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Booty 'n' Art

We've got spirit.

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FRI 9/5

You don't need us to tell you that on First Fridays, all of the Crossroads District galleries open their doors, and the streets surrounding 20th and Baltimore erupt into a party. When the weather allows it, there is always plenty of live entertainment outside. It's usually something low-key, but in June we saw Eudora performing outside the Dolphin and caught the tail end of a Rah! Booty show. Rah! Booty returns this Friday, milling the streets in the best cheerleading outfits ever (we like the terry-cloth hot pants), cheering not for a macho, helmet-wearing team but rather for -- or against -- whatever they feel like. For example, one cheer exhibits knowledge of the U.S. presidents who have declared war, the very kind of knowledge that can polarize a wine-and-cheese-loving crowd. We eagerly await whatever new cheers these hairy-pitted ones have to share.

On this month's First Friday, you can also catch an outdoor movie screening put on by the Independent Film Coalition as well as a performance by the band cryptically called I. For information, see www.ifckc.com. -- Gina Kaufmann

Grunt Work

FRI 9/5

The Lazy American Workers seem like the kind of guys who, if they had jobs, would work harder at keeping their coworkers entertained than keeping their bosses happy. Maybe that's why the Toledo, Ohio-based three-piece puts out records like Another Half-Assed Job Well Done. Lazyamericanworkers.com claims "blue collar white trash immersion" and "too much of too little for too long" as the band's major influences. The outfit classifies its blend of punk and metal as a "sunny melody being stomped to death with a thousand pairs of combat boots." L.A.W. clocks in at Bender's (1118 McGee, 816-221-7722) at 10 p.m. The punk rock price of $5 should be affordable even for the laziest employee. -- Michael Vennard

Pope Culture
What was John Paul II before his papal days?

9/4-9/7

If it's hard to imagine Pope John Paul II as a young man running around with a theater crowd, get over your secular self. As Karol Wojtyla, the now-Pope was an actor and playwright with Poland's Rhapsodic Theatre. One of his plays -- Jeweler's Shop -- graces the stage at Benedictine College's Mabee Theatre (1020 North Second Street in Atchison, Kansas) through this Sunday. Directing is Jason Nelson, a Liberty, Missouri, boy who has chosen the play as his senior project. "It is written in free verse and definitely avant-garde," Nelson says, adding that the play is "a deep and challenging examination and reflection of love." Which raises the obvious question: What happened to Wojtyla that he had to alienate all of his old drama friends? For information, call 913-367-5340. -- Steve Walker

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