Things to do this week in KC


04/23/2014 1:00 PM

05/16/2014 1:21 PM

Here is a roundup of entertainment options this weekend and beyond in the Kansas City area:

Figments Filaments Convention

While there’s no dress code for this weekend’s Figments Filaments Convention, jeans and T-shirts aren’t recommended. Business-casual wear may not be appropriate either. The organizers of the “convention celebrating costuming cosplay in all of its various genres and applications” believe that “what one wears can say volumes of not only the times society that a person identifies with, but also what that person says about themselves and their society.” Guest lecturers include costume designers, historians, an actor and a special effects artist. A market featuring related products, an art show and social functions will also entertain conventioneers. Dress to impress accordingly.

Friday-Sunday. Hilton Garden Inn, Independence. $60. Gatsby Days

Nick Carraway, Daisy Buchanan and Jay Gatsby may have never been more popular. Thanks to the 2013 film starring Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan and Leonardo DiCaprio, author F. Scott Fitzgerald’s characters have made a welcome return to the public consciousness. Related 1920s themes will be celebrated this weekend at Excelsior Springs’ Gatsby Days. The picturesque town about 30 miles northeast of downtown Kansas City will be transformed by the presence of vintage automobiles, old films, a fashion show, a “Little Rascals” marble tournament, a carnival and a youth vaudeville show.

Friday-Saturday. Hall of Waters, Excelsior Springs. 816-630-6801. Most activities are free. Lyric Opera, ‘Die Fledermaus’

Hard consonants and rigid word construction distinguish German from the other languages native to Europe. The English translation of the title of Richard Strauss’ operetta “Die Fledermaus,” for instance, is simply “The Bat.” First performed in Vienna in 1874, “Die Fledermaus” revolves around disorderly shenanigans at a lavish ball. The Kansas City Symphony will be showcased in selections including the farce’s famous overture. Tenor Liam Bonner stars as Gabriel von Eisenstein, and soprano Kelly Kaduce plays his wife, Rosalinda, in a new production that features an English translation.

Saturday-Sunday. Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. 816-471-7344. $15-$155. Spring Parade of Homes

Real estate agents shrewdly inform potential home buyers that the affordability of housing is one of the prime benefits of living in the Kansas City area. Serious shoppers and lookie-loos can see for themselves at the annual Spring Parade of Homes. More than 375 new homes are open for inspection from Saturday through May 11. They include high-end condominiums off the Plaza, homes just minutes from KCI, a bright new house in Weston and a handful of million-dollar listings in Johnson County.

Saturday-May 11. Kansas City area. 816-942-8800. Free. ShakesBeer

“(A) quart of ale is a dish for a king,” Autolycus sings in William Shakespeare’s “The Winter’s Tale.” Anyone who has ever enjoyed a beer during an al fresco performance at the annual Shakespeare festival in Southmoreland Park can affirm the pleasure of imbibing a cold fermented beverage in the favorable setting. Saturday’s beer-themed benefit for Camp Shakespeare, the festival’s summer program for youth, will include a variety of activities. Attendees will celebrate Shakespeare’s 450th birthday with cake, live music, a trivia contest, a raffle and an intriguing event organizers characterize as “Shakespearoke.”

7 p.m. Saturday. Uptown Arts Bar, 3611 Broadway. 816-531-7728. $10-$50. Parkville Microbrew Fest

Parkville is a charming town. The community 11 miles northwest of downtown Kansas City is so quaint that an ardent Parkville booster might suggest that it could only be improved with a substance like beer. The offerings of more than 50 breweries will enhance the outlooks of attendees at the 11th annual Parkville Microbrew Fest in English Landing Park. Local beermakers ranging from Boulevard Brewing to 75th Street Brewery will pour drinks alongside national brands including Gordon Biersch and Granite City. The event raises funds for community events in Parkville.

1-5 p.m. Saturday. Downtown Parkville. $30 advance; $35 at the gate (cash only). Free for designated drivers. AIDS Walk Kansas City

AIDS Walk Kansas City is a somber but proud tradition. Saturday’s walk is the 26th occurence of the event that serves as a fundraiser for the AIDS Service Foundation of Greater Kansas City. The organization dedicated to combating HIV and AIDS distributes proceeds to the Kansas City Care Clinic; SAVE; the Good Samaritan Project and Hope Care Center. Everyone is welcome to join the leisurely 3-mile walk that begins at Theis Park near the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, but walkers are encouraged to solicit donations.

9 a.m. Saturday. Theis Park. 816-931-0959. Free. Garmin Marathon

Getting lost simply won’t be an option for participants in Saturday’s races in Olathe. The events, after all, are sponsored by Garmin, a leading manufacturer of GPS devices. Runners must attach chip timing devices to their shoes. The USATF-certified marathon is a qualifying event for prominent competitions including the Boston Marathon. More than 2,400 runners participated in last year’s races. Each course begins and ends at the Garmin complex near 151st and Ridgeview.

7 a.m. Saturday. Garmin International. 913-764-1050, ext. 238. $120 marathon, $100 half-marathon, $40 6K, $260 team relay, free for children. Diana Ross

No matter how glorious Diana Ross’ performance is at the Midland theater on Sunday, it’s bound to include a few omissions. After all, the 70-year-old Ross can’t adequately acknowledge every aspect of her storied career in just a couple of hours. As a member of the Supremes, Ross was one of the primary voices on massive Motown hits including “Where Did Our Love Go.” She went on to become the star of films including “Mahogany,” a disco queen (“Love Hangover”), a gay-pride icon (“I’m Coming Out”), a mentor to Michael Jackson and a duet partner with the likes of Lionel Richie (“Endless Love”).

7 p.m. Sunday. Midland. 816-283-9921. $58-$178. Royals vs. Toronto

If the Royals manage to fulfill the high expectations of fans in 2014, the franchise will succeed without a roster of marquee players. Billy Butler and Alex Gordon may be adored by local enthusiasts, but they’re not stars capable of packing ballparks in other markets. The lineup of the Toronto Blue Jays, however, features several high-profile players. Slugger José Bautista led the league in All-Star voting in 2011. Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey inspired thousands of people by sharing his difficult backstory in a 2013 memoir. And area fans will remember the since-tainted breakout season outfielder Melky Cabrera racked up for the Royals in 2011.

7:10 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and May 1. Kauffman Stadium. 800-676-9257. $10-$81. WWE SmackDown

“Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!” The rudimentary chant popularized by Daniel Bryan will ring out at the Sprint Center on Tuesday. In the soap opera-style setting of professional wrestling, the perception of Bryan rapidly shifts between hero and goat. The bearded wrestler’s long-lasting contribution to popular culture, however, may be his repetitive catchphrase. Bryan will partner with Sheamus and Big Show in a six-man tag team match against Bray Wyatt, Kane and Alberto Del Rio during Tuesday’s spectacle. Triple H, the Shield, Dolph Ziggler and the Divas are also part of the action-packed bill.

6:45 p.m. Tuesday. Sprint Center. 816-949-7000. $17-$97.

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