Spring is on the way. Some bands never die. Civilization endures.
Those are just a few of the awesome truths behind awesome weekend events devoted to spreading awesomeness to one and all.
Hey, did I just give myself goosebumps? Double awesome!
With spring training still weeks away, we can say that no other team in Major League Baseball has more wins this year than the Kansas City Royals. Make the most of that awesome feeling and think good thoughts for the 2019 season at Royals Fanfest, where fans can meet and get autographs from more than 40 current and former Royals players. Need just one true-blue reason to go? At 3:30 p.m. Friday, former athletic marvel and Royals (and Oakland Raiders) great Bo Jackson will speak about his baseball career – remember The Throw? – and promote his new bat-breaking bobble-head for Royals’ Charities. You better believe Bo still knows.
Friday, 2-9 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Kansas City Convention Center, 301 W. 13th St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $12 adults, $5 ages 6-17.
Classical Chinese dance might seem influenced by acrobatics, but it’s actually acrobatics that were influenced by the Chinese dance. The ancient Chinese created breathtaking art in motion that incorporated amazing aerial maneuvers later adopted by gymnasts and eventually even modern ice skaters. Those high-flying aspects remain intrinsic to the physical prowess, aesthetic precision and utter gracefulness that are perhaps most remarkably exemplified by Shen Yun Performing Arts. But can they really cover 5,000 years of Chinese civilization in one evening? Shen Yun’s visit to Kansas City indeed bids you to enter the Wayback Machine – gosh, Mr. Peabody, this is awesome!
Friday, 7:30; Saturday, 1:30 and 7:30; Sunday, 1:30 p.m.; Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway Blvd., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $86.50-$186.50 (ages 4 and younger not admitted).
It’s the Year of the Pig, but there’s no need to hog it this Sunday afternoon at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. The family friendly Chinese New Year Festival will have plenty of Chinese music, dance and art to share, including access to the museum’s awesome collection of Chinese art. There will also be Chinese games to play and calligraphy and yo-yo demonstrations. And if you’ve ever wondered how to say “Happy New Year” in Chinese, wonder no more with patient pointers from the Institute of Chinese Language and Culture.
Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 4525 Oak St., Kansas City, Mo.; admission: free.
4. El Monstero
This St. Louis-based Pink Floyd tribute band is celebrating 20 years of feeling comfortably numb, shining on like a crazy diamond and pondering the metaphorical possibilities of meeting on the dark side of the moon – at least I hope they’re only metaphorical. While the real Floyd’s twin towers of talent, Roger Waters and David Gilmour, will likely never again perform together, the legacy of their former band’s awesome classic rock lives on. Wish you were here? Then be there, man.
Friday, 8 p.m.; Uptown Theater; 3700 Broadway, Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $27-$45.
Strong beer and chili cooked with strong beer equals pure awesome at this perfect excuse to hang outdoors in chilly weather with fellow beer-and-chili lovers. Depending on your level of financial participation, you can go home with a chili tasting mug in addition to a beer tasting glass. Don’t get them mixed up. Or maybe … yeah, do a switcheroo! It all tastes good.
Saturday, 1-4 p.m.; Stockyards Brewery, 1600 Genessee St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $40-$75.
Become an awesome adventure character in the world’s most famous fantasy tabletop role-playing game – with a little help from the KC Area Dungeons & Dragons Meetup Group. The gathering welcomes new players to the game, but they need to show up at least 30 minutes early to learn the basic rules and get the general lay of the lair. So can I be Puff the Magic Dragonborn? Roll for initiative!
Saturday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Pawn & Pint, 613 Walnut St., Kansas City, Mo.; admission: $5.
It’s awesome to be scared silly, especially when it’s only a horror, thriller or sci-fi movie supplying the upset. Although “only” might be an understatement at this year’s Panic Fest, where a freaky passel of such flicks will be offered for eye-popping perusal along with horror-powered live podcasts to attend. Movies to see with at least with one eye open include “Never Hike Alone” (excellent idea), “Sadistic Intensions” (well, if you insist) and “The Horror Virgin” (who, me?). At 9:30 p.m. Saturday, aficionados of the “Friday the 13th” film franchise may not be able to resist a live script reading of “Friday the 13th VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan.” I say let him have it!
Daily Panicfest start times: Thursday (preview night), 7 p.m.; Friday, 3 p.m.; Saturday, 12:30 p.m., Sunday, 1 p.m.; Screenland Armour, 408 N. Armour Road, North Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: Generally $12 per screening; day, weekend and full fest passes $40-$190.
Brian McTavish is a regular arts and culture contributor for KCUR 89.3. You can reach him at email@example.com.