Can you expect the unexpected?
For sure, if you take heed of the following weekend to-do tips – one and all containing a surprise of one sort or another, from unexpected March gore (ick!) to a “silent disco” (huh?).
But I’m giving it away. Best to read on and discover the unforeseen for yourself.
With haunted-house season nowhere in sight, live fright fans may be surprised to find this musical comedy version of the classic 1968 zombie movie, “Night of the Living Dead,” coming at them like decomposing hands outstretched for a brain snack. Then again, live fright fans are always ready for a good scare-induced laugh. That leaves the rest of us to be shocked by the tongue-through-cheek satire evoked by gratuitous bloodletting and campy songs created by alumni of “Evil Dead: The Musical” and the Second City comedy troupe. Boo! Ha!
Thursday-Sunday, 8 p.m.; Empress Theatre (formerly Prohibition Hall), 1118 McGee St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $25, $50.
Power. Speed. Durability. I might be talking about a gleaming new pickup truck on the floor of this year’s Kansas City Auto Show … or Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Chris Jones! The Chiefs’ main threat to sack opposing quarterbacks will do the autograph thing from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday at the auto show, but he’ll only sign photos of his big, bad self to be duly distributed to the first 200 fans in line. Sorry, “no outside materials” will be allowed to receive Jones’ John Hancock ... although you might try asking him to sign “John Hancock” on that No. 95 Chiefs jersey you’re wearing. I mean, that’s not his autograph, right? Backup plan: Forget the auto and shake hands.
Thursday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Bartle Hall, 301 W. 13th St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets:
The eighth and final season of "Game of Thrones" is scheduled to premiere April 14 on HBO. Can’t wait? Then pretend to be your favorite character on the phenomenally popular sword-and-sorcery TV series by taking part in a “Game of Thrones”-themed costumed bar crawl in the downtown Power & Light District. It might be tough to choose from the horde of “Thrones” personalities, so why not go as one of the show’s three dragons: Drogon, Rhaegal or Viserion? Or why not go as all of them? Three dragon heads are better than one – and totally unexpected!
Saturday, 3-9 p.m.; various bars; check in from 3-4 p.m. at KC Live Block, 50 E. 13th St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $25 advance, $35 day of event cash only.
Family comedy that’s actually funny can seem like a scarce commodity these days. But KC Improv Family Game Night promises more than might be expected in the squeaky clean belly-laugh department. The all-ages improvisational comedy show is foul-word free and shouldn’t give any parents any reason to blush on behalf of their impressionable kids. The game-style format – ala “Whose Line is It Anyway?” – relies on audience suggestions to spur the spontaneous entertainment.
Saturday, 6:30 p.m.; Kick Comedy Theater, 4010 Pennsylvania Ave., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $10, $5 for students and children.
Where's the music at the Glow Silent Disco? In the “silent disco” headsets that allow only people wearing them to hear the body-swaying playlists of four local DJs exploring a variety of modern music genres. For those wandering in expecting to hear music in the air – surprise! Pay a little more at the door and you get a take-home pair of “neon glow” sunglasses that, in theory, are more shareable. Holy non-insular!
Saturday, 8 p.m.; Crossroads Hotel, 2101 Central St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $45, $60.
On the second Saturday of every month, the Facebook group Queer Bar Takeover KC encourages members of the LGBTQ community to visit a different customarily straight bar or club. This month’s free-to-be-you-and-me destination is the Rockhill Grille. While it will almost surely be unexpected for some of the regulars, the concept is as simple as it is radical: Engage with people who are different from you. Yeah, I know, wild.
Saturday, 9-11 p.m.; the Rockhill Grille, 2000 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Mo.
The Lil Smokies don’t stick to what traditional bluegrass fans have come to expect from fiddles, mandolins and banjos. Yet even purists will likely get a downhome thrill when the savvy sextet from Missoula, Mont., leans into creative covers of Elton John’s “Rocket Man” and the Beatles’ “Paperback Writer.” Also on the bill are the Mighty Pines, whose name alone makes them an unexpected pairing with the headliner. Remember, only you can prevent music-fueled forest fires. But one night at Knuckleheads won’t hurt!
Friday, 8 p.m.; Knuckleheads Saloon, 2715 Rochester St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $15.
Brian McTavish is a regular arts and culture contributor for KCUR 89.3. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.