Kansas City Connection: More holiday events, tasty eats and food for your ears
No sooner had last Sunday's holiday preview gone to press than I learned of two more interesting stage events taking place through 2015 in Kansas City.
At the City Stage at Union Station, the Theatre for Young America is presenting the comedy "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" from Nov. 24 through Dec. 26. The play is an adaptation of Barbara Robinson's classic book of the same name. Tickets are $10 each at unionstation.org.
And at Crown Center, "A Charlie Brown Christmas," based on the television special, is running at The Coterie through Jan. 3. This 55-minute play features a small ensemble and a live trio of jazz musicians performing Vince Guaraldi's arrangements. Tickets are sold out through Dec. 26, but there is good availability for the final week. Tickets are $12 for youth and students and $17 for adults at thecoterie.org.
Since 2000, Lulu's Thai Noodle Shop has been a fresh, funky place for Kansas Citians to enjoy a tasty plate of Pad Thai, Thai lettuce wraps, curry chicken or Thai iced tea. Owner Malisa Monyakula was inspired by her childhood in Bangkok and the cooking of her Thai father and American mother, and today there are two Lulu's locations in the area.
The one at 2030 Central St. in the Crossroads is a large, eclectic space with lots of plants and color, and the new Lulu's Asian Bistro in Westwood (2701 W. 47th St.) serves small, upscale plates as well as all the Thai classics from its other kitchen. Medium dishes have a healthy kick, and the spicy options are spicy (I haven't yet worked up the courage to try anything "blazing"). Try the rainbow peanut noodles (Red bell peppers, scallions, carrots, bean sprouts, cilantro, peanuts, and cucumbers served with rice noodles in a peanut sauce) or the whans se-ew pak (fresh vegetables stir-fried in a sweet garlic and ginger soy sauce sprinkled with sesame seeds). A full menu is online at lulusnoodles.com.
One of the latest examples of the Kansas City craft brewery renaissance is Torn Label, located in the Studios INC building at 1708 Campbell. Torn Label's beers are found in an increasing number of local restaurants and bars, and the taproom is open every Saturday from noon until shortly before midnight. Try the Quadrilla, which features quadrillo chilis and an ABV rating of 9.6 percent. The house brew, a coffee wheat stout made with Sumatran toddy coffee from Thou Mayest coffee shop, is also excellent. Check out more of their events and beers at tornlabel.com.
Occasionally referred to as "the American Rolling Stones," the Shadows of Knight were one of the biggest bands to emerge from the 1960s garage rock revolution, making it big through their hit cover of the Van Morrison song "Gloria." Believe it or not, the Shadows of Knight are still touring and will be at recordBar Wednesday for a show with Cave Girls and the Joey Skidmore band. Tickets are $15 at therecordbar.com.
Also next Wednesday is the annual pre-Thanksgiving concert by Missouri's Ha Ha Tonka, an indie/blues/folk group with roots deep in the Ozarks. This year's Tonksgiving takes place at the Riot Room. Tickets are $15 each at theriotroom.com.
After losing five games straight, starting with a late-game meltdown to the Denver Broncos in Week 2, the Kansas City Chiefs find themselves with a 4-5 record — not terribly impressive, but enough to get them back in the playoff conversation in a lackluster AFC.
If they can pull off another win today vs. the San Diego Chargers, the town will be painted red for next Sunday's home game vs. the Buffalo Bills. With the next home game not until two weeks later, it could also be the best chance at good weather for anyone who wants to venture to Arrowhead to either see the game or tailgate. Check out kcchiefs.com for a full schedule of remaining games.
Also, a fun fact about Arrowhead and Kauffman stadiums: Both were designed by Charles Deaton, the same architect who designed the futuristic Sculptured House featured in Woody Allen's 1973 film "Sleeper." If that doesn't impress your friends, I don't know what will.