Night & Day Events
Tonight is a night of self-inflicted blackouts. Roll-your-own blackouts sweep the country as recipients of a widely circulated e-mail turn off their lights in protest of energy overconsumption and the Alaska drilling that’s going to make it all possible. Greenies everywhere will play board games by candlelight, or whatever else they see fit to do in the absence of television, stereos, computers and lights. Another kind of blackout entirely may occur in Westport and downtown, where busloads of people can take advantage of the annual Jazz Lover’s Pub Crawl, paying $15 for access (and transportation) to fifteen clubs. Buses usher jazz lovers to their fates starting at 8 p.m. For a list of venues and to order tickets, call 816-523-1232.
John Harrison, official taster for Edy’s Grand Ice Cream, has to be careful where he puts his tongue. His taste buds, which have sampled more than 180 million gallons of ice cream, need extra protection so they can be ultrareceptive to the subtle differences between flavors. The best protection, John has found, is abstinence; that means no spicy food, no alcohol and no smoking. He starts each day with a cup of tea to clean his palate. He visits the Hen House Market, 11721 Roe in Leawood, today to share ice-cream-tasting tips gleaned from his twenty years of experience. Harrison offers insight on how he moves from one ice cream to another, tasting only a little of each before spitting it out, while still approaching each new flavor as if it were the first (but with more skill). Ice cream lovers can find out everything they ever wanted to know about ice cream but were too afraid to ask from 10 to 11 a.m. For more information, call 913-338-0600.
Gorilla Theatre‘s performers are waking up early this morning for a Solstice Production of Euripides’ classical tragedy The Trojan Women. The play starts at 7:30 a.m.; if audience members can rouse themselves at such an ungodly hour, the performance should prove worthwhile. The Trojan Women was written as something of an antiwar gesture, one that predated the hunger strike, the sit-in and the appropriation of the name “Trojan” for condoms. By turning the tables on the Trojan War to reveal not the triumph of the Greeks but also the wreckage they left behind in Troy, Euripedes asked a warring culture to reexamine its values. Because 7:30 a.m. is awfully early to question one’s own values, we won’t try to draw too many lofty analogies. The Trojan Women will be performed outdoors in Theis Park at Volker and Oak. For more information, call 816-471-APES.
For those who prefer to sleep in, some interesting work is up at The Late Show, the gallery with a name that people who snored straight through The Trojan Women can appreciate. Artists Eric, Holly and Troy Swangstu are siblings who produce works individually in well-spaced locales across the United States. But they’ve returned to their old stomping grounds in Kansas City for their first group show. Holly works in fibers, while Troy paints in an abstract expressionist style. Their brother, Eric, who started showing his illustrations and works on canvas at The Late Show ten years ago, brings back a series of self portraits in ink, which he created without lifting the pen from the page, and images of boxers put together in a collage style that — appropriately — disjoints and distorts their forms. The gallery, which is in a house at 4222 Charlotte, is open from 1 to 5 p.m. For more information, call 816-531-8044.
A Room for Romeo Brass, an English film about two lads in a tight spot, almost played in Kansas City last year. But after a poorly attended critics’ screening, the devastatingly creepy — and thought-provoking — movie (which gives the phrase “traumatic childhood experience” a whole new meaning) never played here. Fortunately, someone wised up, and it’s showing in the Halfway to Hollywood Film Festival at the Rio, 7204 W. 80th Street, at 2:45 p.m. today. This movie is about Romeo and Knocks. Romeo has a rough family life, and Knocks is severely handicapped. When they get into a schoolyard brawl, an older gentleman steps in to help them out. The guy turns out to be a weirdo, which is less and less funny as the plot unravels. The soundtrack — which was exciting and cutting-edge when the film was released and is full of indie pop tunes from bands such as Belle and Sebastian and Beth Orton — is now neither new nor obscure, but it’s uncommonly good. This movie is not recommended for nervous and overprotective parents or for people whose wounded inner-children have yet to be securely bandaged. For more information, call 913-383-8500.
This afternoon the first of three workshops will begin to generate community input on a future MetroGreen Plan to connect the metro area’s frequently visited spots with trails and paths so that walking and biking will be more feasible. The idea is that after these meetings, planners will know how to create a system that community members support. So it is in residents’ best interest to attend, especially since trails and paths strategically placed not in the forest but in the metropolitan area sound an awful lot like alleys. To prevent these paths from winding awry, it might be a good idea to study the plans as they develop. Tonight’s meeting is at the Gladstone Community Building, 69th and Holmes, from 4 to 7 p.m. For more information, call 816-474-4240.
There’s a core group of hip-hop turntablists in Kansas City who are known, collectively, as The Guild. Most of the time they play in lesser-known venues; their last show was in an unnamed, essentially empty building on E. 18th Street, and it was the opening act for some big-name hip-hop artists passing through town. (The show had been promoted mainly by word of mouth.) Based on the atmosphere at that event — which was comfortable, laid-back and familiar — forecasts indicate that The Hurricane, 4048 Broadway, will undergo culture shock tonight when The Guild brings its understated crowd to the whirlwind of debauchery that usually swirls around the bar. Turntablists put on a show for their cronies, and contrary to popular stereotypes of hip-hop kids, the fun that results tends to be quite wholesome. A few yet-to-be-announced DJs will follow The Guild’s act. The show starts at 10 p.m. For more information, call 816-753-0884.
Elliott is a “Woody Allen-esque gay Jewish playwright with low self-esteem,” and Alex is a “straight Quentin Tarantino wanna-be with no talent.” Elliott’s play about runway models who smuggle drugs in breast implants (an idea conceivable only for someone who never has contact with breasts) is a flop, and his hopeless crush doesn’t do much to boost his confidence. But when Alex (the one who can’t write) offers help with the crush in exchange for help with his screenplays, Elliott rises to the occasion and the two team up to form a truly odd noncouple. How it all turns out is revealed only in Hit and Runway, showing tonight in the Kansas City Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. The movie begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Tivoli, 4050 Pennsylvania. For more information, including a complete festival schedule, call 816-960-4636.