Archive for Sunday, July 6, 2014

Kansas City Connection: Artwork, dreamcoats and video game music

July 6, 2014

With the staccato crackle of fireworks ringing in my ear and a deluge of friends’ vacation photos to sift through on my Instagram stream, I’m finding it difficult to concentrate on any one topic this week. That’s OK, though, because there are a lot of exciting events to mention.

The amount of artistic talent in the great plains is hardly a secret these days, but you’ll still be surprised at the high-quality artwork on display at the 32nd Annual River Market Regional Exhibition.

The group show, curated by Antonia Boström, the director of curatorial affairs at the Nelson-Atkins Museum, opens Friday at the Kansas City Artists Coalition building at 201 Wyandotte St.

The show runs through Aug. 22 and is open from Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. An opening reception will be held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday. Admission is free.

Fringe Festival preview

A 6:30 p.m. Thursday, the Kansas City Public Library’s Central Branch (downtown, at 14 W. 10th St.) will be hosting a free preview event for the Kansas City Fringe Festival, which starts the following week.

The preview will feature several of this year’s troupes and performers, including Mighty Mo Combo, an all-volunteer community jazz band; Right Between the Ears, an award-winning comedy show that spoofs current events and pop culture; and Poetic Underground, a series presenting some of the city’s top spoken-word performers.

To RSVP for the event and see a full list of performers, visit


From Tuesday through Sunday, "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" will be performed at Starlight Theatre.

The Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber musical will feature all the memorable songs and colorful costumes that made this one of the most popular productions of the 20th century. Tickets start at $10 at The show begins each night at 8:30.

Miranda Sings

On Saturday, YouTube phenom Miranda Sings will be at the Folly Theater to perform her one-woman show packed with hit songs, magic tricks, dramatic readings of hate mail and other hijinks.

Tickets for the 7 p.m. show are $26 and are for sale at


On Saturday night at the Brick (1727 McGee), a handful of musical acts will be playing “chiptunes” — defined by Wikipedia as “synthesized electronic music produced (or emulated) by the sound chips of vintage computers, video game consoles, and arcade machines.” In other words, it sounds like music from old Nintendo games.

While novelty and '80s nostalgia are certainly part of the appeal, chiptunes can also be pretty catchy. The event, “8-Bit KC,” begins at 9 p.m. and will feature Thunderfox, The Fluorescent, AkaDungeonMaster and Awesome Force. There's a $7 cover.

Black Out for Lights On

Most charity 5k runs involve getting up at the break of dawn and squinting and sweating all the way to the finish line. The Black Out for Lights On (or “BOLO” for short) event Friday, however, has an 8 p.m. check-in time and features glow-in-the-dark accessories, face paint and kids activities.

BOLO is a fundraising event for Cross-Lines, a Wyandotte County organization that helps families living in poverty with utilities, school supplies, food and other resources. The third annual BOLO race will be held at Community America Ballpark (home of the T-Bones) in KCK. To register, visit

Vietnamese Cafe

If you’re a fan of Vietnamese food (or are like me and would like to know more, one dish at a time), you can’t go wrong with Vietnamese Cafe in Columbus Park at 522 Campbell St.

The cafe is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day (until 6 p.m. Sundays), and by lunchtime is usually packed.

Try one of the spring rolls for an appetizer, an order of bun bo hue, lemongrass chicken or shrimp curry, or be adventurous and try something you’ve never heard of. Wash it all down with a salty lemonade, iced coffee or $1 cup of iced tea.

Next week: A look at some of the area’s best farmers' markets.

— Lucas Wetzel is a writer and editor from Kansas City, Mo. Know of an upcoming event in Kansas City you’d like to see featured in Kansas City Connection? Email us about it at


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