Springtime blossoms in urban arts and culture scene

Roll the highlight reel for a springtime soiree of arts and culture in Downtown Kansas City – Monday to Easter Sunday, April 15-21:

The Amazing Brain – The largest and newest exhibit in Science City, this 2,800-square-foot exhibit explores the body’s command center. Designed to exercise the 3-pound organ in your head, the exhibit features 14 unique exhibit pieces. Only at Union Station.

Easter Worship at the Kauffman Center – All are welcome to celebrate Easter on Sunday, April 21 at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Join Church of the Resurrection Downtown for public services at 9 and 11 a.m. in this iconic building in Downtown Kansas City. For more information, visit cor.org/downtown/easter. (Also, parking is free for these services.)

UMKC celebrates Jazz Night at the Folly Theater on Thursday. Join the Conservatory jazz bands in a rockin’ concert featuring a variety of ensembles that represent the entirety of jazz studies at the Conservatory.

Folly Theater, 300 W. 12th St. – This week, will feature two stand-out performances, including:

  • Khatia Buniatishvili, the Georgian pianist in recital, has been setting the classical music world on fire with her passionate performances. She willmake her Kansas City debut for the Harriman-Jewell Series at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.
  • UMKC Jazz Night – Join the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance jazz bands in a concert featuring a variety of ensembles that represent the entirety of jazz studies at the Conservatory, including Jazz Percussion Ensemble, and more! Directed by Bobby Watson and Mitch Butler, the performance is set for 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

Kansas City Public Library presents An Evening with Vartan Gregorian at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Central Library. The Carnegie Corporation President and noted library champion will help celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Downtown library, joining a public conversation on the continued indispensability of public libraries, the importance of liberal arts and his work with the international Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity. RSVP now.

Kansas City Tornadoes will square off against Jamestown at 7 p.m. Friday, and New York at 7 p.m. Saturday at HyVee Arena.

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway. This week, Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear will perform a free concert and reception for Spotlight members, the Kauffman Center’s individual membership program., at at 7 p.m. Tuesday’ For more information, or to join Spotlight AND gain access to this concert and other year-round benefits, follow this link.

Knuckleheads, 2715 Rochester, This week, another 9 rockin’ shows including BJ Thomas with The Belairs at 8:30 p.m. Friday; and the 4-20 Show featuring Davy Knowles, The Eskimo Brothers, The Jeremiah Johnson Band; Found A Job (Talking Heads Tribute) and Lilly B. Moonflower at 8 p.m. Saturday.

Sprint Center, 1407 Grand. This week, featuring Chris Tomlin on his Holy Roar Tour, featuring Tauren Wells, Pat Barrett and Darren Whitehead at 7 p.m. Thursday.

The Truman, 801 E. Truman Rd. – This week, featuring two special events, including The Pitch’s 6th annual Bacon & Bourbon Festival at 7 p.m. Thursday; and the 10th annual closing party for KC Design Week at 7 p.m. Friday.

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. And, Downtown’s hottest outdoor concert venue   – Crossroads KC at Grinders – will begin its 2019 schedule on May 3!

Mexican painter Frida Kahlo’s life is explored in this astonishing play that opens Friday at the KC Rep Copaken Stage at H&R Block.

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

  • The Balad of Lefty and Crabbe – This witty and gleefully ridiculous musical comedy won a Best of Fringe designation in 2015, packed houses in its 2017 run, and last year won several awards including Best of the Fest at the Chicago Musical Theater Festival. Performances begin Wednesday and continue through May 12 at The Living Room Theatre in the Crossroads.
  • Beat Bugs: A Musical Adventure – Five insect pals explore the world and pick up life lessons along the way in this new musical, based on the Netflix animated series that incorporates songs of The Beatles. Performances begin Tuesday and continue through May 19 at The Coterie at Crown Center.
  • Billy Elliott – The stage musical based on the 2000 film and featuring the music of Elton John returns to the Big Town this month. Billy, the motherless British boy who trades boxing gloves for ballet shoes, opens Thursday and runs through Wednesday, April 24 at Just Off Broadway Theatre.
  • Frida … A Self Portrait – Frida Kahlo’s life is explored in this astonishing play by KCRep Fox Fellowship Resident Actor Vanessa Severo. Through beautiful physicality and raw honesty, the triumphs and challenges of the now-celebrated painter and wife of the equally-renowned artist, Diego Rivera, is unearthed in the brave new work. Frida opens Friday and runs through May 19 at the Copaken Stage at H&R Block.
  • Funny Girl –  the Broadway and film classic will soar again this month in greater Downtown. With humor, talent, and chutzpah, young Fanny Brice defies the odds and becomes one of the greatest stars of her and any generation. Performances open Thursday and continue through Sunday, April 28 at the MTH Theater in Crown Center,
  • Go, Dog, Go! P.D. Eastman’s classic book is the foundation for this Theatre for Young America production that features a group of highly mobile dogs careening around in cars, scooters and anything that rolls fast. The fun continues through Saturday, May 11 at City Stage at Union Station.
  • UnreliablePlaywright Dipika Guha looks at the slippery slope regarding culpability and expectations, using absurdist humor as a powerful tool in this provocative KC Rep production that opens Saturday at the Copaken Stage at H&R Block.

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