Time once again for weekend calendar picks from KC Studio editor Alice Thorson. Opening tonight at Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre and running through December 17th, the beloved holiday classic It’s a Wonderful Life comes to life as a live 1940s radio broadcast (read our spotlight story from the 2017 Holiday issue here). Kansas City Ballet‘s Nutcracker also opens tonight at the Kauffman Center following its Kennedy Center premiere. Saturday, a retrospective exhibition featuring the work of respected documentary photography Eugene Richards opens at the Nelson. Saturday night, enjoy the sounds of the barrio from Spanish Harlem Orchestra at the Folly, or listen to traditional Irish ensemble Danú with Kansas City Chorale, presented by Carlsen Center at JCCC. Sunday afternoon, enjoy a free concert with Park ICM alums Christian and Victorian Fatu. For more ideas this weekend, visit Kansas City’s most comprehensive arts calendar at kcstudio.org/events.
December 7, 2017 – December 17, 2017
Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre
This beloved American holiday classic comes to captivating life as a live 1940s radio broadcast. With the help of an ensemble that brings a few dozen characters to the stage, the story of idealistic George Bailey unfolds as he considers ending his life one fateful Christmas Eve.
December 7, 2017 – December 24, 2017
Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts
Following its Kennedy Center premiere in Washington, D.C., Devon Carney’s acclaimed holiday production returns to KC for its third season. The classic, Victorian-era story by E.T.A. Hoffman featuring Clara, the Prince and Dr. Drosselmeier completely reimagined with exquisite costumes by Holly Hynes, grand sets by Alain Vaës and captivating choreography by Artistic Director Devon Carney. See your children’s wonder ignite and feel the glimmer once more as your childhood dreams return and inspire you to IMAGINE AGAIN.
December 9, 2017 – April 15, 2018
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
This retrospective exhibition features the work of Eugene Richards (American, born 1944), one of the most respected documentary photographers working today. For almost 50 years, working in the tradition of W. Eugene Smith and Robert Frank, Richards has focused on the diverse, often complex lives of Americans, as well as the ongoing struggles of the world’s poor.
Richards’s style is unflinching, yet poetic. He brings the lives of ordinary people into focus and tells their stories through his powerful photographs. His projects have explored such complicated terrain as poverty, emergency medicine, drug addiction, cancer, mental illness, the impact of war on veterans and their families, caring for the elderly, and the emptying of the American prairie. Ultimately, Richards’s socially-committed photographs illuminate personal struggles that might otherwise go unnoticed, with the hope that his art might spark conversations about how better to care for one another as human beings.
December 9, 2017 @ 8:00 pm | $20 – $55
Spanish Harlem Orchestra, the two-time Grammy winning Salsa and Latin Jazz Band, sets the standard for excellence for authentic, New York style, hard core salsa. Now in its fourteenth year, SHO is dedicated to the sounds of the barrio. Their music is characterized by the raw, organic and vintage sound defined by the genre. Grounded in the past, while focused on the future, they strive to keep the music relevant while creating a unique and fresh approach.
December 9, 2017 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm | $23 – $78
Carlsen Center – Yardley Hall
Christmas in Ireland is one of the most important holidays for families and friends, as many Irish people living abroad come home to gather in celebration.
Local community choirs singing traditional songs for Christmas and Wren’s Day (Dec. 26) are a common sight throughout Ireland each December. For generations, music and dance gatherings, in communities both urban and rural, have combined to offer a great variety of songs, music and stories for the holidays. In honor of this tradition, the Kansas City Chorale will join Danú onstage for a few songs.
Danú is one of the leading traditional Irish ensembles of today, hailing from Counties Waterford, Cork, Dublin and Donegal in Ireland. The band formed as part of Ireland’s delegation to Lorient Inter-Celtic Festival. This festival, held in Brittany, France, is the biggest gathering of Celtic nations in the world.
December 10, 2017 @ 4:00 pm | Free
Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel-Park University
Program will include:
Edward Grieg – Violin Sonata No.3, op.45
Paul Constantinescu – Sonatina for Violin and Piano
George Enescu – Ballade for Violin, Op.4
Matthew Jackfert – Appalachian Impressions Sonata
Miroslav Skorik – Melody in A Minor
Pablo Sarasate – Zigeunerwiesen
Béla Bartók – Romanian Dances, Sz.56
Ioan Dobrinescu – Hora Primaverii
Grigoraș Dinicu – Ciocârlia