Instead of keeping folks at arm’s length, try meeting them at the elbows this weekend.
Which is to say, let’s mingle. It might mean yee-hawing, speed-dating, cosplaying, beer-drinking or sharing a spontaneous laugh, perhaps even at your own expense.
If you find yourself giving more than receiving, there’s nothing wrong with making someone else happy. Keep mingling and you may be next!
Blake Shelton is mighty fine at rubbing elbows. The country music superstar and beloved judge on “The Voice” is on his “Friends and Heroes” concert tour, allowing him to share the stage with his friends and heroes the Bellamy Brothers (“Let Your Love Flow”), John Anderson (“Swingin’”) and Trace Adkins (“Honky Tonk Badonkadonk”). Also on tap will be “very special guest” Lauren Alaina (“Road Less Traveled”), a former runner-up on “American Idol.”
When not giving it up to his pals on the country-pop spectrum, the charismatic Shelton will deliver his own loaded package of hits, most likely including the rowdy “Boys ‘Round Here,” the love-happy “I’ll Name the Dogs” and, from his latest album, “Texoma Shore,” the sweetly nostalgic “I Lived It” and straight-up steamy “Turnin’ Me On.” Prepare to feel likewise, ladies.
Friday, 7 p.m.; Sprint Center, 1407 Grand Blvd., Kansas City Mo.; tickets: $26-$126.
Want a no-pressure “date before the date”? Then sit down with potential dating partners for five minutes each at Saturday Speed Dating by Relish Dating. The event gives attendees the chance to first socialize as a group and then participate in an evening of organized one-on-one meetups before romantic minds are made up. If you’re confident, that’s great. If you’re nervous, that’s OK. The main thing is to be yourself and see … what … happens. If you don’t want to stay single, you’ve got to mingle.
Saturday, 7 p.m.; the Ainsworth, 11563 Ash St., Leawood, Kan.; tickets: $35.90.
This mingle-friendly evening of make-believe dress-up for ages 11 to 18 includes a cosplay contest, prizes and trivia. Spidey, meet Harley Quinn; Sailor Moon, meet Deadpool; Doctor Who, meet Harry Potter. Any and all fan-favorite characters from TV, movies, books, comics, anime and more are invited to attend. Parents may not enter the ball, but can hang out in the lobby, either as themselves or perhaps their own favorite fantasy character. Batgirl, meet Batgirl? It could happen!
Saturday, 7-10 p.m.; Kansas City Public Library – Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St., Kansas City, Mo.; admission: free.
Drink beer and mingle. Drink more beer and mingle some more. Drink even more … alright, that’s enough beer. After all, KC Bier Co.’s fifth anniversary fest is about mixing not dozing. Stay relatively alert and you’ll be able to remember which of the 24 small-batch specialty beers you sampled and maybe even who you sampled them with. Admission includes a 7-ounce souvenir glass and five bier tokens. As if it needs to be said, part one: Don’t drink and drive. As if it needs to be said, part two: bring (burp) breath mints.
Saturday, 1-5 p.m.; 310 W. 79th St., Kansas City, Mo.; admission: $10.
Here’s an improvisational comedy show for people who have a sweetheart, don’t have a sweetheart, have too many sweethearts or have never had a single sweetheart (ow). Regardless of the state of your love or non-love life, your friends at Crusty Mustard Improv feel your pleasure and pain. Let them turn it all into laughs and everything will be alright for at least one night. Especially if you mingle your heart out!
Saturday, 7 p.m.; the Buffalo Room, 817 Westport Road, Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $7.
Brian McTavish is a regular arts and culture contributor to KCUR 89.3. You can reach him at email@example.com.