture in the belief that the search for significance can lead anywhere. Brian explains, "I've written articles and reviews ... reviewed hundreds of concerts, films and plays. And the thing is, these high arts all sprang from the pop culture of their day. Don't forget: Shakespeare was once Spielberg."
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