This Weeks Day-By-Day Picks


Thursday, June 26, 2003

In honor of the number 26 — significant because of its standing as the number of letters in our fine, civilized alphabet — we recommend a trip to see Spellbound. If you want to go totally spelling-bee crazy while you’re at it, read Bee Season, Myla Goldberg’s novel about a once-mediocre girl who discovers that she has a hidden talent and passion for spelling that she believes can hold her neurotic family together. If you begin by reading this book, you’ll feel the torture of growing up dorky all over again. In that vulnerable state, you will be ready for viewing. The movie’s showing at the Tivoli (4050 Pennsylvania, 816-561-5222), which happens to be right down the street from one of our favorite dive bars, Dave’s Stagecoach Inn (316 Westport Road, 816-561-2492). Former spellers who miss knowledge-based competition might enjoy playing Thursday night’s Jukebox Trivia, but we’re not saying any more about that because we feel like at least semihoarding this secret.

Friday, June 27, 2003

Computers, The Matrix, special effects. Blah, blah, blah. We have never been very interested in seeing The Matrix or The Matrix Reloaded. But if you’re going to make exceptions regarding your disdain for Keanu Reeves and The Matrix, why not do it with style, do it big, do it at the IMAX. Yes, that notion impresses even us. Shut up. It opens tonight at the Kansas City Zoo’s Sprint IMAX Theater, 6800 Zoo Drive. For information, including showtimes, call 816-513-4629.

Saturday, June 28, 2003

So … if cars and even big, honkin’ school buses can run on vegetable oil, then what’s all this about drilling in Alaska? For the B.I.O. Tour, a 1989 school bus with a solar-powered sound system has been traveling across the United States on nothing but the altered-vegetable-oil fuel known as biodiesel, almost all of which is made from used vegetable oil donated by restaurants. Check it out today at the Discovery Center (4750 Troost) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. All kinds of performers arrive with the bus to provide entertainment, and knowledgeable people from Sustainable Energy Now are available to tell visitors more about running vehicles on biodiesel. Promoters encourage you to “bring your lawn chairs, happy feet and clean minds to join in the fun and festivities.” No dirty thoughts about doin’ it in the backseat of a biodiesel-fueled car, got it? The celebration continues tonight at the Palladium, 47 Central Avenue in Kansas City, Kansas. For information, see

Thursday, June 29, 2003

Today is your last chance to see what an optimist’s car looks like at the Independence Midtown Optimist Club’s Car Show and Swap Meet. At Blue Ridge Mall, these cheerful sorts display and reward antique, classic, original and custom cars as well as lowriders, hot rods, motorcycles and good dispositions. The gates open at 7 a.m. for competitors and 10 a.m. for viewers. The judging cutoff is 1 p.m., with an awards ceremony at 4. Plus, the first hundred vehicles registered will get their very own dash plaques. Who doesn’t want a dash plaque? We’ll tell you who: someone with a very bad outlook. Blue Ridge Mall is located at I-70 and U.S. 40 Highway. For information or to preregister, call 816-353-5555.

Monday, June 30, 2003

This really is your last chance to see The Importance of Being Three’s Company, Late Night Theater’s drag spoof of Three’s Company and The Importance of Being Earnest all rolled into one. Some of you may have gone to see it a couple of weeks ago only to find that the theater itself had been shut down. That’s because someone heard a knock on the door (picture the opening credits for Three’s Company and imagine the theme song playing) … and the rest is history. That temporary shutdown was just what Phil blue owl Hooser calls “a commercial break.” Head on over to 1531 Grand Boulevard at 8 tonight. Laughter is calling for you down at their rendezvous, because three’s company, too! For information, call 816-474-4568.

Tuesday, July 1, 2003

At long last, here comes the much-awaited return of industrial darkwave icon Razed-in-Black, known for its danceable sound combined with what Goth Nation Magazine calls “wonderfully tormented trademark vocals.” Mind you, the band itself will not be present at this local gathering in its honor. Tonight’s event at The Bunker (10520 East 40 Highway in Independence) is a listening party in celebration of the release of Damaged. Local DJ Father Fa-Q plays the tracks and provides lots of “RiB” giveaways, including the new CD — which comes with a CD-ROM containing videos and footage of live shows, including scenes from the band’s last show in town at Davey’s. So it’ll be sorta, kinda like a live show. The band will tour later this summer, so this is just a preview. For information, call 816-737-3660.

Wednesday, July 2, 2003

Today, Donna Craig of Leadership Resources tells area control freaks everything they want to know about other people in a workshop titled Why People Don’t Do What You Want Them To Do. At last, we will learn how to make people give us love, money, foot rubs, piggyback rides and nice stationery. Now all the world’s stationery will be ours, all ours (insert evil laughter here). Actually, the talk is just about employees and how to make them heel and obey — though apparently incentives are no guarantee and threats generally don’t work, so it seems Donna Craig has some really elaborate plans for manipulation. If there’s any way to prevent your boss from attending said Chamber of Commerce workshop and go yourself in his or her place, do it. The workshop is from 8 to 10 a.m. in the Chamber Board Room (911 Main Street on the 26th floor), and it costs $15 to attend — a small price to pay for an anti-authority force field. To reserve a space, call 816-374-5443.