Keeping the Beat

SAT 2/7

Don’t plan to get any reading done at the Shawnee branch of the Johnson County Public Library (13811 Johnson Drive) Saturday. Concentrating might be difficult when Derek Sharp shows up with a van full of hand drums and percussion instruments for the 10:30 a.m. Rhythmic Drums class. Once the children at Sharp’s all-ages percussion session discover the sonic capacities of the Brazilian cuica, an instrument that can make sounds similar to elephants farting or monkeys screaming, it’s all over. Unless they’re cool with the sounds of the living jungle, readers might as well join Sharp’s audience as he talks about the history of his instruments and challenges kids with exercises.

“I’ll have you start playing what I’m playing,” Sharp explains. “Then I’m going to stop, but you keep going, and I’ll try to mess you up.” To register, call 913-962-3800. — Michael Vennard


KU actually does something for free.

MON 2/9

Little kids don’t know anything about drama. They’ll cry their little eyes out over a glass of spilled milk, but what’s gonna happen when their first girlfriend dumps them like a bad habit? Or what about when they find out that the ex-girlfriend who “just wants to be friends” is actually getting extra friendly with another boy after school? Losing a pint of milk doesn’t seem so bad then, does it? Oh, snap! When the thespians at the University of Kansas’ Department of Theatre and Film said they were offering free after-school drama classes for kids, they meant drama as in acting. What a relief. We pictured college students tantalizing eight-year-olds with their true-life tales of lost loves and roommate rumbles. Registration for first- through third-graders is from 5:30 to 6 p.m. at Murphy Hall, 1530 Naismith Drive in Lawrence. For details, call 785-864-3982.— Vennard

Down With the Kids

SAT 2/7

Remember Alex P. Keaton, Michael J. Fox’s overachiever from Family Ties? Of all the things we learned from APK in the ’80s (blazers work with jeans, liberal parents can be all right), the most important thing he taught us was to enjoy our childhood: We didn’t want to be like him. Jim Cosgrove and the Hiccups could have taught the little Reaganite a thing or two about having more fun. Cosgrove brings five albums’ worth of songs about stinky feet, wobbly teeth and “The Goin’ to Bed Early Blues” to the Lawrence Arts Center (940 New Hampshire Street) at 10:30 a.m. Saturday. For information, call 785-843-2787.— Vennard

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