Fringe Festival KC will upend the the Kansas City cultural scene over the next two weeks at 14 venues in and around Downtown. Roll the highlight reel for a wild n’ crazy week ahead … from Monday to Sunday, July 15-21:
City Market – Grab your partner, and cut a rug at Swingin’ Sunset from 7-10 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free as the Kansas Citians Big Band perform the best of ’30s and ’40s swing. The special event, presented by City Market and the Philharmonia of Greater KC will feature swing dance lessons during 30-minute crash courses in basic steps at 7 and 8:30 p.m. Wear your dancing shoes and bring a chair. Prizes will be awarded for Best Dancers, Best Dressed and more.
Crossroads KC, 417 E. 18th St. This week, presenting five rockin’ nights in a row with…
- Smells Like Nirvana with Deco Auto at at 8 p.m. Wednesday;
- Gov’t Mule and special guest Joanne Shaw Taylor at 8 p.m. Thursday;
- Queen Celebration with Marc Martel and the David George Band at 8 p.m. Friday;
- The Floozies: Funk Street 5 featuring Boogie T, Manic Focus, Maddy O’Neal and Recycle Funk beginning at 6 p.m. Saturday; and …
- The Growlers with BRONCHO at 8 p.m. Sunday
Crown Center – Kick off the summer WeekEnder series this Friday! Featuring food trucks, a local band and a classic movie under the stars, the fun begins at 6 p.m. Friday with a free performance by the Bob Harvey Band, followed by a free showing of Legally Blonde at 9 p.m.
Fringe Festival KC is back, baby. The uncensored 14-day showcase – featuring 600+ participating artists, 14 venues, 75 producers, 326 visual artists and more than 400 opportunities to find your FRINGE – is now running, err performing in Downtown and around KC through Sunday, July 28. A $5 Fringe button is your passport to literally dozens of performances over the next two weeks.
KC Public Library, 14 W. 10th St. This week, featuring Proud to Be Weirrd – a companion program to the Ralph Steadman: A Retrospective that currently appears at the Central Library. Anita O’Brien, who co-curated the traveling exhibit at London’s Cartoon Museum, will discuss the man, the artist, and the legend he has spawned. Steadman, whose illustrations are instantly identifiable by their expressive lines, emphatic ink splatters, and patent irreverence, is also a sculptor, writer, musician, winemaker, and take-no-prisoners social and political commentator. The program is set for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Central Library. RSVP here.
Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway. This week, the Culture House Summer Broadway Theatre presents Once on this Island at 7 p.m. Friday, and 1 & 7 p.m. Saturday in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre. This highly original and theatrical Caribbean adaptation of the popular fairy tale, The Little Mermaid, garnered eight Tony nominations in 1991 for its original Broadway run, including Best Musical, Book and Score. In 2018, the Broadway revival production was nominated for eight Tony Awards and won the Tony for Best Revival of a Musical.
Knucklehead’s , 2715 Rochester. This week, the hottest honky tonk in the Big Town will be smokin’ hot this week 7 shows, including 10,000 Maniacs with Boo Ray at 8 p.m. Wednesday; Junior Brown with The Vincents at 8 p.m. Thursday; and The Blues Cruise Reunion with Tab Benoit at 8:30 p.m. Friday AND Bobby Rush and His Band, The Paladins and Vanessa Collier at 8 p.m. Saturday.
Power & Light District – This week, the KC Live! Block will be swayin’ to Hot Country Nights featuring Dylan Scott at 6 p.m. Thursday; Joywave for the Coors Light Block Party at 6 p.m. Friday; Starhaven Rounders at Big Sky Nights at 7 p.m. Friday; and District Rhythms with Making Movies at 6 p.m. Sunday.
Sprint Center, 1407 Grand. This week, will serve as the epicenter for entertainment in Downtown this week, with three back-to-back nights of electricity with…
- Shawn Mendes with special guest Alessia Cara at 7:30 p.m. Friday;
- Big 3 – The professional 3-on-3 basketball league founded by producer, actor, and music legend Ice Cube and entertainment executive Jeff Kwatinetz will bring their highly anticipated 3rd season of summer basketball to the Big Town at 2 p.m. Saturday.
- Khalid – The multi-platinum global superstar will bring his “Free Spirit World Tour” to town at 7:30 p.m. Sunday.
Union Station – This week, featuring Stonehenge – This U.S. premiere exhibition represents the ancient marvel comes to life in this large-scale exhibition, suitable for all ages and featuring multiple hands-on interactives to amplify key elements of the monument’s mysteries. Click here for hours and more.
AND, LIVE MUSIC is on tap most nights at these Downtown clubs and joints: Blue Room Jazz Club, Black Dolphin, The Brick, Gem Theater, Green Lady Lounge, Hush, The Majestic Jazz Club, Mutual Musicians Foundation, The Phoenix, Prohibition Hall , throughout the Power & Light District, The Record Bar, The Ship … and, aboard the KC Streetcar from 5-7 p.m. Thursdays through Aug. 1.
LIVE THEATER is thriving on Downtown stages, including four colorful productions this week:
- Elephant and Piggie’s ‘We Are in a Play’ – This lively and irresistibly charming musical look at friendship has become one of the best-selling and loved young readers’ series of the past decade. The show continues through Aug. 4 at The Coterie in Crown Center.
- The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic adventure tale comes to life in this Theatre for Young America production that opens Wednesday and continues through Friday, July 26 on the City Stage at Union Station.
- La Frontera – Ensemble Iberica is back with show featuring the rich musical heritage from our southern border. Featuring Grammy award winners Mireya Ramos of Flor de Toloache and acclaimed tejano group Los Texmaniacs, La Frontera will perform at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday at MTH Theater in Crown Center.
- Once on this Island – See Kauffman Center listing (above).