First Friday at the Ballet
Friday at the Bolender Center
Most revelers at monthly First Friday celebrations in the Crossroads District socialize, sip wine at gallery openings and relax at cafes and restaurants. An offering by the Kansas City Ballet will allow participants to add a bit of high culture to their evenings. For a bargain price of $5, the Ballet offers a 90-minute “sneak preview” of the “Dances Daring (Then & Now)” program that will open at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts on May 8. Visitors needn’t fret if they’re eager to get back to traditional First Friday activities. The Ballet advises that its presentation is “a casual, come as you are, stay as long as you’d like” event.
6 p.m. Friday, April 3. The Bolender Center. 816-931-8993. kcballet.org. $5, reservations required.
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“Ghosts and Spirits”
Friday and Saturday at Belvoir Winery
Even the hokiest televised paranormal investigations appeal to viewers who are mildly interested in the supernatural. A two-day function at the Belvoir Winery in Liberty will allow participants to be present at similar experiments at the former site of the Odd Fellows Home, a set of structures that once housed widows and orphans. The “Ghosts and Spirits” event includes lectures and late-night ghost prowls. Nonbelievers can console themselves by partaking of a different type of spirit. Every adult attendee of the event will receive a bottle of Belvoir Winery’s Lucky Pierre dessert wine.
Friday, April 3, and Saturday, April 4. Belvoir Winery. 401-584-3911. strange-escapes.com. $199 for a weekend pass. Admission to a Chip Coffey “gallery reading” is an additional $62.
“The Sing-Off” Live
Friday at the Midland theater
The television landscape is littered with vocal competitions. “The Sing-Off” distinguishes itself from similar programs by exclusively featuring a cappella groups. The premise may seem less than promising, but the show propelled Pentatonix to stardom. The Grammy-winning ensemble from Texas won’t be part of Friday’s presentation at the Midland, but two other collectives featured in the competition will appear. VoicePlay, a quintet from Florida, apply the wholesome harmonies of groups like the Four Freshmen to current pop hits including Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball.” Nashville’s Street Corner Symphony are similarly playful.
8 p.m. Friday, April 3. Midland theater. 816-283-9921. midlandkc.com. $29.50-$49.50.
Friday at Knuckleheads
The popularity of the blues is cyclical. While devotees and committed musicians are keeping the music alive, the blues is not part of today’s mainstream culture. Jarekus Singleton may be capable of elevating the music’s profile. The guitarist, vocalist and songwriter from Mississippi is one of the form’s brightest young hopes. After suspending a career as a rapper, Singleton dedicated himself to the blues. His strong performances and an impressive release on the respected blues label Alligator Records have made Singleton one of the most promising up-and-coming bluesmen of the new millennium. Tijuana Gigolos, a roots-rock band from Lincoln, open Friday’s show.
8 p.m. Friday, April 3. Knuckleheads. 816-483-1456. knuckleheadshonkytonk.com. $15 in advance.
Kansas City Chorale, “Springsong at the Nelson”
Saturday at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
The Kansas City Chorale may need to find additional room in its trophy case. The winners of two Grammy Awards released the “Rachmaninoff: All Night Vigil” album on March 10. The rapturously beautiful recording seems destined for similarly prestigious acknowledgment. A rave review in The Guardian suggested that the album possesses “a devotional intensity that is often overwhelming.” The recording’s effective use of echo will be re-created at the high-ceilinged Rozzelle Court at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art during the Chorale’s “traditional one-hour Easter Saturday concert.”
5:30 p.m. Saturday, April 4. Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. 816-235-6222. kcchorale.org. $25.
Stateline Showdown, Missouri-Kansas high school all-star basketball games
Friday and Saturday at Mason-Halpin Field House at Rockhurst University
The border war that once resulted in political upheavals and spilled blood has thankfully become the province of sports. Young athletes representing Kansas and Missouri will do battle on a basketball court at Rockhurst University this weekend. The skirmishes commence on Friday with four-spot shooting, three-point shooting, skills challenge and dunk competitions. Saturday’s events include games featuring eighth grade boys, senior girls and senior boys from Kansas and Missouri. The built-in geographic rivalry will add a touch of additional drama to each contest.
Friday, April 3, and Saturday, April 4. Mason-Halpin Field House at Rockhurst University. eventbrite.com. $12, $6 for students and seniors.
KC Design Week
Through Saturday at various locations
Hundreds of representatives of Kansas City’s rapidly expanding creative community will mingle with members of the general public and designers from around the country at several functions during KC Design Week. The week’s eclectic array of activities includes an 11:30 a.m. presentation by Jamie Meares on Friday, April 3. The interior designer, studio owner and social media whiz will speak about her remarkable transition “from design blogger to tastemaker.” Honorees from the Monsters of Design competition will be announced at closing party at the Foundation, 1221 Union in the West Bottoms, on Saturday night.
Through Saturday, April 4. various locations. 816-979-3180. kcdesignweek.org. $10-$20 per event.
Saturday at Polsky Theatre
Released in 1981, David Lindley’s “El Rayo-X” is a cult classic. A party album bolstered by exceptional musicianship, the soothing set of reggae, blues and rock sounds is just as delightful as it was 34 years ago. At the time, Lindley was primarily known as the multi-instrumentalist responsible for adding appealing textures to the work of singer-songwriters like Jackson Browne and Warren Zevon. A frequent performer at Knuckleheads, Lindley will re-create favorites from “El Rayo-X” such as “Mercury Blues” in a more formal setting on Saturday.
8 p.m. Saturday, April 4. Polsky Theatre. 913-469-4445. jccc.edu/theseries. $32.
Dan + Shay
Saturday at the Midland theater
Country music purists regularly express astonishment as pop-minded artists like Taylor Swift and Florida Georgia Line are embraced by the country music community. These naysayers are almost certainly horrified by the rapid ascent of Dan + Shay. Resembling fraternity brothers on a spring break beach vacation, the duo of Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney sound more like One Direction than Merle Haggard. Dan + Shay’s hits including “Show You Off” epitomize the fizzy approach of today’s most popular country musicians. Canaan Smith, an aspiring star from Virginia, opens Saturday’s concert.
8 p.m. Saturday, April 4. Midland theater. 816-283-9921. midlandkc.com. $20 in advance.
Sporting Kansas City vs. Philadelphia
Sunday at Sporting Park
It’s too soon to hit the panic button, but even the most optimistic supporters of Sporting KC may be squirming in their seats on Sunday. The club often seems as if it’s headed in the wrong direction. After winning the MLS Cup in 2013, Sporting KC had a middling 2014 season and was unceremoniously bounced out of the playoffs after one game last year. The desultory opening of the new campaign has been similarly disappointing. Sporting KC has logged time at the bottom of the MLS’ Western Conference standings. The club will attempt to return to its winning ways against the Philadelphia Union.
6 p.m. Sunday, April 5. Sporting Park. 1-888-452-4625. sportingkc.com. $25-$185.
Kansas City Royals vs. Chicago White Sox
Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at Kauffman Stadium
The highly improbable and gloriously magical postseason run of the Kansas City Royals will be celebrated at Monday’s home opener. Newly energized fans will also get their first opportunity to see the team’s new look. Billy Butler and Nori Aoki are gone, replaced by Kendrys Morales and Alex Ríos. Promotions during the three-game homestand include a pre-game concert by Katy Guillen and the Girls on Wednesday as part of Ink magazine’s Student Night promotion. On Thursday, fans who purchase select $30 tickets will receive GordoNation T-shirts featuring an image of the Royals’ popular left-fielder.
3:10 p.m. Monday, April 6, 7:10 p.m. Wednesday, April 8, and 1:10 p.m. Thursday, April 9. Kauffman Stadium. 816-921-8000. kansascity.royals.mlb.com. $9-$223.
National Collegiate Roller Hockey Championships
Wednesday through Sunday at the Independence Events Center
The Kansas City area may not be the site of the Final Four or the College World Series anytime soon, but the region has hosted several lower profile collegiate championships in recent weeks. The latest of these events is the National Collegiate Roller Hockey Championships. Teams representing 60 institutions will square off on two rinks at the Independence Events Center. The first round on Wednesday includes matches between the University of North Texas against Grand Valley State and Arizona State University against the University of Rhode Island.
Wednesday, April 8-Sunday, April 12. Independence Events Center. 816-795-7577. independenceeventscenter.com. $12 per day, $20 for a weekend pass, $30 for an event pass. Student discount are available.
Max Raabe and Palast Orchester
Tuesday at Helzberg Hall
The merry music performed by Max Raabe and Palast Orchester has a painful backstory. The ensemble revives the popular music of the Weimar Republic, the German democracy that ended when Adolph Hitler came to power in 1933. Much of Raabe’s repertoire was composed by Jewish songwriters who were horrifically persecuted under the new regime. The tragic history hasn’t prevented Raabe’s vintage style from enchanting listeners around the globe. The approach fills fans of traditional big bands with nostalgia, while younger listeners are amused by Raabe’s droll interpretations of recent hits.
7 p.m. Tuesday, April 7. Helzberg Hall. 816-994-7200. kauffmancenter.org. $29-$69.
Missouri Mavericks vs. Brampton
Tuesday at the Independence Events Center
The Missouri Mavericks’ impressive series of six postseason playoff appearances will likely come to an end on Saturday, April 11. Although the team has a losing record, the Mavericks’ new affiliation with the ECHL league and the recent purchase of the franchise by Lamar Hunt Jr. can be viewed as signs of progress. Fans will be able to demonstrate their long-term faith in the Mavericks during the final home game of the season on Tuesday. Regardless of the outcome, attending the match should be fun. As Hunt told The Kansas City Star, Mavericks games offer the team's supporters “a total entertainment package.”
7:05 p.m. Tuesday, April 7. Independence Events Center. 816-252-7825. missourimavericks.com. $16-$38.