Here are some events going on this icy winter weekend, handpicked by KC Studio editor Alice Thorson. This is the first weekend to see Kansas City Actors Theatre‘s production of the Irish romantic comedy Sea Marks, and tonight Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre premieres its production of Defying Gravity, based on the 1986 Challenger disaster. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the Kansas City Symphony performs Sibelius’ Fifth Symphony. The Harriman-Jewell Series presented American Spiritual Ensemble at the Folly Theatre on Saturday night. Carlsen Center at Johnson County Community College presents two performances of Cabaret the same day. For more ideas this weekend, visit Kansas City’s most comprehensive arts calendar at kcstudio.org/events.
January 10, 2018 – January 28, 2018
H & R Block-City Stage
Like last season’s My Old Lady, this romantic comedy examines loving relationships in all their complications. It’s the story of a fisherman from a remote Irish island who falls in love with a woman he’s seen only once. As he attempts to woo her by mail, she falls in love with his words. As these two people from very different worlds meet, they realize they must also reflect on what it is to know who they are and where they belong.
January 11, 2018 – January 28, 2018
Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre
This free structured look at the 1986 Challenger disaster places the teacher who died with six others as they hurtled into space at the center of an exploration of our need to reach beyond ourselves and dare the universe. Defying Gravity artfully interweaves the past with the present and the lives of participants and bystanders, drawing parallels among painter Claude Monet’s artistic quest, the zest of the teacher selected to the first civilian astronaut, the perspectives of her grieving daughter, the aspirations of elderly tourists who drive their Winnebago to Florida to watch the space shot and dream of hotels in space, the guilt felt by a NASA mechanic, and his girlfriend’s fear of heights.
January 12 & 13 @ 8:00 pm
January 14, 2018 @ 2:00 pm
Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts
Awaken the senses with Sibelius’ heroic Fifth Symphony, a rollercoaster of texture, mood and sound that culminates in an all-out, full-blown triumph. Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante highlights some of his most eloquent and utterly divine string writing ever, particularly in the slow-tempo second movement. The work features Kansas City Symphony’s own Miller Nichols Concertmaster Noah Geller and Principal Violist Christine Grossman as soloists. Renowned Finnish conductor and composer Esa-Pekka Salonen wrote LA Variations to showcase orchestral “virtuosity and power.”
January 13, 2018 @ 7:30 pm
Spirituals have always been balm for the soul, and the American Spiritual Ensemble is a foremost interpreter of the genre. Founded in 1995, the group is dedicated to preserving the legacy of the Negro Spiritual, but they also venture into classical music, jazz and Broadway. The group’s Folly Theater concert will showcase its versatility.
January 13, 2018 @ 2:00 pm & 8:00 pm
Carlsen Center – Yardley Hall
$38 – $65
Come hear some of the most memorable songs in theater history, including “Cabaret,” “Willkommen” and “Maybe This Time,” lyrics by John Kander and Fred Ebb, plus Joe Masteroff’s Tony-winning music. Framed by the decadently dilapidated Kit Kat Klub, it’s an escape from reality presided over by The Emcee.
Cabaret sets a complicated love story between struggling novelist Cliff Bradshaw and nightclub singer Sally Bowles against the rise of the Nazi Party in 1930s Berlin. The affair between Cliff, who struggles with his sexuality, and Sally is doomed from the beginning. But equally, if not more, heartbreaking is the romance that develops between landlord Fraulein Schneider and boarder Herr Schultz. It’s a quietly devastating example of the anti-Semitic hate that ruined so many innocent lives.
This show is based on Roundabout Theatre Company’s Tony Award®-winning production by Sam Mendes (Skyfall, American Beauty) and Rob Marshall (Into the Woods and Chicago, the film).
Follow your heart while the world loses its way.