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Night & Day Events

Week of July 5, 2001


5 Thursday
Today marks the full moon, so it's okay to be a geek and talk about space. Oasis in Space, showing at Union Station's City Dome, incorporates data from recent space explorations to take viewers on a 3-D journey through the solar system and offers a new perspective on a matter -- literally -- of life and death: water. The plot revolves around a search for water on all the planets. For a more fictionalized space journey, Alien Adventure at Union Station's Extreme Screen IMAX Theatre follows wayward space gypsies who have wandered the solar system since the destruction of their own planet. The story gains relevance when these aliens realize, upon finally settling on Earth, that they're part of an amusement park that is about to open to the public. Union Station is located at 30 W. Pershing Road. For more information and show times, call 816-460-2020.

6 Friday
Most galleries have installed their summer exhibitions by now and don't plan to change the art on their walls until fall. That means gallery openings will be few and far between for a while. But from 6 to 9 tonight there's a reception for a sculpture exhibit cryptically titled Do Geese See God. Artist Beniah Leuschke comes up with unusual palindromes -- words and sentences that read the same backward and forward -- and then plays with the resulting ideas through intricate wood carvings. If palindromes like race car were once exciting, then those such as Do Geese See God bring the art to the next level. ("Level" is a palindrome too.) The address for the Random Ranch on Union -- 1331 -- is also a palindrome. If you're already sick of this, you probably shouldn't attend tonight's reception. For more information, call 816-522-4002.

7 Saturday
In some countries, being able to walk into a karaoke bar and sing American pop songs with an American accent is considered charming; meanwhile, most Americans remain unimpressed by the feat. But while we might imagine that the Australian accents belonging to the members of The Lucksmiths wouldn't factor into the band's popularity in their native Melbourne -- a lot of Australian pop singers try to sound like Americans -- the Lucksmiths' more genuine (less commercial) approach is part of what their fans at home love. They've been compared with Belle and Sebastian, and their songs almost fit into the "sad bastard music" category, but they're a notch more upbeat than the average shoe-staring band. Recycled Sounds, located at Westport Road and Main, is holding an in-store concert at 3 p.m., with a barbecue of vegetarian hot dogs for fans who come to welcome the Lucksmiths to Kansas City. The show is free. For more information, call 816-531-4890.

8 Sunday
Dave Stephens used to be all about being a swinger. And his timing wasn't bad, either; he was Kansas City's big name during the swing music and dance revival of the 1990s. Now he's more worldly. It doesn't show just by looking at him, but he's gone Caribbean with his new band, The Continental Affair. They're playing Caribbean jazz tonight at the Grand Emporium, 3832 Main, at 7 for City in Motion's dance party fundraiser. Admission costs $10, and doors open at 6 p.m. For more information, call 816-531-1504.

9 Monday
Ida McBeth is getting away from her roots today, not musically but geographically. She's traveling all the way out to Town Center Plaza, 5000 W. 119th Street, to give an outdoor concert. Admission is free, but proceeds from refreshment stands go to various local charities, so we can deal with our musical hero's being stuck in a suburban parking lot for the day. The urban contingency can still hear the performance live from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. on KCMO 94.9, if enjoying a good show from the middle of a strip mall presents too hefty a challenge. For more information, call 913-498-1111.

10 Tuesday
Jack Lemmon's characters had awful luck when it came to housing arrangements. In Some Like It Hot, he and Tony Curtis had to pretend to be women, even while living in close quarters with real women. In The Apartment, Lemmon's higher-ups at work used his bachelor pad for their affairs. His most famously awful living situation was in The Odd Couple, in which he and Walter Matthau played incompatible roommates. Originally written for the stage by Neil Simon, The Odd Couple has been remade several times for film, television and stage. In 1998, when The Odd Couple II debuted, critics wondered whether directors would ever stop trying to squeak jokes out of this comedy. One critic known as "Mr. Cranky" said, with palpable bitchiness, "This is one of those movies they make to give old people something to do in the afternoon. Can you say 'nursing home field trip'?" Mr. Cranky wasn't alone; nobody will mince words when a story that can be great is done shoddily. Nevertheless, American Heartland Theatre, 2450 Grand, is risking critics' wrath with a female version of The Odd Couple. The theater wins points for bravery -- although we've seen plenty of spin-offs and sequels, we haven't yet seen the play relinquish its Y chromosome. Today's show starts at 8 p.m. For more information, call 816-842-9999.

11 Wednessday
At the Opie Gallery, 2012 Baltimore, works by students at Shawnee Mission North High School have dangerous potential to make gallery visitors feel bad about what they have not yet accomplished. That's no criticism of the work itself -- in fact, that's the problem. The young artists participating in this show are incredibly talented, and while their artists' statements and subject matter occasionally hint at the adolescence we'd expect to see, the works hold their own in the company of pieces displayed in the row of galleries on Baltimore. Some of the content is disturbing -- one artist puts segments of dolls and mannequins into decorated box interiors -- and some is just fun, such as the video about a project that involved covering people's bodies in latex. Laura Brandt, who made the video, hopes it will give viewers the urge to feel things -- which is exactly what happens as sensual music accompanies images of glistening and bubbling latex squirting out of a baster and smearing over torsos. The gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 816-474-1919.

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