May 10Aziz Ansari THURSDAY
On its own, Ansari’s portrayal of Tom Haverford on the NBC series “Parks and Recreation” has established him as a man of note in the entertainment industry. Couple that with the success he has had in film (“30 Minutes or Less”) and in stand-up (his new one-hour comedy special “Dangerously Delicious” earned buzz earlier this year), and it’s hard not to count him among the nation’s top young comedians. The 29-year-old South Carolina native performs at the Midland as part of his “Buried Alive!” tour. Tickets are $31.50 to $36.50 at midlandkc.com.
Kansas City Bike Week MONDAY THROUGH NEXT FRIDAY
Ditch the car and grab the old bicycle for Kansas City’s Bike Week, which runs Monday through May 18 and is highlighted by a number of two-wheeled festivities. The week’s schedule includes a kick-off at Kansas City’s City Hall on Monday, a May 16 “Ride of Silence” for fallen bikers through Brookside and a “bike-in” movie May 17 at Boulevard Drive In. The week is capped by “National Bike to Work Day” on May 18. You can also head over to bikewalkkc.org for a complete list of the week’s events or to take the “Car Free Challenge” — a competition in which cyclists keep a tally to see who can replace the most car trips with bike rides.
Festival of Smoke SATURDAY
There are worse ways to welcome the summer than a crash-course in backyard grilling — and there are worse teachers than those at the Culinary Center of Kansas City. Through its Midwest BBQ Institute, the culinary center presents its annual smoking and grilling festival from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 7920 Santa Fe Drive in Overland Park, and the nearby Overland Park Clocktower pavilion. Hone your skills with free demonstrations throughout the day, or serve as a judge in the Culinary Center’s “Pig-Off,” a competition between chefs who’ll be attempting to prepare the best pork. Various barbecue dishes are also available to purchase, courtesy of the center’s chefs.
MayHem 2012 FRIDAY
Kansas City’s annual Fringe Festival is still two months away, but you can get a jumpstart during this weekend’s fashion fundraiser at Uptown Theater. A dozen designers and boutiques will be on hand, including WM Couture, Inner Hippie and It’s a Beautiful Day. Entertainment will be provided by DJ Dan, Voler: Thieves of Flight, Rhythmic Flames and the Vi Tran Band. General admission tickets are $15 in advance ($20 at the door), with VIP tickets — which include food and drink tickets and early admission — for $25 in advance ($30 at the door). The show runs from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m. in the Valentine Room at the Uptown, and proceeds benefit the Fringe Festival as well as local radio station KKFI 90.1. Get tickets at kcfringe.org.