Sandra Scolnik's paintings at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, 4420 Warwick, are eerily reminiscent of the movie The Shining, in which twins appear at every turn. The effect is duplicated several times in the Scolnik exhibit, where realistic yet slightly off-kilter and cramped interior spaces are populated by sets of twins and quadruplets, often posing in front of portraits of themselves, all of them wearing Scolnik's face. Mysterious are the recurring motifs of handbags and high-heeled shoes -- not people wearing high heels or carrying handbags but shoes lining the floor or handbags forming a frame around the scene. In the comment book, many viewers have lashed out at Scolnik for being narcissistic, which may be true, but that's the point -- it seems unlikely that she unwittingly painted herself on the bodies of others. The best comment in the guest book, scrawled in a child's handwriting, reads "needs more tar!" The show runs through January 7; for more information, call 816-753-5784.
Ramble on: Davey's Uptown Ramblers Club turns 50 today, and the divelike live music venue at 3402 Main is having a party. It's like a surprise party, only backward: Instead of surprising the honoree, party coordinators are surprising the guests; the evening's entertainment lineup has yet to be disclosed. Even more confusing: The bar's Web site proclaims that Davey's has been "serving alcohol since 1925, legally since 1934!" This is the year 2000, so one would imagine the club to have been serving since 1950 if it's celebrating its 50th birthday. Fifty years is impressive, but it's a little early for the onset of senility, so we may have to institute a no-drinking-and-subtracting rule so that 2000 minus 50 is neither 1925 nor 1934 in the future. For more information, call 816-753-1909.
Before assuming that the human mind has significantly increased its capacity for logic since the advent of the first millennium A.D., one would be wise to go by the Kansas City, Kansas, Public Library, 1737 N. 82nd Street, where Ancient Table Games by Stephen Burrows is on display through Tuesday. Burrows has revived the Egyptian game Senat, the European game Nine Men's Morris, and other early games from around the world. They have no buttons or control panels, just mind-boggling setups that force players to use their brains. Can today's breed handle it? If nothing else, the games' craftsmanship and intricate handiwork push the limits of viewers' imaginations and may leave them stumped for days. For more information, call 913-596-5800.
There's no shortage of ways to celebrate the long-awaited arrival of 2001, the true turn of the millennium. But it's cold out, so celebrating New Year's the Spanish way at La Bodega, 703 Southwest Boulevard, may appeal to Kansas Citians in need of a Mediterranean getaway. The party starts at 6 p.m., with tapas at the bar; the sampling of finger foods serves the threefold purpose of dulling hunger that has built up since the last meal, whetting the appetite for the next meal, and, most important on an occasion like New Year's Eve, stimulating sociability. Without this third ingredient, there's not much of a party. The bar serves up well drinks, beer, and champagne, further stimulating sociability. At midnight, a Spanish champagne toast froths over from the once-dreaded year 2000 into the (for George W. Bush voters, anyway) less-dreaded 2001. Brody Buster and his Blues Band provides the music, and it might be useful to point out before the festivities get under way that the music is not, in fact, Spanish. Brody Buster is as all-American as they come. This said ahead of time, the party should be much less disorienting. The night of celebration costs $100 per person, with limited reservation space. For more information, call 816-472-8272.
The artwork of Shawn Sanem goes up on the walls of Cup and Saucer at 412-B Delaware today. Although the official opening reception doesn't take place until Friday, coffee drinkers staggering out of bed this New Year's Day can expect to be bombarded by the loud, dramatic works. "I am both rejecting and transforming our complex and ridiculous society and discovering a means to reinstate the fascination that has become lost as a result of it," Sanem explains. We recommend that viewers keep drinking coffee until that explanation makes sense; if they reach their caffeine limit and Sanem's explanation still seems shrouded in mystery, viewers can come back for the reception and ask him a few questions face to face. For more information, call 816-474-PERK.
Technicolor Inc. has been re-releasing Alfred Hitchcock movies over the past year and a half, patching up scratches and imperfections on the prints along the way. The first in the series was North By Northwest, which screened here for only one measly week. But while real life is sparing in its provision of second chances, the movies don't abide by the rules of real life, and they have many ways of giving audiences a second time around. North By Northwest is showing this week at the Englewood, 10917 E. Winner in Independence. This is a second chance to see Cary Grant scaling Mount Rushmore on the big screen. But remember: Third chances are even less frequent than second chances. For more information, call 816-252-2463.
Staying in shape, or getting in shape, is a common New Year's resolution, and many Kansas Citians are probably beginning to remember that the reason they didn't stay in shape before is that they don't enjoy exercise. But dancing to good music is one of the less excruciating forms of exercise, so the resolved might want to attend a performance by Tango Lorca at Fedora's, 217 W. 47th Street, tonight at 8. The Latin music ensemble plays weekly at Fedora's, so exercising there could even become a regular thing. By the way, the group's name is in fact derived from the name of the Spanish tragedian Federico Garcia Lorca. For more information, call 816-561-6565.