Sept. 26--This weekend's entertainment best bets include the animated flick "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2," Cirque Zuma Zuma at the Missouri Theater and a bluegrass festival in Downtown. They'll pick; you grin.
In theaters: "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2" should take the crown as the box office champ this weekend. The film catches up with Flint Lockwood (voice of Bill Hader) as he's working his dream job. However, he's forced to leave his post when he learns that his most infamous machine is still churning out menacing food-animal hybrids. Keep an eye out for a couple of critical darlings as well. "Rush," a film directed by Academy Award-winner Ron Howard, is based on the great Formula 1 racing rivalry between handsome English playboy James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and his methodical Austrian rival Niki Lauda (Daniel Br hl). "Don Jon" also has been receiving rave reviews. The comedy/drama was written by, directed by and stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a New Jersey meathead who develops unrealistic expectations from watching pornography and works to find happiness and intimacy with a potential true love. All three films open Friday in theaters.
Zoom over to Zuma Zuma: With Gabonese tumblers, Egyptian limbo dancers, South African vocalists and gumboot dancers, Ethiopian contortionists, foot table jugglers and Diabolo spinners, percussionists from Zimbabwe, balancing masters from Tanzania, multi-national club jugglers, clowns, comic magicians, pole artists and the world famous Zuma Zuma Acrobats, few productions embody variety quite like Cirque Zuma Zuma. Few shows dive into the culture and history of African nations quite like it either. The internationally renowned show will be performed at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Missouri Theater. Cirque Zuma Zuma made its breakthrough in the U.S. when the group became a finalist on the 2011 edition of NBC's "America's Got Talent."
Bluegrass for a cause: For the fourth year in a row, nationally acclaimed bluegrass acts, local musicians and fans of the genre will come together at Coleman Hawkins Park for good tunes and a cause that's even better. Bluegrass Battles Hunger will be held Friday and Saturday at the park at Felix Street Square in Downtown St. Joseph. The event is free and open to the public. Patrons are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items and cash donations for the Second Harvest Community Food Bank, which supports hunger relief agencies in Northwest Missouri and Northeast Kansas. The festivities will start at 5:30 p.m. Friday with performances by Whiskey for the Lady, Konza Swamp Band and Loaded Goat. The music will start at 2 p.m. Saturday with sets by Coyote Union, Jacob Cross with Two Shots of Whiskey, The John Brown Boys, The Souveneers, Under the Big Oak Tree and The Grascals. Check out Friday's edition of St. Joe Live -- online at stjoelive.com -- for more information.
One year wonderful: Authentic Italian restaurant Piatto 614 has become one of the most successful Downtown businesses since it opened a year ago. The eatery will celebrate its anniversary by hosting a free show for its patrons. Coppa Lounge, the bar behind the restaurant, will host a special show with indie folk group Eyelit, alternative rock band Dsoedean (both groups recently have earned radio play on 96.5 The Buzz) and the recently formed rockabilly act Hubcap Bandits. The celebration will start at 9 p.m. Saturday.
New for Noontime: The First Thursday Downtown Noon Concert Series will return for another season at First Presbyterian Church on Oct. 3. For these unique concerts, the audience is invited to bring lunch to eat during the performance. Lory Lacy (flute) with Ellen Bottorff (piano) will perform from 12:10 to 12:45 p.m. that day. Lacy is an adjunct professor of flute at Missouri Western and is a member of the Saint Joseph Symphony. Bottorff is a Western alum and the administrator for piano accompanying and chamber music programs at the University of Kansas, where she received a master's degree and is completing a doctoral degree in collaborative piano.
Shea Conner can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @stjoelivedotcom.
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