Downtown continues to Dazzle thru NY Eve

Trans-Siberian Orchestra returns to Sprint Center for two soaring performances on Wednesday. The shows are part of TSO’s 20th anniversary tour.

From the WWI Truce Tournament to the Broadway tour of Book of Mormons; from the City-Wide Celebration of Kwanzaa to New Year’s Eve revelry in multiple locations; and from Noon Year’s Eve fun for families at Science City to the Soulfest at Municipal Auditorium … Downtown will be simply Dazzling this week from Christmas Eve to NYE! Roll the highlight reel for the week in arts, culture and entertainment – Monday to Monday, Dec. 24-31:

City-Wide Kwanzaa Celebration – Celebrate Kwanzaa in the Gem Theater from Wednesday through Tuesday (Jan. 1) evenings. Each night begins with an African market featuring local vendors at 6 p.m. The program begins at 7 p.m.  Each night features a different program or performance hosted by a local organization., including The Kwanzaa Ball on New Year’s Eve. The American Jazz Museum, in partnership with the National Black United Front- KC, presents the 37th annual celebration. For more information, call 816-866-3025; e-mail; or visit the celebration Facebook page.

Downtown Dazzle will reach its holiday climax this week throughout 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. 

Knuckleheads – the hottest honky tonk in the Big Town – features 10 rockin’ shows this week, including Rainmakers with Blue False Indigo at 9 p.m. Friday; Samantha Fish at 8:30 p.m. Saturday; and the New Year’s Eve Party featuring 5 bands on 3 stages, including Outlaw Jim & The Whiskey Benders with The Ben Miller Band, The M 80’s, The Instmatics and The Kris Lager Band beginning at 9 p.m. Monday, New Year’s Eve.

The Midland will light up Downtown this week with one performance of the Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker. Featuring world class Russian artists, hand-painted sets, Russian Snow Maidens, and jubilant Nesting Dolls. this remarkable version of the Nutcracker is set for 7 p.m. Friday.

New Year’s Eve Weekend Soulfest featuring The Isley Brothers with Glenn Jones, The Whispers, hosted by Joe Torry and featuring DJ Foots beginning at 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 30 at Municipal Auditorium.

Downtown prepares to welcome the New Year with New Year’s Eve merriment throughout the neighborhoods on Monday night.

New Year’s Eve will be a celebration through Downtown KC with fun, games, parties and live music throughout the urban core, such as Knuckleheads’s (above) and Record Bar (next), The Truman KC (below), Quality Hill Playhouse (Live Theater below) along with a Noon Year’s Eve event for families (Downtown Dazzle above) and three HUGE NYE parties, including:

  • Crossroads Hotel will celebrate its first New Year’s Eve beginning at 9 p.m. on NY Eve with a transformative night featuring round-the-clock music and performances programmed by Quixotic, open bar and craft cocktails, champagne and small bites for every appetite. Click here for tickets and more information.
  • Power & Light District– For more than 10 years, NYE Live! has been treating party-goers to exclusive access to up to 12 bars and nightclubs, all-inclusive packages, great entertainment, NYE-themed party favors, confetti cannons, Champagne toasts and the city’s most anticipated countdown to Midnight – complete with a “Times Square” ball drop! The fun begins at 8 p.m. on NY Eve.
  • Union Station – Dance in the New Year with the hottest, swinging band – Dave Stephens and the KCJO 7 at New Year’s Swingin’ Eve. Your ticket gets it all – admission, live music, party favors, drinks, hot appetizers and midnight champagne toast, and the party begins at 8 p.m. on NY Eve.

The Record Bar will light up the Crossroads with six nights of live music this week, including New Year’s Eve Eve with Not A Planet, Me Likes Bees and Rubeo at 8 p.m. Sunday, and a rockin’ New Year’s Eve with Murder By Death at 9 p.m. Monday, Dec. 31.

Sprint Center will smokin’ this week with the return of three red-hot performances, including:

  • Trans Siberian Orchestra returns to Sprint Center two spectacular shows at 3 and 8 p.m. Wednesday. This year’s 20th-anniversary tour, a presentation of TSO’s unforgettable “The Ghosts of Christmas Eve,” will feature founder/composer/lyricist Paul O’Neill’s timeless story of a runaway who finds her way into a mysterious abandoned theater.
  • Jeff Dunham brings his Passively Aggressive tour to the Big Town at 5 p.m. Saturday, along with his delightfully twisted cohorts; Peanut, Walter, José Jalapeño, Bubba J, and of course, Achmed the Dead Terroristo.

Truce Tournament – The Kansas City soccer community will take part in the sixth annual tournament commemorating the Christmas Truce in World War I. On Wednesday, teams will compete in The Truce 3v3 soccer tournament played on Memorial Hill with the Kansas City skyline providing an unmistakable backdrop. Activities begin at 8 a.m. Wednesday. For complete details – including a free British pub-themed English Premier League Boxing Day Watch Party inside the Museum – visit the National WWI Museum and Memorial.

The Truman is happy to welcome local psych-rockers Making Movies in to help ring in 2019!

The Truman will light up the Big Town with a New Year’s Eve masterpiece featuring Making Movies performing The Talking Heads’ Remain in Light album, plus performances by Calvin Arsenia and Reptil. The show begins at 9 p.m. Monday, Dec. 31.

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

  • Book of Mormon – The nine-time Tony® Award-winning Best Musical returns to Downtown KC for one week only. This outrageous musical comedy follows the misadventures of a mismatched pair of missionaries, sent halfway across the world to spread the Good Word. The touring production opens Wednesday and continues through Sunday at the Music Hall.
  • Milking Christmas – Driven by a mission to keep the holiday perfect, Macey Maid-a-Milking finds herself in a lot of trouble as the future of Christmas hangs in the balance. Directed by Missy Koonce & Rusty Sneary, the hit musical runs through Jan. 6 at The Living Room.
  • NYE Cabaret – Swing in the New Year as J. Kent Barnhart welcomes back Christina Burton and LeShea Wright plus the boys in the band (Ken Remmert on drums and Ben Tervort on bass) for a sizzling evening of jazz standards, 1960s hits, power ballads, and more at 6:30 and 10:30 p.m. New Year’s Eve 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 Sunday 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