▪ While a lot of artists are down in the dumps or just plain mad about the guy in the White House, Leavenworth native Melissa Etheridge has found a creative spark.
“These are very inspiring times and I feel very moved to be writing right now, and I’ll probably be writing all year long,” Etheridge told HuffPost. “It’s funny because I find myself wanting to write about what’s happening at the moment and understanding that what I write now might not be heard for another year, and God, hopefully things will be different in another year. So it’s kind of funny to write about something that’s happening now when you hope it will be completely different in the future.”
▪ KC actor Nathan Darrow will be returning to Fox’s Batman-based “Gotham” on May 8. Darrow plays the chillin’ villain Mr. Freeze.
▪ KC’s Rob Riggle has signed on to star in the adaptation of Robert Kimmel Smith’s kids book “The War With Grandpa.”
For the uninitated, the book is about a boy who is thrilled to hear his grandpa is coming to live with them until he has to share a room with him. He and his pal devise crazy schemes to oust old granddad.
Also in the cast: Uma Thurman, Christopher Walken and Robert De Niro.
▪ The New York Post’s Page Six reports that KC actor Jason Sudeikis took son Otis to the Blue Man Group for his third birthday last month. After the performance, the boys were treated to a VIP meet-and-greet and hung out with the Blue Men backstage. Sudeikis told Vanity Fair several years ago that at one point in his life he was obsessed with becoming a Blue Man.
▪ Tipton, Mo., actor David Koechner has joined the cast of “Departures,” a film about a terminally ill young woman (Maisie Williams of “Game of Thrones”) who befriends a young man who’s a baggage handler and a hypochondriac (Asa Butterfield). Koechner is set to play the boy’s father, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Stuff to do
▪ Ink’s Middle of the Map Fest brings De La Soul, Jason Isbell and dozens of other artists to multiple venues Thursday through Sunday. Passes range from $20 to $75 through middleofthemapfest.com.
▪ Comedian Kevin Pollak performs at Kansas City Improv Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $25-$30 through improvkc.com.
▪ The Kansas City Burlesque Festival is Friday and Saturday at Musical Theater Heritage. Tickets are $17.50-$40 through kcburlesque.com.
▪ Owen/Cox Dance Group performs Saturday at the Folly. Tickets are $25-$45 through owencoxdance.org.
▪ The Brookside Art Annual is Friday through Sunday at the Brookside Shopping District. Admission is free. More at brooksidekc.org/art-annual.
On the way
▪ Garth Brooks returns to Sprint Center for seven nights beginning Friday. Tickets are $75 in advance through sprintcenter.com.
▪ Merle Jam, a fundraiser for organ donation awareness, brings Sara Morgan, Outlaw Jim & the Whiskey Benders, Chubby Carrier and more to Knuckleheads on Friday and Saturday. Tickets $12.50 for Friday and $20 for Saturday in advance through knuckleheadskc.com.
▪ Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo bring the ’80s back to KC Friday at Starlight. Tickets are $25-$125 through kcstarlight.com.
New this week
▪ Books: Rick Riordan, “The Dark Prophecy of Apollo”; Paula Hawkins, “Into the Water”; Neil deGrasse Tyson, “Astrophysics for People in a Hurry”; Ivanka Trump, “Women Who Work.” More here.
▪ Music: Chris Stapleton, “From a Room, Vol. 1”; Bonnie “Prince” Billy, “Best Troubadour”; Flobots, “Noenemies”; Gnarwolves, “Outsiders”; “The Afghan Whigs,” In Spades.” More here.
▪ Movies: “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”; “The Dinner”; “Risk.”
▪ Video: “A Dog’s Purpose”; “Rings”; “Gold”; “I Am Not Your Negro.” More here.
▪ Games: “Prey”; “Portal Knights.” More here.