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Impending Disaster

Late Night Theatre is definitely crashing.

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The Day After Tomorrow was just a zygote when Ron Megee first started talking about a Late Night Theatre salute to those perversely sentimental disaster movies of the 1970s. Late Night had such a show on its 2001 calendar until September 11 made comedic air disasters a tad distasteful. "We were going to open in November of 2001," Megee says, "but people freaked out that we were going to have a plane incident." Megee's Disaster '74 is now poised for a cataclysmic opening at 1531 Grand Avenue this weekend, having winnowed the cheese down to three of the ripest: The Poseidon Adventure, Earthquake and Airport '75. Among the actors who will be channeled in the show are Airport '75's dippy Karen Black and Poseidon's buoyant Shelley Winters. Megee also throws in game-show elements -- like Survivor if there weren't going to be any. Call 816-235-6222 for tickets and show times. --Steve Walker

Five-Day Fiesta

The jalape'o-eating contest alone is worth a trip to Topeka's Fiesta Mexicana, one of Kansas' largest cultural celebrations. The raucous festival has plenty of other things to offer -- local artists and musicians, authentic food and carnival rides on which someone is sure to lose his enchiladas. And it's a piece of cultural history. Over the decades since its inception in 1933, the fiesta has highlighted evolving attitudes toward Mexican culture. Recent years have revealed a heightened reverence for the past as well as an unflagging support for margaritas. The multiblock party, centered on Our Lady of Guadalupe's church grounds at 1008 N.E. Atchison Street, runs from July 13 to 17. Headlining acts include Freddy Fender and Los Garcia Brothers, among many others. For a schedule, see or call 785-273-4949. -- Sarah Smarsh

Sunday Blues

Unlike Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village, the much less famous Washington Square Park between Crown Center and Union Station (at Pershing and Grand) doesn't see much traffic. We've witnessed workers from neighboring office buildings taking their lunches there during the week, but rarely have we observed any weekend action. However, this should change for the next six Sundays, when the Kansas City Blues Society puts on Blue Sunday concerts at 5 p.m. This weekend's introductory show spotlights the rootsy quartet Rain Dogs and blues singer Janiva Magness. For details, call 913-649-0383. -- Michael Vennard

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