Joco Diversions

April 22, 2014

May days and May nights have plenty to offer

From a foodie fundraiser to an American Girl excursion to the ballet, there’s plenty to do.
May 1 Zest and Zing

Chefs and farmers unite for Zest and Zing, a foodie event/competition sponsored by the Kansas Farm Bureau. Following a round of appetizers and drinks, mystery ingredients are revealed to the competing chefs: Gary Hild, executive chef at the Culinary Center of Kansas City, and Richard McPeake, noted chef and author. The chefs have 45 minutes to get their plates to the celebrity judges: “Survivor: Guatemala” winner Danni Boatwright Wiegmann and “Handmade in the Heartland” blogger Angela Muir. Chef Alli of Chef Alli’s Farm Fresh Kitchen hosts.

6-9 p.m., May 1. The Culinary Center of Kansas City, 7920 Santa Fe Dr. $25. May 2 Chelsea Handler

Who has cracked the Maxim Hot 100, Forbes Celebrity 100 and Time’s 100 Most Influential People lists? That would be Chelsea Handler. The surly talk show host, comedian and best-selling author returns with her fifth book. “Uganda Be Kidding Me,” which chronicles such hilarious misadventures as going on safari in Africa and kayaking in the Bahamas. She’ll sign copies and meet fans at the event.

2 p.m., May 2. Rainy Day Books in Fairway, 2706 W 53rd St. The admission package of $27 includes one hardcover copy of “Uganda Be Kidding Me” and admission. May 3 Tracy Lawrence

Whether powering the classics “Alibis” and “Find Out Who Your Friends Are” or his latest single, “Lie,” Tracy Lawrence has proven one of the most durable voices in modern country music. The Arkansas musician first came to the public’s attention with 1991’s “Sticks and Stones,” and after sales of 13 million albums, he is touring on his new record, “Headlights, Taillights and Radios,” now on his own label.

8 p.m., May 3. The Carlsen Center’s Yardley Hall, Johnson County Community College. $30-$40. May 8 Will C

It’s been nearly 20 years since KC native Will C fulfilled a dare to grab a mic and deliver a standup comedy routine. Since then, the burly funnyman has become a regular on the L.A. club scene, touring with the Monsters of Comedy and GIs of Comedy as well. He also turns up frequently in movies. (He’s currently filming the sequel “The Purge: Anarchy,” credited as “Machete Man.”) He brings his self-effacing material back to hometown audiences, with Randy Burgard and Scott Shaffer opening.

8 p.m., May 8. Kanza Hall, 7300 W. 119th St. $5. May 18 American Girl at the Kansas City Ballet’s ‘Cinderella’

“Follow your inner star,” suggests the slogan for American Girl. Fans of the iconic doll brand can take that to heart during a special day designed to celebrate artistic stardom. Girls and their 18-inch pals get to enjoy a continental breakfast followed by Isabelle doll craft and a paper pumpkin craft. Then they’re bused to a 2 p.m. performance of “Cinderella” by the Kansas City Ballet at the Kauffman Center, 1601 Broadway. A return trip back to the American Girl store allows participants to shop or engage in more activities such as the signature doll hair salon.

11 a.m., May 18. Oak Park Mall (lower level), 11149 W. 95th St. $75.

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