Ready to meet the commander of the Starship Enterprise? Scream like a maniac for a Sweet Sixteen college basketball team? Participate in a preserved dead animal parade?
Take it easy, there’s plenty of time to tackle all of that and more in what’s shaping up to be a big weekend for spectacular stuff to do.
What, not up for the taxidermy cavalcade? How unspectacular of you!
Capt. James T. Kirk of “Star Trek,” Fonzie of “Happy Days,” and Harry Potter’s pals the Weasley twins – a.k.a. William Shatner, Henry Winkler and James and Oliver Phelps – are among the more than 100 media guests who’ll meet with understandably awestruck fans at this weekend’s 20th anniversary Planet Comicon, the region’s largest pop culture and comic book convention.
Of course, spectacular guests can charge spectacular fees for momentarily hobnobbing, posing for a photo and supplying their autograph. But just soaking up the colorful sights at Planet Comicon can leave a remarkable impression, in no small part due to the throng of attending cosplayers pretending to be their favorite fantasy characters. It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a swarm of Supermans! Plus there will be dozens of national and local comic creators to chat up, along with more than 100 vendors offering thousands of collectible comics, toys and related paraphernalia. Gotta keep the collection going.
Friday, 1-8 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Bartle Hall, 301 W. 13th St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: starting at $26.99 for ages 13 and older and $8 for ages 8-12.
It’s down to the Sweet Sixteen in the 2019 version of the NCAA’s March Madness spectacular, with Sprint Center hosting four of the big-time men’s college basketball teams still left in the mix. On Friday night, it’s the Auburn University Tigers against the University of North Carolina Tar Heels, followed by the University of Houston Cougars taking on the University of Kentucky Wildcats. Yeah, it’s OK to wear your Kansas and Missouri jerseys. Maybe next year, Jayhawk fans. Missouri fans? Maybe … I don’t know what to say.
Friday, 6:29 p.m.; Sunday, TBA; Sprint Center, 1407 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $45-$185.
Freedom is a spectacular thing that doesn’t come easy. Join the Heartland Men’s Chorus in honoring the day in June, 1969, when patrons of the Stonewall Inn in New York’s Greenwich Village neighborhood stood up against a police raid and wound up birthing the gay rights movement. The chorus will perform the new work, “Quiet No More: A Choral Celebration of Stonewall.”
Sunday, 4 p.m. White Theatre at the Jewish Community Center, 5801 W. 115th St., Leawood, Kan.; tickets: $14-$35.
Would you believe dinner and a pole dance? That’s just part of what’s in store when aerialists, acrobats and pole dancers perform virtually over your silverware in what promises to be a spectacular evening of offbeat as well as off-the-floor showbiz action. Liquor will also be served, but it’s unlikely to get you higher than the entertainment.
Friday, 6:30 p.m.; Venue508, 508 E. 112th St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: starting at $32.50.
Here’s another spectacularly unforeseen combo: Yoga and hiking. Leave it to adventurous yoga teacher Sedona Alvarez to lead other likeminded enthusiasts deep into “forest therapy” and perhaps even deeper into themselves. All yoga and hiking skill levels are welcome. Bird of paradise, frog or tree pose, anyone? Ow – I mean, ahh.
Sunday, 10 a.m. check-in; Swope Park, 7331 Oakwood Dr. (meet at “Treetop Adventure” sign at Swope Park Mountain Bike Trails), Kansas City, Mo.; preregistration: $20.
What do you call a serendipitous parade of stuffed dead animals? For now, let’s stick with strangely spectacular. In any case, Oracle Fine Curiosities is moving its stock of skulls and bones, incense and crystals, framed insects and taxidermy to its new space across the street. Those wishing to be part of the procession are invited to help carry something, as long as they’re willing to demonstrate the appropriate enthusiasm for, say, an exceedingly well-preserved mongoose. You can do it!
Friday, 6 p.m.; meet at Oracle, 130 W. 18th St., Kansas City, Mo.; admission: free.
Brian McTavish is a regular arts and culture contributor for KCUR 89.3. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.