The Late Night Theatre folks have a knack for launching their shows with style. No one who attended the Eve of Destruction party at the former Old Chelsea site will ever forget it, especially given its eerily prescient date: September 10, 2001. So to help grease the wheels hauling in David Wayne Reed's world premiere of Mother Trucker next week, the gang hosts the Trucker Jamboree and Fashion Show from 8 p.m. to midnight Saturday at the Fahrenheit Gallery (1717 West Ninth Street). The benefit echoes the 1980s Texas setting of Mother Trucker, a show Reed says was inspired by Smokey and the Bandit, the song "Teddy Bear" (about a crippled boy whose daddy dies in a trucking accident) and Hee-Haw episodes. "Nobody believes I grew up on a farm," Reed says, "but the show is a trip down memory lane for me." At the Jamboree, Late Night entertainers perform songs from the show (and a few that didn't make the cut). The fashion portion features male models in clothes from Birdies and Arizona Trading Company. Tickets are $10. Trucker hats and big belt buckles are encouraged. Call 816-474-4568 for more information. -- Steve Walker
A local documentarian needs green stuff.
Kansas City filmmaker Carol Burns says her new documentary, Mni Sose, is about preserving and protecting Native American cultural resources. Her investigation into how the government violated the land rights of the Missouri River Basin's indigenous tribes covers more than 530,000 square miles and 28 Indian nations; she says the project has garnered interest from PBS. Various agencies, particularly the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, fail to consult with the tribes about things like the location of burials, Burns says. "They're just ripping everything up," she adds. "And they've been doing it for the last 60 years."
Burns and her company, Opy Productions, begin post-production in October. However, money is growing thin. So from 4:30 to 9 p.m. Saturday, the Late Show Gallery (1600 Cherry) hosts a benefit. Burns will screen teasers for the film at 5 and 7 p.m. alongside performances by Native American drummers, spoken-word and hip-hop artists. For information about the event, call 816-694-6656; for documentary details, see www.opyproductions.org. -- Annie Fischer
Look elsewhere for sweetness and light.
The weeklong Kansas International Film Festival kicks off Friday, boasting more than 40 films in 7 days from 12 countries. We're particularly excited about the provocative Latin-influenced entries, including Balseros (a 2003 Academy Award nominee for best documentary), in which a team of public-television reporters films and interviews seven Cubans and their families in the days before their attempt to reach the United States by raft. There's also War Takes, from Colombian filmmakers Adelaida Trujillo and Patricia Castana, an exposé of the day-to-day realities of their civil-war-stricken homeland.
All films are shown at the Glenwood Arts Theatre (9575 Metcalf in Overland Park); call 913-642-4404 or see www.kansasfilm.com for information. -- Fischer
Despite turning 50 this year, Brown v. Board of Education still resonates anytime someone mentions race and education in the same sentence. Augustus Jones Jr., a Miami University political science professor and author, tells us why in "Brown, Bakke, Bollinger: Are These Trees Planted by the Water?" The lecture starts at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Johnson County Community College's Polsky Theater (12345 College Boulevard in Overland Park). Call 913-469-8500, ext. 3673, for information. -- Jason Harper