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JULY 2018 I FREE I PITCH.COM

CROWN ROYAL Backstage with dirtbag drag king Boris Tudeth

KNOW YOUR FOOD HALLS

MUSICAL CHAIRS AT THE MISSOURI DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

ONE LAST AWFUL HOUSE PARTY


SECTION

THE MOLLY RINGWALDS

THE URBAN COWBOY REUNION STARRING MICKEY GILLEY & JOHNNY LEE

JULY 6

BILLY GARDELL JULY 28

JULY 13

RANDY BACHMAN JULY 20

CHIPPENDALES

THE TEMPTATIONS

AUGUST 3 & 4

AUGUST 11

Join us in the Star Pavilion for our thrilling upcoming shows. Get your tickets at Ticketmaster.com or visit the Ameristar gift shop to receive $5 off the standard ticket price with your mychoice ® card.

Free Live Entertainment 8:30p –12:30a SAUCY JACK • July 6 BANDANA • July 7 AC JONES • July 13 THE BUCKET BAND • July 14

GROOVE PILOTS • July 20 THE SELLE BROTHERS BAND • July 21 FLASHBACK • July 27 THE J.J. JOHNSON BAND • July 28

Must be 21 or older to gamble. Must be a mychoice ® member to receive mychoice discount. Must be at least 18 or accompanied by an adult to enter Star Pavilion. Must be at least 21 to enter Depot #9. Tickets available online at Ticketmaster.com or at the Gift Shop (service charges and handling fees may apply). No refunds/exchanges unless canceled or postponed. Offer not valid for persons on a Disassociated Patrons, Voluntary Exclusion or Self Exclusion List in jurisdictions which Pinnacle Entertainment operates or who have been otherwise excluded from Ameristar Kansas City, MO. Gambling problem? Call 1-888-BETSOFF. ©2018 Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved.

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THE PITCH | JULY 2018 | pitch.com


Generosity, community & new ways to experience art.

Free.

Open until 9 p.m. Thursdays & Fridays.

Paul D’Amato, American (born 1956). Tashma, 2008. Inkjet print, 40 × 31 inches. Purchase: acquired through the generosity of The Photography Society, 2017.47.2.

nelson-atkins.org pitch.com | JULY 2018 | THE PITCH

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CONTENTS

THE PITCH

Publisher Stephanie Carey Editor David Hudnall Digital Editor Kelcie McKenney Contributing Writers Tracy Abeln, Traci Angel, Liz Cook, Karen Dillon, April Fleming, Natalie Gallagher, Roxie Hammill, Libby Hanssen, Deborah Hirsch, Larry Kopitnik, Angela Lutz, Dan Lybarger, David Martin, Eric Melin, Annie Raab, Aaron Rhodes, Barbara Shelly, Nick Spacek, Lucas Wetzel Little Village Creative Services Jordan Sellergren Contributing Photographers Zach Bauman, Chase Castor, Jennifer Wetzel Graphic Designers Jennifer Larson, Kelcie McKenney, Katie McNeil, Gianfranco Ocampo, Kirsten Overby, Alex Peak, Vu Radley Director of Marketing & Promotions Jason Dockery Senior Multimedia Specialist Steven Suarez Multimedia Specialists Becky Losey Director of Operations Andrew Miller Multimedia Intern Kate Scofield Design Intern Danielle Moore

CAREY MEDIA

Chief Executive Officer Stephanie Carey Chief Operating Officer Adam Carey

VOICE MEDIA GROUP

National Advertising 1-888-278-9866 vmgadvertising.com

7 GET OUT

Your July Agenda What to do and where to be this month. BY DAVID HUDNALL

9 PERSONS OF INTEREST

Phoebe Rain and Tiffani Starr The pair behind Rubbish Co. on turning trash into art and activism. BY KELCIE MCKENNEY

10 NEWS

Inside Job Tina Gallego was harassed, threatened, and then poisoned while working as a corrections officer in a West Bottoms prison. Her abusers weren’t the inmates. BY KAREN DILLON

DISTRIBUTION

The Pitch 1627 Main St., #600, Kansas City, MO 64108

18

Eat This Now Pupusas at Dos De Oros Taqueria BY APRIL FLEMING

26 Last Straw

Why you’re increasingly less likely to encounter plastic straws in Kansas City establishments. BY ANDREA LERAY

28 Hall Pass

For information or to share a story tip, email tips@pitch.com For advertising: stephanie.carey@pitch.com or 816-218-6702

THE PITCH | JULY 2018 | pitch.com

FOOD

Drink This Now The Louisiana Purchase at the Monarch Bar BY APRIL FLEMING

CAFÉ

COPYRIGHT

22

Russian Meddling Boris Tudeth is shaking up KC’s drag scene. BY NATALIE GALLAGHER

On an Island Ron Rico attempts to bring the Caribbean to the Crossroads. BY LIZ COOK

The contents of The Pitch are Copyright 2018 by Carey Media. No portion may be reproduced in whole or in part by any means without the express written permission of the publisher.

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14 FEATURE

The Pitch distributes 35,000 copies a month and is available free throughout Greater Kansas City, limited to one copy per reader. Additional copies may be purchased for $5 each, payable at The Pitch’s office in advance. The Pitch may be distributed only by The Pitch’s authorized independent contractors or authorized distributors. No person may, without prior written permission of The Pitch, take more than one copy of each week’s issue. Mail subscriptions: $22.50 for six months or $45 per year, payable in advance. Application to mail at second-class postage rates is pending at Kansas City, MO 64108.

For classifieds: steven.suarez@pitch.com or 816-218-6732

14

COVER

Boris Tudeth (aka Jessica Boydston) by Zach Bauman

Food courts for foodies are coming to KC. We break ‘em down for you. BY APRIL FLEMING


CONTENTS

30 ARTS

Fresh Legs The Kansas City Dance Festival highlights new works as it leaps into its sixth year. BY LIBBY HANSSEN

32 MUSIC

DIY Home Awful House is shutting down, but not before hosting a weekend of local and international gems of the underground. BY AARON RHODES

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34 FILM

Neighborhood Watch Mr. Rogers and a few other characters are here to fight the July blockbuster doldrums. BY ERIC MELIN

36 SAVAGE LOVE

Blown Away “Yes, I have been sucking my straight friend’s cock.” Also: threesome etiquette. BY DAN SAVAGE

38 CALENDAR

July Listings More summer events not to miss.

Letter from the Publisher I’m not even embarrassed to tell you how much I am enjoying our “Wanted: Best of KC” theme for The Pitch’s upcoming Best of Kansas City issue. There are not enough Western images and emojis in the world for me to get sick of this thing. In fact, I need more emojis. I’ve already used all the ones I could find. All the credit for our theme this year goes to the amazing Pitch team who helped brainstorm our theme around a conference table on a Monday morning in April. And if you’ve been thinking, “Wow, Best Of KC started early this year,” you are not wrong. We opted to do a two-round approach. Here’s why: I believe there are two types of people with a bit of crossover. There is the person who upon asking would love to rattle off a list of her favorite people, places, and things in Kansas City. You know this person. She’s the one in the friend group who takes the lead on picking the happy hour spot. But there’s another type of person who has opinions but wants to see the options before picking her favorite. That’s why we’re holding a second voting round in August once the top picks have been narrowed. So: get to nominating. You’ll find a link on at www.pitch.com/ bestofkc18, or you can get to it from our Facebook page. If you’ve broken up with Facebook, hit me up and I’ll send you a link. And I hope to see you all out and about during Burger Week, July 16-22. Vegetarians: we even have a treat for you! Get moo-ving! Cheers, Stephanie @queenofquirky #OurPitch


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THE PITCH | JULY 2018 | pitch.com


GET OUT

July lessly and releasing new music at a frenzied pace. Most of it is quite good — earnest but rollicking, it strives for the mystical purity of giants like John Prine, the Grateful Dead, Van Morrison, even the Meters. Here, Hiss opens for St. Paul & the Broken Bones, a sixpiece soul act hailing from Birmingham, Alabama.

Dinosaurs Revealed: Journey Across America

FIERCELY LOYAL. ALWAYS THERE WHEN YOU NEED. REPRESENTING YOU SO WELL, THEY’LL THINK WE’RE YOU.

GOT YOUR BACK BY STANDING AT YOUR SIDE.

LAST: NEGOTIATOR

MAKING SURE YOU NEVER HAVE TO GO IT ALONE Have you ever been around someone who truly loves what they do? Their passion is infectious. You can practically feel their integrity. You want those people around you, especially when you enter into the world that they live and breathe. Now imagine that world is buying or selling a home. That person is a REALTOR®, they’re the ones who will not only have your back but the backs of all home and private property owners. Why? Because they love it. And because it’s right.

{

NEXT: MATCHMAKER

LOYAL DEDICATED COMMUNICATIVE TRUSTWORTHY PROACTIVE CREATIVE AVAILABLE EDUCATED PROTECTIVE EMPATHETIC

R E A LTO R S ® TA K E O N M A N Y R O L E S .

WWW.WHICHROLE.COM

Tuesday, July 3 through the end of the year, Union Station dinosaursrevealed.com

The latest show at Union Station, a world premiere, features over two dozen moving, life-size dinosaur models, plus fossils, full-body skeletons, and other dinosaur-centric interactive exhibits. Tickets to Dinosaurs Revealed — which runs through December — are $15 on weekdays, $18 on weekends.

Vans Warped Tour

Thursday, July 5, Providence Medical Center Amphitheater providencekc.com

A teenage summertime tradition since 1995, the Vans Warped Tour is ending after this year (though some kind of one-off celebration is reportedly planned for 2019 in celebration of its 25th anniversary). An assortment of emo, punk, and rock acts will wish the cross-country tour farewell at its Kansas City stop, among them the Used, Reel Big Fish, Simple Plan, and We the Kings.

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit

Friday, July 13, Providence Medical Center Amphitheater providencekc.com

Looking for inspiration to make big changes in your life? Jason Isbell quit a popular band (Drive-By Truckers) in 2007, gave up drinking, and started a solo career more or less from scratch. He’s now one of the most successful songwriters in America, with Grammys on the mantle, the talented vio-

Hiss Golden Messenger

Thursday, July 12, Crossroads KC at Grinders crossroadskc.com

M.C. Taylor’s soulful, North Carolina-based folk-rock act has been on a tear the last few years, touring relentpitch.com | JULY 2018 | THE PITCH

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GET OUT

ON linist Amanda Shires as a wife, and a bad-ass band accompanying him to ever-larger venues. Fellow Americana acts Turnpike Troubadours and Old 97s open this show.

The Pitch’s Burger Week

Monday, July 16–Sunday, July 22, Multiple restaurants pitch.com

The Pitch’s annual celebration of the almighty burger is once again upon us. And the way we’ve set it up, you don’t have to do anything except go to one of the participating restaurants — among them, American Slang, Dempsey’s, Hogshead, HopCat, Howard’s, Green Room, Tavernonna, Smitty’s Garage — and eat a delicious burger made by Kansas City’s most talented chefs. And you only pay $5. And that’s it. See pitch.com for the full list of restaurants.

with Kurt Vile, the Australian singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett has returned this year with her sophomore solo album, Tell Me How Your Really Feel. Like its predecessor, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit, and Barnett herself, the new one — full of wry observations and thoughtful slice-of-life sketches delivered in a deadpan Down Under accent — is very hard not to like.

Buzz Beach Ball 2018

Friday, July 27, Providence Medical Center Amphitheater beachballkc.com

Thomas Frank

Tuesday, July 17, 6:30 p.m., Kansas City Public Library, Plaza Branch rainydaybooks.com

The Baffler founder, What’s the Matter with Kansas? author, and native Kansas Citian Thomas Frank has been ahead of the curve on nearly every socio-political-economic topic on which he’s weighed in over the last 30 years. He was especially correct in 2016, when he published Listen Liberal, which critiqued the Democratic Party’s abandonment of the working class. Trump, of course, won by capturing many of those working-class voters, and since his election Frank has continued to write feverishly about the failings of neoliberal politics. He returns to his hometown to read from his latest, Rendezvous with Oblivion: Reports from a Sinking Society, a collection of essays on inequality in America.

Courtney Barnett

Wednesday, July 18, The Truman thetrumankc.com

Fresh off a well-received collab album

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THE PITCH | JULY 2018 | pitch.com

KRBZ 96.5 The Buzz’s long-running summer concert returns with a roster of Buzz-approved artists, including Portugal. The Man, AWOLNATION, Rainbow Kitten Surprise, and Robert Delong. They’ve tossed a few local acts into the mix as well — the Get Up Kids, Hembree — for good measure.

Drake, with Migos

Tuesday, July 31, Sprint Center sprintcenter.com

If you’re reading this, Drake’s new album, Scorpion, has dropped, and along with it, presumably, several fresh rounds of Drake-inspired memes and possibly some gasoline on the fiery beef he’s currently got going with Pusha T. Even if Scorpion is a flop, Drake will likely remain the biggest name in hip-hop, and this show, featuring the trendsetting trap trio Migos, promises to be a stunner.

PROP A = RIGHT TO WORK FOR LESS Proposition A is wrong for Missouri. It is an unnecessary, unfair government overreach into the workplace that distracts from the real issues like creating jobs and improving schools. Proposition A is being promoted by a wellcoordinated network of out-of-state billionaires, super PACs, and corporate special interest groups that are down-sizing, shipping jobs overseas, and hiding profits offshore to avoid paying the same taxes families and small businesses must pay. Proposition A would lead to lower wages, median household income in Right-to-Work states is on average $8740 less. Proposition A would give even more power to big corporations at a time when CEO pay has grown 364 times higher than what the average worker makes.

VOTE NO ON

PROPOSITION A TO REPEAL RIGHT TO WORK AND PUT WORKING PEOPLE BEFORE GREEDY CEOs

FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT:

VoteNoONA.org

PAID FOR BY IBEW PAC, KENNETH COOPER-TREASURER


GET OUT

What kind of recycled materials are you using? Starr: Everything you find in the recycling bin. Sequins cut out of gift bags, an air mattress that was punctured by a cat that was not usable anymore. We have a skirt that I made out of old photographs, a repurposed backpack, old fabric, old fitted shoes, old toys... But it’s not just recycled clothing. Starr: We obviously want to bring awareness to repurposing clothing and material, but that isn’t the only thing that’s clogging up our landfills and ruining our oceans. It’s plastic. Rain: So I have a coat made out of all plastic. Starr: It’s gigantic, it’s so beautiful. And bottle caps — you could find 50 just walking outside on the road. Are these clothing items meant to be functional, or just admired? Rain: It’s more like wearable art pieces. We don’t look at ourselves at all as fashion designers. This is one collection called The Landfill Line. It’s just one go-around. But yeah, all the pieces are wearable and comfortable.

PERSONS OF INTEREST

Phoebe Rain and Tiffani Starr THE PAIR BEHIND RUBBISH CO. ON TURNING TRASH INTO ART AND ACTIVISM. BY KELCIE MCKENNEY

Rubbish Co. is a young organization, as is the duo behind it: Phoebe Rain and Tiffani Starr. Since the beginning of the year, the environmentally minded pair has been finding fresh ways to merge art and conservation — a practice they call “artivism.” They’ve made clothes — in June, five of their trash-turnedoutfit pieces walked in the West 18th Street Fashion show — and, on Earth Day, they helped organize a four-mile cleanup of Loose Park. On Friday, July 6, they’ll host “Rubbish Co. Feat. Young Guns Longboards Presents: Bridging the Gap to Artivism at The Bauer,” an auction of local art to raise money for the sustainable nonprofit Bridging the Gap. Below, Rain and Starr reply to our queries. Instagram: @rubbish.co

When did you guys start Rubbish Co.? Rain: She was a model and I was a photographer, and we met on site. Starr: We both have the goal to get people to reconsider waste, discarding, purchasing single-use items, and the way we reuse. How did fashion come out of that? Starr: We got invited to participate in it [the West 18th Street Fashion Show], and we thought it would be a really great platform to bring awareness to conservation and how people can rethink the way that they purchase their fashion products. Rain: Plastic is everywhere. It’s in everything. We’re so wasteful with it. So I think it was really cool to show ways you could repurpose [certain] items when it comes to fast fashion.

Rain (left): “I thought it was really cool to show ways you could repurpose plastic items when it comes to fast fashion.”

RUBBISH CO. WILL HOST “‘BRIDGING THE GAP TO ARTIVISM” WITH YOUNG GUNS LONGBOARDS IN THE PARKING LOT OF THE BAUER (115 W. 18TH STREET) ON FRIDAY, JULY 6.

Talk about Bridging the Gap to Artivism. Will some of these items be there? Starr: We actually aren’t featuring any pieces at all. It’s not our artwork. This was a cohesive effort with Young Guns Longboards in order to highlight local artists in Kansas City and local vendors in Kansas City. Rain: And raise money for Bridging the Gap, who organizes clean-ups and plants trees in the community. Starr: We want to make sure people are excited about giving back to the community and excited about their local artists and supporting everyone around. Who will be at the event? Rain: We have 10 local artists there, including Alex Anderson, Elaina Mcendree, and Jared Horman. We’ll also have a food truck and local breweries like Stockyard Brewing Co. that will be donating beer and gift cards. Starr: We have a ticket fee: a piece of trash to get through the gate. Rain: Yes! And you’ll get a free drink card. And each artist will then have a piece or more up for auction, and those proceeds will go to Bridging the Gap. What else is Rubbish Co. up to? Rain: What’s in the works right now, really, is that we are forming into an e-commerce store. So we’ll have an online store that will be a large variety of different curated, sustainable goods. Household goods, health and wellness things, beauty. Things that are packaged sustainably, made sustainably. Starr: We want other people, if this is an important thing for them — we want to work with you. We want to go clean up with you. We want to do all the things that we can do to make our community shine just a little bit brighter. pitch.com | JULY 2018 | THE PITCH

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NEWS

JEREMY LUTHER

Inside Job TINA GALLEGO WAS HARASSED, THREATENED, AND THEN POISONED BY COWORKERS WHILE WORKING AS A CORRECTIONS OFFICER IN A WEST BOTTOMS PRISON. THE AG’S OFFICE OFFERED HER $1.6 MILLION, BUT THE PROBLEMS AT THE MISSOURI DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS HAVEN’T GONE AWAY. BY KAREN DILLON

When Tina Gallego, a Missouri prison guard, complained to her superintendent about the disgusting names her male counterparts were calling her and other female corrections officers — “cunt,” “bitch,” “whore” — she was told if she didn’t like it, she could get a job at Walmart. A few months later, Gallego, who was employed at the state prison in Kansas City’s West Bottoms, testified in a fellow female guard’s discrimination trial. After returning to work, she entered a housing unit to tell an inmate it was time for dinner, according to a deposition obtained by

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THE PITCH | JULY 2018 | pitch.com

The Pitch. The inmate was watching television. His eyes didn’t leave the screen, but he gave Gallego some chilling advice. “They’re out to kill you, Mrs. G,” he said. “Don’t come back to work. I’m warning you.” Later that night, one of the three male guards at the prison known for subjecting female guards to filthy language and inappropriate touching told Gallego, “We’re going to whip your ass,” according to her testimony. Fearful for her life, Gallego was allowed to take a paid leave of absence. Six

“THEY’RE OUT TO KILL YOU, MRS. G,” THE PRISONER SAID. “DON’T COME BACK TO WORK. I’M WARNING YOU.”

months later, she was ordered her to either return to work or be fired. The three male guards had been let go. Gallego needed the money, so she went back to her old job. At which point she was poisoned. Nine days after returning to the West Bottoms prison, Gallego says she opened a can of Pepsi while in a housing unit. She took a few sips, then was summoned to a different area of the prison. She returned to retrieve her belongings, including the Pepsi. She took a drink. It tasted bitter. She drank a little more and then tossed the can in the trash. Within hours her feet and legs began to swell and welts appeared on her body. Then she got dizzy and sick to her stomach. At home, she continued to vomit. But she didn’t want to go to the emergency room. It would be too expensive, Gallego said in the deposition. Her pay was only $34,000 a year. A former workmate took her to a doctor who concluded, after an examination that included blood work, that her problem was not viral.


FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2018 6-9 PM | PARKING LOT BEHIND THE WELL 7421 BROADWAY

LAST YEAR’S EVENT SOLD OUT

S O G E T Y O U R T I C K E T S T O D A Y! FOR INFORMATION & TICKETS VISIT PITCH.COM/TICKETS TICKETS $25 GA OR $35 VIP VIP ENTRY AT 6PM / GA ENTRY AT 6:30


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THUR 7/5

STEAMBOAT BANDITS BLUEGRASS JAM

FRI 7/6

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SAT 7/7

BETTER OFF DEAD

WED 7/11

JEFF, NORM & DAVE

THUR 7/12 BARCLAY BROTHERS FRI 7/13

COUNTER CULTURE

SAT 7/14

ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS 5PM

WED 7/18 THUR 7/19 FRI 7/20

RAMPLERS 9PM JEFF, NORM & DAVE CHRIS HUDSON & CHAD BROTHERS TBA

SAT 7/21

GET READY ROCK STEADY FEAT: TEENAGE HEART SOUND SYSTEM & TEXAS SPIN BYRD

WED 7/25

JEFF & NORM

THURS 7/26 NACE BROTHERS ACOUSTIC TRIO

FRI 7/27

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SAT 7/28

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“‘There’s no doubt in my mind that you’ve been poisoned,’” Gallego said the doctor told her. Gallego filed her own discrimination lawsuit in late 2016, and the trial was scheduled for June of this year. Recently, though, Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley made Gallego an offer she couldn’t refuse: $1.6 million to settle the case. “I wasn’t afraid to go to trial,” Gallego, who is now 52 and works at the Johnson County Corrections Department, in Olathe, tells The Pitch, “but I didn’t want my family or myself to go through this anymore.” Hawley, who is currently running for U.S. Senate, said because of his schedule he could not fit in an interview. Hawley was elected attorney general around the same time that Gallego filed her lawsuit. When asked about the hefty settlement, Hawley’s press secretary Mary Compton sent an emailed response that said: “We looked at the merits of the case and determined a settlement at this level would be in the best interest of the State.” The Pitch first reported on the culture of corruption, harassment, and retaliation inside the Missouri Department of Corrections in November 2016. We found that the victims were often female corrections officers, and that perpetrators regularly received little or no discipline. Some employees, including those at the Kansas City Re-Entry Center, the minimum-security prison where Gallego worked, kept their jobs despite ample documentation describing actions that were lewd, debasing, and vulgar. The Pitch also found that taxpayers have footed the bill for millions of dollars in jury awards, lawsuit settlements, and legal fees — amounts that the state legislative committee members assigned to overseeing DOC say they weren’t informed about. After the story was published, then-Governor Eric Greitens fired longtime DOC director George Lombardi and hired Anne Precythe. Precythe, who arrived from the North Carolina Department of Correction, has replaced most of the senior managers and many of the wardens. Notably, though, the majority of those positions were filled internally and not through outside hires. The state legislature conducted its own probe of the troubled department. As part of its findings, the legislature recommended that the attorney general provide the DOC legislative oversight committee a monthly report of all lawsuit settlements and judgments. According to the report and the attorney general’s office, the cost to taxpayers so far this year for harassment and discrimination of DOC guards is $4.96 million. That compares to $1.5 million in all of 2017. In Gallego’s case, she was paid

“THERE IS AN INHERENT PROBLEM THE DEPARTMENT CAN’T GET AWAY FROM,” CUTT SAYS. “AND THAT IS THE DEPARTMENT IS INVESTIGATING ITSELF.”

$800,000 in April. Her attorneys also will receive $800,000, but the state will not make that payment until the new fiscal year begins in July. No explanation has been given for why that payment is being delayed. (In addition, the $800,000 payment to Gallego was not included in the April monthly report. May’s report has not been released.) Despite the legislative investigation, rule changes, and new senior management, Tim Cutt, grievance officer for the Missouri Corrections Officers Association (MOCOA), says problems remain. “Names have changed,” Cutt says. “But that’s all that’s changed. There is an inherent problem the department can’t get away from, and that is the department is investigating itself.” Cutt says complaints to his office have continued: “People call all the time.” Karen Pojmann, DOC communications director, did not return a phone call to discuss DOC problems. It’s difficult to gage whether the department changes and new policies have improved the treatment of female guards and those guards with disabilities. Hawley’s office has yet to fill a Sunshine request for the number of new discrimination lawsuits filed since he took office in January 2017. But litigators in Kansas City say discrimination lawsuits are continuing to be filed and trials are scheduled for August and September in two Jackson County cases. And another case is scheduled for August in Cole County. Gary Gross, director of MOCOA, says the DOC’s problems “are not being addressed any better than they were before.” The fact that Missouri’s corrections officers are some of the lowest paid in the country doesn’t help matters, Gross notes. He’s also critical of how the DOC promoted from within in the aftermath of the explosive revelations. Many of those promoted have the same bad habits as the previous managers. And some of the bad managers weren’t let go, Gross says; they were just transferred. “My opinion is that it has not been a house cleaning,” he says. “It’s musical chairs.” As for Gallego, she says she’s ready to put her experience in the West Bottoms behind her. She says she likes her new job in Johnson County. But she still has moments of paranoia. “Because I told the truth, my whole life changed in a day,” Gallego says of her decision to testify in the original discrimination trial. “I spent a lot of time living on couches and not knowing what the next day was going to bring or how I was going to make it. I prayed to God. That’s the one thing they couldn’t take. They couldn’t take my faith.”


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FEATURE

Russian Meddling BORIS TUDETH IS SHAKING UP KC’S DRAG SCENE. BY NATALIE GALLAGHER

On a recent Thursday night at Hamburger Mary’s, in midtown, a succession of drag artists takes the stage — each outfit seemingly more audacious than the last, each wig taller and bigger, each performer doing a special number for the American Idol-style panel of judges in the back of the room. The occasion is Drag Survivor, a 13week competition that kicked off in late May and will conclude on August 16. It’s hosted by veteran Kansas City queen Widow Von’Du (aka Ray Fry), and the winner receives a $500 cash prize, a handful of high-profile local and out-of-town bookings, and bragging rights. A sash, too. Most of the performers on this balmy evening are queens, and their acts tend to follow a predictable pattern. A sultry, demure start builds to a flashy wardrobe reveal, at which point the queen dismounts from the stage, weaves her way through the audience, swings her padded hips, bats her long false lashes, and tucks the audience’s dollar bills between her fingers. Then back to the stage to hear from the judges: “Girl, your look is fierce, but you gotta know your song better”; “I always say, if you’re not wearing titties, you’re not serving a look.” Competition’s stiff. Lana Luxx (Landon Patterson) is an arresting beauty who moves like a mermaid through her sea of adoring fans. Jenna Giovanni (Justin Gladman) is a bearded queen who can do a death drop without breaking a sweat. But perhaps the show’s most formidable contender is not a queen, but a drag king named Boris Tudeth. (Get it?) Boris is one of Kansas City’s most notorious drag artists, and he stands out — not only among the horde of queens (and two other kings) competing in Drag Survivor, but in the context of drag itself. A lot of drag kings are female performers who adopt a hyper-masculine persona, setting their routines to hard-rock music and displaying machismo cliches. Not Boris. He has a distractingly large penis, sure, but death drops and high kicks aren’t in his repertoire. He wears a mismatched three-piece houndstooth suit and lip-syncs to Depeche Mode’s “Just Can’t Get Enough.” As he struts about, he pulls out pouches — then kilos, then trash bags — full of “cocaine.” The first chorus is punctuated with delicate snorts; later, he’s rubbing the substance on his gums; and before long, he’s tossing fistfuls of (presumably) baking soda in the air and spinning around delightedly as it rains down on surrounding audience members. The packed house at Mary’s loves it at least as much as the judges. Boris, Widow

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THE PITCH | JULY 2018 | pitch.com

Von’Du tells me later, “could probably take this whole competition.” •

Days later, Jessica Boydston sits on the patio at Mary’s, wearing a Boulet Brothers’ Dragula tank top. She’s pulling up You-

Tube videos on her phone of the Red Elvises, the long-running Russian surf-rock band Boydston cites as a major influence on Boris. Out of costume, Boydston is unrecognizable as the tacky, trashy character she so often embodies. Her short, jet-black hair hangs loosely about her ears. She has deep dimples and a sweet, girlish laugh that

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make her seem younger than her 30-something years. She says Boris first came to her in 2010, as a Halloween costume idea. She liked the idea of a disreputable, gold-toothed slimeball with an occasional Russian accent who told dirty jokes like Chelsea Handler at an open bar. It was the first time Boydston ever dressed in drag. “I don’t have much of a backstory as far as where he came from,” Boydston says of Boris. “I like to keep that ambiguous, because I like to tell tall tales about ‘back in Russia.’ I like to say: ‘The only thing that fucks with gay people more than Mike Pence is Russia, so I needed to get the hell outta there. So I landed in Ellis Island, and the first call that I got was Hamburger Mary, and she told me she’d make all my wildest dreams come true … in Kansas City, Missouri.’” Boydston describes Boris’ personality as “the intersection of Borat and Ron Jeremy.” He dresses the part: a bold, brassy ’70s print clashes with a satin cummerbund and a rhinestone-studded velvet smoking jacket in one look; a leather motorcycle jacket, chaps, and harness complete another. “Boris is like a crow,” Boydston says. “He’s immediately attracted to anything shiny. Big, over-the-top problem patterns are huge for Boris. One of my favorite looks is [the mismatched houndstooth suit]. The pants, jacket, and vest are all different houndstooth, and that stupid cerebral joke is so gaggy to me. And that’s important: The joke is always on Boris.” Despite all the comedy — Boydston has a tendency to punctuate nearly every statement, no matter how serious, with a joke — it’s apparent Boydston has ruminated on the Boris character more than his preposterous stage presence might lead you to believe. “I always feel like there’s more of Jessica in Boris than there is Boris in Jessica,” she says. “I was having this conversation with one of my friends, and he was like, ‘Anything that you do, even if you do it as Boris, you created Boris, so there’s nothing that Boris does that’s outside of who Jessica is.’ That made me go inward with my drag and allow more of me to be present. I realized that this character is always me, and that’s what people have always found funny — I have to trust my instincts with it.” For Boydston, that means taking liberties. Drag has given her an outlet for her comedic and artistic interests, and she gives Boris carte blanche. “As a woman, you worry about what you look like, but Boris doesn’t care,” she


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FEATURE

says. “As Jessica, I would never show my stomach in public, but as Boris, it’s just all hanging out.” Crowds are latching on. In 2014, Boydston started performing occasionally at Missie B’s as Boris. In March 2016, after catching a performance, Hamburger Mary’s co-owner Jeff Edmondson offered Boris a standing Tuesday night residency. “The first time I saw him perform, I laughed my behind off,” Edmondson says. “I loved how she had really thought through the entire character and done a really good job of taking it to that next level. Most really successful drag artists come up with a character and really follow it through, and I felt like Jessica had done that with Boris.” Originally, Boris’ Big Time Show was a variety hour that combined comedy skits and interactive audience games. These days, it’s — structurally, at least — more of a traditional drag show. Drag queen Cynthia Doll co-hosts, and there’s tonguein-cheek questions of the guests (“What’s your weirdest Grindr hookup?”; “If you could be any Kardashian, which would it be?) in between a mix of veteran and newbie drag performances. (“I’ve had a lot of people’s first time in drag on my stage be-

cause Mary’s allows under-21 performers,” Bodyston says. “I really do enjoy that aspect of seeing performers grow.”) The show has moved from every Tuesday to one Sunday a month. “The Boris show is by far our most popular,” Edmondson says. “Boris packs the place.” • • • Despite drag’s push into mainstream pop culture — RuPaul’s Drag Race has been on the air since 2009, and has garnered its host two Emmys and a nod as one of Time’s 100 most influential people of 2017 — it’s mostly queens, not kings, who get the glory. While drag queens star in revues that go on major tours, kings are mostly relegated to the sidelines. That’s true at a national level (RuPaul, for the near-decade his show has been running, has yet to allow kings to compete), and it’s certainly true locally. “That’s why, when I started the competition, I didn’t want it to be open to just drag queens,” says Widow. “There are other performers in our city who deserve some spotlight, and I’m hoping that with my competition, I hope I have at least one king in the top three. That would open doors for ZACH BAUMAN

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“Some people say to [paint your face] for the back row or the end of the block. I say paint for the next zip code.”

kings in the city and show that there are more than queens — you just have to open your eyes.” It takes Boydston about four hours to become Boris. The most time-consuming part is the makeup. “Drag is the exclamation point on everything,” Boydston says. “When painting your face for the stage, some people say to paint for the back row or paint for the end of the block — I say paint for the next zip code. I want you to see my cheekbones from space. There’s the Great Wall, and there’s Boris’s cheekbones.” Then comes the hair — a slicked, shiny, combed-over mass of pomade and glitter, plus imposing sideburns and caterpillar eyebrows. Her breasts are bound with an abdominal medical binder, and a penis — a foot and a half of pantyhose stuffed with cotton that reaches her knee — is affixed to thick nylon underwear. (This garment, Boydston notes, was custom-made for her by Sandy Kaye, a renowned Kansas City

drag queen.) “I want you to see me coming, but not in a weird way,” Boydston says — then pauses, reconsidering her words. “Well… I mean, it is Boris,” she adds with a laugh. On stage at Drag Survivor, after the conclusion of his song, Boris locates a few extra pouches of cocaine, which he then selflessly shares with Widow while awaiting the judges’ feedback. “For a moment, I totally forgot that song wasn’t about drugs,” says Moltyn Decadence, aka Ryan Webster. “That was absolutely perfect. You killed it.” For the first few weeks of Drag Survivor, Boris has held one of the top two scores — not bad for a woman performing in a man’s world. “Each week, I am thoroughly impressed with what Boris does,” says Widow. “He is shining a light and showing that there are drag kings that put in the same amount of work as any of the queens, and it’s about time that someone is finally stepping up and doing it. That’s Boris. He’s making big waves. “I don’t know if he knows it,” Widow adds, “but he is literally changing the way people see drag kings in this city.”

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THE PITCH | JULY 2018 | pitch.com

It is a mark of adulthood, I think, to be able to hold in one’s head two ideas that seem in constant tension. For instance, it is possible to eat at a Puerto Rican restaurant and rum bar that involves no Puerto Ricans. It is possible for that restaurant and rum bar to be called “Ron Rico” but have no relationship with Ronrico®, the bargain-basement rum that tastes like acetone gussied up for the homecoming dance. It is possible to bask in the warmth of a tranquil mural of San Juan while you put money directly into the pockets of a Kansas City-based Republican pollster who works for Jeff Roe, one of the most repulsive political operatives in America. And it is possible to know all of these things — to eat of the Plantain of the

Knowledge of Good and Evil — and still enjoy a meal at Ron Rico. For many diners, the novelty alone will make Ron Rico worth a trip. Kansas City is short on options for Puerto Rican food, which is one of the reasons brothers Nate and Titus Bond pegged the cuisine for their new East Crossroads eatery. “People [here] didn’t know what Puerto Rican food was,” Nate Bond, the restaurant’s chef, told me by phone. The Bond bros have collaborated on restaurants for years (they previously coowned Crown Point Tavern in the Northland and Messy’s Birds and Brews in Midtown and Brookside). But Titus Bond has spent most of that time in the background, working as president of the Remington Research Group, the polling firm that predict-


CAFE

Ron Rico 404 E 18th St., 816-421-1224 ronricokc.com

Hours Tuesday–Thursday 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Friday and Saturday 12 p.m.–11 p.m. Sunday 11 a.m.–8 p.m.

Prices: Cocktails: $7–$13 Appetizers $7–$10

San Juan on the prairie.

Entrees $11–$21 ed Trump’s 2016 victory in several key battleground states. Chef Nate Bond has been the creative force in the kitchen. Here, Chef Bond’s menu skews traditional — heavy on the pork, heavy on the plantains, heavy on the tropical fruits. The prime draw is the mofongo relleno, a dish that can be hard to find locally. Bond mashes fried green plantains with olive oil, garlic, and chicharrón and packs them into a fez-shaped mound of savory starch (note for herbivores: the mofongo can be ordered and prepared without the chicharrón). Diners can douse their monument to plantains with one of two sauces — creamy garlic or sweet creole — and top it with churrasco (skirt steak), chicken, shrimp, grilled pork, or veggies. On my first visit, our server advised me to stick with the creamy garlic sauce. It was the right call. The sauce was flavorful and heavily salted, providing a sharp contrast to

Best bet: Order the mofongo de relleno with churrasco and creamy garlic sauce. If you like piña coladas…you know the drill.

the neutral starch. And the plantains were tender enough to sop up every gram. I was curious enough to try the sweet creole sauce on a later visit; you need not make the same mistake. The watery relish tasted more sweet than creole and had the squeaky texture of food processor salsa.

Another staple? The churrasco and chimichurri, which Bond executes better than anything else on the menu. The thick cut of skirt steak is marinated in adobo, Sazon, soy sauce, and vinegar before a speed date with the grill. When I ordered it, the steak arrived a perfect medium rare, frapitch.com | JULY 2018 | THE PITCH

19


CAFE

bland, though the beans were gorgeously plump and tender. The tostones — crisp green plantain chips served alongside most entrees — cried out for a sprinkle of salt. And the carne guisada, a plate of shredded beef braised in red wine, was the Sean Spicer of meals: soft, sweaty, and less interesting than its name would imply. It was also $18, highlighting another of Ron Rico’s inconsistencies, which is pricing. Sure, some entrees here feel like steals. I’m thinking of a plate-sized Cubano sandwich groaning with supple roast pork, thin sliced ham, and swiss cheese. Bond slathers on enough hot mustard and pickles to cut through the rich flavors, making this one of the more memorable (and meaty) Cubanos I’ve had. The sandwich is $13, but sized to share with a friend (or take a half home for dinner) — and that’s before you consider the small mountain of crisp-battered fries piled alongside it. Other dishes made me glad The Pitch was picking up the check. I wanted to love Bond’s made-from-scratch pastellilos, the runty cousin of empanadas. The pastellilos de guava arrived handsomely browned with crisp-crimped edges, and the shortcrust pastry was flaky and rich. The flavors,

5

grant with soy sauce and lush with acid. The crown of cilantro chimichurri was the only accompaniment I needed — I could have done without the pale iceberg side salad and its anemic hunks of hothouse tomato. For a bargain pick, order the Tripleta, a grilled sandwich named for a trio of meat that seems designed to test the tensile strength of its bun. Ron Rico’s version is layered like a trifle with generous hunks of roast pork, tender shreds of sofrito chicken, and chubby slices of tender skirt steak. Swiss cheese melts into every crag of Mount Meat, while a sprinkle of shredded cabbage lends it a veneer of respectability. This is a solid sandwich, executed well: each meat adds its own distinct savory notes to the hedonistic orchestra, and the crisp-toasted bun keeps everything contained. Navigating through Ron Rico’s extensive menu can be a frustrating exercise in near-misses. The masitas de cerdo (chunks of crusted, pan-fried pork) provided a carousel of textures, each crisp-crusted exterior giving way to a succulent morsel of moist pork. But the meat itself was tepidly seasoned, rebounding what ought to have been a slam dunk. The side of arroz con habichuelas (rice and beans) was similarly

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THE PITCH | JULY 2018 | pitch.com

UN

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CAFE

too, were laudable. The gooey edam cheese paired well with a sweet but assertive guava sauce. But on the night I tried them, the pastries were seriously underfilled — and given that $8-for-two price tag, I felt cheated on the cheese. As appetizers go, the queso frito was a better value. This is a dish you learn to love, like the jock in every teen movie who discovers glasses and ponytails aren’t terminal. When it first hit the table, I reached right past it for a sip of my mojito. But then I looked closely: five chubby/creamy slices of queso de frier peered up at me from the plate, their faces toasted a mottled brown. Each was nestled demurely into a convict-orange guava sauce; each was a pleasing bundle of salt and fat and sweet. That dish may be a good analog for the restaurant itself. For all my surface reservations about Ron Rico, it’s a pleasant enough place to pass an evening. The dining room is festooned with faux palms and rattan lamp shades, the west wall drips with a dreamy mural of San Juan landmarks (rendered by local artists Isaac Tapia and Rodrigo Alvarez), and the drink menu winks at you in cheery Comic Sans. The drinks on that menu are summer

Do

in a glass, provided your vision of summer involves rum and fruit juice. During happy hour, you can score $5 versions of the restaurant’s three batched cocktails — a “Boricua punch,” a piña colada, and a rosé sangria. All three are worth ordering. The Boricua punch had unexpected depth thanks to striations of papaya, guava, pineapple, and mango juices. The piña colada was a dangerously smooth froth of astringent pineapple and rich coconut cream. And the rosé sangria tasted like the Polyjuice Potion for a wealthy JoCo housewife. According to Chef Bond, the most popular drink is the “classic mojito,” which the restaurant recreates faithfully. The citrus, mint, and cane sugar are well-triangulated, and the drink is smooth without skewing too sweet. But popular here seems relative — on all three of my visits, the restaurant was quiet, with only a scant handful of tables. On one visit, I was the only diner at all. Despite its too-timid seasoning, Ron Rico has a few hits that ought to gather a crowd. July heat cries out for fruity drinks and Caribbean flavors, and the restaurant may soon get the fans it deserves. As to its long-term success? You’ll have to ask the pollsters.

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21


DRINK

Drink This Now THE LOUISIANA PURCHASE AT THE MONARCH BY APRIL FLEMING

The Monarch Bar is probably the most urbane cocktail bar in Kansas City, so it seems only fitting that its Manhattan is literally well-traveled. The Louisiana Purchase, as the concoction is known inside this Country Club Plaza drinks destination, is equal parts ridiculous and impressive. It originates in a tumbler chilled via liquid nitrogen. Poured onto this smoky frost is Jefferson’s Ocean, a bourbon that arrives having lived on a ship for eight months, crossing the Atlantic multiple times and even traveling through the Panama Canal. This is not (entirely) pointless richguy stuff: the motion of the boat causes the whiskey to jostle around in its barrel, and, according to Monarch partner and bartender Brock Schulte, “the more contact with the wood, the richer it [the whiskey] becomes. The salinic [ocean] air breathes into it, too.” The science behind ocean-aging isn’t exactly up to NASA standards, but that hasn’t stopped the Monarch from buying a barrel full of this seafaring liquor. In the Louisiana Purchase, it’s joined by house vermouth and the Monarch’s own homemade Amer Picon (a bittersweet French aperitif), then the glass is spritzed with bitters (also made in-house; they’re infused with essence of Buddha’s Hand). The result is a winter cocktail that is so aromatic, cold, and smooth it refreshes on a scorching summer day.

22

THE PITCH | JULY 2018 | pitch.com


EAT

Eat This Now PUPUSAS AT DOS DE OROS TAQUERIA BY APRIL FLEMING

It’s always a fine idea to make the trek out to Dos De Oros Taqueria, the superb street-taco joint at 135th Street and Holmes Road. But that’s especially true on Sundays, when pupusas are on the menu. Traditionally a Salvadoran dish, pupusas are a little like the love child of an arepa and a tamale. Thick corn masa is fashioned into a disc and then stuffed with cheese, beans, and/or chicharrón (seasoned fried pork). The disc — which is about the size and shape of a frisbee golf putter — is then lightly fried, turning the exterior crispy while leaving the interior soft, melty, and savory. Pupusas are also traditionally served with a slaw of pickled cabbage carrots and onions (you can pick some up at Dos De Oros’s salsa bar), and then topped with tangy pupusa hot sauce (which is also available at the salsa bar, along with habanero and avocado salsas). Perhaps best of all: these pupusas are made to order and served hot off the griddle for just $2.99. One pupusa serves well as a standalone meal. But trust us when we say you’ll want two.

APRIL FLEMING

pitch.com | JULY 2018 | THE PITCH

23


American Slang

Bar Central

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KONO BURGER

Angus beef, lettuce, tomato, red onion, and cheddar served on a toasted brioche bun. 401 Ward Pkwy, Kansas City, MO 64112

8 oz kono burger with red wine reduction aioli, sweet onion jam, arugula, tomato, and brie cheese on an onion bun. 200 W 12th St, Kansas City, MO 64105

Hop Cat

Howard’s

THE HELLS BELLS BURGER

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8oz ground chuck/brisket blend patty with melted pepper-jack cheese. We've created a Bells Two Hearted BBQ sauce that we tuck under that cheese. An onion ring filled with pork and fried jalepenos. We finish the masterpiece with lettuce, tomato onion. Enjoy!

401 Westport Rd., Kansas City, MO 64110

A gluten free patty with quinoa, lentils, brown rice, red beans, veggies, served crispy with housemade American cheese, burger sauce, pea shoots, and pickled veggies on potato bun.

1708 Oak St, Kansas City, MO 64108

Strip’s

TRIPPO-JALEPE�O BURGER Two patties of ground pork loin (ground in-house), jalapeño jack cheese, homemade fried pickles and jalapenos, and homemade jalapeño relish on a brioche bun. 1110 E Santa Fe St, Olathe, KS 66061

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THE PITCH | JULY 2018 | pitch.com

#PITCHBURGERWEEK


Brick House

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Hogshead

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HOGSHEAD CHEESEBURGER

Jalapeño cilantro salsa, Chipotle gouda nacho cheese, and taco seasoned burger topped with lettuce, tomato, sour cream, and tortilla strips on a brioche bun. 4120 Pennsylvania Ave, Kansas City, MO 64111

A brisket and chuck blend patty with Brancato’s BBQ sauce, cheddar cheese, slab bacon and an onion ring.

Thick cut Daily’s bacon, farm egg, KC Canning Co. Hops pickles, brioche bun, dijonnaise and minced red onion.

Pepper jack cheese, fried onions, shredded BBQ pork, BBQ sauce, shredded lettuce, and pickle on a toasted brioche bun.

400 E 31st St, Kansas City, MO 64108

Green Room

THE FORTY-TEN (SINGLE) 1/4 pound freshly ground beef patty (meat ground in-house!), fresh avocado, bacon, Tillamook cheddar cheese, grilled jalapeños, dijon mustard, on a farm-to-market bun. 4010 Pennsylvania Ave., Suite D, Westport, MO 64111

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All beef patty mixed with sausage, two strips of bacon, grilled onions, two slices of cheese, lettuce, and our secret special sauce. Our juiciest burger! 6441 Troost Ave, Kansas City, MO 64131

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Niecie’s Restaurant

Tavernonna

Quarter pound brisket patty with bacon onion jam, chipotle aioli, white cheddar cheese, and romaine lettuce on a farmhouse bun.

30 W Pershing Road, Kansas City, MO 64108

Panko-crusted mac & cheese patty, butcher’s blend beef, topped with creamy mac & cheese and served on a buttered and toasted sesame bun.

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Juicy American-Kobe beef seared to order topped with all-natural cheddar, local sweet and smokey BBQ sauce, thick cut applewood-smoked bacon, and onion straws on a buttery toasted brioche bun.

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Thinly sliced onion cooked into the patty, topped with mustard, pickle, and American cheese. 8811 State Line Rd, Kansas City, MO 64114

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Black Angus Beef burger with choice of cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickle on a toasted bun.

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25


FOOD

Last Straw WHY YOU’RE NOW LESS LIKELY TO ENCOUNTER PLASTIC STRAWS IN KANSAS CITY ESTABLISHMENTS. BY ANDREA LERAY

A tough-to-watch viral video, released a couple years ago, recently resurfaced. In it, a plastic straw is carefully extracted from the nose of a sea turtle. Despite its unpleasantness, the video has been viewed 27 million times as of this writing, bringing vital awareness to a banal but important issue: plastic straws — the kind that come in just about every single drink you have ever ordered — are really, really bad for the environment. According to The Last Plastic Straw, a project of the Plastic Pollution Coalition, over 500 million of these seemingly harmless single-use straws are used every day in the United States alone. Unlike many other plastics, though, these straws are too lightweight to make it through the machines involved in recycling. So they end up in landfills, waterways, and, yes, even oceans. And

from there, it takes an estimated 500 years for the plastic in straws to decompose. What to do with this information? Abroad, some entire countries are exploring the idea of plastic-straw bans. A handful of U.S. cities (Seattle, Miami Beach, Malibu) have already done so. And here in Kansas City, we’re beginning to glimpse the front end of a wave that might eventually wipe out the use of these cockroach-like utensils. A handful of new restaurants have embraced the trend right out of the gate. Clark Grant, co-owner and executive chef of the Country Club Plaza restaurant Hogshead, says Hogshead has been using EcoProducts straws since opening its doors last November. They’re more expensive than the traditional option, but Grant felt it was the more responsible choice. (The staff there also cuts the straws in half to use as drink stirrers.)

KELCIE MCKENNEY

Another recently opened spot, Nomad’s, on West 39th Street, offers reusable metal straws for its in-house drinks and is work-

ing on a biodegradable option for people who ask for straws with their to-go beverages. And Scott Tipton, food and beverage

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THE PITCH | JULY 2018 | pitch.com


FOOD

IT TAKES AN ESTIMATED 500 YEARS FOR THE PLASTIC IN STRAWS TO DECOMPOSE.

director for the soon-to-open Savoy at 21c Museum Hotel, notes that all eight of the 21c hotels across the country are onboard

with the #stopsucking movement. “Our guests at The Savoy will notice something missing when they order a

From full service to express drop-off and everything in between, you can rest assured that you will get the menu and service you need to make your celebration a success!

drink,” Tipton says. “We’re excited to continue efforts to keep our oceans healthy and plastic-free. Upon request, our guests will receive biodegradable paper straws.” Also reassessing their straw policies are the usual cast of progressive KC restaurants. Some are eliminating plastic straws altogether; others are offering them upon request only. Ça Va general manager Caitlin Corcoran says she made the switch to paper straws a year ago. The Rieger and Manifesto have also made the paper transition. Patrick Ryan, owner of Port Fonda, says his Westport spot now supplies straws only on request and will change over to only paper straws once existing inventory runs out. Rye on the Plaza, Bluestem, and Julep are doing the same; Andrew Olsen, bar manager at Rye, says he’s reached out to Aardvark, an American-made, FDA-approved straw-maker whose product decomposes in 30-60 days. What can you do to aid the #stopsucking movement? For starters, you can stop sucking: say “No straw, please,” when you order. The Last Plastic Straw also suggests asking your favorite local cafe, bar, or restaurant to only issue straws upon request and/or change to non-plastic options.

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THE PITCH | JULY 2018 | pitch.com

FOOD COURTS FOR FOODIES ARE COMING TO KANSAS CITY. WE BREAK ‘EM DOWN FOR YOU. BY APRIL FLEMING

Never mind that the food-hall concept isn’t exactly new in the culinary world (see: Harrods in London and Pike’s Place Market in Seattle, both in operation since the early 20th century). The phenomenon is currently on fire in this country, salivated over by adventurous eaters, real estate developers, and small business owners alike. In recent years, food halls have begun to make their way from coastal cities into the middle of the United States. Denver and Chicago have nice ones. And now Kansas City is set to welcome a few. Apart from being a big area where different vendors sell food, this new generation of food halls has little in common with the food courts of shopping malls past. Brick seems to be the building material of choice (extra points if you’re converting a turn-of-the-century warehouse), national chains are usually non grata, and chef-driven eateries and cocktail bars are the most desirable tenants. Here, a guide to three KC-area operations embracing the food-hall trend.

WHERE

Reservations on Open Table or 816.802.7095

OPENING

Enjoy fresh, local ingredients in a casual urban setting in Downtown KC.

HALL PASS

East Crossroads (1707 Locust, KCMO)

Shooting for August.

BACK STORY

Make your dining experience delicious!

PARLOR

Based on the look and feel of new-wave food halls like the Source, in Denver, and Chicago’s Revival Food Hall, Parlor is co-owned by Denver native Davis Engle (Meriwether Companies) and Atlantan chef Kevin Gillispie (Red Beard Restaurants). It will be managed by a native Kansas Citian, though: Dominic Hoferer, who recently moved back to the Midwest after a stint as GM of the World Trade Center location of big-fish New York food hall Eataly. “Without wanting to sound like we take ourselves too seriously, we really want it to be the living room of the Crossroads,” Hoferer says. “You walk into an area with soft seating and a den, and you’re greeted with a very warm presence.”

WHO’S THERE

MODERN AMERICAN FARE WITH A FRESH KC TWIST.

FOOD

Parlor will be a two-story hall with seven local food vendors and two cocktail-focused bars — one on each floor. (“We will have 12 beer taps, two wine taps and two cocktail taps, in addition to a very, very extensive cocktail program which will be in line with what people are doing in the scene right now,” Hoferer says.) Food vendors who have already signed on to the project include the already-quite-successful Korean-food pop-up Sura Eats; Vildhäst, a Scandinavian sausage shop owned and operated by Katee McLean and Josh Rogers of Krokstrom Klubb and Market; Karbon, a concept that will be serving both Middle Eastern and Yucatan-inspired dishes from chef Rachel Rinas (formerly of Local Pig and Jarocho Pescados y Mariscos); a second location of Providence Pizza, which has been operating in Grandview for a few years now; and Mother Clucker, specializing in Nashville-style hot chicken.

ALSO

Pitch MetroKC 1/8 page.qxp_Layout 1 6/18/18 3:55 P

Though Parlor’s ownership isn’t local, Hoferer stresses the emphasis they’ve put on bringing in KC-based food entrepreneurs. “We’re here to cultivate and grow local talent,” Hoferer says. “The focus on Kansas City was intensive. There were no corners cut to make sure that was priority number one.”


FOOD

MISSION GATEWAY

LENEXA PUBLIC MARKET

Mission Gateway (Johnson Drive and Roe Avenue, Mission)

The Lenexa civic campus (8750 Penrose Lane, Lenexa), which is also home to Lenexa City Hall

Not till 2020.

Now open. Debuting in September 2017, Lenexa Public Market managed to be, by a relative longshot, the first official food hall to open its doors in the KC metro area.

Undoubtedly the most ambitious of KC’s food halls, this project — announced in May of this year — has celebrity chef and TV personality Tom Colicchio attached as curator. And at 40,000 square feet, it will also be far and away the largest food hall in the area. The project is the product of a collaboration between three New York-based entities: Colicchio’s company, Crafted Hospitality; GFI Development Company (Ace Hotels, the Beekman Hotel New York); and the Cameron Group, owned by the locally notorious Tom Valenti. Should it actually break ground — a fair question, given Valenti’s shaky history at Mission Gateway; despite community outrage, he hasn’t done squat with the property since purchasing it in 2005 — it will be a component of a larger development that would also include apartments, an entertainment venue, and office space.

The Lenexa Public Market is unusual in that it is owned and operated by the City of Lenexa. The city built it with the intention of attracting entrepreneurs and visitors to its newly developed City Center. The hope is that the market will continue to serve as an incubator of creative talent in the area.

Largely TBD. Colicchio will be designing kitchen space and recruiting chefs and entrepreneurs for the project, which is his first foray into the world of food halls. Colicchio tells The Pitch his plan is to recruit both nationally and locally, and to build a portfolio of full-service restaurants as well as vendors selling wares on a smaller scale. “Even if it’s just someone who just wants to make the perfect doughnut,” Colicchio says. “Someone with passion is who I want.”

The 11,000-square-foot space combines permanent vendors with pop-ups and light retail, in addition to the Kitchen at Lenexa Public Market, which hosts two or three cooking classes each week. (Among the class topics this July: cooking vegan Tiramisu and how to make Middle Eastern dips and spreads.) Current long-term vendors include the gyoza (Asian dumpling) and kushiyaki (skewer) bar Chewology, Mad Man’s KC BBQ, Serene’s Bakery, the Roasterie, and Topp’d Pizza and Salads.

Colicchio firmly believes food halls are the direction the industry is moving: “One reason I go to food halls here in New York and Brooklyn is that everyone can get what they want,” he says. “You can try a lot of different things. And they’re fun.”

Don’t miss Red Kitchen Tamales. Owner and chef Alejandra de la Fuente initially opened her stall as a once-per-week pop-up, but it’s been so successful that she has transitioned the business to her fulltime job. “The very first day, I made 500 tamales thinking I would sell them for two hours,” de la Fuente says. “I sold them all in 45 minutes. The next week the manager brought me some pre-orders. We had 900 pre-ordered, and we needed to make another 1,000 to sell. It’s been like that since then.” Red Kitchen Tamales now serves tamales — breakfast burritos and tostadas, too — six days a week. pitch.com | JULY 2018 | THE PITCH

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ARTS

PHILIP KOENIG

Fresh Legs THE KANSAS CITY DANCE FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS NEW WORKS AS IT LEAPS INTO ITS SIXTH YEAR. BY LIBBY HANSSEN

In Kansas City, we proudly tout our beer, our music, our t-shirts, our sports teams (sometimes) and our … dance? Maybe it’s high time to start. Befitting its arts-hub aspirations, Kansas City boasts a surprisingly robust dance scene, especially compared to other cities its size. The region’s largest dance company, Kansas City Ballet, earned national attention when KC hosted the Dance USA conference last summer and performances of “The Nutcracker” at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. last December. Smaller dance companies, like Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company and Owen/ Cox Dance Group, also travel outside the Midwest, building up KC’s reputation. Programs such as the Kansas City Ballet’s “New Moves” and Johnson County Community College’s “New Dance Partners” exist to generate new work and creative collaborations. And this month, Kansas City Dance Festival returns, energized by its mission to highlight KC-based dance ideas. Co-ar-

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THE PITCH | JULY 2018 | pitch.com

KANSAS CITY DANCE FESTIVAL’S “ARTIST RESIDENCY” MAIN EVENT. JULY 20-21, 7:30 P.M. THE GEM THEATER (1601 E. 18TH STREET). FOR ADDITIONAL FESTIVAL EVENTS AND TICKET INFORMATION, VISIT KCDANCEFESTIVAL.COM.

tistic directors Logan Pachciarz and Anthony Krutzkamp, both retired from the KC Ballet, started the festival in 2013 as an off-season employment opportunity for dancers. They have kept growth of the festival incremental over the years, but the cautious approach has proved advantageous to accommodating artistic risks. Now in its sixth year, Kansas City Dance Festival has evolved from one weekend of dance into a month-long choreography workshop that culminates with a week of dance events and the world premiere performances of five works. The troupe is a blend of local dancers (some current and former company members from the KC Ballet) and visiting artists from all over the United States. While past festivals have seen a mix of new and existing works, this is the first year with a full program of new works. “[The festival] has developed and morphed over the years, but I think our vision and where we are going is actually creating new works inside of Kansas City,” says Pachciarz. For the main show, July 20 and 21 at the Gem Theater, the festival has invited an eclectic mix of contemporary movement-makers: Philadelphia-based R. Colby Damon, Cincinnati-based Heather Britt, and Chicago native Stephanie Martinez, as well as local choreographers Jennifer Owen and Ryan Jolicoeur-Nye. With the exception of Martinez, who workshopped her piece with Ballet Hispánico, the choreographers come with a “carte blanche palette,” says Pachciarz. “We try not to put any restrictions on any of the choreographers,” Krutzkamp agrees. “We want to make this something where people feel safe to create what they want.” More than just these five pieces will emerge from the festival, though. During the rehearsal period, the dancers also develop works together, and those works will be shown at “Foreshadows,” a black-box performance at Quixotic Studio on July 14 that will also serve as a sneak peak to the main event. “Everybody needs a launching point and we want to give a platform for people to either try some movement they’ve never done before, choreographically, or just begin the choreographic process,” says Krutzkamp. Programming new works is stressful — last year, says Krutzkamp, “we had to watch [the works] develop before we could even put the playbill together” — but the rush of putting such a show together is rewarding. “It’s an exceptional chase that is astounding in nature,” says Pachciarz. “And it’s fun for us.”


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Noelle Johnson sees the fest as a last chance for Awful House to make a positive, lasting statement about the scene. AARON RHODES

AWFUL HOUSE IS SHUTTING DOWN, BUT NOT BEFORE HOSTING A WEEKEND OF LOCAL AND INTERNATIONAL GEMS OF THE UNDERGROUND. BY AARON RHODES

Awful House, one of the Kansas City DIY scene’s most beloved venues, is preparing to meet its premature demise this summer. The warehouse space, located in the West Bottoms, has been hosting LGBTQand POC-focused punk and electronic shows since September of last year — a steady schedule of spirited gigs from forward-thinking musicians. Due primarily to costs associated with rent and upkeep, the massive, loading dock garage door will close for good (to the punks, at least) at the end of July. Before then, however, there will be Awful Fest, which organizer Noelle Johnson sees as the last chance for the venue to make a positive, lasting statement about the scene. Johnson says she hopes people will note that it was a venue that specifically booked diverse acts and also “that it was a good idea” to do so, she says. Co-organizer and fellow Awful House tenant Lola Rat echoes the sentiment. “It’s been cool to see other artists come through and they’re like, ‘Cool, I don’t have to deal with a man — this is great!’” Rat says. Taking place over the course of three days in the middle of July, Awful Fest will host three dozen acts — local, national, and international — almost all of which feature queer, femme, transgender, or POC

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THE PITCH | JULY 2018 | pitch.com

members. Many of the artists performing at Awful Fest aren’t household names, unless you share a roof with punks, club kids, or music nerds. But the number of rare gems present makes the lineup a veritable underground music treasure chest. Count Baltimore rapper, multi-instrumentalist, and occasional Bear Club collaborator Eu1ogy among those gems; his savvy, intense, and experimental hip-hop will most likely spawn a mosh pit or five. Johnson and Rat also expressed particular excitement about Ariel Zetina, a Chicago club DJ and producer who has received a nod from the renowned Discwoman collective, and Prison Religion, a Richmond duo known for its throaty, eardrum-rattling noise rap. Local acts include Spanish-language punk favorites Mentira, a collaborative set from UN/TUCK artists MX.MRS, Floraviolet, and Btrfly, and the muchhyped, third-eye-open rapper Supa Flowa. (The fest’s calendar also includes early-evening workshops from Kansas City’s Anarchist Black Cross chapter and the Kansas City Anti-Violence Project.) “It’s really exciting to somehow know all these people,” Johnson says. “Because I really genuinely feel like they’re the next wave. I feel like their art matters more than almost anything I’m hearing.”

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Neighborhood Watch MR. ROGERS AND A FEW OTHER CHARACTERS ARE HERE TO FIGHT THE JULY BLOCKBUSTER DOLDRUMS. BY ERIC MELIN

When I mentioned to a coworker that I was going to see the new documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, which profiles the life’s work of public television legend Mr. Rogers, he laughed and asked, “Are they going to talk about his previous life as a badass Navy SEAL?” He was referring to one of many wild rumors about the mild-mannered host of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood — rumors that try to make ironic sense out of a personality whose gentleness and kindness is so out of step with the modern world that it just had to have been a put-on, right? Only some hours later, as I drove home from the screening, securely under the unique spell of Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, did I realize how reductionary and cynical that perception really is. When faced with someone as earnest and seemingly corny as Fred Rogers, it’s easier to make light of him than it is to accept that he was, in fact, a genuine person who dedi-

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THE PITCH | JULY 2018 | pitch.com

cated his life to a dire need that he believed was unmet on TV: the emotional development of children. Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, directed by Oscar-winning documentarian Morgan Neville (20 Feet From Stardom) is a remarkable 90-minute lesson in course correction for modern audiences used to being bludgeoned to death by absurdly awful news on a daily basis. It’s also the single most moving experience I’ve had in a theater in over a year. As a kid who watched Mr. Rogers growing up, part of that connection was no doubt due to nostalgia, but the movie goes far deeper than that, delving into the method behind his slow and steady cadence and gentle demeanor — a style of expression that was out of time even in the 1960s, when he started out on television. Through archival TV clips, original animation pieces, and interviews with the people directly involved with Rogers (as opposed to celeb-

ROGERS WAS A PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER AND A LIFELONG REPUBLICAN, BUT MORE THAN ANYTHING, HE WAS A HUMANIST. IN TODAY’S REPUBLICAN PARTY, HE’D BE AN ABSOLUTE OUTCAST.

rities espousing his influence), Won’t You Be My Neighbor? lowers your defenses. The sincerity with which the film approaches its subject is corollary to how Mr. Rogers treated his young TV audience — with an open heart and an enormous amount of respect. Television was a medium that frustrated Rogers. He understood how powerful it was, beaming violent civil rights struggles, the Vietnam War, and news of assassinations directly into homes. He wanted to grapple with that power, guide it away from the dark, toward the light. Neville weaves the narrative around some of Rogers’ favored concepts and core beliefs rather than providing a full birth-todeath biography of the man’s private life. It’s a wise choice, and not just because Rogers was, essentially, the same person on camera as he was off. It’s because Rogers’ words and ideas are stirringly relevant today. Rogers was a Presbyterian minister and a lifelong Republican, but more than anything, he was a humanist. He genuinely believed that within everyone was a natural tendency toward kindness, but that it needed to be nurtured. His religion taught him that every human is a special being, created by God. As I write this, I am watching television reports of children being torn from their parents at our country’s border. In today’s Republican party, Rogers would be an absolute outcast. An important element of Rogers was


FILM

ALSO OUT NOW SICARIO: DAY OF THE SOLDADO (JUNE 29) This is the ultra-dark, macho sequel to 2015’s Sicario, a film that purported to be about the struggles of a female FBI agent in a man’s world before succumbing completely to the storyline of one such man. The world did not need this sequel, but here it is, starring Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro as hard-ass tough guys who operate in secret, doing unthinkable things to advance U.S. positioning in the drug war with the Mexican cartels. There’s nothing new here that hasn’t been covered better by more compelling TV shows and documentaries on the same subject.

THE CATCHER WAS A SPY (JUNE 29) This listless adaptation of a 1994 non-fiction bestseller makes little use of an impressive cast, including Paul Rudd as professional baseball player and multilingual WWII O.S.S. agent Moe Berg. The screenplay is too concerned with all of Berg’s many talents to mount a cohesive narrative, and the assassination that should supply all the suspense and be the film’s centerpiece ends up an afterthought. Among the co-stars: Sienna Miller, Jeff Daniels, Guy Pearce, Paul Giamatti, Tom Wilkinson, Mark Strong, and Connie Nielsen. As Fred Willard said in A Mighty Wind, “Hey, wha’ happened?”

NANCY (JULY 14) The affecting indie drama Nancy, starring Andrea Riseborough as a damaged thirtysomething, has at least one thing in common with Won’t You Be My Neighbor?: both are about vulnerability and the need to be loved. Following the death of her mother, the lonely title character strikes out in an unusual way to earn the friendship of an older couple, played by J. Smith-Cameron and Steve Buscemi. Nancy is an impressive debut feature from writer-director Christina Choe — a small, interior drama about the many masks we wear, and how afraid most people are of true emotional honesty.

listening, something largely missing from today’s media discourse — even in most of today’s cinema. Silence, a pause, empty space: it allows the viewer to bring something of her own into that moment and fill it with meaning. If there’s one image I’ll take away from Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, it’s one of Fred Rogers’ listening, intently focused, with slightly raised eyebrows and a nurturing grin on his face, eager to complement and let his subject know he understands. Quietly, and selflessly, he is teaching viewers — adults and children alike — how to hear one another. •

Between I, Tonya and the Deadpool movies, there have been some pretty successful films lately anchored in self-reflexivity. The energetic heist drama American Animals takes it a step beyond the usual fourthwall-breaking, film-aware-it’s-a-film tricks. The opening title card says “This is based on a true story,” before wiping out the words “based on,” which is the first clue that writer-director Bart Layton (who also directed The Imposter, a documentary that relies heavily on reenactments) is again blending doc techniques with fictional filmmaking. In addition to the actors playing the four students (Evan Peters and Barry Keoghan among them) who conspired to steal one-of-a-kind literary treasures from the library of a private university in Kentucky, American Animals features plenty of direct-to-camera interviews with the actual culprits. In extreme examples, they appear in the same frame as the actors — and even talk to them. What at first feels like a gimmick actually ends up giving their characters, who are full of aimless bravado and unearned chutzpah, some gravitas. It’s a stupid thing they’re doing — and OK to laugh at — but once the ball starts rolling on their plan, it’s hard to stop. At one point, one of the real-life subjects uses an excuse for his criminal behavior that is also a criticism commonly leveled at millennials. I’m paraphrasing: “We were raised to think we were special, and when we realized we weren’t, it was too late.” Ironically, this line of attack is also aimed at Mr. Rogers in Won’t You Be My Neighbor? by idiot columnists and pundits who misunderstand the very idea behind empathy and kindness. There was ennui among young people before Fred Rogers, and there will be as long as humankind exists. American Animals doesn’t need an “easy out” to explain its characters’ poor decisions. The propulsive energy of the movie, once it starts to take shape, mirrors the inevitability of them seeing their bad idea all the way through.

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THE PITCH | JULY 2018 | pitch.com

Blown Away “YES, I HAVE BEEN SUCKING MY STRAIGHT FRIEND’S COCK.” ALSO: THREESOME ETIQUETTE. BY DAN SAVAGE

Dear Dan: I am a 24-year-old straight guy who recently broke up with my girlfriend of more than four years. One of the reasons we broke up was a general lack of sexually compatibility. She had a particular aversion to oral sex — both giving and receiving. I didn’t get a blowjob the whole time we were together. Which brings me to why I am writing: One of my closest friends, “Sam,” is a gay guy. Shortly after breaking up with my girlfriend, I was discussing my lack of oral sex with Sam and he said he’d be willing to “help me out.” I agreed, and Sam gave me an earth-shattering blowjob. I was glad to get some and had no hang-ups about a guy sucking me. Since then, Sam has blown me three more times. My problem is I am starting to feel guilty and worry I am using Sam. He’s a very good buddy, and I’m concerned this lopsided sexual arrangement might be bad for our friendship. Sam knows I am not into guys and I’m never going to reciprocate, and I feel like this is probably not really fair to him. But these are literally the only blowjobs I’ve received since I was a teenager. What should I do? ––Totally Have Reservations Over Advantage Taking Dear THROAT: Only one person knows how Sam feels about this “lopsided sexual arrangement,” THROAT, and it isn’t me — it’s Sam. Zooming out for a second: People constantly ask me how the person they’re fucking or fisting or flogging feels about all the fucking or fisting or flogging they’re doing. Guys ask me why a woman ghosted them, and women ask me if their boyfriend is secretly gay. And while I’m perfectly happy to speculate, I’m not a mind reader. Which means I have no way of knowing for sure why that woman ghosted you or if your boyfriend is gay — or in your case, THROAT, how Sam feels about the four norecip blowjobs he’s given you. Only Sam knows. And that’s why I wrote you back, THROAT, and asked you for Sam’s contact information. Since you were clearly too afraid to ask Sam yourself (most likely for fear the blowjobs would stop), I offered to ask Sam on your behalf. I wasn’t serious — it was my way of saying, “You should really ask Sam.” But you sent me Sam’s contact info, and a few minutes later I was chatting with Sam. “Yes, I have been sucking my straight friend’s cock,” Sam said to me. “And I am flattered he told you I was good at it. That’s an ego booster!” Sam, like THROAT, is 24 years old. He grew up on the East Coast and met THROAT early in his first year at college. Sam came out

at the end of his freshman year, to THROAT and his other friends, and he now lives in a big city where he works in marketing when he isn’t sucking off THROAT. My first question for Sam: Is he one of those gay guys who get off on “servicing” straight guys? “I’ve never done anything with a straight guy before this,” said Sam. “So, no, I’m not someone who is ‘into servicing straight guys.’ I have only ever dated and hooked up with gay guys before!” So why offer to blow THROAT? “I didn’t know until after he broke up with his girlfriend that he hadn’t gotten a blowjob the whole time they were together — four years!” Sam said. “When I told him I’d be happy to help him out, I was joking. I swear I wasn’t making a pass at my straight friend! But there was this long pause, and then he got serious and said he’d be into it. I wondered for a minute if it would be weird for me to blow my friend, and there was definitely a bit of convincing each other that we were serious. When he started taking his clothes off, I thought, ‘So this is going to happen.’ It was not awkward after. We even started joking about it right away. I have sucked him off four more times since then.” For those of you keeping score at home: Either THROAT lost count of the number of times Sam has blown him — THROAT said Sam has blown him three more times after that first blowjob — or THROAT got a fifth blowjob in the short amount of time that elapsed between sending me his letter and putting me in touch with Sam. So does this lopsided sexual arrangement — blowing a straight boy who’s never going to blow him — bother Sam? “I suppose it is a ‘lopsided sexual arrangement,’” said Sam. “But I don’t mind. I really like sucking dick and I’m really enjoying sucking his dick. He has a really nice dick! And from my perspective, we’re both having fun. And, yes, I’ve jacked off thinking about it after each time I sucked him. I know — now — that he thinks it is a bit unfair to me. But I don’t feel that way at all.” So there is something in it for Sam. You get the blowjobs, THROAT, and Sam gets the spank-bankable memories. And Sam assumes that at some point, memories are all he’ll have. “He will eventually get into a relationship with a woman again, and our arrangement will end,” said Sam. “I only hope nothing is weird between us in the future because of what has happened in the past few weeks.” I had one last question: Sam is really good at sucking cock — he gives “earth-shattering” blowjobs — but is THROAT any good at getting his cock sucked? As all experienced

cocksuckers know, a person can suck at getting their cock sucked: They can just lay/ stand/sit there, giving you no feedback, or be too pushy or not pushy enough, etc. “That’s a really good question,” Sam said. “I have to say, he is very good at it. He really gets into it, he moans, he talks about how good it feels, and he lasts a long time. That’s part of what makes sucking his cock so much fun.” Dear Dan: I’m a straight guy in a LTR with a bi woman. We recently had a threesome with a bi male acquaintance. We made it clear that I’m not into guys and that she was going to be the center of attention. He said he was fine with this. A little bit into us hooking up, he said he wanted to suck my dick. I wasn’t sure about it at first, but my girlfriend encouraged it because she thought it was hot. I ended up saying yes, but I stated that I didn’t want to reciprocate. A bit later, while my girlfriend was sucking his dick, he said he wanted me to join her. I said no, he kept badgering me to do it, I kept saying no, and then he physically tried to shove my head down toward his crotch. My girlfriend and I both got pissed and said he had to leave. Now he’s bitching to our mutual friends about how I had an insecure straight-boy freak-out, he didn’t get to come after we both got ours, we’re shitty selfish fetishists, and so on. I’m concerned about what our friends think of me, but even more so, I’m concerned that I did a shitty thing. I get that maybe he was hoping I’d change my mind, especially after I changed my mind about him sucking my dick. But I don’t think it’s fair for him to be angry that I didn’t. Is oral reciprocation so necessary that it doesn’t matter that we agreed in advance that I would not be blowing him? ––Not One To Be Inconsiderate Dear NOTBI: You did nothing wrong. And if after hearing your side of the story, NOTBI, your mutual friends side with a person who pressured you to do something you were clear about not wanting to do and then, after you restated your opposition to performing said act, pressured you to perform the act — by physically forcing your head down to his cock — you can solve the “mutual friends” problem by cutting these so-called friends out of your life. Question for Dan? E-mail him at mail@ savagelove.net. On Twitter at @fakedansavage.


pitch.com | JULY 2018 | THE PITCH

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pitch.com | JULY 2018 | THE PITCH

39


EVENTS

July Events For more events, visit local.pitch.com

TI

CK

S T E

JULY 6

JULY 11

Boz Scaggs, Uptown Theater

The Black Dahlia Murder and White Chapel, The Truman

First Fridays, Crossroads District First Fridays at 18th and Vine, American Jazz Museum

Go to pitch.com/tickets to find the hottest events in KC.

Lindsey Stirling and Evanescence, Starlight Theatre Alpha and Omega opening reception, Bunker Center for the Arts

JULY 7

JULY 12 Lee Brice, Kansas City Live! Block Matt Hopper Trio, American Jazz Museum St. Paul & the Broken Bones, with Hiss Golden Messenger, Crossroads KC at Grinders

JULY 13

Ehud Ettun and Henrique Ersenmann, 1900 Building Matt Otto, American Jazz Museum Paramore with Foster the People, Starlight Theatre

A Perfect 10

JULY 8

July 14, 2018 5:00pm

Ray LaMontagne, Starlight Theatre

Wesport Coffeehouse Theater 4010 Pennsylvania Avenue, KCMO

HANSON, VOODOO LOUNGE

JULY 9

Fashion for a

Thursday, August 9 6–9 p.m. • The Guild

th

Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Uptown Theater

JULY 10 Jenny Lewis, The Truman Matthew Sweet, Knuckleheads Saloon STYX and Joan Jett, Starlight Theatre

August 24th, Waldo Pavilion Do you need a ticket platform for an upcoming event? Email us at stephanie@pitch.com.

Boy Pablo, Uptown Theater Hostel Takeover (comedy), Honeycomb Hostel Max Groove, American Jazz Museum Cedric the Entertainer, Eddie Griffin, DL Hughley, and George Lopez, Starlight Theatre

JULY 13-29 La Cage aux Folles: The Musical, Murphy Hall, KU Campus


Nerdy xy e S & A DV E R T I S E M E N T

T

he Kansas City Nerdlesque Festival strips down your favorite fandoms. Call it next-level cosplay: at Nerdlesque, you can see your favorite fandom characters strip on stage. “It’s like Comic Con and a Burlesque festival had a sexy, little baby,” says Annie-Mae Allure, the founder of local variety show the Rude Review and executive producer of Kansas City’s first Nerdlesque Festival, which runs August 6-12 at the Just Off Broadway Theatre. “It’s ruining your childhood in a really sexy way.” Take Olive Avira’s performanc-

6829 N Oak Tfwy Gladstone, MO 64118 816-214-5890

es. She’s an award-winning aerialist with a lyra (that’s the big ring that burlesque dancers often use). At Nerdlesque’s Thursday Night Sci-Fantasy Showcase, it’s on a pole like a Harry Potter quidditch post. She’ll strip on the hoop, then catch the snitch in her panties. Can you get much more nerdy-sexy? “A lot of people think burlesque is that old-timey thing they don’t know much about, but they do know something about Alien vs. Predator or Star Trek,” says Blipey, associate producer and house manager for the fest. The goal is to bring something sexy for everybody, no matter their tastes.

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“Part of our philosophy for Nerdlesque Festival is that all bodies are sexy, regardless of size, gender, age, or whatever,” Allure says. “We want everybody to have a place, and we want our audience to be able to relate to someone in the shows.” That inclusivity is shown throughout the lineup, with headliners Poison Ivory of New York, EmpeROAR Fabulous!!! of Seattle, and Vivienne Vermuth of Dallas — all big names in the burlesque community and each with routines that get nerdier and dirtier. Saturday night’s competition is where performers will compete for the 2018 Master of Nerdlesque title. It’s “the best in Nerdlesque all in one place,” according to Allure, and will feature two KC performer and 6 others from across the nation . “Kater Tot is a local, and she’s part of the reason that I really wanted to do this festival, because she does exclusively nerdlesque and all of her characters are hilarious,” Allure says. Tot’s two performances are Edward Scissorhands and Uncle Fester, characters not commonly thought of as sexy; Tot intends to change your mind.

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“I think people really like seeing stuff they’re already familiar with but shown in a new way,” says Basic Boy, Nerdlesque’s associate producer and “stage kitten” for the show (he’ll pick up the discarded clothing after each performance). While you’ll get to see your favorite characters bare it all on stage, Nerdlesque has other nerdy activities, too. On Monday, August 6, you can sketch your favorite characters in costume; on Wednesday, you can play board games with the performers; and at the shows on Thursday and Friday night, you can stick around for trivia. The week is packed with workshops and cosplay appearances, too. When Nerdlesque organizers say nerdy and sexy, they mean it. “We want people to know that Kansas City is a place they can come perform, be safe, be accepted for who they are,” Allure says, “and have a great time.”

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pitch.com | JULY 2018 | THE PITCH

41


EVENTS

July Events For more events, visit local.pitch.com

JULY 14

JULY 19

Imagine Dragons, Sprint Center

The Octopus Project, The Riot Room

Kenny Chesney, Arrowhead Stadium

JULY 19-21

moe., The Truman

Lawrence Field Day Fest, downtown Lawrence

JULY 15 Jesse McCartney, The Truman

JULY 16 Seether, Uptown Theater ZZ Ward, The Truman

JULY 16-22

THANK YOU KANSAS CITY FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

Burger Week, Participating restaurants include: American Slang Modern Brasserie, Bar Central, Brick House, Dempsey’s Westport, Harvey’s At Union Station, Hogshead KC, HopCat, Howard’s, Green Room Burgers & Beer, Niecie’s Restaurant, Roni’s Pub and Kitchen, Smitty’s Garage Burgers & Beer, Strip’s Chicken, Tavernonna, The Ainsworth, The Well, and Unforked.

JULY 20 Daryl Hall & John Oates with Train, Sprint Center Kidz Bop, Starlight Theatre Third Friday, Downtown Overland Park Flirt Friday, Voodoo Lounge

JULY 20-28 After Persephone (musical), Arts Asylum Rise, Todd Bolender Center for Dance & Creativity

JULY 21

JULY 17 Foreigner, with Whitesnake and Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience, Starlight Theatre

JULY 18 Courtney Barnett, The Truman

For Information: AIDSWalkKansasCity.org 816-931-0959

Quintron and Miss Pussycat, RecordBar Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City

STUFF VIIV HEALTHCARE KPMG LLP DAL TILE CRANE YARD CLAY JE DUNN DIFFA PARRIS COMMUNICATIONS METLIFE FOUNDATION PLANNED PARENTHOOD

42

THE PITCH | JULY 2018 | pitch.com

Lisa Henry, American Jazz Museum


pitch.com | JULY 2018 | THE PITCH

43


EVENTS

July Events For more events, visit local.pitch.com

JULY 21-28

JULY 25

Adulting: A Parody, Unicorn Theatre

Def Leppard and Journey, Sprint Center

JULY 22

JULY 26

Champagne Cinema: Girls Trip, Alamo Drafthouse

JULY 23 Castlecomer, Uptown Theater

JULY 24

Pablo Sanhueza and the KC Latin Jazz All-Stars, American Jazz Museum

JULY 27

S. Carey, with H.C. McEntire, RecordBar Lauren Sanderson, Uptown Theater Shania Twain, with Bastian Baker, Sprint Center

Flicks on the Bricks: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, City Market Tyrone Clark Quartet, American Jazz Museum

3 1 S T

A N N U A L

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THE PITCH | JULY 2018 | pitch.com


EVENTS

ON

JULY 27-AUG 2

JULY 30

Hairspray, Starlight Theatre

Louis Neal Big Band, American Jazz Museum

JULY 28

Ida McBeth, American Jazz Museum

So I Married an Ax Murderer Movie Party, Alamo Drafthouse

Yoga for Good, Do Good Co.

JULY 31

JULY 29

Basketball Movie Party, Alamo Drafthouse

Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, RecordBar Fitness, with Wild Moccasins, Uptown Theater

PROP A = RIGHT TO WORK FOR LESS Right to Work is WRONG because it is Dangerous, Divisive, and Misleading. This law is meant to weaken the voices of working people by dismantling our unions and giving corporate CEOs more power to slash our pay. Right to Work is WRONG because it Lowers wages. Right-towork-for-less leads to lower wages for working people and higher salaries for corporate CEOs. (THE WASHINGTON POST, 12/10/12 & DAYTON DAILY NEWS, 1/11/17)

Right to Work is WRONG because it Weakens Workplace Protections. Right-to-work-for-less makes it harder for unions to bargain for fair pay, good benefits, and a safe workplace. (THE HUFFINGTON POST, 2/23/15 & ECONOMIC POLICY INSTITUTE, 9/15/11)

Right to Work is WRONG because it gives Workers Less of a voice. Right-to-work-for-less restricts the freedom of workers and weakens our ability to speak out together on issues important to us. Corporate CEOs want to use the law to silence working people. (THE HUFFINGTON POST, 2/23/15)

VOTE NO ON PROPOSITION A TO REPEAL RIGHT TO WORK AND PUT WORKING PEOPLE BEFORE GREEDY CEOs

FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT: VoteNoOnA.org

PAID FOR BY IBEW PAC, KENNETH COOPER, TREASURER

pitch.com | JULY 2018 | THE PITCH

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The Pitch: July 2018  
The Pitch: July 2018  
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