It’s hard to believe it’s been twenty years since Alicia Keys burst onto the R&B scene fully formed with Songs in A Minor. As with most artists whose debuts sell ten-plus million copies, she’s never transcended that success nor strayed too far from that formula. Keys, her new double album released back in December, opens with traditional “Original” arrangements before presenting most of the same songs with moodier, heavier beats on the “Unlocked” side.
Wednesday, August 28. 8 pm. Starlight Theatre.
The wildest fundraiser of the summer, Jazzoo’s “creative black tie” soiree brings local restaurants and entertainment together to support the Kansas City Zoo, its animals and its educational programs. Party animals must be of drinking age and ready for some outdoor fun because this event is rain or shine.
August 26, 7:30 pm. Kansas City Zoo.
With over thirty years of performing a mix of honky-tonk and country-pop sounds, Alan Jackson is coming to Kansas City on his newest tour, “Last Call: One More for the Road” after revealing his serious health diagnosis last year. Jackson isn’t letting it stop his love of fun, down-home music and timeless performance. Shine your pickup and grab a beer because Jackson still knows “a lot about livin’ and a little ‘bout love.”
Saturday, August 27, 7 pm. T-Mobile Center.
New Yorker scribe Calvin Trillin is arguably the finest writer this city has ever produced. The journalist, humorist, novelist, cookbook author and memoirist has written thirty-one books, none more personal than About Alice. In 2006, five years after the death of his wife, he wrote the memoir, which looks back fondly at their time together. This is the Kansas City debut of the theatrical adaptation of About Alice, a two-person play that premiered in 2019.
Now–Saturday, August 27. City Stage, Union Station. Get tickets here.
Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow
Starting this Friday Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow, a new and haunting exhibition highlighting the decades between emancipation and the age of Jim Crow, will be on display at the National WWI Museum. The exhibit comes from the New-York Historical Society and has been enhanced by items from the WWI Museum’s collection. “This exhibition is important and relevant especially in light of the Buffalo shooting last week,” Karis Erwin says. “It’s disturbing, and we want people to sit with that and think.”
Through Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022. The Wiley Gallery at the National WWI Museum and Memorial.
Maya: The Great Jaguar Rises
After a long delay, Union Station’s Maya exhibit is open. For the first time in the U.S., the mysteries of the Maya—the sophisticated civilization buried in the rainforest—are being displayed by Dr. Nikolai Grube, an epigrapher who is leading a project that aims to decipher the Maya glyphs. The Maya studied the stars and developed a calendar more accurate than any other, discovered the number zero and introduced the world to chocolate. With more than three hundred artifacts, this new exhibition at Union Station reveals the intricacies of Maya as astronomers, mathematicians and inventors.
Now open Monday-Sunday, 10 am–5 pm. Union Station.
KKFI Crossroads Music Fest
This year, Crossroads Music Fest is instead in the West Bottoms. Over twenty-five, local bands will play across six stages at Lemonade Park, Stockyards Brewing, The Ship and Black Box Theater. Festival artists will play in the evening, and free daytime events can be found at Lemonade Park. Performers include The Salvation Choir (read about them in our Best of KC issue), Mundo Nouvo, The Black Creatures and many, many more.
Saturday, August 27. Daytime events from 1–4 pm. Festival artists from 5 pm–1 am. West Bottoms. Get tickets here.
American Royal Cutting Horse Finals
The American Royal Cutting Horse Show is a competition that involves a horse and rider separating a cow from its herd. Cutting Horse Shows are one of the world’s fastest-growing equine sports. Riders have the chance to win an American Royal saddle. The 2022 show is held in memory of Hilary Watson.
Saturday, August 27. 6 pm. Hy-Vee Arena. Get tickets here.
Backyard Movies: Romeo + Juliet
A 1996 classic, Romeo + Juliet with young Leo DiCaprio and Claire Danes, is playing outdoors this weekend as part of the Boulevard Brewing Backyard Movies series in the back parking lot of Screenland Armour. The setup is BYOC (bring your own chair) with general admission seating. No outside food or drinks are allowed, but concessions will be sold. Well-behaved pups are welcome!
Saturday, August 27. 7:30–10 pm. Screenland Armour. Get tickets here.
Standup comedian Leanne Morgan started her career late, only beginning writing and acting after her three kids were out of college in their native Tennessee. She’s been slowly building since, hitting her stride as a grandmother with funny stories about ending up on Snapchat naked while taking her brood spray-tanning. She’s worked her way up to the Midland with a routine that might remind some of peak Brett Butler.
Saturday, August 27. 7 pm. The Midland.