Editor’s Weekend Calendar Picks, Memorial Day Weekend

Here are calendar picks from KC Studio editor Alice Thorson for Memorial Day weekend. This weekend is your last chance to see Kansas City Repertory Theatre‘s OriginKC Festival, featuring world premiere productions of Man in Love and What Would Crazy Horse Do?. Opening this week is Spinning Tree Theatre‘s production of the controversial Sondheim musical Assassins. Friday through Sunday, the American Jazz Museum presents the Kansas City Jazz and Heritage Festival in the 18th & Vine Jazz District, featuring a wide array of jazz and blues musicians from Kansas City and beyond. The National World War I Museum and Memorial will have events going on all weekend through Monday, including tours of the current exhibition of photos by Michael St Maur Sheil, Fields of Battle, Lands of Peace. Sunday night, the Kansas City Symphony celebrates Memorial Day with a selection of patriotic classics.

For more ideas this Memorial Day weekend, visit Kansas City’s most comprehensive arts calendar at kcstudio.org/events.

Man in Love

April 29 – May 28
Kansas City Repertory Theatre-Copaken Stage

In a segregated Depression-era city, rent parties rage above, while men hungry for work and love roam the streets. A string of murders occurs but no one suspects the killer is the quiet, charming librarian, Paul Pare Jr. Reactions vary across the city, and as we watch the word spread from person to person, we wonder if the killer’s violence will extend to those closest to him. Written by Kansas City native Christina Anderson the story examines a world where a criminal and his victims can get lost in the crowd.

What Would Crazy Horse Do?

April 28 – May 28
Kansas City Repertory Theatre-Copaken Stage

KCRep proudly presents the world premiere of a new play by preeminent Native American writer Larissa FastHorse. Twin siblings, the last members of their tribe, have just lost their grandfather when the KKK comes knocking with hopes of forming an alliance. A chilling look at the notion of racial purity, this story reveals the challenges contemporary Native Americans face when fighting extinction in a world that seems to have already forgotten they exist. The siblings attempt to find their voices in the outside world, while preserving the heritage that is now theirs alone to carry forward.


May 24 – June 11
Just Off Broadway Theatre

Widely considered the most controversial musical ever written, ASSASSINS premiered off-Broadway in 1990 at Playwrights Horizons, and won the 2004 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical. A unique vision of America told through its villains instead of its heroes, ASSASSINS imagines the meeting and interaction of 4 successful and 5 would-be presidential assassins from John Wilkes Booth to Lee Harvey Oswald.

Kansas City Jazz & Heritage Festival

May 26 – May 28
Historic 18th & Vine Jazz District

Lalah Hathaway will open the Kansas City Jazz and Heritage Festival on May 26th on the Paseo Boulevard Main Stage. The Paseo will be closed from Truman Road to 19th Street for the weekend. Grammy award winners John Scofield and Brandy; MacArthur Fellowship “Genius Grant” awardee Regina Carter; and the hot new sensation, The Hot Sardines, will round out the national headliners for the main stage. The festival also honors Kansas City’s rich heritage in jazz by featuring local musicians and worldwide phenomena Bobby Watson, McFadden Brothers, Kevin Mahogany, and Oleta Adams.

Cheptoo Kositany-Buckner, Executive Director of the American Jazz Museum states, “The citizens of Kansas City are deserving of an international music festival to celebrate their role in jazz, blues, and music in general. The American Jazz Museum encourages Kansas City to come out to make this the cultural event the city so richly deserves.”

Tickets to the Main Stage begin at $25. Community Stage and Made in Kansas City vendor areas are FREE and open to the public. Advance single-day tickets, 4-day weekend passes, and VIP passes are available for purchase online at kcjazzfest.com or by calling (816) 474-8463. Tickets can also be purchased in person at the American Jazz Museum Box Office. Sign up on kcjazzfest.com to receive updates on the latest information and lineup.

Memorial Day Weekend 2017

May 26 – May 29
National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial

As the commemoration of the Centennial of World War I (2014-19) continues, the National World War I Museum and Memorial serves as a fitting place to honor and recognize the men and women who sacrificed their lives while serving their country during Memorial Day weekend.

Admission to the Museum is free for veterans and active duty military personnel, while admission for the general public is half-price all weekend (Friday-Monday, May 26-29). The Museum offers several events during the course of the weekend for people of all ages and interests, including a free public ceremony at 10 a.m. on Memorial Day featuring renowned photographer Michael St Maur Sheil, whose exhibitions of contemporary photographs of World War I battlefields have been seen by millions of people across the world.

Free admission for veterans and active duty military personnel is made possible by U.S. Bank. Half-price admission on Friday is courtesy of Sports Radio 810 WHB. Additional support for Memorial Day Weekend activities was provided by Armed Forces Insurance and the Neighborhood Tourist Development Fund of Kansas City, Mo.

Be sure to see Fields of Battle, Lands of Peace

When: 10:30 a.m. & 3:30 p.m., Saturday-Sunday, May 27-28; 3:30 p.m. Monday, May 29
Where: Tours begin at Guest Services inside the National World War I Museum and Memorial
What: Join award-winning photojournalist and curator Michael St Maur Sheil on a brief walking tour of the special centennial outdoor exhibition Fields of Battle, Lands of Peace: The Doughboys 1917-1918. Hear the stories behind the incredible contemporary photographs. Book purchase suggested and reservation required. Limited space available. FREE with RSVP.

See the full list of Memorial Day Weekend events…


May 28 @ 8:00 pm | Free
Union Station Kansas City

Event site opens at 3 p.m.
Concert begins at 8 p.m.

The Kansas City Symphony’s 15th annual patriotic concert event is the largest FREE Memorial Day weekend festival in the Midwest, and this year welcomes singer Patti Austin as our special musical guest and host. From a moving Symphony concert to the city’s grandest fireworks display, nothing celebrates our military and veterans quite like Bank of America Celebration at the Station. We’ll recognize the 100th anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War I, and we’ll celebrate the 100th birthday of Ella Fitzgerald with her World War II-era songs that inspired and entertained a nation. Make it an all-day family affair with pre-concert musical acts, food trucks, Lee Jeans Family Zone, the Grantham University Veterans Place with services for veterans, plus activities inside Union Station and the National World War I Museum and Memorial. At dusk, swell with pride as your Kansas City Symphony builds to a grand finale featuring Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” with live cannons and “The Stars and Stripes Forever.” Blankets and lawn chairs welcome. The event site opens at 3 p.m. Concert begins at 8 p.m.

KC Studio

KC Studio covers the performing, visual, cinematic and literary arts, and the artists, organizations and patrons that make Kansas City a vibrant center for arts and culture.

Leave a Reply