Party Gras

Anyone who has actually been to New Orleans during Mardi Gras knows the truth. The citywide boogie party is much less about the top-popping Girls Gone Wild scene than it is about dancing and costumes and drinking and hollering, or making something fresh and strange in a town that desperately needs something to be cheerful about. Our Crossroads is more about building than rebuilding, but Kansas City sure needs some of the fresh and strange stuff. That’s why all the Mardi Gras-style fun tonight at the Arts Incubator (113 West 18th Street) — with bands, jugglers, belly dancers, fire spinners, burlesque queens and like-minded lovers of culture — is about building up and throwing down. Your $20 ticket ($30 for couples) benefits this year’s Fringe Festival, that annual summer spree of art run amuck. Almost as important: The Fringe folks recognize that throwing down is important, too, so you get beads and drink tickets just for ponying up. The party runs from 7 p.m. until midnight; for tickets, see

Sat., Feb. 21, 7 p.m., 2009