Overland Park Boat Show
Thursday, Jan. 7, Friday, Jan. 8, Saturday, Jan. 9, and Sunday, Jan. 10, at the Overland Park Convention Center
The bare trees, ice-encrusted streets and dull gray skies of Midwestern winters may make us wonder why we haven’t relocated to warmer locales. Even visitors who have no intention of buying boats can relieve the seasonal angst at the annual Overland Park Boat Show. Dozens of exhibitors and vendors will tempt shoppers with an array of new and pre-owned crafts, including a luxury model that “cuts like a knife in rough water” and a pontoon that’s ideal for both “laid-back relaxation” and “active water sports.” Financial service firms will be on hand to assist aspiring boat owners with their purchases. Vendors offering personal water crafts and wakeboarding accessories will remind visitors of the restorative powers of the summer sun.
3-9 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 7, noon-10 p.m. Friday, Jan. 8, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 9, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 10. Overland Park Convention Center. 573-480-2300. overlandparkboatshow.weebly.com. $9, $5 for children 6-12.
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Kansas City Symphony, “Brilliant Brits: Elgar And Vaughan Williams”
Friday, Jan. 8, Saturday, Jan. 9, and Sunday, Jan. 10, at Helzberg Hall
Oliver Knussen is on a mission to make contemporary classical music interesting to listeners with a sense of playfulness. The native of Scotland has composed works based on unlikely subjects ranging from rebellious American writer Walt Whitman to cuddly bear Winnie-the-Pooh. Under the direction of guest conductor Robert Spano, the Kansas City Symphony will perform a Knussen piece inspired by Maurice Sendak’s children’s book “Higglety Pigglety Pop!” The “Brilliant Brits” program will also feature Timotheos Petrin on Edward Elgar’s Cello Concerto and a rendition of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ “A London Symphony.”
8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 8, 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 9, 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 10. Helzberg Hall. 816-471-0400. kcsymphony.org. $23-$84.
Friday, Jan. 8, Saturday, Jan. 9, and Sunday, Jan. 10, at Kansas City Improv
D.L. Hughley must enjoy performing in relatively intimate settings. His syndicated radio show, aired in the Kansas City market by R&B station Magic 107.3, acts as a 20-hour-a-week infomercial for Hughley’s brand of humor. Hughley will be able to look most members of this weekend’s audiences in the eye at the Kansas City Improv comedy club. Hughley’s insightful musings on the presidential campaign, societal ills and popular culture are hilarious. His obstinate refusal to be politically correct has served him well. Hughley has joked that “the only cool thing about being a black comedian is you get to say (stuff) other people can’t say.”
8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 8, 7 and 10 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 9, 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 10. Kansas City Improv. 816-759-5233. improvkc.com. $30-$40.
Saturday, Jan. 9, at the Uptown Theater
When Quiet Corral performed at JayRock benefit concerts in 2012 and 2013, audiences had plenty of reasons to think they were listening to a rock band destined for stardom. Although the group’s subsequent breakup was disheartening, Hembree, a band that arose from the ashes of Quiet Corral, may be even more promising. Hembree first made waves with “New Oasis,” a catchy folk-rock ditty. The new regional hit “Can’t Run Forever,” a dance-oriented song that’s vaguely reminiscent of the Weeknd’s 2015 smash “Can’t Feel My Face,” reflects Hembree’s encouraging evolution. Hembree is the headliner for the annual JayRock benefit show that raises funds for the University of Kansas School of Medicine’s JayDoc Free Clinic. The Magnetics and the Timbers will also perform.
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 9. Uptown Theater. 816-753-8665. uptowntheater.com. $20-$35.
Kansas City Chiefs in playoffs, week one
3:35 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 9 at NRG Stadium in Houston
The strange statistics and unusual streaks associated with the Chiefs’ unlikely season remain startling no matter how many times they’re repeated. After losing five consecutive games and the services of star running back Jamaal Charles, the Chiefs concluded the regular season by winning a franchise record 10 games in a row. After the Royals’ victory in the World Series united the city last fall, the Chiefs have an opportunity to further boost the area’s sports-related enthusiasm. The team will have to break another absurd anomaly to keep the party rolling: The Chiefs haven’t won a playoff game since 1993. The Chiefs will attempt to break that disheartening streak against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on Saturday. Almost every television in a public space in the Kansas City area will be tuned to the broadcast on ESPN or ABC on Saturday afternoon.
3:35 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 9. NRG Stadium in Houston. 816-920-9400. kcchiefs.com.
“Dancing at Lughnasa”
Opens Saturday, Jan. 9, at White Theatre
Bill Whelan’s soundtrack for the film version of “Dancing at Lughnasa” is so evocative that people unfamiliar with the 1998 vehicle for Meryl Streep or the Brian Friel play it’s based on might be able to surmise key elements of the drama’s plot. The beautiful orchestral versions of traditional folk melodies in Whelan’s score capture the economic hardship and emotional travails of five sisters in a rural Irish village in the 1930s. “Dancing at Lughnasa” won the Tony Award for Best Play in 1992. The production at White Theatre is directed by Sidonie Garrett, an area luminary who is best known for her admirable work with the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival.
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 9, 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 10, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 14, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 16, 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 17. White Theatre. 913-327-8054. jcckc.org. $21, $11 for students.
“Winter Romance With Victorian Flair”
Opens Saturday, Jan. 9, at Powell Gardens
Cable television viewers have discovered that a British greenhouse can be steamy and rife with earthy symbolism in the Victorian drama “Penny Dreadful.” The organizers of the Winter Romance conservatory exhibit at Powell Gardens suggest that the plants in antique Victorian stands recall the “exuberance and experimentation of the Victorian era.” The flourishing indoor greenery will contrast with the wintry grounds of the botanical garden about 50 miles southwest of downtown Kansas City. Amenable visitors, however, will be able to find beauty in the dormant landscape.
Saturday, Jan. 9-Sunday, Feb. 21. Powell Gardens. 816-697-2600. powellgardens.org. $7, $6 for people 60 and older and $3 for children 5-12.
RK Gun Show
Saturday, Jan. 9, and Sunday, Jan. 10, at the KCI Expo Center
The contentious nature of gun shows is acknowledged on the website for this weekend’s event at KCI Expo Center: “Safety is first at all of RK Shows Events, so we will have security and check-in points for the safety of our attendees and vendors.” Enthusiasts seeking rare weapons, good deals on firearms or merely the company of fervent supporters of the Second Amendment will feel at home at the pop-up marketplace.
8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 9, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 10. KCI Expo Center. 563-927-8176. rkshows.com. Advance tickets are $14.50 and $6.50 for children.
Alexandra Fuller for “Leaving Before the Rains Come”
Tuesday, Jan. 12, at the Plaza branch of the Kansas City Library
Henry Higgins would likely have been fascinated with Alexandra Fuller’s accent. The fictional phonetics professor featured in “Pygmalion” and “My Fair Lady” might have given lectures about the remarkable cadences and distinctive pronunciations of the loquacious author, who was born in central England and raised in Zimbabwe before moving to the United States. Fuller’s unique voice will make her discussion of “Leaving Before the Rains Come” particularly fascinating. Fuller has joked that “I put the ‘me’ into memoir.” Her latest work updates the personal history Fuller examined in her acclaimed 2002 book “Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood.”
6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 12. Kansas City Public Library-Plaza Branch. 816-701-3407. rainydaybooks.com. Free, but registration is required.
Tuesday, Jan. 12, at the Jackpot Saloon
The challenge of reconciling Creed Bratton’s role as an unmotivated employee of Dunder Mifflin with his former career as a professional musician was one of the running gags in the television series “The Office.” After showing up his shameless boss, Michael Scott, at an after-hours party, Bratton’s character explained the odd premise: “Back in the ’60s I was with the Grass Roots … and now I do quality assurance for a paper company.” Bratton will further conflate his complicated celebrity at the Jackpot Saloon on Tuesday. He’s likely to play a rendition of the Grass Roots hit “Temptation Eyes” and material from his solo career when he’s not telling jokes about the aging process or making sly references to “The Office.”
Doors open at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 12. Jackpot Saloon. 785-832-1085. jackpotmusichall.com. $20-$50.