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6 Non-Chiefs Things To Do In Kansas City This Weekend

Tomas Forgac
Wikimedia Commons
Three-time Grammy winning jazz artist Ramsey Lewis will be in town for Kansas City's MLK Day celebration.

May the gridiron gods be with our Kansas City Chiefs as they seek to defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers at noon Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium, allowing Alex, Travis, Tyreek and the rest to advance to the AFC Championship Game and ultimate victory in the 2017 Super Bowl.

So … what else might there be to do this weekend?

Food! Music! Comedy! Hike! Oops – well, it is a big game, you know.

1. Kansas City Restaurant Week

Sate your appetites for good food and a good deal when Kansas City Restaurant Week kicks off Friday at more than 180 metropolitan area restaurants. The annual culinary adventure invites interested eaters to dig into discounted multi-course lunch ($15) and dinner ($33) menus offering a dizzying variety of deliciously prepared dishes. If you’re especially pleased by a meal, give your best to the chief – I mean, chef.

Friday through Jan. 22; for a full list of locations and menus, go to kcrestaurantweek.com.

2. Ramsey Lewis

Jazz great Ramsey Lewis has done a little bit of everything with all sorts of jazz artists, as well as ingeniously explore other music genres such as pop, R&B and funk, since releasing his debut album in 1956. Still a vital talent after all these years, Lewis will be behind the piano playing the contemporary jazz he’s best known for in a concert organized by the Kansas City chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference as part of its tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. Day. One request: How about a Chiefs touchdown dance number?

Saturday, 8 p.m.; Gem Theater, 1615 E. 18th St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $45.

3. Rock the Ribbon II featuring Barenaked Ladies

Barenaked Ladies have racked up their share of hits, but their whimsical tune, “If I Had a Million Dollars,” ought to especially hit home at Rock the Ribbon II, where the Canadian band will be helping to raise money for the Susan G. Komen breast cancer group. Other noteworthy ditties that will no doubt be on the rockin’ docket: “One Week,” “The Old Apartment” and “Pinch Me.” Wonder if they’re Chiefs fans.

Friday, 8:30 p.m.; Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland, 1228 Main St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $38.50-$125.

4. Liza Anne

This young indie-folk-popster based in Nashville has won music critics over with songs that tend to be more than a little introspective and even downcast, starting with her 2014 debut album, “The Colder Months.” Her 2015 follow-up, “Two,” was arguably a bit peppier. But intriguing Liza Anne apparently won’t be saying goodbye to brooding any time soon, judging from the title of her forthcoming 2017 release, “Fine But Dying.” Actually, that might be a good one to check out if the Chiefs lose.

Saturday, 8 p.m.; the Tank Room, 1813 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $10 (advance), $12.

5. Lisa Lampanelli

Insults usually aren’t funny. But from the lips of veteran insult comic Lisa Lampanelli (a.k.a. “The Queen of Mean”), creatively applied verbal abuse can be hilarious. Think Don Rickles on estrogen with an extreme potty mouth. The closer you sit to the stage, the better your chances of being brilliantly laid to waste. As long as she stays away from the Chiefs.

Saturday, 8 p.m.; Uptown Theater, 3700 Broadway, Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $29.50, $39.50.

6. Mid-America RV Show

Folks into recreational vehicles and their attendant lifestyle may well be found at this year’s downtown RV show. Even if you have no plans to purchase a giant motorhome, the show is always a fun place to gawk, dream and hear Willie Nelson in your head singing about wanting to be on the road again. By the way, if you happen to be at the RV show on Sunday instead of being glued to the Chiefs game, I hope you went to see Lisa Lampanelli the night before and got taken down. Just like the Chiefs are going to handle the Steelers!

Thursday, 1-8 p.m.; Friday, noon-8 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Bartle Hall, 301 W. 13th St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $12; ages 12 and younger free.

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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