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6 ‘Whatever Happened To?’ Things To Do In Kansas City This Weekend

Smashing Pumpkins
The Smashing Pumpkins at Madison Square Garden in New York earlier this month.

They come and they go, these things that put smiles on our faces and springs in our steps. And sometimes…they come back.

While I have no idea whatever happened to my childhood snow sled (sniff), this weekend proposes rewarding access to things that went away, but won't stay in the past.

Is it a miracle? Only if it’s my old sled – oh, Rosebud, I missed you!

1. The Smashing Pumpkins

Whatever happened to state-of-the-art, over-the-top, anthem-friendly alternative rock? Smashing Pumpkins front man Billy Corrigan and his reconstituted crew of din dealers have influenced many other sing-and-twitch practitioners of the post-modern era. But now you can revisit the heavy-duty masters of the alt rock genre as they dive deep into their three-decade catalogue of decidedly left-of-center words and music. “Despite all my rage, I am still just a rat in a cage,” Corrigan will shriek in “Bullet with Butterfly Wings.” Well, maybe it’s a golden cage now.

Thursday, 7 p.m.; Sprint Center, 1407 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $29-$125. With opening band Metric.

2. ‘Love Never Dies’

Whatever happened to the Phantom of the Opera? Andrew Lloyd Webber’s nationally touring sequel to his mega-successful “The Phantom of the Opera” lays bare the Phantom’s continuing struggle with practicing sensible dating tips. For example, avoid deceiving and/or abducting the apple of your eye to make her like you. When has that ever worked? It’s like he doesn’t remember the first go-round wearing a mask, living in the sewers beneath an opera house and getting dumped for his efforts. But as Webber’s sequel says, “Love Never Dies” … or apparently wises up!

Thursday-Sunday, 8 p.m.; Starlight Theatre, 4600 Starlight Road, Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $25-$145.

3. Happy Together Tour

Whatever happened to the Swinging Sixties? They swung into the 1970s, at least for a while, before eventually becoming pure nostalgia. Chuck Negron of Three Dog Night (“Joy to the World”), Mark Lindsay of Paul Revere & the Raiders (“Kicks”), the Association (“Never My Love”), Gary Pucket & the Union Gap (“Young Girl”) and the Cowsills (“The Rain, the Park and Other Things”) are back on the road in another Happy Together concert tour headlined for the umpteenth time by the Turtles (“Happy Together”). Be thankful, oldsters, that for one night, flower power is back. Because if it were for two nights, you’d be flat on yours.

Sunday, 7 p.m.; Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway, Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $49-$89 (limited availability at box office).

4. Lita Ford

Whatever happened to the Runaways? Two members of that pioneering all-female rock band from the late 1970s went on to become greater stars on their own: Joan Jett and Lita Ford. Jett’s solo success was a bigger deal (leading to her Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction) and along the way she even flirted with musically inspired movie stardom (opposite Michael J. Fox in “Light of Day”). But Ford, the Runaways former lead guitarist, turned out to be no slouch, scoring hard rocking favorites such as “Close My Eyes Forever” (with Ozzy Osbourne) “Kiss Me Deadly,” “Shot of Poison,” “Playin’ with Fire” and “Fatal Passion.” Despite such risky song titles (or because of them) Ford keeps just keeps on rocking.

Friday, 8 p.m.; Voodoo Lounge at Harrah’s Casino, One Riverboat Dr., North Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $19.50 (standing room only).

5. Chris D’Elia

Whatever happened to Chris D’Elia’s funny character Danny Burton on the NBC-TV sitcom, “Undateable?” He went away in 2016 with the show’s cancellation – hey, it’s a brutal biz. Fortunately, D’Elia is also a stand-up comic, which is the gig that brings him to KC this weekend. Not that he’s given up on TV or it on him. D’Elia currently co-stars as one of two pals trying to make it in L.A. on the Freeform TV sitcom, “Alone Together.” Good luck, man…and onto the next audition.

Saturday, 8 p.m.; Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland, 1228 Main St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $25-$75.

6. Parkville Days 2018

Whatever happened to … fun? Yeah, you saw that coming. Well, it’s back in totally family friendly supply at this year’s Parkville Days festival, including a carnival, a parade, martial arts demos, live bands, pony rides, helicopter rides and a pancake breakfast. If you’re too big for a pony and too scared for a helicopter? Hit the flapjacks!

Friday, 6-10 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday, noon-5 p.m.; English Landing Park on the Missouri River, Parkville, Mo.; admission: free (carnival extra).

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

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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