This Weeks Day-By-Day Picks

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Beware the question-and-answer session that mysteriously transforms into a platform for shameless self-promotion. It seems almost impossible for some audience members to ask simple questions of a speaker without somehow relating the query back to themselves. We shuddered in vicarious shame at UMKC last month as a line of aspiring entertainers babbled on about themselves in a futile attempt to impress filmmaker Spike Lee, who had repeatedly emphasized that he was not casting for any roles. Kelly Requa should be prepared for the same when he takes part in the filmmaker dialogue at 6:15 tonight at the Westport Coffee House, 4010 Pennsylvania. Requa cowrote and directed The Flats, an indie coming-of-age drama set in rural Washington state. The movie screens at the Tivoli Cinemas (4050 Pennsylvania) at 7:30. Admission to the screening is $6; the dialogue is free. For details, contact the Kansas City Filmmakers Jubilee at 913-649-0244.

Friday, March 12, 2004

Doug Ross was a happy, successful New York City therapist. He had it all: a great practice, a stimulating collection of patients and a satisfying home life. Everything was great — until Daisy came into his office and changed everything. She changed the way he looked at sheep — and the rest of the world, the harsh world, could never understand the love they shared. This pathetic tale is the chapter of the Woody Allen movie Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex But Were Afraid to Ask in which Gene Wilder plays a shrink who throws it all away to pursue Hollywood’s first-ever sheep fatale. We’re reminded of this because a similar story opens tonight at the Unicorn Theatre, 3828 Main Street. Tickets for the opening-night performance of Edward Albee’s The Goat or Who Is Sylvia? cost $23. The play starts at 8. For information, call 816-531-7529, extension 10.

Saturday, March 13, 2004

Listening to traditional Irish songs rehashed for St. Patrick’s Day is enough to drive a man to drink. We mean that in a bad way, not in a festive kind of way. Most bands are aware of this and thus update the old songs with elements from other musical genres. Like the Pogues before them, Flogging Molly blends Irish folk songs and energetic punk rock. Unlike Flogging Molly or the Pogues, Lúnasa updates the genre by performing flawless instrumental renditions of traditional folk tunes in between fresh material scored by the band. To top it all off, the band members are actually from Ireland. Lúnasa performs at 8 p.m. at the Community Christian Church, 4601 Main Street. Admission is $20. For details, call 816-691-8717.

Sunday, March 14, 2004

If you ever went on a field trip to Loose Park as a child, you probably already know about the Civil War-era cannonball lodged in a tree trunk near 56th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. A relic of the 1864 Battle of Westport, the bocci-ball-sized projectile serves as a reminder that Kansas City did in fact play an important role in the conflict that split the nation. Steve Jansen, who teaches history at various local colleges, talks about jayhawkers, bushwhackers, abolitionism, states’ rights and Quantrill’s Raid at 10 a.m. today at the All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church, 4501 Walnut. For details on this free lecture, call 816-523-7666.

Monday, March 15, 2004

You know that one room in your parents’ house that never gets used except maybe to receive guests during the holidays? If it were really a living room, the couches would have ass dents and the coffee table would have rings. (Fuck coasters.) Is it asking too much to install a beer fridge? How about an air-hockey table? The “Living” Room at Powell Gardens (1609 N.W. U.S. Highway 50 in Kingsville, 816-697-2600) isn’t lived in, either, but at least it’s alive. The garden’s conservatory has been transformed into a home with household items made from flora. Grass turf makes cushions for chairs. Flowers grow close to each other in a living quilt. The garden’s extensive collection of orchids combines petals to make a chandelier. You’ll never see a living room with more dirt in it. The garden is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, and the “Living” Room is open through May 9.

Tuesday, March 15, 2004

Two musicals today both revolve around the following numerical topic: the fifties. One production, Grease, is set in the baby boom decade. The other, Menopause the Musical, concerns the fifth decade of a woman’s life, or the no-more-babies years. Menopause parodies old tunes and tells the story of four middle-aged women who bond while shopping at Bloomingdale’s. Grease tells the classic story of … wait a second. If you don’t already know, then make plans now to be at the Lied Center (1600 Stewart Drive in Lawrence) to catch this one-off performance at 7:30 p.m. You’re far too old not to have seen Grease (Tickets range from $18.50 to $42 and can be purchased by calling 785-864-2787.) Tickets for Menopause, which goes on at 8 p.m. at the American Heartland Theatre in Crown Center (2450 Grand) cost $20. The net proceeds for Menopause the Musical help benefit breast cancer research.

Wednesday, March 16, 2004

The Main Branch of the Kansas City, Kansas, Public Library (625 Minnesota Avenue) might not sound like a hot spot for Irish-related merriment, but today more than a dozen of the most epic Irish women in history will be there — in spirit. Local author Helen Folsom discusses her new book, Ah, Those Irish Colleens!: Heroic Women of Ireland, at 6:30 p.m. Among the many Irish heroines profiled in her book, including Dierdre of the Sorrows and Kitty O’Shea, we’re especially intrigued by the story of Grace O’Malley, a rare Irish pirate who, while awaiting execution, successfully lobbied Queen Elizabeth I for a pardon. The old salt not only lived to sail again but also became friends with the queen herself. For information on this free event, call 913-279-2067.