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Arts & Life

6 Foolish Things To Do In Kansas City This Weekend

It's time to get foolish, y'all. That means flying kites, watching a boy stuck in a tree and a special April Fools' First Friday.

As one-hit wonder The Main Ingredient so melodiously clarified way back when: “Everybody plays the fool sometimes / There’s no exception to the rule / Listen, baby!”

Are you listening? I hope so, because you wouldn’t want to miss the point of April Fools' weekend.

You didn’t know there was an April Fools' weekend? Well, there is when April Fools' Day falls on a Friday. No fooling – well, maybe a little.

1. ‘Annie Get Your Gun’

Fools rush in, especially when it comes to falling in love. That’s the setup for “Annie Get Your Gun,” the classic Broadway musical in which sharpshooters Annie Oakley and Richard Butler use Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show as the backdrop for their inevitable romance. Shelby Floyd and Sam Wright lead a full cast in this show’s concert setting, fueled by a passel of great Irving Berlin songs that include “You Can’t Get a Man With a Gun,” “I Got the Sun in the Morning,” “They Say It’s Wonderful,” “Anything You Can Do” and “There’s No Business Like Show Business.”

Thursday, 7 p.m.; Friday, 8 p.m.; Saturday, 2 and 8 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m.; Musical Theater Heritage at Crown Center, 2450 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $17-$44, ages 7-17 get in free (one per paying adult).

2. Marilyn/God’

Hollywood sex symbol Marilyn Monroe was regarded as foolish by many of her movie making peers, if only for her frequently unprofessional behavior. But Monroe was a troubled star, and Kansas City actress Heidi Van will embody the legendary blonde’s complicated legacy in the one-woman psycho drama, “Marilyn/God,” opening this weekend at the Fishtank’s experimental black box theater in the Crossroads Arts District. Is Van foolish to take on such an icon by her lonesome? It might feel that way. Van has commented that she’s “utterly terrified” by the role. Yet being scared of the challenges you dare to take is part of the actor’s life. Including Marilyn’s.

Saturday, 8 p.m.; Sunday, 3 p.m.; Fishtank Performance Studio, 1715 Wyandotte St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $20.

3. April Fools' First Friday

No venue at this month’s First Friday in the Crossroads will be readier for April Fools' Day than Revolution Records, where trickster visitors are encouraged to bring along whoopee cushions and counterfeit vomit. The latter gag can prove especially effective when mischievously placed on a turntable. C’mon, we’ve all done it! Any and all foolish behaviors will be accompanied by rockin’ music from SiRr Xecellence, Approach, Wendy Moira, Drop A Grand and Wick & the Tricks. Um, I’ve been thinking…maybe first make sure that there’s no super-collectible record on the turntable, OK? Although that would be even funnier. Never mind.

Friday, 7 p.m.; Revolution Records, 1830 Locust St., Kansas City, Mo.; admission: free.

​4. Konstantin Lifschitz

It may be foolish to think that you could ever play the 88 keys as ridiculously well as Konstantin Lifschitz, but listeners should be forgiven for having such a fantasy during the Russian pianist’s Kansas City recital. After all, he makes his mastery look so easy. And if you can’t pretend in your own foolish (or otherwise) head during Lifschitz’s genius performances of Bach, Brahms and Beethoven, when can you? I’m glad that’s settled.

Friday, 8 p.m.; Folly Theater, 300 W. 12th St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $15-$35.

5. Coterie Theatre: ‘Stuck’

When a boy gets his kite stuck in a tree, he’s determined to get it down – no matter how foolish he may appear in the endeavor. That’s the crux of Oliver Jeffers’ all-ages book, “Stuck.” And when the story is read aloud by actors from the Coterie Theatre, with kids in the audience invited to add their own improvised bits of action? Off the foolish meter!

Kansas City Public Library, Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St., Kansas City, Mo.; admission: free (please RSVP).

6. Kite Fest

Getting a kite aloft and keeping it flying has always been a fool’s errand for Charlie Brown. But the loveable loser never gives up, despite the consistent success of his supernatural nemesis, the Kite Eating Tree. Perhaps you’ll have better luck hoisting your paper and string at this annual festival, where you can buy a kite, bring your own or just have fun watching others have a go at avoiding the branches of misfortune. Chomp.

Sunday, noon-4 p.m. Sunday, Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W. 179th St., Overland Park, Kan.; admission: free.

Brian McTavish is a regular arts and culture contributor for KCUR 89.3. You can reach him at brianmctavish@gmail.com.

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