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This Weeks Day-By-Day Picks

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Thursday, May 15, 2003
The rash of talent-seeking reality TV shows like American Idol and Star Search has folks dusting off karaoke machines that have been in storage along with Dyna-Mikes and gigantic Casio keyboards since 1992. At tonight's Karaoke Invitational Showdown Showcase, crooning champions from area nightspots each perform one song, to be judged by local members of the entertainment industry. The panel might not replicate the perverse chemistry between Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell, but it will be in a position to grant one singer a weeklong Caribbean cruise and a recording session for the release of a single. Even the second-place contestant earns a trip to Orlando, Florida, and the owner of the establishment representing the winner gets three days in Vegas. It's way better than reality TV, where runners-up get nothing but an interview on Access Hollywood. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Uptown Theater; Entraphy also performs. Tickets cost $10, and proceeds go to local children's charities. For more information, call 816-252-8848.

Friday, May 16, 2003
There aren't too many taboo topics left in our society, but post-graffiti artist Dalek, of Space Monkey fame, might have tapped into one of them with his latest installation. His macabre show The Grass Is Always Greener at Your Face (925 West 17th Street) incorporates suicide letters, which may or may not be real, to provide a window to the disturbing topic of offing oneself. There's nothing like a glimpse into the darkest corners of the human soul to kick off a great weekend! The opening starts at 6 p.m. For more information, call 816-472-1854.

An arrowhead collector's orgy goes down today at Fort Osage on the Missouri River (about thirteen miles northeast of Independence). At the Spring Flint Knap-In, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., hang with the Olympic equivalent of flint knappers as they demonstrate and discuss the art of making stone tools. The craft of hacking and chipping hasn't changed much since the Stone Age, so be prepared to let out a few well-timed grunts. At the event, which continues Saturday, vendors exhibit their wares -- recreated stone tools, Native American art and historic reproductions. Admission is $2-$3. For directions or other information, call 816-795-8200, ext. 1260.

Saturday, May 17, 2003
OUTdoors KC is a "gay-inclusive" group of folks who like nature and sports. It's likely that most people would prefer to be excluded, however, from their upcoming skydiving event. For the brave souls who want to plunge several thousand feet, the group heads to Missouri River Valley Skydivers (42938 West 64th Street in Henrietta). Jumpers must be at least eighteen years old, in decent health and weigh less than 250 pounds. First-time jumps normally cost about $150, but getting in on this outing will land you a reduced group rate. For more information, call 816-931-4420. To reach the skydiving site, call 816-290-5415 or 1-800-759-3483.

The eleventh-annual Prairie Winds Kite Festival, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Agricultural Hall Of Fame (I-70 and Highway 7 in Bonner Springs), is the largest kite event in the Midwest. It fills the sky with colorful shapes zipping to and fro on the mighty Kansas wind. You can learn a few tricks, check out aerial displays and test your skill flying a dual-line kite. Or just bring your own kite and claim a piece of sky -- there's plenty to go around. Don't forget to bring lawn chairs, blankets, water and snacks that take you back to your early kite days. Fruit Roll-Ups, anyone? For more information, call 913-721-1075.

Sunday, May 18, 2003
You know those loons at the park trying to toss a Frisbee into a small metal net? That's disc golf. And today at Water Works (3500 North Oak Trafficway), the extremely scenic flying-disc course hosts the first-ever H2 Open, a Professional Disc Golf Association C-tier competition, at 10 a.m. Anyone can enter the event, which is organized by the Kansas City Flying Disc Club. For more information, call 816-471-3472.

Monday, May 19, 2003
John Ritter finally may be acquiring the iconic status he deserves. On the heels of NBC's Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of "Three's Company" comes the latest from Late Night Theatre, The Importance of Being Three's Company (also unauthorized). The show, written and directed by Phil blue owl Hooser, promises giggles, jiggles, secrets, disguises and, of course, salary disputes. We have a feeling the drag version of Suzanne Somers will be eerily on-target. The production, which opened Friday and runs through June 14, starts at 8 p.m at Late Night Theatre, 1531 Grand Avenue. Tickets cost $16. For more information, call 816-235-6222.

Tuesday, May 20, 2003
The Kansas City Hospice Foundation holds its Circle of Lights ceremony tonight at 8:15 at the J.C. Nichols Fountain (47th and Main streets on the Plaza) and at the Gorman Memorial Fountain in the Northland. Hundreds of Kansas Citians will be lighting candles in luminaria bags, each bearing the name of a loved one, and lining the fountains with the luminarias. It's also a fund-raiser to ensure continued availability of hospice services. For more information, call 816-363-2600.

Wednesday, May 21, 2003
Isn't it funny how vaginas can be flying around in red capes with everybody pointing and gawking at them, and then when they emerge from a phone booth wearing glasses and suits, nobody seems to recognize them? Oh, wait. Margot Kidder, whom you know and love as Lois Lane in the Superman movies, stars tonight in Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues. If we have to explain to you what this play is, you and your vagina need to sit down and have a long talk. The politically charged play, which we feel confident calling a modern classic, opened last night and runs through Sunday at the Folly Theater (300 West 12th Street). Tickets cost $25 to $45. For performance times, call 816-421-1801, ext. 116.

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