Ailey dance, PBR bulls, Zappa rats – Downtown scene is all about eclectic

The KC Friends of Alvin Ailey will present and perform ‘Setting the Stage’ – the moving story of African-American dance this weekend at the Gem Theater

Roll the highlight reel to generate some heat in the Downtown arts and entertainment scene from Monday to Sunday, Feb. 24-March 1:

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, make time to enjoy the Ice TerraceKC’s public outdoor skating mecca, because time is running out on the season. The iconic center is open daily at 10 a.m. through March 8.

Folly Theater, 300 W. 12th St. This week, featuring Mike Salazar on his Paul Gabacho Tour at 8 p.m. Sunday. For the first time in Missouri – and continuing with a national tour – the Spanish-speaking comedy knight will light up the Folly this weekend.

Gem Theater, 1615 E. 18th St. This week, the Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey presents Setting the Stage, a free performance beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday. Created, directed and choreographed by Tyrone Adams, KCFAA artistic officer, is an exciting visual journey through African-American dance history.

The Kansas City Symphony and Symphony Chorus will light up the Kauffman Center this weekend performing Beethoven’s Mass in C.

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway. This week, featuring three breathtaking performances of::

  • Beethoven’s Mass in C – The Kansas City Symphony features esteemed conductor Matthew Hall, returning to lead the orchestra, Symphony Chorus and guest vocalists in Beethoven’s early, transcendent Mass in C. Haydn’s delightful Symphony No. 102 is jam-packed with surprises — especially the fun ending. James MacMillan’s Sinfonietta transports listeners “from the tranquil to the visceral and back again.” Don’t miss this stunning feast for the senses as you’re fully immersed 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 kick the East Bottoms with 10 rockin’ performances, including Cowboy Mouth dishing up its own brand of alternative rock with New Orleans-infused roots rock at 8 p.m. Thursday; Tater and The Gravy Train with the Fred Wicham Hadacol Caravan at 6:30 p.m. Friday; and Chanel West Coast with special guest DJ Kitty at 10 p.m. Saturday.

The Midland, 1228 Main St. This week, featuring Opeth – The Swedish band brings its red-hot In Cauda Venenum North American Tour to the Big Town at 8 p.m. Sunday. Since forming in the tiny Stockholm suburb of Bandhagen in 1990, the Swedes have eclipsed convention and crafted 12 intrinsically intense albums to become one of the best bands on the planet;

Municipal Auditorium, 301 W. 13th St. This week, presenting the Fabulously Funny Comedy Festival featuring Mike Epps, Sommore, Lavell Crawford and Gary Owen at 8 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, featuring the Centennial Celebration commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Negro Leagues. The celebration features a special Centennial Art Exhibition of stunning works of artist, Graig Kreindler. The exhibit will be 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, Hudson Drive will light up Big Sky Nights beginning at 7 p.m. Friday at PBR Big Sky.

The best bull riders in the world will attempt to conquer the rankest bulls of the PBR (Professional Bull Riders) for the 18th consecutive year at Sprint Center this weekend.

Sprint Center, 1407 Grand. This week, buckle up for four big nights of rodeo with the WCRA Royal City Roundup at 7 p.m. Friday AND the return of PBR: Professional Bull Riders beginning at 6:45 p.m. Saturday and 1:45 p.m. Sunday.

The Truman601 E. Truman Rd. This week, rockin’ the night away on three dates this week, including Falling in Reverse with special guests Escape the Fate and The Word Alive at 7 p.m. Monday; Saint Motel at 8 p.m. Tuesday; and Dweezil Zappa performing Hot Rats Live! – his father’s entire Hot Rats album in sequence – at 8 p.m. Saturday. The album played a pivotal role in establishing Frank Zappa as a composer and guitarist and was also dedicated to Dweezil upon its release in 1969. The 50-year-old classic album will be surrounded by an assortment of other psychedelic, avant-garde odd metered toe tappers well known to Zappa aficionados.

Dweezil Zappa will celebrate the 50th anniversary of his father’s Hot Rats Live album this weekend at The Truman.

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 performances on four stages, including:

  • Miss Nelson is Missing – Theatre for Young America presents the story of a beloved teacher who goes missing and is replaced by Viola Swamp, a scary substitute teacher who assigns homework from hell and wields her ruler like a sword! The mystery runs through Saturday at City Stage Theatre at Union Station.
  • 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.
  • A Raisin in the Sun – According to The New York Times, this is “the play that changed American theater forever.” First produced in 1959, A Raisin in the Sun asks what happens to people whose dreams are constantly deferred. Performances continues through through Saturday at Just Off Broadway Theatre.
  • Super Sounds of the 70s – Musical Monday & Tuesday features KC’s most electric performers delivering the most popular radio tunes of the 1970s interwoven with the super sounds of 1970s Broadway. Performances are set for 7:30 p.m. Monday and Tuesday at the MTH Theater in Crown Center.

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