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6 Amazing Things To Do In Kansas City This Weekend

The Illusionists - Live From Broadway
The Illusionists are coming to Kansas City's Starlight Theatre this weekend.

Been there, done that? Think again.

Amazing alternatives to the same ol’ same ol’ this weekend include mind-defying magicians, popular music artists with the power to reach into people’s very souls and explorations into the distinct possibility that there’s far more to this world than this world.

I don’t know, maybe it’s all too much to tackle. Unless you’re amazing!

1. ‘The Illusionists – Live From Broadway’

Inexplicable vanishings, levitations and other how-did-they-do-that experiences will greet ready-to-be-amazed audiences of “The Illusionists,” the touring Broadway magic variety show settling in for three nights at Starlight Theatre. Five magic men with catchy monikers – the Daredevil, the Deductionist, the Inventor, the Manipulator and the Trickster – will take turns wowing all ages with a variety of remarkable undertakings, from a Houdini-like water-tank escape and chain-sawing someone in half to world-class sleight of hand and mindreading. So keep a good thought.

Friday-Sunday, 8 p.m.; Starlight Theatre, 4600 Starlight Road, Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $14-$118.

2. American Royal Pro Rodeo

The amazing abilities of cowboys and cowgirls to stay on top of bucking horses or bulls – and little kids doing their best to remain likewise upright on oddly galloping sheep – are all part of the American Royal Pro Rodeo. Plus there’s barrel racing, team roping, steer wrestling and trick riding to the max. Don’t even try to stop your jaw from dropping.

Friday, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, 2 and 7:30 p.m.; Hale Arena, 1701 American Royal Ct., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $15-$40.

3. Gordon Lightfoot

Gordon Lightfoot sprung from his native Canada in the 1960s as a stellar songwriter and a profound performer who went on to connect with countless fans everywhere. Scoring initial hits with “Early Morning Rain” and “For Lovin’ You,” his evolving folk-pop style fully blossomed in the 1970s with such moving songs as “If You Could Read My Mind,” “Sundown,” “Carefree Highway,” “Rainy Day People” and “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.” Insightful, bittersweet, earnest, playful, wondering, wandering – Lightfoot continues to examine the curious corners of life one personal yet universal song at a time.

Friday, 8 p.m.; Uptown Theater, 3700 Broadway, Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $45-$95.

4. Giorgio Moroder

Rocking the disco at age 78 is the amazing specialty of legendary Italian songwriter, record producer and deejay Giorgio Moroder. His essential contribution to the 1970s disco craze can’t be overestimated, mostly thanks to his partnership with proto-disco singer Donna Summer, with whom he concocted a host of hot dancefloor smashes that included “Love to Love You Baby,” “I Feel Love,” “Last Dance,” “Hot Stuff” and “Bad Girls.” Join the undisputed “Father of Disco” as he imaginatively spins the classic wax, playfully punches the air and basks in the dancefloor action that he helped to pioneer.

Saturday, 9 p.m.; the Truman, 601 E. Truman Road, Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $15-$35.

5. The Indigo Girls

Folk music songbirds Amy Ray and Emily Saliers – better known as the Indigo Girls – are still harmonizing and taking a stand for the progressive causes they believe in. What’s really amazing about this special duo is that the commitment was all there in the Indigo Girls’ 1989 breakout song, “Closer to Fine,” which they keep sharing on tour with remarkable conviction and, of course, expert tunefulness. Encore!

Sunday, 8 p.m.; Crossroads KC at Grinders, 417 E. 18th St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $26-$76.50.

6. Lawrence Metaphysical Fair

You want amazing? Delve into the (theoretically) supernatural at this get-together of folks fascinated by stuff that may never be completely understood – but it never hurts to try. Whether you believe or are merely inquisitive about such things, here’s a chance to look into your past lives and even psychically communicating with your pet. Of course, even I might correctly guess that Fluffy is thinking of food. Ah, but what else? That’s right, more food!

Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; 111 E. 11th St., Douglas County Fairgrounds, Lawrence, Kan., admission: $8.

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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