Kansas City festivals, concerts and more things to see in November 2019
Every season, it seems like fashion moves further into the world of art. Designer gowns will become canvases for seven local artists at this one-night-only live performance, which will also feature the debut of a custom collection by local Wlaa Style. Illusions Unlimited, 1441 Burlington St., North Kansas City, Mo. 7 pm. $100. illusionskc.com.
The husky-voiced folk singer returns to Kansas City for two nights at the Uptown. It’s all the more space for his big songs to fill, and it makes it easier to lean in and hear the ballads. Uptown Theater, 3700 Broadway Blvd., Kansas City, Mo. 7:30 pm. $45-$99. uptowntheater.com.
Bringing her avant-garde drag show on tour for the first time, Sasha Velour proves why she won season 9 of RuPaul’s Drag Race: Her propensity for academic, thoughtful, high-concept performance makes her stand out. Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland, 1228 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 8 pm. $35-$150. arvestbanktheatre.com.
Kris Kristofferson & The Strangers
County songwriter behind hits like “Me and Bobby McGee” and the lead of A Star Is Born before Bradley Cooper, Kris Kristofferson takes late friend Merle Haggard’s old band on a solo outing, complete with a few of his songs. Uptown Theater, 3700 Broadway Blvd., Kansas City, Mo. 8 pm. $35-$85. uptowntheater.com.
Caroline, or Change
The powerhouse collaboration between Angels in America writer Tony Kushner and Fun Home composer Jeanine Tesori, which hit Broadway 15 years ago, has never been performed in Kansas City. Spinning Tree changes that with a production of the musical about a young Jewish boy’s relationship with his family’s black housekeeper. Johnson County Arts and Heritage Center, 8788 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park, Kan. Showtimes vary. $15-$45. spinningtreetheatre.com.
Overland Park-bred comedian Jason Sudeikis returns with a star-studded cast (Fred Armisen, Wynonna Judd, local rockers The Get Up Kids) for his third-annual benefit for Steps of Faith, a charity providing prosthetic limbs to amputees. Last year’s sold-out event raised nearly $300,000, thanks in part to surprise headliner Chance the Rapper. Uptown Theater, 3700 Broadway Blvd., Kansas City, Mo. 8 pm. $45-$75. thundergong.org.
She laid low after her 2016 rock masterpiece My Woman, but Angel Olsen made a loud return this year in the form of slow-burning, epic new songs “All Mirrors” and “Lark.” There’s more where that came from on All Mirrors. The Granada, 1020 Massachusetts St., Lawrence, Kan. 8 pm. $25. thegranada.com.
If the storyline to Italian composer Giacomo Puccini’s popular opera about a tuberculosis epidemic among working-class French artists in the 1840s seems familiar, credit smash musical Rent, which updated the tale in the ’90s. Yet Puccini’s love story itself, a century later, remains timeless. Muriel Kauffman Theatre at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway Blvd., Kansas City, Mo. Showtimes vary. $36-$200. kcopera.org.
The queen of New Orleans bounce, who’s blown up after endorsements from Beyoncé and Drake, always brings the party when she comes to Kansas City. This time, protege Mykki Blanco joins the bill. recordBar, 1520 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Mo. 8 pm. $22. therecordbar.com.
This annual Kansas City-area gathering takes “game” broadly: Find fans of strategy board games and cosplayers alike partaking in tournaments and perusing vendors. Stoney Creek Hotel and Conference Center, 18011 Bass Pro Drive, Independence, Mo. Times vary. $10-$50. midwestgamefest.org.
The pop producer duo, a vehicle for hot vocal performances from Halsey to Coldplay’s Chris Martin, hold their own at their second Sprint Center show. But this show’s real draw is the opening performance by a revamped 5 Seconds of Summer, blending teen pop singalongs with polished rock. Sprint Center, 1407 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Mo. 7 pm. $23-$295. sprintcenter.com.
November 15–December 1
The Black Rep takes on colorism with a production of Blood Knot, the 1960s story of the fraught relationship between two South African brothers with the same black mother but fathers of different races. Gem Theater, 1615 E. 18th St., Kansas City, Mo. Showtimes vary. $15-$40. brtkc.org.
A Tribute to Tom Petty
It’s a wonder more orchestral tributes to Tom Petty — the late frontman of the Heartbreakers and Southern rock icon — don’t exist. Hits like “Free Fallin’” practically beg for a strings rendition. The Symphony changes that with its own tribute two years after the performer’s untimely death. Helzberg Hall at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway Blvd., Kansas City, Mo. 8 pm. $47-$92. kcsymphony.org.
After 25 years, it’s clear Chicago band Wilco can do little wrong, near-effortlessly transitioning from country rock to artful indie rock. New album Ode to Joy shines bright as ever. Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland, 1228 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 7:30 pm. $45-$65. arvestbanktheatre.com.
Power-pop outfit Misterwives could’ve ridden the lofty chorus and danceability of their 2014 hit “Reflections” straight to this tour. Instead, they continue to build on it in their follow-ups, and mature new single “whywhywhy” may be the best yet. The Truman, 601 E. Truman Road, Kansas City, Mo. 8 pm. $29-$104. thetrumankc.com.
The longtime folk rock duo deserves more credit for furthering the genre with intelligent, political music, influencing a generation to follow from singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile to rocker P!nk. The Indigo Girls’ Kauffman Center show, 30 years after their biggest hit, “Closer to Fine,” is a victory lap. Muriel Kauffman Theatre at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway Blvd., Kansas City, Mo. 7:30 pm. $39-$69. kauffmancenter.org.
When she left her short-lived Netflix talk show Chelsea, TV comedian Chelsea Handler channeled the shock of the Trump presidency into her sixth book, Life Will Be the Death of Me … And You Too!, her most revealing one yet. She performs a new stand-up set based on the book. Uptown Theater, 3700 Broadway Blvd., Kansas City, Mo. 7 pm. $57-$77. uptowntheater.com.
Two days after the release of her new novel The Confession Club, focused on a group of women and their monthly dinner get-togethers in Mason, Missouri, Elizabeth Berg (The Story of Arthur Truluv) pays her dues with a visit to Missouri. Unity Temple on The Plaza, 707 W. 47th St., Kansas City, Mo. 7 pm. $26 for two tickets and a book. rainydaybooks.com.
November 21–March 15
Mementos of the Artist-Traveler
As a place can strike an artist with inspiration, art can transport a viewer somewhere they’ve never been. The Nelson-Atkins explores both ideas in an exhibition of place-based pieces from its collection. Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 4525 Oak St., Kansas City, Mo. Times vary. Free. nelson-atkins.org.
Hobo Johnson & The LoveMakers
Underneath his sense of humor, Hobo Johnson begs to be taken seriously, following in Twenty One Pilots’ footsteps of expressing anxiety desire through spoken-word rock music. The Truman, 601 E. Truman Road, Kansas City, Mo. 8 pm. $25. thetrumankc.com.
Plaza Lighting Ceremony
Kansas City’s latest SNL export (and 435’s September cover star) Heidi Gardner will ring in the holiday season by flipping the switch at this annual Thanksgiving tradition. Country Club Plaza, Kansas City, Mo. 6 pm. Free. countryclubplaza.com.