Kansas City Auto Show
Wednesday, March 2, through Sunday, March 6, at Bartle Hall
With low gas prices and the onset of spring, potential car buyers may be inclined to pull the trigger on the purchase of a new vehicle. There’s no better place to get started than the Kansas City Auto Show. Ranging from Acura to Volvo, 34 manufacturers will show off more than 500 new cars and trucks. Visitors can kick the tires on luxury vehicles including Cadillac and Maserati, iconic brands like Ford and Chevrolet and best-selling models from Honda and Kia. Toyota and Ford are participating in an on-site test drive program. Food trucks and a beer garden will provide sustenance. Children can burn off energy at an interactive Lego attraction in a Kids Korner area.
5-10 p.m. Wednesday, March 2, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Thursday, March 3, Friday, March 4, and Saturday, March 5, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, March 6. Bartle Hall. kcautoshow.com. $11 per day, $6 for children 8-12. Five-day passes are $30.
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Michael Flatley, “Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games”
Thursday, March 3, at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena
Michael Flatley will hang up his dancing shoes two weeks after his appearance at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena. He’ll be joined by a large cast of hoofers in the “Dangerous Games” production. Flatley is just 57, but the self-proclaimed “Billion Dollar Dancer” has suggested that he’s in the midst of his farewell tour. His St. Patrick’s Day show at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas on March 17 is alleged to be Flatley’s final performance. A consummate entertainer who also bills himself as “the most successful dance star in history,” the Chicago-born Flatley is one of the creators of “Riverdance,” the tremendously popular Celtic dance-themed show that spawned countless imitators.
7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 3. Silverstein Eye Centers Arena. 800-745-3000. silversteineyecentersarena.com. $51-$81.
Thursday, March 3, through Sunday, March 6, at Stanford’s Comedy Club
Marsha Warfield is best known for her role as Roz Russell in the situation comedy “Night Court,” but one of her most memorable television appearances was a routine she delivered on “Soul Train” in 1985. The comedian from Chicago is a gum-chewing wisenheimer in the charming period piece. She questioned the motives of the participants in the “We Are the World” benefit project, noted the controversy swirling around Miss America winner Vanessa Williams and joked about Jesse Jackson’s presidential campaign. Warfield’s social media accounts are loaded with commentary about the current political cycle. She’ll almost certainly denigrate several politicians at her appearances at Stanford’s Comedy Club.
8 p.m. Thursday, March 3, 7:45 and 9:45 p.m. Friday, March 4, 7:45 and 9:45 p.m. Saturday, March 5, 7 p.m. Sunday, March 6. Stanford’s Comedy Club. 913-400-7500. stanfordscomedyclub.com. $10-$35.
MIAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments
Opens Thursday at Municipal Auditorium
Hundreds of athletes representing the 14 institutions in the Kansas City-based Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association will compete in the conference tournament starting Thursday at Municipal Auditorium. Four of the women’s teams — Missouri Western, Fort Hays State, Pittsburg State and Emporia State — are among the top-ranked squads in the country. Northwest Missouri was the only conference representative to earn a spot among the top 25 men’s teams in a recent poll. Members of all 28 teams in the conference hope strong performances at Municipal Auditorium allow them to advance to national tournaments.
Thursday, March 3-Sunday, March 6. Municipal Auditorium. 816-421-6422. themiaa.com. $20. $5 for children 7-14. Session passes are available.
First Friday in the Crossroads
Friday, March 4, in the Crossroads District
Many of the galleries participating in the March edition of First Friday are setting the tone for the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts’ conference that will be held in Kansas City later in the month with ceramics-oriented shows. A compilation of work by Kansas City Art Institute students will be displayed at Belger Arts Center (2100 Walnut) in the “Every Semester: Collecting KCAI Ceramics 1995-2015” show. Blue Gallery (118 Southwest Blvd.) will feature works by four renowned ceramic artists. Celebrants tiring of ceramics can visit the Buttonwood Art Space (3013 Main). Musicians will add ambiance at a reception for the “Art of Blues & Jazz, KC Style” exhibition.
Friday, March 4. Crossroads Arts District. 816-994.7313. kccrossroads.org. Free.
Kansas City Symphony, “Behzod Abduraimov Plays Rachmaninoff”
Friday, March 4, through Sunday, March 6, at Helzberg Hall
The latest Grammy Award collected by the Kansas City Chorale reflects the artistic excellence of Kansas City’s fine arts community. The Kansas City Symphony will collaborate with another hometown titan this weekend. Born in 1980 in Uzbekistan, Behzod Abduraimov is the artist in residence at the International Center for Music at Park University. A recent rave review in The New York Times insisted that Abduraimov “should be on any must-hear list.” His performance of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Symphony will give Kansas City audiences a chance to do so.
8 p.m. Friday, March 4, 8 p.m. Saturday, March 5, 2 p.m. Sunday, March 6. Helzberg Hall. 816-471-0400. kcsymphony.org. $30-$80.
Friday, March 4, and Saturday, March 5, at Moon Marble Co. store
The tactile experience of holding a marble is innately satisfying. Adults who want to reconnect to the simple pleasure of manipulating a spherical piece of glass and children who have yet to be introduced to marbles can find no better forum than the two-day Marble Crazy celebration at Moon Marble Co. A representative of Hot House Glass, an Ohio-based company who claims to be “walking a fine line between artist and pyromaniac,” is among the two dozen artisans from around the country who will be on hand to demonstrate their work to customers. Visitors can learn about the crafting of objects in a marble machine and observe furnace-working and lampworking presentations.
Noon-9 p.m. Friday, March 4, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, March 5. Moon Marble Co. Store, Bonner Springs. 913-441-1432. marblecrazy.com. Free.
Saturday, March 5, at Armacost Auto Museum
A film festival that features “award-winning short films by, for and about women” will be held amid a collection of rare and vintage cars in Grandview on Saturday. The six movies cover an impressive array of topics. “Boxeadora” is a documentary about a Cuban athlete who dreams of finding a way to circumvent her country’s ban on women’s boxing. Finnish filmmaker Hanna Maylett’s “First World Problems” concerns the travails of a woman who can’t recall where she parked her car at a shopping mall. The accommodating parents of a transgender child are documented in “Raising Ryland.” Proceeds of the benefit will be directed to the Kansas City chapter of Soroptimist International, the host of the event, and to Breast Cancer Fund.
5 p.m. Saturday, March 5, Armacost Auto Museum. 816-472-5664. lunafest.org. $50, $30 for college students.
Kansas City Roller Warriors
Saturday, March 5, at Memorial Hall
The Kansas City Roller Warriors have a new home. As the site of years of televised wrestling matches, Memorial Hall is ideally suited to host women’s roller derby action. The 11th season of the Kansas City Roller Warriors opens with two contests in the new location on Saturday. The Victory Vixens, a team that represents “freedom and the American way,” will battle the intimidating Black Eye Susans. The second match pits the Knockouts, a squad of “the girls your momma warned you about,” against the Dreadnought Dorothys, a team that likens itself to “a heavily armored battleship” and the “girl from Kansas who’s likely to drop a house on you.”
6 p.m. Saturday, March 5. Memorial Hall. kcrollerwarriors.com. $15, $9 for children 6-12.
Saturday, March 5, at the Kansas City Convention Center
A civic-minded Kansas City booster might consider buying Lorde a ticket to the Bacchus Ball. Opening with the line “I’ve never seen a diamond in the flesh,” the pop star’s signature song “Royals” corresponds with the event’s “A Royal Affair” theme. Guests at the upscale party will place blind bids on 30 boxes containing goods from the jewelry boutique Kendra Scott. One of the boxes contains “the crown jewels.” The soiree also features casino games and a cigar lounge. The Kansas City Chamber Orchestra, Lost Wax, Longer Days and DJ Ashton Martin will provide music. The bash hosted by the Bacchus Foundation, an organization for young professionals, benefits the Love Fund for Children.
7 p.m. Saturday, March 5. Kansas City Convention Center. bacchuskc.org. $95.
Kansas Music Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
Saturday, March 5, at Liberty Hall
Kansas-based music fans will honor their own at Liberty Hall on Saturday. Ten sets of artists with origins from Salina to Kansas City will be inducted into the Kansas Music Hall of Fame. Seven of the honorees of the institution that’s designed to “recognize and honor performers and others who have made significant contributions” to the area’s music scene will entertain at the ceremony. They include the Thumbs, a rock band from Lawrence, Kansas City cover band Charlie & the Stingrays, and Mark Selby of Salina, who has written songs recorded by artists including the Dixie Chicks. Kansas City soul singer Marva Whitney is among the Kansans who will be cited posthumously.
7 p.m. Saturday, March 5. Liberty Hall, Lawrence. 785-749-1972. libertyhall.net. $25.
Big 12 Wrestling Championships
Saturday, March 5, and Sunday, March 6, at the Sprint Center
Sports fans who are priced out of the Big 12 Men’s Basketball Championships or those who simply want to get a head start on the ballyhooed event can attend the Big 12 Wrestling Championships for a relative pittance. Tournament passes for the three-day event sell for as little as $30. Not every member of the Big 12 conference will participate. Kansas and Kansas State, for instance, don’t field wrestling teams. Athletes from affiliate institutions including Air Force and South Dakota State will fill out the field. A corresponding Fan Fest will be held across the street in the Power & Light District on Saturday and Sunday. Country artist Noe Palma is among the performers. Sunday’s action will be televised by Fox Sports Regional Networks.
11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday, March 5, 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Sunday, March 6, Sprint Center. 816-949-7000. sprintcenter.com. $30-$90 for tournament passes.
World’s Greatest Hobby on Tour
Saturday, March 5, and Sunday, March 6, at the American Royal Complex
Model railroading seems so prosaic that many people who have opted to make technology a central part of their lives might wonder why anyone still engages in the pastime. The quaintness of the time-tested diversion may be a large part of its appeal. At a time when people spend hours staring at screens every day, the prospect of painting miniature scenery and laying scaled-down train tracks can be viewed as a therapeutic activity. The traveling World’s Greatest Hobby show is designed to “introduce the general public to model railroading in an entertaining, lively and family-friendly atmosphere.” The venerable Lionel Trains is among the dozens of exhibitors. Presentations include a talk titled “Walt Disney’s Railroad Story.”
10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, March 5, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, March 6. American Royal Complex. 630-279-5094. wghshow.com/kcx2016. $15, children 15 and younger are free.
“Brain: The Inside Story”
Opens Saturday, March 5, at the Museum at Prairiefire
In spite of the wealth of knowledge accumulated by a typical person, an understanding of the astonishing activity that occurs between their ears is often disconcertingly limited. “Brain: The Inside Story,” a traveling exhibition created by the American Museum of Natural History,” helps people understand how their minds work and provides tips on improving cognitive processing and emotional well-being. Elements include an artist’s electronic depiction of synapses in action, interactive displays that allow users to recognize various aspects of their brains and an explanation of the evolution of human minds. Even so, guidance about how to care for and expand the capacity of a brain may be the most valuable component of the exhibition.
Saturday, March 5-Sunday, Aug. 28. Museum at Prairiefire, Overland Park. 913-333-3500. museumatpf.org. $14, $8 for children 3-12.
Big 12 Men’s Basketball Championship
Opens Wednesday, March 9, at the Sprint Center
Celebrations initiated by the Kansas City Royals’ postseason success of the last two years aside, the annual Big 12 Men’s Basketball Championship tournament incites one of the area’s biggest sports-related parties. Thousands of fans from Morgantown, W.Va., to Lubbock, Texas, travel to Kansas City to support their universities. Boosters of conference leaders hope their teams secure top seeds in the subsequent Big Dance, while fans of other teams hope to watch their schools play their way into March Madness. Area businesses that rely on tourism revenue hope that contenders with the largest contingents of out-of-town supporters make it to the championship game.
Wednesday, March 9-Saturday, March 12. Sprint Center. 816-949-7000. sprintcenter.com. $195-$350.
Opens Wednesday, March 9, at City Stage at Union Station
More than four decades after its initial production in Capetown, South Africa, “The Island” remains sadly relevant. The play by Athol Fugard, John Kani and Winston Ntshona depicts two men incarcerated among fellow political prisoners. In spite of suffering many indignities, they practice a scene from Sophocles’ “Antigone” for an upcoming show. A New York staging of “The Island” was nominated for three Tony Awards in 1975. In addition to mulling the eternal themes related to the human condition, many members of the audiences of the Kansas City Actors Theatre production of “The Island” might be reminded of the contemporary debate about the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. Walter Coppage directs the play.
Wednesday, March 9-Sunday, March 27. H&R Block City Stage Theater. 816-361-5228. kcactors.org. $30-$40.
By Bill Brownlee, Special to The Star