Autumn’s brisk temperatures will have to fall back at this weekend’s hot entertainment choices.
Folks out and about can heat up to searing soul music, scorching guitar licks and sizzling celebrity sightings, among other fiery fun.
Feel the sweat yet? Yeah, you might want to leave that warm coat at home.
Veteran soul songstress Bettye LaVette has been at it since she cut her first single, “My Man – He’s a Lovin’ Man” in 1962. She astutely interprets the songs of Bob Dylan on her latest album, “Things Have Changed,” and it’s a smoldering revelation, from the forbidding title track to the sing-talking declaration of “The Times They Are A-Changin’” to a deeply contemplative take on “It Ain’t Me Babe.” But her Kansas City show will be more than a personal Dylan-fest, given LaVette’s previously acclaimed covers of songs by such legendary bands as the Who, the Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd. Sometimes you’ve got to re-bake it to make it!
Thursday, 8 p.m.; Knuckleheads Saloon, 2715 Rochester St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $35-$55.
The smoking guitar parts long practiced by seminal southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd are gradually winding up during the group’s two-year “Last of the Street Survivors Farewell Tour.” Never say never … but you may never again have the chance to hear “Gimme Three Steps,” “What’s Your Name,” “Sweet Home Alabama” and other 1970s boogie-rock classics by the guys who made them famous. Well, one of them anyway – guitarist Gary Rossington will be the lone original Lynyrd Skynyrd member onstage. Opening acts in Kansas City are The Marshall Tucker Band (“Can’t You See,” “Heard It in a Love Song”) and Jamey Johnson (“The Guitar Song”). Uh, one more thing: “Free Bird!” You thought I was going to leave that one out? Lynyrd Skynyrd sure won’t.
Friday, 7 p.m.; Sprint Center, 1407 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $29.50-$350.
The show with the hottest buzz in town? Maybe it’s the music-and-comedy blowout emceed by hometown boy made good Jason Sudeikis, formerly of TV’s “Saturday Night Live” and “30 Rock,” who seems to be doing just fine these days cranking out people-pleasing movie comedies. I don’t know what “Thundergong” means (I’m afraid to ask), but I’m certain that Sudeikis and his pals – including fellow “SNL” alum Will Forte, Chance the Rapper and re-enlivened Manhattan, Kansas, power-pop band Ultimate Fakebook – mean to make it a memorable night. And for a good cause, too. Proceeds benefit the Steps of Faith Foundation, which assists people who’ve had limbs amputated.
Saturday, 8 p.m.; Uptown Theater, 3700 Broadway, Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $65.
The creative heat generated by 250 UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance students and faculty performing in a single hour can’t be overestimated. Go ahead and try … see, it can’t be done! The conservatory’s annual talent blitz and scholarship fundraiser includes a cocktail mixer and dinner. But it’s the ambitious showcase of jazz, opera, classical music and dance that will really fill you up.
Friday, 5:30 p.m. cocktails, 6:30 p.m. dinner, 8 p.m. concert; Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway, Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $125.
Hot under the collar for a new pet? Perfect timing! Calm down and get yourself down to the Great Kansas City Pet Expo, where you can find everything you need for your new dog, cat or mini-donkey. Folks can also bring along their spayed or neutered leashed pets (after filling out some paperwork) and take in pet-happy demos, seminars and contests. Wait, mini-donkey? I was still getting used to pot-bellied pigs.
Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Overland Park Convention Center, 6000 College Blvd., Overland Park, Kan.; admission: $4-$8, ages 5 and younger free.
This black tie/formal attire event features cocktails, dinner and “the big reveal,” when masked attendees will be asked to remove their facial facades – with a dramatic flourish one would hope. Might romance ignite between formerly disguised chit-chatters? How could it not? Well, at least it does in the hot movie in my head! A portion of the evening’s proceeds will go to Lonnie Bush’s Celebration of Life to help cancer patients.
Saturday, 7 p.m.; Drexel Hall, 3301 Baltimore Ave., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $50-$75.
Brian McTavish is a regular arts and culture contributor for KCUR 89.3. You can reach him at email@example.com.