What’s cookin’ in Downtown – Jul. 31-Aug. 6

First Friday returns on Friday for the August edition of this wildly popular arts and dining experience in the Crossroads Arts District, the 18th & Vine Jazz District, the Central Library and the West Bottoms. Prepare to have fun!.

Here is the highlight reel of what’s happening in Downtown KC from Monday to Sunday, July 31-Aug. 6:

Branford Marsalis Quartetfeaturing guest vocalist Kurt Elling, will light up Downtown in a special performance at 7 p.m. Monday in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

The Branford Marsalis Quartet with guest vocalist Kurt Elling will light up Downtown on Monday.

CrossroadsKC at Grinders will be smokin’ hot with two concerts this weekend, including Something Magic beginning at 8 p.m. Friday and Primus in a sold-out show at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

First Friday – one of the KC’s coolest/hottest events of the summer – returns for its August shindig with visual and performing arts bursting throughout Downtown with:

Folly Theater will feature two up-close and personal evenings of entertainment this week with:

  • War on the Catwalk starring some of the contestants from Season 9 of RuPaul’s Drag Race on VH-1, performing live on stage and rocking the catwalk. It’s an evening of outstanding drag performances with your favorite queens. The show begins at 8 p.m. Monday. All ages are welcome.
  • Girls Night In – A #thx2att & Full Screen Live presentation features an all-star lineup including Meg DeAngelis, Lauren Giraldo,  Caeli Santo, and Gavin Turek! The 24-city tour brings together fans from across the U.S. for an evening of dance, musical performances, and an opportunity to meet their favorite stars. The show begins at 7 p.m. Friday.

Midland Theater will feature an eclectic, wild and crazy week with three stellar shows on back-to-back nights, including:

  • Dancing with the Stars: Live – The hottest dance show on television returns to KC for a live performance, featuring the Season 24 winner and NFL running back Rashad Jennings, at 8 p.m. Wednesday.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000 Live – For the first time ever, join Joel Hodgson, creator of the critically acclaimed “Mystery Science Theater 3000” TV show and its new host Jonah Heston (Jonah Ray) as they bring the first live touring production of “MST3K” to KC for the “Watch Out for Snakes!” tour at 8 p.m. Thursday.
  • Seasons Summer Edition: RL Grime – This live show has been celebrated as “an unparalleled force” and has graced the biggest festival stages across the world (Coachella – LA, Lollapalooza – Buenos Aires, STORM – Shanghai etc). This single stage music festival, featuring What So Not, Graves and Longer Days, will elevate KC beginning at 8 p.m. Friday.
Now showing at Union Station.

Mummies of the World: The Exhibition – described as “fascinating, intriguing, and inspiring,” by NBC, “absolutely extraordinary,” by NPR and “a must see,” by FOX TV – instills a sense of curiosity and wonder in each and every visitor. For tickets and more information, visit UnionStation.org/Mummies.

The Naughty Pines, the five-piece classic country, western swing, and honky tonk band comprised of veteran Kansas City musicians, will perform from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday aboard the KC Streetcar, as part of the Art on the Line series presented by Art in the Loop.

Power & Light District will be smokin’ this week with two smash concerts in the Live Block, including:

  • Corey Smith will be rocking the big town with a free concert – part of the summer Hot Country Nights series – at 7 p.m. Thursday at Kansas City Live! All ages and families are welcome. Anyone under 21 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. 21+ and over after 9 p.m.
  • KC Spinfest featuring ESKEI83 and KC’s best DJs Mike Scott, Spinstyles, Ashton Martin, Highnoone, DJ Allen Michaels, DJ Lazer, Domensha, Danny Maloney and more.  Party starts at 5 p.m. Saturday and first set begins at 6 p.m. Ages 21+ only in the Live Block!

Weekender – Cap off your week with top local bands, like the M80s this week, and favorite food trucks. Shop the wares of KC artisans and finish the evening with a favorite flick, like Back to the Futureunder the stars. Festivities begin at 6 p.m., with the movie starting at approximately 9 p.m. FREE admission. Only at Crown Center.

LIVE THEATER is thriving on Downtown stages, which feature one show this week:

  • Fool’s Gold – A rousing concert of Honky Tonk music from Nashville to Bakersfield featuring some of the top talents in traditional American music at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the MTC Theater at Crown Center.
  • Garfield – The Musical with Cattitude – Everyone’s favorite feline and his friends are on stage this summer to perform a musical for all ages. Garfield continues through Sunday at The Coterie at Crown Center.
  • Musical Monday & Tuesday – featuring the infectious pop tunes from The Sounds of Summer in a cabaret-style performance at 7:30 p.m. Monday and Tuesday at the MTC Theater at Crown Center.

ARTS – your guide to arts and culture in greater Kansas City:

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.com

Public Parking Maps of Downtown KC are available at DowntownKC.org.