“The Caretaker” by Amir H. Fallah, “A Poke Ghost and the Garden of Tearz” by Rodolfo Marron III and “The Space Between” by Mark Cowardin
Opens Thursday at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art
While art can be appreciated on its own terms, a thorough understanding of the works going on display Thursday at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art can be achieved by attending the evening’s opening reception. Curators suggest that the three installations will “capture the complexity and contradictions of our relationship to the natural world.” Artists Amir Fallah, Rodolfo Marron and Mark Cowardin will explain the intent of their ambitious works. Fallah’s is an “alternative portrait.” Marron’s work was inspired by a deer that lived in a Kansas City cemetery. Cowardin’s installation includes several interrelated elements.
The opening reception is 6-8 p.m. Thursday, May 28. The exhibition runs through Sept. 27. Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art. 913-469-3000. nermanmuseum.org. Free.
Ronda Rousey for “My Fight/Your Fight”
Thursday at Unity Temple on the Plaza
A recent feature on the HBO program “Real Sports” suggested that Ronda Rousey is “quite possibly the most dominant athlete in the world.” She’s a mixed martial arts star and former Olympian with the nickname “Rowdy.” Her appearance at Unity Temple on the Plaza won’t merely attract sports obsessives. As HBO’s profile noted, Rousey is “a lethal combination of beauty and power.” Her willingness to show off her striking looks on the silver screen and in photo spreads has expanded her appeal. Rousey addresses many of the challenges she has overcome in her candid new autobiography, “My Fight/Your Fight.”
7 p.m. Thursday, May 28. Unity Temple on the Plaza, 707 W. 47th St. 913-384-3126. rainydaybooks.com. $27.95 plus sales tax, includes an autographed hardcover of “My Fight/Your Fight.”
The Gala of the Royal Horses
Thursday at the Independence Events Center
Horses are often viewed as beasts of burden. The first images that come to mind when considering the animals are often their roles as erstwhile companions of ranchers and police forces or their employment as objects of gambling enterprises at racetracks. Equines are cast in an entirely different light at performances of the Gala of the Royal Horses. The beauty, strength and intelligence of the animals are demonstrated in the European-themed show. In one stunt, a horse tap dances alongside a human dancer. A horse named Mozart and his young trainer affectionately embrace in another dramatic display.
7 p.m. Thursday, May 28. Independence Events Center. 800-745-3000. independenceeventscenter.com. $29-$79.
Lawrence Busker Festival
Thursday-Sunday in Lawrence
People can be divided into two categories: those who take delight in street performers and those who look upon the entertainers as annoying nuisances. The former set of people will find hours of entertainment at the seventh edition of the Lawrence Busker Festival. Almost every staple of the tradition will be represented. Magicians, balloon artists, break dancers, contortionists, one-man-bands, jugglers, unicyclists and living statues will perform on outdoor stages throughout Lawrence. The event opens with a Busker Ball at the Granada theater at 7 p.m. Thursday.
Thursday, May 28, through Sunday, May 31. Various locations in downtown Lawrence. 785-330-5110. lawrencebuskerfest.com. Most events are free. Admission to Thursday’s Busker Ball is $8 for adults and $5 for children.
Friday-Sunday at Zona Rosa
Just how much do you like meatballs and cannoli? People attending the Festa Italiana at Zona Rosa may question their affection for the Italian delicacies as they take in entertaining but stomach-turning eating contests this weekend. The displays of gluttony are just a portion of the activities at the annual three-day event. The Bronx Wanderers, a group from New York that will pay tribute to Dion and Frankie Valli on Saturday, is among several ensembles celebrating the musical contributions of Italian-Americans. Their performance will be preceded by Savannah Miller, a world champion baton twirler who will deliver “the most entertaining three minutes ever.”
5-11 p.m. Friday, May 29, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, May 30, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, May 31. Zona Rosa. unicokc.org. Free.
Kansas City Symphony, “Zukerman, Geller, Beethoven and Bach”
Friday-Sunday at Helzberg Hall
Noah Geller will get a chance to shine at Helzberg Hall this weekend. Geller, one of the standout members of the Kansas City Symphony, will be paired with Pinchas Zukerman during performances of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Concerto in D Minor for Two Violins and String Orchestra. Playing alongside the two-time Grammy Award winner Zukerman will almost certainly be a career highlight for the fresh-faced Geller. Zukerman, who will also be conducting, will be featured on Paul Hindemith’s Trauermusik, a piece written in 1936 to commemorate the death of King George V. The program concludes with Ludwig van Beethoven’s Second Symphony.
8 p.m. Friday, May 29, and Saturday, May 30, 2 p.m. Sunday May 31. Helzberg Hall. 816-471-0400. kcsymphony.org. $31-$79.
Sporting Kansas City vs. Dallas
Friday at Sporting Park
After a shaky start to the 2015 campaign, Sporting Kansas City appeared to find its footing during a May 20 match against the New England Revolution. Even with seven players including Graham Zusi and Ike Opara unavailable because of injuries, Sporting scored four goals as it put the Revolution’s streak of nine consecutive unbeaten matches to an end. FC Dallas is also a formidable foe. Led by Colombian star Fabián Castillo and the Panamanian scoring threat Blas Pérez, FC Dallas is a strong contender for the MLS Cup. The first 10,000 fans through the gates will receive a Sporting KC T-shirt.
8 p.m. Friday, May 29. Sporting Park. 913-912-7600. sportingkc.com. $20-$275.
Kansas City Microbrews and BBQ Festival
Saturday at the Kansas City Museum
The serene grounds of the Kansas City Museum will be transformed into an outdoor beer garden at the Kansas City Microbrews and BBQ Festival. Offerings from the usual suspects like the KC Bier Co. and 75th Street Brewery will be complemented by locally based newcomers including Cinder Block Brewery and Double Shift Brewing Co. Drinkers who work up an appetite can indulge in Kansas City barbecue. Anyone seeking an additional distraction can watch cyclists competing in the Tour of Kansas City race on the streets at the south side of the museum complex.
2-5 p.m. Saturday, May 30. Kansas City Museum, 3218 Gladstone Blvd. kcbrewsandbbq.com. $40 in advance and $45 at the gate.
Friday at the Uptown Theater
Chuck Palahniuk isn’t the voice of his generation. Instead, he’s merely the voice of the disaffected segment of Americans born between 1960 and 1990. The nihilistic author has documented the sense of alienation that afflicts millions of people who feel out of sorts in contemporary society. Palahniuk is touring in support of his collection “Make Something Up: Stories You Can’t Unread” and a new series of “Fight Club”-related graphic novels. The author of “Fight Club” and “Choke,” Palahniuk has led a colorful life that lends itself to entertaining personal appearances.
7:30 p.m. Friday, May 29. Uptown Theater, 3700 Broadway. 913-384-3126. rainydaybooks.com. $35 plus tax, includes an autographed hardcover copy of “Make Something Up” and an autographed copy of the graphic novel “Fight Club 2.”
Saturday at Penn Valley Park
Fans of hard rock and heavy metal love extreme music. Ironically, they also tend to hate change. Conservative listeners of radio station 98.9 the Rock are up in arms because the lineup of this year’s edition of Rockfest features Tech N9ne. The presence of the Kansas City rapper offends the delicate sensibilities of traditionalists. They may not realize that much of Tech N9ne’s material is just as hard and heavy as the output of Saturday’s headliner Rob Zombie. The 11-hour festival that’s expected to draw 50,000 people also includes appearances by thrash pioneers Anthrax and the hard rock up-and-comers the Pretty Reckless.
Noon-11 p.m. Saturday, May 30. Penn Valley Park. rockfestkc.com. $47.50 in advance.
The Blacklight Run and the Color Run
Blacklight Run: Saturday at Cricket Wireless Amphitheater
The Color Run: Saturday at Arrowhead Stadium
Runners seeking to enliven their routines have two alluring options at area landmarks on Saturday. The Blacklight Run at Cricket Wireless Amphitheater and the Color Run at Arrowhead Stadium offer vibrant alternatives to run-of-the-mill exercise. Both fun-oriented 5K courses involve bathing participants with dyes or paints. The Blacklight Run takes place at night and is followed by a dance party. People who prefer to get up early may opt for the Color Run at the Truman Sports Complex. The charitable morning event benefits the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kansas City.
Blacklight Run: 8 p.m. Saturday, May 30. Cricket Wireless Amphitheater. 913-825-3400. cricketwirelessamp.com. $40 in advance.
The Color Run: 8 a.m. Saturday, May 30. Arrowhead Stadium. thecolorrun.com/kansas-city. $55.
Steve Miller Band with Buddy Guy
Saturday at Starlight Theatre
The Steve Miller Band was originally a blues ensemble. “The Joker,” the title track of the ensemble’s eighth studio album and its first national hit, is an outlier on the 1973 release that’s dominated by blues material. The classic rock band is touring with a genuine blues legend. Buddy Guy, 78, has been a major source of inspiration for generations of blues and rock guitarists. Most of Saturday’s audience at Starlight Theatre will be on hand to hear Miller hits like “Fly Like an Eagle,” but people who arrive early will have a chance to hear Guy soar on renditions of rugged material like “Damn Right, I’ve Got the Blues.”
7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 30. Starlight. 816-363-7827. kcstarlight.com. $35-$149.50.
Kansas City Royals vs. Cleveland
Tuesday-Thursday at Kauffman Stadium
A panel of 15 baseball analysts affiliated with ESPN were asked to predict the outcome of the 2015 season before the first game was played. Only two of the prognosticators chose the Kansas City Royals as the likely winners of the American League Central Division, while six expected the Cleveland Indians to top the standings. Cleveland has stumbled out of the gate while the Royals have amassed a winning record. Hometown fans will expect those trends to continue during the three-game series that opens Tuesday.
7:10 p.m. Tuesday, June 2, through Thursday, June 4. Kauffman Stadium. 816-921-8000. kansascity.royals.mlb.com. $11-$81.
Bill Brownlee, Special to The Kansas City Star