“Potted Potter” and “One-Man Star Wars Trilogy”
Through Sunday, Jan. 24, and Tuesday, Jan. 26-Sunday, Jan. 31, at Starlight Theatre
A pair of science fiction- and fantasy-themed productions conclude Starlight Theatre’s indoor January offerings. “Potted Potter — The Unauthorized Harry Experience” is a two-man tribute to the-boy-who-lived that stars British comics Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner. The Washington Post suggested that the show can make “a theater full of people snort and whoop with laughter for 75 minutes.”
Charles Ross’ “One-Man Star Wars Trilogy” is a similarly lighthearted spectacle that should be particularly resonant in the wake of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”
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“Potted Potter”: Through Sunday, Jan. 24, $40-$70. “One Man Star Wars Trilogy”: Tuesday, Jan. 26-Sunday, Jan. 31. $25-$60. Cohen Community Stagehouse at Starlight Theatre. 816-363-7827. kcstarlight.com.
Wednesday, Jan. 20-Saturday, Jan. 23, at Stanford and Sons Comedy Club
A notoriously ill-advised decision altered the trajectory of Brian Dunkleman’s career. After co-hosting the first season of “American Idol” with Ryan Seacrest in 2002, Dunkleman left the enormously popular reality show. “I have what many refer to as poor judgment,” he said in a self-deprecating TV interview. In addition to poking fun at himself, the comedian is likely to discuss his drinking strategies and social media mishaps during his six appearances at Stanford and Sons Comedy Club.
8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 20 and Thursday, Jan. 21, 7:45 and 9:45 p.m. Friday, Jan. 22, and Saturday, Jan. 23. Stanford and Sons Comedy Club. 913-400-7500. stanfordscomedyclub.com. $10-$35.
Kansas City Symphony, “The Magical Music of John Williams — ‘Star Wars’ & More”
Thursday, Jan. 21-Saturday, Jan. 23, at Helzberg Hall
John Williams just received his 50th Oscar nomination, proof that the composer possesses a powerful cultural cachet. Williams’ majestic contribution to “Star Wars” has one of the most recognizable melodies ever written. He also composed the scores for “Harry Potter,” “Jurassic Park,” “Schindler’s List” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” The Kansas City Symphony will give a crowd-pleasing survey of Williams’ canon embellished with a laser light show and cameos from the likes of Darth Vader.
7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 21; 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 22, and Saturday, Jan. 23. Helzberg Hall. 816-471-0400. kcsymphony.org. $46-$96.
Kansas City Boat & Sportshow
Thursday, Jan. 21-Sunday, Jan. 24, at Bartle Hall
“Buy Me a Boat,” the recent hit by country singer Chris Janson, suggests that purchasing a boat is the single best thing a person can do to improve the quality of his or her life. The song’s success might give Janson the means to do more than window shop at the Kansas City Boat & Sportshow while he’s in the area for a concert at Kanza Hall on Thursday, Jan. 21. The dozens of exhibitors of boats and related products at the four-day event would provide Janson with plenty of options. Other attractions include a catch-and-release trout fishing pond for children, culinary lessons at an outdoor cooking classroom, and demonstrations and contests for daredevil canines in competitions overseen by DockDogs.
2-9 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 21; noon-9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 22; 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 23; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 24. Bartle Hall. 314-821-5400. kansascitysportshow.com. $12. Children 15 and under are free.
Arctic Cat Nitro Arenacross Tour
Friday, Jan. 22, and Saturday, Jan. 23, at Hale Arena
Enthusiasts of the high-pitched roar of motorcycle and all-terrain-vehicle engines will flock to Hale Arena this weekend for the Arctic Cat Nitro Arenacross. The venue’s floor will be covered by a bumpy dirt track designed to send racers flying more than 60 feet into the air. The treacherous course will also induce plenty of spills and occasional crashes.
7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 22 and Saturday, Jan. 23. Hale Arena. 417-863-6353. nitroaxtour.com. $20-$25. Children 11 and younger are free.
Johnson County Home and Garden Show
Friday, Jan. 22-Sunday, Jan. 24, at the Overland Park Convention Center
A quick glance at the colossal floor plan of the Johnson County Home and Garden Show indicates that visitors could spend hours at the three-day marketplace and still not visit every attraction. Dozens of exhibitors will tout their goods and services on two floors of the Overland Park Convention Center. Home security experts, interior designers, financial services representatives, and kitchen and bathroom remodelers are among the vendors who will pitch their wares. Personalities from the HGTV television network, including Matt Muenster of “Bath Crashers” and the mother-daughter duo of Karen Jensen and Mina Starsiak of “Two Chicks and a Hammer,” will be among the celebrity guests giving presentations.
10 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 22 and Saturday, Jan. 23; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 24. Overland Park Convention Center. 816-931-4686. johnsoncountyhomeshow.com. $10. Children 12 and under are free.
Friday, Jan. 22, and Saturday, Jan. 23, at Ameristar Kansas City
Quixotic’s three performances this weekend will bring Sin City-style glamour to Ameristar Kansas City. “Pulse,” a new show by the Kansas City-based performance art troupe, is billed as a “rhythmic cirque experience” that fuses “technology, dance, projection mapping and live music.” Partly inspired by the Japanese drumming of Kodō, “Pulse” will feature the debut performances of a handful of new members to the acclaimed multimedia ensemble.
8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 22; 4 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 23. Ameristar Kansas City. 816-414-7000. ameristar.com. $15-$50.
Blue Man Group
Friday, Jan. 22-Sunday, Jan. 24, at Yardley Hall
The novelty of entertainers dyed in blue banging on objects was an appealing oddity when the Blue Man Group began its distinctive performances 25 years ago in New York. The troupe’s popularity has clearly endured. Billed as “comedy, theater, rock concert and dance party all rolled into one,” Blue Man Group’s multifaceted performances may be one of the few theatrical experiences capable of satisfying audiences who have become accustomed to sensory overload. There are five opportunities to see the group at Yardley Hall this weekend.
8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 22; noon and 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 23; 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 24. 913-469-4445. Yardley Hall. jccc.edu/theseries. $55-$135.
“In the Mood: Songs of the Great Band Leaders”
Opens Friday, Jan. 22, at Quality Hill Playhouse
The quality of many of the popular sounds between 1935 and 1955 is undeniably wonderful. Audiences at Quality Hill Playhouse will swoon to the swinging songs that are revived in the “In the Mood: Songs of the Great Band Leaders” production. Backed by a four-piece band that includes pianist and master of ceremonies J. Kent Barnhart, vocalists Taylor Avazpour, Lauren Braton, Melinda MacDonald and Tim Noland will belt out selections from the songbooks of the likes of Glenn Miller.
Friday, Jan. 22-Sunday, Feb. 21. Quality Hill Playhouse. 816-421-1700. qualityhillplayhouse.com. $36. $33 for seniors and students.
Saturday, Jan. 23, at the Sprint Center and Sunday, Jan. 24, at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena
Crissa “Ace” Jackson, the 13th woman to join the ranks of the Harlem Globetrotters, will make her Kansas City area debut this weekend. University of Kansas fanatics and Globetrotters obsessives will recall that Lynette Woodard, a former Jayhawk star, was the organization’s first female member. The Globetrotters remain a cultural force 90 years after the organization’s inception in 1926. The team horsed around with Pope Francis at the Vatican last May and collaborated with the cast of “Stomp” to create an astounding video in October. The vital activities help keep the Globetrotters’ blue jerseys and striped shorts as immediately recognizable as the uniforms of any American sports team.
2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 23. Sprint Center. 816-949-7000. sprintcenter.com. $20-$373.
2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 24. Silverstein Eye Centers Arena. 816-795-7577. silversteineyecentersarena.com. $20-$132.
Saturday, Jan. 23, at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
Billed as a gathering of 1,500 young professionals, Party Arty is a benefit for the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Young Friends of Art, the hosts of the annual fundraiser, are encouraging attendees to dress creatively at this year’s function. Guests are advised to “throw tradition aside” and “think outside the lines” as they select their formal attire. Rather than wearing conventional suits or necklaces, revelers might don elegant vintage jackets or find creative ways to display offbeat jewelry. The unorthodox apparel will match the setting. Party Arty organizers promise a “complete transformation of the museum” that emphasizes the institution’s exceptional modern art collection. An open bar and savory food will accent the festive occasion.
8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 23. Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. 816-751-1278. partyarty.org. $100.
Kansas City Jewish Film Festival
Opens Saturday, Jan. 23, at the Jewish Community Center
An event that spotlights “great films with a Jewish twist that would not be seen in the Kansas City area otherwise,” the latest edition of the Kansas City Jewish Film Festival features several intriguing offerings. The docudrama “A Blind Hero: The Love of Otto Weidt” tells the story of an “unsung Schindler” who shielded his Jewish employees from Nazis in Berlin. The saga of an Auschwitz concentration camp survivor who subsequently denied his heritage is depicted in “The Last Mentsch.” The owner of a struggling kosher bakery and a Muslim teen butt heads in “Dough.” “Hannah Cohen’s Holy Communion,” one of the festival’s short features, tells the story of an Irish girl who wishes to engage in the rituals of her peers.
Saturday, Jan. 23-Wednesday, Feb. 17. Jewish Community Center. 913-327-8000. jcckc.org. Festival passes are $50. Individual screenings are $10.
Sunday, Jan. 24, at Hunt Midwest SubTropolis
Much of the adaptable wildlife in the Kansas City area instinctively knows that the best strategy for waiting out winter is to head underground. Mice, rabbits and, yes, groundhogs, burrow into hidden depths to stay warm and conserve energy. Hundreds of their fitness-minded human counterparts will expend a great deal of energy in underground 5K and 10K races at the climate-controlled Hunt Midwest SubTropolis business park and storage facility on Sunday. The annual Groundhog Run is a fundraiser for Children’s TLC, a Kansas City charity that provides “high-quality early intervention services to children with disabilities.”
8 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 24. Hunt Midwest SubTropolis. 816-751-7781. childrenstlc.org/event/groundhog-run-2. $45-$100.
Sunday, Jan. 24, at VooDoo
One of the world’s funniest comedians had a decidedly bad 2014. Three weeks after he performed at the Uptown Theater in Kansas City, Morgan was severely injured in a traffic accident in New Jersey. One of Morgan’s best friends was killed, and Morgan remained in a coma for two weeks. His appearance hosting “Saturday Night Live” four months ago indicated that Morgan is back to his old self. “People were wondering, can he speak? Does he have 100 percent mental capacity? But the truth is, I never did. I might actually be a few points higher now.” A proven survivor — he overcame a troubled youth and several public misdeeds — Morgan has pledged that “I’m black and better than ever.”
7 and 9:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 24. VooDoo. 816-472-7777. voodookc.com. $42.50-$57.50.
Sunday, Jan. 24, at the Sprint Center
Winter Jam is one of the best bargains in Christian-themed entertainment. For $10 admission, people can take in sets by a dozen prominent musicians and bear witness to inspiring testimonials between each performance. NewSong, the headliner of this year’s Winter Jam, has been one of the most popular groups in contemporary Christian music for more than a decade. Other stars on the annual tour include dynamic hip-hop artist Trip Lee, hard rockers Red, pop artist Lauren Daigle, and Crowder, a heartfelt project led by singer/songwriter David Crowder.
5:45 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 24. Sprint Center. 816-949-7000. sprintcenter.com. $10 tickets are available at the door.
Marc Lamont Hill, UMKC Diversity Lecture
Wednesday, Jan. 27, at Pierson Auditorium on the UMKC campus
Marc Lamont Hill’s work for CNN has made him a polarizing figure among regular viewers of the cable TV network. Often asked to defend the actions of members of the Black Lives Matter movement, Hill is hailed as a hero by like-minded people and as an irresponsible adversary to those who disagree with his positions. Even Hill’s detractors, however, have to admire his ability to stay cool under pressure as he’s frequently pitted against agitated commentators.Unlike his appearances on CNN, Hill will be able to share his views without interruption as he delivers the UMKC Division of Diversity and Inclusion’s Eighth Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture.
6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 27, Pierson Auditorium on the UMKC campus. 816-235-6704. info.umkc.edu/diversity/events-programs/martin-luther-king-jr-lecture-series. Free, registration required.
“And Justice for Some: The Freedom Trial of Anthony Burns (1858)”
Opens Tuesday, Jan. 26, at the Coterie
The saga of Anthony Burns is one of the strangest and most disturbing chapters in American history. Born a slave in Virginia in 1834, Burns escaped his captors in 1853. After establishing a new life in Boston, he was captured and put on trial. More than 150 years before Michael Brown’s shooting in the St. Louis County suburb of Ferguson and the hit Netflix documentary courtroom series “Making a Murderer,” Burns was a cause célèbre. His momentous trial is the subject of “And Justice for Some: The Freedom Trial of Anthony Burns (1858),” a new interactive production at the youth-oriented Coterie theater.
Tuesday, Jan. 26-Sunday, Feb. 21. Coterie. 816-474-6552. thecoterie.org. $11-$15.
Wednesday, Jan. 27, at the Granada
A few judgmental rock ’n’ roll purists are likely to insist that Europe’s appearance in a recent television commercial for an insurance company represents a low point in the veteran band’s career. As a man in an office break room heats food in a microwave oven, the members of Europe mime “The Final Countdown.” The Swedish band’s supporters might suggest that the advertisements are invaluable reminders of Europe’s shamelessly histrionic music. Wednesday’s audience familiar only with the Swedish band’s signature 1986 hit won’t be disappointed by the rest of the band’s repertoire. Most of Europe’s songs are similarly over the top.
8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 27. The Granada. 785-842-1390. thegranada.com. $25-$75.