Music is often the straw that stirs the fundraising drink.
Take this weekend, for instance. Friday night, the Millennial League is throwing its third annual Val-O-Ween, a fundraiser for local AIDS service organizations. This year’s Val-O-Ween will be at the Beaumont Club, 4050 Pennsylvania. The headliner is the Beautiful Bodies; DJ Sheppa will also provide entertainment.
“It’s a Valentine’s Day party with a Halloween twist,” said Kimberly McEvers, one of the event’s co-chairs. “This year’s theme is ‘Scary Carrie Prom,’ in honor of the 1976 horror film based on Stephen King’s novel.”
Several celebrities in the local theater community will be on hand to add panache to the “Carrie” theme.
“Chadwick Brooks reprises his Late Night Theatre role as Carrie White,” McEvers said. “Local stage celebs Ron Megee and Missy Koonce bring their one of a kind humor to the stage with Kansas City drag icons Dirty Dorothy and Genewa Stanwyck. 1970s prom or scary attire is encouraged, but costumes are not required, so come as you are. Anything goes.”
The Millennial League is affiliated with the AIDS Service Foundation of Greater Kansas City.
“It’s a group of young adults who share a common interest in promoting HIV/AIDS awareness and education,” McEvers said. “I’ve been a part of the Millennial League since April 2010, but active in HIV/AIDS volunteering since high school. Professionally I’m also dedicated to this cause, having worked on HIV vaccine development for seven years as a laboratory scientist.”
As with all Millennial League events, she said, all proceeds from Val-O-Ween go to local AIDS service groups that provide food, shelter, medical care and other services to people in Kansas City. Among those groups: the Kansas City Free Health Clinic, the Good Samaritan Project and the Hope Care Center. The need for these programs is still vital, McEvers said.
“HIV/AIDS remains a real and growing threat,” she said. “There are approximately 56,000 new HIV infections in the U.S. each year, and 34 percent of those occur in people 29 years or younger. In the Kansas City area, more than 5,700 men, women and children are living with HIV/AIDS, and more than 700 of them are between the ages of 13 and 24. An estimated 25 percent of HIV-infected individuals are unaware of their status.”
General admission tickets to this all-ages event are $20 in advance atwww.ticketmaster.com or valoween2021.eventbrite.com
or $25 at the door the night of the event. A VIP reception will be from 7 to 8 p.m. and includes an open bar as well as hors d’oeuvres provided by chef Charles d’Ablaing of Chaz on the Plaza. VIP tickets are $75.
At this weekend’s other benefit, several bands are putting on a show to raise money to help finance the MidCoast Takeover, the two-day showcase of Kansas City bands at this year’s South by Southwest Music Conference in Austin, Texas, in mid-March. Friday night’s bill is at the Brick, 1727 McGee St. The lineup comprises four bands that will participate in the MidCoast Takeover: Run Little Rabbit, Empty Spaces, Oriole Post and Everyday/Everynight. It’s the first of four fundraisers for the Takeover. Admission to each show is $10. The other three fundraisers:
at the Riot Room, 4048 Broadway: We Are Voices, Maps for Travelers, the Atlantic, Cherokee Rock Rifle.
at the RecordBar, 1020 Westport Road: Future Kings, She’s a Keeper, Hearts of Darkness.
at Czar Bar, 1531 Grand Blvd.: Blackbird Revue, Sara Swenson, Quiet Corral.After the love is gone
According to its website, here’s the purpose of the 13th annual Love Hangover, an annual post-Valentine’s music event, held each Feb. 15: “On this day-after evening, the world-weary and the true believers alike huddle in pairs, playing songs to heal broken hearts and break whole ones.”
Kansas City is one of five cities that participates in the event. The others: Brooklyn, N.Y.; Ann Arbor, Mich.; Raleigh, N.C.; and Chicago. This year’s Kansas City event is 7-9 p.m. Wednesday at Californo’s, 4124 Pennsylvania in Westport. Admission is $10.
Four pairs of singers from the local music and theater communities will perform 30-minute sets of songs about good love, bad love, romance and broken hearts. Local musician Scott Easterday will host. The duos: Devon Russell and David Burchfield; Katie Gilchrist and Cody Wyoming; Lauren Krum and Jimmy Fitzner; and Carol Royster and Rich Hill.
The event was founded by Richard Alwyn, a former Kansas Citian who now hosts the Brooklyn event. He has said of his event: “Say what you will about Valentine’s Day, the day after anything is always a good time to reflect, take stock and toss out the cynical and saccharine alike, leaving what’s true for you. It’s a New Year’s Day of romance.”Other recommendations
Three bands share a bill Friday night at the RecordBar, 1020 Westport Road. John Velghe the Prodigal Sons headline. The Prodigal Sons comprise Mike Alexander (guitar), Chris Wagner (bass), Go-Go Ray (drums), Hermon Mehari (trumpet), Sam Hughes (sax) and Mike Walker (trombone).
On March 13, Velghe, a Kansas City songwriter and composer, will release “Don’t Let Me Stay,” a collection of 11 songs that bear his affinity for bands and songwriters like Uncle Tupelo, Alejandro Escovedo, the Replacements, Wilco, Bruce Springsteen and the Drive-By Truckers. The openers on Friday are John Greiner the Sawyers (with Betse Ellis) and the Katy Guillen-Go-Go Ray Duo. It’s a 21-and-older show. Admission is $7.