The Midwest Men’s Basketball Regional – the Elite Eight – will take center stage this weekend at the Sprint Center. Four of the nation’s best – North Carolina, Auburn, Kentucky and Houston – will square off on Friday to set up a championship showdown on Sunday … right her in Downtown KC.

Roll the highlight reel for a stupendous week in sports, ballet, comics, arts, culture and music in the Big Town – Monday to Sunday, Mar. 25-31:

Folly Theater, 300 W. 12th St. – This week, the Morgenstern Trio will light up the Big Town, courtesy of the Friends of Chamber Music, at 7:30 p.m. Friday.  ​“The group displays a unanimity, polished technique and musical imagination that I thought had vanished from the scene with the demise of the Beaux Arts Trio” – Washington Post

The Kansas City Ballet presents ‘New Moves’ – an intimate, limited-run production that gives audiences a chance to see tomorrow’s sought-after choreographers today!

Kansas City Ballet presents New Moves one its most popular performances in a very up close and visceral experience for audience and dancer alike. This limited run production is set for Thursday through Sunday in the intimate Michael and Ginger Frost Studio Theater at the Todd Bolender Center for Dance & Creativity.

Kansas City Public Library presents The Jewish American Paradox: Embracing Change in a Changing World at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St. An innocent question from Robert Mnookin’s daughter, prompted the Harvard law professor and Kansas City native to take stock of the situation of American Jews today. He will present his findings in a discussion of his new book The Jewish American Paradox. RSVP now.

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway. This week, five breathtaking performances at the world-class performing arts center, including:

  • Carmina Burana – The Kansas City Symphony and Chorus presents an irresistible, nonstop and thunderous celebration of life, love and the philosophy of carpe diem over four performances this Thursday through Sunday in Helzberg Hall. The wonderfully indulgent Carmina Burana is one of the most popular classical works of all time.
  • The SummitThe Manhattan Transfer meets Take 6 in a thrilling musical collaboration that brings together two dynamic vocal groups with over 20 combined GRAMMY Awards. These powerful ensembles will perform songs from their own catalogs, then join forces on more than a dozen numbers. This special performance is set for 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre.

Knuckleheads, 2715 Rochester, This week, 11 blazin’ shows including Outlaw Jim and The Whiskey Benders with Justabilly and The Bullhaulers in a benefit for Lymphoma/Leukemia at 6 p.m. Saturday; and Ray Wylie Hubbard with Bonnie Montgomery at 8:30 p.m. Saturday.

St. Paul & The Broken Bones – a former opening act for The Rolling Stones – has top-billing at the Midland Theatre on Wednesday.

The Midland, 1228 Main – This week, will be riding high with performances by St. Paul & The Broken Bones with special guest Michael Nau at 8 p.m. Wednesday; Lil Baby featuring Blueface and City Girls at 8 p.m. Thursday; and Catfish and The Bottlemen at 8 p.m. Sunday.

NAIA Basketball National Championship is down to the final two days of the 82nd annual tournament. Thirty-two teams and more than 500 athletes have been competing since Wednesday at Municipal Auditorium in hopes of winning five games in seven days for the national title.The first of two semi-final games will tip-off at 6 p.m. Monday. The winners will advance to the NAIA Championship game is set for 8 p.m. Tuesday. For tickets and complete information, visit NAIA.org.

Planet Comicon – Beam into the 20th anniversary experience this weekend for an immersive celebration of comic books, games, celebrities, cosplay, animation, science fiction, fantasy, and much more. This year’s Comicon will feature the biggest names in comics, science fiction, and fantasy – including Capt. Kirk himself, William Shatner – assembled in Artists Alley. The adventure begins at 1 p.m. Friday and continues on Saturday and Sunday at Bartle Hall. To learn more, visit http://PlanetComicon.com.

Sprint Center, 1407 Grand – This week, a blockbuster week will light up Kansas City, featuring:

  • Weezer and Pixies – Following a rapturously received summer tour, Weezer returns to the road with Pixies this spring for a run of highly-anticipated North American arena dates. The 21-city tour lands in the heart of Downtown KC at 7 p.m. Tuesday with special guest Basement.
  • NCAA Midwest Men’s Regional – a/k/a, the Sweet 16 … the Elite Eight – will take center stage on Friday and Sunday, as the NCAA tournament sweeps into Downtown KC with four of the nation’s best men’s basketball teams – all vying to advance to the Final Four the following weekend in Minneapolis. The Sprint Center will play host to the national marquee men’s regional featuring Roy Williams and top-seeded North Carolina vs. No. 5 Auburn and No. 2 seeded Kentucky against No. 3 Houston on Friday, followed by the championship game on Sunday.

The Truman, 801 E. Truman Rd. – This week, featuring Blue October on The King Tour at 8 p.m. Saturday.

AND, LIVE MUSIC is on tap most nights at these Downtown clubs and joints: Blue Room Jazz ClubBlack Dolphin, The BrickGreen Lady Lounge, Hush, The Majestic Jazz ClubMutual Musicians FoundationThe Phoenix, Prohibition Hall, The Record BarThe Ship, and throughout the Power & Light District.

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

  • Nelly Don: The Musical – This original musical celebrates the American entrepreneurial experience of Kansas City’s own Nelly Don, an improbable heroine whose life’s mission was to champion the beauty of women through fashion. Romance, fashion, glamour, justice and gangsters await you for this world premiere musical sensation that continues through Sunday, March 31 at MTH Theater at Crown Center.
  • Mr. Popper’s Penguins – In this charming musical adaptation of the beloved book, Mr. and Mrs. Popper’s lives take an adventurous turn when a mysterious box arrives on their doorstep with a penguin inside. Performances run through Sunday, March 31 at The Coterie at Crown Center.
  • Songbook of the 50s – Perhaps no decade had more personalities to its music than the 1950s, as will this dynamite cabaret revue that runs through Sunday, April 7 at the Quality Hill Playhouse.

For more of what’s happening in Downtown and Kansas City, check out ArtsKCGo and VisitKC.com