A Look Ahead –at a Busy October Weekend

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In the effort to resurrect my blog’s posting schedule, today I am writing what was usually my Thursday “look ahead” events calendar. Though late in getting it up, there are many worthwhile things going on this weekend, and were I to wait until next Thursday to commence, many of of those items would be unavailable.

Noon, Today, Saturday, October 20 — Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Kearney, MO High School Musical

See this link to the school’s Facebook page for information on tickets for today’s final shows. I attended this production on Tuesday evening this week. It was a fabulous production. I didn’t see any performances that said “watch out, this person is going to Hollywood, or Broadway.” But what I did see was an excellent ensemble cast having fun and giving us an insightful take on a show we knew, but could yet experience new again through their eyes. The way they bridged the movie and Broadway stage versions to their own cast and resources, while keeping it alive, fresh, and new, is a testament to Community Theater and the ability of any group to be able to take a story and perform and tell it well.

Friday’s and Saturdays through October 27 — Halloween Haunt at Worlds of Fun

As darkness falls, fear rises when the Overlord calls his army to transform the park into Halloween Haunt. Experience the thrills of your favorite rides and the chills of Extreme Haunts as you navigate the fog-filled midways where over 400 monsters lurk to feed off your screams. All you fear is here select nights in the Fall.

Not recommended for children under 14.

October  21 — Church Anniversary Sunday Celebration, Avondale United Methodist Church

During  both services and a celebration brunch afterwards, the church will be celebrating its anniversary with special music from both the bell and cathedral choirs, among other special observances.

October 21 at 5 p.m. — Evensong Service by Songflower Chorale, Historic St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Kansas City

The service will include a complete freshly-composed liturgical setting by SongFlower’s artistic director, Dr. Geoffrey Wilcken. The presentation is free and open to the public; donations are always welcome and accepted. Come join us as we contribute to this long-standing choral tradition, to which our art owes so much!

October  23 at  7 p.m. — Songflower Chorale Rehearsal, Jane Sullivan Choral Resource Library, Roeland Park, KS

This isn’t an open event, but any interested singers are encouraged to contact director Geoff Wilcken. Rehearsals are 7-9:30 p.m. I am one of the members of this group, and can attest to the musical challenge and insight brought to singing and the great works, new and old, by our director.  Currently we are rehearsing for a concert on “The English Tradition” on Nov. 18, and an Evensong Service on Oct. 21.

To contact Songflower Chorale your may use our website or our mailing address\

Songflower Chorale

PO Box 140366 Kansas City, MO 64114 USA

https://www.songflower.org/donate

The Songflower Chorale is a 501c3 non-profit, and contributions are
tax deductible where allowed by law.

October 24  at 6 p.m. — Rehearsal, Jubilee Ringers Handbell Choir, Avondale United Methodist Church

Under the direction of Mark Keeney, the handbell choir rehearses Wednesday night’s in the church’s choir room, and performs during services one Sunday a month.

October 24 at 7 p.m. — Rehearsal, Avondale United Methodist Church Cathedral Choir

Under the direction of John Livingston the choir rehearses Wednesday night’s in the church’s choir room, and performs during services each Sunday.

Through Dec. 2 — Always … Patsy Cline at New Theatre Restaurant

(I went to a matinee performance of this show, and highly recommmend it.  When I get the chance I hope to add some additional personal notes of review about this show.) 

Always…Patsy Cline is more than a tribute to the legendary country singer who died tragically at age 30 in a plane crash in 1963. The show is based on a true story about Patsy’s friendship with a fan from Houston named Louise Seger, who befriended the star in a Texas honky-tonk in 1961, and continued a correspondence with Patsy until her death. The musical play, complete with down home country humor, true emotion and even some audience participation, includes many of Patsy’s unforgettable hits such as CRAZY, I FALL TO PIECES, SWEET DREAMS, WALKING AFTER MIDNIGHT. The show’s title was inspired by Patsy’s letters to Louise, which were consistently signed “Love always… Patsy Cline.”

November 18 — The English Tradition, Songflower Chorale Concert, Historic St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Kansas City

This fall, Songflower Chorale will present a concert titled The English Tradition, celebrating the landmarks of British composers through history, from Renaissance
masters to the Romantics, which have radiated their influence back to
the rest of the world, along with some modern outgrowths of the Anglican choral tradition, alive and well in our community.  Admission is free, donations are accepted.

Those wishing to support the choral are welcome to contribute financially; this allows it to meet rehearsal expenses and hire guest artists at need, and is greatly appreciated!
Donations can be mailed to

Songflower Chorale

PO Box 140366 Kansas City, MO 64114 USA

Or you can contribute through our website, https://www.songflower.org/donate

The Songflower Chorale is a 501c3 non-profit, and contributions are
tax deductible where allowed by law.

 December 5-February 17 — Shear Madness at New Theatre Restaurant

SHEAR MADNESS is America’s most popular and longest running comedy (now in its 31st year at Washington D.C.’s prestigious Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts). More than 12 million people worldwide have seen the hilarious whodunit and there is no end in sight; its success just keeps going and going.

In this hilarious whodunit, a renowned classical pianist is murdered in her apartment above the SHEAR MADNESS beauty salon and you, the audience, along with Inspector Nick O’Brien, interrogate the suspects, evaluate the clues and solve the mystery. The wacky, spontaneous comedy never has the same ending twice, so you can see it again and again.

February  20-April 2019– Biloxi Blues at New Theatre Restaurant

The laughter rarely stops in this Tony Award-winning “Best Play” that tells the story of Eugene Jerome and his experiences as a 19-year-old draftee who, with a handful of other recruits must endure ten weeks of boot camp and a tough as nails, hard-drinking platoon leader in the steaming swamps of Biloxi, Mississippi in 1943.

April 25-July 7 — The Buddy Holly Story at New Theatre Restaurant

It’s Back! One of our most popular productions of all time! BUDDY-THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY. This joyous musical tells the story of Buddy Holly’s short yet explosive career and features his classical hits: PEGGY SUE, THAT’LL BE THE DAY, NOT FADE AWAY, OH BOY, MAYBE BABY, RAVEON and many more. This show Rocks!

July -Sept. 15 — Joseph and the Amazing TechniColor Dreamcoat at New Theatre Restaurant

Based on the “Coat of Many Colors” story from The Bible’s Book of Genesis, this upbeat musical is filled with a cornucopia of musical styles. From country-western to calypso to bubblegum pop & rock ‘n’ roll, this Old Testament tale emerges both timely and timeless. With its family-friendly storyline, universal themes and catchy music, JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT is a musical theatre event not to be missed. From the composer of PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, EVITA, CATS AND SCHOOL OF ROCK.@

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An unexpected defrost

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Yesterday I got up in the morning and went to the kitchen set on the simple mission of picking up my breakfast and retreating. It was not to be. And I cannot blame it on the presence of anyone else, because each of the events that got added to the mission profile was something of my conscious doing.

When I opened the refrigerator door, I remembered a discussion the night before that we  would have sloppy joes that day. So we had planned to put the ground meat in the refrigerator to thaw.  But I didn’t see any. So I pulled the  pounds ground turkey out of the upstairs refrigerator freezer freezer and went downstairs to the chest freezer to add the pound of ground beef that makes up our three.

I had to dig down to find it, and then I found I couldn’t remove it from the freezer. There were 8 remaining ground beef packages, all on the bottom of the freezer, surrounding a bag of ice that had been put there during the second power outage that had caused softening and weeping of the freezer meats before refreezing started.

So I started a new project to free the ground beef. Not one, all. Hammer to tap it first, then a screw driver and hammer to try and pry them apart from each other, and the freezer floor. The dull thudding got the attention, slowly, of everyone in the house.

That is when I roused Nathan for his eye and expertise. Because I had decided that now was THE time to defrost the freezer, both freezers, and get them organized so we knew what we had. Bringing my consultant down, I detailed for him my idea, and asked for cautions and improvements.

On the all behind and between the two freezers (upright, chest) are two water faucets, hot and cold, used when the washing machine was in the basement. I intended to attach a hose to the hot water, and use as much hot water as needed to melt the ice holding the ice bag to the bottom of the freezer. Once removed I would pull the drain plugs and use hot water to melt the accumulated ice off the sides, dry it with a towel, and (last minute idea) clean and sanitize the surfaces with Clorox wipes.

Pulling the drain plug caused water to flow out, across the floor and toward the drain below the car. Some of it passed toward across the bottom of the stairs, while other progressed to under the stairs, where dirt, junk, and two bags of concrete mix sat.  Water would not be good for the concrete mix. I hailed Carly, had her fetch the shop broom, and sweep the water away from underneath the stairs and move it in front of them.

Once that freezer was deiced and the water stopped, I had he clear a section of the elevated shelf under the stairs and hoisted the bags of concrete mix onto its high and dry surface.

That left all the dirt and trash.  With the same broom I swept while Carly held the back that we dumped all the debris into.

I had emptied the chest freezer into the upright. Now i reorged and I moved the upright to the chest. Hot water sprayed on the shelves of coils deiced them and ran out the front, going under the stairs (now clean), until it was wiped down clean.

At this point I held an all house meeting. How do we want to divide our frozen foods.  We decided to put the meats in the chest freezer, and other items in the upright. Turned out to be quite a workable arrangement. I even had some of the meat in the upstairs freezer brought down, to free it up for more current items.

After the conference, Betsy drove off with the car on errands, and the garage was open — and I could see all the garbage accumulated under it, ready to plug the drain. So I had the final project, the only one not mostly done by me, of sweeping and bagging the trash in the open areas, assigned to the kids.

I went in for Breakfast at 7:30 a.m. and left the kids sweeping the trash at 10 a.m. That was the best and most efficient freezer defrosting I can recall being a part of.

 

A Look Ahead — Kansas City Renaissance Festival

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Through September 23 — Mamma Mia at New Theatre Restaurant

On the eve of her wedding, a daughter’s quest to discover the identity of her father brings three men from her mother’s past to the door of the church. Featuring the #1 hits of legendary group ABBA, DANCING QUEEN, KNOWING ME-KNOWING YOU, TAKE A CHANCE ON ME, and many more. This Super Trouper musical comedy hit sold out 14 years on Broadway.

 

Weekends September 1 to Oct.  14 — Kansas City Renaissance Festival

Welcome to the 2018 Kansas City Renaissance Festival! The Kansas City Renaissance Festival is celebrating its 42nd Season! Come and be a part of this long-standing tradition by visiting the festival grounds in Bonner Springs, KS.

Open Weekends September 1 – October 14 Plus Labor Day and Columbus Day 10am to 7pm • Rain or Shine • 913.721.2110 Free Parking!

Kansas City’s History with the Festival

The Kansas City Renaissance Festival began its journey in September of 1977 as a benefit to the Kansas City Art Institute. Since then, the Kansas City Renaissance Festival has grown to be one of the largest Renaissance Festivals in the united States with an annual attendance of 200,000.

About Mid-America Festivals

Mid-America Festivals is the nation’s largest producer of outdoor themed events. In 2016, we entertained nearly one million people in a wide variety of locations across the country.

Mid-America Festivals currently devotes its time towards developing some of the best festivals in the country. Mid-America Festivals, along with affiliated entities, owns and operates the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, the Trail of Terror (located in Minnesota), the Bay Area Renaissance Festival at MOSI (located on the grounds of the Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa Bay, Florida), the Kansas City Renaissance Festival, the Michigan Renaissance Festival, the St. Louis Renaissance Festival and many other events. The company demonstrates its event production and promotion leadership by embracing all aspects of event production from specialty merchandise and corporate sponsorship to ticket sales and multi-media marketing.

Based in Minneapolis, Mid-America’s staff is comprised of talented managers’ experiences in all aspects of entertainment. Mid-America Festivals began producing Renaissance Festivals in 1976 as a natural extension of its president’s career in major venue promotion and production. The company’s background ranges from rock and roll events like the Beach Boys, Rolling Stones, and Prince to event management for concerts like Rock the Garden in Minneapolis.

September  4 — Songflower Chorale Rehearsal, Immanuel Lutheran Church, Westport

This isn’t an open event, but any interested singers are encouraged to contact director Geoff Wilcken. Rehearsals are 7-9:30 p.m. I am one of the members of this group, and can attest to the musical challenge and insight brought to singing and the great works, new and old, by our director.  Currently we are rehearsing for a concert on “The English Tradition” on Nov. 18, and an Evensong Service on Oct. 28.

To contact Songflower Chorale your may use our website or our mailing address\

Songflower Chorale

PO Box 140366 Kansas City, MO 64114 USA

https://www.songflower.org/donate

The Songflower Chorale is a 501c3 non-profit, and contributions are
tax deductible where allowed by law.

September 5 at 6 p.m. — Rehearsal, Jubilee Ringers Handbell Choir, Avondale United Methodist Church

Under the direction of Mark Keeney, the handbell choir rehearses Wednesday night’s in the church’s choir room, and performs during services one Sunday a month.

September 5 at 7 p.m. — Rehearsal, Avondale United Methodist Church Cathedral Choir

Under the direction of John Livingston the choir rehearses Wednesday night’s in the church’s choir room, and performs during services each Sunday.

 

September 8  — Avondale United Methodist Church Book Club

The club meets at 10 a.m. in the Church Library, and is open to anyone that wants to come and discuss, or listen to the discussion of the book slated for the month.  For September it is The Radium Girls, by Kate Moore. See the following blurb:

As World War I raged across the globe, hundreds of young women toiled away at the radium-dial factories, where they painted clock faces with a mysterious new substance called radium. Assured by their bosses that the luminous material was safe, the women themselves shone brightly in the dark, covered from head to toe with the glowing dust. With such a coveted job, these “shining girls” were considered the luckiest alive–until they began to fall mysteriously ill. As the fatal poison of the radium took hold, they found themselves embroiled in one of America’s biggest scandals and a groundbreaking battle for workers’ rights. The Radium Girls explores the strength of extraordinary women in the face of almost impossible circumstances and the astonishing legacy they left behind.

September 15, 2018 — Halloween Haunt Opening Night at Worlds of Fun

As darkness falls, fear rises when the Overlord calls his army to transform the park into Halloween Haunt. Experience the thrills of your favorite rides and the chills of Extreme Haunts as you navigate the fog-filled midways where over 400 monsters lurk to feed off your screams. All you fear is here select nights in the Fall.

Not recommended for children under 14.

Friday’s and Saturdays September 15 – October 27 — Halloween Haunt at Worlds of Fun

As darkness falls, fear rises when the Overlord calls his army to transform the park into Halloween Haunt. Experience the thrills of your favorite rides and the chills of Extreme Haunts as you navigate the fog-filled midways where over 400 monsters lurk to feed off your screams. All you fear is here select nights in the Fall.

Not recommended for children under 14.

September 14-16 — Chicago at Kansas City Starlight Theatre

Show Time: 8 p.m.
Gates Time: 7 p.m.

Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes, with intermission


There’s never been a better time to experience CHICAGO, Broadway’s razzle-dazzle smash. This triumphant hit musical is the recipient of six Tony Awards®, two Olivier Awards, a Grammy®, thousands of standing ovations and now the title of No. 1 longest-running American musical in Broadway history.

CHICAGO has everything that makes Broadway great: a universal tale of fame, fortune and all that jazz; one show-stopping song after another; and the most astonishing dancing you’ve ever seen. It’s no surprise CHICAGO has wowed audiences from Mexico City to Moscow, Sao Paulo to South Africa. And now it’s coming to your town!

Whether you’re looking for your first Broadway musical, seen the Academy Award-winning film and want to experience the show live on stage, or seen it before and want to recapture the magic, CHICAGO always delivers!

Contains adult language and subject matter; national tour recommends for ages 13+.

Note: This is the one show at Starlight that Betsy and I ever walked out on when we saw it.

Sept 26-Dec. 2 — Always … Patsy Cline at New Theatre Restaurant

Always…Patsy Cline is more than a tribute to the legendary country singer who died tragically at age 30 in a plane crash in 1963. The show is based on a true story about Patsy’s friendship with a fan from Houston named Louise Seger, who befriended the star in a Texas honky-tonk in 1961, and continued a correspondence with Patsy until her death. The musical play, complete with down home country humor, true emotion and even some audience participation, includes many of Patsy’s unforgettable hits such as CRAZY, I FALL TO PIECES, SWEET DREAMS, WALKING AFTER MIDNIGHT. The show’s title was inspired by Patsy’s letters to Louise, which were consistently signed “Love always… Patsy Cline.”

Sept 28-30 — The Illusionists and Kansas City Starlight Theatre

Show Time: 8 p.m.
Gates Time: 7 p.m.

Duration: 2 hours, with intermission


Direct from Broadway comes the world’s best-selling magic show.

The mind-blowing spectacular of THE ILLUSIONISTS – LIVE FROM BROADWAY™showcases the jaw-dropping talents of five of the most incredible illusionists on earth. This magical production has shattered box office records across the globe as it dazzles audiences of all ages with a powerful mix of the most outrageous and astonishing acts ever seen on stage. A non-stop show, THE ILLUSIONISTS is packed with thrilling and sophisticated magic of unprecedented proportions!

Suitable for all audiences.

October 28 — Evensong Service by Songflower Chorale, Historic St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Kansas City

Songflower Chorale will present a choral evensong service, including new and original works, at historic St. Mary’s Episcopal Church.  Admission is free, donations are accepted.

Donations can be mailed to

Songflower Chorale

PO Box 140366 Kansas City, MO 64114 USA

Or you can contribute through our website, https://www.songflower.org/donate

The Songflower Chorale is a 501c3 non-profit, and contributions are
tax deductible where allowed by law.

November 8 — The English Tradition, Songflower Chorale Concert, Historic St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Kansas City

This fall, Songflower Chorale will present a concert titled The English Tradition, celebrating the landmarks of British composers through history, from Renaissance
masters to the Romantics, which have radiated their influence back to
the rest of the world, along with some modern outgrowths of the Anglican choral tradition, alive and well in our community.  Admission is free, donations are accepted.

Those wishing to support the choral are welcome to contribute financially; this allows it to meet rehearsal expenses and hire guest artists at need, and is greatly appreciated!
Donations can be mailed to

Songflower Chorale

PO Box 140366 Kansas City, MO 64114 USA

Or you can contribute through our website, https://www.songflower.org/donate

The Songflower Chorale is a 501c3 non-profit, and contributions are
tax deductible where allowed by law.

 December 5-February 17 — Shear Madness at New Theatre Restaurant

SHEAR MADNESS is America’s most popular and longest running comedy (now in its 31st year at Washington D.C.’s prestigious Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts). More than 12 million people worldwide have seen the hilarious whodunit and there is no end in sight; its success just keeps going and going.

In this hilarious whodunit, a renowned classical pianist is murdered in her apartment above the SHEAR MADNESS beauty salon and you, the audience, along with Inspector Nick O’Brien, interrogate the suspects, evaluate the clues and solve the mystery. The wacky, spontaneous comedy never has the same ending twice, so you can see it again and again.

February  20-April 2019– Biloxi Blues at New Theatre Restaurant

The laughter rarely stops in this Tony Award-winning “Best Play” that tells the story of Eugene Jerome and his experiences as a 19-year-old draftee who, with a handful of other recruits must endure ten weeks of boot camp and a tough as nails, hard-drinking platoon leader in the steaming swamps of Biloxi, Mississippi in 1943.

April 25-July 7 — The Buddy Holly Story at New Theatre Restaurant

It’s Back! One of our most popular productions of all time! BUDDY-THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY. This joyous musical tells the story of Buddy Holly’s short yet explosive career and features his classical hits: PEGGY SUE, THAT’LL BE THE DAY, NOT FADE AWAY, OH BOY, MAYBE BABY, RAVEON and many more. This show Rocks!

July -Sept. 15 — Joseph and the Amazing TechniColor Dreamcoat at New Theatre Restaurant

Based on the “Coat of Many Colors” story from The Bible’s Book of Genesis, this upbeat musical is filled with a cornucopia of musical styles. From country-western to calypso to bubblegum pop & rock ‘n’ roll, this Old Testament tale emerges both timely and timeless. With its family-friendly storyline, universal themes and catchy music, JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT is a musical theatre event not to be missed. From the composer of PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, EVITA, CATS AND SCHOOL OF ROCK.@

A Look Ahead — Ren Fest Media Day

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Today — 5:30 p.m. — RenFest Media Day

This isn’t an open event, except to the media representatives invited, but it is the start of the Renaissance Season for Madrigalia Bar Nonne (I sing tenor/bass) and the other performers at the annual event.  Rain was persistent this morning, but might be done before the event starts.  So a soggy time, but hopefully not a drenching one.

 

Weekdays Through August  — Clay and Jackson County Zoo Days

Recently Updated

Residents of the Clay and Jackson counties still have a few more weekdays to take advantage of their free visits to the zoo in August that is their right for paying the special zoo tax. Anyone in the two counties can take the ticket they got in the mail and get in for free for the remaining weekdays of this Month. Earlier months this year included April and July, and this option will be available again in November.

Through September 23 — Mamma Mia at New Theatre Restaurant

On the eve of her wedding, a daughter’s quest to discover the identity of her father brings three men from her mother’s past to the door of the church. Featuring the #1 hits of legendary group ABBA, DANCING QUEEN, KNOWING ME-KNOWING YOU, TAKE A CHANCE ON ME, and many more. This Super Trouper musical comedy hit sold out 14 years on Broadway.

 

Weekends September 1 to Oct.  14 — Kansas City Renaissance Festival

Welcome to the 2018 Kansas City Renaissance Festival! The Kansas City Renaissance Festival is celebrating its 42nd Season! Come and be a part of this long-standing tradition by visiting the festival grounds in Bonner Springs, KS.

Open Weekends September 1 – October 14 Plus Labor Day and Columbus Day 10am to 7pm • Rain or Shine • 913.721.2110 Free Parking!

Kansas City’s History with the Festival

The Kansas City Renaissance Festival began its journey in September of 1977 as a benefit to the Kansas City Art Institute. Since then, the Kansas City Renaissance Festival has grown to be one of the largest Renaissance Festivals in the united States with an annual attendance of 200,000.

About Mid-America Festivals

Mid-America Festivals is the nation’s largest producer of outdoor themed events. In 2016, we entertained nearly one million people in a wide variety of locations across the country.

Mid-America Festivals currently devotes its time towards developing some of the best festivals in the country. Mid-America Festivals, along with affiliated entities, owns and operates the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, the Trail of Terror (located in Minnesota), the Bay Area Renaissance Festival at MOSI (located on the grounds of the Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa Bay, Florida), the Kansas City Renaissance Festival, the Michigan Renaissance Festival, the St. Louis Renaissance Festival and many other events. The company demonstrates its event production and promotion leadership by embracing all aspects of event production from specialty merchandise and corporate sponsorship to ticket sales and multi-media marketing.

Based in Minneapolis, Mid-America’s staff is comprised of talented managers’ experiences in all aspects of entertainment. Mid-America Festivals began producing Renaissance Festivals in 1976 as a natural extension of its president’s career in major venue promotion and production. The company’s background ranges from rock and roll events like the Beach Boys, Rolling Stones, and Prince to event management for concerts like Rock the Garden in Minneapolis.

September 8  — Avondale United Methodist Church Book Club

The club meets at 10 a.m. in the Church Library, and is open to anyone that wants to come and discuss, or listen to the discussion of the book slated for the month.  For September it is The Radium Girls, by Kate Moore. See the following blurb:

As World War I raged across the globe, hundreds of young women toiled away at the radium-dial factories, where they painted clock faces with a mysterious new substance called radium. Assured by their bosses that the luminous material was safe, the women themselves shone brightly in the dark, covered from head to toe with the glowing dust. With such a coveted job, these “shining girls” were considered the luckiest alive–until they began to fall mysteriously ill. As the fatal poison of the radium took hold, they found themselves embroiled in one of America’s biggest scandals and a groundbreaking battle for workers’ rights. The Radium Girls explores the strength of extraordinary women in the face of almost impossible circumstances and the astonishing legacy they left behind.

September 15, 2018 — Halloween Haunt Opening Night at Worlds of Fun

As darkness falls, fear rises when the Overlord calls his army to transform the park into Halloween Haunt. Experience the thrills of your favorite rides and the chills of Extreme Haunts as you navigate the fog-filled midways where over 400 monsters lurk to feed off your screams. All you fear is here select nights in the Fall.

Not recommended for children under 14.

Friday’s and Saturdays September 15 – October 27 — Halloween Haunt at Worlds of Fun

As darkness falls, fear rises when the Overlord calls his army to transform the park into Halloween Haunt. Experience the thrills of your favorite rides and the chills of Extreme Haunts as you navigate the fog-filled midways where over 400 monsters lurk to feed off your screams. All you fear is here select nights in the Fall.

Not recommended for children under 14.

September 14-16 — Chicago at Kansas City Starlight Theatre

Show Time: 8 p.m.
Gates Time: 7 p.m.

Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes, with intermission


There’s never been a better time to experience CHICAGO, Broadway’s razzle-dazzle smash. This triumphant hit musical is the recipient of six Tony Awards®, two Olivier Awards, a Grammy®, thousands of standing ovations and now the title of No. 1 longest-running American musical in Broadway history.

CHICAGO has everything that makes Broadway great: a universal tale of fame, fortune and all that jazz; one show-stopping song after another; and the most astonishing dancing you’ve ever seen. It’s no surprise CHICAGO has wowed audiences from Mexico City to Moscow, Sao Paulo to South Africa. And now it’s coming to your town!

Whether you’re looking for your first Broadway musical, seen the Academy Award-winning film and want to experience the show live on stage, or seen it before and want to recapture the magic, CHICAGO always delivers!

Contains adult language and subject matter; national tour recommends for ages 13+.

Note: This is the one show at Starlight that Betsy and I ever walked out on when we saw it.

Sept 26-Dec. 2 — Always … Patsy Cline at New Theatre Restaurant

Always…Patsy Cline is more than a tribute to the legendary country singer who died tragically at age 30 in a plane crash in 1963. The show is based on a true story about Patsy’s friendship with a fan from Houston named Louise Seger, who befriended the star in a Texas honky-tonk in 1961, and continued a correspondence with Patsy until her death. The musical play, complete with down home country humor, true emotion and even some audience participation, includes many of Patsy’s unforgettable hits such as CRAZY, I FALL TO PIECES, SWEET DREAMS, WALKING AFTER MIDNIGHT. The show’s title was inspired by Patsy’s letters to Louise, which were consistently signed “Love always… Patsy Cline.”

Sept 28-30 — The Illusionists and Kansas City Starlight Theatre

Show Time: 8 p.m.
Gates Time: 7 p.m.

Duration: 2 hours, with intermission


Direct from Broadway comes the world’s best-selling magic show.

The mind-blowing spectacular of THE ILLUSIONISTS – LIVE FROM BROADWAY™showcases the jaw-dropping talents of five of the most incredible illusionists on earth. This magical production has shattered box office records across the globe as it dazzles audiences of all ages with a powerful mix of the most outrageous and astonishing acts ever seen on stage. A non-stop show, THE ILLUSIONISTS is packed with thrilling and sophisticated magic of unprecedented proportions!

Suitable for all audiences.

 

 December 5-February 17 — Shear Madness at New Theatre Restaurant

SHEAR MADNESS is America’s most popular and longest running comedy (now in its 31st year at Washington D.C.’s prestigious Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts). More than 12 million people worldwide have seen the hilarious whodunit and there is no end in sight; its success just keeps going and going.

In this hilarious whodunit, a renowned classical pianist is murdered in her apartment above the SHEAR MADNESS beauty salon and you, the audience, along with Inspector Nick O’Brien, interrogate the suspects, evaluate the clues and solve the mystery. The wacky, spontaneous comedy never has the same ending twice, so you can see it again and again.

February  20-April 201– Biloxi Blues at New Theatre Restaurant

The laughter rarely stops in this Tony Award-winning “Best Play” that tells the story of Eugene Jerome and his experiences as a 19-year-old draftee who, with a handful of other recruits must endure ten weeks of boot camp and a tough as nails, hard-drinking platoon leader in the steaming swamps of Biloxi, Mississippi in 1943.

April 25-July 7 — The Buddy Holly Story at New Theatre Restaurant

It’s Back! One of our most popular productions of all time! BUDDY-THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY. This joyous musical tells the story of Buddy Holly’s short yet explosive career and features his classical hits: PEGGY SUE, THAT’LL BE THE DAY, NOT FADE AWAY, OH BOY, MAYBE BABY, RAVEON and many more. This show Rocks!

July -Sept. 15 — Joseph and the Amazing TechniColor Dreamcoat at New Theatre Restaurant

Based on the “Coat of Many Colors” story from The Bible’s Book of Genesis, this upbeat musical is filled with a cornucopia of musical styles. From country-western to calypso to bubblegum pop & rock ‘n’ roll, this Old Testament tale emerges both timely and timeless. With its family-friendly storyline, universal themes and catchy music, JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT is a musical theatre event not to be missed. From the composer of PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, EVITA, CATS AND SCHOOL OF ROCK.@

A Look Ahead — Zoo Days

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Weekdays Through August  — Clay and Jackson County Zoo Days

Recently Updated

Residents of the Clay and Jackson counties still have a few more weekdays to take advantage of their free visits to the zoo in August that is their right for paying the special zoo tax. Anyone in the two counties can take the ticket they got in the mail and get in for free for the remaining weekdays of this Month. Earlier months this year included April and July, and this option will be available again in November.

Through September 23 — Mamma Mia at New Theatre Restaurant

On the eve of her wedding, a daughter’s quest to discover the identity of her father brings three men from her mother’s past to the door of the church. Featuring the #1 hits of legendary group ABBA, DANCING QUEEN, KNOWING ME-KNOWING YOU, TAKE A CHANCE ON ME, and many more. This Super Trouper musical comedy hit sold out 14 years on Broadway.

August 14-19 — Love Never Dies at Kansas City Starlight Tbeatre

Show Time: 8 p.m.
Gates Time: 7 p.m.

Duration: 2 hours 20 minutes, with intermission


The ultimate love story continues in Love Never Dies, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s spellbinding sequel to The Phantom of the Opera. This story of boundless love, full of passion and drama, follows The Phantom of the Opera, one of the most successful musicals of all time that has been seen by more than 130 million people worldwide and won over 50 international awards.

The year is 1907. It is 10 years after the Phantom’s disappearance from the Paris Opera House, and he has escaped to a new life in New York where he lives among the screaming joy rides and freak shows of Coney Island. While he has finally found a place for his music to soar in this new, electrically charged world, the Phantom has never stopped yearning for his one true love and musical protégée, Christine Daaé.

Now one of the world’s finest sopranos, Christine accepts an invitation to travel from Paris to New York to perform at a renowned opera house. Her marriage to Raoul is suffering at the hands of his drinking and gambling, and they desperately need the financial rewards that America can give.

In a final bid to win back Christine’s love, the Phantom lures her, Raoul and their young son, Gustave, from Manhattan to the glittering and glorious world of Coney Island… not knowing what is in store for them.

Love Never Dies is a dazzling new production that takes audiences on a thrilling roller coaster ride of intrigue, obsession and romance. Be seduced by the beautiful, sometimes magical and poetic, sometimes joyful and, occasionally, melancholic score.

Contains adult subject matter; national tour recommends for ages 12+.

Aug. 19 — Rehearsals continue for Madrigalia Bar Nonne.

This isn’t an open to the public thing, but interested singers are always welcome to come and join rehearsals, and see if they might want to try out for this select group of period a capella musical performers. Rehearsals continue most Sundays through August, and then the group sings daily at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival at its grounds in Bonner Springs. Anyone interested in joining a rehearsal or the group, drop me a line and I will get you the necessary contact information.  I have been singing with this group since 1999.

 

Weekends September 1 to Oct.  14 — Kansas City Renaissance Festival

Welcome to the 2018 Kansas City Renaissance Festival! The Kansas City Renaissance Festival is celebrating its 42nd Season! Come and be a part of this long-standing tradition by visiting the festival grounds in Bonner Springs, KS.

Open Weekends September 1 – October 14 Plus Labor Day and Columbus Day 10am to 7pm • Rain or Shine • 913.721.2110 Free Parking!

Kansas City’s History with the Festival

The Kansas City Renaissance Festival began its journey in September of 1977 as a benefit to the Kansas City Art Institute. Since then, the Kansas City Renaissance Festival has grown to be one of the largest Renaissance Festivals in the united States with an annual attendance of 200,000.

About Mid-America Festivals

Mid-America Festivals is the nation’s largest producer of outdoor themed events. In 2016, we entertained nearly one million people in a wide variety of locations across the country.

Mid-America Festivals currently devotes its time towards developing some of the best festivals in the country. Mid-America Festivals, along with affiliated entities, owns and operates the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, the Trail of Terror (located in Minnesota), the Bay Area Renaissance Festival at MOSI (located on the grounds of the Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa Bay, Florida), the Kansas City Renaissance Festival, the Michigan Renaissance Festival, the St. Louis Renaissance Festival and many other events. The company demonstrates its event production and promotion leadership by embracing all aspects of event production from specialty merchandise and corporate sponsorship to ticket sales and multi-media marketing.

Based in Minneapolis, Mid-America’s staff is comprised of talented managers’ experiences in all aspects of entertainment. Mid-America Festivals began producing Renaissance Festivals in 1976 as a natural extension of its president’s career in major venue promotion and production. The company’s background ranges from rock and roll events like the Beach Boys, Rolling Stones, and Prince to event management for concerts like Rock the Garden in Minneapolis.

September 8  — Avondale United Methodist Church Book Club

The club meets at 10 a.m. in the Church Library, and is open to anyone that wants to come and discuss, or listen to the discussion of the book slated for the month.  For September it is The Radium Girls, by Kate Moore. See the following blurb:

As World War I raged across the globe, hundreds of young women toiled away at the radium-dial factories, where they painted clock faces with a mysterious new substance called radium. Assured by their bosses that the luminous material was safe, the women themselves shone brightly in the dark, covered from head to toe with the glowing dust. With such a coveted job, these “shining girls” were considered the luckiest alive–until they began to fall mysteriously ill. As the fatal poison of the radium took hold, they found themselves embroiled in one of America’s biggest scandals and a groundbreaking battle for workers’ rights. The Radium Girls explores the strength of extraordinary women in the face of almost impossible circumstances and the astonishing legacy they left behind.

September 14-16 — Chicago at Kansas City Starlight Theatre

Show Time: 8 p.m.
Gates Time: 7 p.m.

Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes, with intermission


There’s never been a better time to experience CHICAGO, Broadway’s razzle-dazzle smash. This triumphant hit musical is the recipient of six Tony Awards®, two Olivier Awards, a Grammy®, thousands of standing ovations and now the title of No. 1 longest-running American musical in Broadway history.

CHICAGO has everything that makes Broadway great: a universal tale of fame, fortune and all that jazz; one show-stopping song after another; and the most astonishing dancing you’ve ever seen. It’s no surprise CHICAGO has wowed audiences from Mexico City to Moscow, Sao Paulo to South Africa. And now it’s coming to your town!

Whether you’re looking for your first Broadway musical, seen the Academy Award-winning film and want to experience the show live on stage, or seen it before and want to recapture the magic, CHICAGO always delivers!

Contains adult language and subject matter; national tour recommends for ages 13+.

Note: This is the one show at Starlight that Betsy and I ever walked out on when we saw it.

Sept 26-Dec. 2 — Always … Patsy Cline at New Theatre Restaurant

Always…Patsy Cline is more than a tribute to the legendary country singer who died tragically at age 30 in a plane crash in 1963. The show is based on a true story about Patsy’s friendship with a fan from Houston named Louise Seger, who befriended the star in a Texas honky-tonk in 1961, and continued a correspondence with Patsy until her death. The musical play, complete with down home country humor, true emotion and even some audience participation, includes many of Patsy’s unforgettable hits such as CRAZY, I FALL TO PIECES, SWEET DREAMS, WALKING AFTER MIDNIGHT. The show’s title was inspired by Patsy’s letters to Louise, which were consistently signed “Love always… Patsy Cline.”

Sept 28-30 — The Illusionists and Kansas City Starlight Theatre

Show Time: 8 p.m.
Gates Time: 7 p.m.

Duration: 2 hours, with intermission


Direct from Broadway comes the world’s best-selling magic show.

The mind-blowing spectacular of THE ILLUSIONISTS – LIVE FROM BROADWAY™showcases the jaw-dropping talents of five of the most incredible illusionists on earth. This magical production has shattered box office records across the globe as it dazzles audiences of all ages with a powerful mix of the most outrageous and astonishing acts ever seen on stage. A non-stop show, THE ILLUSIONISTS is packed with thrilling and sophisticated magic of unprecedented proportions!

Suitable for all audiences.

 

 December 5-February 17 — Shear Madness at New Theatre Restaurant

SHEAR MADNESS is America’s most popular and longest running comedy (now in its 31st year at Washington D.C.’s prestigious Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts). More than 12 million people worldwide have seen the hilarious whodunit and there is no end in sight; its success just keeps going and going.

In this hilarious whodunit, a renowned classical pianist is murdered in her apartment above the SHEAR MADNESS beauty salon and you, the audience, along with Inspector Nick O’Brien, interrogate the suspects, evaluate the clues and solve the mystery. The wacky, spontaneous comedy never has the same ending twice, so you can see it again and again.

February  20-April 201– Biloxi Blues at New Theatre Restaurant

The laughter rarely stops in this Tony Award-winning “Best Play” that tells the story of Eugene Jerome and his experiences as a 19-year-old draftee who, with a handful of other recruits must endure ten weeks of boot camp and a tough as nails, hard-drinking platoon leader in the steaming swamps of Biloxi, Mississippi in 1943.

April 25-July 7 — The Buddy Holly Story at New Theatre Restaurant

It’s Back! One of our most popular productions of all time! BUDDY-THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY. This joyous musical tells the story of Buddy Holly’s short yet explosive career and features his classical hits: PEGGY SUE, THAT’LL BE THE DAY, NOT FADE AWAY, OH BOY, MAYBE BABY, RAVEON and many more. This show Rocks!

July -Sept. 15 — Joseph and the Amazing TechniColor Dreamcoat at New Theatre Restaurant

Based on the “Coat of Many Colors” story from The Bible’s Book of Genesis, this upbeat musical is filled with a cornucopia of musical styles. From country-western to calypso to bubblegum pop & rock ‘n’ roll, this Old Testament tale emerges both timely and timeless. With its family-friendly storyline, universal themes and catchy music, JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT is a musical theatre event not to be missed. From the composer of PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, EVITA, CATS AND SCHOOL OF ROCK.@

The Book Ballot

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Today the Avondale United Methodist Church Book Club discussed The Light Between Oceans, a first novel by M. L. Stedman. But I’m not going to talk about that.

We also received our book ballot for the upcoming 12 month cycle. This process is a uniquely “democratic” means of choosing what we read each year.  Everyone who wants to nominates books to be considered, and our club coordinator, the honorable Sandy Keeney, collects those nominations, puts them in a list, and we all choose 12 we would like to read. The top 12 vote-getters are then chosen for the coming year, and assigned one of the upcoming  12 months.

Some people nominate no books, some nominate several, and a few nominate one or two. I used to nominate many, but have moved to the one or two option.

Via this process we tend to get a fairly good mix of fiction and non-fiction. Some years the list is quite long, this year we have 25 from which to choose our 12.

In past years we have had one author, Sarah A. Hoyt, winner of the Prometheus Award, attend our discussion of her book, Witchfinder, via Skype. We have also looked to find local authors and topics among our works.

Which is why the one work I nominated this year, is by Rob Howell, an Overland Park, KS, author we met when WorldCon took place in Kansas City in 2016. We have talked to him during this summer’s LibertyCon in Chattanooga, during the release party for his new novel Brief is my Flame, and found him very interested and willing to work with his and the club’s schedule to attend our discussion of the book of his I nominated, if we select it for this year’s reading list (preferrably in person, he hopes, though will do Skype, etc. if necessary).

While the book list is distributed across a lot of authors and genres, it does tend to lean heavily to books available in the MidContinent Public Library system, where we borrow most of the books for the club to read. This means that it is highly biased by the preferences of professional librarians, who in turn are highly biased by the bigger publishing houses, and does not reflect the amount of reading material published by smaller independent authors and houses through online outlets and especially via ebook publishing. Both Hoyt, who is a cross-over author (publishing both “traditional” and “indie”) and Howell (totally “indie” published), represent this part of the writing economy, and its success story.

That said, I have decided to vote with an “open ballot” — well, actually I already sent in my “secret ballott”, but am now listing the 12 books, along with their descriptions we were given, in this post. I chose 7 non and 5 fiction books. They are listed in the order they appeared on the ballot, not in any order of my preference. Besides the book by a local author, I also selected the book about the Country Club district of Kansas City.  We seem to favor reading books about our local area when we find them, though it doesn’t mean we are unanimous in enjoying said books.

Here is my ballot:

Killers of the Flower Moon, by David Grann.

New Yorker staff writer Grann (The Lost City of Z) burnishes his reputation as a brilliant storyteller in this gripping true-crime narrative, which revisits a baffling and frightening-and relatively unknown-spree of murders occurring mostly in Oklahoma during the 1920s. From 1921 to 1926, at least two dozen people were murdered by a killer or killers apparently targeting members of the Osage Indian Nation, who at the time were considered “the wealthiest people per capita in the world” thanks to the discovery of oil beneath their lands. The violent campaign of terror is believed to have begun with the 1921 disappearance of two Osage Indians, Charles Whitehorn and Anna Brown, and the discovery of their corpses soon afterwards, followed by many other murders in the next five years. The outcry over the killings led to the involvement in 1925 of an “obscure” branch of the Justice Department, J. Edgar Hoover’s Bureau of Investigation, which eventually charged some surprising figures with the murders. Grann demonstrates how the Osage Murders inquiry helped Hoover to make the case for a “national, more professional, scientifically skilled” police force. Grann’s own dogged detective work reveals another layer to the case that Hoover’s men had never exposed.

 

The Big Year: A Tale of Man, Nature, and Fowl Obsession, by Mark Obmascik.

In one of the wackiest competitions around, every year hundreds of obsessed bird watchers participate in a contest known as the North American Big Year. Hoping to be the one to spot the most species during the course of the year, each birder spends 365 days racing around the continental U.S. and Canada compiling lists of birds, all for the glory of being recognized by the American Birding Association as the Big Year birding champion of North America. In this entertaining book, Obmascik, a journalist with the Denver Post, tells the stories of the three top contenders in the 1998 American Big Year: a wisecracking industrial roofing contractor from New Jersey who aims to break his previous record and win for a second time; a suave corporate chief executive from Colorado; and a 225-pound nuclear power plant software engineer from Maryland. Obmascik bases his story on post-competition interviews but writes so well that it sounds as if he had been there every step of the way. In a freewheeling style that moves around as fast as his subjects, the author follows each of the three birding fanatics as they travel thousands of miles in search of such hard-to-find species as the crested myna, the pink-footed goose and the fork-tailed flycatcher, spending thousands of dollars and braving rain, sleet, snowstorms, swamps, deserts, mosquitoes and garbage dumps in their attempts to outdo each other. By not revealing the outcome until the end of the book, Obmascik keeps the reader guessing in this fun account of a whirlwind pursuit of birding fame.

A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeline L’Engle.

A Wrinkle in Time is the story of Meg Murry, a high-school-aged girl who is transported on an adventure through time and space with her younger brother Charles Wallace and her friend Calvin O’Keefe to rescue her father, a gifted scientist, from the evil forces that hold him prisoner on another planet. “A coming of age fantasy story that sympathizes with typical teen girl awkwardness and insecurity, highlighting courage, resourcefulness and the importance of family ties as key to overcoming them.” ―Carol Platt Liebau, author, in the New York Post

The 100-Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, by Jonas Jonasson.

(a bestseller in Europe) reaches the U.S. three years after its Swedish publication, in Bradbury’s pitch-perfect translation. The intricately plotted saga of Allan Karlsson begins when he escapes his retirement home on his 100th birthday by climbing out his bedroom window. After stealing a young punk’s money-filled suitcase, he embarks on a wild adventure, and through a combination of wits, luck, and circumstance, ends up on the lam from both a smalltime criminal syndicate and the police. Jonasson moves deftly through Karlsson’s life-from present to past and back again-recounting the fugitive centenarian’s career as a demolitions expert and the myriad critical junctures of history, including the Spanish Civil War and the Manhattan Project, wherein Karlsson found himself an unwitting (and often influential) participant. Historical figures like Mao’s third wife, Vice President Truman, and Stalin appear, to great comic effect. Other characters-most notably Albert Einstein’s hapless half-brother-are cleverly spun into the raucous yarn, and all help drive this gentle lampoon of procedurals and thrillers.

Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline.

In the near future, scarce fossil fuels have ended America’s era of prosperity, sent small-town Americans to precarious vertical trailer parks at urban fringes, and the entire population into the OASIS, an immersive virtual reality, for education and escape. A possibly autistic genius obsessed with the geek side of 1980s pop culture had designed OASIS, and he leaves his entire fortune, including control of OASIS, to whoever can complete a quest he designed within it. Our heroes, sympathetic nerds with a lot of free time, go after it, as do the Sixers, unscrupulous corporate drones who want to monetize OASIS. SF fans will recognize the book’s tone as Dream Park meets Snow Crash, but readers won’t need any sf background to get it. More useful would be a crash course in the 1980s-while the novel’s preoccupation with dated culture is plausible in context, it may leave Millennials confused and baby boomers cold. Cline’s world-building raises some questions about how economics and politics works, but it doesn’t matter to the story. The conclusion is perhaps a bit predictable and the tacked-on moral a bit pat, but it’s a feel-good ending all around.

Three Sisters, Three Queens, by Phillipa Gregory.

Actor Amato, who has read three of Gregory’s previous titles as audio editions, is terrific in Gregory’s latest historical novel set in Tudor England. She deftly portrays the passions, ambitions, and catastrophes of three sisters from childhood through adolescence to queen-hood. She takes listeners along on the roller-coaster ride from ecstasy to agony and back again for the three 16th-century royals: Queen Katherine (first wife of Henry VIII), Queen Margaret (sister of Henry, married off at 16 to James IV of Scotland) and Queen Mary (sister of Henry and third wife of Louis XII of France). Amato’s portrayal of protagonist Margaret is vivid and compelling. She also creates captivating voices and personalities for their husbands and lovers, as well as their infamous brother, Henry. Gregory’s historical novels are sheer entertainment; the combination of Gregory and Amato is pure pleasure.

An Hour Before Daylight, by Jimmy Carter.

In this brief but revealing volume, former US president Jimmy Carter traces his not-quite-hardscrabble rural boyhood in Plains, Georgia. He discusses the strong ties that bound his family together, points to the influence of his stern father and loving mother, and notes that tobacco and cancer cost the lives of several of those closest to him. From his father, Carter acquired a work ethic and an attention to detail that later encumbered his presidency; from his mother, he received lessons in treating all people–both white and black, rich and poor–with respect and dignity. Poignant moments arise when Carter recounts friendships with African American residents in the community where he was raised. But repeatedly, he unflinchingly acknowledges that Jim Crow strictures, such as those involving railroad cars, movie theaters, or schools, long remained uncontested. In one of the more telling moments, Carter indicates that a point arrived when it became clear that lifelong friendships would be altered due to racial considerations. Carter’s horizons broadened as he attended the US Naval Academy and lived outside his native South for several years.

West with the Night, by Beryl Markham. Suggested by LaVerne Pulliam. (MCPL has 7 print copies, 2 e-books, 3 audiobooks)

This beautifully written autobiography brings us the remarkable life story of Beryl Markham, the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic from east to west. Brought up on a farm in Kenya, Markham chose to stay in Africa when, at seventeen, her father lost their farm and went to Peru. She began an apprenticeship as a racehorse trainer which turned into a highly successful career. In her twenties, Markham gave up horses for airplanes and became the first woman in East Africa to be granted a commercial pilot’s license, piloting passengers and supplies in a small plane to remote corners of Africa.

“Did you read Beryl Markham’s book, West with the Night? I knew her fairly well in Africa and never would have suspected that she could and would put pen to paper except to write in her flyer’s log book. As it is, she has written so well, and marvelously well, that I was completely ashamed of myself as a writer. I felt that I was simply a carpenter with words, picking up whatever was furnished on the job and nailing them together and sometimes making an okay pig pen. But [she] can write rings around all of us who consider ourselves writers. The only parts of it that I know about personally, on account of having been there at the time and heard the other people’s stories, are absolutely true . . . I wish you would get it and read it because it is really a bloody wonderful book.” ―Ernest Hemingway

As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride, by Cary Elwes. Suggested by Sandy Keeney. (MCPL has 16 copies)

Through personal anecdotes and interviews with fellow cast and crew members, actor Elwes tracks the journey of 1987’s The Princess Bride from director Rob Reiner’s initial bid through its production and up to the film’s 25th anniversary. Elwes’s attempt at a conversational narrative feels clunky at times, often getting bogged down in figures, actor resumes, and even a plot summary of the film-the last of which is certainly unnecessary for the dedicated fan base that will be reading this memoir. However, the complete and unabashed adoration that the author and the cast have for the cult classic shines in stories about the famous sword fight between Elwes as Westley and Mandy Patinkin as Inigo Montoya, the many takes ruined by uncontrollable laughter during Billy Crystal’s time on the set performing as Miracle Max, and the fond reminiscences of the late Andre the Giant.

I Am a Wondrous Thing (The Kreisens Book 1), by Rob Howell. Recommended by Jonathan and Betsy Lightfoot. (MCPL has no copies)

War looms in the west as sword, axe, and flame sweep the Kreisens and threaten to drag all of the neighboring realms, including Periaslavl, into the maelstrom. Irina Ivanovna, ruler of Periaslavl, knows that war would destroy much of her land. Even though magic has kept her body young, she is tired and sees that she is not the one to lead her land through the upcoming storm. She steps down in favor of her heir, as tradition dictates, and disappears from sight. She heads to the Kreisens to see if her magic can halt the bloodshed and pain. But the storm was orchestrated by foes she does not know she has. They stalk her, knowing her magic is the key. She must elude the hunters so she can discover what is truly threatening not just Periaslavl, but all of Shijuren. Where will the lightning strike?

“Nominating this book by our friend author Rob Howell. I really enjoyed reading this book, and Rob has a fantastic way putting in excellent, sometimes misleading but totally accurate foreshadowing.  If we select his book he is more than willing to come to the discussion when we talk about his book. He promotes himself and sells his books through a fairly active working of the Con circuit, and gets put on a lot of panels at those conventions as an excellent panelist for panels on how to write, and the philosophies of how best to write, publish, etc. Eminently approachable and understandable with a deep philosophical underpinning.” – Jonathan Lightfoot

The Man Who Invented Christmas: How Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol Rescued His Career and Revived Our Holiday Spirits, by Les Standiford. Suggested by Sandy Keeney. (MCPL has 12 copies)

What would Christmas be without the yearly viewing or reading of A Christmas Carol? It is a classic of the season–perhaps the most memorable Christmas tale of all time–that captures the spirit of the holiday. Thriller and nonfiction writer Standiford (Bone Key: A John Deal Novel; Meet You in Hell: Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick, and the Bitter Partnership That Changed America) attempts to address what prompted Dickens to write this much-loved tale in this affectionate portrait of a once-successful writer trying desperately to revive his career. After a triumphant beginning, Dickens struggled as his later works failed to gain any critical or monetary success. Verging on bankruptcy and looking for inspiration, Dickens agreed to speak at a fund-raiser for the Manchester Athenaeum. Dickens left the event inspired and walked around Manchester until he had the fully formed Carol in his head. Standiford deftly traces the many influences in Dickens’s life that lead to and followed that momentous event, weaving an entertaining tale that will delight Dickens and Christmas lovers alike.

The Country Club District of Kansas City, by LaDene Morton. Suggested by Sandy Keeney. (MCPL has 27 copies)

One of the grand experiments of American urban planning lies tucked within the heart of Kansas City. J.C. Nichols prized the Country Club District as his life’s work, and the scope of his vision required fifty years of careful development. Begun in 1905 and extending over a swath of six thousand acres, the project attracted national attention to a city still forging its identity. While the district is home to many of Kansas City’s most exclusive residential areas and commercial properties, its boundaries remain unmarked and its story largely unknown. Follow LaDene Morton along the well-appointed boulevards of this model community’s rich legacy.

 

A Look Ahead — Kansas City Renaissance Festival

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Through September 23 — Mamma Mia at New Theatre Restaurant

On the eve of her wedding, a daughter’s quest to discover the identity of her father brings three men from her mother’s past to the door of the church. Featuring the #1 hits of legendary group ABBA, DANCING QUEEN, KNOWING ME-KNOWING YOU, TAKE A CHANCE ON ME, and many more. This Super Trouper musical comedy hit sold out 14 years on Broadway.

August 11  — Avondale United Methodist Church Book Club

The club meets at 10 a.m. in the Church Library, and is open to anyone that wants to come and discuss, or listen to the discussion of the book slated for the month.  For August it is The Light Between Oceans, a first novel by M. L. Stedman. See the following blurb:

Newly-wed WWII veteran Tom Sherburne takes the position of lighthouse keeper on a remote coastal Australian island with his wife in order to regain a sense of peace and stability.
After wife Isabel suffers two miscarriages and a still-birth; the couple’s life together is set in turmoil as Isabel discovers a yawl containing a dead man and a crying infant washed on shore after a gale. Moral and ethical decisions, individually, and as a couple, confront them as a decision is made to keep the baby as their own.

Aug. 12 — Rehearsals continue for Madrigalia Bar Nonne.

This isn’t an open to the public thing, but interested singers are always welcome to come and join rehearsals, and see if they might want to try out for this select group of period a capella musical performers. Rehearsals continue most Sundays through August, and then the group sings daily at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival at its grounds in Bonner Springs. Anyone interested in joining a rehearsal or the group, drop me a line and I will get you the necessary contact information.  I have been singing with this group since 1999.

 

August 14-19 — Love Never Dies at Kansas City Starlight Tbeatre

Show Time: 8 p.m.
Gates Time: 7 p.m.

Duration: 2 hours 20 minutes, with intermission


The ultimate love story continues in Love Never Dies, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s spellbinding sequel to The Phantom of the Opera. This story of boundless love, full of passion and drama, follows The Phantom of the Opera, one of the most successful musicals of all time that has been seen by more than 130 million people worldwide and won over 50 international awards.

The year is 1907. It is 10 years after the Phantom’s disappearance from the Paris Opera House, and he has escaped to a new life in New York where he lives among the screaming joy rides and freak shows of Coney Island. While he has finally found a place for his music to soar in this new, electrically charged world, the Phantom has never stopped yearning for his one true love and musical protégée, Christine Daaé.

Now one of the world’s finest sopranos, Christine accepts an invitation to travel from Paris to New York to perform at a renowned opera house. Her marriage to Raoul is suffering at the hands of his drinking and gambling, and they desperately need the financial rewards that America can give.

In a final bid to win back Christine’s love, the Phantom lures her, Raoul and their young son, Gustave, from Manhattan to the glittering and glorious world of Coney Island… not knowing what is in store for them.

Love Never Dies is a dazzling new production that takes audiences on a thrilling roller coaster ride of intrigue, obsession and romance. Be seduced by the beautiful, sometimes magical and poetic, sometimes joyful and, occasionally, melancholic score.

Contains adult subject matter; national tour recommends for ages 12+.

Weekends September 1 to Oct.  14 — Kansas City Renaissance Festival

Welcome to the 2018 Kansas City Renaissance Festival! The Kansas City Renaissance Festival is celebrating its 42nd Season! Come and be a part of this long-standing tradition by visiting the festival grounds in Bonner Springs, KS.

Open Weekends September 1 – October 14 Plus Labor Day and Columbus Day 10am to 7pm • Rain or Shine • 913.721.2110 Free Parking!

Kansas City’s History with the Festival

The Kansas City Renaissance Festival began its journey in September of 1977 as a benefit to the Kansas City Art Institute. Since then, the Kansas City Renaissance Festival has grown to be one of the largest Renaissance Festivals in the united States with an annual attendance of 200,000.

About Mid-America Festivals

Mid-America Festivals is the nation’s largest producer of outdoor themed events. In 2016, we entertained nearly one million people in a wide variety of locations across the country.

Mid-America Festivals currently devotes its time towards developing some of the best festivals in the country. Mid-America Festivals, along with affiliated entities, owns and operates the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, the Trail of Terror (located in Minnesota), the Bay Area Renaissance Festival at MOSI (located on the grounds of the Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa Bay, Florida), the Kansas City Renaissance Festival, the Michigan Renaissance Festival, the St. Louis Renaissance Festival and many other events. The company demonstrates its event production and promotion leadership by embracing all aspects of event production from specialty merchandise and corporate sponsorship to ticket sales and multi-media marketing.

Based in Minneapolis, Mid-America’s staff is comprised of talented managers’ experiences in all aspects of entertainment. Mid-America Festivals began producing Renaissance Festivals in 1976 as a natural extension of its president’s career in major venue promotion and production. The company’s background ranges from rock and roll events like the Beach Boys, Rolling Stones, and Prince to event management for concerts like Rock the Garden in Minneapolis.

September 14-16 — Chicago at Kansas City Starlight Theatre

Show Time: 8 p.m.
Gates Time: 7 p.m.

Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes, with intermission


There’s never been a better time to experience CHICAGO, Broadway’s razzle-dazzle smash. This triumphant hit musical is the recipient of six Tony Awards®, two Olivier Awards, a Grammy®, thousands of standing ovations and now the title of No. 1 longest-running American musical in Broadway history.

CHICAGO has everything that makes Broadway great: a universal tale of fame, fortune and all that jazz; one show-stopping song after another; and the most astonishing dancing you’ve ever seen. It’s no surprise CHICAGO has wowed audiences from Mexico City to Moscow, Sao Paulo to South Africa. And now it’s coming to your town!

Whether you’re looking for your first Broadway musical, seen the Academy Award-winning film and want to experience the show live on stage, or seen it before and want to recapture the magic, CHICAGO always delivers!

Contains adult language and subject matter; national tour recommends for ages 13+.

Note: This is the one show at Starlight that Betsy and I ever walked out on when we saw it.

Sept 26-Dec. 2 — Always … Patsy Cline at New Theatre Restaurant

Always…Patsy Cline is more than a tribute to the legendary country singer who died tragically at age 30 in a plane crash in 1963. The show is based on a true story about Patsy’s friendship with a fan from Houston named Louise Seger, who befriended the star in a Texas honky-tonk in 1961, and continued a correspondence with Patsy until her death. The musical play, complete with down home country humor, true emotion and even some audience participation, includes many of Patsy’s unforgettable hits such as CRAZY, I FALL TO PIECES, SWEET DREAMS, WALKING AFTER MIDNIGHT. The show’s title was inspired by Patsy’s letters to Louise, which were consistently signed “Love always… Patsy Cline.”

Sept 28-30 — The Illusionists and Kansas City Starlight Theatre

Show Time: 8 p.m.
Gates Time: 7 p.m.

Duration: 2 hours, with intermission


Direct from Broadway comes the world’s best-selling magic show.

The mind-blowing spectacular of THE ILLUSIONISTS – LIVE FROM BROADWAY™showcases the jaw-dropping talents of five of the most incredible illusionists on earth. This magical production has shattered box office records across the globe as it dazzles audiences of all ages with a powerful mix of the most outrageous and astonishing acts ever seen on stage. A non-stop show, THE ILLUSIONISTS is packed with thrilling and sophisticated magic of unprecedented proportions!

Suitable for all audiences.

 

 December 5-February 17 — Shear Madness at New Theatre Restaurant

SHEAR MADNESS is America’s most popular and longest running comedy (now in its 31st year at Washington D.C.’s prestigious Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts). More than 12 million people worldwide have seen the hilarious whodunit and there is no end in sight; its success just keeps going and going.

In this hilarious whodunit, a renowned classical pianist is murdered in her apartment above the SHEAR MADNESS beauty salon and you, the audience, along with Inspector Nick O’Brien, interrogate the suspects, evaluate the clues and solve the mystery. The wacky, spontaneous comedy never has the same ending twice, so you can see it again and again.

February  20-April 201– Biloxi Blues at New Theatre Restaurant

The laughter rarely stops in this Tony Award-winning “Best Play” that tells the story of Eugene Jerome and his experiences as a 19-year-old draftee who, with a handful of other recruits must endure ten weeks of boot camp and a tough as nails, hard-drinking platoon leader in the steaming swamps of Biloxi, Mississippi in 1943.

April 25-July 7 — The Buddy Holly Story at New Theatre Restaurant

It’s Back! One of our most popular productions of all time! BUDDY-THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY. This joyous musical tells the story of Buddy Holly’s short yet explosive career and features his classical hits: PEGGY SUE, THAT’LL BE THE DAY, NOT FADE AWAY, OH BOY, MAYBE BABY, RAVEON and many more. This show Rocks!

July -Sept. 15 — Joseph and the Amazing TechniColor Dreamcoat at New Theatre Restaurant

Based on the “Coat of Many Colors” story from The Bible’s Book of Genesis, this upbeat musical is filled with a cornucopia of musical styles. From country-western to calypso to bubblegum pop & rock ‘n’ roll, this Old Testament tale emerges both timely and timeless. With its family-friendly storyline, universal themes and catchy music, JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT is a musical theatre event not to be missed. From the composer of PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, EVITA, CATS AND SCHOOL OF ROCK.@