Sprint’s Thanksgiving Day Run
Thursday at the Sprint campus
Thanksgiving is a day of ritualized gluttony. Americans who take pride in their otherwise active lifestyles are given a pass to eat to excess and watch sports on television. Thousands of area residents partake in their usual health-conscious behavior with Sprint’s Thanksgiving Day Run before succumbing to the holiday’s tradition of indulgence. A contrary component has been introduced at this year’s event. Participants will pass a “Krispy Kreme aid station” that gives them an opportunity to down a doughnut while navigating the 5K course in Johnson County. Runners, walkers and stroller-pushers who aren’t intent on winning the race will be automatically entered in a “pilgrims vs. turkeys” competition.
9 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 26. Sprint campus. 816-474-4652. sportkc.org/thanksgiving-day-5k. $40
Thanksgiving Breakfast Dance featuring Zapp
Thursday at the National Guard Armory
A Thanksgiving breakfast dance has been held in Kansas City for at least six decades. Music lovers have gathered on Thanksgiving morning to socialize, feast and dance to the music of nationally renowned entertainers. Jazz stars were the main attractions before being supplanted by blues acts. Thursday’s event marks a changing of the guard. Zapp, a funk band known for electronically enhanced 1980s hits like “More Bounce to the Ounce” and “Computer Love,” will fill the dance floor at the National Guard Armory in Kansas City, Kan., with holiday revelers dressed in their finest apparel.
10 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 26. National Guard Armory. 816-982-9238. facebook.com/ThanksgivingBreakfastDance. General admission tickets are $45 in advance. Reserved seating is $55 in advance.
Friday through Sunday at Kansas City Improv
Lil Rel is the type of comedian that has based his career on discussing uncomfortable topics. He describes everyday life in a rough neighborhood of his hometown of Chicago with a combination of humor and outrage. He recounts encountering a poignant scene when a toddler’s guardians stay at home to watch a rerun of “Love & Hip Hop” on television rather than picking the child up at a low-quality daycare center. Lil Rel’s colorful story about an ill-fated run-in with Kanye West rivals Charlie Murphy’s hilarious saga about Rick James. When asked if he could identify the bodyguards who beat him, Lil Rel said that “I can describe their fists — one was married.” Family dynamics, homophobia and racism are also fair game for Lil Rel’s topical humor.
8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 27, 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 28, 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 29. Kansas City Improv. 816-759-5233. improvkc.com. $16-$23.
Missouri Mavericks vs. the Indy Fuel
Friday and Saturday at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena
The populace of Kansas City has proven that it’s willing to fall head-over-heels in love with a professional sports franchise. The Royals may be the toast of the town, but now that the baseball season is over, many sports fans may be ready to embrace another winning team. The Missouri Mavericks have begun the 2015-16 campaign on a hot streak that’s reminiscent of the Royals’ unstoppable run in the playoffs and World Series. The Mavericks possess one of the best records in the ECHL, a 28-team conference that bills itself as the “premier AA league.” Wins have come in a variety of forms. The Mavericks recently topped the Wichita Thunder in a tense post-overtime shootout a night after bullying the in-state rivals in a 7-2 match.
7:05 p.m. Friday, Nov. 27, 7:05 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 28. Silverstein Eye Centers Arena. 1-800-745-3000. missourimavericks.com. $16-$38.
Kansas City Symphony, “Spanish Nights, and Prokofiev’s Fifth”
Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Helzberg Hall
The dashing pianist Alessio Bax chronicles his adventures at his blog Have Piano, Will Travel. He shares his passions for food, music and travel at his site. The native of Italy is also a compelling theorist. In an essay published by Gramophone magazine, Bax suggested that “a great classical work will reveal itself in different ways every time we approach it, according to what we know, and how our knowledge of music and, more broadly, of life, has changed. It is the characteristic of timeless art: to be always greater than the individual.” Bax will perform Manuel de Falla’s Nights in the Gardens of Spain with the Symphony this weekend. The program also includes pieces composed by Modest Mussorgsky Isaac Albéniz.
8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 27, 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 28, 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 29. 816-471-0400. Helzberg Hall. kcsymphony.org. $23-$76.
Saturday at the Sprint Center
Even the seemingly superhuman cast of WWE needs an occasional break. The daily grind of gladiator-style competitions in arenas around the world came to a rare standstill this week. The men who are a colorful combination of dexterous athletes and grandstanding actors have a three-day reprieve from their nightly shows before they re-enter the ring at the Sprint Center on Saturday. Wrestling fans may see a bit of extra paunch on the entertainers who enjoyed hearty meals on Thanksgiving. Saturday’s ensemble includes Dean Ambrose, a man known as “the Lunatic Fringe,” the hirsute Roman Reigns and the creepy backwoods clan the Wyatt Family.
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 28. Sprint Center. 816-949-7100. sprintcenter.com. $15-$100.
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Buffalo
Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium
Andy Reid proved that his talent as an experienced head coach in the NFL can’t be counted out during the Chiefs’ thorough domination of the Denver Broncos on Nov. 15. Given a bye week to prepare for the contest, Reid and his team demonstrated that their awful 1-5 start wasn’t an accurate reflection of their potential. In addition to watching Peyton Manning get chased from the game, fans learned that Charcandrick West could be a capable substitute for the injured Jamaal Charles and were reminded that the Chiefs defense can show flashes of brilliance. Sunday’s matchup against Buffalo will give ornery fans a chance to taunt the Bills’ coach Rex Ryan, one of the game’s biggest personalities.
Noon Sunday, Nov. 29. Arrowhead Stadium. 816-920-9400. kcchiefs.com. $35-$290.
Bubba Sparxxx with Sarah Ross
Wednesday at Kanza Hall
Several contemporary country hits in 2015 feature a semblance of rapping. The incorporation of hip-hop elements into country hardly raises eyebrows anymore. It wasn’t always this way. “Ugly,” a rowdy single showcasing the Southern drawl of the self-defined country rapper Bubba Sparxxx and the slick sound of the top-tier hip-hop producer Timbaland was revolutionary when it was released in 2001. The Georgia native seems like a hick-hop visionary 14 years later, but many of Sparxxx best ideas have been more successfully appropriated by mainstream stars. Sparxxx will be joined by Sarah Ross, a young woman who bills herself as the “first female of country rap,” at Kanza Hall. Ross’ rowdy approach makes the rambunctious hit-maker Miranda Lambert seem like a wallflower.
8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 2. Kanza Hall. 913-451-0444. oneblocksouthkc.com. $16.82.
“Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play”
Opens Wednesday at the Unicorn Theatre
What cultural artifacts and important societal touchstones will be remembered and preserved in the event of a catastrophic societal collapse? Many people who contemplate the harrowing scenario would like to think that Shakespeare’s plays or biblical texts would remain. Anne Washburn imagines a much different circumstance in her 2012 work “Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play.” An episode of “The Simpsons,” the snarky animated program featuring ill-behaved yellow characters, becomes the primary component of the repertoire of a post-apocalyptic theater company. Washburn has said that the play is “about our need for stories… if we’re stripped of all our stories how do we tell stories again (and) how do we create new ones?”
Wednesday, Dec. 2-Sunday, Dec. 27. Unicorn Theatre. 816-531-7529. unicorntheatre.org. $32.50-$37.50.
“Out of Order”
Opens Wednesday at the New Theatre Restaurant
The proprietors of New Theatre Restaurant are hewing to their time-tested formula for the production of “Out of Order” that opens Wednesday. The playhouse’s recipe for success consists of three primary ingredients. A dinner-and-a-show combination gives patrons value for their money A familiar television actor or a popular locally based celebrity is cast in a leading role to add a bit of star power to the presentation. Finally, a well-written play or musical that’s entertaining but not ponderous is selected. Gary Sandy, an actor remembered for his role in the sitcom “WKRP in Cincinnati,” will be featured in the madcap political spoof “Out of Order.”
Wednesday, Dec. 2-Sunday, Feb. 14. New Theatre Restaurant. 913-649-7469. newtheatre.com. $35-$60.