May 2019 Events in Kansas City
Studiously aloof New York aughts-rock band Interpol has always taken itself more seriously than most of its peers. The group’s latest album, Marauder, is upbeat as brooding singer Paul Banks taps into his “unmitigated id.” Versatile opener Foals’ catalogue spans hard rock to dance music. Arvest Bank Theatre at The Midland, 1228 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 8 pm. $32.50 to $47.50. arvestbanktheatre.com
Kansas City Jazz Orchestra
The Kansas City Jazz Orchestra closes its run of four seasonal shows with a summer-themed concert made up of Motown hits reinvented in big band style. Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway Blvd., Kansas City, Mo. 8 pm. $31.50 to $66.50. kcjo.org
The Japanese House
British singer Amber Bain, who records lush bedroom pop as The Japanese House, worked with the 1975 on her debut, Good at Falling, an album where the interplay of synth and guitar perfectly accent her dark, introspective songwriting. The Riot Room, 4048 Broadway St., Kansas City, Mo. 8 pm. $15 to $20. theriotroom.com.
Kansas City Civic Orchestra
The Kansas City Civic Orchestra celebrates 60 years with pieces by Russian modernist Dmitri Shostakovich, Romantic perfectionist Brahms and a concerto by the winner of the orchestra’s annual young artist competition. Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway Blvd., Kansas City, Mo. 3 pm. $20. kccivic.org
Cardi B at Flyover Festival
After Cardi B broke out with the catchy and quotable hit “Bodak Yellow,” she followed up with a whole arsenal of bangers on her debut Invasion of Privacy — from the flow workout “Bartier Cardi” to the party anthem “I Like It.” This massive festival also features Cardi collaborator 21 Savage and Chicago rapper G Herbo. Providence Medical Center Amphitheater, 633 N. 133rd St., Bonner Springs, Kan. Doors 3 pm. $49.50 to $200. providenceamp.com
The 1975 at Buzz Under the Stars
The 1975’s latest, A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships, is the anthemic British rock band’s magnum opus. Layered in hooks, instrumentally varied and endlessly referential, it’s the distillation of what’s given the band such a youthful following even though, as frontman Matty Healy sings, he’s “a millennial that baby boomers like.” Providence Medical Center Amphitheater, 633 N. 133rd St., Bonner Springs, Kan. 6:30 pm. $19.65 to $59.50. providenceamp.com
New Kids on the Block
Rip some holes in your jeans, and start growing out that rat tail: New Kids on the Block celebrates 30 years with this tour, which also features Salt-N-Pepa. Prepare your kids for the show by showing them the video for the band’s new single, “Boys in the Band,” in which Donnie Wahlberg sing-raps the history of boy bands up through BTS. Sprint Center, 1407 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Mo. 7:30 pm. $39.95 to $550. sprintcenter.com
May 8–November 10
Town and Country: Parisians in the 19th Century
The growing bourgeoisie of 19th century Paris wanted to collect art. At the same time, the industrial revolution left the new urban middle-class pining for the simplicity of fast-fading pastoral lifestyles. Thus, they came to collect fashionable prints depicting peasant life in the French countryside. For this show, the Nelson-Atkins brings out its collection from the era, including the realism of Jean-François Millet, one of Van Gogh’s major inspirations. Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 4525 Oak St., Kansas City, Mo. Hours vary. Free. nelson-atkins.org
May 10–May 12
The actor from all your early ‘00s guilty pleasure comedies, from Scary Movie to White Chicks, returns to the road after the end of his NBC sitcom, Marlon. Later this year, he’ll return to the big screen in six hilarious starring roles for the film Sextuplets. Improv Comedy Club, 7260 N.W. 87th St., Kansas City, Mo. Showtimes vary. $35 to $45. improvkc.com
May 10–May 19
The Kansas City Ballet takes on three preeminent contemporary choreographers in one show. The performances include an energetic Tharp piece set to minimalist music by Philip Glass; Forsythe’s signature genre-defying work; and a world premiere by Parsons, a Kansas City native. Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway Blvd., Kansas City, Mo. Showtimes vary. $40.50 to $120.50. kcballet.org
Caturday in the Crossroads
The KC Pet Project is hosting a nine-stop bar crawl through the Crossroads to raise funds for the 3,500 pets it serves every year. Stops include Tapcase, the hot new City Barrel brewery and the thematically appropriate Casual Animal Brewing. Tickets include a set of cat ears, access to drink specials and the chance to win prizes. Crossroads Arts District, Kansas City, Mo. Noon. $25 to $30. kcpetproject.org
KC Masterpiece 400
The Kansas Speedway hosts the first of its two annual NASCAR races of the year. Those who miss the Chiefs-scale tailgating in the offseason will enjoy the massive, beer-soaked parking lot. Kansas Speedway, 400 Speedway Blvd., Kansas City, Kan. 6:30 pm. $29 to $139. kansasspeedway.com
The Cactus Blossoms
Since their debut, retro country act The Cactus Blossoms has toured with Kacey Musgraves and recorded with Black Keys singer Dan Auerbach. The group’s sophomore effort, Easy Way, may be a breakout, as the brothers’ folksy, low-key style is winning fans with surprising sonic turns that don’t fit into the modern country scene. Knuckleheads, 2715 Rochester Ave., Kansas City, Mo. 8 pm. $15. knuckleheadskc.com
Alt-country singer-songwriter Elle King knows how to write a song that bites. From her breakup anthem “Ex’s and Oh’s” to her accusatory new single “Shame,” she’s got some terribly catchy songs, perfect for foot-stomping singalongs. The Truman, 601 E. Truman Road, Kansas City, Mo. 8 pm. $30 to $79. thetrumankc.com
Celeste Ng’s stunning debut novel, Everything I Never Told You, made her a best-seller and piled up awards. The follow-up, Little Fires Everywhere, is already being adapted into a series by Hulu. The story follows a web of interconnected drama unfolding between a middle-class family in Shaker Heights, Ohio. Woodneath Library Center, 8900 N.E. Flintlock Road, Kansas City, Mo. 7 pm. Free. rainydaybooks.com
May 16–August 25
Lexicon: The Language of Gesture in 25 Years at the Kemper Museum
Twenty-five years ago, the Kemper preceded Kansas City’s cultural boom by introducing a robust museum dedicated to contemporary art. In its anniversary show, which will grow in three stages through August, the museum displays a permanent collection of favorites alongside newly acquired works, with a focus on communication through gesture. Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, 4420 Warwick Blvd., Kansas City, Mo. Hours vary. Free. kemperart.org
KC Nanobrew Fest
This rapidly growing beer festival is one of the largest homebrew festivals in the nation. That’s a byproduct of Missouri’s unique alcohol laws — there aren’t many places you can sell tickets to an event where they’re serving homemade hooch — and burgeoning homebrew scene. After outgrowing previous venues, this year’s fest will feature 300 wildly varied kegs parked next to the mighty Missouri River. Berkley Riverfront Park, 1300 River Front Drive, Kansas City, Mo. 2 pm. $40, free for designated drivers. kcnanobrewfest.com
In an era of hyperpartisan cable news, CNN host and former Obama advisor Van Jones has been working to bridge the divide, a project he dives deep into with his new book, Beyond the Messy Truth: How We Came Apart, How We Come Together. Unity Temple on The Plaza, 707 W. 47th St., Kansas City, Mo. 7 pm $17 (two tickets plus book). rainydaybooks.com
May 22–June 9
Morning’s at Seven
The Actors Theatre opens its 15th season by continuing its recent fascination with family plays, now with the 1938 comedy Morning’s at Seven. When two aging sisters from a Midwestern family want to make some changes, the rest of their household is thrown into turbulence. City Stage Theatre at Union Station, 30 W. Pershing Road, Kansas City, Mo. Showtimes vary. kcactors.org
Celebration at the Station
Only a year after the armistice that ended the first World War, eminent Kansas City residents set about erecting a memorial to the sacrifices made. In just 10 days, the group gathered $2.5 million to build a monument. The memorial opened in 1926, and former President Barack Obama later officially made it a national monument.
Celebration at the Station is the event the monument deserves.
The largest Memorial Day event in the Midwest — and reputedly also the largest free event in the entire region — Celebration at the Station marks the start of summer in Kansas City on the gently sloping grounds of the memorial. An estimated 50,000 people attend.
The event goes all afternoon, culminating in a 100-minute concert where the Kansas City Symphony performs patriotic favorites such as the “1812 Overture”, followed by the largest fireworks show KC has all year.
GO: Bank of America Celebration at the Station is Sunday, May 26, at Union Station Kansas City,
30 W. Pershing Road. Grounds open at 3 pm, concert starts at 8 pm, fireworks at 9:40 pm. celebrationatthestation.org. Free.