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6 Unflinching Things To Do In Kansas City This Weekend

Courtesy Full Moon Productions

There are so many reasons to waver. But, dare I say, none this weekend?

I dare! And so can you, with such unflinching things to do as steadfastly enduring a haunted house or two (or three), resolutely rooting in the stands for our Kansas City Chiefs in their 2017 season home-opener and tenaciously traversing the disturbing twists and turns of a classic Greek tragedy.

So are you up for it? Hello? OK, that’s two in the arm for flinching. Now you’re ready!

1. West Bottoms Haunted Houses

Do you have the raw nerve to unflinchingly withstand the full force of horror awaiting all who are foolish enough to visit the Beast, the Edge of Hell and Cinema Macabre haunted houses in Kansas City’s fabled West Bottoms? Ha! Or better yet, “Bwa-ha-ha-ha!” The main thing is to not let the myriad mayhem-makers in your midst see you sweat. So maybe wear a scary mask yourself. Then you can make them flinch. And, if so, isn’t a refund in order?

Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m.; The Beast and The Edge of Hell, 1401 W. 13th St.; Cinema Macabre, 1222 W. 12th St.; Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $27 (Triple-Haunt Pass $65).

2. Chiefs vs. Eagles

When the Kansas City Chiefs host the Philadelphia Eagles in the Chiefs’ 2017 home opener at Arrowhead Stadium, he who balks is lost. So which so-far undefeated lineup will go home with an "L"? Well, if both sides refuse to recoil, maybe neither. Unflinching action all around could result in a tie at the end of four quarters of regulation football. And then if neither team scores during a fifth overtime quarter, it will be time for both squads to kiss their sisters. Oh, goody. Hit ’em hard, Chiefs!

Sunday, noon, Arrowhead Stadium, 1 Arrowhead Drive, Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $67-$453.

3. Jesse James Festival

There’s a parade, a rodeo, a carnival, a fishing tournament and even co-ed mud volleyball at the 47th annual Jesse James Festival, named for the infamously unflinching post-Civil War outlaw from these parts. Jesse’s bad behavior was being romanticized even before he got shot in the back by that “dirty little coward” Robert Ford, which probably explains why there’s no festival for Jesse’s government-approved assassin. Feel free to ponder the historic unfairness of that while being entertained by the Mo-Kan Dock Dogs, featuring “big air, extreme vertical and speed retrieve” events on all three days of the fest. There will also be a radar gun set up to check the speed of your own pooch. No flinching, Fido!

Friday-Sunday, Jesse James Park, 3001 N. Hwy 33, Kearney, Mo.; admission: free (carnival, rodeo and some stage events cost extra)

4. Riverside Music Fest

In the 1970s, 38 Special (this year’s Riverside Music Fest headliner) stood in the shadow of such southern-rock greats as the Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Some might say that 38 Special flinched when they switched to a more pop-friendly rock sound in the early ’80s, putting together an impressive string of hits that included “Hang On Loosely” and “Caught Up In You.” So did 38 Special flinch? No, of course not. They simply found their own voice. Anyway, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it all weekend.

Saturday, 3 p.m.; E.H. Young Riverfront Park; 1001 Argosy Parkway, Riverside, Mo.; tickets: $25-$40.

​5. Roky Erickson

When Roky Erickson joined the psychedelic Texas rock band the 13th Floor Elevators in 1966, the Dallas native offered up his original song, “You’re Gonna Miss Me.” Although only a minor hit at the time, Erickson’s unleashed howl propelled the bitter break-up ode to become a touchstone of garage rock for generations to come. Erickson reportedly went on to experience several lifetimes-worth of psychological problems, including believing that a Martian was inhabiting his body in 1982. Not a good year for him. But he’s better now and ready to wail the song that made him famous in all of its unflinching glory.

Sunday, 8 p.m.; recordBar, 1520 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $25.

6. ‘Antigone’

Bloody battle, incestuous family history and fateful machinations over a rotting body’s right to be interred – don’t worry, it’s only a play. But what a play! The conflicts for the characters run deep and vividly intersect in Sophocles’ Greek tragedy, “Antigone,” which gets an updated treatment starring a hip, young cast starting this weekend at Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre. If you see anyone in the audience flinching, give them a pep talk at intermission.

Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, 3 p.m.; Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre, 3614 Main St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $15-$54.

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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