It can be intriguing when performers may not show everything they have, yet still impress.
Well, that will have to wait! Because no lights will be hidden under any bushels this weekend, with a diversity of shows divulging a harvest of talents and captivations – from oh-so-sultry singing to over-the-top stage gore.
Do you see? Oh, you will.
You might think that an internet pop superstar would be fully exposed by more than 4 billion online views and 10 million YouTube subscribers. But how does Matthew David Morris – way better known as MattyB – bring it live? Kansas City’s teenyboppers will get to judge when the gifted 13-year-old serenades them, including VIP ticket holders who’ll be part of a post-show meet-and-greet with the singing and rapping idol. The extraordinary middle-schooler’s 12 million combined followers on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter will ensure that the celebrity elbow-rubbing won’t stay private for more than, oh, maybe a few seconds. Whatever you do, don’t stop clicking, kids!
Sunday, 3 p.m.; Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland, 1228 Main St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $23-$72.
2. Toni Braxton
Despite being hospitalized earlier this month for complications from lupus, Toni Braxton is committed to keeping all of her scheduled “The Hits Tour” concert dates, including this weekend in KC. Talk about putting it out there. The deeply romantic singer of “Un-Break My Heart,” “I Love Me Some Him” and “I Belong To You” may well talk about her recent flare-up with the autoimmune disease during her local show, as she did Wednesday night in Detroit. I guess when you’re the reality TV star of “Braxton Family Values,” that’s just what you do. Stay strong, Toni.
Friday, 8 p.m.; Sprint Center, 1407 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $45-$75.
This ultra-campy stage musical is a mash-up of the 1981 cult classic movie of the same name and its sequels, in which crazy violent stuff keeps happening when the Book of the Dead gets into the wrong hands. Although I have to wonder if there are any right hands for such a thing. Speaking of right hands, the one belonging to the tale’s central protagonist is self-severed (ugh) and replaced by a working chainsaw that works nicely for slaughtering aggressive demon spawn (yay). Audience members cowering in the “splatter zone” closest to the stage will also get the best look-see at such song-and-dance numbers as “All the Men in My Life Keep Getting Killed by Candarian Demons” and “Ode to an Accidental Stabbing.” Yeah, right, it was an accident.
Thursday, 7 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m.; Sunday, 7 p.m.; H&R Block City Stage at Union Station, 14 W. Pershing Road, Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $17.50-$25.
No sonic tricks or provocative visuals onstage – just a man and his piano laid bare for all to hear. That’s George Winston, whose contemplative expressions on the 88 keys were initially packaged as part of the so-called “New Age” music movement in the 1980s. As the trendiness of that label dissipated, Winston revealed himself to be a self-sustaining musical force, whether instrumentally interpreting the changing seasons or just getting his kicks bringing his own thing to Vince Guaraldi’s frolicsome “Linus and Lucy,” inspired by Charles Schultz’s timeless “Peanuts” characters.
Sunday, 7 p.m.; Helzberg Hall at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway, Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $27-$57.
How did they do that? Unless you’re a world-class magician yourself, you’ll have no idea while staring in astonishment at the touring version of the “Masters of Illusion” TV series. The seeing-is-believing action on stage is led by inexplicable levitation, vanishings and escapes, along with crowd-pleasing comedy and comely dancers.
Saturday, 8 p.m.; Voodoo Lounge at Harrah’s Casino, 1 Riverboat Drive, Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $28-$63.
If you get married young and stay with the same person long enough, then one day you’ll be able to personally appreciate the “love, life, marriage and growing old together” situations depicted in “I Do! I Do!” But why wait decades for the big reveal? Instead, take the entertaining shortcut, courtesy of this two-actor musical comedy starring Robert Gibby Brand and Licia Watson.
7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, Chestnut Fine Arts Center, 234 N. Chestnut St., Olathe, Kan.; tickets: $25, $28.
Given this week’s theme, you knew (or should have known) that people taking off their clothes would be part of the plan. And leave it to our burlesque-friendly friends at Bohemian Cult Revival to do so with a cinematic twist. Both sexes will be bumping and grinding to eclectic music and dialogue from the singularly strange crime film, “Pulp Fiction,” including “Jungle Boogie” and “Son of a Preacher Man.” Man, look at that!
Saturday, 9 p.m.; the Buffalo Room at the Westport Flea Market, 817 Westport Road, Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $20, $30.
Brian McTavish is a regular arts and culture contributor for KCUR 89.3. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.