Mongrel Mix-up


SAT 4/2
Sideshows seldom stop within city limits anymore, which bodes poorly for fans of outlandish novelty acts, colorful characters, burlesque skits … and unusual odors. On Saturday, though, the Yard Dogs Road Show stuffs its tent-ready performers inside the Jackpot Saloon (934 Massachusetts in Lawrence), saving carnival lovers a trip to some rustic outpost. Attractions include Mystic Man Tobias, the sword-swallowing, glass-eating “human fountain”; the Twelve-Toed Man, who, in addition to displaying his titular physical oddity, paints; Hellvis, the fire-eating Elvis impersonator; Guitar Boy, a vinyl-clad soloist savant; a series of lowbrow, lo-fi film shorts; and garishly costumed dancing girls galore. Eddy Joe Cotton, author of Hobo: A Young Man’s Thoughts on Trains and Tramping in America, assembled this neo-vaudevillian roster to highlight “tramp artists” — creative nomads who make art using whatever media their meager means allow. Cotton also reads poetry about riding the rails and plays in the Yard Dogs jug band, which performs woozy gypsy-mystic jams on handmade instruments between segments. In a welcome deviation from carny tradition, spectators simply pay a $7 cover charge instead of enduring relentless pitches from pigeon-hunting barkers. The pseudo-circus starts at 9 p.m. For more information, call 785-832-1085. — Andrew Miller

Heaven Sent
The Heartland Men’s Chorus has the spirit.

People often have doubts and misgivings about their religious faith. But what happens when your religion labels you an abomination? The Heartland Men’s Chorus explores this dilemma in its latest production, All God’s Children. The show is narrated by gay Christian minister Dr. Mel White, who struggled to reconcile an evangelical upbringing with his sexual orientation. His story is interspersed with those of chorus members, several of whom are ordained clergy or children of clergy members, and songs by composers as diverse as Leonard Bernstein and Cyndi Lauper. (The second act opens with the Shower of Stoles, a traveling exhibit of 1,000 liturgical stoles inscribed with messages from gays and lesbians active in their faith communities.) Shows are at 8 p.m. Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday at the Folly Theater (300 West 12th Street); tickets range from $15 to $50. Call 816-474-4444. — Christopher Sebela

Here’s a Story
Watch has-beens capitalize on being has-beens.

Right now they’re in every family room, but in 20 years, we’ll see today’s television stars scrambling for whatever role they can get. (We can hardly wait to see Matt LeBlanc and David Caruso co-star in The Odd Couple at our local dinner theater.) Until then, we have yesterday’s small-screen stars singing their shows’ theme songs, among other tunes, in TV Hit Parade at the Carlsen Center’s Yardley Hall (12345 College Boulevard in Overland Park). Joyce DeWitt (Janet from Three’s Company), Barry Williams (aka Greg Brady), Adrian Zmed (T.J. Hooker) and Mackenzie Phillips (One Day at a Time) share the spotlight at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For tickets, which are $32 or $40, call 913-469-4445. —Michael Vennard

Great Scot!

SAT 4/2
If you are mad for plaid, celebrate Tartan Day from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday at Loose Park (52nd Street and Wornall Road) and at the 7:30 p.m. concert at the Central United Methodist Church (5114 Oak). Besides the requisite pipers and dancers, longtime local favorites Rowan and Bob Reeder take the stage in a fund-raiser for the annual Scottish Highland Games. Call 816-471-2900. — Annie Fischer