Here is the highlight reel of what’s happening in Downtown Kansas City – from Monday to Sunday, May 15-21:
Bluegrass in the Bottoms – a two-day music and brews festival – featuring Greensky Bluegrass, Railroad Earth, Yonder Mountain String Band and many more bands is set to begin at 5:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Knuckleheads Outdoors in the East Bottoms. Click here for ticket information.
Bones Thugs – N – Harmony – the rap / hip hop group from the Glenville section of Cleveland – will get the summer party started at 8 p.m. Friday at CrossroadsKC at Grinders. Opening are TWISTA and Cure for Paranoia.
Democracy: Stories from the Long Road to Freedom – Condoleezza Rice, a key figure in two presidential administrations, including National Security Advisor and Secretary of State under George W. Bush, pays a visit to Downtown for a much-anticipated event at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Central Library. Rice, now on the faculty at Stanford University, examines what pivotal moments have taught us about democracy in her new book. This event is at capacity, and RSVPs are now closed. However, it will be available to livestream starting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, at youtube.com/kclibrary.
Eliane Elias – known for her distinctive musical style which blends her Brazilian roots and her voice with instrumental jazz, classical and composition skills – returns to the Folly Theater stage at 8 p.m. Friday.
Ensemble Iberica – Tierra del Sol: Music from southern Mexico featuring the brilliant marimba quartet, Sol de Chiapas, Bolivian master musician, Amado Espinoza and Ensemble Iberica’s incomparable Mexican vocalist, Fedra Cooper Barrera. Performance is set for 7:30 p.m. Monday at MTC Theater at Crown Center.
Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts will illuminate KC with five performances this week, including:
- National Geographic Live presents photojournalist Lynsey Addario, who shares stories from her memoir It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War. Join the Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre, as she chronicles her harrowing work and explains what drives her —despite having a family— to keep going back.
- Director’s Choice – The Kansas City Ballet presents a showcase of new and venerable choreographic masters: Jerome Robbins’ exuberant, jazz-infused Interplay, Val Caniparoli’s suspenseful The Lottery, and George Balanchine’s epitome of classical ballet Theme and Variations. Performances are set for 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday in Kauffman Theatre.
- Classics Uncorked: Shall We Dance? Tap your toes, twirl your partner and sway through the evening with symphonic dance music performed by your Kansas City Symphony! Get uncorked at 7 p.m. Thursday in Helzberg Hall.
Midland Theatre will light up the night sky with two performances including:
- Coheed and Cambria, the multi-dimensional, progressive rock band brings its NEVERENDER GAIBSIV tour to the heart of Downtown at 8 p.m. Tuesday. Special guest is The Dear Hunter.
- Neil deGrasse Tyson, American astrophysicist, director of the Hayden Planetarium, popularizer of science, and best-selling author will light up the urban sky with a talk at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Sprint Center will be the epicenter of concert magic in Downtown this week with two HUGE show, featuring:
- The Chainsmokers – This GRAMMY-nominated artist/producer duo bring their “Memories: Do Not Open’ tour to Downtown at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Special guests: Kiiara and Emily Warren.
- Red Hot Chili Peppers, one of the most successful acts in rock history, will rock the Big Town at 8 p.m. Sunday. Special guests: IRONTOM & Jack Irons.
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:
- A Night on the Town features Bob Walkenhorst, founding member and lead singer of the popular Kansas City based rock band, The Rainmakers. This will be a special presentation of Bob’s songs, featuring Melissa Hile on cello. This Speakeasy Cabaret – an infusion of a nightclub show and a theatrical experience will unfold at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
- As Time Goes By – Take a nostalgic trip through the music of the 1940s to the songs that linked the hearts of GIs at the front with their loved ones back home. From “The White Cliffs of Dover,” “Over There,” to “I’ll Be Seeing You,” this cabaret revue goes marching on until Sunday at the Quality Hill Playhouse.
- 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 Sunday at The Coterie at Crown Center.
- What Would Crazy Horse Do? The KC Rep presents this world premiere of a new play by pre-eminent Native American writer Larissa FastHorse. A chilling look at the notion of racial purity, this story reveals the challenges contemporary Native Americans face when fighting extinction in a world that seems to have already forgotten they exist. The play runs through Sunday, May 28 at the Copaken Stage at H&R Block.
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