© 2024 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

6 Tender Things To Do In Kansas City This Weekend

Dick Daniels

Even the harshest souls have a tender side. And the tenderest? Those folks ought to feel right at home at weekend events that, in one way or another, address the gentle promise that exists in everyone.

But whatever your emotional comfort zone – be it petting puppies in your head 24-7 (nice) or screwing up the courage to simply take the first step in scaling Sensitivity Mountain (indeed, it can be a steep climb) – it’s all right, because we’re all in a different place.

And if you should find yourself at the top of that most kind peak? Plant your flag, friend! Tenderly.

1. Miranda Lambert

Miranda Lambert may be best known for such clamorous country songs as “Kerosene,” “Fastest Girl in Town” and “Mama’s Broken Heart.” Indeed, she’s very good at kick-ass, which the crowd at her weekend concert at Sprint Center will be counting on. Yet, the sassy songstress is no stranger to far more tender territory, as delicately revealed over the years in such thoughtful offerings as “The House That Built Me,” “Love Song” and “Over You.” On her latest album, “The Weight of These Wings,” Lambert’s cautionary romantic ballad, “Tin Man,” humbly advises: “If you ever felt one breaking, you’d never want a heart.” Sometimes it hurts to be tender.

Saturday, 7 p.m.; Sprint Center, 1407 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $39.75-$59.75.


2. ‘The Miracle Worker’

In the beginning, there’s plenty of tussling between no-nonsense teacher Annie Sullivan and her obstinate pupil Helen Keller, who can’t see, hear or speak, but has more than sufficient spunk. Still, it’s the underlying tenderness that emerges between the two that forms the crux of William Gibson’s 1960 Tony Award winning play. This historic origin story tells how a little girl, held back in her own unreachable realm, is miraculously transformed to comprehend the world around her, a world that she would go on to inspire by realizing her totally unexpected potential. There will be waterworks.

Saturday, 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m.; White Theatre at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City, 5801 W. 115th St., Overland Park, Kan.; tickets: $13-$23.

3. ‘Freaky Friday’

Tender understanding between mothers and their teenage daughters may seem like a remote possibility at times. But in this local pilot production of the new Disney musical, “Freaky Friday,” a quarreling mom and her high-school daughter magically switch bodies for one topsy-turvy day, which leads to more than a little empathy, as well as hilarity. The all-youth cast assembled by Music Theatre Kansas City hails from more than 20 area high schools and will be accompanied by a full orchestra. Show them some affection!

Friday, 7 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 2 and 7 p.m.; B&B Live at B&B Theatres, 16301 Midland Dr., Shawnee, Kan.; tickets: $10-$20.

4. Ca$h 4 Critters

Animals engender our affection – they can’t help it and neither can we. Join Heather Thornton, Bree Plaster, Two Headed Cow, the Night Owls and other caring local musicians in this fifth annual all-ages fundraiser for Lakeside Nature Center, where scores of native Missouri animals in need of a tender touch are restored and released every year. The festivities include snacks and kids activities. Come festooned in a “critter” get-up for the chance to take home a prize – or perhaps be dispatched into the wild. It all depends on how convincing the outfit is.

Sunday, 12:30-5 p.m.; Lakeside Nature Center, 4701 E. Gregory Blvd., Kansas City, Mo.; admission: free (suggested donation $5).


​5. Naka-Kon Anime Convention

How does tenderness fit into the main cosplay competition featuring 100 entries at the Naka-Kon Anime Convention? Use your imagination – like Godzilla in a tutu. There’s apparently nothing too way out, as long as costumes are founded on “anime, manga, J-rock, J-pop, Japanese live-action TV, Japanese video games, Japanese history or other sources … of Japanese origin.” With appearances in more than 30 Toho films since 1954, sounds like you’re in Godzy. Keep practicing those pirouettes!  

Friday, 1 p.m.-Sunday, 4 p.m.; Overland Park Convention Center, 6000 College Blvd., Overland Park, Kan.; tickets: $15-$55.


6. KC Spirit Fair

Don’t just rush into the Kansas City Spirit Fair and demand a message from a deceased loved one. A tender approach is best. So if you’re wondering if a former someone may have something to tell you, leave it to the hereafter experts at the fair to facilitate the experience with proper care. One more thing: Organizers want you to keep in mind that "angel messages" are for entertainment purposes and not guaranteed. What the hell? Well, maybe just have your “aura photo” taken. That’s obviously only for mystic grins … uh, right?

Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Clarion Hotel, 12601 W. 95th St., Lenexa, Kan.; admission: $5 (angel messages $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."
KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and award-winning podcasts.
Your donation helps keep nonprofit journalism free and available for everyone.