Roll the highlight reel for the week of arts, entertainment and Halloween fun in Downtown Kansas City – Monday to Sunday, Oct. 28-Nov. 3:
Crown Center, 2405 Grand. This week, featuring two seasonal favorites, including:
- Mayor’s Christmas Tree – The first sign of the holiday season arrives at Crown Center, the culmination of a journey from Oregon. The 100-foot-tall tree arrives at 9 a.m. Thursday and is put into its stand at approximately 10 a.m. on Friday. The annual lighting ceremony is set for 5:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 29
- Ice Terrace – Kansas City’s public outdoor ice skating rink will open for the season at 10 a.m. Friday. The beloved ice skating mecca will be open daily – except Christmas Day – for the season. Visit the Ice Terrace for a schedule and more details.
First Friday – KC’s official welcome to 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.
- 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, presenting three eclectic and exhilarating performances, including …
- Robert Earl Keen with special guest Waylon Payne – a Knuckleheads presentation – at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. The singer, songwriter, Americana legend and winner of BMI’s Troubadour Award, has built a career that spans many different styles, from folk, country, and bluegrass to rock.
- Burning Sands Stepshow – The 22nd annual program by the Delta Educational & Economic Development (DEED) Foundation & Delta Sigma Theta Soroity Inc. Kansas City, MO Alumnae Chapter will light up the Big Town beginning at 7 p.m. Saturday.
- Sergy Babayan, pianist presents An Afternoon of Chopin at 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Acclaimed for his emotional intensity, bold energy and remarkable levels of color, Sergei Babayan will perform solo piano music by Frédéric Chopin, considered to be one of the greatest composers for the genre.
KC Bridal & Wedding Expo – You will fnd everything you need for the perfect wedding day from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday at Bartle Hall. Whether you’re dreaming of a formal black-tie affair or a casual barefoot ceremony on the beach, experts are ready to offer advice in creating timeless memories for your perfect day. Admission is free with online registration or $10 at the door.
KC Public Library – This week, featuring programming at the Downtown and Plaza locations, including:
- 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 at the Plaza branch – presents a new fiscal assessment by urban planner Joe Minicozzi, who will 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. RSVP now.
- Unfollow: A Memoir of Loving and Leaving the Westboro Baptist Church at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Central Library. Megan Phelps-Roper took part in her first Westboro Baptist Church protest at age 5. Granddaughter of the late Fred Phelps, patriarch of the notoriously inflammatory Topeka, Kansas, church, she eventually became its voice on Twitter and one of the congregation’s most visible spokespersons. RSVP here,
Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway. This week, the dazzling center will present four performances, including:
- The Phantom of the Opera – Spend a frightful, yet delightful, Halloween eve beginning at 7 p.m. Tuesday. With live solo organ accompaniment, this classic 1929 silent film starring Lon Chaney tells the creepy tale of a demented organist lurking in the catacombs beneath the opera house. The entire movie is shown on the giant Helzberg Hall screen, with acclaimed organist Dorothy Papadakos improvising the spooky soundtrack on the Julia Irene Kauffman Casavant Organ.
- Stern Conducts Bruckner’s Seventh – The Kansas City Symphony performs Bruckner’s Seventh, which catapulted the composer to international fame and remains his most popular work and the Symphony Chorus will perform works by Poulenc and Stravinsky. As one of the most deeply moving and spiritual pieces Stravinsky ever wrote, the Symphony of Psalms runs the gamut of emotions, from peaceful reflection to exuberant praise. Poulenc’s gorgeous “Salve Regina” (“Hail Holy Queen”) for a cappella chorus will astound you in the splendor of Helzberg Hall. Performances are set for 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday.
Knuckleheads, 2715 Rochester. This week, KC’s favorite honky tonk will be rockin’ the East Bottoms with 10 live shows, including Mike & The Moonpies with special guest Sara Morgan at 8 p.m. Thursday; Jim Suhler & The Monkey Beat with Shannon & The Rhythm Kings at 8 p.m. Saturday; and Iris DeMent & Pieta Brown at 8 p.m. Saturday.
The Midland, 1228 Main St. This week, lighting up the Big Town with four, wildly eclectic performances including: …
- Nightmare on Main Street – A Halloween bash featuring Ganja White Knight, Boogie T, Jantzen and SubDocta that gets rolling at 8 p.m. Thursday,
- John Cusack plus ‘Say Anything’– The popular actor will be featured in an on-stage conversation, following a 30th anniversary screening of Say Anything. The 1989 comedy/drama brought popular culture the love story of Lloyd Dobler (actor Cusack) and Diane Court (actress Ione Skye). Ranked by Entertainment Weekly as one of the greatest modern movie romances (and #11 on the list of 50 best high-school movies). The action begins at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
- Joe Bonamassa – hailed worldwide as one of the greatest guitar players of his generation, and is an ever-evolving singer-songwriter who has released 16 solo albums in the last 14 years returns to KC to rock this town at 8 p.m. Saturday.
- Peppa Pig Live! returns with an all-new action-packed live stage show, Peppa Pig’s Adventure!,featuring your favorite characters as life-size puppets! Join Peppa at 3 p.m. Sunday on a camping trip to the woods for an outdoor adventure, full of singing, dancing, games and surprises!
Power & Light District, 50 E. 13th St. This week, featuring Wicked Wine Walk – sip, taste, explore Downtown from 3-6 p.m. Saturday, Enjoy live music on 14th Street, wine tastings and small plates at each of the participating venues. Proceeds benefit The Children’s Place. RSVP here. Plus, Stoney Larue will light up Big Sky Lights at 7 p.m. Saturday at PBR Big Sky.
The Truman, 801 E. Truman Rd. – This week, featuring back-to-back nights of magic with The Marcus King Band with Halloween at The Truman and special guest Aaron Lee Tasjan at 8 p.m. Tuesday; and Loud Luxury at 8 p.m. Friday.
Union Station – 30 W. Pershing Rd. This week, marks the first full week of the Station’s latest major exhibition, along with the closing week of a rare peek into the Station’s forbidding Attic:
- Genghis Khan – the invasion of Downtown Kansas City is under way. 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 begins the latest leg of its acclaimed North American tour. Click here to learn more and to purchase tickets.
- 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.
LIVE THEATER – This week, a peek behind the curtain reveals seven productions happening this week:
- 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 run through Saturday 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 continue through Sunday at the Quality Hill Playhouse.
- My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish & I’m in Therapy – More than 30 characters and voices are brought to life by the comic genius of Peter Fogel in one of the longest running one-man shows in New York theater history. This special showing opens Wednesday and runs through Nov. 24 at the 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.
- Stealing Kandinsky – The Westport Arts Center presents A Case from the Stolen Art Files – a full-length, two-act play centers around Vassily Kandinsky, known as the “founder” of modern abstract art. Kandinsky and the Blue Rider arts movement of which he was a leader, were considered “degenerate artists” by the Nazis, and their art was suppressed and stolen. Performances run through Nov. 9 at the Just Off Broadway 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.