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6 Creative Things To Do In Kansas City This Weekend

Robert Huffstutter
This watercolor painting depicts the Plaza Art Fair in 1959. The annual fair started in the 1930s as a get-together for local artists. It has grown into a large community event.

From the street to the stage, creative folks are sharing their talents and wares this weekend.

And you know what that means: You get to be creative, too, because it takes a creative mind to fully appreciate one. That might explain why you and I get along so well. Glad to be on the same creative team!

Plaza Art Fair

What started in the 1930s as a little get-together for artists on the Country Club Plaza is today a big annual tradition for the Kansas City community. Featuring the juried work of 240 creative souls, this year’s Plaza Art Fair is where all walks of life can merge – and maybe splurge on something lovely or weird or just irresistible. Save a few bucks to spend on sustenance available from more than 20 restaurant booths, while dozens of bands show what they’re made of on three stages. And feel free to be a walking work of art. Yes, self-promotion is a creative act.

Friday, 5-10 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; emanating from the intersection of 47th Street and Broadway, Kansas City, Mo.; admission: free.

‘Black Bewitched’

The classic TV sitcom “Bewitched” gets the classic Late Night Theatre treatment in “Black Bewitched.” Samantha, a witch, and Darrin, her exasperated human husband, lead a black cast of reimagined characters, who are at once familiar and totally bizarre as re-molded by Late Night’s ever-creative pop-culture parodists. Raunchiness rules in this silly supernatural story with zany musical numbers thrown in for ultra-satiric good measure.

Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m.; Sunday, 6 p.m.; Missie B’s, 805 W. 39th St., Kansas City, Missouri.; tickets: $23 (must be 21).

Hallmarket: A Hallmark Art Fair

The clever creatives at Hallmark Cards don’t spend all of their time producing greeting cards and other emotional ephemera for the masses. Sometimes they make art for themselves. See what other sorts of imaginative images and objects are made by Hallmarkers in their spare time at this much-anticipated yearly event. Meet the artists whose cards you’ve sent to grandma, while browsing their personally produced paintings, prints, sculptures, photos and more. What if you just want a first-class funny animal picture? No sweat. I mean, it’s Hallmark.

Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Crown Center Square, 2450 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Missouri; admission: free.

National Beat Poetry Festival

Maybe you’re a raging verse-maker, intent on changing the world with meter and rhyme. Or maybe you just dig pretty words. All are welcome at the National Beat Poetry Festival, locally hosted by indie tome emporium Prospero’s Books, where featured poets and open-mic bands will join forces to reveal inner journeys and otherwise lay it on the line. Friday’s deep-feelings fest will focus on readings from the work of late Kansas City poet Victor Smith, including selections from Burning Down Oz from the Inside. At 8 p.m. Saturday, Natasha Ria El-Scari will read from her new collection, Screaming Times. Milquetoasts have been warned.

Friday, 5-10 p.m.; Saturday, noon-11 p.m.; Prospero’s Books, 1800 W. 39th St., Kansas City, Missouri; admission: free ($10 cover for Screaming Times reading includes book).

Woodworking in America

How are you with a saw and a claw hammer? How about a tape measure and a moisture meter? Those are only a few of the tools that any self-respecting woodworker needs to create work that will earn respect. Enthusiasts from all corners of the woodworking universe will be in Kansas City this weekend to learn more about what they love to do. There will be expert speakers, classes and contests, but it’s the public marketplace – full of vendors and sawdust-flying demos – that’s sure to draw professionals and hobbyists alike. Not to be negative, but anyone need a bandage?

Marketplace hours: Friday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center, 2345 McGee St., Kansas City, Mo.; marketplace admission: $10.

Don Giovanni

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is making you an offer you can’t refuse, courtesy of the Lyric Opera of Kansas City’s gangster-like take on Mozart’s Don Giovanni – a melodic masterpiece of bad behavior on a grand scale. This noirish update promises to have you sitting on the edge of the edge of your seat. The only thing missing is a horse’s head – thank goodness.

Saturday, 7:30 p.m.; Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway, Kansas City, Missouri; tickets: $34-$174.

Brian McTavish is a contributor for KCUR.


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."