Night & Day Events
The current screen update of Othello, starring Julia Stiles, arrived in theaters just six years after the version with Laurence Fishburne. Just Off Broadway Theater picks up the Othello trend with this weekend’s performance of the Shakespeare drama about an interracial marriage destroyed by outsiders’ spiteful gossip. Shakespeare still earns a laugh with the phrase “the beast with two backs.” Tonight’s show at Just Off Broadway Theatre, 31st and Wyandotte, starts at 8. Tickets cost $12. For more information, call 816-235-2700.
In tonight’s installment of the Kansas City Art Institute’s Visiting Artist Lecture Series, Lester Goldman discusses his abstract works, which range from sculpture to painting but are always recognizable by bloblike shapes colored in lime green and fuchsia. Goldman’s lecture should be interesting because his perception of museums — he believes they separate the works of art from the creativity that produces them — is controversial. At least we’ve moved beyond asking “What is art?” to wondering “Where does art belong?” The talk starts at 7 at the Irving Amphitheater on the Kansas City Art Institute campus, 4415 Warwick. For more information, call 816-472-4852.
The concept behind Tea Haus, a photo exhibit that documents the construction of a Zen hut in Colorado, might seem a little out of place in downtown Kansas City, but the venue is actually appropriate. The Telephone Booth (124 West 18th Street) is quite minimalist — although that aspect of the gallery might have something to do with the size of the space, which is about as big as an average walk-in closet. The crowd that filters in for tonight’s closing reception for the Tea Haus exhibit is expected to spill out onto the sidewalk and become part of the socializing that goes on outside the neighboring YJ’s Snack Bar, where baristas will undoubtedly keep music playing loud enough for Telephone Booth visitors to enjoy. For more information, call 816-582-9812.
Today is Lenexa’s Chili Fiesta, which showcases fine chili recipes prepared by locals and also includes a variety of family activities, such as a 12:30 p.m. cowboy/cowgirl roundup for kids ages one to three and a Mexican hat dance lesson at 2 p.m. Fans of The Simpsons might want to attend just to be reminded of the episode in which Homer attends the chili cook-off in Springfield and eats a Guatemalan Insanity Pepper to prove his ability to withstand spicy food. Before he knows it, a coyote with the voice of Johnny Cash is telling him to find his soul mate. The dogs in Lenexa probably aren’t going to start talking today, but there should be some pretty spicy dishes nonetheless. The day’s festivities run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Old Town Lenexa, at the intersection of Santa Fe and Pflumm. For more information, call 913-541-0209.
Before photo booths were around to dispense wallet-sized stickers with people’s pictures on them, there was the daguerreotype. Invented in 1939, the daguerreotype — in which images are printed on a metallic, light-sensitive surface using chemical vapors — was the first commercially successful form of photography. The exhibit Mirror With a Memory: The American Daguerreotype that recently opened at the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art (4525 Oak) reveals how people chose to be photographed when the idea was introduced. The anonymous daguerreotypes on display range from comical (friends playing cards and smoking) to morbid (mothers with recently deceased children) to nostalgic (children with their writing sets). Contemporary daguerreotypes are on display, too, proving that although evolution favors a different species of photography, the daguerreotype is far from extinct. In Jerry Spagnoli‘s cityscapes of New York, the buildings shimmer as though three-dimensional — viewers almost feel as if they can turn corners around the buildings. Spagnoli will be at the Nelson to discuss his work from 1 to 4 p.m. today. For more information, call 816-751-1278.
Monday nights have become a lot more exciting since the West Bottoms’ haunted houses started opening for nightly scares: At 1300 West 12th Street, for example, The Edge of Hell seems perilously close to home. One of the area’s most popular haunted houses, the converted warehouse offers a fifth-floor walk though “heaven” — a sensory stimulation chamber — that gets cut off abruptly as visitors fall from grace, plummeting down a five-story spiral slide into “hell.” And what lies in hell must remain a surprise. For more information, call 816-842-4279.
Ju Percussion is Taiwan’s first percussion ensemble, composed of ten drummers and fourteen interns. That means a lot of drums will be on stage for numbers such as “The Romping Golden Pheasants.” Tonight’s show is at 7:30 at the Lied Center, 15th and Crestline in Lawrence. Tickets cost $22 to $27. For more information, call 785-864-2787.
The Boxcar Children may have been written with young readers in mind, but the setup — four orphaned children living in an abandoned boxcar try to steer clear of social workers and other well-meaning adults who would likely send them to separate homes — contains enough tension to hold the interest of adults as well. The stage adaptation of the book, performed at 10 a.m. and again at noon at the Theatre for Young America, 4881 Johnson Drive in Mission, is a good pick for parents who tire easily of sappy kid’s dramas. For more information, call 913-831-2131.