Time for another round of weekend calendar picks from KC Studio editor Alice Thorson! This is your last weekend to see Vietgone at Unicorn Theatre (read Robert Trussell’s review here). The William Inge Theater Festival runs through Saturday in Independence. Friday night, Kansas City Ballet opens its production of Peter Pan, which runs through May 20th. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Lucia Aerial Performing Arts Company presents Stealing Fire at Union Station. Friday night, celebrate Bill Shapiro, host of KCUR‘s Cyprus Avenue, and the final Cyprus Avenue LIVE! concert at the Folly with Kelley Hunt. And Saturday night, enjoy a night of a capella with Central Standard, Men’s A Cappella Ensemble. For more events this weekend, visit Kansas City’s most comprehensive arts calendar at kcstudio.org/events.
April 18, 2018 – May 13, 2018
In Vietgone, award-winning pioneer of “geek theater” Qui Nguyen brilliantly chronicles the love story of his parents’ meeting in an Arkansas refugee center after fleeing Vietnam. It’s a buddy story, an all-American romance, and a motorcycle road-trip adventure that revisits how we think about the heroes and victims of the Vietnam War. Vietgone skips through time and roams the globe with snarky humor, hip-hop, and lots of sex. It’s one ironic, foul-mouthed, bad-ass new play.
2018 William Inge Theater Festival
May 9, 2018 – May 12, 2018
William Inge Center for the Arts
THURSDAY, MAY 10:
An Evening with Mr. Inge Live performances of scenes from selected plays by William Inge, with context and comment on the career Independence’s native son journey from Independence to literary stage stardom. Thursday May 10 at 7:30 p.m., William Inge Theater, Independence Community College.
FRIDAY, MAY 11:
Down in Mississippi By Carlyle Brown. Setting: The Freedom Summer 1964 campaign to register African-Americans to vote in the dangerous, segregated world of Mississippi. Three young civil rights activists leave their safe northern homes to try to change the world, and discover that before they can change the world they will have to change themselves. A celebration of a movement that gave birth to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voter’s Rights Act of 1965. Friday May 11 at 7:30 p.m., William Inge Theater, Independence Community College.
SATURDAY, MAY 12:
Tribute to Carlyle Brown A multi-media presentation, featuring video interviews with Brown and his artistic collaborators, and live scenes from his great plays,performed by professional guest artists. Mr. Brown will receive the William Inge Distinguished Achievement in the American Theater Award, at the conclusion of the performance. Saturday, May 12, at 7:30p.m., William Inge Theatre, Independence Community College.
Fringe at the Inge Each night, commune with our guest artists and theater buffs from across the nationat a local gathering spot after each evening performance. Just purchase a beverage, no ticket required! Locations will vary nightly.
May 11, 2018 – May 20, 2018
Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts
“Second star to the right and straight on ‘til morning” – J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
It’s the classic family adventure for those who never want to grow up! Witness the magic of Peter Pan as he flies into the Darling family nursery, convincing Wendy, John and Michael to join him for the adventure of a lifetime in Never Never Land, his enchanted home. The troublesome Tinker Bell, the Lost Boys, their nemesis Captain Hook and a hungry crocodile all help bring J.M. Barrie’s fantastical tale to life. Peter Pan makes its delightful Kansas City premiere with world premiere choreography by Artistic Director Devon Carney and a soaring score by Carmon DeLeone, performed live by Kansas City Symphony.
May 11-13, 2018 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm | $10 – $25
H & R Block-City Stage
Stealing Fire explores the Greek mythology of Prometheus through aerial and acrobatic arts. It follows Prometheus as she battles titans, creates mankind, and, of course, steals fire from the gods. Other well known legends populate the show, such as Atlas, Hercules, and Pandora as their stories weave together around the protagonist through dynamic aerial dance.
Aside from the obvious addition of aerial silks and trapezes, Stealing Fire modernizes the well-known Greek mythology by ignoring traditional genders. The leading character, Prometheus, is now female along with her sister Epimetheus, while Athena is now the god of wisdom and military victory. Furthermore, Stealing Fire dares to humanize the immortal, as evident in pieces such as “The Weight of the World” where Atlas struggles to accept her entrapment and “Prometheus & Io” where two victims of Zeus’s anger find solace in an exchange of mournful tales. Hercules is arrogant, Hope is fearful, Prometheus is sympathetic. The story outline is the same, but the characters are more complex.
Stealing Fire promises to leave its audience thunderstruck and ablaze with excitement.
KCUR’s Cyprus Avenue to End in a Celebratory Concert with Kelley Hunt
May 11, 2018 @ 8:00 pm | $25 – $60
After 40 years on the air, KCUR will be retiring the Cyprus Avenue show and the Folly will host its final Cyprus Avenue LIVE! at the Folly show. On May 11th, we’ll spend the evening celebrating Bill Shapiro, host of KCUR’s Cyprus Avenue, with one of his favorite artists, Kelley Hunt performing on the C. Stephen Metzler Hall stage at the Folly Theater. Kelley brings a 9 piece ensemble and new material to this show as a special honor to Bill.
Central Standard presents A Cappella at the Folly
May 12, 2018 @ 7:00 pm | $15 – $45
Central Standard is a Kansas City men’s a cappella group with 50+ men who are here for a few reasons — to have fun and make music. Having just been around for just over 10 years, CS has grown from 8 to about 55 men, each with a passion for music and a desire to have a great time making it. CS just returned from the Barbershop Harmony Society’s annual convention, and is proud to claim the title of 3rd place in the world!