The nonprofit Liberty Symphony Orchestra has dedicated 40 seasons to string-laden aural enrichment, staging the world's greatest compositions using the formidable talents of professional and amateur local musicians. Guest baton-wielder Dr. Phil Posey conducts the closing concert of the 2010-11 season, enlivening ears with Samuel Barber's cathartic Adagio for Strings before prompting a theater-wide round of air-bowing with Beethoven's rousing and beloved Symphony no. 9. Mouth along with the William Jewell College choir and North Kansas City High School A Capella Choir as they join the merry band of melody-makers for the symphony's memorable "Ode to Joy" before reenacting back-bending brass solos over a bevy of treats at a complimentary dessert reception. The LSO's ensemble takes the stage at the state-of-the-art, 725-seat Liberty Performing Arts Theatre, home to local plays, fitness competitions, and tuxedo-clad turtle races.
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Pam Rector picked up her first roll of wallpaper as a little girl. As the spark of passion for color and design ignited, her mother fanned the flames, letting Pam redesign her room as many times as she wanted. By age 14, she had mastered the techniques of sewing pillows and painting furniture, allowing her room to grow as an “extension of her true personality.” As an adult, she temporarily put her design ambitions aside to begin a stint in the restaurant business, but she couldn’t keep her creativity stifled. The hand-drawn fliers and holiday decorations that she worked on in her spare time opened up the window to her dream job, and she eventually quit the corporate world and became a full-time designer.
Founding Rector Studio in March 2012, Pam now works with clients on decorating projects that range from full home makeovers to color consultation. Armed with color swatches, fabrics, and a carpet-to-English dictionary, she adds small touches with custom-made pillows, draperies and blinds, or re-does larger decor from flooring to furniture. While working on redesigns, Pam also keeps budgets in mind, maintaining an artistic vision that won’t break the bank.
Doctor of Naturopathy Inge Wetzel assesses the condition of the human body by studying some of its less conventionally considered aspects. She uses a computerized biofeedback system to monitor impulses emitted by the hand, subsequently drawing conclusions about the body’s balance. Similarly, she reads markings on the iris, the colored part of the eye, to screen for problems that span the body. Kinesiology sessions test for weaknesses in certain muscles to reveal physical or nutritional deficiencies, and biological terrain assessments will show stresses on different organs based on the body's internal environment. Dr. Wetzel also offers personalized weight-loss programs.
At Screenland, campy and classic are rarely mutually exclusive terms. The movie theater serves as a cinematic time machine, transporting spectators through the history of Hitchcock's mysteries and straight into the heyday of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Though it also shows current titles, its schedule is often beholden to audience whims—the Crossroads location hosts new independent films that are uniquely screened at this sole location. This dual devotion to cherished and modern flicks helped Screenland earn the 2012 Readers' Choice award for Best Movie Theater from the Pitch.
Even outside the projection room, nostalgia rules. More than 40 games, from Donkey Kong to Missile Command, test dexterity at the Crossroads location's retro arcade, where guests can purchase passes to play indefinitely or until Frogger finally flags down a cab. Photographs taken by former Kansas City mayor Dick Berkley accompany historical trivia in the adjacent gallery, and celebrity handprints mark the outdoor patio. Greeting cinephiles out front is a marquee salvaged from the Isis Theatre, just as it once greeted a young Walt Disney when he shared his early animations there.
Wedding receptions and corporate meetings alike have taken advantage of the theater's capacity for private functions. At both exclusive and public events, however, a full-service bar supplies guests with libations, cracking open bottles of Boulevard Pale Ale and Tallgrass Velvet Rooster.
Mike Elder, a Kansas City native and the three-time undefeated champion of TLC's Ultimate Cake Off, founded KC CakeFest to capitalize on the boom in reality cake shows and to generate proceeds for The Whole Person, a nonprofit program dedicated to helping people with disabilities lead independent lives. Attracting talent ranging from Elder's fellow contestants on Ultimate Cake Off to the batter wranglers on Next Great Baker, KC CakeFest's crowning events are its celebrity cake battles, which pit teams of confection architects against one another for the merriment of onlookers and for the judgment of cake expert Leigh Grode. Other attractions include displays by national cake artists and free demos on topics such as how to resist eating a whole cake, cake dives, and cupcake chucks. Furthering revelry, rockabilly band The Rumblejetts will play a live set during each intermission.