March Madness reaches a ‘Beautiful’ crescendo this week

Kansas guard Frank Mason, right, stands his ground after being bumped by Michigan State’s Miles Bridges during Sunday’s NCAA Tournament game in Tulsa. Photo courtesy of The Kansas City Star.

The NCAA Midwest Regional – featuring No. 1 seed Kansas; the championship round of the NAIA Men’s Basketball Championship on Tuesday; and next week’s Kansas City debut of a Beautiful smash-hit musical top the list of a wild crazy and inspiring stretch ahead in Downtown Kansas City. Here is the highlight reel for what’s happening in Downtown – Monday to Sunday, March 20-26:

Dianne Reeves – this four-time GRAMMY winner considered one of the pre-eminent female jazz vocalists in the world will perform in the historic 18th & Vine Jazz District for this year’s celebration of Women in Jazz. With a repertoire that ranges from jazz to soul and include R&B, Latin, and pop, Reeves will perform at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Gem Theater.

Dianne Reeves, the Grammy-winning jazz vocalist, will light up the Gem Theater with a much-anticipated concert on Saturday.

Heartland Men’s Chorus presents its spring concert Identify this week. Part choral concert, part Ted Talk, Identify celebrates living lives of authenticity. Joined by special guests, Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus, TedTalk sensation Morgana Bailey and Jane Clementi, mother of the late Tyler Clementi, HMC will lift up the importance of being you. Performances are set for 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Folly Theater.

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts will feature seven performances over four days this week, including:

  • The Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra performs By George! The Pops Play GershwinLed by charismatic conductor Keith Lockhart, the Boston Pops has become a national treasure. Making its first return to the Harriman Jewell Series and Kansas City since 2002, the famed orchestra will celebrate the music of America’s most original composer, George Gershwin, at 7:30 p.m. Friday in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre.
  • Kansas City Symphony Classical Series presents Hope Springs Eternal: Sibelius’ Secondfeaturing violinist Anne Akiko Meyers, at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday in Helzberg Hall.
  • The Oak Ridge Boys – Their four-part harmonies and upbeat songs have spawned dozens of country hits and a No. 1 pop smash. Every time they step before an audience, the Oaks bring four decades of charted singles and 50 years of tradition to a stage show that fuses the group’s gospel roots with contemporary country and rock. Their magic will come to life at 7:30 p.m. Sunday in Kauffman Theatre. 

The Oak Ridge Boys – featuring one of the most distinctive and recognizable sounds in the music industry – will perform on Sunday at the Kauffman Center.

NAIA Men’s National Basketball Championship – The 53rd annual tournament is led by No. 1 seed LSU Alexandria (La.) was ranked No. 1 in each of the last six Top 25 Coaches’ Polls – is the only undefeated team with a 31-0 mark. The NAIA field of 32 teams continues to the national championship showdown at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Municipal Auditorium.

NCAA Men’s Basketball Midwest Regional – The Big 12 Conference plays host to the hottest tickets in town for the Midwest Regional. Kansas is the No. 1 seed in the Midwest, and will be battling to advance to the Final Four next weekend in Phoenix. The Jayhawks will take on No. 4 seed Purdue on Thursday at Sprint Center. For tickets and more information, visit the Sprint Center.

Beautiful – the Carole King Musical – arrives right on time next Tuesday, March 28 at the Music Hall.

LIVE THEATER is thriving on Downtown stages, which feature these four performances this week:

  • Beautiful – The Carole King Musical tells the inspiring true story of King’s remarkable rise to stardom, from being part of a hit songwriting team with her husband Gerry Goffin, to her relationship with fellow writers and best friends Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, to becoming one of the most successful solo acts in popular music history. Presented by Broadway Across America, Beautiful opens Tuesday, March 28, and runs through Sunday, April 2 at the Music Hall.
  • Constellations: This spellbinding, heartbreaking love story removes the boundaries of time and space, delving into the infinite possibilities of a couple’s relationship to reveal how the slightest change in conversation might send you down an entirely different path. Star-filled performances continue through Sunday, April 2 at the KC Rep’s Copaken Stage.
  • She Loves Me – With music by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick (Fiddler on the Roof), this classic 1964 Broadway, was revived in 2016 Broadway and earned eight Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical! She Loves Me is widely considered the most charming musical ever written, and it opens Thursday at MTH Theater at Crown Center.
  • Unchained Melody – Take a romantic trip down memory lane in this cabaret revue featuring the melodies of the 1950s and the unique American sound known as “doo-wop”. The melodies begin continue through Sunday, April 9 at the Quality Hill Playhouse.

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.

March Madness continues with NAIA, Ariana, Patti & St. Paddy’s

The NAIA National Men’s Basketball Tournament opens on Wednesday to renew its seven day tradition at Municipal Auditorium.

A collegiate basketball tradition, a Dangerous Woman, the return of Sgt. Pepper, R&B royalty and a wee bit of the Irish tops a celebratory week ahead in Downtown Kansas City. Here is the highlight reel for what’s happening in Downtown – Monday to Sunday, March 13-19:

Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness drops into Downtown for a free St. Patrick’s Day concert with special guests Atlas Genius and Night Riots for the Zombies in America Tour at 6 p.m. Friday in the Kansas City Live! Block at the Power & Light District.

Ariana Grande will ignite KC with her Dangerous Woman performance on Saturday at the Sprint Center.

Ariana Grande brings her Dangerous Woman tour – featuring special guests Little Mix and Victoria Monet – to the Sprint Center at at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

Charlie Wilson brings his red-hot In It To Win It tour – featuring special guests Fantasia and Johnny Gill – to Downtown KC at 7 p.m. Thursday at Sprint Center.

Decades Rewind – This brand new theatrical concert features more than 60 songs blended into unique medleys from the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s. The most prominent decades in music history bring your memories to life with over 100 costume changes and videos that turn back time. Dancing in the aisles is expected to begin at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Folly Theater.

Halfway to Winfield – a sizzling night of performances featuring Split Lip Rayfield, Loaded Goat, Konza Swamp Band and many more bands. The journey to Winfield begins at 7 p.m. Saturday at Knuckleheads.

Home Showa Kansas City tradition for 69 years – brings more than 250 builders, remodelers, landscapers, designers and contractors featuring the latest design trends and construction materials. The Home Builders Association held Kansas City’s first home show in 1948 and the annual event has become the go-to showcase for home improvement, technology and design ideas. The 2017 show is set for Friday through Sunday at Bartle Hall.

R&B legend Patti LaBelle returns to Downtown KC this week for a date at the Kauffman Center on Friday.

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts will feature 13 remarkable performances over four days this week, including:

  • RAIN – A Tribute to the Beatles celebrates the 50th anniversary of the release of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band! For the first time ever, RAIN will bring the historic album to life in its entirety for this psychedelic multimedia spectacular at begins at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre.
  • Travis Wall’s Shaping Sound: After the Curtain –Through his Emmy Award winning work on So You Think You Can Dance, Travis Wall has established himself as one of America’s favorite choreographers. His artistic direction of SHAPING SOUND has already produced one spell-binding show in Dance Reimagined, and led to this all-new production of After the Curtain which begins at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in Kauffman Theatre.
  • UMKC Conservatory Wind Symphony – The always-dynamic wind symphony performs at the College Band Directors National Association National Conference this week at the Kauffman Center. Directed by Steven D. Davis, the UMKC performance featuring Conservatory choirs and dancers is set for 7:30p.m. Friday in Helzberg Hall.
  • Patti LaBelle – The incomparable songstress returns to the Kauffman Center for an evening of classic R&B tunes, pop standards, and spiritual sonnets at 8 p.m. Friday in Kauffman Theatre.

Midland Theatre will be rocking this week with two crushing concerts, including:

  • Joe Bonamassathe blues rock titan, will be live in concert at 8 p.m. tonight (Monday)
  • Excisionfeaturing The Paradox, Cookie Monsta, Barely Alive and Dion Timmer, will take no prisoners in its assault on your senses at at 8 p.m. Thursday

NAIA Men’s National Championships – The 53rd annual tournament is led by No. 1 seed LSU Alexandria (La.) was ranked No. 1 in each of the last six Top 25 Coaches’ Polls – is the only undefeated team with a 31-0 mark. The NAIA field of 32 teams begins on Wednesday and continues to the national championship showdown at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 21 at Municipal Auditorium.

Rediscovering Seven American Women Artists features author Donna Seaman, as she spotlights seven brilliant but under-celebrated female artists of the 1900s. Seaman explores what drove them, how they worked and how they were perceived by others in a world where women were more accepted as subjects of art than they were as makers. This special Women’s History Month will unfold at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Central Library. RSVP here.

LIVE THEATER is thriving on Downtown stages, which feature these four performances this week:

  • Constellations: This spellbinding, heartbreaking love story removes the boundaries of time and space, delving into the infinite possibilities of a couple’s relationship to reveal how the slightest change in conversation might send you down an entirely different path. Star-filled performances continue through April 2 at the Copaken Stage at the KC Rep.
  • No Talking – It’s boys vs. girls when the noisiest, most talkative fifth graders in history create a contest to see who really can talk the least. This new family show runs through Sunday, March 19 at The Coterie.
  • Unchained Melody – Take a romantic trip down memory lane in this cabaret revue featuring the melodies of the 1950s and the unique American sound known as “doo-wop”. The melodies begin on Saturday and continue through April 9 at the Quality Hill Playhouse.

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.

March Madness is in the air – don’t you just love it?!

Downtown KC will be rocking this week when thousands of basketball fans pour into the Big Town today through Saturday for the Big 12 Men’s Basketball Tournament and Big 12 Run at Sprint Center.

Downtown Kansas City enters full-blown March Madness fever today (Thursday), as the Big 12 Men’s Basketball Tournament brings four HUGE game to the Sprint Center.

Today – yes, today (Thursday) – marks one of those extra special moments in recent tournament history. To prove the point, consider these high points:

Union Station is bathed in Big 12 team colors this week, as the basketball tournament returns to Downtown for one of the busiest weeks of the year.

Welcome to Downtown KC! For more information, be sure to learn more at VisitKC.com.

Big 12 hoopla sets the pace for a HOT week in Downtown

Downtown KC will be rocking this week when thousands of basketball fans pour into the Big Town for the Big 12 Men’s Basketball Tournament and Big 12 Run at Sprint Center.

Big 12 basketball fever and a remarkable mix of visual and performing arts – including concerts Ben Folds, The Elders and John Prine – have the set the stage for a wild and memorable week in Downtown Kansas City. Here is the highlight reel for what’s happening in Downtown – Monday to Sunday, March 6-12:

Big 12 Basketball Championship – featuring the nation’s No. 1 ranked Kansas Jayhawks – returns to Downtown KC at 6 p.m.Wednesday with men’s hoops action continuing to the finals at 5 p.m. Saturday at Sprint Center. Throngs of fans will flood the Power & Light District, decked out in a rainbow of colors, from burnt orange to Cyclone red and Jayhawk blue. Meanwhile, 10 teams face off inside Sprint Center in a showcase of athletic talent and competition that serves as a prelude to the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament. Click here to discover more about Big 12 week preparation and street closings.

Big 12 Run – Join in the spirit of March Madness by participating in Kansas City’s annual family-friendly run(s).  The course begins and ends in the heart of Downtown with two distances to choose from, a 12K or 5K, beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday. Everyone who crosses the finish line for either distance will receive a finisher’s medal. Visit SportKC.org to register.

The Lyric Opera production of ‘Dead Man Walking’ continues through Sunday at the Kauffman Center.

Dead Man Walking – The Lyric Opera of Kansas City presents one of the most frequently performed contemporary operas in recent years. It is the story of a profound spiritual journey taken by a nun and a convicted killer about to face the ultimate sentence. Performances continue through Sunday in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

The Elders – the KC-based Irish American folk rock band – prepare us for St. Patrick’s Day with their 15th annual Hoolie at 8:30 p.m. Saturday at Knuckleheads.

John Prine – the songwriting legend from the suburbs of Chicago and a star of counter-culture country and Americana – will light up Downtown KC beginning at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Midland Theatre. Amanda Shires will open for the music icon.

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts will feature eight powerhouse performances over five days this week, including:

  • National Geographic Live presents mountaineer Hilaree O’Neill and the story of her harrowing journey to the summit of Burma’s Hkakabo Razi to determine if it is Southeast Asia’s highest point. The presentation is set for 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre.
  • Dead Man Walking –  This amazing Lyric Opera production continues this week with three performances in Kauffman Theatre. See above for details.
  • National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine – Patrons of the Harriman Jewell Series have come to expect the best orchestras, and the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine upholds that standard. This special engagement is set for 7 p.m. Friday in Helzberg Hall.
  • Ben Folds – the multi-platinum-selling singer/songwriter/producer returns to join forces with the Kansas City Symphony at 8 p.m. Saturday in Helzberg Hall.

LIVE THEATER is thriving on Downtown stages, which feature these four performances this week:

  • Constellations: This spellbinding, heartbreaking love story removes the boundaries of time and space, delving into the infinite possibilities of a couple’s relationship to reveal how the slightest change in conversation might send you down an entirely different path. Star-filled performances continue through April 2 at the Copaken Stage at the KC Rep.
  • No Talking – It’s boys vs. girls when the noisiest, most talkative fifth graders in history create a contest to see who really can talk the least. This new family show runs through Sunday, March 19 at The Coterie.
  • Unchained Melody – Take a romantic trip down memory lane in this cabaret revue featuring the melodies of the 1950s and the unique American sound known as “doo-wop”. The melodies begin on Saturday and continue through April 9 at the Quality Hill Playhouse.

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.

Downtown streets to close during Big 12 Basketball week

Downtown KC will be rocking next week when thousands of basketball fans pour in to town for the Big 12 Men’s Basketball Tournament and Big 12 Run at Sprint Center.

Are you ready for March Madness?!

Downtown KC will welcome thousands of basketball fans next week as the Phillips 66 Big 12 Men’s Basketball Championship returns to Kansas City for its highly anticipated 16th time, March 8-11.

A series of fan fests and other Championship activities will close the following streets surrounding Sprint Center:

  • Grand Boulevard (between 13th St. and Truman Rd.): closed starting at 10 a.m. on Monday, March 6, through 6 a.m. on Sunday, March 12.
  • 14th Street (between Main and Walnut Sts.): closed starting at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, March 7, through midnight on Sunday, March 12.
  • 14th Street (between Walnut St. and Grand Blvd.): closed starting at 10 a.m. on Monday, March 6, through 6 a.m. on Sunday, March 12.
  • Walnut Street (between 13th St. and Truman Rd.): closed starting at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, March 7, through midnight on Sunday, March 12.
  • Truman Road (from Oak St. to Walnut St., including the Grand Boulevard Bridge) will be closed starting at 10 a.m. on Monday, March 6, through 6 a.m. on Sunday, March 12.

In addition, Kansas City’s Big 12 Run will close the following streets on Saturday, March 11, starting at 10 a.m. and last until the conclusion of the race (roughly 12:30 p.m.):

  • Grand Boulevard (between 8th and 12th Sts., and between Truman and Gillham Rds.)
  • 8th Street (between Grand Blvd. and Holmes St.)
  • Holmes Street (between 8th and 18th Sts. and between 30th and 31st Sts.)
  • Truman Road (between Holmes St. and Woodland Ave. and between Grand Blvd. and Oak St.)
  • Woodland Avenue (between Truman Rd. and 18th St.)
  • 18th Street (between Woodland and Highland Aves. and between Holmes St. and Grand Blvd.)
  • Highland Avenue (between 18th St. and 17th Ter.)
  • 17th Terrace (between Highland Ave. and The Paseo)
  • The Paseo (between 17th Ter. and 31st St.)
  • 31st Street (between The Paseo and Holmes St.)
  • 30th Street (between Holmes St. and McGee)
  • McGee (between Holmes St. and Gillham Rd.)
  • Gillham Road (between McGee and Grand Blvd.)
  • Oak Street (between Truman Rd. and 9th St.)
  • 9th Street (between Oak St. and Grand Blvd.)

Due to traffic congestion related to these closures, city officials encourage drivers to allow for extra time when traveling through Downtown.

For a detailed parking map and other Championship information, visit the Official Fan Information Site at VisitKC.com/Big12Basketball. The Kansas City Police Department reminds fans to lock vehicles and stow valuables when cars are unattended.

Opera, Autos, Arts (of all shapes) & Hoops top an exciting week in the Big Town

The Lyric Opera of Kansas City will present ‘Dead Man Walking’ in four performances beginning Saturday at the Kauffman Center.

Downtown Kansas City will be flying high this week with a celebration of the arts (of all types), opera and autos, along with the tip off of March Madness in Downtown. Here is the highlight reel for what’s happening in Downtown – Monday, Feb. 27 to Sunday, March 5:

Auto Show – it’s baaaack! The 2017 Greater Kansas City International Auto – will fill Bartle Hall with more than 500 new cars, trucks, SUVs, crossovers, and minivans. This year the show has added some new, fun wrinkles including a Kids Korner, local food trucks, and craft beers served in KC’s Garage (the show’s new beer garden). The Auto Show opens Wednesday and continues through Sunday. Drive here for more details.

Brantley Gilbertone of the bright lights in the country music galaxy, brings his The Devil Don’t Sleep Tour to KC – with special guests Tucker Beathard, Luke Combs and Brian Davis – at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Sprint Center.

Cyrus Chestnut Trio brings together old-school jazz, blues, and gospel with the heartfelt passion that has made him a long-standing favorite. The Folly Jazz Series will feature the trio at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Folly Theater.

‘Dead Man Walking’ will make its KC debut on Saturday at the Kauffman Center.

Dead Man Walking – The Lyric Opera of Kansas City presents one of the most frequently performed contemporary operas in recent years. It is the story of a profound spiritual journey taken by a nun and a convicted killer about to face the ultimate sentence. Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and continue on March 8, 10 & 12 in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

First Friday – one of the Kansas City’ coolest and hottest events – returns for the March edition of First Friday with visual and performing arts bursting throughout the Crossroads Arts District and the 18th & Vine Jazz District from 5-9 p.m. Friday; beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the Central Library; and along with one of the most complete vintage marketplaces in the country in the West Bottoms through the Friday through Sunday weekend.

Ice Terrace has just a couple of day remaining in its winter schedule. Make plans now for a season’s ending skating party on its final two days from noon to 9 p.m. today (Monday) and Tuesday at Crown Center.

Kansas City Library presents Glenn North, the inaugural poet laureate of Kansas City’s 18th & Vine Jazz District, as he discusses his work as an accomplished poet and spoken word artist, sharing passages from his recently published City of Song. The poetry collection celebrates the KC jazz tradition and the African-American experience, and North will reflect on what it means to be a black poet in the current cultural milieu. His presentation of “To Make a Poet Black and Bid Him Sing” is set for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Central Library. RSVP here.

Art Garfunkel, the six-time GRAMMY winner, makes his first appearance at the Kauffman Center Saturday night.

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts will feature four distinctly fresh performances this week, including:

  • Hard Habit to Break featuring the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra as it performs brand new arrangements of some of the greatest hits of iconic pop artists of the ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s at 8 p.m. Friday in Helzberg Hall
  • Dead Man Walking – see listing above for this week’s opening of the new Lyric Opera production in Kauffman Theatre
  • Art Garfunkel In Close-up – Forty years after recording “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” this American legend and six-time GRAMMY Award-winner continues to thrill audiences with his stories, poetry, and signature vocals. Garfunkel will perform at 8 p.m. Saturday in Helzberg Hall
  • Around the World in 80 Days – The Kansas City Symphony and local theater artist Alex Espy present this world premiere adaptation, bringing Jules Verne’s enduring classic to life through inventive staging and storytelling, puppetry and a specially curated collection of symphonic favorites at 2 p.m. Sunday in Helzberg Hall.

The MIAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments tipoff this week in Municipal Arena, marketing the beginning of a wild and crazy March Madness in Downtown KC.

MIAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships return to Downtown for seven thrilling sessions from Thursday through Sunday at Municipal Arena. This annual thriller marks the beginning of a busy March Madness season in Downtown KC.

Midland Theatre will be rockin’ this week with back-to-back concerts this weekend, including:

  • Big Gigantic – the instrumental livetronica, hip-hop and jazz musical group based out of Boulder – brings its Brighter Future Tour featuring Hotel Garuda to the Big Town at 9 p.m. Friday;
  • Illenium with Said the Sky will cast a aural spell over the audience beginning at 8 p.m. Saturday

Spectrum: Autism, Art & Music – An innovative and powerful exhibition featuring Denver-based mother and son artists Juliette Hemingway and Javari Eugene-Poet Chase, who use art inspired by music to bring awareness to Autism, will hold court in the Changing Gallery of the American Jazz Museum through April 3.

LIVE THEATER is thriving on Downtown stages, which feature these four performances this week:

  • ConstellationsThis spellbinding, heartbreaking love story removes the boundaries of time and space, delving into the infinite possibilities of a couple’s relationship to reveal how the slightest change in conversation might send you down an entirely different path.  Performances begin on Friday and runs through April 2 at the Copaken Stage at the KC Rep.
  • A Night on the Town featuring Justin McCoy in a speakeasy cabaret is set for 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday at MTC Theater at Crown Center.
  • No Talking – It’s boys vs. girls when the noisiest, most talkative fifth graders in history create a contest to see who really can talk the least. This new family show continues through March 19 at The Coterie.
  • Project Pride is a group of LGBTQ and straight allied teens creating theatre that gives voice to their experiences, culminating in a production that challenges the assumptions and celebrates the diversity of the participants and audience over two shows  only at 7 p.m. Saturday and 5 p.m. Sunday at The Coterie.

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.

Survey to shape long-range parking plan for Crossroads

Employees, residents, students and visitors of the Crossroads Arts District are the focus of City-driven survey of parking- and transportation-related issues. The survey will be available for the next 30 days.

A long-range parking plan for the Crossroads Arts District is the goal of a new parking and transportation survey that has been introduced by the City of Kansas City and Walker Parking Consultants.

As part of the planning process, the City wants to learn more about parking and travel patterns of Crossroads employees, residents, students and visitors, and gauge attitudes toward parking- and transportation-related issues.

Your input will help shape solutions that will enable us to provide for effective and efficient use of our public parking assets with a goal of ensuring public access to and within the Crossroads Arts District.

To participate in the survey, click here.

 

Black History program + Sesame Street share spotlight this week

Sesame Street Live returns to the Sprint Center this week with a special showing of Elmo Makes Music.

Here is the highlight reel for what’s happening in Downtown Kansas City this week – Monday, Feb. 20 to Sunday, Feb. 26:

Black History Month Luncheon – The American Jazz Museum celebrates the history and culture that gave rise to jazz with Reflections on the First Black President featuring Pulitzer-Prize winning author Michael D’Antonio who will share his reflections on A Consequential President: The Legacy of Barack Obama at 11:30 a.m. Friday. Click here for ticket information.

Elmo Makes Music – Downtown KC will be dancing in the streets, when Sesame Street Live returns for seven shows over three days this week. When the new music teacher’s instruments go missing, Elmo, Aby Cadabby, Big Bird, and more come to the rescue to discover instruments they never knew existed. Children learn that everyone can make and enjoy beautiful music together. Showtimes are set for Friday through Sunday at the Sprint Center.

Ice Terrace has just days remaining in its 2016/17 schedule. Make plans now for a season’s ending skating party on its final day from noon to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28 at Crown Center.

Kansas City Library presents Glenn North, the inaugural poet laureate of Kansas City’s 18th & Vine Jazz District, as he discusses his work as an accomplished poet and spoken word artist, sharing passages from his recently published City of Song. The poetry collection celebrates the KC jazz tradition and the African-American experience, and North will reflect on what it means to be a black poet in the current cultural milieu. His presentation of “To Make a Poet Black and Bid Him Sing” is set for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28 at the Central Library. RSVP here.

Katt Williams – the legendary stand-up comedian brings his Great America Tour to KC for one night only at 8 p.m. Saturday at Municipal Auditorium.

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts will feature four performances by the Kansas City Symphony this week, including:

  • Brandenburg and Beyond – a free happy hour concert that begins at 6 p.m. Wednesday in Helzberg Hall. The performance will feature Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 and Debussy’s String Quartet.
  • Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony with Mahler – the latest installment of the Symphony’s Classical Series will be conducted by Michael Stern at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday in Helzberg Hall.

Mardi Gras Bar Crawl – Celebrate the 9th annual at Kansas City Live!, featuring contests, fire jugglers, street performers and more! – from 9 .m. to midnight Saturday at the Power & Light District.

Simone Porterviolinist in recital, will perform a free Discovery Concert – presented by the Harriman Jewell Series – at 3 p.m. Sunday at the historic Folly Theater.

Spectrum: Autism, Art & Music – An innovative and powerful exhibition featuring Denver-based mother and son artists Juliette Hemingway and Javari Eugene-Poet Chase, who use art inspired by music to bring awareness to Autism, will hold court in the Changing Gallery of the American Jazz Museum through April 3.

Tesla – the hard-rocking quintet – returns to Downtown KC, along with The Cringe and The Raskins, to unleash its new Mechanical Resonance Live! album at 8 p.m. Thursday at the Midland Theatre.

LIVE THEATER is thriving on Downtown stages, which feature these four performances this week:

  • No Talking – It’s boys vs. girls when the noisiest, most talkative fifth graders in history create a contest to see who really can talk the least. This new family show opens Tuesday and runs through March 19 at The Coterie.
  • Youth Movement – This Musical Monday & Tuesday enjoy songs from Grease, West Side Story, The Sound of Music, Fun Home, Annie and more ~ performed by young professionals who are currently the actual age of the characters they are portraying. Performances are set for 7:30 p.m. Monday and Tuesday at MTH Theater in Crown Center.

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.

KC Folk Festival sets the tone for entertainment this week

The Kansas City Folk Festival, the rebirth of the Birth of the Cool; New Moves by the Kansas City Ballet; and the touring production  of  Phantom of the Opera are the headliners for the upcoming week of arts, entertainment and pure fun in Downtown. Here is the highlight reel for what’s happening in Downtown – Monday, Feb. 13 to Sunday, Feb. 19:

Arenacross – one of the world’s most extreme racing environments returns to Downtown KC with unparalleled levels of competition and a fully engaging environment for fans. Arenacross will tear up the dirt battlegrounds at 7 p.m. Saturday and noon Sunday at Sprint Center.

Birth of the Cool – The 60th anniversary celebration of this 1957 landmark Miles Davis recording will be celebrated with a nine-member all-star band performance at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Gem Theater. Presented by the American Jazz Museum, pianist Phil Dunlap will give a talk on the History of Birth of the Cool.

Folly Theater will light up Kansas City’s performing arts calendar this week with three thrilling performances, including:

  • A Valentine from the Maestro – The Kansas City Chamber Orchestra has prepared a Valentine of an evening of romantic music for strings and soloists. Revel in the gorgeous sounds of Tchaikovsky, Finzi and Villa-Lobos for Valentine’s and feast on settings of great romantic poetry by KC’s own Jean Belmont Ford, featuring Sarah Tannehill Anderson, soprano. This Valentine begins with a pre-concert talk at 6:30 p.m., followed by the performance at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
  • Venice Baroque Orchestra with Nicola Benedetti – One of the finest period instrument ensembles returns to the Folly with a Harriman Jewell Series favorite, violinist Nicola Benedetti, to play lush concerti by Vivaldi and others. The violinist’s musicianship and dynamic presence has made her one of today’s most influential artists. The performance is set for 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
  • Robert Glasper headlines this Folly Jazz Series performance. Glasper is an American jazz pianist and record producer. His 2012 album Black Radio won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Album at the 55th Grammy Awards and his style is as surprising as it is captivating. He will perform at 8 p.m. Saturday.

Impressions in Sound breaks new ground for one Downtown art gallery that traditionally a showplace for visual arts. This new show takes a different approach, appealing to your ears rather than your eyes. The experience may serve as a reminder of the superior sound, importance and thrill of high quality music – and hopefully ignite a passion for Kansas City music. Now showing through March 31 at The Box Gallery.

Billy Bragg

Kansas City Folk Festival featuring Billy Bragg & Bobby Rush, GRAMMY Award winners The Okee Dokee Brothers, David Wilcox and many more artists from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Westin Crown Center. Produced by the Folk Alliance International, the festival is a family-friendly, indoor celebration of folk music, culture and arts. Visit KCFolkFestival.org for ticket information.

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts will be in the spotlight this week, featuring four performances in four days, including:

  • Bill Engvall – the Grammy nominated, multi-platinum selling recording artist and one of the top comedians in the country – will rock Downtown KC at 7:30 p.m. Friday in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre
  • Kansas City Symphony performs its latest edition of the Classical Series – this weekend featuring Beethoven’s Eighth and Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 – at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday in Helzberg Hall.

The Midland will rock this Downtown with two major shows this week, including:

  • Run the Jewels presents its Run the World Tour with very special guests The Gaslamp Killer, Gangsta Boo, Nick Hook and Cuz beginning at 8 p.m. Monday
  • Skillet serves up The Unleashed Tour with Sick Puppies and Devour the Day beginning at 7:30 p.m. Thursday

New Moves – The Kansas City Ballet presents this opportunity for audiences to see tomorrow’s sought-after choreographers today! It is a very up close and visceral experience for audience and dancer alike over six performances from Thursday through Sunday at the Todd Bolender Center for Dance and Creativity.

Pompeii: The Exhibition tells the story of a city hidden from view and forgotten for centuries until its rediscovery more than 250 years ago. This global showcase – featuring nearly 200 artifacts, including vibrant frescoes, detailed mosaics, lifelike statues and precious personal objects – is on exhibit at Union Station.

Two Kansas City-based kings of today’s science fiction world will present this latest edition of Sci-Fi Storytellers on Thursday at the Central Library.

Sci-Fi Storytellers – Two KC-based stars of today’s science fiction world, will take center stage at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Central Library. Marvel Comics’ headline-grabbing move to a female Thor a little more than two years ago came out of Kansas City and the mind of Jason Aaron, one of the superstars of comic book writing. Meanwhile, local visual effects artist Bruce Branit was piling up Emmy nominations – now totaling six – for his imaginative work on such TV series as Star Trek: Voyager and Breaking Bad. Click here to RSVP.

Arenacross will tear up the Sprint Center during two shows this weekend. Are you ready to rumble?

 

Spectrum: Autism, Art & Music – An innovative and powerful exhibition featuring Denver-based mother and son artists Juliette Hemingway and Javari Eugene-Poet Chase, who use art inspired by music to bring awareness to Autism, will hold court in the Changing Gallery of the American Jazz Museum through April 3.

UMKC Men’s Basketball will face off against Chicago State at 5:05 p.m. Saturday on their home court at Municipal Auditorium.

LIVE THEATER is thriving on Downtown stages, which feature these four performances this week:

  • I Got Rhythm: Songs from the early days of film musicals (Steppin’ Out With My Baby, Puttin’ On the Ritz to Broadway’s 42nd STREET (Shuffle Off To Buffalo) and Jerry Herman’s MACK AND MABEL (Tap Your Troubles Away), the Quality Hill Playhouse will celebrate the music that will leave you saying, I GOT RHYTHM. Who could ask for anything more? Performances continue through Sunday.
  • Phantom of the Opera – presented by Across America – returns to Downtown KC this week. Cameron Mackintosh’s spectacular new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom is featured as part of a brand new North American Tour. Phantom runs through Sunday at the Music Hall.  Click here for tickets and more information.

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.

Performing arts take flight globally in Downtown this week

This new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘Phantom of the Opera’ returns to Downtown KC from Wednesday, Feb. 8 to Sunday, Feb. 19 at the Music Hall.

An international feast of performing arts sets the stage for arts and entertainment in Downtown Kansas City this week. Here is the highlight reel for what’s happening in Downtown – Monday, Feb. 6 to Sunday, Feb. 12:

Jeff Dunham returns to Downtown KC this week for his Perfectly Unbalanced Tour, featuring his eccentric and hysterical skills as a ventriloquist and stand-up comedian. The current Guinness World Record holder of “Most Tickets Sold to a Stand-up Comedy Tour” will perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Sprint Center.

Impressions in Sound breaks new ground for one Downtown art gallery that traditionally a showplace for visual arts. This new show takes a different approach, appealing to your ears rather than your eyes. The experience may serve as a reminder of the superior sound, importance and thrill of high quality music – and hopefully ignite a passion for Kansas City music. Now showing through March 31 at The Box Gallery.

Shen Yun – the spectacular feast of Chinese performing arts – returns to the Kauffman Center for four performances this weekend.

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts will be the epicenter of performing arts and entertainment in Downtown KC this week, featuring 10 performances in five days, including:

  • Disturbing the Peace – A screening of the film is followed by an engaging conversation with the filmmakers Stephen Apkon and Marcina Hale, as well as the Combatants for Peace featured in the film. This special screening is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday in Helzberg Hall.
  • I Bought A Rainforest – Wildlife photographer Charlie Hamilton James will present stories and photos of his work in Peru’s Manú National Park, including tales of working with local characters, and a peek at his latest work in Yellowstone and with vultures in the Serengeti. This National Geographic Live special series begins at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre.
  • Ladysmith Black Mambazo – For more than 50 years, these South African performers have warmed the hearts of audiences worldwide with their uplifting vocal harmonies, signature dance moves and charming onstage banter. Most recently, they celebrated the 25th anniversary of their groundbreaking collaboration with Paul Simon on his seminal album, Graceland. Ladysmith Black Mambazo will perform its World Music at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in Kauffman Theatre.
  • Shen Yun invites you to experience the divine culture of the Middle Kingdom, now known as China. Shen Yun brings the profound spirit of this lost civilization to life on stage with unrivaled artistic mastery. Every dance movement, every musical note, makes this a stunning visual and emotional experience you won’t find anywhere else. Performances are set for 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 1:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in Kauffman Theatre.
  • Elation and Reformation: Saint-Saens plus Mendelssohn will be performed by the Kansas City Symphony as part of its Classical Series at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday in Helzberg Hall.

The Midland will rock this Downtown with two killer shows this week, including:

  • Pop Evilfeaturing Red Sun Rising and Badflower, at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. All seats are $10 or less.
  • Afentra’s VD Party 2017featuring K.Flay, LOLO, Paper Route and Dreamgirl. This 18 & Over show begins at 8 p.m. Friday.

Pompeii: The Exhibition tells the story of a city hidden from view and forgotten for centuries until its rediscovery more than 250 years ago. This global showcase – featuring nearly 200 artifacts, including vibrant frescoes, detailed mosaics, lifelike statues and precious personal objects – is on exhibit at Union Station.

PBR: Professional Bull Riders return to the Big Town for the Kansas City Invitational. Fans  will witness the intense matchups between man and beast, where 8-seconds can mean victory or defeat to each opponent. PBR will turn up the heat at 6:45 p.m. Saturday and 1:45 p.m. Sunday at Sprint Center.

Remodel & Garden Show – Shop, compare and save with more than 350 experts in remodeling, kitchen & bath, landscaping, decor, flooring and more this weekend – Friday through Sunday – at the American Royal Center.

Spectrum: Autism, Art & Music – An innovative and powerful exhibition featuring Denver-based mother and son artists Juliette Hemingway and Javari Eugene-Poet Chase, who use art inspired by music to bring awareness to Autism, will hold court in the Changing Gallery of the American Jazz Museum through April 3.

UMKC Men’s Basketball will host two games this week on their home court at Municipal Auditorium. The Kangaroos will take on:

  • Utah Valley at 6:35 p.m. Thursday, and …
  • Seattle University at 7:05 p.m. Saturday

LIVE THEATER is thriving on Downtown stages, which feature these four performances this week:

  • Hana’s SuitcasePast and present mysteries come together in this captivating true story spanning 70 years and crisscrossing three continents.  This National Endowment for the Arts award-winning play opens Tuesday and continues through Sunday at The Coterie.
  • Heart BreakersBurlesque Downtown Underground presents their 9th Annual Valentine’s Day Show, “Heart Breakers”; A Valentine’s themed show full of the good (and bad) while celebrating everything in between when dealing with the ‘L’ word! Showtimes are at 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday at MTH Theater at Crown Center.
  • I Got Rhythm: Songs from the early days of film musicals (Steppin’ Out With My Baby, Puttin’ On the Ritz to Broadway’s 42nd STREET (Shuffle Off To Buffalo) and Jerry Herman’s MACK AND MABEL (Tap Your Troubles Away), the Quality Hill Playhouse will celebrate the music that will leave you saying, I GOT RHYTHM. Who could ask for anything more? Performances continue through Sunday, Feb. 19.
  • Phantom of the Opera – presented by Across America – returns to Downtown KC this week. Cameron Mackintosh’s spectacular new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom is featured as part of a brand new North American Tour. Phantom opens on Wednesday and runs through Sunday, Feb. 19 at the Music Hall.  Click here for tickets and more information.

LIVE MUSIC – of all tastes and flavors – is performed at these Downtown venues on most nights:

For more of what’s happening in Downtown and Kansas City, check out our friends at VisitKC.

Monster Jam, Storling Dance & Modern Night lay down the beat this week

Monster Jam will blast its way into Downtown KC this weekend with four wild and crazy shows at the Sprint Center.

Downtown KC will be groovin’ this week with arts, dance, theater, a taste of Church, a pinch of E.T., rowdy chaos of Monster Jam. It’s just another ho-hum week in the city….

Here is the highlight reel for what’s happening in Downtown KC this week – Monday, Jan. 30 to Sunday, Feb. 5:

Eric Church – the country music singer/songwriter superstar – returns to Downtown KC with his Holdin’ My Own Tour at 8 p.m. Tuesday at Sprint Center.

DATSIK – one of the world’s pre-eminent dubsteppers – will perform in Downtown this week, featuring Crizzly and Virtual Riot, at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Midland.

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial – Experience award winning film as never before, with the Kansas City Symphony performing John Williams’ Academy Award®-winning score in sync with the full feature film projected on a huge HD screen. Join Elliott and E.T. for this Screenland at the Symphony event at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday in Helzberg Hall at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

First Friday – one of the KC’s hottest and most popular events – returns Friday with visual and performing arts bursting throughout the Crossroads Arts District and the 18th & Vine Jazz District from 5-9 p.m. Friday; beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the Central Library; and along with one of the most complete vintage marketplaces in the country in the West Bottoms through the Friday through Sunday weekend.

A Modern Night at the Folly – Join the City in Motion Dance Theater for its 14th annual presentation that serves as Kansas City’s only adjudicated choreographers’ showcase. The performance features 10 of the region’s most talented choreographers, as well as celebrate modern and contemporary dance, beginning at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Folly Theater,

Monster Jam roars into the 2017 season with a points-based series, showcasing the best lineup of Monster Jam vehicles that deliver what fans want to see most…more trucks, more racing, more freestyle, more donuts, more wheelies, more action! Monster Jam is set to rock the Downtown with four shows this weekend at Sprint Center.

Pompeii: The Exhibition tells the story of a city hidden from view and forgotten for centuries until its rediscovery more than 250 years ago. This global showcase – featuring nearly 200 artifacts, including vibrant frescoes, detailed mosaics, lifelike statues and precious personal objects – is on exhibit at Union Station.

Shen Yun returns to Kansas City for four amazing performances next week – Friday through Sunday, Feb. 10-12 – in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre at the Kauffman Center.

Spectrum: Autism, Art & Music – An innovative and powerful exhibition featuring Denver-based mother and son artists Juliette Hemingway and Javari Eugene-Poet Chase, who use art inspired by music to bring awareness to Autism, will hold court in the Changing Gallery of the American Jazz Museum through April 3.

Steampunk! – a free happy hour performance by the Kansas City Symphony – will feature David Bruce’s Steampunk and Judd Greenstein’s Clearing, Dawn, Dance. Cash bars open at 5 p.m. with a one-hour casual concert in Helzberg Hall beginning at 6 p.m. Wednesday in Helzberg Hall at the Kauffman Center.

Storling Dance Theater presents Underground! – the story of the Underground Railroad performed to original music, beautiful costumes and a pace that keeps you on the edge of your seat – at 7:30 p.m. Friday and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the Kauffman Theater at the Kauffman Center.

UMKC Kangaroos come home to Municipal Auditorium for a men’s hoops showdown at 6:35 p.m. Tuesday vs. Ottawa.

LIVE THEATER is thriving on Downtown stages, which feature these four performances this week:

  • Hana’s SuitcasePast and present mysteries come together in this captivating true story spanning 70 years and crisscrossing three continents.  This National Endowment for the Arts award-winning play opens Tuesday and continues through Sunday, Feb. 12 at The Coterie.
  • I Got Rhythm: Songs from the early days of film musicals (Steppin’ Out With My Baby, Puttin’ On the Ritz to Broadway’s 42nd STREET (Shuffle Off To Buffalo) and Jerry Herman’s MACK AND MABEL (Tap Your Troubles Away), the Quality Hill Playhouse will celebrate the music that will leave you saying, I GOT RHYTHM. Who could ask for anything more? Performances continue through Sunday, Feb. 19.

LIVE MUSIC – of all tastes and flavors – is performed at these Downtown venues on most nights:

For more of what’s happening in Downtown and Kansas City, check out our friends at VisitKC.

Downtown Council to celebrate accomplishments, opportunities

Christopher Leinberger will deliver the keynote address at the Downtown Council Annual Luncheon today in the Grand Ballroom of the Kansas City Convention Center.

The Downtown Council will celebrate the ongoing revitalization of Downtown Kansas City before 1,000 stakeholders and guests today (Friday), while reminding its members and civic leadership that its renaissance is far from complete.

The occasion will be the Downtown Council’s Annual Luncheon from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.  Friday, Jan. 27 in the Grand Ballroom of the Kansas City Convention Center. This year’s luncheon will carry the theme of Downtown KC: Back in the Game and celebrate the remarkable revitalization of Downtown over the last 15 years.

“This was a banner year for Downtown Kansas City,” said Bill Dietrich, President & CEO of the Downtown Council. “The KC Streetcar began operations and topped its first 1 million rides in just five months of operations; five new hotels have opened or are under construction; the first new construction, luxury, residential high-rise building opened, along with a second elementary school bringing 576 students and their families Downtown.”

The 2017 luncheon program will feature several highlights that will serve to celebrate accomplishments in Downtown, as well as to set the course for new and ongoing initiatives for the coming years. Highlights include:

  • Keynote address by Christopher Leinberger, The Charles Bendit Distinguished Scholar and Research Professor, George Washington University School of Business and a Nonresident Senior Fellow at The Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. Leinberger will address creating a vital Downtown by improving relationships with adjacent communities, discussing the impact of regional issues on Downtown and improving pedestrian mobility.
    • To learn more about Leinberger’s knowledge of KC, check out this 2012 KCPT story about the potential impact that the future streetcar (via transit-oriented development) would have on Downtown.
  • LaunchKC announcement by Rachel Merlo, KC Community Impact Manager for Google Fiber, and Chair, LaunchKC Steering Committee
  • Downtown accomplishments by Douglas Stockman, Principal, el dorado architects, and Cathy Smith, Vice President of Corporate Planning, Faultless Starch/Bon Ami, and Chairs of the DTC Board of Directors for 2016 and 2017, respectively
  • Five individuals will be recognized with Urban Hero Awards for their contributions toward making Downtown a better and more vibrant place to live, work and play, including:
    • Andrew Bracker, Brownfields Coordinator, City of Kansas City
    • Vince Bryant, 3D Development
    • Deb Churchill, City Market
    • Julie Nelson Meers, mobank
    • Matt Staub, Streetcar Advocate

The DTC’s highest honor, the  Philip Kirk, Jr. Award, in Recognition of Community Vision and Downtown Stewardship to Albert P. Mauro. Mauro served as Chairman of the DTC Board of Directors from 1992-1998, a pivotal time in the turnaround of a declining urban core.

“We will tell the story of Downtown’s recent economic and social revitalization and reflect on the impact of these and other changes,” Dietrich explained. “We will also provide updates on the exciting new projects that are coming closer to fruition including moving the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance to Downtown; extending the streetcar south toward UMKC and the Plaza; and planning for a new Downtown KC high school.”

The Annual Luncheon event will begin at 11 a.m. Friday with a one-hour Spirit of Downtown KC Exhibit showing more than 40 Downtown businesses and organizations.

Click here to see a list of exhibitors: http://www.downtownkc.org/annual-luncheon/exhibit/. The exhibit will make way for the luncheon and program, beginning at noon.

For more information, go to http://www.downtownkc.org/annual-luncheon/.