Events in Kansas City May 22-May 28

05/21/2014 8:00 AM

06/03/2014 10:17 AM

Trey McIntyre Project, dance company

A revamped version of Queen is touring North America this summer. Even though a date in Kansas City isn’t on the schedule of the classic rock band, locally based Queen fans shouldn’t feel neglected. The Trey McIntyre Project’s performance at the Kauffman Center on Thursday may be more in keeping with the spirit of Queen’s late vocalist Freddie Mercury than anything the current incarnation of the band can muster. “Mercury Half-Life,” one of the esteemed dance company’s farewell tour pieces, is choreographed to Queen classics including “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “We Will Rock You.” Set to the music of Dmitri Shostakovich, “Vinegar Works: Four Dances of Moral Instruction” will also be featured as well.

7:30 p.m. Thursday. Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. 816-415-5025. $20-$65.

Sporting Kansas City

As reflected by a heartbreaking loss at home to the Philadelphia Union earlier this month, Sporting Kansas City is being reminded that defending a championship isn’t easy. Winning the MLS Cup in December put a proverbial target on the back of each Sporting KC player. Four days after Friday’s match against Toronto FC, a national television audience will determine if Sporting KC has maintained its championship form as the club takes on the New York Red Bulls on Tuesday. Both contests will serve as important indicators of Sporting KC’s prospects of repeating last year’s feat.

7:30 p.m. Friday and 7 p.m. Tuesday. Sporting Park. 1-888-4KC-GOAL. $25-$280.

Tony Bennett with Antonia Bennett

Tony Bennett’s most valuable asset isn’t his conversance with the classic repertoire in the Great American Songbook, his evocative voice or the powerful bond he has forged with fans during a recording career that has lasted more than 60 years. Instead, Bennett’s greatest strength is his unwavering sincerity. Bennett, 87, is the exceptionally rare entertainer who performs without even a smidgeon of irony. Hailing from a more guileless if not more wholesome era, Bennett delivers the classic compositions of the previous century including his 1962 hit “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” with a refreshingly earnest approach. His daughter Antonia will open Friday’s concert.

7:30 p.m. Friday. Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. 816-994-7222. $70-$150.

Monsters of Mock

Millions of classic rock fans were saddened to learn last month that the flagging health of AC/DC’s Malcolm Young may permanently forestall future tours. The members of Mötley Crüe recently made a show of signing a legally binding document promising that their next tour together will be their last. While Kiss was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April, the costumed rockers are best known these days for their dalliances with reality television and the restaurant industry. Saturday’s Monsters of Mock concert featuring Almost Kiss, Looks That Kill and KC/DC will allow fans to set aside the discouraging reports about their heroes as they revel in simulations of each of the bands at the peaks of their powers.

8 p.m. Saturday. Crossroads KC. 816-472-5454. $11.50-$31.50.

Beach openings

Friendly people, affordable housing, professional sports franchises, unique cuisine and a vibrant cultural scene make the Kansas City area the perfect place to live. Well, almost perfect. Kansas City’s location in the Midwest lacks both mountains and oceans. Fortunately, area residents can mimic the sensation of dipping their toes in the Atlantic, Pacific or the Gulf of Mexico at lakeside beaches. The waterside facilities at Longview Lake Beach, Blue Springs Beach, Shawnee Mission Park Beach and Kill Creek Park Beach open this weekend.

Longview Lake Beach and Blue Springs Lake Beach: Saturday-Sept. 1. 816-503-4876. Adults $5, children/seniors $3; family passes are available.

Shawnee Mission Park Beach and Kill Creek Park Beach: Saturday-Aug. 3. 913-312-8847. County residents: $5 for 13-49, otherwise $3. Non-Johnson County residents: $5.50 for 13-49, otherwise $3.50. Season and family passes are available.

Jiggle Jam Family Fest

Most of the children who attend Jiggle Jam this weekend are unlikely to have heard of Woodstock, but the two-day event at Crown Center Square is a wholesome and youth-oriented equivalent of that sprawling 1969 festival. Organizers characterize Jiggle Jam as “the nation’s largest independent family music festival.” Inflatable bounce houses, crafts and games are complemented by performances by national entertainers including Laurie Berkner and Brady Rymer and local favorites like Jim “Mr. Stinky Feet” Cosgrove and the Doo-Dads.

Saturday-Sunday. Crown Center Square. 816-997-8511. $15 at the gate or $18 for two-day passes (online only).

Running with Bonnie & Clyde: The Red Crown Symposium and Road Tour

Holliday Grainger and Emile Hirsch brought the notorious criminals Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow to life in a recent television miniseries. The production reminded local viewers of the many area sites inhabited by the pair of native Texans. These connections will be explored at Saturday’s Red Crown Symposium and Road Tour. The day’s activities include a reunion of the Parker and Barrow families, a fashion show and a tour that includes a stop at the former location of the Red Crown Tavern and Motel, the site of a bloody 1933 shootout that’s now an empty lot near the Kansas City International Airport.

10 a.m. Saturday. Event begins at KC Improv, 7260 N.W. 87th St. 816-858-3419. Free; registration required.

Memorial Day weekend at the National World War I Museum

The National World War I Museum has a full slate of Memorial Day weekend events. . Congressman Emanuel Cleaver and Kansas City Mayor Sly James will attend a somber observance ceremony at 10 a.m. Monday at the museum’s Memorial Courtyard. The proceedings will include a rendition of the national anthem and a performance by the American Legion Band of Greater Kansas City. Blue Bell Ice Cream will offer free samples of its Red, White and Blue Bell dessert after the observance. A Walk of Honor dedication ceremony takes place at 1 p.m. Monday at the museum’s J.C. Nichols Auditorium. Ron Gutierrez, an Iraq war veteran, will sing patriotic songs. Details about additional events are available at

The 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ceremonies on Monday are free. National World War I Museum. 816-888-8100. Tickets to tour the museum are $14 for adults, $12 for seniors 65 and older, $12 for students with ID and $8 for youth 6-17. Active duty military personnel and veterans are eligible for discounts.

Celebration at the Station with Kansas City Symphony and the Texas Tenors

Celebration at the Station is an annual confluence of many of the things Kansas Citians cherish most. The free event features fireworks, jazz, picnicking, patriotism and a rousing performance by the Kansas City Symphony. Tens of thousands of people gather every year in the expanse between Liberty Memorial and Union Station to observe the contributions of military veterans and revel in the glorious setting. The crossover classical ensemble the Texas Tenors and Gen. Richard B. Myers, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will take part in the event. The music of the Vine Street Rumble Jazz Orchestra and the jazz quartet A La Mode are among the pre-concert attractions.

8 p.m. Sunday. Union Station. 816-471-0400. Free.

Royals vs. Houston

“If they don’t win it’s a shame.” The familiar line of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” will assume additional resonance as the Royals take on the lowly Houston Astros for a three-game set at Kauffman Stadium. While the Astros are loaded with promising young talent, the team is struggling to climb out of the cellar of the American League’s Western Division. If the Royals are to make a run at the playoffs this season, the team must take advantage of games against weaker opponents like the Astros. The first 10,000 fans will receive camouflage jerseys on Monday and T-shirts on Tuesday. Bears & Company perform at the Outfield Experience stage as part of Ink magazine’s Local Music Showcase on Wednesday.

7:10 p.m. Monday and Tuesday and 1:10 p.m. Wednesday. Kauffman Stadium. 800-676-9257. $8-$85.

Rat Pack Show

The members of the Rat Pack were the pinnacle of cool 54 years ago. Frank Sinatra had a golden voice. Sammy Davis Jr.’s singing, dancing and acting represented a rare triple threat. Joey Bishop was a comedic genius while Dean Martin had personality to spare. Sandy Hackett’s Rat Pack Show is based on the quartet’s momentous appearances at the Sands hotel in Las Vegas in 1960. It was a time when jazz still swung, cigarettes were standard fashion accessories and excessive alcohol consumption was considered funny. The production’s music and comedy will transport audiences back to that very different era.

Tuesday-Sunday. Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. 800-745-3000. $50-$85.

Kanye West Glow in the Dark Party

Many fans of popular music allow the bold declarations and obnoxious exploits of Kanye West to interfere with their appreciation of his music. A few hundred fans who recognize that much of the most exceptional music of the past decade has been made by West will gather at Wednesday’s Glow in the Dark Party, a 134-minute compilation of music videos, at the Alamo Drafthouse. Glow props and “extra glowing surprises” will be distributed among the ticket holders. Few revelers are likely to stay seated during the show that is sure to include party-minded bangers like “Stronger” and weightier material like “Black Skinhead.”

7:30 p.m. Wednesday. Alamo Drafthouse, 1400 Main St. 816-474-4545. $12.

William Least Heat-Moon on Writing ‘Blue Highways’: The Story of How a Book Happened

Much like Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road” did for a previous generation, William Least Heat-Moon’s “Blue Highways” expanded the possibilities of life in the United States for tens of thousands of readers. Published in 1982, the travelogue is an account of the author’s epic journey across the country in a van he named Ghost Dancing. Partly because the native of Kansas City and current resident of Rocheport, Mo., remains largely off the grid, his talk about writing “Blue Highways” represents a rare opportunity to garner insights into the laborious process of writing.

6 p.m. Wednesday. Kansas City Public Library-Central Library. 816-701-3400. Free, reservation encouraged.

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