Celebrate the season with a wide and eclectic collection of arts & entertainment ranging from the Kansas City Ballet to the Moth Mainstage; from Bluegrass in the Bottoms to the Kansas City Symphony; to the introduction of a world-class visual art experience at Union Station this week, from Monday to Sunday, May 13-19: Let’s take a peak behind the curtain:
- The Moth Mainstage – Since 2009, The Moth Radio Hour has featured people from all walks of life telling true stories of their experiences, live and without notes. The program airs on KCUR 89.3 locally. A sold-out audience is expected for The Moth Mainstage, a curated event, featuring five storytellers who develop and shape their stories with Moth directors, at 7 p.m. Thursday.
- Kelley Hunt will close out the inaugural season of the Americana concert series co-sponsored by the Folly and 90.9 The Bridge at 8 p.m. Saturday. Hunt, a Kansas City native is a Roots R&B/Americana singer/songwriter/ pianist/guitarist! Born in KC.
KC Public Library, 14 W. 10th St., This week, featuring free educational programs on:
- Becoming American: Immigration and Popular Culture, as the Library concludes its examination of immigration in America with a look at pop culture’s role in the assimilation of newcomers to our country – and how they, in turn, have transformed American culture. The discussion will be led by UMKC historian Sandra Enriquez at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Central Library. RSVP here.
- Kansas City’s Guadalupe Centers: A Century of Serving the Latino Community – A century since its founding in 1919, Guadalupe Centers, Inc., continues its mission of improving the quality of life for Kansas City Latinos. Scholars Sandra Enríquez, Valerie Mendoza, and Theresa Torres discuss its social, cultural, and educational contributions and legacy of service – a history documented in the new Library exhibition Guadalupe Centers: A Century of Community. The program is set for 2 p.m. Sunday at the Central Library. RSVP here.
Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway. This week, featuring six transformational performances, including:
- Kansas City Ballet presents its must-see event of the year – Tharp / Parsons / Forsythe, the works of three of America’s most recognized and acclaimed choreographers brought together on stage at the Kauffman Center! Three performances this week will conclude this remarkable at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday on the Muriel Kauffman Theatre stage.
- Stern Conducts Mahler’s Third – Mahler described his epic Third Symphony as “a gigantic musical poem [with] all the phases of evolution.” As one of the most exalted works of the symphonic repertoire, Mahler’s Third led by Kansas City Symphony Music Director Michael Stern is a not-to-be-missed concert event. Performances are set for 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday in Helzberg Hall.
Knucklehead’s – the hottest honky tonk in greater Downtown will be on fire this week with
- Bluegrass in Bottoms featuring Trampled by Turtles, Railroad Earth, The Infamous Stringdusters and many more red-hot bands beginning at 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday;
- PLUS 9 more shows this week outside of the festival schedule, including Burton Cummings, former lead vocalist of The Guess Who, at 8 p.m. Sunday.
The Midland, 1228 Main – This week, featuring three, eclectic performances to light up Downtown, including:
- Hunter Hayes – Considered an emerging Country superstar, Hayes will rock the Big Town at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. After gaining wide notoriety by opening for some of the biggest tours in recent memory by Taylor Swift, Rascal Flatts and Carrie Underwood, his first album scored three Grammy noms.
- Cave Comedy Radio presents the national tour of Last Podcast on the Left, some of the most entertaining and illuminating podcasts on the Internet, live on stage at 8 p.m. Friday.
- Piff the Magic Dragon – Think Larry David in a dragon suit performing jaw-dropping magic tricks and you’re on the right track. With over 100 million online views, sold out shows across the U.S. and Canada and a residency on the Las Vegas strip, Piff brings his magic to Downtown at 8 p.m. Saturday.
Union Station will reveal a world-class visual art experience featuring Reflecting Motion, the kinetic sky sculpture by internationally celebrated Patrick Shearn of Poetic Kinetics – this weekend in the Station’s Haverty Family Yards. Following an invitation-onl benefit to introduce the experience on Saturday evening, Reflecting Motion will open to the public on Sunday.
AND, LIVE MUSIC is on tap most nights at these Downtown clubs and joints: Blue Room Jazz Club, Black Dolphin, The Brick, Green Lady Lounge, Hush, The Majestic Jazz Club, Mutual Musicians Foundation, The Phoenix, Prohibition Hall, The Record Bar, The Ship, and throughout the Power & Light District.
LIVE THEATER is thriving on Downtown stages, including six productions this week:
- 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 continue through Sunday at The Coterie at Crown Center.
- Fado Brasilia – Portuguese fados composed by Brazilian artists curated by Ensemble Iberica’s own Bruno Bessa. Special guest, fado singer Tania DaSilva. The special performance is set for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the MTH Theater at Crown Center.
- 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 continues through Sunday at the Copaken Stage at H&R Block.
- Funnyhouse of a Negro, a one-act play by Adrienne Kennedy, opened off-Broadway in 1964. The winner of the Obie Award for Distinguished Play runs through Saturday at the Just Off-Broadway Theatre in Penn Valley Park.
- Songbook of the 60s and 70s – Celebrate the era of Broadway when traditional musicals lived alongside innovative ones, while the jazz world evolved to reflect an eclectic culture. This nostalgic celebration continues through Sunday, May 26 at the Quality Hill Playhouse.
- Unreliable – Playwright Dipika Guha looks at the slippery slope regarding culpability and expectations, using absurdist humor as a powerful tool in this provocative KC Rep production runs through Sunday at the Copaken Stage at H&R Block.