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6 Weird Things To Do In Kansas City This Weekend

Chris Isaak
CC BY 2.0
Daryl Hall and John Oates performing in 2017.

Want to get weird?

Tapping into the offbeat is a snap this weekend with peculiarly appealing events that include bizarre musicals, a campy retro sci-fi spectacle and a crowd of creative local teenagers boldly exploring their artistic selves for public consumption.

Should you brace yourself or just let it all flow over you? Where there’s a weird, there’s a way!

1. Daryl Hall & John Oates

The lasting success of veteran soul-pop duo Daryl Hall & John Oates may not seem weird at all, yet it sort of is. In the 1970s, Hall and Oates scored such ear-pleasing hits as “She’s Gone,” “Rich Girl” and “Sara Smile.” But these guys were far from finished, largely due to massive exposure on early MTV that led to the veteran twosome becoming vastly more popular in the ’80s than during their first trip through the fame machine.

While it’s doubtful that they anticipated such an astounding renaissance, Hall and Oates’ knack for killer musical hooks was more than up to the challenge. Their extraordinary string of super-catchy ’80s hits – including “Maneater,” “Out of Touch,” “Private Eyes,” “Kiss On My List” and “You Make My Dreams´– will be at the fore when these talented guys carry on at Sprint Center. Opening acts are Train (“Calling All Angels”) and Kandace Springs.

Friday, 7 p.m.; Sprint Center, 1407 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $49.50-$129.50.

2. ‘The Addams Family’

"They’re creepy and they're kooky, mysterious and spooky, they’re altogether ooky ..." and it turns out tuneful to boot. The weirdo characters that came to be known as the Addams Family debuted in grimly amusing single-panel New Yorker cartoons created by Charles Addams before going on to 1960s TV sitcom fame and several movie adaptations. The oddball yet loveable clan of Gomez, Morticia, Uncle Fester, Grandmama, Pugsley, Wednesday, Lurch, Thing and Cousin It became Broadway musical stars in 2010, and it’s that version of the Addams Family that opens this weekend to Theatre in the Park audiences. Don’t forget to snap your fingers twice!

Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 8:30 p.m.; Theatre in the Park at Shawnee Mission Park, 7710 Renner Road, Shawnee, Kan.; tickets: $8, $4 ages 4-10.

3. ‘Evil Dead: The Musical’

If you think “The Addams Family” exists somewhere to the left of quirky, here’s an even weirder stage musical amalgamated from the 1980s and ’90s horror-flick gore-fests “The Evil Dead,” “Evil Dead 2” and “Army of Darkness.” What happens when normal college kids go to an old cabin in the woods and get turned into abnormal hell spawn? Lots of hysterical laughter and fake blood, which audience members seated down front in the “splatter zone” will intimately experience. Plus you can never be too close to enjoy the nutso lament, “All the Men in My Life Keep Getting Killed by Candarian Demons.”

Thursday, 8 p.m.; Friday, 8:30 p.m.; Saturday, 8:30 p.m. and midnight; Sunday, 8 p.m.; Prohibition Hall, 1118 McGee St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $25.

4. ‘Rex Dexter of Mars’

Is there weird life on Mars? Yup. And you couldn’t find a better guide to the Red Planet (and the rest of the galaxy for that matter) than ray-gun-wielding sci-fi hero Rex Dexter of Mars, who made his comic-book debut in 1939. This weekend, Rex rockets into the Kansas City Fringe Festival with crazy cliff-hanger adventures that will be performed like a vintage radio program, courtesy of Right Between the Ears Productions. Zap!

Saturday, 10:30 p.m.; Sunday, 3 p.m.; City Stage at Union Station, 30 W. Pershing Road, Kansas City, Mo,; tickets: $10 with ($5) Fringe Festival button.

5. Teens on the Fringe

With everything that teenagers have to face, it may seem weird to encourage them to be “on the fringe.” But the Kansas City Fringe Festival is a perfectly appropriate place to let artistic adolescent tangents take wing. Get a flyover of what imaginative teens will be up to during this year’s Fringe Fest when ages 14-18 (and possibly younger!) participate in workshops (including storytelling, home recording, improv comedy and stage combat) followed by hard-rocking band Metal Roach and almost-anything-might-happen open-mic performances. Yay, youth.

Friday, workshops at 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. with show at 8 p.m.; Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 4525 Oak St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $10 with ($5) Fringe Festival button.

6. Gerald Trimble and Jambaroque

This benefit concert for the Rime Center Temple Project features time-traveling Kansas City musician Gerald Trimble, whose fascinating Jambaroque group concept blends ancient music with modern musicianship – or as Trimble likes to say, “from baroque to jazz.” Sometimes weird is simply wonderful.

Friday, 6 p.m.; Rime Buddhist Center & Institute of Tibetan Studies, 700 W. Pennway St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $25.

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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