At 5:30 p.m. the third Sunday of every month, Prospero's Bookstore (1800 West 39th Street) holds The PIT, where local poets come to read for fellow poets, enthusiasts and baffled window shoppers. Surrounded by onlookers, the writers squint through the afternoon sun streaming in on all sides and try to stick to reading -- making the PIT feel less like a pit and more like an interrogation room. The forms range from free-jazz scat to rhyming verse, with content covering history to coffee to, yeah, 39th Street itself.
The PIT will likely be standing-room-only this Sunday, when it marks the last night of the 39th Street Mojo, an annual art walk and daylong localpalooza. Everything culminates in a "special edition" PIT, offering respite for people weary from craning their necks to read sidewalk chalk poetry all weekend long.
For information, call 816-531-WORD.-- Christopher Sebela
How can you tell whether a play is worth a damn? Perform it at 7:30 a.m. on a Saturday and see whether anybody shows up. That's what time Gorilla Theatre has been putting on the Sunrise Greek Show for the past thirteen summer solstices, and it remains a popular event. This year, the company gets up at the ass crack of dawn to present Agamemnon, the first part of the tragic trilogy Oresteia. Written by Aeschylus, the daddy of tragedy, Agamemnon is the story of a Trojan War hero who returns home to find his wife shagging his cousin and plotting to have him bumped off. Seems she never got over the time Agamemnon sacrificed their daughter to the gods. Adultery and murder aside, this play also features such lighthearted themes as curses and cannibalism. The stage is the Wheeler Amphitheatre in Theis Park, at Volker and Oak streets. The show is free. For more information, call 816-471-2737.-- Sarah Smarsh
Kansas City may have more blues festivals per capita than any right-minded community should. But in terms of setting, few of them can rival Parkville's festival. The Parkville Jazz, Blues & Fine Arts River Jam, on the banks of the Missouri River in downtown Parkville's English Landing Park, includes performances by Angela Hagenbach, Levee Town and others. Works by regional artists are on display and for sale, too. Bring a blanket from 5 to 11 p.m. Friday and from noon to 11 p.m. Saturday. The festival is free. For information, call 816-880-9026.-- Smarsh