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7 Old Things To Do In Kansas City This Weekend

Eran Menashri
Flickr — CC

You’re not getting older, you’re getting … older. Sorry, that’s the best I can do.

But wait! Maybe there’s a way this weekend to alleviate the inevitable. Maybe by participating in events that are inherently dynamic – despite the advanced age of their inspirations, practitioners or subject matters – you can somehow fend off the falling pages of the calendar.

So it’s possible that you’re not getting older, you’re getting … well, rats. I really thought I was onto something there.

1. ‘Beautiful: The Carol King Musical’

Before she became an acclaimed singer/songwriter in the early 1970s, Carol King was a behind-the-scenes hit songwriter for such pop and rock acts as the Drifters (“Some Kind of Wonderful”), the Shirelles (“Will You Love Me Tomorrow?”), the Chiffons (“One Fine Day”), Little Eva (“The Loco-Motion”) and the Monkees (“Pleasant Valley Sunday”). King’s intertwined show-biz career and personal life – she was married to her songwriting partner Gerry Goffin – is the focus of this Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, whose big bag of oldies-but-goodies includes momentous material from her 1971 solo album, “Tapestry.”

Thursday and Friday, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, 2 and 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, 1 and 6:30 p.m.; Music Hall, 301 W. 13th St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $38-$120.

2. Paragon Ragtime Orchestra

Known as “America’s original music,” ragtime was all the rage for adventurous music and dance lovers in the early 20th century. Carrying on the highly syncopated tradition is the 11-member Paragon Ragtime Orchestra from Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, the only group of its sort to perform year-round, which will be performing “You’re a Grand Old Rag: George M. Cohan’s Broadway.” Cohan is regarded as the patriarch of American musical theater, and he astutely incorporated bits and pieces of different popular music of his era into his stage shows. Here’s a chance to enjoy “Give My Regards to Broadway” and other Cohan classics as interpreted by an expert ragtime crew.

Friday, 1 and 8 p.m.; Polsky Theatre at the Carlsen Center, Johnson County Community College, 12345 College Blvd., Overland Park, Kan.; tickets: $21-$25 ($6 for shortened matinee performance).

3. Wild West Vintage Antiques & Garden Show

However ironic it may seem, trendy is often the name of the game when it comes to collecting or decorating with relatively ancient stuff. Looking for something hoary that might qualify as hot? You might find it at the Wild West Vintage Antiques & Garden Show, where local and regional vendors will entice with “vintage, shabby, repurposed, antique, jewelry, garden and home” items for your perusal. Shabby, eh? Remember when that was a bad thing?

Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Hale Arena at American Royal Complex, 1701 American Royal Court, Kansas City, Mo.; admission: $7 (free for ages 11 and younger).

4. Baseball Book Notes Book Festival

Baseball is not new. Yet the hope it brings every spring certainly is. The old ball game always has a way of making you think: Maybe this could be the year. In honor of the forthcoming baseball season, the years spent by historic players and coaches who undertook the National Pastime will be scrutinized at the Baseball Book Notes Book Festival. Nationally-known visiting authors will share their fascinating research into such luminaries as Jackie Robinson, the Negro Leagues phenom who became the first black major leaguer, as well as such overlooked athletes as Ted Strong Jr., who was not only a Negro Leagues all-star but also an original Harlem Globetrotter.

Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.; Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, 1616 E. 18th St., Kansas City, Mo.; admission: free with museum ticket ($10, $9 seniors, $6 for ages 5-12)

5. Paula Poundstone

No spring chicken, 57-year-old Paula Poundstone is still pounding the nail of life with a hammer of observational humor that is as smart as it is funny. And hammers should be smart and funny, if they can be. Hey, it’s not as easy as it looks! Poundstone rose to prominence in the 1990s as a stand-up comic, but many now know her as one of the wry voices on NPR’s news-centric panel game show, “Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!” Oh, but she will.

Friday, 8 p.m.; Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland, 1228 Main St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $35, $40.

​6. Mothership

Unless you’ve already booked a seat on the nostalgia bus to see 1980s post-punk new wavers Modern English (“I Melt With You”) on Sunday at recordBar (the show is sold out), you might want to grab a ticket for Mothership on Sunday at the Riot Room. The brothers who helm this 1970s hard rock-inspired power trio from Dallas (lead singer/bassist Kyle Juett and singer/guitarist Kelley Juett) weren’t even around when the music that moves them was in its freak-friendly heyday. Yet strains of Black Sabbath, UFO, Iron Maiden, ZZ Top and even Molly Hatchet (yikes!) are all somewhere in the bombastic, disaster-flirting grooves of this band’s original, neck-snapping songs.

Sunday, 8 p.m.; Riot Room, 4048 Broadway, Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $10.

7. 'The Sleeping Beauty'

The Kansas City Ballet will make you feel young again (if you’re already young, lucky you) with its production of “The Sleeping Beauty,” based on the centuries-old tale of a young (there’s that word again) woman who can only be awakened by the kiss of true love. And if there’s one thing I know, it’s that true love never gets old. No joke – unless, of course, you’ve got a good one to insert here, because levity is absolutely the best wrinkle cream. Sweet dreams.

Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m.; Muriel Kauffman Theatre at Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway, Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $60.50-$135.50.

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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