‘The Nutcracker’ raises the bar for a Dazzling week ahead

‘The Nutcracker’ marks the beginning of the holiday season in Kansas City, as the Kansas City Ballet brings this timeless classic to the Kauffman Center beginning this weekend.

Downtown will be Dazzling this week, as The Nutcracker and a stocking full of holiday celebrations light up the Big Town. Roll the highlight reel for the week in arts, culture and entertainment – Monday to Sunday, Nov. 26-Dec. 2:

Crown Center Ice Terrace – Kansas City’s only public outdoor ice skating rink – is open daily – including Thanksgiving – for its 46th season of great skating fun. The Ice Terrace is open from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, and 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays now through January.

Downtown Dazzlenow in its fifth year – welcomes you to celebrate the holiday season in the neighborhoods, theaters, restaurants and destinations of Downtown KC, including Crown Center, Union Station, the Crossroads Arts District, the Power & Light District, the City Market, the Westside, the 18th & Vine Jazz DistrictUnion Hill and the KC Streetcar. The seasonal event brings people together from across the region to explore Downtown Kansas City and celebrate the season special experiences, events and dining and shopping exclusives. Dazzle in full stride this week with a focus on:

  • City Market will be serving an all-new menu of holiday treats this year, including Breakfast with the Fairy Princess from 8-10 a.m. Saturday. Click here to learn more.
  • Crown Center will be all aglow this week with Santa’s Gingerbread Station and EBT Santa’s Countdown to Christmas open daily during Crown Center Shops hours now through Dec. 31; Holiday Choirs performing daily from today (Monday) through Dec. 21; plus the illuminated cheer from the 100-foot-tall Mayor Christmas Tree; and Rudolph on stage (see below under Live Theater).
  • KC Streetcar presents its second annual Holiday Jam of free musical performances on  board the streetcar. The coming week will feature Jams, including AJ Young from 5-7 p.m. Friday; and four performances on Saturday with The Center State from noon-2 p.m.; Ayllu from 1-3 p.m.; Cowtown Country Club from 3-5 p.m.; and Ernest James Zydeco from 5-7 p.m.
  • Power & Light District Make plans now for the second annual Brunch with Santa – beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday in the historic Midland Theatre – featuring brunch from Chris Cakes, a hot chocolate bar, games, crafts, stories with Mrs. Claus and cookie decorating, benefiting the Phoenix Family. Click here for ticket info.
  • Union StationHolidays Come Alive features 25,000 lights on the indoor Grand Hall Tree alone! “The holidays at Union Station are more than lights… they are about creating holiday experiences you can’t find anywhere else.

Folly Theater will be in the holiday spirit for Sleigh!, as the Heartland Men’s Chorus will be dashing through the snow with your favorite classic carols and some big choral masterpieces. Buckle up for two holiday performances at 8 p.m. Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday.

Kansas City’s Celtic rock stars will perform a Hometown Holiday Concert for Kauffman Center members on Monday in Helzberg Hall.

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts will welcome the beginning of a month-long run of The Nutcracker this week, along with two holiday concerts, including:

  • The Elders present a Hometown Holiday Concert & Reception – an exclusive offer for Spotlight members of the Kauffman Center – at 7 p.m. Monday in Helzberg Hall. The Elders will perform a Celtic concert, one of therir final shows after 20 years together. Click here for more information on the concert and on Spotlight program.
  • The Nutcracker begins its holiday run of 20 unforgettable performances this weekend in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre. The Kansas City Ballet presents this classic, Victorian-era story by E.T.A. Hoffman featuring Clara, the Nutcracker Prince, Dr. Drosselmeier and the Sugar Plum Fairy is a magical theatrical experience wrapped with exquisite costumes, grand sets and captivating choreography. The Nutcracker begins this weekend with shows on Friday, Saturday and Sunday … and running through Dec. 22.
  • The Texas Tenors – The Emmy® Award-winners and Billboard No. 1 recording artists sleigh ride into town this week to join the Kansas City Symphony for a heart-warming holiday concert “Deep in the Heart of Christmas” at 8 p.m. Friday in Helzberg Hall.

Knuckleheads – the hottest honky tonk in the Big Town – features 12 rockin’ shows this week, including Shemekia Copeland with Kevin Burt in the Garage at 8:30 p.m. Friday, and Sara Morgan in the Gospel Lounge at 8 p.m. Saturday.

Celebrate the holiday season with a new holiday smash – an urban dance retelling of the timeless fairy tale. ‘The Hip Hop Nutcracker’ resets Tchaikovsky’s classic score to explosive hip-hop choreography on Thursday at the Midland.

The Midland will be soaring this week with four huge shows, including:

  • Tash Sultana – a global sensation who is selling out massive theaters globally and playing at the world’s biggest festivals, even though his debut album was released in late summer – will light up Downtown at 8 p.m. Monday.
  • Underoath – riding the wave of a comeback, following eight years of silence – rides its Erase Me Tour to KC at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Featured guests include Dance Gavin Dance, Crown the Empire, and The Plot In You.
  • Good Charlotte – one of the most popular and influential pop-punk bands of all time – rolls into Downtown with special guests Knuckle Puck, Sleeping with Sirens and The Dose to rock the Midland at 6:45 p.m. Wednesday.
  • The Hip Hop Nutcracker with special guest MC the Legendary Kurtis Blow with ignite the holidays at 8 p.m. Thursday.

The Record Bar will light up the Crossroads with five nights of live music this week, including Justin Courtney Pierre (of Motion City Soundtrack) with Thin Lips and Jean Claude & The Eclairs at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

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

  • Christmas in Song featuring a blend of sacred and secular, popular and traditional, this Kansas City tradition has been called “the best Christmas show in town” and “Kansas City’s most consistently stirring Christmas show for 15 years” by critics and audiences alike. The fun continues through Dec. 23 at Quality Hill Playhouse.
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical – Back by popular demand, the beloved television classic soars off the screen and onto the stage this holiday season. Rudolph and his friends, Clarice, Hermey the Elf, and Yukon Cornelius learn what makes you different makes you special. Performances run through Dec. 31 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