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7 Nostalgic Things To Do This Weekend In Kansas City

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Whether those who ignore history are really doomed to repeat it is a tough call. 

Either way, it’s safe to say that folks who refuse to acknowledge the past are doing themselves no favors in the fun department, because retro is where it’s at people — especially this weekend in Kansas City.

Get ready for a dose of yesterday, from sentimental celebrations of the Fab Four and Neil Simon’s pseudo-youth to a festive remembrance of the Show-Me State’s favorite 19th-century psycho outlaw.

  1. A Tribute to The Beatles
    It was 50 years ago today – well, 50 years ago Sept. 17 – that the Beatles performed their one and only concert in Kansas City at old Municipal Stadium while spearheading the British Invasion that basically changed everything – you can look it up. In honor of the moptops’ mark on our burg and the rest of civilization, veteran John, Paul, George and Ringo tribute band Liverpool from Kansas City will once again “yeah-yeah-yeah” itself into the hearts of fans. Friday, 9:30 p.m., Knuckleheads Saloon, 2715 Rochester, Kansas City, Mo., tickets: $18.50.
  2. Neil Simon's Lost in Yonkers
    You’ll laugh, you’ll cry – mostly you’ll laugh – at Lost in Yonkers, Neil Simon’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play about an extended and kind of wacky family in 1940s New York. The particulars of the plot aren’t really about Simon, but he captures the essence of a simpler time and place that he knew so well and will never come back. Ok, maybe you’ll cry more. Thursday-Saturday, 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m., Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre, 3614 Main, Kansas City, Mo., tickets: $15 to $30. 
  3. Hair the Musical
    If you still have hair, lucky you. But anyone, bushy or otherwise, can have Hair, the classic rock musical, this weekend at Barn Players Theatre. It may be dated, but the producers want you to know that the Vietnam War-era show still includes “mature themes, brief full nudity and herbal cigarette smoking” – which is obviously counterculture code for “bring the kids.” Clever! Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m., Barn Players Theatre, 6219 Martway, Mission, Kan., tickets: $12 to $18.
  4. Talk Like A Pirate Day
    Is “Talk Like a Pirate Day” actually a nostalgic thing? Well, matey, when was the last time you – argh –met a pirate? Shiver your timbers and make someone walk the plank if you want, but be sure to yak like Long John Silver when you celebrate the occasion with pirate band – yes, pirate band – Musical Blades, Friday, 8:30 p.m., Voodoo Lounge at Harrah’s Casino North Kansas City, tickets: $16 to $45.
  5. The 44th annual Jesse James Festival
    This festival, in Kearney, Mo., may strike some as odd. After all – and there’s really no way to get around this – it’s a family friendly party in honor of a murdering bandit. To be fair, even in his own day, James was viewed by many as a six-gun-shooting Robin Hood sticking up for the needy and post-Civil War Southern sympathizers. Anyway, for a time, he lived in Kearny (about a 20-minute drive north of Kansas City) where activities at this weekend’s festival include a barbecue cook-off, chainsaw carving, a coed mud volleyball tournament, a freestyle motocross stunt show and a youth rodeo, featuring “mutton bustin’ – yikes. The Jesse James Festival, Sept. 13-21, Jesse James Park, Kearny, Mo., parking: $5. 
  6. Kansas City Adult Prom
    The Kansas City Adult Prom might help (if not heal) people who regret not making it to their high school prom – or they did and it stunk. Oh, the pain! Ages 25 and older can wash it all away and replace it with new and improved memories in their formal attire. There will be a photographer on hand to snap special moments and a best-dressed Prom King and Queen will be crowned. Saturday, 7:30 p.m., Uptown Theater, 3700 Broadway, Kansas City, Mo., tickets: $30 (single) and $50 (couple).
  7. Music of the Mad Men Era
    The 1960s corporate scene as represented by the AMC hit series, Mad Men, is dysfunctional to say the least: Drink yourself silly, treat women like objects and never directly address anything remotely upsetting. But the show’s soundtrack rules! The Kansas City Symphony cops a major feel with “Music of the Mad Men Era,” featuring finger-popping tunes by a cache of then-with-it ’60s artists, including some of the best pop melodies ever from the great Burt Bacharach. Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m., Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway, Kansas City, Mo., tickets: $40 to $85.

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Brian McTavish follows popular culture in the belief that the search for significance can lead anywhere. Brian explains, "I've written articles and reviews ... reviewed hundreds of concerts, films and plays. And the thing is, these high arts all sprang from the pop culture of their day. Don't forget: Shakespeare was once Spielberg."