Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee
30ThursdayWho is the guardian tonight of the Gates of Paradise? asks Agha Shahid Ali in his poem “The Farewell.” He may not know the answer, but he’ll be in Kansas City today along with other well-known poets, such as Dana Gioia, Donna Masini, Liam Rector, Henry Taylor, and Carolyn Beard Whitlow. Don’t know who they are? Get thee to the library, or just get to the Kansas City Marriott Downtown, 200 W. 12th St., this afternoon at 4:30. The Poetry Society of America is responsible for bringing this mighty pen brigade to town in this event that looks at “Visions for America: Poetry in the 21st Century.” Because April is the fifth annual National Poetry Month, the Poetry Society of America thought this was as good a time as any to present this series of discussions and readings, reflecting on the legacy of the American poetic revolution, even though it’s still March. (Don’t ask; the day a poet is understood is the day Whitman shows up at the Dixie Belle.) However, poetic events continue through April 1, sponsored by the Associate Writers Program. Admission is free. For more information, call 816-421-6800.
31FridaySomalia and the United States don’t have much in common, except when it comes to not ratifying the United Nation’s Convention on the Right of the Child (CRC). One-hundred and ninety-one countries have committed to the human rights treaty. So what’s the problem in the United States? Maybe it’s lack of information. To remedy that, some of Kansas City’s most prominent people are backing a conference to be held today through April 2 at the Kansas City Marriott Country Club Plaza, 4445 Main, “to promote awareness and understanding of the provisions of the CRC.” Former Mayor Charles B. Wheeler, AFL-CIO leader Bridgette Williams, and Missouri National Education Association leader Carol Howard, among others, are on the convention’s steering committee. For more information, call 816-753-2372.
The Fruit of the Loom guys are going to make a special appearance. April Fool’s! Actually, April Foods! Today is April Foods Day, which promotes the practice of buying direct from local farmers. Forget Farmland, this really is farmer-owned. The Farmers Exhibition wants Kansas Citians to pull the plug on factory farms by purchasing their organic vegetables, humanely produced meats, and veggie seedlings. Health specialists also will graze around, speaking about the pleasures of eating locally grown food. The exhibition takes place today from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Penn Valley Community College Gymnasium, 3201 Southwest Trafficway. Admission is free. For more information, call 816-374-5899.
If a guitar player could choose any name, “Mr. Hand” might just be the best name a picking and strumming fool could have. Yes, Frederic Hand wears his name on his sleeve, strumming out songs that strike many a chord in the heart of the guitar world. Hand is lauded as one of the most versatile guitarists performing today, composing songs that resist classification. Hand breaks all the rules, stroking his guitar with his own eclectic style. Numerous films, including This Boy’s Life, Kramer vs. Kramer, and The Next Man, have used his scintillating sounds. Thanks to the Kansas City Guitar Society, the Hand begins playing tonight at 7:30 in UMKC’s White Hall, 4949 Cherry. Tickets are $13. For more information, call 816-235-2700.
The Lied Center: Australian for a good place to play chamber music. The musical wonders from down under, The Australian Chamber Orchestra, join pianist Anne-Marie McDermott on the Lied Center stage in Lawrence, Kan., this afternoon at 3:30. This youthful group is known as one of the world’s greatest small orchestras. Founded in 1975, the orchestra is Australia’s most globally traveled arts association, with the largest audience subscription base of any chamber orchestra in the world. That means they get a lot of donations so they can keep on playing. Supposedly they are so well-loved on their dingo-ridden continent, Paul Hogan might even show up in his trusty little Outback with a case of Fosters beer. Wouldn’t that be surprising? The fact that Hogan ever became famous in the first place proves anything could happen. Tickets are $27. For more information, call 785-864-ARTS.
3MondayKKFI celebrated its 12th birthday on Feb. 28, and today the station is throwing a party. Twenty-three years ago, the nonprofit radio station began as a communiversity course called Radio Free Kansas City. Eleven years of garage sales and bingo events gave way to the “on air” signal, and KKFI has been going strong ever since. The radio hoopla is a benefit to keep the volunteer KKFIers on the air. It all takes place at The Beaumont Club, 4050 Pennsylvania. They’re calling it “Blow Out The Keys,” as it hopes to be the quintessential answer to what has been called Kansas City’s standard for blues stations. Entertainment tonight includes Larry van Loon and The Midnight K.C. Band, Greg Camp, Tom Hall, Rick Yord, and lots of their friends. Tickets are $8 at the door. For more information, call 816-510-3001.
Come sail away, come sail away…. Climb on board all you seamen and seawomen — the Show Boat sails into town tonight, where it will dock until Sunday, April 9. Set on the Mississippi in the late 1800s, Show Boat will take you to the era of real riverboat gambling. On the boat, meet Captain Andy Hawkes and his family, gambler Gaylord Ravenal, and heartbreaking singer Julie, a victim of the racial oppression of the time. The New York Times calls it “the great American musical” that incorporates four decades of history. Performances are set for today through Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2 and 7 p.m. at the Music Hall, 13th & Central. Tickets range from $28.50 to $37.50. For tickets, call 816-931-3330.
In a Sesame Street-like manner, tonight’s show can teach youngsters the meaning of one, some, most, and all. Headlining act the Pavers features Scott Reynolds, former singer for All, a band that included most of the members of the legendary pop-punk outfit the Descendents. Wretch Like Me, the Pavers’ labelmates on the Owned and Operated label that lists some All/Descendents alums among its owners, comes next on the marquee. All of the bands on this bill, which also includes talented local groups Revolvers, Kosher, and Annie On My Mind, should provide sets that are most entertaining, so come one, come all to El Torreon, 31st and Gillham. For more information, call 816-419-7278.
7 days of ways to play.
BY denise lozanoFrederic HandShow BoatFloat like a butterfly, sting like a bee”This one’s our Miss Priss here,” jokes Vickie Keys, co-owner of the East Side Boxing Club at 1510 Prospect, about boxer Ashley Malloy. “The others will spit, slobber …”
“I am not a priss!” Malloy indignantly protests.
Call these women prissy at your own risk, for once they don the gloves, they’ll surely take you out in the ring. Although women’s presence in boxing seems to be at odds with the sport’s Neanderthal image, the number of women boxers has increased in the past few years, and the boxing scene in Kansas City is not immune to this trend.
The Greater Kansas City Golden Gloves tournament takes place March 31 and April 1, and a new feature this year will be eight Championship Women’s Bouts on April 1. The winners of the women’s tournament will compete in the Women’s National Golden Gloves Championships Aug. 9 through 12 in Augusta, Ga. The Kansas City tournament will feature boxers from eastern Missouri and western Kansas, who range in age from 8 to 34 years.
“We’ve had women box for the past five to six years,” says Gordon Neal, the Golden Gloves tournament director. “It’s really taken off, and Kansas City has its share of women boxers who want to do it.” Especially, he says, after seeing the daughters of Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali pick up the sport, and the success of local fighters Sumya Anani (who beat WBC Women’s Lightweight Champion Christy Martin in 1998) and Mary Ortega, a two-time Golden Gloves champion and pro who rose up through the amateur ranks.
Malloy is one of the boxers who will compete in the tournament. The 16-year-old sophomore from Lee’s Summit, whose willowy stature and eye shadow are a sharp contrast to her gloves and headgear, has boxed for only a month and a half, and the Golden Gloves will be her first tournament fight. She started boxing because her stepfather boxes, and he and her trainer are friends. She was also inspired to start by watching the fights of her idol, Roy Jones Jr., a two-time world champion and Olympic silver medalist.
“It’s hard work, but I love it; it’s so fun,” she says. “I’ve become a lot stronger and more disciplined.”
Although Malloy’s mom doesn’t like the fact that her daughter boxes — “She’s afraid of brain damage,” Malloy says — Malloy downplays the chances of injury while fighting.
“When you get hit, it’s not that bad,” she says. “Especially if you’re in shape.”
According to Neal, the boxers’ safety is of the utmost concern in the tournament. One of the differences between amateurs and pros is that amateur boxers wear headgear. They will also box in fewer rounds.
“I’ve just gotten bloody noses, nothing serious,” says Kristin Read, a 13-year-old seventh-grader from Liberty who’s boxed for about five years. She got into the sport through her dad, who is also a boxer and who would take her along to the gym when she was younger.
Read, who was sporting a T-shirt that said “Knock yourself out,” has the boxer’s stance and the stare of death down pat. She is no stranger to the tournament; she’s been in eight fights and is ranked second in her division. She’ll fight the number-one rank in the tournament.
The reaction of the men in the boxing community to the increase in women has been supportive, according to Malloy and Read.
“Most people think it’s pretty cool,” says Read. Malloy agrees: “The guys like it. Sometimes we get a lot of shit from them, but they’re for it.”
“There is a lot of support in the community,” says Mary Ortega. She sees herself as a mentor to the up-and-coming boxers, and she spars with both the boys and girls as she learns how to coach, which is her goal.
Ortega sees a difference in the way men and women box. “The men dance around and try to be pretty,” she says. “The women want to show them ‘I can do it.'”
Both Malloy and Read hope to go far with their boxing careers. Read is thinking about turning pro, and Malloy hopes to get a scholarship. In the meantime, they’re having a great time participating in the sport they love.
“I love it so much, I can’t even describe it,” says Malloy. “It’s not the point of beating someone, but using your mind a lot.”
— Jen Chen
The 65th Annual Regional Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions is Friday, March 31, and Saturday, April 1, at 7:00 p.m. both nights at Municipal Auditorium (13th and Wyandotte in KCMO). Semifinals are on the 31st, and finals are on April 1. Tickets are available at the Municipal Auditorium box office, Ticketmaster locations (816-931-3330), or from the Golden Glove office (816-353-8200).
Ashley Malloy The Greater Kansas City Golden Gloves features something new this year — women in the ring.’Reely’
independentLights, camera, independent action. The fourth annual Kansas City Filmmakers Jubilee begins Saturday and continues through April 9 at various locations. On the heels of the Oscars, Kansas City’s finest independent film producers are ready to throw in their work with the best in short film glamour and glitz from Kansas City and around the world.
The kick-off feature is Tim DePaepe’s Shades of Gray, a documentary that focuses on residents of Lawrence, Kan., who lead normal lives and just happen to be gay. When the Lawrence City Council is approached with a proposal to add the words “sexual orientation” to its discrimination policies, a struggle ensues between Lawrence residents; gay organizations, religious organizations, and activists, including Fred Phelps, who hasn’t yet tired in his efforts to ship all gay people and those who love them straight to hell. Phelps promises to have picketers at the screening Saturday at Manor Square Tivoli Theatre, 4050 Pennsylvania, at 7 p.m.
Throughout the Jubilee, a mix of local and national award-winning films will be screened and local and national artists will hold seminars at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, and commercial theaters in the Plaza/Midtown area.
Other local selections include:
Night of the Growling by Todd Norris is a narrative that explores the life of a cooking-impaired bachelor living alone with his poodle. In this womanless tale, a snowstorm hits, the microwave breaks, and the bachelor is left facing starvation. Will he eat his poodle? Will he learn to cook? Or will he die among the remains of pizza boxes and an unused stove?
The Dorothea Musical: Behind the Scenes by Justin Jogada is a mockumentary of the egotistical director and self-absorbed actors who made the film that captures the life of grande dame Dot.
Cry Little Child Cry by Jim Lewis and Gene Ertel is an experimental piece that is shot in a film noir style and uses words, light, and music to paint the despair and loneliness of a relationship’s end.
The Gown by Joy Moeller is a narrative reminiscent of the silent film era; its characters exist in a dreamlike world that may be all too real. The characters’ everyday lives follow a monotonous routine, their physical bodies conforming to the rut, but their minds and hearts wander with curiosity, daydreaming like children.
Nelson’s Electric Chaircuts by Kristie Drew is a documentary with the title character combining fashion, noise art, and S & M for New York City street and club audiences. Nelson explores all aspects of his unique performance, from being “in the chair” to handling the media buzz that surrounds the artist.
Stull, KS by Mitch Brian and Michael Neu is a narrative about a grieving man and his daughter visiting a cemetery and desecrated church in Stull that is rumored to be the gateway to hell.
— Denise Lozano
Admission to the Jubilee is free except for screenings that take place at commercial theaters. For information on show times, lectures, workshops, and more, call 913-649-0244 or visit www.kcjubilee.org.
The fourth annual Kansas City Filmmakers Jubilee takes over the town April 1 through 9.