Roll the highlight reel for what’s cooking in a SCINTILLATING week of arts, entertainment and sports in Downtown Kansas City – Monday to Sunday, Oct. 14-20:
American Jazz Museum, 1616 E. 18th St. This week, presenting Soultrane – A John Coltrane Exhibit that runs through Oct. 23. Coltrane was an American jazz saxophonist and composer, who created a distinctive sound defined by his ability to play several notes at once amid a continuous change of scales. Coltrane worked with many jazz legends, including Kansas City’s Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis and Thelonius Monk.
Crown Center, 2405 Grand – Coming, Boo-tastic Fun – Get ready for your Halloween celebration with a free weekend of fun next Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 26-27! Plan to get your picture taken with the Wicked Queen from noon to 4 p.m. and enjoy performances by StoneLion Puppet Theater at noon and 2 p.m. each day.
Folly Theater, 300 W. 12th St. – This week, presenting four consecutive nights of all-out entertainment, featuring:
- Bands at the Conservatory – The UMKC Conservatory Wind Ensemble and Conservatory Wind Symphony, directed by Joseph Parisi and Steven D. Davis, respectively, perform with guest artists Keith Benjamin and Jens Lindemann, trumpet, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
- Ruthie Foster – The Folly and 90.9 The Bridge Americana Series presents the powerful, soulful voice and Bluesy sound that most recently awarded Foster a Living Blues Critics’ Award for Female Blues Artist of the Year, She will rock the house at 8 p.m. Friday.
- Nadine Sierra, Soprano in Recital, hailed as one of the most promising young talents in opera today, will light up the Folly at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
- Norman Brown – The Grammy Award-winning Contemporary Jazz/R&B superstar will b featured in this special performance starring Euge Groove and featuring Lindsey Webster at 7 p.m. Sunday.
Holiday Mart – The Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri presents the 30th annual, shopping extravaganza, featuring more than 200 specialty retailers and 20,000+ shoppers, Holiday Mart is set for Thursday through Sunday at Bartle Hall. Since it began in 1988, Holiday Mart has helped to raise nearly $11 million for community projects and the Junior League’s mission of promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving our community. For more information, visit holidaymartkc.org.
KC Marathon – Don’t miss your chance to participate in Kansas City’s largest and most exciting annual race event beginning at 7 a.m. Saturday in Downtown. Presented by Garmin, the Marathon has been named one of Trip Advisor’s “50 U.S. Road Races to Attempt in your Lifetime.” Register here to enter the Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K. 5K or a series of Virtual Marathons.
KC Public Library, 14 W. 10th St. This week, the Central Library will present The Confluence of Poetry and Art, featuring photographer B.A. VanSise and poet Dana Levin in a discussion of art, poetry and where the two converge. The program is set for 6:30 p.m. Thursday. VanSise’s photograph is the subject of an evocative Library exhibit, One Second that is now on display in the Mountain Gallery.
Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway. This week, the dazzling center will present five lush performances, including:
- Carmina Burana – The Kansas City Ballet presents this hugely popular and insatiably indulgent celebration of life and love. Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana is a pulsating choral work that provides an incredible landscape for choreographed spectacle. Most have experienced Carmina Burana in choral presentation, but few have seen it as it was originally imagined. Performances will are set for 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre.
- Music and the Holocaust – The Kansas City Symphony presents a free Chamber music concert, featuring composers who were impacted by the Holocaust, The program includes works by Schulhoff, Krása and Haas. In addition, hear Mahler’s Adagietto from his Fifth Symphony — so beautiful it’ll bring a tear to your eye. Cash bars open at 5 p.m. with a one-hour concert in Helzberg Hall beginning at 6 p.m. Go online to reserve your seats.
- Southeast Kansas Symphony, presented by Pittsburg State University, under the direction of Raúl Munguía, conductor, will perform at 5 p.m. Sunday in Helzberg Hall.
Knuckleheads, 2715 Rochester. This week, KC’s favorite honky tonk will be rockin’ the East Bottoms with 13 live shows, including Big Bad Voodoo Daddy at 8 p.m. Wednesday; Poco with Pure Prairie League at 8:30 p.m. Friday; and Mike Zito’s Gulf Cost Records Fest featuring BB King AllStar Horns, Billy Price, Jimmy Carpenter, Diana Rein, Tony Campanella and Oddslane at 8:30 p.m. Friday.
The Midland, 1228 Main St. This week, lighting up the Big Town with five consecutive nights of performances including:
- Neil deGrasse Tyson – America’s astrophysicist with the American Museum of Natural History, host of the hit radio and TV show StarTalk, and the New York Times best-selling author of Astrophysics for People in a Hurry and Accessory to War, returns to Downtown KC to inspire his audience to look to the stars at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.
- The Raconteurs featuring Jack White are back with the release of their first new music in more than 10 years at 8 p.m Thursday. Special guest, The Casualties of Jazz.
- Herb Alpert & Lani Hall with light up the hearts and imagination of the City in this long-awaited performance at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Opening the evening will be the Lonnie McFadden Trio.
- We Will Rock You – The theatrical musical featuring the songs of Queen will rock Downtown KC at 8 p.m. Saturday. The musical, which has been in existence since 2002, received a recent update to give it an edgier sound, more reflective of Queen’s live performances. To learn more visit, Queen Musical.
- Bob Dylan and His Band is preparing to strut its stuff at 8 p.m. Sunday, on this latest leg of Dylan’s dubbed Never Ending Tour, which – legend has it – began in June 1988. The music icon forges on…
Power & Light District – Next week, celebrating the season with next weekend with Nelly at 6 p.m. Friday, Oct, 25 at the Coors Light Block Party; Carnevil – Halloween Party at 8 p.m. Saturday;, Oct. 26.
Union Station – 30 W. Pershing Rd. Coming, Genghis Khan is preparing to invade Downtown KC, as the next major exhibition at the Station, beginning Thursday, Oct. 24; and Spookfest is cooking up some Halloween fun on Friday evening, Oct. 26 at Science City.
LIVE THEATER – This week, a peek behind the curtain reveals eight productions happening this week:
- Dear Evan Hansen – The KC Broadway Series opens its new season this week with the long-awaited Tony Award- winning musical on Tuesday through Sunday at the Music Hall. Dear Evan Hansen is the deeply personal and profoundly contemporary musical about life and the way we live it.
- Dragons Love Tacos – The popular 2012 book by Adam Rubin has been turned into a musical by Ernie Nolan and Chris LaPorte, and Theatre for Young America will present it to open its 2019-20 season. Dragons runs through Nov. 9 at City Stage Theater in Union Station.
- Ensemble Iberica: Nadia – One of the most captivating folkloric artists of our time, Argentine vocalist and composer Nadia Larcher, will light up the MTH Theater at Crown Center with performances at 7:30 p.m. Monday and Tuesday
- For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf – At a time when there were few stories about women of color, poet-activist-novelist-playwright Shange penned a now-seminal and treasured work of American theater. “Remarkable,” says The New York Times, “a joyous celebration” that weaves word and dance into something genuinely special, something to “be savored and treasured.” Performances begin Friday at the KC Rep’s Copaken Stage.
- 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 run through Nov. 3 at the Quality Hill Playhouse.
- Ragtime – This sweeping musical portrait of early 20th century America tells the timeless story of three families in the pursuit of the American Dream. The Tony Award winning score is just as diverse as the melting pot of America itself. Ragtime runs through Oct. 27 at MTH Theater in Crown Center.
- 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. Thru Sunday 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 each weekend through 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.