The Kansas City Dance Festival on June 20 and 21 promises highly energetic, eclectic works, and it is dedicated to former Kansas City Ballet artistic director Todd Bolender. And, June 22, the Kauffman Center will open its doors for free to feature promising musicians and dancers.
“If Da Dirt Could Talk,” a collaboration between pre-eminent Kansas City quilt-maker Nedra Bonds and Kentucky-based playwright, quilt artist, and performer Nancy Dawson, looks at heroes and history in Wyandotte County and the community of Quindaro, once a stop on the Underground Railroad. Quilts by Kansas City schoolchildren, featuring portraits of famous people from Wyandotte County, serve as backdrops for a play by Dawson.
Perusing the work of local writers takes us into Missouri’s meth-cooking world; a Hitchcock film festival murder: a wild plan to revive a small town: the grit of college sports; a prison break and mystery in 1890 London; a Hungarian pianist and a look at love and caste in South Asia.
Author Fred Kaplan’s “John Quincy Adams: American Visionary” and editor Frank Costigliola’s “The Kennan Diaries” illuminate the lives of two integral figures in the history of American politics. Kaplan will speak Wednesday at the Kansas City Public Library’s Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St., and Costigliola will speak Tuesday at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.
Made in India in the 16th century and used for domestic worship, the piece from the Nelson-Atkins collection goes on public view for the first time Friday. The piece, part of the collection since 1932, has been cleaned and refurbished and will be displayed in Gallery 203 with a video and other information about what the museum’s conservators did.
The Quality Hill Playhouse has brought back its 2008 tribute to George and Ira Gershwin in high style. “Rhapsody in Gershwin” is the latest encore of past favorite shows to celebrate J. Kent Barnhart’s 25th year as a director and producer. Here, he does triple duty as emcee, pianist and singer.
The Unicorn closes out its season with a social satire, the intermittently amusing “By the Way, Meet Vera Stark,” a play by Lynn Nottage that uses as its point of departure female African-American stereotypes in Hollywood films from the 1930s.
The orchestra’s latest recording project features works by the contemporary composer Adam Schoenberg, to be performed in a special recording preview concert on June 19. Director Michael Stern says the Symphony has had ‘extraordinarily positive reaction’ when it plays Schoenberg’s music.
With Hugh Jackman presiding and a jolt of star power from Hollywood, it’s prom night for theater as glitterati gather to recognize the best new musicals and plays. The Star’s theater critic breaks down the small-town politics and front-runners.
Kemper curator Erin Dziedzic’s “The Center Is a Moving Target” exhibit of 12 emerging and established Kansas City area artists at Kemper at the Crossroads is marked by a vigor and diversity of ideas and an inventive handling of materials.