Nor is it everyday one gets a shot at checking out a rising star on the order of Esperanza Spalding.
Let alone in the intimate confines and acoustically pure environs of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. But that’s exactly what will go down Tuesday when the 27 year-old jazz diva brings her Grammy-winning credentials to the 1,600 seat Helzberg Hall.
“Oh yeah, that’s like a really big deal,” says jazz buff and promoter Mark Edelman. “She like rocked the world last year by getting the Best New Artist Grammy as a jazz artist. That’s an award that usually goes to Justin Bieber or somebody.”
Edelman’s not exaggerating.
“I’m not going to lie — I was disappointed,” Bieber groused to MTVminutes after Spalding’s spanking.
Hey, at least he didn’t throw up on stage that time out.
What to expect?
An August 23rd review of Spalding’s show at the Hollywood Bowl by the Los Angeles Times describes her as “only the most famous contemporary jazz artist of her generation” adding that “for all her vocal gifts, Spalding was captivating as an instrumentalist.”
Tickets range from $39 to $$69.
Lusty Wenches Bowling Alert
Allow me to say up front the Renaissance Festival’s not for everyone…starting with me...
I can’t stand Scotch Eggs and I’m not turkey leg gnawing type. That said, for thousands of arguably more “enlightened” revelers (and families with kids), it’s a can’t-miss time tunnel to medieval times complete with dragon-slaying and wanton wenches.
Which brings us to this year’s curtain call this weekend in Bonner Springs, the Mystical Masquerade Weekend. Think of it as a mash-up of Halloween and Carnival of Venice, Italy’s Mardi Gras.
So yes, there’ll be the perfunctory best toga contest (and no, Jason Whitlock will not be participating this year). And there’ll be a pasta-eating contest, juggling competition, masked ball, even something called a “Romeo and Juliet Flash Mob.” Which, come to think of it, the Plaza might want to try next spring as an alternative its less successful flash mob efforts past.
There’ll even be a bocce ball tournament hosted by hometown harlot the Notorious Madame Red (mild mannered Kansas City paralegal Denise Groason).
“Bocce’s kind of the Italian predecessor of bowling,” says Groason who lords over the fest’s brothel. “So it kind of fits into what I do – you know, friendly wenches bending over to bowl makes a pretty picture – but we play in earnest.”
As for Groason’s, uh, cat house, “It’s actually an imaginary brothel,” she explains. “Because it’s illegal under Kansas law.”
Has it really been off the air that long?
From the looks of it there are plenty of good seats available and reasonably priced from $64 to $79.
Seinfeld first in Kansas City appeared at Stanford’s in Westport in the 1980s, recalls Stanford’s main man Craig Glazer.
“But I saw him in Vegas three years ago and he was still the same, old Jerry. You know who he is? He’s the Jimmy Stewart of comedy – everybody can relate to him. He basically took what George Carlin was doing and brought it down to day-to-day life. It’s called observational comedy and he’s the king of observational comedy.”
Because horse and cattle shows aside, for a third year the American Royal is hosting its 2012 Wine Competition & Auction.
“Hundreds of wine and food enthusiasts will gather at the American Royal Complex to participate in the tasting of the competition wines complimented by an array of delectable dishes from area restaurants,” says the spiel on its Website.
But don’t expect to get stuck sipping a bunch of super sweet vino from those scraggly I-70 vineyards in Missouri. Nope. Mercifully, the eight-category competition will feature “wines from around the world” along with a just smattering of wines with KC connections.
And just like the American Royal’s livestock and barbecue competitions, two winners will be crowned American Royal Grand Champion – one for red wine, one for white.
Similarly, participating restaurants will also compete via the auctioning of “chef’s tables,” with the eatery with the highest selling table being crowned American Royal Champion Restaurant.
Participating eateries include, the American Restaurant, Room 39, Loch Lloyd Country Club, The National Golf Club of Kansas City, EBT, JJ’s, The Tavern in the Village, and Tasso’s.
Tickets to the wine tasting competition, tasting and live and silent auctions start at a hundred bucks and are available here.