Are you ready for March Madness … in arts, autos and (yes) sports?

The KC Auto Show returns this week – Wednesday through Sunday – to Bartle Hall. Get your motor running….

Roll the highlight reel … and start your engines… to generate some heat for March Madness n the Downtown arts, entertainment,sports and automotive scenes from Monday to Sunday, March 2-8:

Bartle Hall, 301 W. 13th St. This week, the Kansas City Auto Show, featuring hundreds of new vehicles all in one place, classic cars, food trucks and a beer and wine garage, is back … for the event you’ve been waiting for all year. Doors opens at 5 p.m. Wednesday, and the show continues from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday before its final day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

The City Market20 E. 5th St. This week, explore Kansas City’s original marketplace connecting local businesses and regional growers to the community. City Market merchants are open daily , and Farmers Market vendors are open weekends only from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. through March.

Crown Center, 2405 Grand. This week, take time to enjoy the Ice TerraceKC’s public outdoor skating mecca, because time is running out. The iconic center is open daily at 10 a.m. through Sunday. And, alas, this Sunday is the final day of Ice Terrace magic for this season.

First Friday returns this week with a way cool collection of arts and cultural experiences throughout greater Downtown, including:

  • 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
  • 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.
  • First Friday Film Festival – a free showing of short films is a First Friday tradition at the MTH Theater in Crown Center. The lobby bar opens at 6:30 p.m., and the films begin at 7:30 p.m.
  • Festival of the Full Moon – one of the finest vintage marketplaces in the country – flourishes every First Friday weekend – from 9 a.m. -5 p.m. Friday through Sunday – in the West Bottoms.

The Friends of Chamber Music presents this week’s performance of the Pavel Haas Quartet with pianist Boris Giltburg at the Folly.

Folly Theater, 300 W. 12th St. This week, featuring two stunning performances, including:

  • Pavel Haas Quartet with pianist Boris Giltburg present the U.S. premiere of L’ubica’ Cekovska’s stunning quartet, The Midsummer Quartet. Paired with works by Pet’r Ilyich Tchaikóvsky and Czech legend Antonín Dvořák, this epic concert will delight and astonish listeners from start to finish beginning at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
  • Luciana Souza – one of the leading singers and interpreters of jazz – will perform with special guests Chico Pinheiro and Scott Colley at 8 p.m. Saturday. Born in São Paulo, Brazil, Luciana’s performance transcends traditional boundaries around musical styles, offering solid roots in jazz, sophisticated lineage in world music, and an enlightened approach to new music.

The Lyric Opera of KC invites you to ‘Come for the wedding. Stay for the funeral.’ at the Kauffman Center.

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway. This week, featuring five breathtaking performances over four days this week, including:

  • Cameron Carpenter – In this unique performance, the famed organist will accompany the film screening of Buster Keaton’s famous silent comedy The General on the Julia Irene Kauffman Casavant Organ, Opus 3875 at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Helzberg Hall.
  • Music of Ed Frazier Davis – The William Davis Festival Singers – the 50-member semi-professional chorale based in Kansas City – will honor the music of the local composer in this special performance at 8 p.m. Friday in Helzberg Hall.
  • Lucia di Lammermoor – The Lyric Opera of Kansas City invites you to … COME FOR THE WEDDING. STAY FOR THE FUNERAL… in this Italian opera from composer Gaetano Donizetti. Performances begin at 7 p.m. Saturday in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre, and continue next week.
  • Havana to Ipanema The Kansas City Jazz Orchestra is taking a trip south of the border to play exciting big band renditions of some of the greatest tunes the world has ever heard at 8 p.m. Saturday in Helzberg Hall.
  • Classical Kids: Beethoven Lives Upstairs The Kansas City Symphony presents this touching story that unfolds with more than 25 excerpts of the composer’s most beautiful works. Join us as we celebrate Beethoven’s 250th birthday at 2 p.m. Sunday in Helzberg Hall.

KC Public LibraryThis week, featuring We’ve Built Cities We Can’t Afford at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Plaza Branch. Nationwide, we’ve built cities we can’t afford. KC is among them, able to budget just 10 percent of recommended street maintenance in 2019 and hitting a similar financial wall on sewers and water lines. The City is nearly four times as large as it was in 1950 and, without corresponding growth in population, each resident is responsible for maintaining four times as much infrastructure. Dennis Strait, managing principal of Gould Evans, lays out the problems and solutions in the first of two Making a Great City installments in March.

Knuckleheads, 2715 Rochester. This week, KC’s favorite honky tonk will kick the East Bottoms with 14 rockin’ performances, including The Lone Bellow, The Half Moon Light Tour with Early James at 8 p.m. Monday; Joy Zimmerman in a sold out performance at 9:15 p.m. Friday; and The Lacs at 8 p.m. Saturday.

March Madness – Downtown KC celebrates its claim to being one of the hottest college basketball meccas in the country with five tournaments this month – one for the national NAIA title and four for conference crowns in the Big 12 and MIAA. The action begins this week with….

  • MIAA Tournaments – The Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association men’s and women’s basketball championships begin March Madness in Downtown KC. The tournaments tip off on Wednesday and continue through Sunday – a total of 18 games in five days – at Municipal Auditorium. The MIAA is a 14-member conference of NCAA Division II institutions in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma. Headquartered in Downtown KC (HyVee Arena), the MIAA was organized in 1912 as the Missouri Intercollegiate Athletics Association.

Comedian/magician Justin Willman is the featured performer at the Giggle with Gilda performance on Friday at the Midland Theatre.

The Midland, 1228 Main St. This week, Giggle With Gilda featuring comedian/magician Justin Willman, star and creator of the hit Netflix series Magic for Humans, at 8:30 p.m. Friday.

National WWI Museum and Memorial, 2 Memorial Dr. This week, featuring a special exhibition on The Vietnam War. On display through May, this exhibit explores themes of patriotism, duty and citizenship through a remarkable collection of objects from the New York Historical Society.

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, 1616 E. 18th St. This week, the Centennial Celebration featuring a special Centennial Art Exhibition of stunning works of artist, Graig Kreindler. The exhibit serves as a visual history of the Negro Leagues through a showcase over 200 original portrait studies of Negro League greats commissioned by Seattle businessman and NLBM licensee, Jay Caldwell, owner of Dreams Fulfilled. The exhibition will also include rare artifacts from Caldwell’s personal collection. Click here for complete details on the NLBM centennial experience.

Power & Light District, 50 E. 13th St. This week, Audien takes over the Mosaic Ultra Lounge stage for the hottest party in KC at 9 p.m. Friday.

Sprint Center, 1407 Grand. This weekTobyMac – The GRAMMY Award-Winning artist will bring his HITS DEEP TOUR 2020 to the Big Town at 7 p.m. Sunday, featuring a star-studded lineup including Tauren Wells, Jordan Feliz, We Are Messengers, Ryan Stevenson, Aaron Cole and Cochren & Co. 

The Truman601 E. Truman Rd. This week, Colors Worldwide presents R&B ONLY featuring Jabari and Dauche at 8:30 p.m. Saturday.

Union Station, 30 W. Pershing Rd. This week, Genghis Khan – Bringing the Legend to Life Discover how legends are made in this world-class exhibition that explores the culture, conquests and heritage of the world’s greatest conqueror . . . the man Time Magazine and The Washington Post named “The Most Important Person of the Last Millennium.” Journey back 800 years, to experience the treasures and stories of Genghis Khan’s 13th-century Mongol Empire, the exhibition is showing seven days a week through April 26. Click here to learn more.

LIVE THEATER – This week, featuring 5 performances on 4 stages, including:

  • Broadway Through the Decades – Celebrate the best of Rodgers and Hammerstein, Lerner and Lowe, Cole Porter, Stephen Sondheim, and everyone in between in this Quality Hill Playhouse production that opens Friday and runs through April 5.
  • Diary of a Worm, a Spider and a Fly Theatre for Young America presents this entertaining musical that captures the droll humor and whimsy of the wildly popular books by Doreen Cronin. Diary opens Wednesday and continues through March 21 at the City Stage Theatre in Union Station.
  • Frankenstein – A storyteller, accompanied by a live musician, unravels Mary Shelley’s iconic 200-year-old science fiction tale as a haunting and heartbreaking cautionary tale like none other. That this tale is as important today as it was then, speaks to the human condition. Performances begin Friday and run through April 5 on the Copaken Stage at H&R Block.
  • Legacy Landan honorable mention on the 2019 Kilroys List, is an unflinching dark comedic dive into the bizarre legacy that sexual abuse imprints upon the lives of sisters Barbara and Denise. KCRep is proud to be working with the Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault (MOCSA) in providing support and resources for the artists and patrons as it explores and engage with Legacy Land. Performances begin Saturday and run through April 5 on the Copaken Stage at H&R Block.
  • Puffs – or Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic – opens Tuesday at The Coterie in Crown Center. Calling all Potterheads! Enjoy the fun as the extras become the leading players in Puffs. This magical production runs through March 22.

LIVE MUSIC is on tap most nights at these Downtown clubs and joints: Blue Room Jazz ClubBlack Dolphin, The Brick, Gem TheaterGreen Lady Lounge, Hush, The Majestic Jazz ClubMutual Musicians FoundationThe 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.

For more of what’s happening in Downtown and Kansas City, check out ArtsKCGo and