.Variety Show 2012 | Saturday Mayor Sly James and Chiefs wide receiver Dexter McCluster will be among the local celebrities and philanthropists helping raise money for Variety: The Children’s Charity of Greater Kansas City, at a variety show at the Midland theater that puts the talents of Kansas City notables on display. James and McCluster will perform. Doors open at 6 p.m. with hors d’oeuvres, a silent auction and cash bar, and the show begins at 8 p.m. A cast and sponsor party will follow at The Windows on Main. Tickets cost $50-$800 on varietykc.org
, but some levels are sold out.Best Picture Extravaganza | Saturday Watch all nine best picture Oscar nominees in a marathon at the AMC Mainstreet theater. Begin with “Hugo” in 3-D at 11 a.m. and finish with “Extremely Loud Incredibly Close” starting at 6:20 Sunday morning. Tickets are $60, including a $10 AMC gift card. Less-adventurous movie fans can take in five of the nominees at AMC’s Barrywoods, Independence, Studio 30 or Ward Parkway theaters. Starting at 11 a.m., see “Hugo” in 3-D, followed by “The Help,” “Extremely Loud Incredibly Close,” “The Artist” and “Midnight in Paris.” Tickets are $40 and include $5 gift card. See AMCTheatres.com/bps
.Western Farm Show | Friday through Sunday More than 500 exhibits of farm equipment and supplies will fill the American Royal Complex this weekend at the 51st annual Western Farm Show. The event, which attracts farmers from across the Midwest, also includes seminars and a family living center with clothing, crafts, food and home décor. Hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $8; children 12 and younger are free. Tractor pull competitions will be at 6 p.m. tonight through Saturday. Tractor pull tickets are $17 tonight, $22 Friday and $27 Saturday. Details, www.westernfarmshow.com
.Annie Griffiths: ‘A Camera, Two Kids and a Camel’ | Tuesday Griffiths, one of the first female photographers hired by “National Geographic,” will talk at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts about her experience balancing a rigorous job with the demands of raising children. Her work has appeared in national publications including Life and Smithsonian, and her humanitarian endeavors have raised more than a quarter million dollars. Tickets to the 7:30 p.m. event are $18 to $46 at kauffmancenter.org
or by calling 816-994-7222.‘American Dervish’ author Ayad Akhtar | Tuesday Author/actor/playwright Ayad Akhtar’s first novel, “American Dervish,” follows an American boy and his infatuation with his mother’s best friend. Before that, he wrote and starred in his film “The War Within,” which debuted at the 2005 Toronto International Film Festival and was nominated for a an Independent Spirit Award for best picture. He’s also penned two plays that are scheduled to debut this year. Akhtar will speak at 7 p.m. at Unity Temple on the Plaza. Admission packages are $24.99 and include two tickets and a hardcover copy of “American Dervish.” Details at rainydaybooks.com.