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6 Sincere Things To Do In Kansas City This Weekend

Courtesy Jennifer Karady and Amparo Hoffman

Comedian George Burns had this to say about sincerity: “If you can fake that, you've got it made.”

Ah, but was he being sincere? No doubt, in his own amusing way.

However one approaches it, the act of being heartfelt can be observed and shared this weekend in a variety of ways, from the honest allures of traditional country music to the direct detection of the (pardon the expression) ideal female. I kid you not … well, not too much!


1. The Randy Rogers Band

Country music believer Randy Rogers loves to sing his heart out, which explains why the Texas-born troubadour and his band of fellow road warriors keep returning to their loyal fans across the nation. Back again in KC, Rogers will tell it the way he sees it, and he sees it no more truly than in the song, “Meet Me Tonight,” about a guy whose gal is gone, but who can’t – or won’t – move on. “I’m so tired of being strong,” Rogers sings, “I just want to miss you all night long.” You can write it off as unproductive self-pity, but it’s really an imprisoned plea for something sweet and good and ... uh, bartender, make that a double while you’re at.

Saturday, 8 p.m.; Uptown Theater, 3700 Broadway, Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $20.


2. Miss Kansas City Pageant

Say what you will about so-called “beauty pageants” – although I’m not sure they’re called that anymore – this preliminary local contest for the Miss Missouri and Miss America cavalcades exists to elevate the women involved and give away scholarship money in the process. Women aged 18 to 25 will sincerely display their individual talent, poise and ability to answer at least one question onstage. Oh, and if it matters to you, they also will be judged in swimsuits, a facet of the competition that is officially labeled “lifestyle and fitness.” Say what you will…

Saturday, 2:30 p.m.; the Pavilion at iWerx reception venue, 1520 Clay St., North Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $10.

3. Charley Friedman as Talisman

You’ve got to be sincere on some level to show up in public wearing a green body suit and mask with an accompanying hand puppet and a walking staff. Welcome to the whacky world of the Talisman, as embodied by performance artist Charley Friedman, who splits his time living in Nebraska and New York, when he’s isn’t visiting new places to spontaneously interact with intrigued passersby, including those attending this month’s First Friday in the Crossroads Arts District. Friedman will be in full magical costume and handing out his self-made talismans or good luck objects, including “Old People’s Hair,” “Enchanted Bird Feather” and “Petrified Squirrel Parts.” Is this guy for real? You should ask him.

Friday, 6-8 p.m.; Mid-America Arts Alliance, 2018 Baltimore Ave., Kansas City, Mo.; admission: free.

4.‘C.S Lewis On Stage: The Most Reluctant Convert’

The one-man show starring Max McLean as C.S. Lewis (1898-1963), offers insights into the famed British novelist’s transformation from sincere atheist intellectual to sincere Christian intellectual. As the story unfolds, Lewis, the author of the famed fantasy fiction series, “The Chronicles of Narnia,” talks about the key influence of his friend and fellow novelist J.R.R. Tolkien, whose Christian morality was evident in his own masterpiece of fantasy fiction, “The Lord of the Rings.” Sincerity loves company!

Friday, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, 4 p.m.; Muriel Kauffman Theatre at Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway, Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $39-$89.


5. Adam Ferrara

Whatever topic he chooses to explore onstage – couples therapy, his fighting parents, getting arrested, panic attacks or tripping on LSD (which might explain the panic attacks) – stand-up comic Adam Ferrara brings a matter-of-fact believability to his material. A straight talker with natural comedic timing, Ferrara has also demonstrated his way with a line as Chief “Needles” Nelson on the FX cable TV series, “Rescue Me.”

Thursday, 7:30 p.m.; Friday, 7:30 and 10 p.m.; Saturday, 10 p.m.; Kansas City Improv Comedy Club, 7620 N.W. 87th St. at Zona Rosa, Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $20-$50.

6. Bob Marley Birthday Party

Musical authenticity can be debatable, but not when it comes to the late, great Bob Marley. More than a fantastic reggae singer/songwriter, he was an amazing mover of people’s hearts and minds. And he didn’t do his followers’ dancing feet any harm, either. Celebrate Marley’s legacy at the Bob Marley Birthday Party concert featuring Elisha Israel & AZ-ONE with DJ Aether. Yes, it’s worth the drive to Lawrence – sincerely!

Saturday, 9 p.m.; the Granada, 1020 Massachusetts St., Lawrence, Kan.; tickets: $10.

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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