The beloved Pirates of Penzance set shore beginning Saturday at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts – setting the tone for the arts and entertainment scene in Downtown KC. Here is the highlight reel what’s happening in Downtown – from today (Monday) to Sunday, April 17-23:
KC Public Library has revived a colorful slice of Downtown history, recently unveiling a reproduction of Thomas Hart Benton’s sprawling mural Achelous and Hercules. On display outside the Central Library’s Genevieve Guldner Gallery, it returns an image that adorned Harzfeld’s Department Store before the business closed in 1984. The original now hangs in the Smithsonian. Henry Adams, one of the country’s preeminent Benton scholars, discusses the work at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Central Library. RSVP here.
Downtown Wine Walk – Sip, taste and explore from 3-6 p.m. Saturday in the Power & Light District. Enjoy live music along 14th Street, wine tastings and small plates at each of the seven participating venues. Proceeds benefit No Kid Hungry.
Food Truck Friday returns to Union Cemetery for the first event of the season this Friday from 11 a.m. -1:30 p.m. with four food trucks and live music. Food Truck Friday at Union Cemetery occurs every third Friday of each month through September. Proceeds benefit the Union Cemetery Historical Society.
Jack DeJohnette Trio: Celebrate National Jazz Appreciation Month with NEA Jazz Master and GRAMMY® winner Jack DeJohnette, one of the greatest drummers in the history of the genre. The trio will be Jammin’ at the Gem at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Gem Theater. Opening for the DeJohnette Trio will be Ravi Coltrane and Matt Garrison.
Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts will showcase four performances this week, including:
- 20th Century Treasures – a free, happy hour concert by the Kansas City Symphony is set for 6 p.m. Tuesday in Helzberg Hall. And, in true happy hour tradition, cash bars will open at 5 p.m., followed by the one-hour casual concert.
- The Lot – Where Things Happen – “The Lot” is a dramatic musical stage play written, produced and performed by area youth in an effort to encourage healthy life choices. The play features a special performance from Bre-Z, the rap artist from the television show EMPIRE. The performance begins at 7 p.m. Thursday in Helzberg Hall.
- ‘Round About Midnight – The Music of Miles Davis and John Coltrane – The Kansas City Jazz Orchestra presents the big band sound in tribute to two of of the legendary jazz greats beginning at 8 p.m. Friday in Helzberg Hall.
- The Pirates of Penzance opens Saturday in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre. For more information on this Lyric Opera of Kansas City production, see entry below.
K-State Rhapsody IV presents a colossal performance of the greatest music from the movies, featuring the Kansas State University Grand Chorus and a professional orchestra, beginning at 4 p.m. Sunday at the historic Folly Theater.
Midland Theatre will light up with big town with three shows over four nights this week including:
- Thursday – featuring special guests Basement, Touche Amore and Cities Aviv – will get the week started at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday;
- Reik – the Latin Grammy-nominated Mexican band from Mexicali, Baja California – presents its Tour Des / Amor at 8 p.m. Thursday;
- Dan + Shay – the critically acclaimed duo hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Country Albums Chart with their first album Where It All Began, in 2014. Racking up more than 25 million YouTube views, they are the only new country duo in SoundScan recorded history to debut at No. 1. Jackie Lee will open at at 8 p.m. Friday.
The Pirates of Penzance: Enjoy High Jinks on the High Seas with Gilbert and Sullivan’s cheeky and charming operetta in The Pirates of Penzance, which abounds with pirates, maidens and a Major General with the true gift of gab. Presented by the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, the Pirates set sail at 7:30 p.m. Saturday for five performances in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre at the Kauffman Center.
Things Come Apart – This traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian Institution exposes the inner workings of many of our everyday possessions, disassembling them and artfully illustrating that even the most intricate of modern technologies can be broken down and understood. The exhibit continues through June 25 at the Central Library.
LIVE THEATER is thriving on Downtown stages, which feature these four performances this week:
- Musical Monday & Tuesday will feature tunes from Tony-nominated shows of the 1970s juxtaposed with the top radio tunes of the decade. Performances are set for 7:30 p.m. Monday and Tuesday at MTC Theater at Crown Center.
- Music of Carlos Gardel – tango’s first superstar – presents a musical tribute to this Argentinian legend. The performance features Bruno Bessa and master tango violinist, Christine Brebes from Buenos Aires, beginning at 8 p.m. Friday at MTC Theater at Crown Center.
- The Velveteen Rabbit is a faithful adaptation of the beloved book by Margery Williams. It is a story of love, reality and imagination all centered on the deep bond between a toy rabbit and boy fighting illness. This Kansas City Young Audiences production continues through May 11 at the City Stage at Union Station.
- We Are in a Play! – Adapted by Mo Willems from his wildly popular book series, this lively musical features Elephant Gerald and Piggie and their delightfully nutty back-up singers, the Squirrelles, discovering the fun of being in a play. This interactive production runs through May 21 at The Coterie at Crown Center.
LIVE MUSIC – of all tastes and flavors – is performed at these Downtown venues on most nights:
- Angel’s Rock Bar in the Power & Light District
- Blue Room in the Historic 18th & Vine Jazz District
- The Brick in the Crossroads Arts District
- CrossroadsKC at Grinders in the East Crossroads
- The Dubliner in the Power & Light District
- Gem Theater in the Historic 18th & Vine Jazz District
- Green Lady Lounge in the Crossroads
- Howl at the Moon in the Power & Light District
- KC Live Block! in the Power & Light District
- Kill Devil Club in the Power & Light District
- Knuckleheads Saloon in the East Bottoms
- Leinenkugel’s Kansas City in the Power & Light District
- The Majestic in the Downtown Loop
- The Midland in the Downtown Loop
- Mosaic Ultra Lounge in the Power & Light District
- Mutual Musicians Foundation in the 18th & Vine Jazz District
- The Phoenix in the Downtown Loop
- PBR Big Sky in the Power & Light District
- Prohibition Hall in the Downtown Loop
- Record Bar in the Crossroads
- The Ship in the West Bottoms
- Stockyards Brewing Company in the West Bottoms
- The Tank Room in the Crossroads
MUSEUMS are alive and well throughout Downtown, including these 16 destinations:
- Airline History Museum in Hangar 9 at the Downtown Airport
- American Jazz Museum in the historic 18th & Vine Jazz District
- American Royal Museum in the West Bottoms
- Arabia Steamboat Museum in the City Market
- Black Archives of Mid-America in the historic 18th & Vine Jazz District
- Hallmark Visitors Center at Crown Center
- Historic Garment District Museum in the Downtown Loop at 801 Broadway
- Kansas City Museum in northeast KC at 3218 Gladstone Blvd.
- Money Museum at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
- National Archives of Kansas City, west of Union Station
- National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame at the Sprint Center
- The National WWI Museum and Memorial at Liberty Memorial
- Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in the historic 18th & Vine Jazz District
- Science City at Union Station
- TWA Museum at the Downtown Airport
- Union Station Gallery at Union Station
For more of what’s happening in Downtown and Kansas City, check out our friends at VisitKC.com