March Madness continues this week with the return of the NAIA Men’s Basketball National Championship tournament, along with an over-the-top week at Sprint Center; a celebration at the Folly Theater; eight amazing performances at the Kauffman Center; and three stellar shows at the Midland. Roll the highlight reel for an amazing week in arts, culture, music, sports and theater in the Big Town – Monday to Sunday, Mar. 18-24:
Bridal & Wedding Expo – Find the perfect gown, DJ, photographer, reception venue, band, honeymoon destination and much more this weekend – from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday – only at Bartle Hall.
Folly Theater, 300 W. 12th St. – This week, Heartland Men’s Chorus – with the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus and the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles – presents Quiet No More: a Choral Celebration of Stonewall, a new work that commemorates the 50th Anniversary of the beginning of the Gay Rights movement. Performances are set for 8 p.m. Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday.
Home Show – Whether you live in an apartment, townhome, loft or house, the Greater Kansas City Home and Lifestyle Show has everything you need for #HowYouHome. The 71st Home Show – presented by the Greater Kansas City Homebuilders Association – is set for noon to 9 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at Bartle Hall.
Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway. This week, eight spectacular features at the world-class performing arts center:
- National Geographic Live presents Dr. Kara Cooney, professor of Egyptology, for a look at a time in ancient history when women – such as Cleopatra, Neferusobek and Nefertiti ruled the world, at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Muriel Kauffman Theate.
- Cosi fan tutte – The Lyric Opera of Kansas City presents this Mozart masterpiece in three performances this week. In the midst of madcap machismo and pre-feminist farce, we find Mozart in Monte Carlo, sipping mojitos, reveling in the mischief, and leaving us to bask in this musical marvel. Performances are set for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Friday, and 2 p.m. Sunday in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre.
- San Francisco Symphony will light up Helzberg Hall at 8 p.m. Wednesday, as Michael Tilson Thomas – the longest-tenured music director at any major American orchestra – leads his farewell tour before retirement in 2020. This special appearance is presented by the Harriman-Jewell Series.
- Kansas City Jazz Orchestra presents Spring Fever, an evening of classic love songs in the style of Billy Strayhorn, John Coltrane and Nat King Cole at 8 p.m. Friday in Helzberg Hall.
- Whitney Houston’s Greatest Hits will be celebrated and performed by the Kansas City Symphony in this one-night-only performance at 8 p.m. Saturday in Helzberg Hall. Richard Carsey, guest conductor, and Amanda Cole, vocalist, will join the Symphony musicians in this salute to the most-awarded female act of all time.
- KU Choral Festival – The University of Kansas School of Music and Reach Out Kansas, Inc. present an afternoon choral celebration honoring the “Joy of Singing,” featuring the KU Choirs joined by choirs from Olathe South High School, Shawnee Mission South High School, and Turner High School at 3 p.m. Sunday in Helzberg Hall. Free tickets are available here.
Knuckleheads, 2715 Rochester, This week, 11 blazin’ shows including Adam Nussbaum and The Leadbelly Project at 7 p.m. Thursday, and Keller Williams ‘Pettygrass’ Feat featuring Hillbenders and Old Salt Union at 8 p.m. Friday.
The Midland, 1228 Main – This week, a powerhouse week coming up with:
- My Favorite Murder – The hit true crime comedy podcast since its inception in early 2016 has broken download records and sparked an enthusiastic, interactive “Murderino” fan base who came out in droves this spring for the sold-out nationwide tour. Hosts Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark will weave their magic to the live KC audience at 8 p.m. Friday.
- Sebastian Manascalo – A string of record-breaking sold out comedy appearances and a new top-ranked show on SiriusXM, “The Pete & Sebastian Show” will carry this red-hot comedian into Downtown KC for his show at 7 p.m. Saturday.
- Tori Kelly will presents her ‘Acoustic Sessions’ set at 8 p.m. Sunday. The 2016 Best New Artist GRAMMY-nominated singer-songwriter and producer, Kelly has been named as an “Artist to Watch” by Rolling Stone, USA Today and Spin.
NAIA Basketball National Championship returns to Downtown KC this week and early next week for 23 tournament games over six days, including the championship match-up at 8 p.m. next Tuesday, March 26. For tickets and complete information, visit NAIA.org.
Sprint Center, 1407 Grand – This week, riding high on the heels of the Big 12 Men’s Basketball Tournament, featuring Michael Buble at 8 p.m. Wednesday; Justin Timberlake at 7:30 p.m. Thursday; and the return of PBR: Professional Bull Riders at 6:45 p.m. Saturday and 2:45 p.m. Sunday.
AND, LIVE MUSIC is on tap most nights at these Downtown clubs and joints: Blue Room Jazz Club, Black Dolphin, The Brick, Green Lady Lounge, Hush, The Majestic Jazz Club, Mutual Musicians Foundation, The Phoenix, Prohibition Hall, The Record Bar, The Ship, and throughout the Power & Light District.
LIVE THEATER is thriving on Downtown stages, including six productions this week:
- The 1940s Radio Hour – A different time is evoked in this marvelously theatrical and winning show, a live broadcast of a The Mutual Manhattan Variety Cavalcade from the Hotel Astor’s Algonquin Room on December 21, 1942. Performances are set for 7:30 p.m. Thursday thru Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday at Just Off Broadway Theatre.
- Nelly Don: The Musical – This original musical celebrates the American entrepreneurial experience of Kansas City’s own Nelly Don, an improbable heroine whose life’s mission was to champion the beauty of women through fashion. Romance, fashion, glamour, justice and gangsters await you for this world premiere musical sensation Sunday, March 31 at MTH Theater at Crown Center.
- Mr. Popper’s Penguins – In this charming musical adaptation of the beloved book, Mr. and Mrs. Popper’s lives take an adventurous turn when a mysterious box arrives on their doorstep with a penguin inside. Performances run through Sunday, March 31 at The Coterie at Crown Center.
- Polkadots – This new musical follows 8-year-old Lily Polkadot, the first Polkadot in an all Square school. Inspired by American civil rights history, this Theatre for Young America production runs through Saturday at City Stage at Union Station.
- Roma – A concert of high energy Romany music from Turkey, Romania, Hungary, and Spain featuring Ensemble Ibérica’s mesmerizing Hungarian violinist, Zsolt Eder and special guest artist, flamenco singer Jose Cortes is set for 7:30 p.m. Monday at MTH Theater at Crown Center.
- Songbook of the 50s – Perhaps no decade had more personalities to its music than the 1950s, as will this dynamite cabaret revue that opens Friday and runs through April 7 at the Quality Hill Playhouse.