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