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6 Throwback Things To Do On New Year's Eve In Kansas City

Cristian Bortes
Flikr -- CC

So here comes 2017. But before abandoning the current calendar year for whatever amalgam of cheer and challenge that lies ahead, why not celebrate New Year’s Eve with a look back?

Not just back to 2016, but waaay back to times and traditions that you may never have experienced firsthand, but are still cool to “remember” with a little imagination.  

Want to visit the Roaring Twenties? Maybe dust off your Funky Chicken? Out with the old and in with the old!

1. Roarin’ recordBar 1920s New Year’s Eve Party

The madcap atmosphere of a prohibition-era speakeasy will be led by throwback hot jazz duo Victor & Penny (aka Jeff Freling and Erin McGrane) at this undulating accolade to once upon a time in America. Along with the booze, the onstage chemistry is sure to flow between Freling (vocals, guitar) and McGrane (vocals, ukulele), who recently announced their wedding engagement on Facebook. I’d say that’s worth another round. I’d also say to remember to bring a designated driver or find another safe way home. After all, you wouldn’t want to miss out on the Roarin’ hangover.

Saturday, 9 p.m.; the recordBar, 1520 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $25 (general admission), $50 (VIP).

2. NYE Live!

This just in: Kansas City isn’t New York City. But you can take part in our town’s closest thing to the Big Apple’s time-honored ball drop on Times Square, when the New Year’s Eve clock ticks down at KC Live! in the Kansas City Power & Light District. Billed as the area’s biggest New Year’s Eve party, the annual blowout includes entry into a dozen bars and clubs with live music and DJs, food, drink, party favors and a special performance by KC’s internationally recognized multi-media dance troupe Quixotic. Also be prepared to pick confetti out of your clothes for who knows how long. Ah, memories.

Saturday, 9 p.m.; Kansas City Power & Light District, 1330 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Mo.; ticket packages: $70-$175.

3. Disco Dick New Year’s Eve

Whether you do the Hustle, the Bus Stop, the Bump, the Funky Chicken or just your own clucking thing on the dancefloor, it’ll be the mid-1970s all over again when Disco Dick and the Mirrorballs take you there on New Year’s Eve. Not a fan of disco? Yeah, sure, until you start shake-shake-shaking your booty. Then you’ll know why it’s fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A. – at least figuratively.

Saturday, 9 p.m.; Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway, 777 Hollywood Blvd., Kansas City, Kan.; admission: free.

4. ‘Always…Patsy Cline’

Go back to the early 1960s, when classic country songstress Patsy Cline stayed in touch with her number-one fan, Louise Seger, by way of handwritten letters that the famed singer habitually signed, “Love Always, Patsy Cline.” This heartwarming and humorous two-gal stage musical stars Val Fagan as Patsy and Stasha Case as Louise, and features such throwback hits as “Crazy,” “I Fall To Pieces” and “Sweet Dreams.” Guaranteed!

Thursday and Friday, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, 2, 5:30 and 9 p.m.; Chestnut Fine Arts Center, 234 N. Chestnut St., Olathe, Kan., tickets: $25 (Thursday and Friday), $30 (Saturday).

5. Edge of Forever, Double Vision and Liverpool

This New Year’s Eve, get a triple dose of yesteryear from three rocking tribute bands: Edge of Forever (Lynyrd Skynyrd), Double Vision (Foreigner) and Liverpool (Beatles). By the end of the night, don’t be surprised if you feel like a hot-blooded free bird yearning to hold someone’s hand. Or maybe be surprised, since that’s kind of weird.

Saturday, 8:30 p.m.; Star Pavilion at Ameristar Casino, 3200 Ameristar Dr., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $30.

6. Naughty Royal New Year’s Eve Party

They seem almost quaint now, those 1960s and ’70s swingers’ parties, where bold couples and likeminded singles suggestively slithering by the hors d’oeuvres table might suddenly find themselves in each other’s amorous business. Apparently, such get-togethers between consenting adventurers are still going on in some form or another, including New Year’s Eve at the Spott Lifestyle and Swingers Club of Kansas City. Although I can’t really say what will happen there – nor should I try – the Spott’s website describes the place as a “private and secluded adults-only night club offering more than 8,000 square feet of luxurious play space” and the opportunity for patrons to “get naughty, wild or crazy” on five dance poles. Well, as long as they keep them wiped down.

Saturday, 8 p.m. – Sunday, 5 a.m.; The Spott, 2111 Television Place, Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $25-$75. 

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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