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Arts & Life

6 Surreal Things To Do In Kansas City This Weekend

Quinn Dombrowski
Flickr - CC

Want to get real?

I hope not, because this weekend’s shaping up to be a surreal treat, with music, comedy and festival action promising to be out of the ordinary, fantastic and even dreamlike.

So … want to lose touch with reality? I knew you could do it all along.

1. Dolly Parton

Possessing an unreal talent that’s only improved with the decades, larger-than-life country music queen Dolly Parton is in the midst of her first major North American tour in a quarter century. Expect a big ol’ band and stage show in KC. But even when Parton cuts back on the showbiz long enough to take a moment with her guitar and share the childhood memory song, “Coat of Many Colors” – about how little Dolly was so proud of the winter coat that her mother made for her out of rags – well, good luck not having an out of body experience. It gets me every time.

Friday, 7:30 p.m.; Sprint Center, 1407 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $40-$129.

2. Frank Werth Performs: Elvis Live at Madison Square Garden 1972

The King is dead. Long live his ETA’s – Elvis Tribute Artists. Elvis Presley is back (as if he ever left) when dedicated Midwest Elvis impersonator Frank Werth gives fans of the Big E their money’s worth by recreating Presley’s momentous 1972 gig at Madison Square Garden. If you couldn’t make it then, you’re mission is clear this weekend.  And if by some rock ’n’ roll miracle you were there in ’72, allow me to bow down – while spreading my super-cool white Elvis cape out as far as I can from by body with both hands. It’s a dream, but it’s my dream.

Saturday, 8 p.m.; Voodoo Lounge at Harrah’s Casino, 1 Riverboat Drive, North Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $19.75-$27.75

​3. Hairball

Kiss, Prince, the Who, Alice Cooper, Motley Crue and Guns N Roses sharing the stage? You don’t see that every day. Just in case you do, it might be a good time to make that doctor’s appointment. Anyway, the rest of us can revel in being surreally involved with the dynamite 1970s and ’80s costume-tribute band Hairball, an act that creatively coughs up all of the above bands and more during a single concert. How can that be? I’m still not sure it can.

8 p.m. Friday, Crossroads KC at Grinders, 417 E. 18th St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $11.50-$31.50.

4. Craig Robinson

For years, Craig Robinson was best known as Darryl, that funny guy who worked in the warehouse on the crazy-good TV sitcom, “The Office.” Since then, Robinson has specialized in a bevy of weird big-screen comedies, including two “Hot Tub Time Machine” flicks. OK, so maybe he’s still best known as Darryl on “The Office.” However you come at him, here’s your chance take in Robinson’s way-out stand-up comedy act that incorporates his totally absurd sense of humor while he sings and plays electric keyboard. Onward and upward, Darryl – I mean, Craig.

Friday, 7:30 and 9:45 p.m.; Saturday, 7 and 9:45 p.m.; Sunday, 7 p.m.; Kansas City Improv at Zona Rosa, 7260 N.W. 87th St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $30-$40.

5. KC Nanobrew Festival

What’s more surreal than trying 150 different beers in a four-hour window? Good question. Notice I didn’t say irresponsible, because these brews are strictly for tasting. Even so, organizers of this 7th annual fest devoted to home-brewers and the suds they stand for are indeed offering “unlimited” tastings. OK, I’ve got the answer to the above question: Nothing!   

Saturday, 2-6 p.m.; Berkley Riverfront Park, Kansas City, Mo.; admission: $35.

​6. ‘Fangirls (An Improbable Cosplay)’

Two female cosplayers get fed up with the second-class status given to female superheroes and decide to stage a protest at San Diego Comicon, where pretending to be someone else in spandex is the norm. Even if you prefer male superheroes – careful now – you’ll probably get a kick out of this original play that’s part of this year’s Kansas City Fringe Festival. But I’m confused: Are they protesting cosplayers or cosplaying protesters? Surreal!

Friday, 6 p.m.; Paul Mesner Puppets, 1006 Linwood Blvd., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $10.

Brian McTavish is a regular arts and culture contributor for KCUR 89.3. Send him an email at brianmctavish@gmail.com.

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