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M a rch 2 7-a p r il 2 , 2 014 | V ol . 3 3 no. 3 9 E d i t o r i a l

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Editor Scott Wilson Managing Editor Justin Kendall Music Editor Natalie Gallagher Staff Writers Charles Ferruzza, David Hudnall, Steve Vockrodt Editorial Operations Manager Deborah Hirsch Events Editor Berry Anderson Proofreader Brent Shepherd Contributing Writers Tracy Abeln, Jen Chen, Liz Cook, April Fleming, Larry Kopitnik, Angela Lutz, Dan Savage, Nick Spacek

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Art Director Ashford Stamper Contributing Photographers Angela C. Bond, Barrett Emke, Chris Mullins, Lauren Phillips, Sabrina Staires, Brooke Vandever

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Sales Manager Erin Carey Senior Classified Multimedia Specialist Steven Suarez Multimedia Specialists Sharon Donat, Becky Losey Director of Marketing and Operations Jason Dockery Digital Marketing Manager Keli Sweetland Digital Marketing Specialist Lisa Kelley Sales and Marketing Assistant Anna Brescia

David Riggs’ cons lacked artistry but never daring.

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Accounts Receivable Jodi Waldsmith Publisher Joel Hornbostel

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tow n ch ar ter Is Kansas Town the Macaluso’s successor that’s finally build to last? by charles ferruzz a

VMG Advertising 888-278-9866, Senior Vice President of Sales Susan Belair Senior Vice President of Sales Operations Joe Larkin


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McBeth : act 2 Ida McBeth returns to the spotlight at the Broadway Jazz Club. b y n ata l i e g a l l ag h e r


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T H E U P T O W N T H E AT E R T U E S D AY, M AY 1 3

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Questionnaire news feature agenda stage film café fat city music d a i ly l i s t i n g s savage love

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3 4 7 11 13 17 19 20 22 28 34

BARCADiA ON 5TH set to open in the old 403 Club space next month. MuRRAy’S iCE CREAM & COOKiES is open. KAWEHi, from Lawrence, covers Nirvana’s “Heart Shaped Box,” becomes Internet famous.

Questionnaire Weinberger Fine Art

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Kim Weinberger

Curator/art adviser,

Hometown: Born in KCK. Lived in Rome, Italy, off and on for four years, then NYC for nine years. I moved back to Kansas City 20 years ago with my husband and first son.

the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in the background. His cityscapes are delightfully revealing. His show, Sex and the City, is at my gallery through March 31.

Current neighborhood: Overland Park. But now we are empty nesters and on a quest to find a new home, from Hyde Park to the West Plaza.

Finish this sentence: “Kansas City got it right when …” We started revitalizing the downtown

What I do (in 140 characters): As a gallerist,

representing emerging and museum-quality artists locally and nationwide, I am a critical link between the artist and the art patron.

What’s your addiction? Surrounding myself

with interesting and open-minded people who enjoy finding the best in everything, including all art forms, food and travel, which I never get enough of. My secret addiction is watching Food Network from bed.

What’s your game? I don’t play games. I’ve

been called “no-drama momma” before. Even if I go to Las Vegas, it’s all about the food and the shows. Being an entrepreneur and in the art business is enough of a gamble.

What’s your drink? Water and wine Where’s dinner? I love to cook, and I know I’m in the zone when the music goes on and the chopping board comes out. When there’s no time, I’m a big fan of the Jacobson, Café Provence and Extra Virgin. What’s on your postcard? We have so many interesting places and stunning architecture now. I guess I would have Michael Regnier, the photographer I’m showing currently, create a collage of the Crossroads Arts District with

and Crossroads. We’re ahead of the game in the arts, and so many Kansas/Missouri residents don’t even realize it, but that is finally changing.

“Kansas City screwed up when …” They let outside developers take over the Country Club Plaza. “I’ve been known to binge-watch …” House of Cards, Sherlock on PBS and Iron Chef.

“I can’t stop listening to …” Blog radio on Stitcher, mostly Tara Brach. My Pandora hit list right now is Portishead, Lorde and Annie Lennox.

My brush with fame: Meeting Eric Clapton on

the way back to New York from London at 16 years old. I finally got the nerve to ask for an autograph, and he made his manager change seats, and we talked and drank screwdrivers while crossing the Atlantic as he told me his life story. He was headed back to marry George Harrison’s ex-wife, Pattie Boyd.

My recent triumph: I am now eight months cancer-free from stage IV breast cancer. Accolades to my family and incredible friends who enabled my triumph. I continue to learn every day from this triumph. Thank you, all, for your loving support — you know who you are.

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Located just 2.5 miles west of I-35 or 3 miles east of I-435 Shawnee Mission Parkway

You can find Weinberger Fine Art at 1800 Baltimore, 913-940-0104,

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Frank Denning, dinged by an audit, fears a county takeover of his off ice.




m a r c h 2 7-a p r i l 2 , 20 14

ohnson County Sheriff Frank Denning arrived at the March 13 Board of County Commissioners meeting ready for a fight. A county audit released in late February had cast a suspicious eye on the ballooning overtime pay — $4.75 million — incurred by uniformed staff in the Sheriff’s Office. Denning, called to testify, made his frustration plain. He also had a particular adversary in mind: board chairman Ed Eilert. “I think there are some, probably on the dais and probably in county management, that would like to see this office appointed and make a department out of it and take away the autonomy that the elected sheriff has,” Denning said. Eilert recoiled at the suggestion, pointing Denning: Waiting at the gates. out that he’d told the Johnson County Charfor the last three years. We have agreed to ter Review Commission two years ago that go into these budget cycles underfunded so cutting out the elected sheriff was a bad idea. you can hold the line on the budget overall.” Eilert addressed Denning: “I think the charDenning made no secret of his annoyacterization you’ve stated is not correct.” ance at the auditor’s suggestion, which Since that meeting, Denning’s statement, Eilert repeated at the March 13 meeting, that the captured on video, has fanned out among sheriff’s department could more conservative-minded save money by using civilJohnson Countians, who “I’m the elected sheriff ians as emergency dispatchsee government overreach of this county, and ers rather than uniformed in any potential county personnel. The sheriff’s infringement on a departI’ll determine and decide department runs the only ment whose employees how those things are dispatch in the county that’s carry guns. But county staffed by sworn personnel; insiders are puzzled at the going to be staffed.” cities such as Overland Park, notion of the commission’s Lenexa and Prairie Village making the sheriff an apemploy civilians to answer 911 calls. pointed position, saying no such conversation Eilert only stoked Denning’s wariness by has reached their ears. calling him Frank several times (commisTensions between governments and sioners usually refer to him as “Sheriff”) public-safety agencies are common. Mark and at one point addressing him as “chief,” Holland, mayor of the Unified Government a title usually reserved for the top cop in a of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, has been at odds with a powerful Kansas municipal police department. “I think you had a Freudian slip just a moCity, Kansas, Fire Department over costs asment ago when you said ‘chief,’” Denning sociated with fire protection. Tales of friction said. “And I think that’s how you’re operating, between Kansas City, Missouri’s City Hall and as mayor to chief. And I’m the elected sheriff its police and fire departments are numerous. But Denning’s relationship with the John- of this county, and I’ll determine and decide how those things are going to be staffed.” son County Commission carries a different Eilert proposed having Denning’s staffers dynamic. The county can set his office’s work with county officials to analyze what dibudget, but how he spends the money is up to him. The sheriff says millions are spent rection the Sheriff’s Office should take with its on overtime in his department because he dispatchers. Denning flatly refused, saying his doesn’t have enough personnel; he says his office had already weighed that decision. And his own choice of combative words was no slip. department is underfunded. “If you attempt to do a takeover [of the “I read in the paper where they say you’re Sheriff’s Office],” Denning warned. “I’ll be bailing the Sheriff’s Office out,” Denning standing at the gate.” told Eilert at the March 13 meeting. The two men were seated just a few feet apart. “It’s just the other way around. I bailed you out E-mail

m a r c h 2 7-a p r i l 2 , 20 14

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RAISE ONE TO THE KINGS OF F KAUFFMAN The Boys in Blue. The Royals. Here’s to the fountains in the outfield and barbecue in the parking lot. b Here’s to number five and the I-70 Series. Here’s to a cold Bud at Rivals and a hot dog in the outfield seats. Here’s to all the great times at The K. Here’s to the beer that’s always been there. And the game we call our national pastime. Here’s to Budweiser. Here’s to baseball. Official Royals Club Cans are waiting… Grab Some Buds.



© 2014 Anheuser-Busch, Budweiser® Beer, St. Louis, MO Major League Baseball trademarks and copyrights are used with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. Visit


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m a r c h 2 7-a p r i l 2 , 20 14 Brand: Bud MLB

Closing Date 3.10.14

Trim: 9.72" x 9.8125"




avid Glen Riggs’ last lousy decision happened in China. The Raytown prodigal’s blithe globetrotting had yielded consequences in the past — not least, a trail of scorned investors and furious business partners. But once he thought of his next risky stunt, executing it was generally a matter of when, not if. Riggs was scarcely seen in the Kansas City area after his release from the Leavenworth penitentiary in 1993, having served time for scamming several area banks in the 1980s. The next stage of his bizarre life took him to South Africa, Hong Kong, Tampa Bay, Southern California and points between. Along the way, he reinvented himself. He was a musician, a rhino-tusk smuggler, a filmmaker, a stunt pilot. On September 16, 2013, Riggs, in that daredevil role, took a single-engine Lancair 320 into the skies above Shenyang, China, to try a maneuver he aimed to carry out at an air show later that week. The idea was to descend close to the surface of a lake, until water kicked up would make the aircraft appear to be jet-skiing.

A pilot of limited ability, according to some who knew the 51-year-old, Riggs took off in the rain and left the landing gear down as he approached the water. The Lancair clipped the lake’s surface and crashed. Rescuers soon recovered the body of an 18-year-old Chinese woman who was strapped into the plane with Riggs to act as his interpreter. But when the search party didn’t find Riggs, a question emerged: Had he once again cheated his way out of a disastrous choice?


iggs first entered Ronald Roberts’ life in 1977. Roberts, a local jazz enthusiast, ran a recording studio out of his Raytown home. His wife was a teacher at Raytown South High School. Riggs, then 15, was Margaret Roberts’ student, and he was convincing enough about his musical talent that she introduced the teenager to her husband. “He came in full of bluster, citing all the awards he had won as a jazz musician,” Roberts says of the kid who arrived at his house carry-

ing a trombone. “I heard him play four notes and knew he was a liar.” Roberts took Riggs’ money anyway and recorded the kid’s efforts in the studio. “The axiom in the recording business is, you’re not a critic,” Roberts explains. “If you want to stay in business, you always avoid expressing a musical opinion. If they ask for it, you tell them.” Riggs later told people he had attended a prestigious musical school, but published reports suggest that the troublemaker never graduated Raytown South, after getting the boot for urinating in a classmate’s tuba. Riggs’ first non-brass-section infraction may have been a 1980 theft that got the then 17-year-old busted. He tricked an Independence Ramada Inn desk clerk and stole a little more than $100 from the hotel’s cash register. And Riggs was still a teenager when authorities caught him running an insurance scam, according to a 1990 Kansas City Business Journal story. The latter transgression earned him probation.

When Roberts started his own company, selling magnetic tape for musical recording, he and Riggs linked up again. Roberts enlisted the younger man as his salesman for Ron Roberts Media. “He was an unbelievable salesman,” Roberts tells The Pitch. “You had to see it to believe it. He was charming. He was a master manipulator.” Riggs helped Roberts make money selling tape, but the two parted company in the early 1980s. Roberts says he caught Riggs meeting with Kansas City club owners, who had traditionally booked Roberts’ performances, and offering to undercut his mentor. Today, Roberts lives in Lenexa, having made enough money selling tape to retire early. Far from forgetting his onetime protégé, he eventually self-published a book about Riggs, titled Hollywood Grifter. After Roberts fired him, Riggs figured out another way to make money. He launched Mokan Productions Ltd., a company that purported to record jingles continued on page 8

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for commercials. According to the 1990 Business Journal article, Riggs convinced local banks that his clients included Budweiser, AT&T and Mitsubishi. He borrowed $3 million against that made-up roster — enough to build a studio at 3101 Broadway (today a Children’s Mercy Hospital outpost) and fund some extravagant habits. Presumably wanting more money, or needing to drum up cash to repay his lenders, Riggs tried to take Mokan Productions public in 1987. He almost succeeded. The accounting firm he hired, Arthur Young (known today as Ernst & Young), didn’t initially catch that most of Riggs’ client list was bogus. But Arthur Young eventually figured out Riggs’ house of cards and withdrew the stock offering, catching the attention of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Before federal authorities could nab him, Riggs transferred thousands of dollars to a Cayman Islands bank and took a private jet to the Caribbean with a forged passport. The feds and Riggs’ Kansas City bankers weren’t sure where Riggs spent much of the next three years. Had they been reading the South African Sunday Times, they would have realized that Riggs was now calling himself Dave Rogers. In that guise, the fugitive was now involved in an elaborate scheme to smuggle rhino horns to Asia. A May 14, 1989, story in the South African tabloid, “The Fall of the Rhino Cowboy,” describes how Riggs and his accomplices planned a military-style operation, a bombing, to distract authorities and break into government offices to steal millions of dollars’ worth of rhino horns (valuable for their ivory) to be fenced in Hong Kong. One of Riggs’ accomplices was actually a South African investigator working undercover. That agent was in Hong Kong with Riggs and another of his associates as they explored the Far East ivory market. The plan was to smuggle the animal parts inside suitcases full of lingerie, according to the newspaper account. The scheme crumbled when Riggs was arrested for traveling under stolen passports. (Though he had managed to sell a Ferrari first to singer Rod Stewart.) Riggs spent about a year in a Hong Kong prison before U.S. authorities were able to extradite him to Kansas City in 1990 to answer the bank-swindling charges. Riggs was sentenced to 10 years in prison but spent just three behind bars, at Leavenworth and at another prison in Texas. He went free in 1993 and soon headed for Atlanta. Years later, he moved to Tampa, Florida, to start a video post-production company called Digital Majik Productions Inc. But his past cast a long shadow in the Sunshine State. The Tampa Bay Business Journal investigated Riggs in 1997 and found that he had conned suppliers and investors. That report

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Riggs, with one of his planes also brought Floridians up to speed on Riggs’ fraud conviction and his tall tale about having worked on the “This Bud’s for You” jingle. The article was damaging enough to Riggs that he left Florida for California at the turn of the century. But his time in the film business would set the stage for the next chapter in Riggs’ life: wannabe Hollywood hotshot.


n October 2001, Bob Zimmerman indulged himself. The 62-year-old Air Force veteran, retiring after a decades-long sales career with AT&T, bought himself a small Cirrus singleengine prop, worth about $300,000. But Zimmerman had trouble finding a hangar, and Pennsylvania’s climate wasn’t conducive to parking a plane on the tarmac. Eventually he posted the plane for sale and made a deal with a Tallahassee, Florida, real-estate developer named Terry Fregley. After the transaction, the men struck up a friendship. Some time later, Fregley made an offer of his own to Zimmerman: What if they went in together on an L-39 training fighter? The L-39, a jet developed by Soviet-era Czechoslovakia, found its niche among aviation enthusiasts for speed and maneuverability that far exceeded what hobby fliers could typically afford. It didn’t perform as well as a Learjet, but it also didn’t come with that aircraft’s sticker shock. Zimmerman was reluctant but agreed. He would travel to Florida every so often to visit Fregley and take the L-39 up. In 2005, Fregley went to the Reno, Nevada, Air Races and spotted another L-39, one with a slick paint job that included images of largebreasted, lingerie-clad women on the plane’s tail. According to Zimmerman, Fregley scouted the plane’s owner: David Riggs. “He calls me from there and says, ‘Hey, Zimmerman, what do you think about us getting into the movie business?’” Zimmerman recalls of what followed Fregley’s casual chat with Riggs.

Fregley told his skeptical friend that Riggs was a Hollywood producer who wanted to make the first big aviation flick since Tom Cruise suited up as Maverick. Riggs had made it sound like a no-brainer: What if two L-39 owners put their wings together to make the next Top Gun on the cheap? Zimmerman and his son, Jon, and Fregley invested $100,000 in Riggs’ idea. Fregley visited Riggs in Los Angeles and toured his Universal City office, where he had Emmys on display in an office showcase. (Riggs had, in fact, never won an Emmy.) Riggs could make only a low-budget picture, but his pitch hinged on one-upping Top Gun in at least one respect: He wanted his actors to be up in the air for real. Among Riggs’ collaborators was Kim Bass, a writer who had worked on the early 1990s Fox show In Living Color and later helped create the ABC sitcom Sister, Sister. He and Bass refashioned the aviation flick into a movie about a horny rich kid who flies to Cancún for spring break. The kid hooks up with a beautiful woman who won’t settle for a one-night stand. The project was now called Succubus: Hell-Bent. Zimmerman had sunk only money into Riggs’ plane movie; Fregley’s investment included something else: taking part in a flight scene with the two L-39s. On February 26, 2006, Fregley and Skip Robertson took to the skies in Riggs’ L-39, which he called Wild Child. Riggs flew ahead of them in a small Cessna twin-prop. A video camera was mounted to the Cessna to shoot a scene early that morning, in a canyon north of Mojave, California. Riggs got the shot he wanted and told Fregley to roll out of the frame. The maneuver failed. The plane struck the canyon and exploded, killing Fregley and Robertson. Later that day, Zimmerman got a call from his son, who explained what had happened. He called Fregley’s wife, who was visiting her son at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs at the time, to tell her that Fregley was dead. “That wasn’t a pleasant thing,” Zimmerman says. Zimmerman had never really spoken to Riggs before, leaving that job to Fregley. Shortly after the crash, Zimmerman says, Riggs called him. Riggs told him that Fregley had signed a document accepting responsibility for any plane he was piloting. Riggs had lost his own L-39 in the crash, and he was considering a lawsuit against Fregley’s wife. “Terry was a good businessman,” Zimmerman says. “Terry would have never signed anything like that.” Zimmerman conveyed his doubts to Fregley’s wife, but Zimmerman says she didn’t want to fight. She sent the family lawyer to work things out with Riggs, who got Fregley’s L-39 as a settlement. The show went on. Succubus: Hell-Bent wrapped, and Riggs’ marquee player, Gary Busey, attended the movie’s 2007 premiere.

Zimmerman, invited to Southern California for a Succubus screening, met with Riggs, who had a new offer. Riggs said he would direct three more movies himself, with Bass under contract to write the scripts, if Zimmerman and others could raise $3 million. Succubus: Hell-Bent had claimed two lives, and it wasn’t a movie for the ages. Still, Zimmerman threw in with Riggs. “He was just a typical Midwestern good ol’ boy, and I guess I was somewhat taken in by that,” Zimmerman says. “I spent my life in corporate America, and so I guess I wasn’t very street-smart. As I look back on it now, there were signs that this guy wasn’t on the up-and-up.”


immerman and 32 other investors raised $2.4 million to back Riggs’ movies, believing that Bass was locked in on all three. They’d seen prospectuses from Riggs that identified Bass as the managing director of Afterburner Films, the company set up to do the three movies. “I was never part of that company,” Bass tells The Pitch. “He [Riggs] basically used the fact that I had a track record in Hollywood to entice these people.” Bass, an amateur pilot himself, had met Riggs at the Burbank, California, airport in 2000. The two remained acquaintances for years afterward, running into each other occasionally at general aviation airports, and Riggs knew that Bass was in the film and TV business. Riggs told Bass that he was the top executive at Panoply Pictures, which produced ads for releases such as American Pie Presents Band Camp and The 40-Year-Old Virgin. Riggs also told Bass that Kathryn Peaslee was his wife and business partner. (The two never married.) Over time, Riggs picked Bass’ brain about independent film production. And the two did work together on Succubus: Hell-Bent. But the relationship was never a great one. Bass, believing that Riggs and Peaslee were

married, had misgivings about the way Riggs ran his business. He recalls a dinner put on by Riggs at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills the night after the Succubus: Hell-Bent premiere. Riggs told Bass that he had a bunch of East Coast friends willing to invest in a three-movie deal and asked if Bass would become his business partner. Bass agreed to work on at least the first film; Bass’ company would co-venture on the three films, but Bass would own 100 percent of them until they were edited and ready for distribution and sale. The 33 investors Riggs had recruited hadn’t heard those terms, according to Bass. With $2.4 million in hand, Riggs and Bass started work on a concept that they called Fast Glass. Bass remembers seeing Riggs driving around in a new Mercedes but didn’t think much about it. Riggs had said he needed a flashy car to shuttle investors around. In the middle of Fast Glass’s production, Bass got a call from Zimmerman, wanting to know why Fast Glass was overbudget, how far behind schedule the production was and where all the money had gone. “I said, ‘We’re not overbudget. I just talked to my producer, and we are still under budget at this point,’” Bass recalls. The film was only a week behind because of a union strike that affected production. “They told me that Riggs told them all the money they had invested was gone and the production was another $500,000 in the hole.” Zimmerman says Riggs was pulling investor money to keep Panoply Pictures afloat, while underwriting personal vacations in tropical hot spots. “He was using our investor funds to fund his flying habits,” Zimmerman says. “That’s about the time we shut the thing down and found out he was a scoundrel.” Zimmerman knew nothing of Riggs’ criminal history until a European contact relayed a story about Riggs’ pitch for another film idea. Zimmerman says he’s the one who told Bass that Riggs had described Bass as a managing partner in Panoply.

Left: the movie that two people died making. Above: Riggs’ jet buzzing the Santa Monica pier. Bass also found himself entangled with a Northern Californian named Tony Tiscareno, who sued Bass over a claim that the writer had plagiarized the Fast Glass concept from Tiscareno’s 1996 screenplay with the same name. (That lawsuit was resolved this month, after years of litigation.) Bass says his relationship with Riggs may have cost him up to $3 million. Zimmerman says he’s out about $1.3 million, counting his own seven years of litigation. “What do I have to show for it?” Zimmerman says.


evin Sullivan was a provisional inspector working for the Federal Aviation Administration out of Los Angeles International Airport when police officers from Santa Monica dropped by in late 2008. They showed him a video and a written complaint about a pilot who had buzzed the Santa Monica Pier with a high-speed jet on November 6, 2008. The plane, traveling at 280 miles per hour, had come within 500 feet of people standing on the pier. Witnesses reported being able to see the pilot’s face and feel the heat from the plane’s engine. The officers wondered if the FAA could help identify the pilot. Sullivan says it took just 20 minutes to figure out that it was Riggs, who kept an L-39 at the airport at Van Nuys, California. A quick check of the FAA database showed Sullivan that Riggs had an extensive record, including the fatal Mojave crash. Sullivan started making calls. “Every single time I picked up the phone to make an inquiry, five other doors opened,” Sullivan says. He learned that Riggs was selling illegal airplane joy rides to the general public with experimental airplanes, and without a commercial license.

“It’s kind of like if a driver with a driver’s license goes out and drives a tractor-trailer semi — you’re out of class,” Sullivan says. “The point is, you can’t, as a private pilot, fly an airplane and get commercial compensation.” Sullivan figured out that Riggs buzzed the Santa Monica Pier to drum up publicity and impress investors for yet another film he hoped to produce. This one was called Kerosene Cowboys. The FAA hadn’t approved the stunt, which turned out to be one of more than 25 violations that Sullivan uncovered. Sullivan told the FAA that he feared Riggs might kill someone. He sought an emergency permanent revocation of Riggs’ pilot certification. Riggs accused Sullivan of having a conflict of interest and filed a $50 million lawsuit against another FAA employee who was exploring Riggs’ shadowy aviation practices. Eventually, Santa Monica authorities charged Riggs in connection with the buzzing. He was ordered to spend 60 hours picking up trash at the Santa Monica beach. The National Transportation Safety Board suspended Riggs’ license. Still, Sullivan says he had a hard time convincing the FAA to take his concerns about Riggs seriously. He suspects that Riggs had influence over FAA administrators. Roberts, the Lenexa writer who tracked Riggs’ misdeeds, believes that Riggs may have been a federal informant. By 2012, Riggs was doing aviation business again. One of his companies was selling L-39 rides to Nevada consumers. On May 18, 2012, one of those flights left California’s Van Nuys Airport without filing a flight plan and without insurance. It crashed near the Boulder City, Nevada, Municipal Airport, killing two people. The NTSB revoked Riggs’ license. With his U.S. flying privileges in limbo, Riggs went to China.


earchers found Riggs’ body at the bottom of Lake Caihu days after the crash last September. He was cremated in China, ahead of a September 28 memorial service at One Spirit United Methodist Church in Kansas City. (The Raytown native’s adoptive father, James Riggs, didn’t return a phone call seeking comment for this story.) Aside from a couple of Kansas City Business Journal articles, his death received little attention here. Roberts noticed. He had long wanted to write a book about Riggs, but until last fall, he lacked a suitably dramatic conclusion. What he got was the kind of thing Riggs might have wanted Bass to write into one of their movie scripts. “David Riggs was a lying, cheating waste of human DNA — you can quote me on that,” Bass says. “A liar, a cheat and an absolutely evil person. And though I wish no human being any harm, my assessment is, the planet is better that he no longer walks it.”


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Daily listings on page 28

CROSSROADS TO A TEE T-shirt outf itter Raygun targets a new neighborhood.


he Crossroads Arts District reminds Raygun owner Mike Draper of Des Moines’ burgeoning East Village, home to his original T-shirt and novelty shop. That familiar feeling has led Draper to open his first Raygun store outside Iowa at 1803 Baltimore, in the heart of the Crossroads. “The Crossroads is kind of exactly what we were looking for,” Draper says. The shop’s soft opening is Friday, March 28; a First Friday grand opening follows a week later, on April 4. Like the Iowa stores, Kansas City’s Raygun will be stocked with irreverent shirts: “Don’t

meth with Kansas,” “I am from Missouri, you have got to show me,” “Branson: God’s waiting room’s nightclub.” Draper opened his first Raygun store in Des Moines in 2005; a second arrived in Iowa City in 2010. In the beginning, Raygun was, according to Draper, “so hyper-local” that making a T-shirt about a place other than Des Moines seemed like a stretch. Now Draper’s goal is to go regional. “We want to be essentially a Midwestern brand,” Draper says, “and we don’t want to move out of the 12 states of the Midwest.”

Draper had looked for a while when the opportunity to expand finally presented itself in KC. “Between Des Moines and Iowa City, we kind of maxed out what we can do in Iowa,” he says. His short list narrowed further as more friends recounted trips to KC for concerts and Sporting matches. “The hipness over the last few years has been a recalibration, and so that’s what made us look in Kansas City first.” Former Method owner Shomari Benton also helped, giving Draper a tour of Kansas City’s neighborhoods. Draper wasn’t looking for a retail-heavy climate such as the Plaza or

Westport. He wanted to be somewhere Raygun would, he says, “add something to the neighborhood.” The proliferation of small buildings and small-business owners in the Crossroads sold him. “In a well-established neighborhood, there’s not the sense of urgency or the teamwork to really grow it,” Draper says. “The concern of everyone we talked to about how to grow the neighborhood was a good sign for us that people are interested in seeing it grow. Everything moves at our speed there, too.” —JUSTIN KENDALL

m a r c h 2 7-a p r i l 2 , 20 14

the pitch









MAR 28-29 & APR 5 | 7:30 P.M.

APR 4 | 6:00 P.M. Experience choreographic creativity, intimately showcasing new dance works by local and national guest artists and Kansas City Ballet dancers.

Dancers: Rachel Coats and Josh Spell. Photography Aaron Lindberg.

TICKETS ONLY $20 Call 816-931-2232 or order online at 12

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m a r c h 2 7-a p r i l 2 , 20 14

s ta g e

Cherry Picking

The Rep’s Vanya and Sonia and Masha


L i z C ook

and Spike tries to juice Chekhov.



Don Ipock

nton Chekhov and Christopher Durang make an odd couple. Despite Chekhov’s insistence that many of his melancholic plays were comedies (who could forget that rollicking farce Three Sisters?), it’s hard to imagine his characters riffing in Durang’s hyper-real absurdism. With mixed results, though, the Kansas City Repertory Theatre’s production of Durang’s 2012 play, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, asks us to do exactly that. As its title suggests, Durang’s script is packed with Chekhov in-jokes. The three adult siblings, Vanya, Sonia and Masha, are modern analogues for famous Chekhov characters. (Their names are, it is explained, the result of professor parents with a fondness for community theater.) Jobless Vanya and Sonia had remained at home in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, to care for their parents (now deceased); Masha skipped town to pursue a successful career as a film actress. The play begins with a classic dramatic intrusion: Masha’s return for a visit with Spike, her May-December man candy. And, in an Uncle Vanya–aping twist, she intends to sell the house. Chekhov fans can feel clever tallying up the references, but Durang’s homage runs deeper than allusions. Many lines sound ghostwritten The nonfamily roles, inhabited by three by Chekhov himself, tapping into his dreamy veteran Kansas City actors, are no less memcadences. It’s impressive literary mimicry, orable. Vanessa Severo’s comedic timing even if it doesn’t always serve the needs of the comedy. The opening scene feels tonally is on full display as Cassandra, the loony cleaning lady who, like her ancient Greek uneven, with cast and script haggling over the namesake, sees grave portents everywhere. stylistic melding. After that, the actors settle into Durang’s winking, sometimes heavily Severo earns some of the show’s biggest laughs with explosive prophecies that mix layered dialogue. Strong performances and smart direction Oresteia plot points with Beatles’ lyrics. Zachary Andrews is appropriately exby Eric Rosen keep the energy high. Tony hausting as the athletic young Spike, a nominee Barbara Walsh offers a dynamic portrayal of Sonia, the adopted sister prone hunky actor whose greatest triumph was an audition for an Entourage sequel. He finds to self-pitying tantrums and morose proclamations. (Waxing fondly on their father: “He a temporary ally in the sweet young Nina (Emily Peterson), an aspiring actress from never molested me.”) Durang affords Sonia perhaps the most growth over the course next door, but loses her respect with one too many peacock moments. of the play, and Walsh’s Act “He’s so attractive,” Nina 2 performance touches us Vanya and Sonia and quips. “Except for his perwith moments of generosity Masha and Spike sonality, of course.” and sincerity. Tom Aulino Through April 6 at the Donald Eastman’s offchannels a gentler Wallace Kansas City Repertory kilter set echoes the family Shawn as Vanya, an aspirTheatre, 4949 Cherry, dysfunction in a beautiing playwright who holds 816-235-2700, ful old house starting to his neuroses close to the show its age: dark wood vest. Mary Beth Fisher is and sunny porches marred by dirty winelectric as Masha, one of the show’s flashiest dows and fraying rugs. Victor En Yu Tan’s roles. Masha may be vain and petty but she’s also self-aware, and Fisher lets us glimpse natural lights shift subtly as dawn breaks over the backyard pond. Costume designer those insecurities in a carefully controlled, Melissa Torchia has room to play, thanks quietly intense performance.

Severo lets loose at the Rep. to an offstage costume party, Durang’s excuse to force his characters into silly Snow White garb. (Torchia ups the comedic ante with dazzling dresses and Ugg boots for the dwarves.) The Rep’s royal treatment highlights the humor in a script at turns absurd, acerbic and bighearted. But Durang’s pastiche of styles and tones becomes unwieldy at times. When Spike texts through a reading of Vanya’s new play, Vanya cracks, unleashing a blistering rant about technology and the younger generation. Aulino powers through Vanya’s confused mash of nostalgia and impotent rage, but the speech loses steam (and our attention) as Durang heaps on too many worn-out complaints about South Park, Facebook and Lindsay Lohan. And the play’s final scene drags on too long, as Durang attempts to knit together competing elements and fire a militia’s worth of Chekhovian guns. But don’t blame the Rep or Rosen or a cast able to maintain momentum even as the script puts on the brakes. Blame Durang — or join him in blaming my measly millennial attention span.


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Singing Out

Heartland Men’s Chorus executive director Rick Fisher answers our Stage Questionnaire.


Debor a h hir s ch


courtesy of heartland men's chorus

he night of Harvey Milk’s assassination, November 27, 1978, the first openly gay men’s chorus raised its collective voice in grief, for him and for San Francisco Mayor George Moscone, who was also killed. It was the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus’ first public performance, on the steps of City Hall. Over the next few years, gay choruses would emerge in other U.S. cities — including, in 1986, Heartland Men’s Chorus. Today, HMC’s 130-plus volunteer singers perform around the country as well as throughout the Midwest (and have sung in Europe), under the leadership of artistic director Joseph Nadeau and executive director Rick Fisher. HMC joined with five other gay men’s choruses last year to commission I Am Harvey Milk, which premiered in San Francisco. This week (at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 29, and 4 p.m. Sunday, March 30), HMC and St. Louis’ Gate- to HMC is like belonging to a church. Or a very way Men’s Chorus perform I Am Harvey Milk, loud, very large family! In the general community? written by the Tony- and Emmy-nominated We present relevant and entertaining procomposer Andrew Lippa, at the Folly Theater, gramming that reaches a broad segment of with Tim Seelig conducting. Prior to the show’s premiere in KC, Fisher the community, drawing the largest audiences for choral programming in the region. answered some of our questions. The Pitch: When and how did Heartland We always strive for artistic excellence, but Men’s Chorus come about? And what prompted it is in our message that we transcend other arts programming. its creation? How has HMC changed since its founding? Fisher: In the summer of 1986, some men HMC has grown dramatically over the from Kansas City attended a GALA Festival years in all measures. We regularly sing with (Gay & Lesbian Association of Choruses) in 130-plus men. We’ve made Minneapolis. They returned the Folly Theater our perhome inspired to launch a I Am Harvey Milk forming home since 1994, gay men’s chorus, and that Saturday, March 29, and our annual concert sefall, HMC was born. The and Sunday, March 30, ries has grown from three fledgling chorus presented at the Folly Theater, performances to seven, its first holiday concert in 300 West 12th Street, 816-931-3338, drawing 7,000 a year to the December 1986 with 30 concerts. In 2012, we made singers in UMKC’s Pierson our debut at the Kauffman Auditorium. How does HMC fit into the landscape of gay Center for the Performing Arts, selling out two shows in Muriel Kauffman Theatre. In choruses around the country (and beyond the 2013, the chorus debuted with the Kansas United States)? As the chorus has grown in size and stat- City Symphony in a program called Broadway Rocks. ure, it has become one of the top 10 gay men’s How did HMC get involved in I Am Harvey choruses in the country. Other choruses often look to us for inspiration and for program- Milk, and why now? Last year marked the 35th anniversary of ming ideas. Our 2012 musical documentary, When I Knew, has been picked up by other the assassination of Harvey Milk. In anticipation of the anniversary, the San Francisco choruses across North America. What role does the chorus play in the gay Gay Men’s Chorus launched a project to commission a musical work based on Harvey’s community? We are a positive voice for the LGBT com- life from Broadway composer Andrew Lippa. Our artistic director saw the potential for this munity, performing at LGBT events and other community events throughout the year. In project, and HMC signed on along with four addition, our members look to HMC as a safe other North American gay men’s choruses as co-commissioners of the new musical. and welcoming place to express themselves. What is the process, or thinking, when choosWe often hear from members that belonging 14

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m a r c h 2 7-a p r i l 2 , 20 14

Seelig conducts a rehearsal for Harvey Milk. ing particular programs or adding to HMC’s repertoire? The arc of a concert season is carefully and creatively designed to provide different experiences for the singers and the audience. While a holiday concert is a tradition, ours is not traditional — it’s often a mash-up of the expected holiday fare with fun, campy numbers that are the hallmark of gay men’s choruses. Another concert of the season is usually more serious — whether that be standard choral repertoire, an issue-based musical documentary or even a chamber opera. Then, the third is usually more of a pops concert, based on a particular composer, era or theme. We say we want each concert to provide TLC: tears, laughter and chills. What is the audition process like, and what kind of training do choral members typically have? Our auditions are really a placement interview, to determine that the singer can match pitch and what section of the choir they will sing in. No prepared piece is required. Our members range from those who come in not able to read music to musicians with advanced degrees. How much time is spent on preparation and rehearsal? All of our chorus members are volunteers. Our singers actually pay membership dues to perform with the chorus. Each singer invests about 50 hours in choral rehearsals in preparation for a concert. They also work on the music on their own time, as our concerts are performed from memory.


s ta g e

Foot Notes



S c o t t W il S on

Travis Guerin choreographs to his own music for KC Ballet’s New Moves.


S a b r i n a S ta i r e S


3/20/14 12:15 AM ©2014 MARVEL

ravis Guerin’s usual medium is feet — he’s in his third season dancing with the Kansas City Ballet, and he also choreographs. But sometimes he relies on his hands to produce motion: He writes music for dance. Guerin’s “Meta” is the latest piece of original music he has composed for dancers he has choreographed himself. It’s one of the works KCFC14_ExpoAd_Pitch.indd featured in the company’s New Moves program. The annual showcase used to be called Dancers Making Dances, and that’s essentially what it is. KC Ballet members Charles Martin, Anthony Krutzkamp and Ian Poulis are among this year’s choreographers, joining Houston Ballet veteran Ilya Kozadayev and Erin NovakLustig of KC’s Seamless Dance Theatre. Guerin answered The Pitch’s questions by e-mail. The Pitch: You’ve said you don’t play a live Guerin in rehearsal instrument but compose by computer. How do funny or look funny or just don’t work. I also you start writing a piece? Guerin: I always start with a basic chord ask my dancers and friends to listen and watch progression. I’ll think of the general feeling and please, please tell me if anything is just I want the piece to convey, the environment absolutely awful. How does seeing the way a particular dancer I want the song to sound like, and fiddle around with various keys and chords un- or dancers move to your music, as you rehearse, lead to changes you might make to the music? til I feel that the general progression of the I don’t make too many changes to the song sounds the way I like. There’s a lot of guesswork and experimentation here, simply music once I start choreographing because because I don’t have any idea how to actu- I built the music with certain aspects of the choreography in mind. I’ll have a basic strucally play music or what keys are “correct” together or what chords sound good next to ture of the dance when creating the music, so there is a natural flow and connection beeach other. My best new purchase this year tween the two — like, this phrase of music is was a MIDI keyboard. It’s really sped up my process, and it makes experimenting and a group section, there’s a pas de deux, this part has three couples, etc. This helps me trying new things a lot less tedious and timeto have a clearer concept of consuming. Plus, it’s really the piece as a whole instalfun to actually make music New Moves lation, rather than making a with your hands. Friday, March 28, random cool song and then After I have a chord proand Saturday, March 29; having to make a random gression … I’ll literally just Friday, April 4, and Saturday, cool dance to go with it. sit there and try different April 5, at the Todd Bolender My favorite part of the keys, different accents, Center for Dance & Creativity, whole process is definitely same keys with different 500 West Pershing Road, working with the dancers. melody, different keys with 816-931-2232, Because I’ve had all these the same melody. Then I’ll ideas and visualizations in add in bass lines, heavy percussion … try out some different melodies on my head the whole time, the absolute best part is seeing it all come together in real life top of other melodies. It’s really just a building in front of you for the first time. Sometimes process. the dancers laugh at me because if something What are the challenges that come with works out the way I envisioned, I get so excited having so much control? that I dance around like a little kid, but it really It can be a bad thing because there’s nois spectacular, seeing your friends enjoying body there to say, “No, Travis, that’s terrible.” dancing something you created to music you So I could make this horrendous song and composed. It’s pretty incredible. That moment come up with terrible choreography, and it is why I do this whole thing. would just happen, and I would be allowed to do it because it’s all my thing. So I do a lot of self-editing and try to catch things that sound E-mail


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m a r c h 2 7-a p r i l 2 , 20 14


EuropEan Vacation

Wes Anderson packs everything for The Grand Budapest Hotel.


S c o t t W il S on


• DE A LS•


ow sluggardly you feel coming home from a Wes Anderson movie. Back to the rubber-band scrum and plastic miscellany of the kitchen junk drawer. Hello again, indifferently folded cotton clothing. Hiya, maybe-not-even-real-wood shelves of paperback fictions and aluminum-pressed recordings. Thanks for nothing, artless detritus of the postmillennial mass market. There’s nary a secret-society membership pin in sight, let alone lapel. It’s enough to send you right back out to see The Grand Budapest Hotel again. Anderson’s new movie, a wintry ode to Continental storytelling and the cinema of at least two lost eras, brims with his thematic and visual obsessions and includes much of his evolving repertory company. But if Hotel sometimes feels like the writer-director’s junk drawer — a little redundant at this point in his career, a tad overstuffed — it’s also a comfort. Your junk drawer has a 2008 D battery. Anderson’s has Ralph fucking Fiennes (who hasn’t been this delightfully profane since In Bruges). But let’s reset the metaphor. Hotel, the bulk of which unfolds in 1932 but is recounted in 1968 (in the fictional Republic of Zubrowka, a neighbor to the Fredonia of 1933’s Duck Soup), isn’t one drawer but rather a top-of-the-line steamer trunk full of prewar matinee tropes: noble-rot farce, prison picture, cross-country chase. And there’s at least one body under the silks and soaps in that valise, thanks to a near-silent Willem Dafoe, in teeth-glinting Macheath mode. His casting is only the most obvious way in which Anderson’s latest suggests a live-action variation on his stop-motion Roald Dahl adaptation, 2009’s endlessly rewarding Fantastic Mr. Fox. There are newish notes here. Beyond Dafoe’s leathery menace, a light breeze of war whistles under the story’s heavy estate doors and through its pink-suite keyholes, occasionally ruffling Fiennes’ pretty hair. Fascist storm troopers of an unnamed Nazi-like force crowd the plot and dilute its whimsy, doing their worst offscreen. Not unusually in an Anderson film, some characters don’t make it through to the end. But those we meet later in life (F. Murray Abraham takes over for newcomer Tony Revolori as Zero Moustafa, the orphan whose bildungsroman this is; Jude Law, Zero’s nameless amanuensis, will turn into Tom Wilkinson before writing the tale) convey themselves from behind a scrim of Proustian melancholy that’s a natural extension of Anderson’s fetish for complicated childhood. Still, even with



Everyone you know is in here somewhere. the occasional intrusion by death squad, mortality here isn’t a pall as much as it is a bit of toile needing a quick sponging off. Anderson’s fable comes absent death camps and the Prague Spring. Much remains in place within Anderson’s usual clockworks: labyrinthine interiors; a mentor-protégé bond that tests, then defines, the mechanics of duty and loyalty; the feel, with its familiar casting and its painted backdrops and its winking miniatures (viva la model department), of a town pageant. Alexandre Desplat’s score swishes and ticks and tings along with the action. The cable cars and cobbled roads and alpine-peaked pastries, the butler’s pantries and vertiginous stairways and private train cars — these Old World touches would feel somehow at home in any previous Anderson movie. Where new meets old lasts only a haunting few seconds, as Saoirse Ronan pedals a bicycle, a vision of first love pulled tighter soon after, in a close-up of her face bathed in a carnival glow. Robert Yeoman, Anderson’s longtime cinematographer, surpasses himself here, never more than when he trains his lights on Ronin. All of this Anderson maps inside the confident, playful frame-checking of past masters. We get Lubitsch in square aspect ratio, Kubrick in the anamorphic scenes, and Hitchcock throughout (a glowing glass of milk early on pays conspicuous homage, and a wordless foot chase through a vast

museum and its gallery of battle armor makes you wish that Anderson would remake Blackmail). And yes, other masters — Anderson must now be counted among the movies’ most sure-handed auteurs. Whether you relish cataloging, say, every orange electric typewriter or paramilitary epaulet in Anderson’s fussy compositions, or you roll your eyes when you hear Fox Searchlight pimping Hotel in paid NPR interstitials, your 2014 moviegoing to some degree trickles down from his vision. We’ve grown so inured to artifice — to 3-D and CGI, yes, but even to sitcoms that make extensive use of green screens — that little in the cultural bazaar is necessarily less precious or distracting than what Anderson does. But little else merits close reading, either. The multiplex is our national junk drawer, and Michael Bay wants to cut off your finger with the can opener. How sluggardly I feel not having gotten around to nodding at the rest of Anderson’s jack-in-the-box cast or attempted to outline the McGuffin-y plot. It isn’t a question of spoilers but of space. The Grand Budapest Hotel — the unreal movie and the more unreal place — is both too full and eerily vacant. Like the best of Anderson’s work, though, it sits ready to accommodate you — your film-nerd baggage; your own notso-cinematic memories; and your longing for a more beautiful strain of reminiscence, which looks a lot like this.







m a r c h 2 7-a p r i l 2 , 20 14

the pitch


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Home of KC’s




817 Westport Rd • Kansas City, MO 64111 • 816.931.1986 m a r c h 2 7-a p r i l 2 , 20 14


Town CharTer

Is Kansas Town the Macaluso’s


successor that’s finally built to last?

Ch a r l e s F e r ru z z a

Kansas Town • 1403 West 39th Street, 816-931-8696 • Hours: 3–10 p�m� Tuesday–Thursday, 3–11 p�m� Friday, 11 a�m�–3 p�m� and 5–11 p�m� Saturday, 10 a�m�–3 p�m� Sunday, closed Monday • Price: $$–$$$

hen artist Mike Bechtel told me, back in October, that he was planning to call his new restaurant Kansas Town, I cringed. Was he opening near the National Agricultural Hall of Fame and costuming the servers in floorlength gingham gowns? Bechtel patiently withstood my skepticism and explained the vision informing his new bistro on 39th Street, in the former Macaluso’s location. It would be a sophisticated showcase for visual art (with several of his own paintings on the walls), with a menu designed to put “a new spin on comfort food.” Uh oh. Comfort food has, by now, been spun around by so many chefs and with such intensity that it should have rotated off its axis and pulsated off toward some other galaxy. There’s only so much you can do with fried chicken — which, yes, is on the Kansas Town menu, replete with biscuit. But I have to tell you, it’s an attractive creation. And better yet, perhaps, I don’t find it all that comforting. The coaster-size chicken breast I sampled came perched on a biscuit whose density was closer to that of a scone, complemented by a mere smattering of artfully sliced root vegetables. Also: red-eye au jus. If that sounds a little dainty, it should. None of the creations exiting chef Garrett Kasper’s tiny kitchen are very large. Dinner has what’s billed as a small-plates menu, but not everything is easy to share. In fact, some of Kasper’s innovations are best enjoyed selfishly, without making eye contact with anyone who happens to e r o M be at your table. And if you find something that compels you to wolf it t a ine Onl .com down fast, order two; the h c pit menu changes frequently — “sometimes weekly, sometimes daily,” Bechtel says. On my first two visits to Kansas Town, I noted subtle differences in dishes I tasted more than once. Gauging these differences requires asking the servers many questions because the single-page menu is mostly a list of ingredients. The servers do a good job of explaining how these featured ingredients will be assembled. But even the best-trained staffer would have trouble deconstructing this menu description: “Foie gras: chocolate, cherry, pineapple, beignet.” That sounded unfathomable to me, but what showed up on my plate was beautiful: a silky square of duck-liver panna cotta. “Chef Kasper prepared it with white choco-




weather finally warms. A bowl of this soup and Kasper’s rotating variations on risotto (delectably smooth and dappled with “mushlate,” the server said, at last unlocking the mystery. Accessorized with a scrim of pine- room textures” — chopped fungi, if we stop apple purée and served with chewy, cold fried the poetical spinning for a second — when I first tried it) add up to a satisfying, albeit fatdumplings passing themselves off as beignets, the dish would have made an unexpected des- tening, meal at a reasonable price. There’s no question that Kasper, who was sert. As a starter, it was, let’s say, flamboyant. hired by Joe Shirley (who consulted with A small tart, made with slices of purple Bechtel at the restaurant’s beets, was both savory and inception and created its first sweet, and a delicious counKansas Town menu), is an artist. His sense terpoint to the more compliCelery-root soup �����������������$10 of design in combining flacated spices on a flatbread Foie gras �������������������������������$12 vors, colors and textures is in that had a crispy crust on Fried chicken and biscuit ����$13 highly impressive evidence my first visit but turned Risotto ����������������������������������$13 all over his menu, and he pushily puffy on my secChicken roulade ������������������$15 Cheesecake ��������������������������$8 already has a masterpiece: a ond. This dish was prepared chicken roulade that rolls cirbanh mi–style, with excepcles of moist chicken around tionally delicious braised pork, chopped vegetables and chicken-liver a filling of house-made dark-meat chicken sausage. The dish appears poised for flight on a bed pâté — an honest pâté this time. of tapioca-size pasta pearls, enrobed in a thick It takes a lot of brass to charge 12 bucks for a white sauce of Cojita, white cheddar and parbowl of soup, but Kasper’s creamy celery-root mesan. (Yes, yes, that’s another comfort-food potage at least includes a little theater. It’s spin, this one on mac and cheese.) poured from a porcelain bottle at the table The dessert list here isn’t obviously allurinto a bowl with a single fried Brussels sprout ing — as I said, the menu is essentially a list of and a dab of orange marmalade at the bottom. primary ingredients, and that approach doesn’t It’s a gorgeous winter dish, preposterously do sweets any favors. But Kasper’s cheesecake rich but something I’ll miss even when the

A stylish kind of comfort food at Kansas Town

is a delightful discovery, completely unlike any I’ve ever sampled. (I’m not sure it is cheesecake, come to think of it.) I ordered it blind and was rewarded with two satiny cubes of melting fromage, not quite the consistency of ice cream, so deftly seasoned with maple and cayenne that the heat was unnoticeable for the first two bites (and addictive after that). A wee wedge of chocolate sponge cake, on the other hand, was too dry, its pistachio-basil paste more an art piece than a soothing finale. Kansas Town could use a couple of extra staffers (two servers can’t really handle the dining room on a busy weekend night) and, maybe, a regular bartender. Bechtel was mixing cocktails himself one night, and he didn’t immediately catch on when my companion asked for a twist in his martini. But of all the restaurateurs who have followed the legendary Tommy Macaluso into this venue — and there have been at least six — Bechtel, I think, has the strongest chance of success. Kansas Town is a bit self-conscious in its sensibilities, but it also conveys a palpable joie de vivre. I still hate the name, though.

Have a suggestion for a restaurant The Pitch should review? E-mail

m a r c h 2 7-a p r i l 2 , 20 14

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fat c i t y

Graceful revival


Charles Ferruzza

The Al Rahman Café’s menu is no longer lost in translation.



a Are you a


check out FIND


time, feature, name or location ON YOUR






the pitch

m a r c h 2 7-a p r i l 2 , 20 14

he Al Rahman Café’s new sign is officially in place above the storefront at 2202 Lexington in the historic Northeast. “Al Rahman” is one of the 100 names for Allah. “It also means grace,” says Ali Abdalla, who operates the tiny East African bistro with his three brothers. For the last year, the place was known as Towfiq, with windows covered by imposinglooking bars and interior walls painted a bright, robin’s-egg blue. The Somalian-born Abdallas, who also own the neighboring Al Rahaman Halal Market, have been attracting a small group of regulars from the Northeast’s African community. But they struggled to get others to try their dishes. That’s when Kristen Johnson, a four-year resident of the Pendleton Heights neighborhood, walked through the door. “I had visited the place two years ago when a previous owner was running the restaurant,” says Johnson, a marketing manager at H&R Block. “The menu was in Somali and no one could translate for me. I didn’t stay.” A month ago, a neighbor suggested that she return and introduce herself to the Abdalla brothers. The family’s hospitality upon her return visit impressed Johnson. “That first day, I had a cup of the best chai tea I’ve ever tasted in my life,” she says. “The tea and a wonderful sambusa cost $2! I felt this restaurant could be a real treasure for Pendleton Heights.” A friend told Johnson that the Abdalla family needed help painting their menu on a chalkboard wall. Johnson didn’t paint the chalkboard. Instead, she and two other Pendleton Heights residents helped Ali, Bakar, Abdifatah and Abbas Abdalla paint the restaurant’s interior over a four-night period. “They never had to shut down the restaurant,” Johnson says. “We painted in sections from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.” Johnson brought in paint color swatches for Ali and Bakar to examine, and the men chose two shades — a deep Mediterranean red and a saffron gold — to complement the curries and African stews that they serve. Johnson also helped them remove the bars from the picture windows and apply transparent security film, which turned a formerly dark space into an inviting, sunny dining room with six tables and a window bench. “We made the bench ourselves with some joists from my house,” Johnson says. Ali and Bakar Abdalla open the restaurant at 6 a.m. daily, serving chai tea, coffee, vegetable sambusa — a triangle-shaped pastry filled, in

AngelA C. Bond


Chai tea and savory pastries are specialties at Al Rahman Café. this case, with potatoes, spices and peas — and doughy East African pastries. Abdifatah Abdalla, who manages the Halal Market, has been experimenting with baking scones for the restaurant. “Customers seem to like them,” he says. “They sell out quickly.” During the mornings, Ali also prepares the Somalian version of injera bread, which is very different from the spongy, slightly sour flatbread served in Ethiopian restaurants. “Our bread is made with wheat flour and is much more like a crepe,” Bakar says. “We serve them filled with Nutella or honey or just a sprinkle of sugar. They’re wonderful with tea in the morning.” To introduce non-Africans to East African cooking traditions, Al Rahman has been offering $1 samples of chicken curry, suqaar beef, “Philly” steak with peppers, or teriyaki-glazed chicken. There’s no real menu at the Al Rahman Café, but to make ordering at the counter easier for customers, Johnson has hung framed color photographs of the restaurant’s six most popular dishes near the front counter. “We still explain each dish to new customers,” Bakar says, “but it helps to have a visual guide.” Al Rahman Café is open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. The restaurant does not — and will not — serve liquor but sells a variety of American and imported soft drinks and bottled water.


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ike the green beer you chased your whiskey with last week, the Reuben is not an everyday concoction. Knowing that, though, didn’t keep me from eating six of them in 72 hours. My attempt to assemble a definitive Reuben list before St. Patrick’s Day led me to taste the things in my dreams, a whiff of sauerkraut on my fingertips as I drifted off. Ultimately, the six strong versions of the sandwich I found are so good that they deserve attention the other 364 days of the year. Here, then, a list of Reuben sandwiches worth ordering well after you’ve turned the page on March. Just don’t overdo it.

Browne’s IrIsh Marketplace

3300 Pennsylvania, 816-561-0030 The longevity of this 127-year-old, quintessentially Irish market is due in no small part to its deli, which steals the limelight from the many Celtic curios lining the walls. During a recent lunch hour, the joint churned out sandwiches, potato salad and shepherd’s pie at a terrifying pace. Browne’s Reuben is about as authentic as they come, slathered with corned beef, sauerkraut and Swiss cheese, plus Thousand Island dressing and horseradish sauce — a delectable mess between two slices of marble rye.

Governor stuMpy’s GrIll house

321 East Gregory Boulevard, 816-444-2252 You don’t go to Stumpy’s for a light meal, and this place’s greasy Reuben is straight-up heartattack fuel. Which is to say: It’s delicious. When it arrives, let it sit awhile before digging in. This Reuben reaches peak flavor after the juices permeate the bread and the dish congeals into an amalgamation of meat, cheese and kraut. You might need a shower. You might forget to put the sandwich down first, if there’s any left.

Füd restaurant

813 West 17th Street, 816-785-3454 Creating a vegan version of this classic seems like a tall order, but chef and Füd owner Heidi VanPelt-Belle somehow pulls it off.

Browne’s Reuben (left) and Stumpy’s The “corned beef” is made of jackfruit, and the flavor is just about as legit as you can get without sinking your teeth into the real thing. If you take “vegan” to mean “healthy,” then think again. This is a big, sloppy, salty brute — exactly what you want in a Reuben.

the MIlwaukee delIcatessen co.

101 West Ninth Street, 816-471-6900 The 130-year-old Cosby Hotel successfully dodged demolition a few years ago. Then last fall, the historic eatery on the ground floor reopened, revived after 75 years. Word of mouth has generated steady business for the place, and some of that talk ought to be about the Reuben — or, anyway, about the liberties being taken with the usual model. With spicy brown mustard instead of Thousand Island dressing, this sandwich lacks the dish’s most recognizable flavor, but it’s still something you order again (and tell a friend about).

happy GIllIs caFé & hanGout

549 Gillis, 816-471-3663 In the easygoing spirit of this Columbus Park mainstay, what’s sold as a Reuben here goes off the map: turkey pastrami, pickled cabbage, sweet Russian dressing. In a word: nontraditional. In another two words: pretty satisfying.

BlooM BakInG co.

15 East Third Street, 816-283-8457 While waiting in line at Bloom’s bustling River Market bakery, I heard one of the owners stake a lofty claim: “It’s the best Reuben in Kansas City.” Well, it’s only hubris if you’re wrong. The caraway marble rye is delightfully crispy, the sauerkraut helping is generous, and the hand-carved pastrami is close to perfect. Yes, there’s melted Swiss cheese. And yes, the Russian dressing is made in-house. Best in the city? Quite possibly.


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m a r c h 2 7-a p r i l 2 , 20 14

the pitch



McBeth: Act 2

Ida McBeth returns to the spotlight at the Broadway Jazz Club.



the pitch

m a r c h 2 7-a p r i l 2 , 20 14

n ata l ie G a l l a Ghe r

S P I N CyC le Our monthly local-record-store Top Five

Top Five Songs That Define Spring Break 1. “Thong Song” from Unleash the Dragon, by Sisqó: “Pretty awkward beachwear, right? Thank God, that was just a trend.” 2. “Ignition (Remix)” from Chocolate Factory, by R. Kelly: “Always works.” 3. “Be Thankful for What You Got” from Be Thankful for What You Got, by William DeVaughn: “Cyrus D.–approved. OG Gangsta Lean tune.” 4. “Let It Go” from 7 Days of Funk, by DamFunk and Snoop Dogg: “Perfect pairing of artists and a killer jam.” 5. “Coconut” from Nilsson Schmilsson, by Harry Nilsson: “For the one-drink-everyhour chill crowd.” — compiled by Kelly Corcoran

Barrett emke

ook at me, with this cane,” Ida McBeth says. She laughs. “You must think I’m so old.” The jazz icon extends a hand without rising from a stool in her living room. We’re in her spacious East Side home, where she’s recuperating from a recent injury that broke several of her toes. Her face is immaculately made-up, her dark hair in loose curls. She’s dressed in black velvet and bright-red jewelry, diva regal at 61. It has been two years since McBeth quietly slipped into semi-retirement after 17 years of regular nights at the now-closed Jardine’s. She was ill — she’s vague on the details but says doctors gave her a “60–40 chance” of survival — and wasn’t sure if she would sing again. But she says she’s now in the clear and ready to get back onstage. Kansas City is ready, too — that much was clear March 15 at the Blue Room, McBeth’s first “comeback” show. “It was like I was throwing a party,” McBeth says of her Blue Room gig. “I was just scared all day long, but that night, when I was in my dressing room, one of my girlfriends came in and said, ‘Oh, Ida! They’re lined up all around the block!’ And all the fear just left me. And then when I got up and came around the cor“I throw my heart out there like a baseball.” ner, I saw it was standing-room-only, and I saw to me. She gave me two or three of her tunes all these heads way in the back. It just makes that I really, really love. And Priscilla Bowman me have chills, even now.” — she was well-known in her day. She wrote McBeth sounds genuinely surprised to have discovered she still has fans. And she’s songs like ‘Hands Off.’ I love that old song! So I’m doing some of that stuff. eager to meet them at the Broadway Jazz Club, “People know Kansas City for its jazz, but the venue that, following her March 29 perI think the history needs to be kept alive,” formance, becomes her “new home.” McBeth adds. “I hope that, 50 years from today, “It’s really some of my favorite people there,” McBeth says of the club, which opened somebody will be playing my albums or some last year. “Pat [Hanrahan] — he’s the mana- new singer will be out there singing my stuff. I don’t want to go die and be ger there — he used to own forgotten. And that’s why I half of Jardine’s, which is Ida McBeth plan on keeping it alive.” the club that I used to sing Saturday, March 29, McBeth is in no danger at before I stopped. And one at the Broadway Jazz Club of being forgotten. Her of the girls that used to be a legacy stretches over three manager [at Jardine’s], she’s back. So it’s like going home, in a sense, but decades, and she’s known among local jazz musicians and beyond as a Kansas City treait’s a different area.” sure. Even in the sedate, midafternoon setMcBeth starts her regular Saturday-night ting of her home, McBeth exudes a generous, showcase at the Broadway Jazz Club April room-filling energy. She recounts stories as 19. She’s preparing a revised songbook for fluidly as she might deliver a song, with equal the dates. parts sass and heart, making it impossible not “I’m doing a whole lot more ‘easy listening’ jazz-standard tunes,” she says. “I’ve got tunes to feel what she feels. When McBeth laughs, from some of Kansas City’s greats, like Julia you laugh. When she tells a story about performing the song she wrote for her autistic Lee — she was known as the Empress of Kansas son, Jason — “You and Me Against the World” City. I’ve always done some of her stuff, but I’m — and her voice thickens with emotion, you digging further. Pearl Thurston — she was one of the greats here in Kansas City. She passed feel your throat closing, too. “There was one particular day where I had not too long ago. Some of her stuff, she gave


Love Garden Sounds 822 Massachusetts, Lawrence, had a tremendously hard evening with him before I went to work, and I was so filled up with pain, and I just had to sing his song,” McBeth recalls. “And when I got done singing that song — I never will forget it — two women came up to me, to the stage, and both of them were just streaming with tears. And we grabbed each other in a three-way bearhug. It meant so much to me that I could share that with someone. Their hearts reached out to me, and my heart reached out to them. And when I sing, I have a tendency to pick what they want to hear. I’ve always been able to feel if someone is struggling with someone and they need to hear something. And I can feel what the audience wants to hear.” McBeth has missed this most, this sharing of experiences with an audience. Now, she says, she’ll hold nothing back. “I’m blessed to finally feel so comfortable onstage,” McBeth says. “Sometimes, when I was growing into the business, there was a certain thing that I said or did, but now I can just be Ida.” She smiles. (I smile.) “I can look each and every person in the eye [from the Broadway Jazz Club’s stage]. I want them to feel comfortable and welcome because I want to feel comfortable and welcome. If I throw my heart out there like a baseball, I want them to throw theirs right back.”


R. Kelly 1. “Girls, Girls, Girls” from Girls, Girls, Girls,

by Mötley Crüe: “Pretty much a mating call right there.” 2. “Rockaway Beach” from Rocket to Russia, by the Ramones: “Because being landlocked means sometimes you need to pretend.” 3. “Classic Rock in Spring” from Constant Hitmaker, by Kurt Vile: “All melancholy and sweetness with a dollop of sexual subtext.” 4. “Too Drunk to Fuck” from Mutiny on the Bay, by the Dead Kennedys: “Here’s what you want to avoid about spring break. You’re welcome.” 5. “93 ’Til Infinity” from 93 ’Til Infinity, by Souls of Mischief: “The perfect roll-downyour-windows-and-let-it-bump song.” — compiled by the social-media supporters of Mills Record Co. Mills Record Co. 314 Westport Road,

m a r c h 2 7-a p r i l 2 , 20 14

the pitch



The Passion of sT. VincenT

Annie Clark on the intersection of her music, fashion, choreography and art


A p r il F l eming

1515 WESTPORT RD. • 816-931-9417




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the pitch

ast summer, in a sudden burst of spontaneity while visiting a friend at a west Texas cattle ranch, Annie Clark — better known as St. Vincent — stripped in order to commune with nature. There was peace — and then the distinct sound of a snake’s rattle. Clark, still naked, forgot all about peace and took off running for refuge. This is just one of many strange experiences documented on Clark’s brilliant and off-kilter self-titled new album. With the release of St. Vincent, Clark has shown a knack for writing autobiographical, experimental pop songs that are simultaneously odd and accessible and, at times, quite beautiful. Ahead of Clark’s Liberty Hall show Monday, March 31, we dialed up the artist at her New York home. The Pitch: There’s this line on “Digital Witness” in which you critique social-media culture: “The challenge is making oddness accessible.” What’s the point of even sleeping, because whatever you’re doing can’t be shared online. I wish that I could have been more choreoWhat do you think might be lost with this con- graphed, but I had to be pretty stationary to play guitar and sing for most of that show. It’s stant search for affirmation? Clark: I think people need affirmation in like, once you acknowledge that every aspect general — there’s a part of that that’s very of your performance is communicating somehealthy and very natural, but I think we’ve thing, why would you leave that language out become a little bit more immersed in the idea of the equation? I started to get way more into it [choreography], and I love doing it. It’s so fun. of “pictures or it didn’t happen” or performing It makes a performance more transportive. our lives rather than living them. Yeah, and I think that symbols and moveWhat do you think is a healthier balance? I remember growing up before the Inter- ment have all these conscious and subconscious connotations. I remember on the Love net and getting to have some very profound silences that were all about imagination and This Giant tour, we did this one move that was weren’t clouded by noise or anything outside or from a Beyoncé video for “Single Ladies,” but it was slowed down to the point that it was constant Pavlovian dinging of bells. I think that totally unrecognizable from really helped me to cultivate its source, and then you put it my imagination and self. I’m St. Vincent in my body and David’s body not saying things were betMonday, March 31, and it looks totally weird. So ter back before the Internet. at Liberty Hall it’s really fun to just be able I think the Internet is aweto, like, try moves from difsome and I use it all the time. ferent dance lexicons. I’m consciously not doI’m not throwing stones from glass houses. ing anything that’s referencing hip-hop dance Can I ask you about your new look? because it doesn’t look good in my body, and What inspired it? A few things: David Bowie, Thin White Duke era, but then — also Farrah I can’t do it convincingly, but I did check out Pina Bausch and say, “Oh, man. What did she from The Bachelor. Fashion inspires me the same way that all do in the Rite of Spring? How can I reference art does. Fashion is form, color and texture. something like that?” When I put it in my body, which is not a dancer’s body, what does it beFashion is transformative, and it’s exciting. I can get just as excited about fashion as I do come? What is it communicating? What should we look for in your performance? about design, or design in general. I hope everybody has an experience. I spent What inspired the new choreography you’re a lot of time making sure that this show doesn’t using on tour? Yeah, I’m using it on the tour. It’s funny be- feel like a couple people onstage jamming for cause I’m not a dancer per se. I don’t have any an hour. I want it to be immersive and like a dance training. But I became really interested fever dream and get to the more subconscious in the language of movement on the tour that part of your brain. You mentioned in an interview once that I did with David Byrne [Love This Giant, 2013], you like to make music that’s accessible but also where the brass band was very choreographed.

m a r c h 2 7-a p r i l 2 , 20 14

walks the line of being fringe. If you were making music just for yourself or for friends, would you have fun making it as strange as you could? I would make exactly the kind of music I’m making. The challenge is making oddness accessible, and that’s where the most fun is. It’s not even odd if you look at things in a broader context. I’m not trying to put Penderetsky into a Britney Spears song. It’s not that weird, but there’s that balance and that challenge of straddling two worlds that is interesting.


J a z z B e at Shay EStES, at thE Broadway Jazz CluB

Shay Estes has established herself as one of Kansas City’s premier singers. She has done it all: weekend late nights with Trio ALL at the now-defunct Jardine’s; Brazilian music with Arara Azul; and swinging contemporary arrangements of jazz and pop standards with various ensembles. Estes has mastered a range of music uncommon with jazz singers. This week, you can catch her twice at the Broadway Jazz Club. Thursday night, Arara Azul entices with a mix of vocals, bossa nova and samba. Saturday, Estes brings her jazz group to close out the night. — Larry Kopitnik Shay Estes, with Arara Azul, 8 p.m.– midnight Thursday, March 27; with her jazz ensemble, 9:30 p.m.–1 a.m. Saturday, March 29, at the Broadway Jazz Club (3601 Broadway, 816-298-6316), $5 cover both nights.


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m a r c h 2 7-a p r i l 2 , 20 14

the pitch



KNUCKLEHEADS F re e S h u tt le in S u rr o u n d in g A reth e a


26: Outlaw Jim & The Whiskey Benders 27: Earl & Them w/ The Nace Brothers 28: Jeff Bergen’s Elvis Show 28: Alejandro Escovedo & The Sensitive Boys 29: Big Sandy & Amy LaVere


danielle nicole


Music Forecast


n ata l ie G a l l a Ghe r

Middle Twin

A lot of ear-appeasing things are coming out of Lawrence, and one of the newest and most noteworthy is Middle Twin. On the power-pop five-piece’s new EP, City of Gold, lead singer Demi Renault’s razor-sharp vocals cut through a sophisticated assembly of synths, keys and electronic drumbeats. Middle Twin straddles the cosmic line between dance music and electronic art. Renault occasionally shares singing duties with Joel Martin, who soothes and calms when Renault pushes and drives. It’s a seductive album that invites bodies to writhe and sweat with the volume turned all the way up. Experience the magic at the Bottleneck — and maybe bring a date. See what happens. Forrester opens. Thursday, March 27, the Bottleneck (737 New Hampshire, Lawrence, 785-841-5483)

S C H N E B E L E N Alejandro Escovedo, with the Sensitive Boys

30: Tater’s Honky Tonk Happy Hours @ 7pm


2: The Crayons 3: Kris Lager Band 3: Merle Haggard Tribute Show 4: Tab Benoit w/ Samantha Fish 5: Damon Fowler w/Joe Moss 5: The Howlin Bros

We can hope that we are as spry and rockin’ in our retirement years as Alejandro Escovedo. It’s unlikely that the 63-year-old Austin veteran will put the brakes on anytime soon. Since the mid-1980s, Escovedo has cultivated a rock sound of grown-up grooves that combines his early punk roots with the ’70s group the Nuns and his country-music dabbling with the ’80s band True Believers. On 2012’s Big Station, Escovedo may have finally achieved the most essential incarnation of his sound. The record captures Escovedo’s smooth, far-reaching vocals — at times reminiscent of Elvis Costello — flying coolly over devil-may-care guitar riffs and touches of trumpet, violin and cello. Friday, March 28, Knuckleheads Saloon (2715 Rochester, 816-483-1456)

Arlo Guthrie

At this point in his life, Arlo Guthrie probably wishes, on some level, that he never wrote the 18-minute epic folk monologue “Alice’s Restaurant.” The tune has followed him around since he released it on the eponymously titled 1967 album, requested at all of his concerts

Blitzen Trapper — Guthrie’s own personal “Free Bird.” The brilliant satire of that song is sometimes engulfed by its own fame, but more than 40 years later, the anti-war lyrics still make a relevant point. Tuesday at Liberty Hall, you have the opportunity to experience other aspects of Guthrie’s legacy. Bring the parents or bring your kids — Guthrie is sure to walk on cross-generational common ground. Tuesday, April 1, Liberty Hall (644 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-749-1972)

Blitzen Trapper

By the time Blitzen Trapper arrives at the Riot Room, the group will be fresh off a string of dates opening for Drive-By Truckers on the first leg of that band’s North American tour. The Riot Room gig kicks off Blitzen Trapper’s own headlining tour in support of last year’s fulllength, VII, the band’s, er, seventh record — and arguably its best. It still carries lead singer and songwriter Eric Earley’s trademark discordant Americana. After more than a decade in the

f o r e c a s t

For more info & tickets: 2715 Rochester, KCMO



the pitch

m a r c h 2 7-a p r i l 2 , 20 14

business, he has managed to strike a balance on VII, which is accessible and appealing in its folk revivalism while maintaining Earley’s artsy weirdness with trippy, off-kilter organ notes and odd banjo arrangements. Sunday, March 30, the Riot Room (4048 Broadway, 816-442-8179)

A Night for Joc Max

For more than 20 years, Joc Max has been the foremost name in the metro’s hip-hop production. You’ll hear some of that legacy in retrospect at RecordBar Saturday. Local MC Reach has organized what he’s calling a hip-hop “honors show,” with performances by himself, SoundsGood, DJ Ataxic, DJ Skeme, DJ Maxx and Smooth C. This lineup is especially exciting, considering that SoundsGood — featuring rapper Joe Good and producer Miles Bonny — has technically been retired since 2007. Saturday, March 29, RecordBar (1020 Westport Road, 816-753-5207)

K e Y

Pick of the Week

Long Live Rock and Roll


Album Release

Local Legend

Bring on the Banjo

 Locally Sourced


Here’s to the ’60s

 Power Pop

Band Reunions

Let’s Go to Alice’s Restaurant





April 3, 2014

April 24, 2014

April 17, 2014

April 26, 2014


Flirt Friday


Killer Queen w/ Landslide and Saucy Jack


Magic 107.3 Groove Party

4/11 – 12 Project Backstage 2014 Midwest Music Awards 4/18


Blue Corner Battles


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m a r c h 2 7-a p r i l 2 , 20 14

the pitch


3/24/14 10:22 AM


continued from page 11

Thursday | 3.27 |


ART EXHIBITS & EVENTS Barred Meadows, oil paintings by Rachel Gregor


Break & Destroy Tour Kansas City: A breakdance




workshop and performance | 5 p.m. Bella Studios, 508 Westport Road, Ste. 102

Disney On Ice: Let’s Celebrate | 7 p.m. Sprint

Edgar Degas Pastels | Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 4525 Oak,

t I s th a t e a? g re e n

Center, 1407 Grand

| 7-11 p.m. Friday, Subterranean Gallery, 4124 Warwick, Apt. B.,

Dressed Up | Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, 4420 Warwick Blvd.,


dy/nas/ty • Ebony G. Patterson | Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, 12345 College Blvd., Overland Park,

Pete Correale | 7:30 p.m. Improv Comedy Club and Dinner Theater, 7260 N.W. 87th St.

en bloc, by Jorge Garcia Almodovar | UMKC

Ian Karmel | 8 p.m. Stanford’s Comedy Club, 1867 Village West Pkwy., KCK

Gallery of Art, 5015 Holmes, Room 203

The Recess Players Improv Showcase | 10 p.m.

Echoes: Islamic Art and Contemporary Artists | Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 4525 Oak

The Uptown Arts Bar, 3611 Broadway

Final Friday Lawrence Art Party | 5:30-


Mixed Breed Mixer | 5-7 p.m. Lawrence Humane Society, 1805 E. 19th St., Lawrence

Social Media Club of KC Appy Hour | 5:30-7:30 p.m. Snow & Co., 1815 Wyandotte


Pitch MasterMind winner Judith G. Levy screens an updated edit of her art-scene comedy at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 27, at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Levy (above, facing Nelson director Julián Zugazagoitia in a scene from the movie) stars in NV in KC with Erin McGrane, Shannon Michalski, De De DeVille and Jaimie Warren, among others.

Middle Twin, Forrester | 8 p.m. The Bottleneck, 737 New Hampshire, Lawrence

Shen Yun | 7:30 p.m. Kauffman Center, 1601 Broadway

9:30 p.m., 512 E. Ninth St., Lawrence

Final Friday Art Walk | Massachusetts Street between Seventh and 11th streets, Lawrence

History & Hope: Celebrating the Civil Rights Movement | Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 4525 Oak


Titus Vineyards wine dinner | 5:30 p.m. Chaz on

the Plaza, 325 Ward Pkwy.

Nitemirror, the Puritans, Gravity Ghost, Ben Livingston | 8 p.m. Jackpot Music Hall, 943 Massa-

Pete Correale | 7:30 & 9:45 p.m. Improv Comedy Club

In the Looking Glass: Recent Daguerreotype Acquisitions | Nelson-Atkins Museum, 4525 Oak

Johnny Rampage | Mestizo, 5270 W. 116th Pl., Leawood

Ian Karmel | 7:45 & 10 p.m. Stanford’s Comedy Club,

Neeta Madahar: Falling | Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, 4420 Warwick Blvd.


Other Faces: Paintings and Drawings by Jane Mudd and Nora Othic | Thornhill

chusetts, Lawrence

and Dinner Theater, 7260 N.W. 87th St.


Arara Azul | 8 p.m. Broadway Jazz Club, 3601 Broadway Megan Birdsall | 8-10:30 p.m. The Uptown Arts Bar, 3611 Broadway

Run On Sentence | The Brick, 1727 McGee

1867 Village West Pkwy., KCK

Sluggo, KJ Sawka, Strvpback, Gingabeard |

County Graves | 10 p.m. Westport Saloon, 4112

8 p.m. The Granada, 1020 Massachusetts, Lawrence


Vik G Trio | Jazzhaus, 926-1/2 Massachusetts, Lawrence

Miguel Mambo DeLeon and Carte Blanc | 7 p.m.

Charles D. Williams | 5 p.m. Broadway Jazz Club,

The Blue Room, 1616 E. 18th St.

Earl & Them, the Nace Brothers | 7 p.m. Knuckle-

heads Saloon, 2715 Rochester

3601 Broadway

Friday | 3.28 |

Greater Kansas City Home Show and Kansas City Flower, Lawn & Garden Show | 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Bartle Hall, 301 W. 13th St., SPORTS & REC

Critical Mass | 6:30 p.m. Sun Fresh Market, 4001

Mill, meet in the back lot off of Pennsylvania, next to Westport Coffee House

Gallery, Avila University, 11901 Wornall,

Polychromatic: An Exhibition in Color, works by Melissa Powlas, Jeanne Rittmueller and Lisa Rogers | Friday-Saturday, Kiosk Gallery, 3951 Broadway Reality and Fantasy: Land, Town and Sea | Nelson-Atkins Museum, 4525 Oak


Grand Villanova | 7 p.m. The Phoenix, 302 W. Eighth St.

Hot Caution | 10 p.m. RecordBar, 1020 Westport Rd. La Guerre, See Through Dresses, Dan Mariska & the Boys Choir | 10 p.m. Replay Lounge, 946 Massachusetts, Lawrence

Ryan McGarvey | 7 p.m. Trouser Mouse, 410 S. Hwy.


the pitch

Sprint Center, 1407 Grand

Golden! Girls Gone Wild!! | 8 p.m. Missie B’s, 805 W. 39th St.

Kansas City Ballet Presents New Moves |

Laura Lisbeth | 7-9 p.m. Coda, 1744 Broadway

7, Blue Springs

Disney On Ice: Let’s Celebrate | 10:30 a.m. & 7 p.m.

7:30 p.m., $20, Todd Bolender Center for Dance & Creativity, 500 W. Pershing Rd.,

Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet with Rodrigo’s Royal Guitar | 8 p.m. Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway

m a r c h 2 7-a p r i l 2 , 20 14

Missouri Mavericks vs. Tulsa Oilers | 7:05 p.m.

Independence Events Center, 19100 E. Valley View Pkwy., Independence

RE-TREAD: Matthew Dehaemers | Studios

Inc., 1708 Campbell,


This American Life | Fridays and Saturdays, Kemper East, 200 E. 44th St.

Variety Show 2014 featuring Sinbad | 8:30 p.m.

James Turrell: Gard Blue | Spencer Museum


The Tyranny of Good Taste | La Esquina, 1000

The Midland, 1228 Main

Akkilles, Buffalo Rodeo, High Magic | 10 p.m.

of Art, 1301 Mississippi , Lawrence

W. 25th St.,

RecordBar, 1020 Westport Rd.

continued on page 30

Abbey K. Logan & Jennifer C. Johnson of Overland Park, Kansas announce their engagement and upcoming marriage planned for May 17 in Des Moines, Iowa with an intimate ceremony of friends and family. The couple will celebrate at home in Kansas City during a reception to be held later this years. The couple resides at their home in Overland Park with their dogs, Olivier and Cooper, cat, Brisket, their two turtles, and lots of love.

Each week, Pitch Street Team cruises around to the hottest clubs, bars and concerts. You name it, we will be there. While we are out, we hand out tons of cool stuff. So look for the Street Team... We will be looking for you!




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the pitch

Bernstein’s Broadway | Musical Theater Heri-

Bex Marshall | 9 p.m. B.B.’s Lawnside BBQ, 1205 E.

Drawn to Murder | KC Mystery Train, the Golden Ox, 1600 Genessee,

Blue Springs

The Frowning Vajayjays of Shady Pines

Rev Gusto, the Summit | 9 p.m. Coda, 1744 Broadway

tage, Off Center Theatre, 2450 Grand,

| Just Off Broadway Theatre, 3051 Central,

Other Desert Cities | Unicorn Theatre, 3828 Main, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike |

Spencer Theater, UMKC, 4949 Cherry,

85th St.

Ben Miller | 8 p.m. Trouser Mouse, 410 S. Hwy. 7,

Rob and the Dudes | Jerry’s Bait Shop, 13412 Santa

Fe Trail Dr., Lenexa

Peter Schlamb Quartet | 8 p.m. Take Five Coffee + Bar, 5336 W. 151st St., Leawood

Spirits and the Melchizedek Children, Karma Vision | 10 p.m. Replay Lounge, 946 Massachusetts,

War Horse | Music Hall, 301 W. 13th St.,,


Winter Shorts with Hailey Jones | 7 p.m.

Blue Room, 1616 E. 18th St.

Sunday, Fishtank Performance Studio, 1715 Wyandotte,

MUSeUM exhibiTS & evenTS Citizen Soldiers on the Prairie | Johnson County Museum of History, 6305 Lackman Rd., Shawnee, Convergence: Jazz, Film, Dance and the Visual Arts | American Jazz Museum, 1616 E. 18th St., ,

Charles Williams with Lisa Henry | 8:30 p.m. The


Chrissy Murderbot, fSTZ | 9 p.m. Czar, 1531 Grand DJ Sike | MiniBar, 3810 Broadway flirt friday | VooDoo Lounge, Harrah’s Casino, 1 Riverboat Dr., North Kansas City

Saturday | 3.29 | PERfORMiNG ARTS

Hands-on History | National World War I

Museum, Liberty Memorial, 100 W. 26th St.,

Disney On ice: Let’s Celebrate | 11 a.m., 3 & 7 p.m.

100 Years of Genocide | Friday-Saturday,

Golden! Girls Gone Wild!! | 8 p.m. Missie B’s, 805

On the Brink: A Month That Changed the World | National World War I Museum, Liberty

| 8 p.m. Folly Theater, 300 W. 12th St.,

Campanella Gallery inside McAfee Memorial Library, Park University, 8700 N.W. River Park Dr.

Education Center, 107 Osage St., Sibley


$50 Color Service for only $25

10 p.m. Westport Saloon, 4112 Pennsylvania

Outstanding Women of Missouri | Fort Osage

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Four Interval Cross Training Workouts

Gas Pump Talent, Brian Martin, A.J. Gaither OMB, Shawn James and the Shape Shifters |

Sprint Center, 1407 Grand

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I Am Harvey Milk, the Heartland Men’s Chorus

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m a r c h 2 7-a p r i l 2 , 20 14

continued from page 28 Josh Berwanger, CS Luxem, Heidi Gluck | 10 p.m.

7:30 p.m., $20, Todd Bolender Center for Dance & Creativity, 500 W. Pershing Rd.,

Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet with Rodrigo’s Royal Guitar | 8 p.m. Kauffman Center, 1601 Broadway

MiniBar, 3810 Broadway

Shen Yun | 2:30 & 7:30 p.m. Kauffman Center, 1601

Boogaloo 7 | 10 p.m. Green Lady Lounge, 1809 Grand

Soweto Gospel Choir | 7:30 p.m. Lied Center of

Desi & Cody | The Brick, 1727 McGee


Kansas, 1600 Stewart Dr., Lawrence COMEDY

The Doo Dads | 6 p.m. RecordBar, 1020 Westport Rd. EOTO | 8 p.m. The Granada, 1020 Massachusetts, Lawrence

Alejandro Escovedo & the Sensitive Boys, Amy Cook | 8:30 p.m. Knuckleheads Saloon, 2715


Kansas City Ballet Presents New Moves |

Doug Benson | 4:20 p.m. Improv Comedy Club and Dinner Theater, 7260 N.W. 87th St. Pete Correale | 7:30 & 9:45 p.m. Improv Comedy Club and Dinner Theater, 7260 N.W. 87th St.

ian Karmel | 7:45 & 10 p.m. Stanford’s Comedy Club, 1867 Village West Pkwy., KCK


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Downright Creepy presents A Horrifying Night of Short Films featuring Call Girl, Pity, Service, Counter Parts and What Happened to Anne | 9 p.m. Screenland Armour Theater, 408 Armour Rd., North Kansas City



Greater Kansas City Home Show and Kansas City Flower, Lawn & Garden Show | 10 a.m.-8 p.m.

Downright Creepy presents A Horrifying Night of Short Films featuring Call Girl, Pity, Service, Counter Parts and What Happened to Anne |

Bartle Hall, 301 W. 13th St.,

KCSneakFest | 1-7 p.m. Municipal Auditorium/Music Hall, 301 W. 13th St.,

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9 p.m. Screenland Armour Theater, 408 Armour Rd., North Kansas City MUSIC

MOPACA 2014 Invitational Alpaca Show | 9 a.m. Hale Arena, 1701 American Royal Ct.,

Northland Ethnic Festival | 11 a.m. Park Hill South

High School, 4500 River Park Dr., Riverside

Big Sandy & His Fly Rite Boys, Amy LaVere | 8:30 p.m. Knuckleheads Saloon, 2715 Rochester

Dirtfoot, Hearts of Darkness | 8 p.m. The Bottleneck, 737 New Hampshire, Lawrence


Shay Estes | 9:30 p.m. Broadway Jazz Club, 3601

Missouri Mavericks vs. Tulsa Oilers | 7:05 p.m.


Run or Dye Kansas City Color 5k | 9 a.m., $47 per

From Indian Lakes, the American Scene, Naive Thieves, Bears and Company, Trapper, the Verandas | 6:30 p.m. Jackpot Music Hall, 943 Mas-

Independence Events Center, 19100 E. Valley View Pkwy., Independence

person, Kemper Arena, 1800 Genessee

sachusetts, Lawrence

Third Annual Ability 5k Run, Walk and Roll,

Mike Herrera Trio | 8 p.m. Take Five Coffee + Bar,

benefiting Developmental Disability Services of Jackson County | 8 a.m. Swope Park, Meyer Blvd. and Swope Pkwy. COMMUNITY BENEFITS

The Breakfast Bowl, benefiting Urban Growth KC | 10 a.m. Z Strike, 1370 Grand

Pawtini 2014, benefiting the Great Plains SPCA | 6 p.m. Muehlebach Tower at the Marriott, 200 W. 12th St. Puppets After Dark, benefiting Paul Mesner Puppets

| 7 p.m. Madrid Theatre, 3810 Main,

5336 W. 151st St., Leawood

High Magic, Josh Berwanger Band | 10 p.m. Replay

Lounge, 946 Massachusetts, Lawrence

Killer Queen, Landslide, Saucy Jack | 8 p.m. VooDoo Lounge, Harrah’s Casino, 1 Riverboat Dr., North Kansas City Garry Lincoln with Jason Elmore | 8 p.m. Trouser Mouse, 410 S. Hwy. 7, Blue Springs

Lost Wax | Fuel, 7300 W. 119th St., Overland Park continued on page 32

m a r c h 2 7-a p r i l 2 , 20 14

the pitch


continued from page 31 Ida McBeth | 6:30 p.m. Broadway Jazz Club, 3601

Bun B, Kirko Bangz | 7 p.m. The Granada, 1020 Mas-


sachusetts, Lawrence


Earth | 10 p.m. RecordBar, 1020 Westport Rd.

A Night for Joc Maxx with Reach, Sounds Good, Ataxic, DJ Maxx, Smooth C and DJ Skeme | 10 p.m. RecordBar, 1020 Westport Rd.

Arlo Guthrie | 7 p.m. Liberty Hall, 644 Massachusetts,


John Frikus and Friends | 8 p.m. The Uptown Arts

Heatwarmer, CS Luxem | 10 p.m. Replay Lounge,

Bar, 3611 Broadway

946 Massachusetts, Lawrence

Phantoms of the Opry, Old Sound | The Brick,

Open Blues Jam with the Coyote Bill Boogie Band | 9 p.m. Westport Saloon, 4112 Pennsylvania

1727 McGee



Cameron Russell, Iron Dog | 9 p.m. Davey’s Uptown

Ramblers Club, 3402 Main

Son Venezuela | 9 p.m. The Granada, 1020 Massa-

10 p.m. Black & Gold Tavern, 3740 Broadway

James Ward Band | 8:30 p.m. The Blue Room, 1616 FILM

6:30 p.m. Coda, 1744 Broadway

Film School: Pink Flamingos | 3:50 p.m. Alamo Drafthouse, 1400 Main

Disney On Ice: Let’s Celebrate | 1 & 5 p.m. Sprint

Ramblers Club, 3402 Main

Lydia, HRVRD, Golden Sun | 7 p.m. The Granada, 1020 Massachusetts, Lawrence

Out of Nowhere | 7 p.m. The Blue Room, 1616 E. 18th St.


Rural Grit Happy Hour | 6 p.m. The Brick, 1727 McGee

Dead Girl Derby: coed roller derby | Doors 5 p.m. B&D

St. Vincent | 7 p.m. Liberty Hall, 644 Massachusetts,

South Skate Center, 13903 S. Noland Ct., Independence




Golden! Girls Gone Wild!! | 6 p.m. Missie B’s, 805

Bellymilk (Jellyfish Tribute), Dog Man (King’s X Tribute) | 7 p.m. RecordBar, 1020 Westport Rd.

Geeks Who Drink Pub Quiz | 8 p.m. Green Room

I Am Harvey Milk, Heartland Men’s Chorus |

Blunt Rap, Blue Tick Hounds, Lauren Anderson | Jerry’s Bait Shop, 13412 Santa Fe Trail Dr., Lenexa

Geeks Who Drink Pub Quiz | 7:30 p.m. Rhythm and

Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet with Rodrigo’s Royal Guitar | 2 p.m. Kauffman Center, 1601 Broadway

John Henry & Friends, Sunflower Colonels | 8

p.m. Jackpot Music Hall, 943 Massachusetts, Lawrence

Karaoke | 10:30 p.m. The Brick, 1727 McGee

Shen Yun | 2:30 p.m. Kauffman Center, 1601 Broadway

Mark Lowrey Trio jazz jam | 6 p.m. The Majestic

4 p.m. Folly Theater, 300 W. 12th St.,

Restaurant, 931 Broadway


Greater Kansas City Home Show and Kansas City Flower, Lawn & Garden Show | 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Burgers & Beer, 4010 Pennsylvania

Booze, 423 Southwest Blvd.

Sam’s Club Karaoke | 10 p.m. Replay Lounge, 946

Massachusetts, Lawrence

Sonic Spectrum Music Trivia | 7 p.m. RecordBar,

1020 Westport Rd.

Bartle Hall, 301 W. 13th St.,

Black & Gold Tavern, 3740 Broadway

Taking Back Mondays with Sovereign States |

MOPACA 2014 Invitational Alpaca Show | 9 a.m.

Tater’s Honky Tonk Happy Hours | 7 p.m. Knuck-

Trivia with Matt Larson | 8 p.m. Bulldog, 1715 Main


Steven Briggs | 7:30 p.m. Improv Comedy Club and Dinner Theater, 7260 N.W. 87th St.

leheads Saloon, 2715 Rochester

Monday | 3.31 |

Captiva, King Dong’s Variety Hour | 7:30 p.m. The Bottleneck, 737 New Hampshire, Lawrence Billy Ebeling | 7 p.m. Jazz, 1823 W. 39th St. Stoney Larue | 7 p.m. The Granada, 1020 Massachusetts, Lawrence

The Ned Ludd Band, Blaze Malaise, Filthy 13 | 10 p.m. RecordBar, 1020 Westport Rd.

Hermon Mehari Trio | 6 p.m. Majestic, 931 Broadway Narkalark, Glimpse Trio | 9 p.m. Jackpot Music Hall, 943 Massachusetts, Lawrence

Halcyon Diversified with DJs Rod & Jed | 9 p.m.

Hale Arena, 1701 American Royal Ct.,

Wednesday | 4.2 |


Center, 1407 Grand

W. 39th St.

Rex Hobart’s Honky Tonk Supper Club | 7 p.m.

RecordBar, 1020 Westport Rd.


Sunday | 3.30 | PERFORMING ARTS

Haute Dames, Westend Girl | 8 p.m. Davey’s Uptown

Jonathan Richman | 8 p.m. The Bottleneck, 737 New Hampshire, Lawrence

E. 18th St.

The Waspmen, Filthy 13, the Good Beats |


DJ Rico & the Boss Hooligan Soundsystem |

chusetts, Lawrence

Super G, the Kat Niles Band, the Quivers | 10 p.m.

1205 E. 85th St.

mer at sum Get th . g n feeli

Skittish | Mestizo, 5270 W. 116th Pl., Leawood

Westport Saloon, 4112 Pennsylvania

Trampled Under Foot | 7 p.m. B.B.’s Lawnside BBQ,

8 p.m. The Bottleneck, 737 New Hampshire, Lawrence

Tuesday | 4.1 |

The Tontons | 10 p.m. Replay Lounge, 946 Massachusetts, Lawrence


DJ G Train | 10 p.m. MiniBar, 3810 Broadway


Passport to India: Family Cultural Festival | 12:30-4 p.m. Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 4525 Oak COMMUNITY BENEFITS

Ida McBeth, Lisa Henry, Kelley Hunt, Pamela Baskin-Watson and others, benefiting True Light

Family Resource Center | 2-5 p.m. Blue Room, 1616 E. 18th St.


the pitch


Jamie Ford discusses his new novel, Songs of Wil-

Karaoke with Lo | 10 p.m. Black & Gold Tavern, 3740 Broadway

low Frost | 7 p.m., $15, Unity Temple, 707 W. 47th St.,

Trivia | 7-9 p.m. Westport Saloon, 4112 Pennsylvania



E-mail submissions to

Mark Lowrey Trio | 6 p.m. The Majestic, 931 Broadway

The American Babies jam | 7 p.m. Trouser Mouse,

or enter submissions at, where you can search our complete listings guide.

Golden! Girls Gone Wild!! | 8 p.m. Missie B’s, 805 W. 39th St.

m a r c h 2 7-a p r i l 2 , 20 14

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S ava g e L o v e


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By opening with a compliment, closing with a compliment and making sure everything that comes between is also a compliment. Are “butch” lesbians really transgender? Nope.

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D a n S ava ge

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NOW HIRING 1333 Washington Blvd., Kansas City, KS 2 POSITIONS AVAIL.

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Looking for people ages 18 years and older to participate in a clinical research study testing an investigational medication. This study is being conducted at Compliant Clinical Research, Inc. 153 W. 151 Street, Suite 100, Olathe, KS, USA.

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the pitch

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We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code. The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertisement.

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Eat Local with friends

$99 DIVORCE $99

Simple, Uncontested + Filing Fee. Don Davis. 816-531-1330


Call Christopher Smith Workers' Compensation attorney. Licensed in Missouri and Kansas. (816) 756-5800. No recovery - no fee.

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KC’s #1 American Owned Smokeshop! Specializing in Glass, Vapes & Detox

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p > Restaurants > Restaurant Guide

Alternative Lifestyle Parties

Every Friday & Saturday Night 8pm-5am Hot Tub, Dance Area w/pole, Live DJ, Pool Table


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$37.06 Day/ $149 Week/ $499 Month + Tax

AUTO & SR22 INSURANCE Renters, Homeowners, Motorcycle, Business MO & KS DeMasters Ins. LLC 816-531-1000

Attorney since 1976: 913-345-4100, KS/MO. Injuries, workers comp, criminal, divorce, DUI, traffic, and more. Low fees, Call Greg Bangs.


Experienced, knowledgeable attorney will take the time to listen and inform.


The Pitch: March 27, 2014  

The Pitch, March 27-April 2, 2014. Kansas City's alternative weekly. Featuring "Flight Risk: Con Man David Riggs Couldn't Find a Way to La...

The Pitch: March 27, 2014  

The Pitch, March 27-April 2, 2014. Kansas City's alternative weekly. Featuring "Flight Risk: Con Man David Riggs Couldn't Find a Way to La...