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6 Sincere Things To Do In Kansas City This Weekend

Ron Baker
Wikimedia Commons
Sincerity can be hard to find nowadays, but singer-songwriter Iris Dement has it in spades.

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.”

Thank you, Frank. And I mean that.

1. Diana Krall: ‘Wallflower World Tour’

On her latest album, “Wallflower,” pop-jazz singer/pianist Diana Krall covers some of her favorite songs from the 1960s onward, including “California Dreamin’” by the Mamas and the Papas, the Eagles’ “Desperado” (by way of Linda Ronstadt’s hit version) and Bob Dylan’s “Wallflower.” The album also delivers a previously unrecorded and quite pleasant Paul McCartney song, “If I Take You Home Tonight,” which could be part of the mix when Krall’s “Wallflower World Tour” visits Kansas City. I’d love to hear her sensitive takes on the Carpenters’ “Superstar” and Jim Croce’s “Operator,” too. But whatever cool tunes Krall chooses to perform, she’ll be into every heartfelt word and nuanced note.

Saturday, 8 p.m.; Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland, 1228 Main St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $45-$99.50

2. Iris Dement

Equipped with an ear-tickling twang that won’t quit, Iris Dement’s singing voice is capable of communicating both wonder and woe in a totally authentic way. It’s a deeply sincere country-folk conduit for songs that frequently sound genuinely old-timey, yet are often written by Dement, such as “Sweet Is the Melody,” “Our Town” and “Let the Mystery Be,” which fans of HBO’s “The Leftovers” are treated to every week during that show’s opening credits. Dement’s local gig will include material from her new album, “The Trackless Woods.”

Friday, 8:30 p.m.; Knuckleheads Saloon, 2715 Rochester St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $37.50.

3. Kevin Locke Native Dance Ensemble: ‘Drum is the Thunder, Flute is the Wind’

A decades-long master of the Native American flute, Kevin Lock has influenced waves of new-age artists. But Locke is more than a musician; he’s a humanitarian who seeks to unify people through art and culture. His globe-trekking performances feature Native American stories and ritual dances, including Locke’s signature hoop dance, “The Hoop of Life.” Area school children are to attend this entertaining and educational show, and the public is also invited.

Friday, 9:45 a.m. and noon; Yardley Hall at Carlsen Center, Johnson County Community College, Overland Park, Kan.; tickets: $6.

4. Vienna Boys Choir

You know when the world-famous Vienna Boys Choir is onstage, there’s no faking. After all, how do you sing “Ava Maria,” “O Holy Night” and “Joy to the World” without meaning it? Still, there’s a possible challenge for this group: Having to usher in the holiday season before the holiday season can even get here. They can do it!

Friday, 7 p.m.; Folly Theater, 200 W. 12th St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $30-$80.

5. All Speed Expo

Motorheads who sincerely like going fast – is there another kind? – will crowd this weekend’s All Speed Expo, where after-market car vendors can offer help restoring, customizing or otherwise enhancing potential dream rides. Guests include former NASCAR driver Stacy Compton, Sprint Car champion Terry McCart and drag-racing family members Randy, Megan and Rachel Meyer. And those so inclined won’t want to miss Saturday afternoon’s “pin-up competition.” Va-Va-Vroom?

Saturday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.;KCI Expo Center, 11730 N. Ambassador Drive, Kansas City, Mo.; admission: $10.

6. Thunder From Down Under

Glistening pecs and uncountable pelvic thrusts are part of the program when the Australian male striptease revue, “Thunder From Down Under,” hits the stage with stud-friendly music blaring and female audience members providing bachelorette party-style hoots of approval. Call it genuine escapism for ages 21 and up. But, in the end, they’re just men without shirts, aren’t they? Searching for meaning. Incomplete without a mate. Hey, I’m only being sincere.

Saturday, 8 p.m.; VooDoo Lounge at Harrah’s Casino, 1 Riverboat Drive, North Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $28-$43.

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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