Opera, Autos, Arts (of all shapes) & Hoops top an exciting week in the Big Town

The Lyric Opera of Kansas City will present ‘Dead Man Walking’ in four performances beginning Saturday at the Kauffman Center.

Downtown Kansas City will be flying high this week with a celebration of the arts (of all types), opera and autos, along with the tip off of March Madness in Downtown. Here is the highlight reel for what’s happening in Downtown – Monday, Feb. 27 to Sunday, March 5:

Auto Show – it’s baaaack! The 2017 Greater Kansas City International Auto – will fill Bartle Hall with more than 500 new cars, trucks, SUVs, crossovers, and minivans. This year the show has added some new, fun wrinkles including a Kids Korner, local food trucks, and craft beers served in KC’s Garage (the show’s new beer garden). The Auto Show opens Wednesday and continues through Sunday. Drive here for more details.

Brantley Gilbertone of the bright lights in the country music galaxy, brings his The Devil Don’t Sleep Tour to KC – with special guests Tucker Beathard, Luke Combs and Brian Davis – at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Sprint Center.

Cyrus Chestnut Trio brings together old-school jazz, blues, and gospel with the heartfelt passion that has made him a long-standing favorite. The Folly Jazz Series will feature the trio at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Folly Theater.

‘Dead Man Walking’ will make its KC debut on Saturday at the Kauffman Center.

Dead Man Walking – The Lyric Opera of Kansas City presents one of the most frequently performed contemporary operas in recent years. It is the story of a profound spiritual journey taken by a nun and a convicted killer about to face the ultimate sentence. Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and continue on March 8, 10 & 12 in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

First Friday – one of the Kansas City’ coolest and hottest events – returns for the March edition of First Friday with visual and performing arts bursting throughout the Crossroads Arts District and the 18th & Vine Jazz District from 5-9 p.m. Friday; beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the Central Library; and along with one of the most complete vintage marketplaces in the country in the West Bottoms through the Friday through Sunday weekend.

Ice Terrace has just a couple of day remaining in its winter schedule. Make plans now for a season’s ending skating party on its final two days from noon to 9 p.m. today (Monday) and Tuesday at Crown Center.

Kansas City Library presents Glenn North, the inaugural poet laureate of Kansas City’s 18th & Vine Jazz District, as he discusses his work as an accomplished poet and spoken word artist, sharing passages from his recently published City of Song. The poetry collection celebrates the KC jazz tradition and the African-American experience, and North will reflect on what it means to be a black poet in the current cultural milieu. His presentation of “To Make a Poet Black and Bid Him Sing” is set for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Central Library. RSVP here.

Art Garfunkel, the six-time GRAMMY winner, makes his first appearance at the Kauffman Center Saturday night.

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts will feature four distinctly fresh performances this week, including:

  • Hard Habit to Break featuring the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra as it performs brand new arrangements of some of the greatest hits of iconic pop artists of the ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s at 8 p.m. Friday in Helzberg Hall
  • Dead Man Walking – see listing above for this week’s opening of the new Lyric Opera production in Kauffman Theatre
  • Art Garfunkel In Close-up – Forty years after recording “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” this American legend and six-time GRAMMY Award-winner continues to thrill audiences with his stories, poetry, and signature vocals. Garfunkel will perform at 8 p.m. Saturday in Helzberg Hall
  • Around the World in 80 Days – The Kansas City Symphony and local theater artist Alex Espy present this world premiere adaptation, bringing Jules Verne’s enduring classic to life through inventive staging and storytelling, puppetry and a specially curated collection of symphonic favorites at 2 p.m. Sunday in Helzberg Hall.

The MIAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments tipoff this week in Municipal Arena, marketing the beginning of a wild and crazy March Madness in Downtown KC.

MIAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships return to Downtown for seven thrilling sessions from Thursday through Sunday at Municipal Arena. This annual thriller marks the beginning of a busy March Madness season in Downtown KC.

Midland Theatre will be rockin’ this week with back-to-back concerts this weekend, including:

  • Big Gigantic – the instrumental livetronica, hip-hop and jazz musical group based out of Boulder – brings its Brighter Future Tour featuring Hotel Garuda to the Big Town at 9 p.m. Friday;
  • Illenium with Said the Sky will cast a aural spell over the audience beginning at 8 p.m. Saturday

Spectrum: Autism, Art & Music – An innovative and powerful exhibition featuring Denver-based mother and son artists Juliette Hemingway and Javari Eugene-Poet Chase, who use art inspired by music to bring awareness to Autism, will hold court in the Changing Gallery of the American Jazz Museum through April 3.

LIVE THEATER is thriving on Downtown stages, which feature these four performances this week:

  • ConstellationsThis spellbinding, heartbreaking love story removes the boundaries of time and space, delving into the infinite possibilities of a couple’s relationship to reveal how the slightest change in conversation might send you down an entirely different path.  Performances begin on Friday and runs through April 2 at the Copaken Stage at the KC Rep.
  • A Night on the Town featuring Justin McCoy in a speakeasy cabaret is set for 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday at MTC Theater at Crown Center.
  • No Talking – It’s boys vs. girls when the noisiest, most talkative fifth graders in history create a contest to see who really can talk the least. This new family show continues through March 19 at The Coterie.
  • Project Pride is a group of LGBTQ and straight allied teens creating theatre that gives voice to their experiences, culminating in a production that challenges the assumptions and celebrates the diversity of the participants and audience over two shows  only at 7 p.m. Saturday and 5 p.m. Sunday at The Coterie.

LIVE MUSIC – of all tastes and flavors – is performed at these Downtown venues on most nights:

MUSEUMS are alive and well throughout Downtown, including these 16 destinations:

For more of what’s happening in Downtown and Kansas City, check out our friends at VisitKC.