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6 Enduring Things To Do In Kansas City This Weekend

Jennifer Milikien
Public Domain
What? Sinbad's still around? Turns out some things just keep on keeping on.

Not to bum you out, but the weekend is finite.

A way to creatively stretch it: Do things that have a decent chance of enduring in your mind, things whose proven appeal has already lasted decades or even centuries in the history of entertainment.

Can’t take Friday or Monday off? No problem. You can still make the weekend last!

1. Blue Oyster Cult

“Burnin’ For You” and “Godzilla” are two of Blue Oyster Cult’s biggest songs. But “Don’t Fear the Reaper,” released by the melodically appealing hard rock outfit in 1976, is its most famous hit, in part because of the classic “Saturday Night Live” skit making fun of the tune’s use of “more cowbell.” Although not a clunky band by any means, BOC can thank the “clunk-clunk-clunk” of Will Ferrell’s crazy cowbell playing on SNL for helping to keep the band’s music on the pop-culture map. Experience the real “Reaper” as the band performs with its two original 1960s members, Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser (lead guitar, vocals) and Eric Bloom (lead vocals). I’m not sure who’ll be on cowbell. Maybe bring one and see what happens.

Saturday, 8 p.m.; VooDoo Lounge at Harrah’s Casino, 1 Riverboat Dr., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $33-$50.

2. ‘The Marriage of Figaro’

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was a rock star before there were rock stars. His opera masterpiece, “The Marriage of Figaro,” debuted in Vienna, Austria, in 1786 and its instant popularity has deservedly endured ever since. Even if you’ve never seen "Figaro” onstage, you’ve probably heard some of its wonderful notes in other places, even in Bugs Bunny or Flintstones cartoons. Suffice to say, the music is still fresh after 230 years. The opera’s playful story follows the love affair of Figaro and Susanna. When Susanna’s boss, would-be adulterer Count Almaviva, attempts to seduce her, well, you should go see for yourself.

Friday, 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m.; Muriel Kauffman Theatre at Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway, Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $59-$189.

3. Strong Ale Festival 2016

Since time immemorial, mankind has sought strong brews. So drink like a man – even if you’re a woman – at the Strong Ale Festival, where more than 70 ales containing at least 8 percent alcohol content will put imbibers to the test. By the way, passing out doesn’t count as passing. More than 30 craft breweries will be represented at the outdoor event, which also has a “Super Brewer” theme encouraging folks to wear a superhero costume. And you can take home a souvenir tasting glass – assuming you can find it after jumping around like Batman or Wonder Woman for four hours.

Saturday, 1-5 p.m.; outside McCoy’s Public House, Westport Road and Pennsylvania Avenue, Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $40 in advance, $50 at the gate.

4. ‘Patty, Maxine and LaVerne’

The swinging staying power of the Andrews Sisters will be honored at this nostalgic tribute concert featuring Samantha Agron, Lindsay James and Kyra Weinberger as the three Andrews Sisters – Patty, Maxine and LaVerne – who were huge stars of the World War II era. Specializing in innovative “close harmonies,” the sisters had more top 10 hits than Elvis Presley and the Beatles. Couples may not be able to resist dancing to “Boogie-Woogie Bugle Boy” and embracing to “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree (With Anyone Else But Me).” Nor should they.

Thursday and Friday, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, 2 and 7 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m.; Chestnut Fine Arts Theatre, 234 N. Chestnut St., Olathe, Kan.; tickets: $25, $28.

5. ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical’

The return of the Coterie Theatre’s musical version of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” based on the treasured animated 1960s TV special, is sure to light up children’s faces bright enough to lead Santa’s sleigh. It’s also an early sign that the holidays are on their way. Follow your heart and sing along to the timeless title song, as well as such enduring favorites as “Have a Holly Jolly Christmas,” “There’s Always Tomorrow” and “We’re a Couple of Misfits.” You’re only a misfit if you miss out! Performances continue through Dec. 31.

Friday, 7 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m. (best available seating); Coterie Theatre at Crown Center, 2450 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $12-$17

6. Sinbad

Scattered seats remain to see one of the longest-lasting stand-up comics in the funny business, David Adkins – infinitely better known as Sinbad. His first big break came on the 1980s TV talent show, “Star Search,” when his act beat out that of future “Saturday Night Live” star Dennis Miller. Over the years, Sinbad has appeared in countless (although he could probably count them), TV shows, movies and other screen and stage appearances, all of which he has proudly “worked clean.” That’s right, stand-up comedy fans, no dirty words. Trust me, you can endure it.

Saturday, 8 p.m.; Star Pavilion at Ameristar Casino, 3200 N. Ameristar Dr., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $35-$50.

Brian McTavish is a regular arts and culture contributor for KCUR 89.3. You can reach him at brianmctavish@gmail.com.

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."
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