Greater Kansas City International Auto Show
Thursday-Sunday at Bartle Hall
People in the market for new vehicles attend the annual Greater Kansas City International Auto Show to appraise the latest car and truck models. Seven lucky attendees won’t need to open their wallets to receive a new car. A 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLA is among the seven vehicles that will be given away during the five-day show at Bartle Hall. Less fortunate visitors can leisurely inspect more than 500 cars and trucks and interact with representatives of automakers and car dealerships. Ford, Mazda, Scion and Toyota are offering test drives of their latest models.
10 a.m.-10 p.m. Thursday, March 5, through Saturday, March 7; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, March 8. Bartle Hall. kcautoshow.com. $11, $6 for children 8-12, children under 8 are free.
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Chef Robert Irvine
Thursday, March 5, at the Midland
Robert Irvine has spend quality time in the Kansas City area. The celebrity chef and outsized television personality gave Poco’s on the Boulevard a makeover for a 2012 episode of his Food Network program “Restaurant: Impossible.” The staff and management of the Mexican restaurant received an intimate look at what viewers love about Irvine: He’s a painfully blunt and extremely opinionated taskmaster. Irvine’s appearance is described as a “theatrical event” in which he and the event’s producers “are taking cooking places it’s never gone before.” Audience members will help choose challenges for Irvine, and a lucky few will join him on stage.
8 p.m. Thursday, March 5. Midland, 1228 Main St. 816-283-9921. midlandkc.com. $39.50-$135.
Vijay Seshadri as part of Midwest Poets Series
Thursday, March 5, at Mabee Theater
“First I had three / apocalyptic visions, each more terrible than the last. / The graves open, and the sea rises to kill us all. / Then the doorbell rang, and I went downstairs and signed for two packages.” The excerpt from Vijay Seshadri’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “3 Sections” reflects the poet’s ability to contrast the mundane aspects of everyday life with metaphysical musings. Born in India in 1954, Seshadri has lived in Ohio and New York for most of his life. He’s best known for his contributions to The New Yorker. The magazine published his poem “The Disappearances” on its back cover following the 2001 terrorist attacks. Seshadri will read from his works at his Kansas City appearance.
7 p.m. Thursday, March 5. Mabee Theater, Rockhurst University. 816-501-4000. rockhurst.edu. $3.
Sharon Harper, Hugh Merrill, Ron Anderson and Melanie Johnson
Friday, March 6, at the Kansas City Artists Coalition
Four artists will discuss their works at the opening reception of an exhibit at the Kansas City Artists Coalition on Friday. Sharon Harper is a professor in the Art and Design department of Missouri State University in Springfield. Her paintings and sculptures are alternately beautiful and disturbing. Hugh Merrill holds a prominent place in Kansas City’s arts community. A member of the faculty of the Kansas City Art Institute since 1976, Merrill is represented in the permanent collection of the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art. Ron Anderson’s photography captures familiar waterside vistas in new ways. Melanie Johnson creates fascinating images of the human form.
6-8:30 p.m. Friday, March 6. The exhibit runs through March 27. Kansas City Artists Coalition, 201 Wyandotte St. 816-421-5222. kansascityartistscoalition.org. Free.
Real Deal Tattoo Convention
Friday, March 6-Sunday, March 8 at the Uptown Shoppes
Walking into a tattoo parlor can be an intimidating experience for many newcomers to the world of ink. People with lots of body art may wonder if they’re unnecessarily limiting their options by patronizing a single shop. The Real Deal Tattoo Convention allows curious beginners and experienced veterans to interact with artists from around the country. People who opt to get new work done can enter their fresh ink in a variety of competitions. Others may opt to get photos taken with celebrity model Cadence St. John or chat up Darren Brass, a tattoo artist who was featured on the TV show “Miami Ink.” DJ Rico will host an after-party at the MiniBar on Saturday.
Noon-10 p.m. Friday, March 6, and Saturday, March 7; noon-8 p.m. Sunday, March 8. Uptown Shoppes, 3700 Broadway. 785-749-7475. uptowntheater.com. $15. 2-day passes are $25. Weekend passes are $35.
Kansas City Symphony, Beethoven’s “Leonore“ and Schumann’s “Rhenish”
Friday, March 6-Sunday, March 8, at Helzberg Hall
Clarinetists rarely get their due. Not since Benny Goodman brandished the instrument in jazz settings decades ago has a popular musician favored the clarinet. The star instrumentalists in classical music typically play piano, violin or cello, but Anthony McGill is doing his part to raise the profile of the instrument. The principal clarinetist of the New York Philharmonic will take the lead in a performance of a new work by prolific composer Richard Danielpour. The piece is inspired by the contributions of Martin Luther King Jr. The weekend’s program also includes works by Ludwig van Beethoven and Robert Schumann.
8 p.m. Friday, March 6, and Saturday, March 7; 2 p.m. Sunday, March 8. Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. 816-471-0400. kcsymphony.org. $23-$73.
Dead Toto Festival Poetry Slam
Friday, March 6, at the Buffalo Room
While sophisticated audiences continue to attend rarefied recitations of poetry, a new breed of poets and their admirers favor an entirely different type of event. Loud and confrontational poetry slams have become the proving grounds of poets raised in an era of sensory overload. Poetry slam teams from Omaha, St. Louis, Fayetteville, Ark., and Kansas City will compete Friday at the venue in the Westport Flea Market for the opportunity to advance to the National Poetry Slam in Oakland, Calif. While judges are mandated to score performances without being influenced by the reaction of the audience, attendees are encouraged to respond vociferously to the recitations of poetry.
6:30 p.m. Friday, March 6. Buffalo Room, 817 Westport Road. 816-531-WORD. facebook.com/events/326382080904759. $5.
Zhang Zuo, pianist, Harriman-Jewell Series free Discovery Concert
Saturday, March 7, at the Folly Theater
The Harriman-Jewell Discovery Concert series is one of the most audacious bargains available to concertgoers in Kansas City. The presenters known for bringing the biggest stars in classical music to Kansas City for 50 years allow patrons to take in Discovery Concerts by up-and-coming artists free of charge. Zhang Zou, a young pianist with a bright future, has been nurtured by several of the world’s most respected academics. A video documenting her interpretation of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Sonata for Piano in E flat major captures Zhang Zuo’s wildly expressive body language and intense focus. The piece is among three works she’ll perform during Saturday’s free concert.
7 p.m. Saturday, March 7. Folly Theater, 300 W. 12th St. 816-415-5025. hjseries.org. Free tickets are available in advance.
Saturday, March 7, at Hodge Park
Some competitive activities require little more than raw strength. Other sports reward specific attributes such as quick reflexes or substantial height. Cerebral games like chess demonstrate intellectual vigor. Few activities integrate these disparate components as fully as orienteering. A quotation at the site of the Possum Trot Orienteering Club explains the concept: “Remember, orienteering is like a treasure hunt; only an ‘O’ marks the spot.” Aficionados of the activity will congregate at Hodge Park near N.E. Barry Road in a battle of brains and brawn on Saturday. Instruction for beginner orienteers will be available.
10 a.m. Saturday, March 7. Hodge Park, 7000 N.E. Barry Road. ptoc.org. $10.
Kansas Music Hall of Fame
Saturday, March 7, at Liberty Hall
The annual announcement of the inductees of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame brings a new round of hand-wringing about the merits of recipients and the attributes of snubbed fan favorites. Similar carping on a smaller scale accompanies the Kansas Music Hall of Fame’s annual ceremony. Three of the most notable of the 12 artists recognized at this year’s induction ceremony performed very different styles of music. Dan Crary is a flatpicking guitar master. The late Priscilla Bowman was a bawdy blues and jazz vocalist who scored a national hit in 1955 with “Hands Off.” Proto-Kaw is an adjunct ensemble to the progressive rock hit-makers Kansas.
7 p.m. Saturday, March 7. Liberty Hall, 644 Massachusetts St, Lawrence. 785-749-1972. libertyhall.net. $30.
Sporting Kansas City vs. New York
Sunday, March 8, at Sporting Park
After a Major League Soccer championship in 2013, the outcome of Sporting Kansas City’s 2014 season is viewed by most fans as a disappointment. After a regular season record of 14-13-7, Sporting lost in the Eastern Conference Knockout Round of the playoffs. Sunday’s season opener represents a fresh start. The New York Red Bulls, the team that knocked Sporting out of last year’s playoffs, is led by high-scoring forward Bradley Wright-Phillips. His team is unbeaten in four consecutive games at Sporting Park. Fans unable to secure tickets can watch the nationally televised contest on Fox Sports 1.
6 p.m. Sunday, March 8. Sporting Park. 913-912-7600. sportingkc.com. $27-$275.
Tuesday, March 10, at the Folly Theater
Bo Burnham’s songs address themes of religion, racism and homophobia from an unmistakably juvenile perspective. Burnham also works as a conventional stand-up comic. Like an ADHD version of Jim Carrey, Burnham’s humor is filled with sight gags and bad puns. His silly approach clearly resonates with comedy fans. Tuesday’s concert is sold out.
8 p.m. Tuesday, March 10. Folly Theater, 300 W. 12th St. 816-474-4444. follytheater.org. Sold out.
Wednesday, March 11, at Helzberg Hall
St. Patrick’s Day will arrive a week early for area aficionados of traditional Irish music. The Chieftains, arguably the greatest Irish musical institution, will perform at Helzberg Hall on Wednesday. Formed in Dublin in 1962, the ensemble still includes original member Paddy Moloney. A genial master of the Uilleann pipes and the tin whistle, Moloney has outlived several band mates. The music of the Chieftains, however, is eternal. The Chieftains’ longstanding commitment to popularizing Irish folk music was reaffirmed with the release of “Voice of Ages” last year.
7 p.m. Wednesday, March 11. Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. 816-994-7200. kauffmancenter.org. $59-$79.
Big 12 Men’s Basketball Tournament
Wednesday, March 11-Saturday, March 14, at the Sprint Center
The regular season of men’s basketball in the Big 12 Conference was a study in parity. Every team lost at least four games. The last place Texas Tech Raiders beat the NCAA Tournament-bound Iowa State Cyclones in January. The lowly Horned Frogs of Texas Christian University achieved impressive wins against the Oklahoma State Cowboys and the Kansas State Wildcats. With home court advantage largely nullified — some fans insist that the Sprint Center is the eastern branch of Kansas’ Allen Fieldhouse — every team has a fighting chance at this week’s tournament. Iowa State, a team that reliably draws thousands of loyal backers to Kansas City every March, won last year’s tournament.
6 p.m. Wednesday, March 11; 11:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Thursday, March 12; 6 p.m. Friday, March 13; 5 p.m. Saturday, March 14. Sprint Center. 816-949-7000. sprintcenter.com. $195-$350.