Time for this week’s weekend calendar picks from KC Studio editor, Alice Thorson! Tonight, Kansas City Public Library, UMKC and New Letters magazine present a conversation with poet Michelle Boisseau at 6:30pm. The UMKC Conservatory Artist Series presents Handel’s opera Rodelinda at White Recital Hall, with performances scheduled through Sunday. The Heart of America Shakespeare Festival and Performing Arts Series at Johnson County Community College present Shakespeare’s The Tempest March 23 – 26 at Polsky Theatre. The Kansas City Symphony performs Sibelius’ Second Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Kauffman Center. And Kansas City Repertory Theatre begins its run of the classic A Raisin in the Sun, which continues through April 16 at Spencer Theatre. Saturday and Sunday, the Heartland Men’s Chorus present “Identify” at the Folly. And finally, Saturday night, Grammy-winning jazz vocalist Dianne Reeves performs at the Gem. For more ideas this weekend, see Kansas City’s most comprehensive arts calendar at kcstudio.org/events.
March 23 @ 6:30 pm
Kansas City Public Library-Plaza Branch
Michelle Boisseau’s fifth book of poems, Among the Gorgons, makes “graceful and unexpected leaps from personal to mythic, tender to satiric, and tragic to comic,” judges wrote in awarding the University of Missouri-Kansas City professor the Tampa Review Prize for Poetry in 2015.
Boisseau, a faculty member at UMKC since 1995 and also the recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, shares her work and its inspirations in a public discussion with Angela Elam of public radio’s New Letters on the Air. The event celebrates Women’s History Month.
Co-presented by the UMKC Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and New Letters magazine.
March 23 – 25 @ 7:30 pm
March 26 @ 2:30 pm
White Recital Hall
Rodelinda, George Frideric Handel In one of Handel’s best dramas, we find our heroine Rodelinda—who believes her husband to be dead—having to marry a despicable character or see him murder her son. How will this story end? The opera is directed by Fenlon Lamb, with coaching by artist in residence Estelí Gomez and faculty Allison DeSimone, and featuring collaborations with Conservatory dance faculty and students.
March 23 @ 7:30 pm
March 24 & 25 @ 8:00 pm
March 26 @ 2:00 pm
$12 – $25
Polsky Theatre, JCCC
The Performing Arts Series is thrilled to partner once again with the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival for a script-in-hand performance of “The Tempest,” by William Shakespeare.
It is set on a remote island, where the sorcerer Prospero, rightful Duke of Milan, plots to restore his daughter Miranda to her rightful place using illusion and skillful manipulation. He conjures up a storm, the eponymous tempest, to lure his usurping brother Antonio and the complicit King Alonso of Naples to the island. There, his machinations bring about revelations, redemption and romance, with a cast of time-honored Shakespearean characters: heroes, villains, a princess and a magician.
The Heart of America Shakespeare Festival is celebrating its 25th year and is delighted to collaborate with JCCC’s Performing Arts Series as one of its “25 for the 25th” — performances and events which are providing Shakespeare all year — presentations in all arts disciplines and focused on Shakespeare-inspired or -derived works.
March 24 – April 16
Spencer Theatre, Olson PAC, UMKC Campus
Raisin is a story that revolves around the Younger family that remains as universally relevant and deeply relatable today as it was more than 60 years ago when it first hit Broadway. This three-generation family yearns for different versions of a better life and the American Dream in the rapidly changing world of 1950s Chicago. These opposing forces both unite and divide the family, as each grapple with the social issues that challenge their identity and the personal choices that will determine their future. Ultimately, A Raisin in the Sun celebrates faith, courage, and the human spirit.
March 24 & 25 @ 8:00 pm
March 26 @ 2:00 pm
Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts
At a time when Finland was under Russian domination, Sibelius’ Second Symphony was viewed as a message of hope. Today, the fiercely dramatic and ultimately triumphant work is one of Sibelius’ most-loved compositions. The sparkling overture to Danish composer Nielsen’s opera, Maskarade, sets the stage for a tale of romance and mistaken identity. American virtuoso Anne Akiko Meyers stars in not one, but two works for violin and orchestra — the world premiere of Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara’s newest violin concerto and Ravel’s Tzigane, inspired by vibrant Gypsy music.
Heartland Men’s Chorus Presents “Identify”
Part choral concert, part Ted Talk, Identify celebrates living lives of authenticity. Joined by special guests, Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus, Ted Talk sensation Morgana Bailey and Jane Clementi, mother of Tyler Clementi, we lift up the importance of being you.
March 25 @ 8:00 pm | $45
American Jazz Museum – Gem Theater
Dianne Reeves, a four-time GRAMMY ® winner considered one of the preeminent female jazz vocalist s in the world, headlines this year’s celebration of Women in Jazz. With a repertoire that ranges from jazz to soul and include R&B, Latin, and pop, Reeves “has one of the most powerful, purposeful, and accurate voices of this or any time,” according to Wynton Marsalis. Reeves has recorded extensively with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and was the first creative chair for jazz for the Los Angeles Philharmonic. The first singer to ever appear at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Reeves also performed every song on the GRAMMY® award-winning soundtrack for George Clooney’s Good Night and Good Luck.