Crown Center Ice Terrace
The first snow of the season is overrated. The opening of ice skating rinks is a more apt harbinger of winter’s arrival. No area skating site is more scenic than the Crown Center Ice Terrace. The Kansas City equivalent of the Rink at Rockefeller Center in New York is as quaint as a picture book. The inspiring setting will spark the imaginations of would-be professional hockey players, Olympic figure skaters and animated beagles as the city gets into the swing of the holiday season. Visitors are welcome to bring their own skates. Rentals are $3.
Friday, Nov. 7 through mid-March. Crown Center. 816-274-8411. crowncenter.com/iceterrace. $6. Free for adults older than 60 and for children 4 and younger.
Northland Holiday Mart
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The casino’s gaming tables and slot machines, restaurants including a popular buffet, a sensational nightclub and inviting hotel rooms aren’t the only attractions at Harrah’s North Kansas City Casino and Hotel. The Northland Holiday Mart, one of the many community events that occur at the casino, is open Friday and Saturday. Vendors include Country Girl Cupcakes, gift basket specialists Smiles Delivered, the Parkville-based Pottery by Laura and San-Man Gardens, a crafter of homemade jams and jellies. Proceeds will benefit River of Refuge, an organization that assists homeless families to find permanent housing.
5-11 p.m. Friday, Nov. 7, and 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 8, 816-506-1477. Harrah’s North Kansas City. brownpapertickets.com/event/774367. $15 per day or $20 for unlimited food and drinks per day.
Lyric Opera of Kansas City, “The Italian Girl in Algiers”
“The Italian Girl in Algiers” opened in Venice in 1813. The timeless work is as endlessly fascinating as the city’s architecture. Created by Gioachino Rossini when he was only 21, the opera possesses the youthful brashness and intellectual brilliance of the young composer. The Lyric Opera’s production swaps Rossini’s maritime theme and early 19th-century setting for the aeronautic tale of the 1930s. Playing the lead role of Isabella in the romantic drama, Irene Roberts resembles an operatic version of Amelia Earhart.
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 8; 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 12; 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 14; 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 16. Muriel Kauffman Theatre. 816-471-7344. kcopera.org. $30-$155.
Missouri Mavericks vs. Rapid City
Banners proclaiming the Missouri Mavericks as the Central Hockey League’s franchise of the year hang proudly from the rafters of the Independence Events Center. The organization claimed the league’s top honors for four consecutive years. A new era begins this season, as the Mavericks enter the East Coast Hockey League and act as an affiliate of the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League. Veteran winger Sebastien Thinel remains the team’s captain. Glow wands will be given away before Saturday’s game against the Rapid City Rush.
7:05 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 8; Independence Events Center. 800-745-3000. missourimavericks.com. $16-$38.
UMKC men’s basketball vs. Rockhurst (exhibition)
An exhibition game between a Division I team from the Western Athletic Conference and a Division II team affiliated with the Great Lakes Valley Conference doesn’t sound like much of a contest. Yet UMKC defeated Rockhurst by only five points in the 2013 meeting between the institutions’ men’s basketball teams at Municipal Auditorium last year. The universities’ intracity rivalry is a bonanza for students and alumni and an exciting component of Kansas City’s sports scene. With more to lose than Rockhurst, UMKC is to be commended for accepting the challenge. The UMKC women take on the Missouri University of Science and Technology from Rolla at 4:30 p.m.
Men play at 7:05 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 8, Municipal Auditorium. 816-235-2849. umkckangaroos.com. $10-$25. Reduced price for ages 4-11.
Company Men with Kansas City Symphony
The adult equivalent of a boy band, Company Men is billed as “America’s first mashup group.” The members of the Los Angeles quartet are nicknamed “the gentleman,” “the lover,” “the charmer” and “the playboy.” Their music is a combination of doo-wop, soul, disco and pop. Accompanied in part by the Kansas City Symphony, Company Men will put on a Las Vegas-style show at the Midland. The event is presented by St. Luke’s Muriel I. Kauffman Women’s Heart Center, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary at Saturday’s concert.
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 8, Midland. 816-283-9921. axs.com. $25-$35.
Tafelmusik’s “Galileo Project”
Many classical music ensembles and presenters are behind the curve in terms of satisfying audience expectations. Even in the classical realm, today’s concertgoers have come to expect more than straightforward performances. Themed concerts with multimedia enhancements are quickly becoming the norm rather than the exception. While the music of the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra doesn’t require gimmicks, the projections and narrations that accompany “The Galileo Project: Music of the Spheres” program puts the ensemble on equal footing with typical theatrical and popular music productions.
2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 9. Folly Theater. 816-561-9999. chambermusic.org. $35-$45.
Anna Quindlen for ‘Still Life With Bread Crumbs’
Anna Quindlen isn’t merely a writer. Somewhat akin to a literary equivalent of Oprah Winfrey or a more thoughtful version of the social and political commentators associated with television, Quindlen occupies a specific space on the cultural landscape. Since winning a Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 1992 for her work as a columnist for The New York Times, Quindlen has championed reading, encouraged people to focus on the most meaningful aspects of their lives and produced several novels. “Still Life with Bread Crumbs,” her latest novel, is a love story about a famous photographer at a financial and spiritual crossroads.
7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 11. Unity Temple on the Plaza. 913-384-3126. rainydaybooks.com. $16 plus tax, includes one paperback copy of “Still Life with Bread Crumbs” and an autographed admission ticket.
John Cleese for “So, Anyway …”
As the co-founder of the British comedy troupe Monty Python, John Cleese, 75, is one of the most prominent comedic minds of his generation. In “So, Anyway…,” the first volume of his biography, Cleese recounts his formative years. Much of the new book is about his childhood, his relationship with his father and his friendship with the late Graham Chapman. Written in the distinctively absurdist style familiar to fans of his television and film work in “Monty Python’s Flying Circus,” “Fawlty Towers,” “A Fish Called Wanda” and two Harry Potter films, Cleese’s recollections provide fans with insights into the origins of his madcap humor.
8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 12. Midland theater. 816-283-9921. axs.com. $38.50.
San Francisco Symphony with Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor, and Gil Shaham, violinist
Before people in Kansas City reflexively boycott Wednesday’s concert at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, they should know that Madison Bumgarner isn’t affiliated with the San Francisco Symphony. The Giants pitcher that inflicted so much pain on the Kansas City Royals during the World Series won’t be present as that city’s Symphony performs works by composers Samuel Adams, Sergei Prokofiev and Maurice Ravel. Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas will conduct the Symphony and the acclaimed violinist Gil Shaham in the Harriman-Jewell Series presentation.
7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 12. Helzberg Hall. 816-415-5025. hjseries.org. $30-$80.