The Kansas City landscape may currently be dominated by shades of beige covered with snow, but visions of manicured green lawns and verdant ornamental shrubs are already enchanting many area residents. The annual Metropolitan Lawn and Garden Show and Kansas City Remodeling Show will provide instruction and inspiration for proud homeowners. Ty Pennington, the host of TVs Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, will bring a dash of star power to the exhibition in a presentation at 11 a.m. on Saturday. Even people with little interest in lawn care or home remodeling will be diverted by the offerings of exhibitors promoting beauty, health and fashion wares.
By BILL BROWNLEE
Special to The Star
10 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. American Royal Complex. 816-931-4686. patrihaproductions.com. $8-$10. Youth 12 and under are free.
An all-American combination of dirt, noise and vigorous competition, Monster Jam is a touring motor sports festival. Gearheads, thrill junkies and people who simply enjoy seeing enormous vehicles performing daredevil stunts will flock to Monster Jams three-day stop at the Sprint Center. Like a rodeo fueled by gasoline, Monster Jam features a variety of events. Trucks with outsized wheels are propelled into the air, crush lesser vehicles and navigate tracks during foolhardy freestyle drives. Plenty of hands-on family-friendly activities allow fans to get in on the action.
7:30 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Sprint Center. 816-949-7000. sprintcenter.com. $15-$50.
The notion may be unfashionable in todays social climate, but theres no denying the primal appeal of big-game hunting. Embarking on an African safari is on the bucket lists of thousands of sporting men and women. This weekends Hunters Expo will allow potential shooters of exotic game to learn precisely how to go about bagging an impala in Africa or taking a fallow deer in Spain. In addition to the companies specializing in overseas expeditions, the expo also is host to representatives of domestic hunting attractions and vendors of dozens of related goods and services.
1-8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. Overland Park Convention Center, 6000 College Blvd. 913-972-8967. hunters-expo.com. $10; 12 and younger are admitted free.
Steve Hofstetter titled one of his early albums Cure for the Cable Guy. The confrontational comedian positions himself as the erudite adversary of the lowbrow humor associated with Larry the Cable Guy. Defiantly arrogant, Hofstetter lambasts political correctness as he peppers his rants with pop culture references. The approach has paid off. Hofstetter is a big draw on college campuses and regularly appears as a television commentator. His most recent release topped iTunes comedy charts. The self-appointed conscience of contemporary comedy recently put his money where his mouth is by making a financial investment in a comedy club in Louisville, Ky.
7 tonight. Czar Bar, 1531 Grand Blvd. 816-421-0300. czarkc.com. $20 in advance.
In his 2010 autobiography, My Nine Lives: A Memoir of Many Careers in Music, Leon Fleisher recounts how he lost the use of two fingers on his right hand in the 1960s, a devastating setback for the celebrated classical pianist. Although he attempted to cope by focusing on left-hand repertoire, Fleisher was racked by depression. He made a stunning comeback in 2004 following treatment for his focal dystonia. Fleisher will acknowledge his past challenges by performing Maurice Ravels Concerto for the Left Hand at his appearance with the Kansas City Symphony. A master class with Fleisher is at 11 a.m. on Saturday.
8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. 816-471-0400. kcsymphony.org. $25-$76.
Few things are as wonderful as a favorite blanket on a chilly February evening. Appreciation of a different category of comforters will commence Saturday at the Spencer Museum as works representing two traditions will be exhibited. Just as the creation of quilts became a respected art form in the Americas, artistry in textiles is a hallowed tradition in Asia. Yoshiko Jinzenji crafts quilts in her studios in Japan and Indonesia. Virginia Jean Cox Mitchell is a Kansan. The Personal Geometry exhibition places their acclaimed works in an intriguing context.
Saturday-May 18. Spencer Museum, 1301 Mississippi St., Lawrence. 785-864-4710. spencerart.ku.edu. Free.
High school cheerleaders have it rough. Thats one of the primary messages of Bring It On: The Musical. Based on the 2000 film with Kirsten Dunst and Gabrielle Union, the production contains a contemporary sheen familiar to viewers of televisions Glee. By employing the vernacular of high school students words like dork pepper the show and hip-hop accents, the musical targets a new generation of overstimulated theatergoers accustomed to Snapchat and big-screen TVs. The high-flying choreography and adrenaline-fueled cast ensure that Bring It On: The Musical will maintain the interest of even the most distracted audience member.
Tuesday-Feb. 16. Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. 800-745-3000. kansascity.broadway.com. $50-$85.
Tuesdays concert is a seemingly improbable pairing of two different musical forces. Jean-Yves Thibaudet is an exciting French pianist who has proven his mettle as a sensitive interpreter of the thoughtful jazz of Bill Evans and the modernist designs of composer Erik Satie. His playing is also featured on the soundtracks of films including Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. The Bahia Orchestra Project is a celebrated ensemble that was created to broaden the prospects of imperiled Brazilian youth. The orchestra will take on the works of composers including Heitor Villa-Lobos and Arturo Márquez.
7 p.m. Tuesday. Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. 816-415-5025. hjseries.org. $20-$65.
The largely forgotten Omaha worlds fair in 1898 serves as the setting of Nebraska author Timothy Schafferts The Swan Gondola. Cathy Marie Buchanan of Toronto places her second novel, The Painted Girls, in Paris in 1878. The authors discussion, moderated by Vivien Jennings of Rainy Day Books, will undoubtedly touch on the shared fascination Buchanan and Schaffert have with the late 19th century.
7 p.m. Tuesday. Unity Temple on the Plaza, 707 W. 47th St. 913-384-3126. rainydaybooks.com. Admission includes one copy of The Swan Gondola ($27.95) or one copy of The Painted Girls ($16) plus one autograph admission and two passes to the talk.
| Bill Brownlee, Special to The Star