‘The Barber of Seville’ will light up Downtown with three more side-splitting performances by the Lyric Opera of Kansas City this week at the Kauffman Center.
From The Barber of Seville to Audra McDonald; from First Friday festivities to the opening of Plein Air KC; from the International Jazz Day to the launch of Art in the Loop 2018; from the UMKC Finale to the KC Burlesque Festival …. this promises to be an inspired first week of May – Monday to Sunday, April 30-May 6 – in the Downtown arts & entertainment scene, including:
Art in the Loop: KC Plays – The new season for Art in the Loop, a curated outdoor exhibition of 15 temporary works of art and performances in the greater Downtown area, will be launched at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Central Library. The kickoff event will feature a number of participating artists, dancers, musicians, and poets who take turns discussing their contributions. RSVP here.
The Art of Comics – an Andrews McMeel Universal retrospective of the creators and characters who shaped popular culture – is now on display through May 25 at The Box Gallery in the Commerce Arcade, 1000 Walnut. The free exhibit explores the evolution of the funny pages, from Doonesbury to Calvin and Hobbes to the new frontier that of web comics.
The Barber of Seville – The Lyric Opera of Kansas City presents one of the funniest comedies of all time and, yes, it’s an opera. Check your powdered wigs at the door and stop by Seville for a Barber of a different color. The final three performances are set for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Friday, and 2 p.m. Sunday in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre.
Crossroads KC makes its seasonable return to the Kansas City outdoor concert scene this week with the debut of a new Free Fridays performance of the MGDs with DJ Diehard beginning at 7 p.m. Friday at the Grinders stage.
Kansas City Burlesque Festival returns for its 8th annual variety shows and competition at two Downtown locations on Friday and Saturday. The festivities begin at 7 p.m. Friday with Spectaculary Burlesque, followed by the Late Night Strut at the Opera House in the River Market. Next up, will be the Burlesque & Variety Extravaganza and the Classic Performer Competition beginning at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Folly Theater.
First Friday – KC’s coolest night of the spring – returns this Friday with a sizzling collection arts and cultural experiences throughout Downtown via the:
- 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 to 9 p.m.
- Crossroads on the Vine showcasing the annual art exhibition of students in the Crossroads Charter Schools from 4:30-7:30 p.m. at the American Jazz Museum. The event will include a silent auction and raffle featuring works by parent artists. Student art will be available for purchase for $20.
- First Fridays on the Vine – Celebrate the second anniversary of First Fridays at 18th & Vine by shopping local artists – including the Crossroads Charter School students (see above) and a diverse array of food trucks, along with a jazzy selection of live entertainment, beginning at 4 p.m.
- First Friday Warehouse Weekends – one of the finest vintage marketplaces in the country – flourishes every First Friday weekend (Friday through Sunday) in the West Bottoms.
International Jazz Day on Monday, April 30 will be celebrated through the 18th & Vine Jazz District beginning at 11 a.m. and continuing until daybreak on Tuesday.
International Jazz Day – The American Jazz Museum and the Mutual Musicians Foundation are teaming up to present activities in honor of International Jazz Day beginning at 11 a.m. today (Monday) in the 18th & Vine Jazz District. A full day and night of tours, talk and sweet jazz will unfold throughout 18th & Vine before wrapping up with a late-night / early morning jam session featuring James Hathaway at the Foundation. For the complete, schedule visit the Swing, Bop and Beyond website.
Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts will showcase eight breathtaking performances this week, including:
- UMKC Finale, Conservatory Orchestra and Choirs, directed by Robert Olson and Robert Bode, respectively. The exciting program includes Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms, with orchestra and choirs and Conservatory dancers. Stravinsky’s 1930 work was commissioned by Serge Koussevitzky to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The Finale will unfold at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Helzberg Hall.
- National Geographic Live – As commander of the International Space Station, NASA astronaut Terry Virts shot more photographs than any astronaut who came before him. Many of those images were later used in the National Geographic book View From Above and IMAX film A Beautiful Planet, but to hear Virts tell it, no photo can capture the perfect shade of blue from a sunrise viewed from outer space. Virts will share his photographic gems at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre.
- The Barber of Seville – one funniest comedies of all time – will be presented by the Lyric Opera of Kansas City this week with performances at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Friday, and 2 p.m. Sunday in Kauffman Theatre.
- Off the Wall: Pop Hits of the 80’s, performed by the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra and featuring music from Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and more music legends, is on tap for 8 p.m. Friday in Helzberg Hall.
- Audra McDonald, – one of today’s most highly regarded performers with a record six Tony Awards, two Grammy® Awards, and a long list of other accolades – will be featured in this special one-night-only performance with the Kansas City Symphony at 8 p.m. Saturday in Helzberg Hall.
- Surround Sound – The Kansas City Civic Orchestra’s season finale is the orchestra’s debut performance at the Kauffman Center. In its 59th consecutive season, KCCO remains dedicated to the mission of bringing high quality, free concerts to the community. This special performance is set for 3 p.m. Sunday in Helzberg Hall.
Knuckleheads Saloon – the hottest honky tonk in the Big Town – features nine rockin’ shows this week, including two nights of Merle Jam, featuring the likes of Jason D. Williams, Slim Hanson, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, the Nace Brothers and many more beginning at 6 p.m. Friday and 7 p.m. Saturday.
The Midland will be smokin’ with three performances this week, including:
- Anthony Jeselnik brings his original brand of comedy to the Big Town for one night only beginning at 8 p.m. Thursday;
- Whose Live Anyway? The current cast members of the Emmy-nominated TV show Whose Line Is It Anyway? present their new improv tour that features 90 minutes of hilarious improvised comedy and song all based on audience suggestions. The fun begins at 7 p.m. Saturday.
- Las Arpias – Following their successful tour in Mexico, the Las Arpias arrives in the U.S. to weave their spell. though a play that begins as a comedy, but evolves into a suspenseful story. The ladies will get to work at 6 p.m. Sunday.
Plein Air KC – One of Kansas City’s freshest artistic event series gets under way this weekend, as the 5th annual Plein Air KC Competition prepares for a two-month stay in and around Union Hill and Union Station. Plein Air is from the French term “open (in full) air”, so all paintings must be created outdoors. No studio works are permitted in the competition. Plein Air KC will stage three “Quick Paint” competitions in which artists will have two hours to paint in a limited area. A winning piece will be chosen by the judges each evening of the competitions, which begin on Sunday evening in Roanoke Park. Two more competitions are set for next week in Penn Valley and Union Cemetery. For more information, visit the Plein Air KC and make plans to attend the opening night Artists’ Reception and VIP Party.
Martin Lawrence will serve as the ringmaster of a comedy all-star show on Friday at Sprint Center.
Sprint Center welcomes comedian, actor, director and producer Martin Lawrence in his return to the stage as the host of 2018’s hottest comedy event, featuring an amazing lineup of comedic talent, including Bruce Bruce, Jay Pharoah, Adele Givens and Benji Brown. Buckle up for laughs beginning at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Stanfords Comedy Club brings laughs at its new joint at 831 Walnut. Comedian Adam Maxwell will headline the 18 & older show this week – beginning at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, plus late shows on Friday and Saturday.
The Truman will be bouncing the east Crossroads with four back-to-back performances this week, including Jonathan Davis of Korn with Champagne Campaign at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday; As The Crow Flies featuring Chris Robinson, Marcus King, Audley Freed, Andy Hess, Adam McDougal, Tony Leone and Once & Future Band at 8 p.m. Wednesday; K.Flay before a sold-out audience with Yes You Are in a sold-out show at 8:30 p.m. Thursday; and Misterwives with Flor and Flint Eastwood at 8 p.m. Friday.
LIVE THEATER is thriving on Downtown stages, which feature two productions this week, including:
- Jack and the Bean Magico! The classic fairytale, “Jack and the Beanstalk,” is told with the audience’s help, who assist Jack as he climbs the beanstalk to the giant’s rich and fertile land. This special production runs through May 20 at The Coterie in Crown Center.
- Welcome to Fear City – In this electrifying and original story, a South Bronx boy searches for his poetic voice and wrestles with his identity. His neighborhood fights to survive following the 1977 blackout that rattled New York City and jump-started the hip-hop revolution. Presented by the KC Rep as part of the Origin KC: New Works Festival, Fear City runs through May 27 at the Copaken Stage.
ARTS – your guide to arts and culture in greater Kansas City:
LIVE MUSIC – of all tastes and flavors – is performed at these Downtown venues on most nights:
MUSEUMS are alive and well throughout Downtown, including these 16 destinations:
For more of what’s happening in Downtown and Kansas City, check out our friends at VisitKC.com