Roll the highlight reel for what’s cooking in a scintillating – and sometimes scary – week of arts, entertainment and Halloween fun in Downtown Kansas City – Monday to Sunday, Oct. 21-27:
Crown Center, 2405 Grand. This week, Boo-tastic Fun – Get ready for your Halloween celebration with a free weekend of fun on Saturday and Sunday! 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 three eclectic and exhilarating performances, including:
- Russian Ballet Theatre presents Swan Lake – Choreographer Nadezhda Kalinina lovingly retouches the oldest St. Petersburg version of the ballet and adds her vision and something more that undoubtedly will leave audiences flushed with emotion. The performance is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday.
- Stefon Harris & Blackout – The Folly Jazz Series presents educator, the vibraphonist, and composer, who has been heralded as “one of the most important young artists in jazz” by The Los Angeles Times. Harris, a four-time Grammy nominee will light up the Folly at 8 p.m. Saturday.
- Bianca Del Rio – After three consecutive sell-out Australian tours and sold out shows worldwide, comedy queen and the RuPaul’s Drag Race champion returns to KC with her brand-new comedy show, It’s Jester Joke. The self-proclaimed “clown in a gown” tells tales of her world travels and the outrageous circus that is her life at 8 p.m. Sunday.
KC Public Library – Next week, Smart Growth in Kansas City: How? Where? will examine areas of Kansas City that offer the greatest potential for smart long-term growth. The program – set for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 29 at the Plaza branch – a new fiscal assessment by urban planner Joe Minicozzi serve as our guide. The discussion, moderated by Mid-America Regional Council Executive Director David Warm, continues the Library’s Making a Great City series, co-presented by Gould Evans.
Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway. This week, the dazzling center will present seven lush performances, including:
- Missouri State University presents the MSU Wind Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra in a free performance at 7 p.m. Monday
- The Simon and Garfunkel Story – The KC Broadway Series presents this immersive concert-style theater show that chronicles the amazing journey shared by the folk-rock duo, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel. Performances are set for 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre.
- Aspen Santa Fe Ballet with pianist Han Chen at 7:30 p.m. Friday in the Kauffman Theatre, courtesy of the Harriman Jewell Series. Founded in 1996, the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet combines adventurous American athleticism with European classical and avant-garde traditions. The New York Times says the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet “…raise the bar, and then they jump over it.”
- Brahms’ Fourth and Bach’s Fantasia will be performed by the Kansas City Symphony as part of its Masterworks and Bravo series 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 Verlon Thompson & Shawn Camp at 8 p.m. Friday; Dale Watson with Amy Levere and Will Sexton at 8:30 p.m. Friday; and Mad Man’s Diary & Strictly Alice Halloween Party at 8 p.m. Saturday.
The Midland, 1228 Main St. This week, lighting up the Big Town with four nights of performances including:
- Base Hologram presents Roy Orbison & Buddy Holly – back for one night accompanied by a live band in a cutting-edge holographic performance at 7:30 p.m. Monday.
- Bring Me The Horizon – one of the premier heavy bands from the UK – will rattle Downtown at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Special guests include Sirens and Poppy.
- AJR – The band – three brothers born and raised in New York City – has achieved a startling quick level of success with “I’m Ready,” a buoyant electro-pop single that’s taking off on social media, including 10 million views on You Tube – will light up the Midland at 8 p.m. Friday.
- Matt and Kim, recognized for their thunder-punching, melodic mix of indie punk and dance, return to the Big Town at 8 p.m. Sunday to throw a Basic Witch Party. Beach Goons will open the night.
Power & Light District, 50 E. 13th St. This week, celebrating the season with this weekend with Nelly at 6 p.m. Friday at the Coors Light Block Party; and Carnevil – A Circus Nightmare from 8-11 p.m. Saturday in the KC Live! Block – featuring KC’s largest Halloween party and awesome-est costume party. For more details, click here.
Sprint Center, 1407 Grand. This week, get ready to rumble at 6:45 p.m. Friday with WWE Friday Night SmackDown; and Chris Stapleton brings his sold-out All American Road Show to the Big Town at 7 p.m. Saturday. Special guests includes Brothers Osborne and Kendell Marvell at 7 p.m. Saturday.
The Truman, 801 E. Truman Rd. – This week, Alejandro Aranda is Scarypoolparty with Sucre at 8 p.m. Monday; Berner with special guests Rmean, Anonymous and Hollywood at 8 p.m. Friday; and Gryffin with guests The Knocks and Bunt at 8:30 p.m. Saturday.
Union Station – 30 W. Pershing Rd. This week, marks the opening of the next major exhibition at the Station; a celebration of Halloween at Science City; and a rare peek into the Station’s forbidding Attic:
- Genghis Khan invades Downtown KC beginning Thursday. Visitors will explore the culture, conquests and heritage of the man Time Magazine and The Washington Post named “The Most Important Person of the Last Millennium” when Genghis Khan: Bringing the Legend to Life opens the latest leg of its acclaimed North American tour. Click here to learn more and to purchase tickets.
- Spookfest: Shadows, Spiders & Science is back for its 7th year of scaring up some Halloween fun from 5-8 p.m. Friday at Science City. The event will feature spooky science demos and activities; creepy critters and eerie edibles; a spooktacular science stage show; and a costume contest in three age groups, plus a family category.
- The Attic – Off limits to the public until recently, f limits to the public until recently, the attic of Union Station is known as one of the most mysterious and haunted places in Kansas City. The Station’s walls hold a century’s worth of secrets — secrets that, if they got out, would chill Station visitors to the bone. The Attic is open at 6 p.m. on select days through Saturday, Nov. 2.
LIVE THEATER – This week, a peek behind the curtain reveals seven productions happening this week:
- An Evening with Alison Sneegas Borberg, one of KC’s most prolific vocalists, returns with an all-new solo cabaret show! Joining Alison is Joe Cartwright on piano, Gerald Spaits on bass, Brad Gregory on reeds, and Dave Borberg on drums. Performances are set for 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the MTH Theater at Crown Center.
- Count Dracula – For a special Halloween treat, Theatre for Young America presents the theatrical version of Bram Stoker’s 1897 gothic horror novel Dracula. Performances begin Thursday and continue through Saturday, Nov. 2 at the City Stage in Union Station.
- 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.
- 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 run through Nov. 10 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 Sunday at MTH Theater in 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. 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 KC residency each weekend through November in the new Quixotic Theater at Crown Center.
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.