Night & Day Events

Thursday, January 27
Though we do enjoy the Country Club Plaza, we’ve found that the attraction has a penchant for extinguishing life forms that don’t fit into the upscale-retail experience. One lesser-known victim of the Plaza’s playa hating was the Kansas City Juggling Club, whose members performed there in the late ’80s and early ’90s until, according to the group’s Web site, the authorities decided that jugglers were an insurance risk and drove them out. We’re sure there were perfectly legitimate reasons (blah blah) for the Plaza’s decision, but we can’t help but side with grown men and women who devote significant portions of their time to an art that almost instantly brings joy to onlookers — as we said, so un-Plaza. The bowling-pin-tossers of yore now call themselves the KC Freeloaders. Their juggling club, which welcomes total beginners, meets every Thursday from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Lenexa Community Center, 13420 Oak Street, 913-541-0209.

Friday, January 28

Art openings used to take up only the first Friday of each month in this city, but the phenomenon keeps growing. Urban Culture Project shows have claimed the third weekend, and burgeoning galleries in southern parts of the city are trying to carve out their niches on the second and fourth Fridays. We love cultural outings as much as the next person, but come on. Some Fridays we just want to collapse after the workweek. So we recommend that the entire town of Lawrence keep its monthly art walk, happening from 7 to 9 tonight, just that — monthly. If you haven’t already, check out Paul Flinders’ show at Olive Gallery and Art Supply (15 East Eighth Street, 785-331-4114); we’re stopping by the Phoenix Gallery (919 Massachusetts, 785-843-0080). Call Sheila Wilkins at 785-842-7187 for more information an all participating galleries.

Saturday, January 29

We’ve had our fair share of run-ins with Johnson County law enforcement. (So not our fault — cabs take forever to get to the Red Balloon.) And even though said encounters haven’t been exactly, um, pleasant, we recognize that all Kansas police officers aren’t inherently evil. So to gain a better understanding of their plight, we’ll check out To Protect and Serve, an exhibit opening today at the Johnson County Museum of History (6305 Lackman Road in Shawnee, 913-631-6709). It goes back to when Wild Bill Hickok served as constable in Monticello Township and traces through Prohibition into the organized police forces of today. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Sunday, January 30

Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! cry the fearless disc golfers of the Kansas City Flying Disc Club in Shakespearean fury. Rage! Blow! Because nothing short of a sudden fifth ice age could cause these hearty hurlers to cancel today’s Ice Bowl XVIII (at Rosedale Park, 4125 Mission Road in Kansas City, Kansas). Registration — note: “no wimps and no whiners allowed” — is from 8:30 to 10 a.m., and the $15 fee buys a golf disc and a mini disc and includes a $7 donation to the Bishop Sullivan Center. Despite the overtures to hideous strength and testosterone, this actually looks like a good entrée for beginners. After all, equipment can be purchased on-site, lunch is provided (hey, we thought only wimps stopped for lunch), and the club offers to help newcomers find a group to play with. Nonetheless, the winner gets to keep the traveling champagne ice bucket for one year, so rookies shouldn’t be surprised if a few frozen discs whiz dangerously close to their Adam’s apples. Call 816-471-3472.

Monday, January 31

Tonight at 6 at the University of Missouri Extension in Independence (1507 South Noland Road), human-development specialist Nina Chen offers the workshop P.I.C.K. a Partner: Premarital Interpersonal Choices and Knowledge. Aspiring spouses can learn “five crucial components to explore in a premarital relationship and decision-making process.” We think this may be academic jargon for helping heteros figure out whether their significant others are worth marrying. Because the course costs $60 and financial troubles are the main cause of divorce, and because we do have several years’ worth of experience in the matter, we’d be willing to offer free premarital advice to anyone who calls 816-218-6774. Just remember: You get what you pay for. More discerning ring seekers can call 816-252-5051 to enroll in Chen’s seminar.

Tuesday, February 1

Nothing is more painful than watching people who have invested all of their money and dreams in their band make a horrendous spectacle of themselves in front of a sneering, callous audience. Yet even the great Twisted Sister had feces hurled at them. So we’ll cheer on the unsigned hopefuls tonight at 8:30 when Banzai Magazine founder and Club Wars commander Jim Kilroy hosts his Metro Music Showcase at the Grand Emporium (3832 Main, 816-531-1504). The event, which costs $7, features a lineup of local acts and is aimed at attracting the attention of area recording studios.

Wednsday, February 2

We imagine that when the Great Communicator finally kicked the bucket, Lou Cannon‘s career took off. Not that the 40th president’s definitive biographer, who wrote five books about Ronald Reagan and covered him for more than 20 years in publications such as The Washington Post and The Los Angeles Times, was doing so badly before, but surely there was a considerable spike in speaking engagements and writing opportunities (the obituaries alone!) after June 5, 2004. Seven months later, Cannon comes to the University of Kansas’ Edwards Campus (Regnier Hall Auditorium, 12600 Quivira Road in Overland Park) at 7:30 tonight to give a lecture titled “President Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime” as part of the Dole Institute of Politics’ 2005 presidential lecture series. If you want to know how crucial Reagan’s role was in ending the Cold War, or where the fuck he thought the national debt might go, or just whether Nancy was a tomcat in bed, Cannon’s your man. Admission is free, but reservations are required; call 913-897-8400.