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The Weekend Starts Today

Mow Your Lawn Edition

Two grown men dressed as batman and robin Get ready for hordes of cosplayers — and probably as many selfies — when Stan Lee and Planet Comicon come to Bartle Hall this weekend. (Photo: Charles Sykes | Invision/AP File)
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Forecasters are calling for warm, dry weather all weekend. Thank goodness. We all know what April showers bring. May showers, however, don’t bring anything but badly overgrown lawns. Once you’ve mowed that jungle of yours, why not get out and see some of what our city has to offer?

The scuffling Royals are out of town. They’re in Chicago, playing an important, if still early-in-the-season series against the division-leading White Sox. Sporting KC is at home, though. Saturday night they meet Real Salt Lake at Children’s Mercy Park.

If sports isn’t your thing, get your nerd on all weekend. Visit Planet Comicon at the Kansas City Convention Center. The massive, three-day event features a bewildering array of conferences, seminars and panel discussions covering all things sci-fi and fantasy. You’ll see cosplay galore, including what’s sure to be an epic costume contest, and special appearances by the likes of Stan Lee, Kevin Smith and George Takei. Don’t forget the must-see people watching. It’s like the Super Bowl of geek.

The less nerdy among us have lots of choices, too. Especially lovers of live music. Western Swing legends Asleep at The Wheel play at Knuckleheads on Thursday night. On Friday night, the alt-metal rockers Deftones are at the Uptown, while Plan B, a Reggaeton duo from Puerto Rico, will perform at the Midland.

Saturday you can see the slightly country, slightly folksy pop of Josh Ritter. He’s at The Madrid. If you feel like getting outside, Spring Fling at Crossroads will be a blast. The show features a stylistically diverse triple bill of local bands; Hearts of Darkness, Maria the Mexican and Flannagan’s Right Hook.

If you still haven’t gotten over Prince (which Flatland hasn’t), the Uptown is hosting a Purple Party with special guest DJs and live performance by Vince & The Revelations, a Prince tribute band. A portion of each ticket sold benefits the Alzheimer’s Association.

There’s world-class jazz coming downtown. Irvin Mayfield, the Grammy-winning trumpeter, organist and bandleader will bring his glorious New Orleans Jazz Orchestra to the Folly. Vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater, with three Grammys of her own, is a “special guest” that will truly be special.

For those who love the oldies, Under the Streetlamp is a very hot ticket. Four veterans from the Broadway smash “Jersey Boys,” backed by a 10-piece band, will deliver a night of mid-century pop classics on the campus of Johnson County Community College.

For those who love the really, really oldies, the Kansas City Symphony is performing Tchaikovsky’s Third Symphony all weekend. The program also includes Magnard’s “Hymne à la justice.” There’s something new, too – a world premiere of a symphony by Jonathan Leshnoff. Baritone Stephen Powell will sing the solo.

Theater lovers won’t be left out. The Met is staging Tennessee Williams’s über-classic melodrama, “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.” The KC Rep’s New Works festival is wrapping up, meaning this is your last chance to see “Lot’s Wife” and/or “Fire in Dreamland.” The nationally touring company of “Ragtime” is at the Kauffman Center all week. The Tony Award-winning adaptation of E.L. Doctorow’s sprawling 1975 novel tells a story of social unrest, racial strife, and immigrant aspiration in a time of emerging technology. Sound familiar?

If all else fails, go for laughs. Lil Duval was a featured performer for three seasons of BET’s ComicView. He perfroms up north at The Improv. Eddie Ifft has been called “one of the most underrated comics in America” by the Onion AV Squad. You can rate him for yourself all weekend at Stanford’s. Anything, after all, beats staying home to watch the grass grow.

Hampton Stevens writes about the arts and entertainment for regional and national publications. Follow him on Twtter @HamptonStevens

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