Here are fifteen great things to do in Kansas City this weekend, December 8-11, including Pretty Woman: The Musical, Kansas City Ballet’s The Nutcracker, and The 1975 in concert.
The Piano Lesson
The Pulitzer winning play written by August Wilson is part of his “century cycle” play series set in the thirties. This must-see show is directed by Melonnie Walker and addresses historic and modern tensions surrounding race relations in America.
December 1-10. Times Vary. Melting Pot Theatre.
Pretty Woman: The Musical
Garry Marshall’s classic 1990 rom-com gets a rhythmic update with this adaptation by Jerry Mitchell, who helmed the wildly successful musical adaption of Legally Blonde. Paired with a score by Bryan Adams, this adaptation looks surprisingly promising.
December 6–11. Times Vary. Kansas City Music Hall.
Kansas City Ballet’s annual tradition continues to be a wintertime favorite. The classic Victorian-era story of imagination is brought to life with opulent costumes, magical sets and enchanting choreography.
December 7–24. Times Vary. Kauffman Center.
The English indie band has been on the scene for nearly two decades, but it wasn’t until 2013 that they became a radio favorite with their hit “Chocolate.” Their newest album, Being Funny In a Foreign Language, gets help from powerhouse producer Jack Antonoff and stands at a short forty-four minutes, with focus on eighties-esque synth guitars, sentimental jazz beats and catchy hooks heralding the power of love.
December 8. 7 pm. Cable Dahmer Arena.
Best known for his stints as a writer and round table guest comedian on Chelsea Handler’s “Chelsea Lately” and “After Lately,” Wolf is coming to KC, bringing stand-up that centers around fatherhood and life after E!
December 8. 7:30 pm. December 9. 7:30 & 10:30 pm. December 10. 7 & 9:45 pm. Improv Comedy Club.
The gardens are transformed bright with color as thousands of lights glow on trees, buildings and bridges. Candle-lined pathways lead to magical gnome and fairy villages and the colorful children’s garden. There are musical performances to enhance the holiday ambiance and even the opportunity to visit with Santa in his Woodland Depot.
December 8–10 and 15–17. 5 pm. Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens.
The San Diego-based rock band has distanced themselves from their former Christian rock sound that skyrocketed them to fame with “Dare You to Move” over two decades ago. In a completely counterintuitive move, they are touring over the holidays for their newest LP, This Is Our Christmas Album.
December 9. 7 pm. Uptown Theater.
This worldwide tradition has been held in KC every year since 1979. Local tuba and euphonium players gather to play Christmas music together on their instruments, spreading holiday cheer for free to members of the community.
December 9. 12 pm. Crown Center Square.
One of the Kansas City Symphony’s most beloved holiday traditions, Handel’s Messiah is regarded as a choral masterpiece and includes the iconic “Hallelujah Chorus,” sure to inspire some holiday spirit.
December 9–10, 7 pm and December 11, 2 pm. Kauffman Center.
A Spectacular Christmas Show
This original revue features new arrangements of holiday classics from Musical Theater, along with an exciting singing and dancing “extravaganza” that has made this annual holiday show a beloved KC tradition.
December 9–11, 15–18, 20–23. Times vary. Music Theater Heritage.
Amahl and the Night Visitors
Pairing live singing and music with puppetry, this original Lyric Opera of Kansas City production was created with master puppeteer Paul Mesner. Based on Italian folktales of the Nativity and the Epiphany, this unique show retells the story of three kings—the Magi—as they make their journey to Bethlehem and meet an impoverished, disabled boy and his mother, who change the trajectory of their miraculous journey.
December 9–11. Times vary. The Michael and Ginger Frost Production Arts Building.
This event is part of the “Who Needs Art” campaign, which urges folks to buy and support local, especially during the holiday shopping season. There will be a curated selection of over forty local artists, live musical performances, and discounted beverages from neighborhood favorite Cafe Corazon.
December 9. 5-9 pm. December 10. 12-3 pm. ArtsKC Gallery.
Seussical the Musical
This musical extravaganza is an amalgamation of the best-loved stories by Dr. Seuss. In a continuing effort to make theater accessible to all, they are offering bean bag seats to youngsters and a sign-language interpretation performance. “We are so excited to present this family friendly, delightful bit of seuss-y fun for the holiday season this year,” said Tim Bair, Producing Artistic Director.
December 9–23. Times Vary. Black Box Theatre.
Trampled by Turtles
Trampled by Turtles hails from Duluth, Minnesota, like fellow folkie Bob Dylan. The group has a contemporary bluegrass sound that relies heavily on banjo and fiddle with harmonious vocals, a formula that has served bands like The Avett Brothers and Old Crow Medicine Show well in the last decade.
December 10. 7 pm. Uptown Theater.
Every weekend between Thanksgiving and Christmas, there will be an open-air shopping experience in River Market–the perfect place to find local, handmade gifts during the holidays. There will also be additional options in the market to sip on seasonal beers and canned cocktails, Kansas City Public Library’s Holiday Book Mobile popup, and performances from carolers and choruses.
December 10–11, 17–18. 10 am-5 pm. River Market.