Downtown arts/entertainment scene is smokin’ hot this week

Broadway sensation Brian Stokes Mitchell will perform with the Kansas City Symphony on Saturday in a benefit for the Kansas City Young Audiences.

Here’s the highlight reel for the Downtown KC arts & entertainment scene for Monday to Sunday, Oct. 2-8:

Boston Early Music Festival Chamber Ensemble: Lutenists and co-artistic directors Stephen Stubbs and Paul O’Dette unite an international all-star ensemble of musicians from the Boston Early Music Festival to present these masterpieces of Baroque chamber music, punctuated with instrumental interludes at 2:30 p.m. Sunday (Oct. 8) at the Folly Theater.

Eugene Onegin: Love is Blind. Hindsight is 20/20. With this simple recipe for regret, Tchaikovsky turned Pushkin’s classic Russian novel into one of the world’s most beloved operas. The Lyric Opera presents this tragic love story at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Friday, and at 2 p.m. Sunday in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

First Friday – one of the KC’s coolest events of the fall – returns for its October ovation with visual and performing arts bursting throughout Downtown with:

  • First Friday experiences at the Crossroads Arts District and the 18th & Vine Jazz District from 5-9 p.m.
  • Art Starts at the Library – Make the Central Library your family-friendly First Friday launch point, taking in a new gallery exhibit and enjoying some Old West reading and roping, kids’ activities, and munchies. Program begins at 5:30 p.m. Friday at the Central Library. RSVP here.
  • The City Market will introduce the tastes and music of Cuba into the First Friday mix from 6-9 p.m. Friday. The Bite, Taste of Brazil and Cubanos Por Kansas City are bringing a FREE evening of music and dancing Cuban style! Gather in north pavilion for live music from Pablo Sanhueza Quintet and Jhonny Reyes! And enjoy traditional Cuban and Cuban-inspired food and drinks available for purchase from Taste of Brazil Restaurant & Bar and The Bite. Click here to learn more.
  • One of the country’s most complete vintage marketplaces – First Friday Warehouse Weekends – returns to the West Bottoms on Friday through Sunday.

KC Public Library presents The (True) History of Cowboys at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Central Library. KC native Cowboy Mike” Grauer, associate director for curatorial affairs and curator of art and Western heritage at the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum in Canyon, Texas, walks through a history that’s far more layered than what has been depicted in movies, television, and Western fiction. He looks at the different types of cowboys, at the true multicultural makeup of a cowboy crew, and at cowboy truths and tall tales. To RSVP, simply click here. The program coincides with the Library exhibit Cattle, Cowboys, and Culture: Kansas City and Amarillo, Building an Urban West.

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts will feature six performances this week, as the fall season opens for Kansas City’s leading performing arts organizations, including:

  • Ambassador Amanda Power, the youngest-ever U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, will be the featured speaker at the 25th Anniversary of the Women’s Foundation at 4 p.m. Tuesday in Helzberg Hall. One of TIME’s “100 Most Influential People,” Ambassador Power has spent half of her career explaining complex geopolitical events as a Pultizer Prize-winning author, war correspondent, and Harvard professor – and the last eight years helping to shape them. Click here for ticket information.
  • The Lyric Opera continues its presentation of Eugene Onegin on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday in Kauffman Theatre. See listing above for details.
  • UMKC Conservatory Orchestra, directed by Robert Olson, will perform at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Helzberg Hall. The program includes Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending, with Benny Kim, violin, and Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5 in B-flat Major, Op. 100.
  • The Kansas City Jazz Orchestra will perform Jump’in Down Route 66, featuring rhythm-and-blues classics from Louis Jordan, Nat King Cole and Ray Charles at 8 p.m. Friday in Helzberg Hall.
  • Brian Stokes Mitchell and the Kansas City Symphony will present a benefit concert for Kansas City Young Audiences at 8 p.m. Saturday in Helzberg Hall. Stokes, a veteran of 10 Broadway shows, will perform classics from Broadway and the American Songbook, including selections from Camelot, Les Misérables, Stephen Sondheim and Man of La Mancha.

The Midland presents Kaleo, the four-member band from Iceland, with special guests ZZ Ward and Wilder beginning at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

More Than A Pretty Face, an exhibition of portraits from the collections of UMB Financial Corporation and Commerce Bancshares runs through Nov. 10 in The Box Gallery, 1000 Walnut. The gallery, located in the Commerce Bank Building, is free and open to the public.

Mummies of the World: The Exhibition – described as “fascinating, intriguing, and inspiring,” by NBC and “absolutely extraordinary,” by NPR – instills a sense of curiosity and wonder in every visitor. Mummies is on exhibit through December at Union Station.

Leinenkugel’s presents Oktoberfest Live! at Kansas City Live! in the Power & Light District beginning at 2 p.m. Saturday..

Oktoberfest Live! Cheer on your favorite Dachshund in the Wiener Dog races, sip on seasonal beer tastings, enjoy live music, contests & games, great food and more at this all day festival on Saturday at the Power & Light District. Doors open at 2 p.m. Saturday. For ticket pricing to the 21 and older event, click here.

The Truman, the newest and hottest concert venue in KC, will heat up the East Crossroads this week with four shows, including Kim Walker-Smith at 7:30 p.m. Monday; Nothing More with special guests Palasades at 7 p.m. Wednesday; Echosmith with special guests Banners at 8 p.m. Thursday; and LeCrae, featuring Aha Gazelle and 1K Phew, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses is coming with to Downtown this week, featuring an updated orchestral adventure. The two-hour concert comes to life with a 66-piece orchestra, 24-person choir, and a re-imagined score that draws from recent and requested Zelda games. The performance is set for 8 p.m. Friday at the Music Hall. Click here for ticket information.

LIVE THEATER is thriving on Downtown stages, which feature three productions this week:

  • I’ve Got A Crush on You Great standards like Someone To Watch Over Me and I’ve Got a Crush on You were born on Broadway. The shows may be forgotten, but the songs live on. This production celebrates these musical classics through Oct. 29 at the Quality Hill Playhouse.
  • Musical Monday & Tuesday – Now in its 9th Season, Musical Monday & Tuesday is a high-octane musical theatre flavored Cabaret, featuring some of Kansas City’s finest performers and musicians – this time as they celebrate country music at 7:30 p.m. Monday and Tuesday at MTH Theater at Crown Center.
  • We Shall Not Be Moved – By taking a seat at a whites-only lunch counter, a group of four freshmen from A&T College in North Carolina launched a youth-led movement for African Americans to receive equal service by challenging racial injustice. The student sit-ins of 1960 inspired this production, which runs through Oct. 22 at The Coterie 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

Public Parking Maps of Downtown KC are available at

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