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6 Joyful Things To Do This Weekend In Kansas City

Kansas City Zoo
One of the Kansas City Zoo's elephants.

If it feels good?

Then do it to it at joyful happenings encompassing pooches, pachyderms, pancakes and plenty more to help stave off even the slightest thought of Monday morning blahs – oops, sorry to bring up the whole work thing.

Joy to the weekend! While it lasts! OK, so I’m not that sorry.

1. Tails on the Trails Festival & Dog Swim

Joyful times with canines will be had at this dog lovers’ poolside fest offering separate swimming events for small and large dogs – and one big plunge for all dogs. Heel – I mean, wait – there’s more: Furry friends can also show off in a talent show, with awards for best trick, best talker, most affectionate and best dressed. What if the same fantastic mutt wins in every category? Throw him/her in the pool! Not that they’d mind.  

Saturday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.; Ad Astra Pool, 8265 Maurer Road, Lenexa, Kan.; admission: free (registration fee for dog swim).

2. ‘The Producers’

Mel Brooks’ sidesplitting Broadway musical hit about two duplicitous theater producers trying to make a fortune by purposely staging a flop – about the sunny side of Adolf Hitler, no less – gets the local Musical Theatre Heritage treatment. Will you laugh? A better question: Will you ever stop? “The Producers” may be the funniest show that’s ever been called funny. Picking a favorite song-and-dance number is tough, but here’s mine: When the insanely conceited Der Fuhrer in “Springtime for Hitler” (“The Producers” crazy show within a show) pats himself on the back in "Heil Myself," and sings “Everything I do, I do for you/If you’re looking for a war here’s World War Two.” Calling all “hotsy-totsy Nazis!” Uh, definitely not really.

Thursday, 7 p.m., Friday, 8 p.m.; Saturday, 2 and 8 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m.; MTH Theater at Crown Center, 2450 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $27-$62.

3. David Feherty

Veteran golf analyst David Feherty is also known as the “Funniest Man in Golf.” Hear his inside stories about the game that can drive even the greatest players crazy. Where’s the joy in that? Why, in vicariously riding the rollercoaster of emotions and various embarrassments experienced both on and off the links by touring golf pros as well as Sunday afternoon hackers. And if you’re a frustrated, club-hurling hacker? Then allow Feherty to bring you whatever joy he can before your next round.

Friday, 7:30 p.m.; Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway, Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $54-$69.

4. Kansas City Nerdlesque Festival

Pop-culture nerds meet burlesque in back-to-back Saturday night shows at the Kansas City Nerdlesque Festival. First is the “2018 Master of Nerdlesque Competition,” featuring eight cosplaying striptease acts from Kansas City and across the country, including Caramel Knowledge (who sees herself as Marvel’s Nick Fury), Joy Coy (Edward Scissorhands, anyone?) and Taryn Garters ('nuff said). Then it’s the “Heroes/Villains” revue of highly imaginative nice and naughty burlesquers who love nothing more than removing (almost) all of their curious costuming, including Poison Ivory from New York, who recently tacked on the title of “Miss Exotic World.” I won’t say tacked on to what.

Saturday, 7 p.m. (“Master of Nerdlesque”), 10 p.m. (“Heroes/Villains”); Just Off Broadway Theatre, 3051 Central St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $20, $30.

5. Elephant Baths

Getting wet all over on a hot summer’s day qualifies as pure happiness for the seven giant land mammals participating in this weekend’s two elephant baths at the Kansas City Zoo. Keepers will use firehouses to thoroughly drench their pachyderm pals and delight overjoyed onlookers. Ever seen an elephant smile? Here’s your chance. Saturday visitors can also take part in a Zootastick Learning Festival all about elephants.

Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (elephant bath at 1 p.m.); Sunday, 1 p.m.; Kansas City Zoo; 6800 Zoo Dr., Kansas City, Mo.; admission: $8.50-$11.50, ages 2 and younger free.

6. Pancakes & Booze Art Show
Here’s a pop-up art show that understands the joy of treats as well as visuals. In addition to checking out 200 works of art by 50 local artists, live art demos and live body painting, you can (and should) set a spell at the all-you-can-eat free pancake bar. Is it OK to substitute whiskey for maple syrup? That depends on how happy you want to feel. 

Saturday, 8 p.m.; the Reserve, 2000 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Mo.; 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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