CampBiz – June, 2009

As we celebrate our fifth anniversary, it’s a pleasure to report on so many people and events making news in our community. Here are just a few.
Kansas City Gay & Lesbian Film + Video Festival
As noted in the print edition story on page 10, you won’t want to miss this exciting lineup of films to be screened from June 26-July 2. Camp’s film and theatre critic, Paul Donovan, will be hosting a discussion on June 29.
The Rose opens July 24
Spencer Brown (a.k.a. Daisy Bucket) is elated about being able to star in what looks to be a great new musical involving some former Late Night Theatre talent. Here’s what Spencer sent me from his Facebook page: “It’s quite common these days to see a musical based on a movie or a jukebox musical that recycles an entire catalogue of one artist’s music. The Rose: The 30th Anniversary Rock Musical, premiering at the end of July at La Esquina, is nothing of the sort. Based on the 1979 film that got Bette Midler her first Oscar nomination, the story of a Janis Joplin-like character whose success skyrockets and crashes is one that can still ring true with today’s society and celebrity gossip. Thirty years before Britney Spears would rise and fall and rise again and Amy Winehouse would be singing “no, no, no” to rehab, The Rose is an authentic rock musical unlike anything brought to the stage. Produced by Chadwick Brooks through the Urban Culture Project and directed by one of Kansas City’s most prestigious theatre personas, Ron Megee, this will be the hottest ticket of the summer that doesn’t involve ABBA or eating a meal while watching a former ’80s TV star do farce in a Neil Simon play. Right now, information can only be found through the Facebook Group “The Rose: The 30th Anniversary Rock Musical,” where the cast has been announced, including Spencer Brown as The Rose, David Wayne Reed as Rose’s manager Rudge, Kipp Simmons as Houston, and Cody Wyoming as the band leader.”
Kinsey Sicks debut in Kansas City
Spencer Brown’s other gig is the national Dragapella Beautyshop Quartet, The Kinsey Sicks. That group will make its Kansas City debut Oct. 10 at the Country Club Congregational United Church of Christ in Brookside. This will be a must-see production, and tickets should sell out quickly when they go on sale in mid-July. For more information, see
AIDS Walk Party With a Purpose
Even though the walk was in April, the team is never through fundraising. The next event is at 4 p.m. June 20 on Holmes Street in Hyde Park, between 36th Street and Gleed Terrace.
The fifth annual Party With a Purpose will feature live music, great food and drink and fabulous entertainment including Paul Messner Puppets, Renaissance Festival folks, miniature golf and more!
Suggested donation is $25 per person, and admission for children is free. For more information, email
AIDS Bicycle Challenge
The ride coming up Sept. 12 promises to be the biggest one ever for ABC, especially because it has been selected as the official 2009 Charity Ride for the Tour of Missouri Stage 7 in Kansas City. Elizabeth Bejan, Patti Abshier, Ken Johnson and others, along with organizers Michael Lintecum and Josh Strodtman, are making this a great ride, and this year it will be back to the streets of Kansas City. The ride will begin and end at the Power and Light District. More details, including registration, are available at
Heartland Men’s Chorus Garden Party
The Heartland Men’s Chorus concert called Heartthrobs, The Best of the Boy Bands, will be at the Folly Theater on June 13 and 14. We publish June 12, so if you pick up your copy of Camp early, you can still race to the box office and buy any tickets that may be left.
The group’s next highlight of the summer is the Garden Party on June 27, which will be held at a beautiful home in Leawood, Kan. There will be great food and drink, as well as a special wine tasting. Details are available by calling 816-931-3338 or going to the HMC website,
Castro Movie Nights
KSHB-TV (Channel 41) investigative reporter Russ Ptacek was at the Pride festival promoting this new fundraiser. Castro Movie Nights will be held the third Thursday of every month to benefit a rotating list of AIDS/HIV-related charities. The suggested minimum ticket price/donation is $8. Four dollars of each ticket goes to the movie house, and the remaining $4 or more goes to the charity.
The first movie night will be from 7:25 p.m. to 9:25 p.m. on Thursday, June 18, at the Screenland Armour Theatre, 408 Armour, North Kansas City, Mo., 816-421-2900. This will be a benefit for the Kansas City Free Health Clinic.
For more information visit or email
HRC’s Third Thursdays
Also on the Third Thursday of each month is HRC’s Third Thursday mixer. They are now held at Flo’s Cabaret. The HRC event begins at 5:30 p.m. and ends at 7:30 p.m., the same time that the Castro Movie Nights begin but Christene Main of HRC told me in an email, “I would not mind ending at 7:15 and telling people to go to Castro night! I think they have a great thing going on.”
Kansas City Tennis Alliance
Brian Sullivan of the Kansas City Tennis Alliance, Kansas City’s LGBT tennis league, told me that the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Missouri Valley Section, which covers Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma, as well as parts of Illinois, wrote a cover story on the Kansas City Tennis Alliance for the Summer 2009 issue of Cross Court magazine in recognition of Gay Pride Month. “It is the first time that the USTA Missouri Valley Section has ever written an article about GLBT tennis in the Midwest. Cross Court has a regional circulation of 25,000 tennis players, and is being distributed by mail and through their website this week,” he said.
George Turner is honored
Many of you may know George Turner from his ads in Camp and his work as a therapist in the Kansas City community with the Turner Professional Group.
He has just been featured on the webpage of the National Association of Social Workers for June’s Gay Pride Month. From the Turner Professional Group’s press release:
“To honor Gay Pride Month, NASW asked Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) social workers to tell the organization why they chose social work as their profession and to describe the unique challenges facing their community.
George identified AIDS, gay marriage and schoolyard bullying as three current challenges to the gay community that could be dramatically aided by social workers. George wants to rally his fellow social workers, stating, “We must demand the end of sanctioned institutional discrimination (in our schools) based on gender and sexual orientation.”
Turner Professional Group has two offices to serve clients, one in the West-port/Plaza area and a second in Overland Park, Kan. More information can be found at or by calling 816-931-8255.
Flint Hills Human Rights Project concert
The Flint Hills Human Rights Project (FHHRP) is hosting Voices of the Heart, an ensemble of the Heart of America Men’s Chorus, to raise funds for the Praxis Scholarship Fund. The show is at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 27, at the Chautauqua Amphitheater at Sunset Zoo in Manhattan, Kan. Nonprofits and organizations supporting the LGBT community have been invited to set up information tables. The event celebrates the diversity in the Flint Hills and is appropriate for people of all ages.
Eleven men make up Voices of the Heart, and they perform everything from Broadway to country to pop. Their show is filled with inspiration and comedy. The Praxis Scholarship is awarded by FHHRP to a student attending a college or university located in the Flint Hills who has demonstrated support for the LGBT community. Applications for the scholarship are available at the event or by emailing
Admission to the zoo is $4 for adults, $2 for children. On the day of the event, admission is half-price for FHHRP members. There will be an opportunity to join FHHRP that day, and all attendees will be invited to make a donation to the scholarship fund. Directions to the zoo are at For more information on the event, contact Jonathan Mertz at 785-341-4173 or email

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