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