An all-new Quixotic residency at its new theater in Crown Center; the Middle of the Map Fest; and the Symphony’s 15-year celebration of Michael Stern as its acclaimed musical director top an exhilarating list of arts & entertainment thrills this week in Downtown KC. Roll the highlight reel for what’s cooking – Monday to Sunday, Sep. 30-Oct. 6:
Crossroads KC, 417 E. 18th St. This week, featuring the kinds of Americana string bands, Old Crow Medicine Show, will light up Downtown at 8 p.m. Wednesday with special guest Charlie Worsham; and serving as one of six venues for the Middle of the Map Fest (see more details below) on Friday and Saturday.
Crown Center, 2405 Grand – This week, KC Oktoberfest, presented by KC Bier, a celebration of Bavarian heritage modeled after the traditional Munich Oktoberfest in Germany from 5-11 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday. KC’s largest Oktobertfest celebration will feature world-class music and entertainment, menus crafted after the genuine tastes of Bavaria, and family-friendly games and activities inspired by those played in Europe.
First Friday – KC’s first sign of autumn – is set for this Friday, featuring a cool collection of arts and cultural experiences throughout Downtown, including:
- City Market presents Be a Part of the Art, showcasing local artists who will demo their techniques and exhibit their works from 6-9 p.m. in Pavilion 1 in City Market Square.
- Crossroads Arts District featuring arts organizations, galleries, studios, and a wide variety of local businesses in a celebration of local, regional and national artists and live entertainment from 5-9 p.m. Take a peek at the district’s galleries and studios at KCCrossroads.com.
- 18th & Vine delivers a cultural experience of music, art, food and shopping on First Fridays year ’round. Shop local artists and diverse food trucks from 4-9 p.m. in and around the Museums of 18th & Vine.
- Film Festival – A free, short film festival is on tap at 7 p.m. Friday in the MTH Theater at Crown Center. The venue opens at 6:30, and the screening begins at 7:30 p.m.
- POP Social – Come eat, drink, hear live music, see public art displays and more during this uniquely Kansas City experience in the heart of the Power & Light District neighborhood from 5-9 p.m.
- Urbana First Friday – Come eat, drink, hear live music, see public art displays and more during this uniquely Kansas City experience beginning at 5 p.m. Friday at in the heart of the Power & Light District, including the Two Light Luxury Apartments.
- Warehouse Weekends – one of the finest vintage marketplaces in the country – flourishes every First Friday weekend (Friday through Sunday) in the West Bottoms.
Folly Theater, 300 W. 12th St. – This week, featuring a magically eclectic trio of performances, including:
- Chondra Pierce -The Emmy® -nominated and best-selling comedian, aka, “the country comic” as Billboard Magazine dubbed her, will present Let’s Sit and Talk with her audience 7 p.m. Thursday.
- An Evening with Branford Marsalis – The 37th annual Folly Jazz Series opens at 8 p.m. Friday with one of the most influential and respected figures in contemporary music. The evening will begin with a JazzTalk at 7 p.m., featuring Steve Kraske of KCUR’s Up-To-Date.
- Randall Goosby, violinist-in-residence, will perform in a free Discovery Concert recital, courtesy of the Harriman-Jewell Series at 7 p.m. Saturday.
KC Public Library, 14 W. 10th St. This week, presenting programs on Over the Santa Fe Trail to Mexico at 2 p.m. Sunday and Guadalupe Centers at 100 with CEO Cris Medina and Library Director Crosby Kemper III in a wide-ranging discussion at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Central Library.
Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway. This week, the dazzling center will present seven performances, including:
- The Kingdom Choir is best known for its show-stopping rendition of “Stand By Me” at the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in May 2018. Founded in 1994 by award-winning conductor Karen Gibson, the London-based choir draws from various Christian traditions to create a sound that reflects the community they share through their warm energy and enthusiastic performances. The choir makes its KC debut at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Helzberg Hall.
- Jack Hanna’s ‘Into the Wild Live!’ – Through the jungles of Rwanda to the savannas of Australia, Jungle Jack has explored the corners of the globe as one of the most respected animal ambassadors and America’s favorite zookeeper. Hanna will bring a taste of the wild to Downtown at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre.
- Boyz II Men, one of the most iconic R&B groups in music history, will bring fans a rich catalog of hits filled with smooth harmonies and enduring themes. beginning at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in Kauffman Theatre.
- It was 50 years ago today – The Kauffman Center presents this all-start tribute to the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ White Album at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. This performance features a star-studded lineup including Christopher Cross, Todd Rundgren, Micky Dolenz (The Monkees), Jason Scheff (Chicago) and Joey Molland (Badfinger).
- Cheers to 15 years – Triumphant. Jubilant. Visionary. The 2019/20 Kansas City Symphony Classical Series Classical opens in dramatic fashion this weekend with music perfect for a grand celebration as Michael Stern begins his 15th season as Music Director. Sibelius’ Finlandia has a serene, hymn-like section featuring one the best melodies of all time. This Symphony celebration will unfold at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday in Helzberg Hall.
Knuckleheads, 2715 Rochester. This week, KC’s favorite honky tonk will be rockin’ the East Bottoms with 11 live shows, including Bowling for Soup and Less Than Jake with Authority Zero at 8 p.m. Wednesday; Skid-O-Rama with Vanilla Fudge, Red Headed League, Noah Davis & Heavy Electric, the Joey Skidmore Band, and Screamin’ Mikey and The MO KAN Sharks beginning at 7 p.m. Saturday; and the Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash at 8:30 p.m. Saturday.
Middle of the Map Fest will rock six Crossroads venues with nearly 50 bands or performers on Friday and Saturday. Headling the MOTM this year will be Clario, Snail Mail, Beabadoobee and Hello Yello all performing on Friday night at CrossroadsKC. Six venues in the Crossroads Arts District will be featured. Click here for the complete schedule.
Sprint Center, 1407 Grand. This week, Luke Combs – the CMA and ACM Award-winning country crooner will tote his sold-out “Beer Never Broke My Heart Tour” to the Big Town at 7 p.m. Friday. Special guests include Morgan Wallen and Jameson Rodgers.
The Truman, 801 E. Truman Rd. – This week, featuring Yungblud on its Twisted Tales of the Ritalin Club Tour with Missio at 8 p.m. Tuesday; Periphery at 8 p.m. Tuesday; and Danny Gonzales and Drew Gooden featuring Kurtis Conner at 8 p.m. Friday.
Union Station – 30 W. Pershing Rd. This week, STEM Fest, the FREE educator resource – noon to 3 p.m. Saturday at Science City – to discover fun and exciting ways to introduce STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) into the classroom. From local STEM educational organizations to Master Teachers, attendees will walk away with new exciting opportunities and information.
LIVE THEATER – This week, a peek behind the curtain reveals four productions AND the opening of the Quixotic residency at its new theater in Crown Center this week in Downtown KC:
- Jesus Christ Superstar – The Arts Asylum and This Happy Breed present Superstar for the 50th anniversary of the Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice musical. Performances run through Oct. 12 at The Arts Asylum.
- King Hedley II – KC MeltingPot Theatre presents this 1980s portion of August Wilson’s 10-play The Pittsburgh Cycle, which examines the African-American through the 20th century. Considered Wilson’s darkest play, King Hedley II will reign through Saturday.
- The Melody Lingers On – This first show of its Silver Anniversary Season is a re-imagined look at the very first show we produced in 1995. Intimate, original, funny, and exciting, the cabaret revue is a celebration of Irving Berlin, the father of the American Songbook. Performances begin Friday at the Quality Hill Playhouse.
- Rise Up! – Told from a modern-day perspective of four students in 2019 who make a class project about 1961’s Freedom Riders – citizens riding buses across Alabama and Mississippi in 1961, to stand up against segregation. Performances run through Oct. 20 at The Coterie at Crown Center.
- Sensatia, Cirque Cabaret – Prepare to be transported to an interactive multimedia performance blending spectacular acrobatics, state-of-the-art visuals, live music, perfumery, and creative culinary concepts to arouse each of the five senses: taste, touch, sight, smell and sound. Fusing film, live music, awe-inspiring acrobatics, projection mapping, culinary arts and more, this Quixotic experience promises a truly unique multi-sensory experience. Quixotic’s residency show returns from Miami Beach to embark on its first Kansas City residency that opens Friday and continues each weekend of October and November in the Quixotic Theater at Crown Center (formerly American Heartland Theatre).
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 and The Ship.
AND, UNIQUE TREASURES are plentiful via Downtown museums and attractions, including the Airline History Museum, Downtown Airport; American Jazz Museum, 18th & Vine; Arabia Steamboat Museum, River Market; Black Archives of Mid-America, 18th & Vine; Todd Bolender Center for Dance and Creativity, Union Station District; Boulevard Beer Hall, Westside; City Market, River Market; College Basketball Experience, Sprint Center; Garment District Museum, Garment District; Kansas City Public Library, Central Business District; Hallmark Visitors Center, Crown Center; Hy-Vee Arena, West Bottoms; Kansas City Museum, Corinthian Hall; Money Museum, Federal Reserve Bank of KC; National Archives, Union Station District; National WWI Museum and Memorial, Liberty Memorial; Legoland Discovery Center, Crown Center; Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, 18th & Vine; Riverfront Heritage Trail, River Market area; Science City, Union Station; Sea Life Aquarium, Crown Center; 21c Museum Hotel, Historic 9th District; TWA Museum, Downtown Airport; and Union Station, Union Station.