Celebrate the spirit of the season in Downtown KC

Celebration at the Station returns to Union Station on Sunday evening for a spectacular celebration of music and fireworks outside of Union Station.

The annual Celebration at the Station is the theme of a celebratory week ahead Downtown from Monday to Sunday, May 21-27 – including:

Celebration at the Station – The Kansas City Symphony’s 16th annual patriotic concert event – set to begin at 8 p.m. Sunday – is the largest FREE Memorial Day weekend festival in the Midwest! From a moving Symphony concert to the city’s grandest fireworks display, nothing celebrates our military and veterans quite like Bank of America Celebration at the Station. Make it an all-day family affair with pre-concert musical acts, food trucks, Lee Jeans Family Zone, the Honeywell Veterans Place with services for veterans, plus activities inside Union Station and the National World War I Museum and Memorial. The event site opens at 3 p.m., and the concert begins at 8 p.m. Sunday (rain or shine).

Crossroads KC will be dancing to the beat of two shows this week, including:

  • Free Fridays concert will feature Elton Dan with Doves and Dreams beginning at 7 p.m. Friday; and
  • Day Lit, Vol. 1 featuring Donell Jones, Case, Levell and Asa Barnes starting at 8 p.m. Sunday

Knuckleheads Saloon – the hottest honky tonk in the Big Town – a whopping 15 shows this week, including the M80’s with The Instamatics at 8:30 p.m. Friday; Found A Job (Talking Heads tribute) at 10 p.m. Saturday; and American Aquarium with Cory Branan at 8 p.m. Sunday.

The Midland will be smokin’ with back-to-back show this weekend, including Slander with Eptic + Whipped Cream at 8 p.m. Friday and Banda Los Recoditos at 8 p.m. Saturday.

Power & Light District gets its early summer groove on this week with two blow-out events, including:

  • Pitch Taste of Kansas City – Attention foodies!! Witness six of KC’s most talented chefs as they battle for the Gold Fork! Sample KC’s best restaurants & try some of the best mixed drinks & micro brewed beers our city has to offer beginning at 6 p.m. Thursday in the KC Live! Block.
  • Tiki Party – The perfect time of year to hang loose, and let out a big howl, has finally arrived! Come chill at Howl at the Moon’s Tiki Party on Sunday, featuring favorite tropical drinks and the sunniest crowd of the year.

Legendary singer/songwriter James Taylor and his All-Star Band are coming to Sprint Center on Tuesday for one intimate and memorable night.

Sprint Center will be sizzling this week with two all-time favorites, including James Taylor & His All-Star Band at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, and Poison with Cheap Trick and Pop Evil at 7 p.m. Friday.

Stanfords Comedy Club brings laughs at its new joint at 831 Walnut. Comedian Sean Brennan will headline the 18 & older show this week – beginning at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, plus late shows on Friday and Saturday. And, Sundays feature an Open Mic beginning at 7:30 p.m.

The Truman will be bouncing the east Crossroads with one concert this week, featuring Wolf Parade with special guests Japandroids and Andrian Teacher & The Subs beginning at 8 p.m. Monday.

‘The Lion King’ is showing now through Sunday at the Music Hall.

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

  • The Lion King – winner of six Tony Awards, including Best Musical in 1998 – runs through Sunday at the Music Hall. Click here for ticket information.
  • Skylight – One of playwright David Hare’s finer works, Skylight has won both the Olivier Award for best play and a Tony Award for Best Revival. This performance by Kansas City Actors Theatre will run through June 10 at City Stage at Union Station.
  • Welcome to Fear City – In this electrifying and original story, a South Bronx boy searches for his poetic voice and wrestles with his identity. His neighborhood fights to survive following the 1977 blackout that rattled New York City and jump-started the hip-hop revolution. Presented by the KC Rep as part of the Origin KC: New Works Festival, Fear City runs through Sunday at the Copaken Stage.

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

From Bluegrass to Margaritaville, Downtown has it all this week

Bluegrass in the Bottoms returns to Knuckleheads Outdoors this weekend in the East Bottoms.

From Bluegrass in the Bottoms to Jimmy Buffett in Margaritaville; from Peter Pan in Neverland to The Lion King at Music Hall the week ahead looks like poster for Downtown cool from Monday to Sunday, May 14-20 – including:

Bluegrass in the Bottoms returns to the East Bottoms on Friday and Saturday nights with some of the hottest names in bluegrass music lighting up Knuckleheads Outdoors. Featured artists include Greensky Bluegrass, The Devil Makes Three, Keller Williams, Leftover Salmon, Elephant Revival and many more acts.

Crossroads KC gets the party started this weekend with Bronco and special guests 5to OLEA and DJ Skandaloso beginning at 8 p.m. Friday at Grinders.

Folly Theater will feature pianist Yefim Bronfmanwho has been described by The New York Times “…as a pianist with comprehensive skills who can seemingly play anything…”, in a Friends of Chamber Music performance at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Jimmy Buffett will set sail for Margaritaville on Saturday when he brings his Son of a Son of a Sailor tour to the Sprint Center.

Jimmy Buffett & The Coral Reefer Band will transform Downtown KC into Margaritaville for one-night-only during  his Son of a Son of a Sailor Tour at 8 p.m. Saturday at Sprint Center.

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts will be in the spotlight this week with nine performances, including:

  • Here Comes the Sun – A sold-out happy hour concert by the Kansas City Symphony. Cash bars open at 5 p.m. with a one-hour casual concert in Helzberg Hall beginning at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
  • Kansas City Ballet performs Peter Pan on Wednesday through Sunday in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre. See the Peter Pan listing below for more information.
  • United Methodist Church of the Resurrection Choir, Orchestra and Handbells will present an inspirational concert featuring sacred music, including Dan Forrest’s Requiem for the Living, and patriotic favorites at 8 p.m. Friday in Helzberg Hall.
  • Kansas City Symphony Chorus will present a special afternoon performance of Duruflé’s Requiem, a soaring Gregorian chant-themed masterpiece, and other favorites at 3 p.m. Sunday in Helzberg Hall. .

Knuckleheads Saloon – the hottest honky tonk in the Big Town – features nine rockin’ shows this week, including Southern Culture on the Skids at 8 p.m. Wednesday; Walter Salas-Humara, Bob Walkenhorst and Howard Iceberg in the Gospel Lounge at 8 p.m. Thursday; and Bluegrass in the Bottoms beginning at 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday (see above for more on this special show.)

The Midland will be smokin’ hot with three shows this week, including Belanova & Moenia at 8 p.m. Thursday; MJ Live!, a Michael Jackson tribute concert, at 8 p.m. Saturday; and Magic Men Live at 8 p.m. Sunday.

Peter Pan – The Kansas City Ballet presents this classic adventure with six performances this week. Peter Pan makes its delightful Kansas City premiere with world premiere choreography by Artistic Director Devon Carney and a soaring score by Carmon DeLeone, performed live by the Kansas City SymphonyPeter continues his flight through Downtown will six performances this week, including the finale at 2 p.m. Sunday in Kauffman Theatre at the Kauffman Center.

Power & Light District gets its early summer groove on this week with two blow-out events, including:

  • Downtown Hoedown featuring Randy Houser at 8 p.m. Thursday in the KC Live! Block;
  • Kansas City Parrot Fest – As a warm-up to the Jimmy Buffett concert on Saturday night at Sprint Center, the KC Live! Block will host Parrots, Pirates & Partying – a full day of live music, patio-hopping and lawn games beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday. The Boat Drunks, Rick Lamb & The Phin Addicts and Glen Mock & The Tropical Dreamers perform live starting at 1 p.m. This all-day festival is free to attend.

Sol y Flor – A collaboration between the Mexican marimba quartet Sol de Chiapas and Mireya Ramos, leader of the Latin Grammy-winning mariachi group, Flor de Toloache will light up Downtown for two performances at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at MTH Theater at Crown Center.

The Truman will be bouncing the east Crossroads with four concerts this week, including Jimmy Eat World with The Hotelier at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday; The Struts featuring The Glorious Sons at 8:30 p.m. Thursday; Joey Bada$$ with Buddy, Boogie, Chuck Strangers at 8 p.m. Friday; and Satyricon with Goatwhore featuring Bleed the Victim and Night Creation at 8 p.m. Saturday.

‘The Lion King’ is showing now through May 27 at the Music Hall.

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

  • Jack and the Bean Magico! The classic fairytale, “Jack and the Beanstalk,” is told with the audience’s help, who assist Jack as he climbs the beanstalk to the giant’s rich and fertile land. This special production runs through Sunday at The Coterie in Crown Center.
  • The Lion King – winner of six Tony Awards, including Best Musical in 1998 – returns to Kansas City beginning Wednesday at the Music Hall. The Theater League production will include 23 shows and will run until May 27. Click here for ticket information.
  • Welcome to Fear City – In this electrifying and original story, a South Bronx boy searches for his poetic voice and wrestles with his identity. His neighborhood fights to survive following the 1977 blackout that rattled New York City and jump-started the hip-hop revolution. Presented by the KC Rep as part of the Origin KC: New Works Festival, Fear City runs through next Sunday, May 27 at the Copaken Stage.

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

U.S. Poet Laureate to speak at Central Library on Friday

The U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith, a Pulitzer Prize winner for poetry in 2012, will visit Downtown Kansas City on Friday evening to present a free program at the Central Library.

An Evening with Tracy K. Smith will begin at 6 p.m. Friday. There’s a certain poetry to Tracy K. Smith talking about poetry. Click here to RSVP.

“I feel like a poem draws us, draws me, into a quieter space, a decibel level that sits below the register of the media that we live with,” she said shortly after being named the 22nd Poet Laureate of the United States a little less than a year ago.

On the heels of the release of her latest book, Wade in the Water, Smith visits the Kansas City Public Library to discuss her life and poetry and read from her works. Director of the creative writing program at Princeton University, she also is the author of a memoir, Ordinary Light, and three previous books of poetry including the Pulitzer Prize-winning Life on Mars.

‘Peter Pan’ lifts the A&E scene into the stars this week

The Kansas City Ballet production of the classic ‘Peter Pan’ opens this week at the Kauffman Center.

From Tiffany Haddish to ‘Peter Pan’, from the Downtown Open to the Plein Air KC artists’ competition, from ‘The Lion King’ to Jason Aldean, and from Bill Shapiro to Alan Cumming …  this promises to be an eclectic and inspiring week ahead – Monday to Sunday, May 7-13 – in the Downtown arts & entertainment scene, including:

Alan Cumming will present his ‘Legal Immigrant’ cabaret show at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Kauffman Center.

Alan Cumming – The Tony and Olivier award winner has been described by Time magazine as one of the most fun people in show business and by The New York Times as a “bawdy, counter-cultural spite.” He will perform his latest cabaret show Legal Immigrant, featuring songs and stories of the Scottish-born performer’s life and loves in his adopted U.S. homeland, where he’s been a citizen since 2008. The fun begins at 7 p.m. Sunday in Helzberg Hall at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

The Art of Comicsan Andrews McMeel Universal retrospective of the creators and characters who shaped popular culture – is now on display through May 25 at The Box Gallery in the Commerce Arcade, 1000 Walnut. The free exhibit explores the evolution of the funny pages, from Doonesbury to Calvin and Hobbes to the new frontier that of web comics.

Downtown Open is back and better than ever! Grab your friends & your glory as you ride the streetcar down Main Street, chipping off Kansas City’s landmarks & putting inside bars for this one of a kind Urban Golf Tournament! While you’ll find many of the amenities you’ve come to expect from a typical golf course, this will be anything but. Teeing off from rooftops, pitching from sidewalks and putting on street corners. No golf carts necessary as every hole is a short walk from the KC Streetcar stops. The fun begins at 1 p.m. Saturday. To register or for more information, visit kc-crew.com.

Family Fun Series kicks off a new season from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday in the Power & Light District. The CAPES & CROWNS festival features character meet-and-greets, a Castle Moon Bounce, Super Hero Bounce House, a trackless train and more! Kids can meet and have their photos taken with their favorite super hero or princess! Admission to the event is FREE. Fees apply for premium activities.

Kelley Hunt will perform in the 40th Anniversary Celebration of Cyprus Avenue on Friday at the Folly Theater.

Folly Theater will celebrate the season this weekend with two special performances, including:

  • Tribute to Bill ShapiroAfter 40 years on the air, KCUR will be celebrate its final Cyprus Avenue LIVE! show with a special finale, featuring Kelley Hunt and her 9 piece ensemble. All the fun gets under way at 8 p.m. Friday.
  • Central Standard returns to the C. Stephen Metzler Hall for their spring A Cappella Concert, featuring Signature, at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Knuckleheads Saloon – the hottest honky tonk in the Big Town – features nine rockin’ shows this week, including two performances by The Mavericks / Seth Walker at 8:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and a very special solo evening in the Garage with Raul Malo at 7:30 p.m. Sunday.

Tiffany Haddish, who will perform before a sold-out Midland audience on Saturday night, is currently featured as one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people on the planet.

The Midland will be smokin’ with three performances this week, including Disney Junior Dance Party at 6 p.m. Wednesday; Brian Culberson at 8 p.m. Friday; and comedienne and actress Tiffany Haddish pays a long-awaited visit to Kansas City in a sold-out show at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Peter Pan – The Kansas City Ballet presents this classic adventure over nine performances beginning Friday. Peter Pan makes its delightful Kansas City premiere with world premiere choreography by Artistic Director Devon Carney and a soaring score by Carmon DeLeone, performed live by the Kansas City SymphonyPeter begins his flight with three performances this week at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre at the Kauffman Center.

The 5th Annual Plein Air KC artists competition continues this week with two outdoor Quick Paint events, plus the annual awards ceremony on Saturday.

Plein Air KC – One of Kansas City’s freshest artistic events continues in and around Union Hill this week. Plein Air is from the French term “open (in full) air”, so all paintings must be created outdoors. Plein Air KC will stage two more “Quick Paint” competitions this week, in which artists will have two hours to paint in a limited area, plus the annual awards ceremony on Saturday:

Rockin’ for Dreams – The Dream Factory of Kansas City will be rockin’ from 6-10 p.m. Friday in the KC Live! Block  with Poison Overdose, Revelation, Elton Dan & The Rocket Band, and KC/DC. Watch as they battle for the coveted trophy – all for a good cause!

Jason Aldean will use his concert at the Sprint Center this Thursday to kick off his national tour of 35 cities.

Sprint Center presents country superstar Jason Aldean this week, as he kicks off his national High Noon Neon Tour at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Special guests will include Luke Combs and Lauren Alaina.

Stanfords Comedy Club brings laughs at its new joint at 831 Walnut. Comedian Dennis Chanay will headline the 18 & older show this week – beginning at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, plus late shows on Friday and Saturday.

The Truman will be bouncing the east Crossroads with three performances this week, including Bishop Briggs with Matt Maeson at 8 p.m. Thursday; The Breeders with The Funs at 8 p.m. Friday; and Helmet with special guests Prong at 8 p.m. Sunday.

‘The Lion King’ returns to Downtown KC on Wednesday for 23 performances at the Music Hall.

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

  • Jack and the Bean Magico! The classic fairytale, “Jack and the Beanstalk,” is told with the audience’s help, who assist Jack as he climbs the beanstalk to the giant’s rich and fertile land. This special production runs through May 20 at The Coterie in Crown Center.
  • The Lion King – winner of six Tony Awards, including Best Musical in 1998 – returns to Kansas City beginning Wednesday at the Music Hall. The Theater League production will include 23 shows and will run until May 27. Click here for ticket information.
  • Welcome to Fear City – In this electrifying and original story, a South Bronx boy searches for his poetic voice and wrestles with his identity. His neighborhood fights to survive following the 1977 blackout that rattled New York City and jump-started the hip-hop revolution. Presented by the KC Rep as part of the Origin KC: New Works Festival, Fear City runs through May 27 at the Copaken Stage.

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

Arts, Opera, Jazz, UMKC Finale, First Friday – Welcome to Downtown KC

‘The Barber of Seville’ will light up Downtown with three more side-splitting performances by the Lyric Opera of Kansas City this week at the Kauffman Center.

From The Barber of Seville to Audra McDonald; from First Friday festivities to the opening of Plein Air KC; from the International Jazz Day to the launch of Art in the Loop 2018; from the UMKC Finale to the KC Burlesque Festival ….  this promises to be an inspired first week of May – Monday to Sunday, April 30-May 6 – in the Downtown arts & entertainment scene, including:

Art in the Loop: KC Plays – The new season for Art in the Loop, a curated outdoor exhibition of 15 temporary works of art and performances in the greater Downtown area, will be launched at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Central Library. The kickoff event will feature a number of participating artists, dancers, musicians, and poets who take turns discussing their contributions. RSVP here.

The Art of Comicsan Andrews McMeel Universal retrospective of the creators and characters who shaped popular culture – is now on display through May 25 at The Box Gallery in the Commerce Arcade, 1000 Walnut. The free exhibit explores the evolution of the funny pages, from Doonesbury to Calvin and Hobbes to the new frontier that of web comics.

The Barber of Seville – The Lyric Opera of Kansas City presents one of the funniest comedies of all time and, yes, it’s an opera. Check your powdered wigs at the door and stop by Seville for a Barber of a different color. The final three performances are set for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Friday, and 2 p.m. Sunday in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre.

Crossroads KC makes its seasonable return to the Kansas City outdoor concert scene this week with the debut of a new Free Fridays performance of the MGDs with DJ Diehard beginning at 7 p.m. Friday at the Grinders stage.

Kansas City Burlesque Festival returns for its 8th annual variety shows and competition at two Downtown locations on Friday and Saturday. The festivities begin at 7 p.m. Friday with Spectaculary Burlesque, followed by the Late Night Strut at the Opera House in the River Market. Next up, will be the Burlesque & Variety Extravaganza and the Classic Performer Competition beginning at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Folly Theater.

First Friday – KC’s coolest night of the spring – returns this Friday with a sizzling collection arts and cultural experiences throughout Downtown via the:

  • Crossroads Arts District featuring arts organizations, galleries, studios, and a wide variety of local businesses in a celebration of local, regional and national artists and live entertainment from 5 to 9 p.m.
  • Crossroads on the Vine showcasing the annual art exhibition of students in the Crossroads Charter Schools from 4:30-7:30 p.m. at the American Jazz Museum. The event will include a silent auction and raffle featuring works by parent artists. Student art will be available for purchase for $20.
  • First Fridays on the Vine – Celebrate the second anniversary of First Fridays at 18th & Vine by shopping local artists – including the Crossroads Charter School students (see above) and a diverse array of food trucks, along with a jazzy selection of live entertainment, beginning at 4 p.m.
  • First Friday Warehouse Weekends – one of the finest vintage marketplaces in the country – flourishes every First Friday weekend (Friday through Sunday) in the West Bottoms.

International Jazz Day on Monday, April 30 will be celebrated through the 18th & Vine Jazz District beginning at 11 a.m. and continuing until daybreak on Tuesday.

International Jazz Day – The American Jazz Museum and the Mutual Musicians Foundation are teaming up to present activities in honor of International Jazz Day beginning at 11 a.m. today (Monday) in the 18th & Vine Jazz District. A full day and night of tours, talk and sweet jazz will unfold throughout 18th & Vine before wrapping up with a late-night / early morning jam session featuring James Hathaway at the Foundation. For the complete, schedule visit the Swing, Bop and Beyond website.

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts will showcase eight breathtaking performances this week, including:

  • UMKC Finale, Conservatory Orchestra and Choirs, directed by Robert Olson and Robert Bode, respectively. The exciting program includes Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms, with orchestra and choirs and Conservatory dancers. Stravinsky’s 1930 work was commissioned by Serge Koussevitzky to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The Finale will unfold at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Helzberg Hall.
  • National Geographic Live – As commander of the International Space Station, NASA astronaut Terry Virts shot more photographs than any astronaut who came before him. Many of those images were later used in the National Geographic book View From Above and IMAX film A Beautiful Planet, but to hear Virts tell it, no photo can capture the perfect shade of blue from a sunrise viewed from outer space. Virts will share his photographic gems at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre.
  • The Barber of Seville – one funniest comedies of all time – will be presented by the Lyric Opera of Kansas City this week with performances at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Friday, and 2 p.m. Sunday in Kauffman Theatre.
  • Off the Wall: Pop Hits of the 80’s, performed by the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra and featuring music from Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and more music legends, is on tap for 8 p.m. Friday in Helzberg Hall.
  • Audra McDonald, – one of today’s most highly regarded performers with a record six Tony Awards, two Grammy® Awards, and a long list of other accolades – will be featured in this special one-night-only performance with the Kansas City Symphony at 8 p.m. Saturday in Helzberg Hall.
  • Surround Sound – The Kansas City Civic Orchestra’s season finale is the orchestra’s debut performance at the Kauffman Center. In its 59th consecutive season, KCCO remains dedicated to the mission of bringing high quality, free concerts to the community. This special performance is set for 3 p.m. Sunday in Helzberg Hall.

Knuckleheads Saloon – the hottest honky tonk in the Big Town – features nine rockin’ shows this week, including two nights of Merle Jam, featuring the likes of Jason D. Williams, Slim Hanson, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, the Nace Brothers and many more beginning at 6 p.m. Friday and 7 p.m. Saturday.

The Midland will be smokin’ with three performances this week, including:

  • Anthony Jeselnik brings his original brand of comedy to the Big Town for one night only beginning at 8 p.m. Thursday;
  • Whose Live Anyway? The current cast members of the Emmy-nominated TV show Whose Line Is It Anyway? present their new improv tour that features 90 minutes of hilarious improvised comedy and song all based on audience suggestions. The fun begins at 7 p.m. Saturday.
  • Las Arpias – Following their successful tour in Mexico, the Las Arpias arrives in the U.S. to weave their spell. though a play that begins as a comedy, but evolves into a suspenseful story.  The ladies will get to work at 6 p.m. Sunday.

Plein Air KC – One of Kansas City’s freshest artistic event series gets under way this weekend, as the 5th annual Plein Air KC Competition prepares for a two-month stay in and around Union Hill and Union Station. Plein Air is from the French term “open (in full) air”, so all paintings must be created outdoors. No studio works are permitted in the competition. Plein Air KC will stage three “Quick Paint” competitions in which artists will have two hours to paint in a limited area. A winning piece will be chosen by the judges each evening of the competitions, which begin on Sunday evening in Roanoke Park. Two more competitions are set for next week in Penn Valley and Union Cemetery. For more information, visit the Plein Air KC and make plans to attend the opening night Artists’ Reception and VIP Party.

Martin Lawrence will serve as the ringmaster of a comedy all-star show on Friday at Sprint Center.

Sprint Center welcomes comedian, actor, director and producer Martin Lawrence in his return to the stage as the host of 2018’s hottest comedy event, featuring an amazing lineup of comedic talent, including Bruce Bruce, Jay Pharoah, Adele Givens and Benji Brown. Buckle up for laughs beginning at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Stanfords Comedy Club brings laughs at its new joint at 831 Walnut. Comedian Adam Maxwell will headline the 18 & older show this week – beginning at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, plus late shows on Friday and Saturday.

The Truman will be bouncing the east Crossroads with four back-to-back performances this week, including Jonathan Davis of Korn with Champagne Campaign at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday; As The Crow Flies featuring Chris Robinson, Marcus King, Audley Freed, Andy Hess, Adam McDougal, Tony Leone and Once & Future Band at 8 p.m. Wednesday; K.Flay before a sold-out audience with Yes You Are in a sold-out show at 8:30 p.m. Thursday; and Misterwives with Flor and Flint Eastwood at 8 p.m. Friday.

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

  • Jack and the Bean Magico! The classic fairytale, “Jack and the Beanstalk,” is told with the audience’s help, who assist Jack as he climbs the beanstalk to the giant’s rich and fertile land. This special production runs through May 20 at The Coterie in Crown Center.
  • Welcome to Fear City – In this electrifying and original story, a South Bronx boy searches for his poetic voice and wrestles with his identity. His neighborhood fights to survive following the 1977 blackout that rattled New York City and jump-started the hip-hop revolution. Presented by the KC Rep as part of the Origin KC: New Works Festival, Fear City runs through May 27 at the Copaken Stage.

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

‘Barber of Seville’ grooms Downtown for a festive week

The Lyric Opera of Kansas City will open ‘The Barber of Seville’ on Saturday at the Kauffman Center.

From The Barber of Seville to Kevin Hart; from the SFJazz Collective to Weird Al; and from the UMKC Wind(s) to the Youth Symphony of KC …  this promises to be a thrilling week ahead – Monday to Sunday, April 23-29 – in the Downtown arts & entertainment scene, including:

The Art of Comicsan Andrews McMeel Universal retrospective of the creators and characters who shaped popular culture – is now on display through May 25 at The Box Gallery in the Commerce Arcade, 1000 Walnut. The free exhibit explores the evolution of the funny pages, from Doonesbury to Calvin and Hobbes to the new frontier that is web comics, all through the lens of the company that resulted from that legendary partnership.

The Barber of Seville – The Lyric Opera of Kansas City presents one of the funniest comedies of all time and, yes, it’s an opera. Check your powdered wigs at the door and stop by Seville for a Barber of a different color. Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre.

The SFJazz Collective will pay tribute to Miles Davis on Friday at the Folly Theater.

Folly Theater will be soaring with five performances this week, including:

  • UMKC Wind Symphony, directed by Stephen D. Davis, will perform music by Higdon and Elgar beginning at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday
  • UMKC Wind Ensembledirected by Joseph Parisi, will perform music by five composers – including Bozza, Higdon, Milhaud, King-Smith and Wilson – beginning at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday
  • SFJazz Music Collective, an all-star ensemble comprising eight of the finest performer/composers at work in jazz today, will pay tribute to trumpeter, composer and innovator Miles Davis beginning at 8 p.m. Friday. A JazzTalk program with Bob McWilliams will open the evening at 7 p.m.
  • Julia Bullock, soprano in recital, will perform in a free Discovery Concert at 7 p.m. Saturday. The New York Times heralded Bullock is “poised for a significant career.” The charismatic soprano has been lighting up stages around the world, performing vocal repertoire from Schubert to Broadway.
  • ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic will present his “ridiculously self-indulgent, ill-advised vanity tour” with special guest Emo Philips before a sold-out audience at 8 p.m. Sunday. Who could ask for anything more?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic returns to the Big Town for a sold out show at the Folly Theater on Saturday.

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts will showcase five performances this week, including:

Knuckleheads Saloon – the hottest honky tonk in the Big Town – features 11 rockin’ shows this week, including the Grand Marquis CD release party with Victor and Penny, and Brandon & The Condition at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, and Valentine & The Knights – Valentine’s Birthday Bash featuring four bands starting at 7 p.m. Sunday.

The Midland will be smokin’ hot with three shows this week, including Lord Huron with Liz Cooper and The Stampede at 8 p.m. Wednesday; Vance Joy with lovelytheband at 7:30 p.m. Friday; and Maks, Val & Peta live on tour at 7:30 p.m. Sunday.

Sprint Center welcomes Kevin Hart – of the hottest comedians, entertainers and actors – back to Downtown KC for his Irresponsible Tour at 7 p.m. Friday.

Stanfords Comedy Club brings laughs at its new joint at 831 Walnut. Comedienne Maeret Lemons will headline the 18 & older show this week – beginning at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, plus late shows on Friday and Saturday.

The Truman will be bouncing the east Crossroads with back-to-back performances this weekend, including Marian Hill with Michl at 8 p.m. Friday, and Franz Ferdinand with Priests at 8 p.m. Saturday.

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

  • Belfast Girls – presented by Fishtank Theatre and the Charlotte Street Foundation – tells the powerful Jaki McCarrick story of five young women who seek passage on a ship to Australia to escaping the Irish famine in 1850. Performances continue through Sunday at La Esquina.
  • Jack and the Bean Magico! The classic fairytale, “Jack and the Beanstalk,” is told with the audience’s help, who assist Jack as he climbs the beanstalk to the giant’s rich and fertile land. This special production opens Tuesday and runs through May 20 at The Coterie in Crown Center.
  • The Mascot, a satirically comic coming-of-age story about an obsessive father, a starry-eyed son, and the drama that ensues when a father’s pursuit of his unfulfilled aspirations torpedo the dream of his son, runs through Sunday at The Living Room Theatre.
  • Welcome to Fear City – In this electrifying and original story, a South Bronx boy searches for his poetic voice and wrestles with his identity. His neighborhood fights to survive following the 1977 blackout that rattled New York City and jump-started the hip-hop revolution. Presented by the KC Rep as part of the Origin KC: New Works Festival, Fear City opens Saturday and continues through May 27 at the Copaken Stage.

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

2018 Art in the Loop kickoff is set for May 1

The 2018 Art in the Loop Project: KC Plays!, a curated outdoor exhibition staged in partnership with the City of Kansas City, Missouri, and KC Streetcar, will feature 15 temporary artworks and performances along the city’s streetcar route, in West Terrace/Case Park, and at the Kansas City Public Library.

Make plans to join us from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 1 for the kickoff presentation and reception at the Central Library, 14 West 10th Street.  Click here to RSVP.

As the series prepares to open, a number of the participating artists take turns discussing their works. They are introduced by art-directors Jahaira Aguilar and Andrew Lattner, local artists and co-founders of the collaborative group NDo. Both artists are current Artists-in-Residence at the Charlotte Street Foundation. Art in the Loop, running from May 1 to September 30, is designed to make cultural experiences available to downtown residents, visitors, and workers.

The 2018 Art in the Loop Project: KC Plays infuses the center of Downtown Kansas City with innovative and engaging temporary art that will refresh, intrigue and surprise Downtown employees, residents, and visitors. The project also creates opportunities for local emerging and established artists to extend their practice into the Downtown environment with curatorial, professional and logistical support. The 2018 locations for the series includes:

  1. Art in the Park – West Terrace & Case Park, 10th & Jefferson;
  2. Art on the Line – KC Streetcar, stops located along Main Street from the City Market to Union Station;
  3. Art at the Library – Kansas City Public Library Central Library,14 W. 10th St.
  4. Art in the Loop Studio Residency –  Location TBD
  5. Art in the Loop Exhibition at The Box Gallery – Commerce Bank Building, 1000 Walnut Street

2018 ART IN THE LOOP ARTISTS

SlinkyBall concept by Denise DiPiazzo

Art in the Park (West Terrace/Case Park):

  • Denise DiPiazzo, SlinkyBall
  • Stacey Sharpe, Air Play
  • Annelise Kinney, Michael Elwood & Daniel Rawlings, Busy Bead Maze

Celestial Heap concept image by Monica Dixon

Art on the Line (KC Streetcar):

  • Alter Art Space, Alter: Pop-Up pARTy (August 24, 6:00 p.m., Union Station Stop)
  • Daniel Chase, Running Idle, (Video animation on KCity Post Kiosks)
  • Monica Dixon, Celestial Heap, (Vinyl artwork onboard KC Streetcar vehicle)
  • Emily Sloan, Streetcar Shelter Sweater, (Fabric artwork, River Market West Stop)
  • Megan Karson, Stranger on a Train, (Soft sculpture onboard KC Streetcar vehicle)
  • Amy Kligman, Party Car, (Vinyl  artwork on KC Streetcar vehicle exterior)
  • Kriss Miller & Alicen Lundberg, KC Word Plays! (Interactive sculpture, Library Southbound Stop)
  • Stephen Proski, Night People (Vinyl artwork, Crossroads Southbound Stop)
  • Stone Lion Puppets, KC Puppets at Play!,(July 11 and August 8, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Union Station and City Market Stops proposed locations.)

Wearable Play concept image by Sunyoung Cheong

Art Starts at the Library (Kansas City Public Library Central Library, 14 W 10th St.):

  • David Alpert, Passing Notes, (June 1, August 3 and other dates TBD)
  • Sunyoung Cheong, Wearable Play, (August 3)

Art in the Loop Studio Residency: Soft Lab

Selected artists Olivia Clanton and Natalie Spicker will create experimental artwork as well as invite the public to interact with them during weaving and quilting workshops. This residency is the first of its kind for Art in the Loop and will provide opportunities for artists to interact with the public and collaborate in a new way. The studio location will be finalized soon. Schedules for workshops will be posted at www.artintheloop.com

The Box Gallery
New this year, The Box Gallery will host an Art in the Loop Exhibition from June through July, with an opening reception on Friday, June 1, 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The exhibition will include images and ephemera for this year’s Art in the Loop Project: KC Plays, as well as, maps, brochures and videos. It will also be the site of music performances, receptions and other events. The Box Gallery is located on the first floor of the Commerce Bank Building, 1000 Walnut Street, Kansas City, MO 64106.

The 2018 Art in the Loop Project: KC Plays is made possible through the generous support of KC Streetcar; the City of Kansas City, Missouri; the Missouri Arts Council; Arts KC and our corporate sponsors including Stinson Leonard Street, Copaken Brooks, Lofts@Delaware Landing, 3D Development, Burns & McDonnell, JE Dunn Construction, McCownGordon Construction and PortKC. We appreciate support and guidance provided by our partners: Downtown Council, Downtown Community Improvement Districts, KCMO-Public Works Department, KC Streetcar, the KC Parks, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City Art Institute, The Box Gallery, Union Station and The Bridge 90.9.

Art in the Loop will also bring a diverse array of musicians to Downtown Kansas City through a lunchtime concert series on Wednesdays, from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., from May 30 through September 5, at the same locations where artwork is installed.  Musicians will be announced later this month.

For more information about the project, the artists and performance schedule visit www.artintheloop.com, www.facebook.com/artintheloop, or twitter.com/ArtintheLoop.

Downtown stages go ‘Back to the Future’ in the week ahead

‘Belfast Girls’ – presented by Fishtank Theatre and the Charlotte Street Foundation – is now appearing at La Esquina.

Screenland at the Symphony, the UMKC Jazz Night, a Night of Tango and five different theatrical performances will set the bar sky-high for a bold week ahead in the Downtown arts & entertainment scene for Monday to Sunday, April 16-22, including:

Back to the Future will light up Downtown this weekend with Screenland at the Symphony, featuring four showings of the classic motion picture, as the Kansas City Symphony performs the movie score at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in Helzberg Hall at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

The Box Gallery presents “The Art of Comics: an Andrews McMeel Universal retrospective of the creators and characters who shaped popular culture” now through May 25 in the Commerce Arcade, 1000 Walnut. The free exhibit explores the evolution of the funny pages, from Doonesbury to Calvin and Hobbes to the new frontier that is web comics, all through the lens of the company that resulted from that legendary partnership.

Bach Aria Soloists return to Downtown KC on Saturday for their celebrated show, Night of Tango, at the Folly Theater.

Folly Theater features three extraordinary performances over four days this weekend, including

  • UMKC Jazz Night – Join the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance jazz bands in a lively collage concert featuring a variety of ensembles that represent the entirety of jazz studies at the Conservatory, directed by Bobby Watson and Dan Thomas, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Thursday;
  • Night of Tango – Bach Aria Soloists returns to one of its most acclaimed programs, when it presents
    with two world-class masters of the genre, bandoneónist Héctor Del Curto — 2018 Grammy winner for Best Latin Jazz Album — and Latin Grammy-nominated pianist Gustavo Casenave at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
  • Nelson Freire will take center stage in this Muriel McBrien Kauffman Master Pianists Series performance courtesy of the Friends of Chamber Music at 2:30 p.m. Sunday.
John Singer Sargent’s masterpiece ‘Gassed’ is on exhibit now June 3 at the National WWI Museum.

Knuckleheads Saloon – the hottest honky tonk in the Big Town – features 10 shows this week, including the KC Blues Society Jam at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, and Killer QUEEN and The WHO Generation at 8:30 p.m. Friday.

The Midland will be smokin’ hot this week with back-to-back nights of entertainment, including An Evening with Tedeschi Trucks Band at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, and The Fun Show with Cat & Nat at 8 p.m. Thursday. 

Pig and Swig – Make plans now for the Third Annual Pig and Swig Festival benefiting Operation BBQ Relief, and enjoy the sights, smells and flavors of Kansas City barbecue in the heart of Downtown KC. Doors open at 2 p.m. on Sarturday, and the BBQ, bourbon and bacon will be flyin’ until 6 p.m. at the Power & Light District.

Stanfords Comedy Club brings laughs at its new joint at 831 Walnut. Comedian DC Young will headline the 18 & older show this week – beginning at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, plus late shows on Friday and Saturday.

The Truman will be bouncing the east Crossroads with one show this week, Houndmouth with special guest Frederick the Younger at 8 p.m. Friday.

The Art of the Brick – a special exhibition designed to inspire ingenuity and creativity, is the world’s largest and most elaborate display of LEGO art – continues through May 28 at Union Station.

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

  • Belfast Girls – presented by Fishtank Theatre and the Charlotte Street Foundation – tells the powerful Jaki McCarrick story of five young women who seek passage on a ship to Australia to escaping the Irish famine in 1850. Performances continue through April 29 at La Esquina.
  • A Fine Bromance – Direct from their sold-out engagement at Feinstein’s/54 Below in New York City, Jeff Kready and Tally Sessions bring an evening of soaring tenor and booming baritone duets to Downtown at 8 p.m. Monday at the MTH Theater at Crown Center.
  • Jack and the Bean Magico! The classic fairytale, “Jack and the Beanstalk,” is told with the audience’s help, who assist Jack as he climbs the beanstalk to the giant’s rich and fertile land. This special production opens Tuesday and runs through May 20 at The Coterie in Crown Center.
  • The Mascot, a satirically comic coming-of-age story about an obsessive father, a starry-eyed son, and the drama that ensues when a father’s pursuit of his unfulfilled aspirations torpedo the dream of his son, runs through April 29 at The Living Room Theatre.
  • The Music of Motown – featuring songs from Broadway musicals like The Wiz, Dreamgirls and Motown The Musical, along with tunes made famous by Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson and Diana Ross – is on tap at 7:30 p.m. Monday and Tuesday at MTH 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

KCPD, Public Works team up to improve parking access

 

As Downtown Kansas City’s momentum continues to attract more residents, visitors and businesses, the Parking Services Division of the Public Works Department and the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department have partnered to support Downtown businesses and residents through a parking enforcement upgrade.

Parking meter upgrades are designed to help improve the parking experience in Downtown.

As part of the budget process, the city allocated $145,000 to KCPD to increase Downtown parking enforcement operations.

As a result, starting today (Monday, April 9) KCPD will increase Downtown parking enforcement. Warning tickets will be issued for a short period of time, however, if the parking violation is a safety concern, or impedes the natural flow of traffic, a citation could be issued.

“We know that we can best support our Downtown businesses with adequate levels of parking enforcement to encourage parking turnover. This fits into the City’s efforts to implement parking policies based on community input and best practices,” said Public Works Director Sherri McIntyre.

The City already has online parking garage reservations, mobile payment for metered parking, electric vehicle charging stations, and car-share services.  Other parking improvement efforts include recent parking studies in the River Market and Crossroads Arts District.

The City is implementing recommendations from those studies, including development of technology that would offer real time parking availability with a new smart-phone app. The City also recently rolled out a demo of several smart parking meters downtown with the goal of using community feedback to choose one vendor for permanent installations.

You can find updates on parking policy improvements by visiting kcmo.gov/parking.

For more information on city parking policies, please contact Beth Breitenstein, Public Works Public Information Officer at 816-513-2612. For more information on parking enforcement operations, please contact Sergeant Kari Thompson, KCPD at 816-234-5170

Giggles with Gilda sets an inspired tone for the A&E week ahead

Kevin Nealon, the SNL alum and ‘Weeds’ connoisseur, will perform at the Midland this week in a benefit for Giggles with Gilda.

Giggles with Gilda (Kevin Nealon), A Century of Bernstein (KC Symphony), the 60th Anniversary Dance Festival (KC Ballet), Homegrown Music Festival (30+ bands) and The Art of Comics (Andrews McMeel) set the bar sky-high for a terrific week ahead in the Downtown arts & entertainment scene for Monday to Sunday, April 9-15:

Ahayu – A program of pre- and post-Columbian music from the Americas curated by Amado Espinoza, who is currently recording a new álbum in Kansas City with percussionist Andres Ramirez, violinist Tina Bilberry, and bassist Johnny Hamil, is on tap for 8 p.m. Saturday at MTH Theater in Crown Center.

The Box Gallery will present “The Art of Comics: an Andrews McMeel Universal retrospective of the creators and characters who shaped popular culture” now through May 25 in the Commerce Arcade, 1000 Walnut. The free exhibit explores the evolution of the funny pages, from Doonesbury to Calvin and Hobbes to the new frontier that is web comics, all through the lens of the company that resulted from that legendary partnership.

The Homegrown Buzz Showcase will feature 30+ local musicians and bands at 8+ bars and venues beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday in the Power & Light District.

Buzz Homegrown Music Showcase, sponsored by 96.5 the Buzz, is an annual exhibition for a cavalcade of local musicians beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday at Kansas City Live! in the Power & Light District. Hembree, a slick indie-pop act, is the most established band on the bill. that features Olivia Fox, Brandon Phillips and The Condition, The Noise FM, Fathers, Mess, Y God Y, The Dear Misses, Faintheart, Hot Suede, Keaton Conrad and many more! Click here for ticket information.

5th District Voyage of Artistic Discovery – The Kansas City Public Library plays host to the annual Missouri 5th Congressional District student art exhibit and celebration, at which U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II and his wife Dianne Cleaver honor local high school artists at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at the Central Library. RSVP now.

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts will light up Kansas City this week with seven remarkable performances, including:

  • The McFadden Brothers will dance the night away at a free concert for Kauffman Center members at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Helzberg Hall.
  • Kansas City Ballet will conclude the 60th Anniversary Dance Festival this weekend with flannel shirts, cowboy boots and jeans that never looked so good in this tribute to rockabilly, Johnny Cash. James Kudelka’s hit ballet The Man in Black is an ode to the human spirit and a unique blend of country-western dance. Performances are set for 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre.
  • A Century of Bernstein continues the Kansas City Symphony’s centennial celebration of extraordinary American composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday in Helzberg Hall. Typical of Bernstein’s original and eclectic style, the Chichester Psalms combine various influences, including music initially intended for the Broadway stage.

Knuckleheads Saloon – the hottest honky tonk in the Big Town – features nine shows this week, including Kiefer Sutherland with Ian Moore and Rick Brantley at 8 p.m. Friday, and Tab Benoit with The Kris Iager Band at 9 p.m. Saturday.

Kevin Nealon, the SNL veteran and ‘Weeds’ afficiando, will bring his comic magic to town for a Giggle with Gilda benefit performance at 8:30 p.m. Thursday at the Midland Theatre.

Stanfords Comedy Club brings laughs to Downtown from its new joint at 831 Walnut. Comedian Brad Ellis will headline most of the 18 & older show this week – beginning at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, plus late shows on Thursday, Friday and Saturday – while comedian Kevin Farley will headline both shows on Thursday. And, Open Mic is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Sundays. For ticket information, visit Stanfords.

The Truman will be bouncing the east Crossroads with two sold out shows this week, including an acoustic evening with Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness with Friends featuring Allen Stone, Zac Clark and Bob Oxblood (of Jack’s Mannequin) at 7 p.m. Tuesday, and AJR with Ocean Park Standoff and Hundred Handed at 7:15 p.m. Wednesday.

John Singer Sargent’s masterpiece ‘Gassed’ is on exhibit now June 3 at the National WWI Museum.

WWI Museum – John Singer Sargent’s incredible masterpiece Gassed is truly one of the giants of the art world at more than nine feet tall by 21 feet long. The landmark painting is the focal point in this special centennial exhibition – that is on exhibition through June 3 in the Wylie Gallery – that also includes reproductions of many of his study drawings and historical and contemporary objects on detection and protection from chemical warfare.

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

  • Belfast Girls – presented by Fishtank Theatre and the Charlotte Street Foundation – tells the powerful Jaki McCarrick story of five young women who seek passage on a ship to Australia to escaping the Irish famine in 1850. Performances begin Friday and run through April 29 at La Esquina.
  • The Mascot, a satirically comic coming-of-age story about an obsessive father, a starry-eyed son, and the drama that ensues when a father’s pursuit of his unfulfilled aspirations torpedo the dream of his son, opens Thursday and runs through April 29 at The Living Room Theatre.

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

Ailey II & Ballet ‘Diamonds’ set the stage for the week

Dance (via Ailey II and the Kansas City Ballet) and First Friday frivolity set the table for a thrilling week ahead in the Downtown arts & entertainment scene – Monday to Sunday, April 2-8, – that includes:

Ailey II: The Alvin Ailey spirit will shine as these artists perform an exhilarating and diverse repertory that includes Ailey’s timeless classics and thrilling new works by today’s outstanding emerging choreographers. The Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey present the Next Generation of Dance in four performances – at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and 2 and 6 p.m. Saturday – at the Folly Theater.

American Jazz Museum presents The Anat Cohen Tentet, featuring woodwind virtuoso Anat Cohen, at 8 p.m. Saturday in the Gem Theater. Both on stage and on Cohen’s release, Happy Song, the Tentet weaves a tapestry of sounds, freeing Cohen to explore the full range of the clarinet’s dynamics and demonstrate its vastly expressive character.

The Box Gallery will present “The Art of Comics: an Andrews McMeel Universal retrospective of the creators and characters who shaped popular culture” beginning with a free public reception from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday in the Commerce Arcade, 1000 Walnut. The exhibit explores the evolution of the funny pages, from Doonesbury to Calvin and Hobbes to the new frontier that is web comics, all through the lens of the company that resulted from that legendary partnership. The free exhibit will run through May 25.

First Friday – KC’s hottest night of the spring – returns this Friday with a sizzling collection arts and cultural experiences throughout the:

  • Crossroads Arts District featuring arts organizations, galleries, studios, and a wide variety of local businesses in a celebration of local, regional and national artists and live entertainment from 5 to 9 p.m.
  • 18th & Vine Jazz District – Shop local artists and a diverse array of food trucks, along with a jazzy selection of live entertainment, beginning at 4 p.m.
  • Champagne, Jazz & KC History – featuring the grand opening Kansas City’s most luxurious AirBnB, the 1887 J.G. Peppard House from 4-9 p.m. Friday at 1704 Jefferson St. in the Westside.
  • First Friday (Short) Film Festival gets under way after most of the galleries have closed. The doors at MTH Theater in Crown Center open at 6:30 p.m., and the screening begins at 7:30. Admission is always free.  Seating is first come, first served.
  • First Friday Warehouse Weekends – one of the finest vintage marketplaces in the country – flourishes every First Friday weekend (Friday through Sunday) in the West Bottoms.

Kansas City Ballet will present the 60th Anniversary Dance Festival – featuring six ballets in two weeks – this weekend and next at the Muriel Kauffman Theatre in the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts:

  • The first weekend is the must-see event of the year. George Balanchine’s Diamonds recalls the order and grandeur of Imperial Russia and the Maryinsky Theater, where Balanchine was trained. It is the third and final ballet of Balanchine’s Jewels and is a glorious culmination of beauty and elegance. Diamonds will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday.
  • In the second weekend, the Dance Festival will feature three contemporary ballets. Flannel shirts, cowboy boots and jeans never looked so good in this tribute to rockabilly, Johnny Cash. James Kudelka’s hit ballet The Man in Black is an ode to the human spirit and a unique blend of country-western dance. The Toronto Star called it “a work so inventive, so alert to the music and their lyrics, and so deeply moving.” The Man in Black will be performed over the weekend of April 13-15.

Kauffman Center will light up Kansas City this week with five amazing performances, including Side by Side with the Youth Symphony of Kansas City at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in Helzberg Hall; the three performances of the 60th Anniversary Dance Festival by the Kansas City Ballet (see previous entry) in the Kauffman Theatre; and the University of Kansas Choral Festival at 3 p.m. Sunday in Helzberg Hall.

Knuckleheads Saloon – the hottest honky tonk in the Big Town – features 11 shows this week, including the Dweezil Zappa World Tour at 8 p.m. Wednesday; Maria the Mexican at 7 p.m. Thursday; the Danielle Nicole CD release party at 8:30 p.m. Saturday.

Eddie B brings his Teachers Only Comedy Tour to the Folly for a one-night-only performance on Friday.

The Midland Theatre will feature the comedy of school teacher Eddie B at 8 p.m. Friday. Eddie B has become a national sensation on his Teachers Only Comedy Tour, as he bring classroom experience and great comedic timing to relate to and entertain teachers across the country.

The Central Library will play host to the 10th annual Money Smart Day, presented by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

Money Smart Day – Make plans to attend this 10th annual event, presented by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Central Library. Choose from a dozen free educational sessions covering a variety of money-related topics. You can also get a copy of your credit report for free! The event is open to the public and registration is not necessary. Free parking validation is available for the Library garage

Stanfords Comedy Club brings the laughs to Downtown from its new location at 831 Walnut. Comedian James Inman will headline an 18 & older show this week – beginning at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, plus late shows on Friday and Saturday. And, Open Mic is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Sundays. For ticket information, visit Stanfords.

The Truman will be bouncing the east Crossroads with two rockin’ showx this week including Dan Auerbach and The Easy Eye Sound Review, featuring Robert Finley and Shannon Shaw, at 8 p.m. Wednesday; and The Darkness with special guests Diarrhea Planet at 8 p.m. Sunday.

The Art of the Brick – a special exhibition designed to inspire ingenuity and creativity, is the world’s largest and most elaborate display of LEGO art – continues through May 28 at Union Station.

Union Station is featuring a special exhibition on The Art of the Brick,  the critically acclaimed collection of creative and inspiring pieces constructed using only LEGO bricks now through May 28.

John Singer Sargent’s masterpiece ‘Gassed’ is on exhibit now June 3 at the National WWI Museum.

WWI Museum – John Singer Sargent’s incredible masterpiece Gassed is truly one of the giants of the art world at more than nine feet tall by 21 feet long. The landmark painting is the focal point in this special centennial exhibition – that is on exhibition through June 3 in the Wylie Gallery – that also includes reproductions of many of his study drawings and historical and contemporary objects on detection and protection from chemical warfare.

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

  • Belfast Girls – presented by Fishtank Theatre and the Charlotte Street Foundation – tells the powerful Jaki McCarrick story of five young women who seek passage on a ship to Australia to escaping the Irish famine in 1850. Performances begin Friday and run through April 29 at La Esquina.
  • The Mascot, a satirically comic coming-of-age story about an obsessive father, a starry-eyed son, and the drama that ensues when a father’s pursuit of his unfulfilled aspirations torpedo the dream of his son, opens Thursday and runs through April 29 at The Living Room Theatre.
  • Tuck Everlasting – Natalie Babbitt’s popular novel comes to life on stage contemplating the benefits and burdens of never growing older will run through Thursday 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 VisitKC.com

Disney on Ice to heat up the urban A&E scene this week

Disney on Ice – complete with nine performances scheduled for the Sprint Center – will rule over the Downtown arts & entertainment scene this week – Monday to Sunday, March 26 to April 1, that includes:

Disney on Ice presents Dare to Dream beginning Wednesday at Sprint Center. Celebrate what’s possible as five Disney heroines spark the courage inside us all in Disney On Ice presents Dare To Dream! Join Moana, Belle, Anna, Rapunzel, and Cinderella as they find the heart and determination to overcome obstacles and make their dreams come true. Dare to Dream will be presented nine times from Wednesday through Sunday.

Belle and her Disney friends will skate into Downtown this week for nine performance of Disney on Ice.

Folly Theater presents Eden Brent in a Cypress Avenue LIVE! performance at 8 p.m. Saturday. Nicknamed “Little Boogaloo” by her Mississippi mentor Boogaloo Ames, Eden is much more than her signature boogie-woogie piano and juke-joint blues holler. She is a celebrated songwriter and dynamic performer, with numerous nominations and awards including eleven Blues Music Award nominations since 2009 and three BMA trophies.

Hip-Hop’s Early Years – Hip-hop is now America’s most popular music genre, supplanting rock. In a discussion of his new book Break Beats in the Bronx, Davidson College sociologist Joseph Ewoodzie examines its roots, going back to hip-hop’s creation by Clive Campbell – DJ Kool Herc – at a birthday party in New York’s West Bronx in 1973. The program is set for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Central Library. RSVP now.

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts will feature the Kansas City Classic Orchestra Festival, presented by the Youth Symphony of Kansas City, in a free, one-day event beginning at 9 a.m. Tuesday. Ninety-minute performances are set for four high school orchestras (Park Hill South, Lawrence, Blue Strings and Olathe South), along with the Youth Symphony of Kansas City Academic and Symphony orchestras.

Knuckleheads Saloon – the hottest honky tonk in the Big Town – features 11 shows this week, including John Hiatt & The Goners at 8 p.m. Tuesday; the Paul Nelson Band / Johnny Winter Allstar Band at 8:30 p.m. Friday; and Carolyn Wonderland with The Nace Brothers at 9 p.m. Saturday.

Meet the Past: Johnny Mercer – Musical theater maestro Oscar Hammerstein once called Johnny Mercer “the most perfect American lyricist alive.” Mercer, as portrayed by New York-area pianist/vocalist John Bauers, sits down with Library Director Crosby Kemper III for a tune-filled public discussion of his life and career in the latest installment of the popular Meet the Past series at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Central Library. RSVP now.

Midland Theatre will feature Matt and Kim – the high-octane, indie electronic duo from Brooklyn – with special guests Cruisr and Twinkids who will light up the city beginning at 8 p.m. Wednesday.

The Art of the Brick – a special exhibition designed to inspire ingenuity and creativity, is the world’s largest and most elaborate display of LEGO art – continues through May 28 at Union Station.

Stanfords Comedy Club brings the laughs to Downtown from its new location at 831 Walnut. Comedian Tai Fu Panda and Kevin Robe – will headline an 18 & older show this week – beginning at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. And, Open Mic is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Sundays. For ticket information, visit Stanfords.

Pop Evil brings its Music Over Words tour to The Truman on Saturday.

The Truman will be bouncing the east Crossroads with one rockin’ show this week – Pop Evil with special guests Black Map and Palaye Royale at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

Union Station is featuring a special exhibition on The Art of the Brick,  the critically acclaimed collection of creative and inspiring pieces constructed using only LEGO bricks now through May 28.

John Singer Sargent’s masterpiece ‘Gassed’ is on exhibit now June 3 at the National WWI Museum.

WWI Museum – John Singer Sargent’s incredible masterpiece Gassed is truly one of the giants of the art world at more than nine feet tall by 21 feet long. The landmark painting is the focal point in this special centennial exhibition – that is on exhibition through June 3 in the Wylie Gallery – that also includes reproductions of many of his study drawings and historical and contemporary objects on detection and protection from chemical warfare.

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

  • It’s Delovely – De-Lightful, De-Licious, De-Lovely lyrics abound in this original cabaret tribute to two of the wittiest songwriters of all time – Cole Porter and Noel Coward – which continues through Saturday at the Quality Hill Playhouse.
  • Tuck Everlasting – Natalie Babbitt’s popular novel comes to life on stage contemplating the benefits and burdens of never growing older will run through Thursday, April 5 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 VisitKC.com