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Arts & Life

6 Transforming Things To Do This Weekend In Kansas City

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Catch some bodies that have gone through major transformation this weekend at the Natural Southern States Classic.

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

A man stands on a stage and sings the songs that made him famous. More than that, the singer’s talent magically transports the assembled throng to another time, when its graying members were young and strong and their lives pulsed with the greatest possibility. No wonder so many people of a certain age love the music of Neil Diamond. Others may think of it as nostalgia-driven schmaltz – as I once did – but the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer’s command of his catalogue can’t be denied. Diamond and his horde of yesteryear hits – including “Solitary Man,” “Sweet Caroline” and “Song Sung Blue” (and those are just the s’s) – can transform an ordinary crowd into a communal spectacle. Sunday, 8 p.m.; Sprint Center, 1407 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $65-$150.

2. Mecum High Performance Auction

Some 700 speedy cars that have been professionally restored and/or customized to make collectors’ hearts beat faster will be offered in the latest Mecum automobile auction in Kansas City. The three-day event – the highlights of which will be televised live on NBCSN – isn’t only for bidders with fat wallets. All are welcome to be dazzled by such high-performance vehicles as a 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible, a 1967 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe and a 1970 Ford Mustang Mach 1 Twister Special. Vintage vroom! Thursday, 1 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. (gates open 8 a.m.); Kansas City Convention Center, 301 W. 13th St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $20, (free for ages 12 and younger).

3. Natural Southern States Classic

Muscle-enhancing substances aren’t allowed in this pro-qualifying bodybuilding competition for men and women who’ve naturally transformed their physical appearance. To keep it clean, all competitors are subject to a polygraph test and urinalysis. Still, glistening posing oils are guaranteed to drench the bodies of contestants for Friday’s bikini show and Saturday’s bodybuilding, physique and figure shows. Let the ogling begin. Friday, 6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.; Liberty Performing Arts Center, 1600 Withers Road, Liberty, Mo.; tickets: $24, $28.

4. Hall of Game Induction Ceremony

The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum’s 2015 Hall of Game inductees – Ricky Henderson, Ferguson Jenkins, Ozzie Smith and Luis Tiant Jr. – were more than great Major League Baseball players. They also demonstrated “the same desire, determination, flair and skill exhibited by the heroes of the Negro Leagues,” thus transforming the modern game’s athleticism and overall entertainment value, according to Hall of Game organizers. All four honorees are scheduled to attend an induction ceremony and share stories from their careers in an engaging interview format. Call it a home run. Saturday, 8 p.m.; Gem Theater, 1615 E. 18th St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $75 (includes one-year NLBM membership).

5. McGee Street Festival

Actors are in the business of transforming themselves into different characters. So when some choose to show their musical side in a band, is it really them or are they still acting? Perhaps the mystery will be part of the allure when movie stars Keven Bacon and Billy Bob Thornton front their respective bands, the Bacon Brothers and the Boxmasters, as headliners of the two-day McGee Street Festival. Transformational extra: Sharing the bill with the Boxmasters will be the Hillbenders, whose soon-to-be-released album, Tommy: A Bluegrass Opry, presents a wholly acoustic country music version of the Who’s 1969 rock opera, Tommy. Has the Acid Queen been notified? Friday, 7 p.m. (Bacon Brothers); Saturday, 4 p.m. (Boxmasters featuring Billy Bob Thornton); McGee Street between 11th and 12th streets; admission: $35.

6. 14th Street Wine Walk

A great glass of wine can change everything. Throw in a lovely stroll and the attitudinal adjustment can be even more appealing. That’s the ambulatory idea behind this downtown afternoon event, featuring live music, wine tastings and small plates with plenty of convivial sidewalk action. Saturday, 3-6 p.m.; Kansas City Power & Light District, Kansas City, Mo.; admission: $30, $50.

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