Thursday-Sunday at Kansas City Improv
Charlie Murphy has benefited enormously from his status as the older brother of superstar actor and comedian Eddie Murphy. Yet it wasn’t until Dave Chappelle featured Charlie Murphy in his famous spoof of funk musician Rick James that he became a household name. Playing the part of the troubled James, Chappelle mercilessly tormented Murphy in a hilarious series of re-enactments. The popular bit still threatens to overshadow Murphy’s career. Murphy will demonstrate that he doesn’t require the presence of his little brother or Chappelle to entertain audiences as he works as a stand-up comedian at Kansas City Improv.
8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 5; 8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 6; 7 and 10 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 7; 7 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 8. Kansas City Improv. 816-759-5233. Improvkc.com. $27.
Never miss a local story.
“Natalie Ball: Mapping Coyote Black” and “Gina Adams: Its Honor Is Here Pledged”
Thursday-May 13 at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art
The exhibition “The Plains Indians: Artists of Earth and Sky” closed at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art last month. Aficionados of American Indian art needn’t feel neglected. Two new installations by artists of Native American heritage open at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art on Thursday. Oregon-based Natalie Ball suggests that “I examine internal and external discourses that shape Indian identity.” Gina Adams earned a master of fine arts degree from the University of Kansas. She has stated that the “process of making gives me an identity and an ancestral connection” that allows her to “have a better understanding of who my ancestors were.”
Thursday, Feb. 5-Wednesday, May 13. Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art. 913-469-3000. nermanmuseum.org. Free.
Kansas City Ballet, “New Moves”
Friday-Feb. 14 at the Todd Bolender Center
Devon Carney, artistic director of the Kansas City Ballet, has vowed that this weekend’s performances at the “New Moves” recitals “dare to push the boundaries” and will present audiences with cutting edge and innovative performances. The program includes works from choreographers Robert Dekkers, Andrea Schermoly and Kelly Ann Sloan, plus Kansas City Ballet artists Ryan Jolicoeur-Nye, Travis Guerin and Jill Marlow.
7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 6, and Saturday, Feb. 7; 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 13; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 14. Todd Bolender Center for Dance & Creativity. 816-931-2232. kcballet.org. $35.
Kansas City Symphony, “Mahler and Haydn”
Friday-Sunday at Helzberg Hall
Even the world’s most hallowed classical music institutions are compelled to make occasional concessions to popular tastes. That’s partly why the Kansas City Symphony is among the distinguished entities that offer a pops series and also occasionally include unimposing trifles in otherwise serious programs. The Kansas City Symphony’s concerts this weekend, however, are intended to please purists. No one’s going to mistake Gustav Mahler’s weighty Symphony No. 5 with a clever throwaway. The lengthy work will showcase the full scope of the Symphony’s artistic capacity. Joseph Haydn’s Symphony No. 22 promises to provide thoughtful listeners with similar rewards.
8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 6, 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 7, 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 8. Helzberg Hall. 816-471-0400. kcsymphony.org. $23-$73.
Mark Morris Dance Group, “Acis & Galatea”
Friday-Saturday at Muriel Kauffman Theatre
The Mark Morris Dance Group’s production of “Acis & Galatea” is a potentially jarring cultural clash. The troupe applies a contemporary sensibility to an 18th century work that’s based on ancient Greek mythology. Yet the adventurous approach has received warm reviews since its 2014 premiere in California. Proclaiming the production as “wondrously grand,” a review in The Los Angeles Times noted that “Morris’ patterns have the power to make you hear the music the way he wants you to, and that is never predictable.” The dancers and four primary vocalists will be accompanied by a 23-voice choir and 30-piece orchestra in the dashing reworking of George Frideric Handel’s composition.
7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 6, and Saturday, Feb. 7. Muriel Kauffman Theatre. 816-415-5025. hjseries.org. $25-$70.
Inspired for Life Women’s Conference
Friday-Saturday at Church of the Resurrection
Leawood may quake from the spiritual tremors emanating from the Church of the Resurrection this weekend. “Unshakable,” the theme of this year’s Inspired for Life Women’s Conference, may prompt a host of earth-shattering awakenings. Speakers include Sarah Thebarge, a cancer survivor who wrote an account of her serendipitous relationship with a family of Somali immigrants, and Susan Isaacs, the author of “Angry Conversations With God: A Snarky but Authentic Spiritual Memoir.” A discussion of the function’s charitable endeavors will be balanced by a Friday night party that includes dancing and desserts.
7-10:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 6; 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 7. Church of the Resurrection, 13720 Roe Ave., Leawood. inspiredforlifeconference.org. $75.
KC Remodel & Garden Show
Friday-Sunday at the American Royal Complex
Butterflies and bathroom fixtures will abound at the American Royal Complex this weekend. A butterfly house and dozens of vendors of showers, sinks and toilets are among the attractions at the KC Remodel & Garden Show. Other highlights of the annual event include appearances by Kevin O’Connor, the host of “This Old House”; Joel Karsten, an expert in straw bale gardening; and Leanne Lee, a blogger known as “the diva of DIY.” The Water Garden Society of Greater Kansas City will display one of its distinctive creations. Other presentations range from the fanciful to nuts-and-bolts topics such as “Keeping Your Home Systems Running Smoothly.”
10 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 6, and Saturday, Feb. 7; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 8. American Royal Complex. 816-931-4686. kcremodelandgarden.com. $8-$10, children 12 and under are free.
Kansas City Golf Show
Friday-Sunday at the Overland Park Convention Center
Area golfers frustrated by the tedium of winter can unleash their pent-up energy in daily long drive competitions at the Kansas City Golf Show this weekend. They may opt to prepare for the contest by consulting with David Brinker. The nine-time Re/Max World Long Drive Finalist is one of the experts offering presentations at the three-day event. Representatives of country clubs, tourism destinations, financial planning services, and manufacturers of golf equipment ranging from binoculars to gloves are among the more than 100 exhibitors. Visitors can also participate in a putting challenge or relax at a makeshift sports bar.
11 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 6; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 7; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 8. Overland Park Convention Center. 425-412-7070. kansascitygolfshow.com. $12, $10 for seniors over 60, children 12 and under are free.
Friday-Sunday at the Sprint Center
Grave Digger. Mechanical Mischief. River Rat. The odd monikers hold no meaning for most people. Yet for thrill-seekers who live and breathe for the roar of engines, the odor of burning rubber and the sight of tricked-out vehicles engaged in acts of mayhem, the recitation of those names is likely to inspire awestruck tales about deliberate destruction. New memories will be created this weekend as vehicles soar through the air during racing and freestyle competitions at Monster Jam. Ardent fans can get a close look at the vehicles and the track during pit parties prior to the afternoon shows on Saturday and Sunday.
7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 6; 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 7; 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 8. Sprint Center. 816-949-7000. sprintcenter.com. $12-$52.
Chippendales and the Winter Wonderland Playmate Tour
Chippendales, Thursday at the Uptown Theater. The Winter Wonderland Playmate Tour, Friday at the VooDoo.
In a fortuitous scheduling coincidence, scandalous exhibitions of the male and female forms will be displayed on consecutive nights in the Kansas City area. The groundbreaking dance troupe Chippendales will titillate unencumbered women at the Uptown Theater on Thursday. Chippendales’ handsome men with spectacular abdominal muscles set the bar for semi-tasteful displays of skin decades ago. Men will flock to the VooDoo at Harrah’s North Kansas City Hotel and Casino on Friday to interact with four models at the Winter Wonderland Playmate Tour. DJ Ashton Martin and DJ Highnoone will provide the soundtrack for their fantasies.
▪ Chippendales: 9 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 5. 816-753-8665. ticketmaster.com. $25-$55.
▪ Winter Wonderland Playmate Tour: 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 6. 816-472-7777. ticketmaster.com. $24.
Sunday at Polsky Theatre
Maria Bamford has a knack for making wildly inappropriate jokes seem wholesome. Bamford’s guidance on the best season to commit suicide, for instance, is oddly amusing. She also kids that her deceased grandmother looked fashionably slender in an open casket. Part of Bamford’s appeal is rooted in her elastic voice. Her work as a voice actress has been featured on television programs including “Hey Arnold!” and “WordGirl.” Bamford has also created a variety of engaging characters, including a cantankerous “retired family therapist and a Netflix connoisseur” in the Web series “Ask My Mom.” She’s likely to assume several personas during Sunday’s sold-out show.
7 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 8. Polsky Theatre at Johnson County Community College. 913-469-4445. jccc.edu/theseries. Tickets to the sold-out show were $39.
KC Jazz Vespers: Diverse
Sunday at First Baptist Church
While it’s impossible to pin down precise dates in cultural trends, a few observers point to the day Diverse won the Gene Harris Jazz Competition in 2008 as the moment an artistic revival of Kansas City’s jazz scene began. The young band has since released two fine albums. Diverse trumpeter Hermon Mehari made it to the semifinals of the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Trumpet Competition last year. Diverse continues to appear in area nightclubs and has embarked on national and international tours. The band will perform a full concert of secular music on Sunday in the Jazz Vespers series at First Baptist Church in south Kansas City.
6-8 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 8. First Baptist Church, 100 W. Red Bridge Road. 816-942-1866. kcjazzvespers.com. Free.
Brasil Guitar Duo
Tuesday at the Lied Center
Many North Americans associate Brazilian music with the gentle lilt of bossa nova popularized by the likes of Stan Getz in the 1960s. The sounds emanating from the South American nation, however, are as diverse as its population. Douglas Lora and Joao Luiz, the musicians in the Brasil Guitar Duo, perform a sophisticated form of Brazilian-influenced classical music. Their lively recordings of the compositions of Italian-born Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco are technically astounding. The program at Tuesday’s concert will include renditions of works by Leo Brouwer, Egberto Gismonti, David Leisner and Jean-Philippe Rameau.
7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 10. Lied Center. 785-864-2787. lied.ku.edu. $20-$30.