Bach Collegium Japan
7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6, at Folly
You don’t have to be an expert on Bach to appreciate his music — or to enjoy the Bach Collegium Japan. The ensemble, formed in 1990 by internationally renowned Bach performer and conductor Masaaki Suzuki, consists of performers of original instruments and a choir presenting baroque music with an emphasis on the religious works of Bach. Its program also will include compositions by Vivaldi, Conti and Handel. 816-561-9999. Tickets are $35 through chambermusic.org.
“A Spectacular Christmas Show”
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Opens 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6, at MTH Theater at Crown Center
Few places in the area can spark the holiday spirit more than Crown Center, with ice skating, Santa Claus, a giant Christmas tree and much more. For the ultimate holiday experience, top off your visit with MTH Theater’s “A Spectacular Christmas Show,” a singing and dancing extravaganza featuring holiday tunes from musical theater with innovative arrangements. Runs through Dec. 23. 816-221-6987. Tickets are $29-$58 through mthkc.com.
“It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play”
Opens 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6, at Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre
Based on the beloved 1946 Jimmy Stewart movie that has become a holiday staple, this stage version of “It’s a Wonderful Life” will come to life as a 1940s radio broadcast. An ensemble with dozens of characters on stage will recreate the story of George Bailey, who is considering ending his life one fateful Christmas Eve before Clarence the angel intervenes. Runs through Dec. 16. 816-569-3226. Tickets are $15-$49 through metkc.org.
Josh Wolf, Brad Upton and Jason Mewes
Thursday, Dec. 6, through Monday, Dec. 10, at Kansas City Improv
These three comedians will make for a big weekend at the Improv, although they won’t perform together. Josh Wolf, known for his appearances on “Chelsea Lately,” will do shows Thursday through Sunday, then Brad Upton (opening act for Johnny Mathis and Joan Rivers) and Jason Mewes (“Clerks” and “Jay and Silent Bob”) are scheduled for one-night engagements. Josh Wolf: 7:30 Thursday, Dec. 6; 7:30 and 10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7; 7 and 10 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8. $15-$47. Brad Upton: 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9. $17-$47. Jason Mewes: 7:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 10. $22-$45. 816-759-5233. Tickets available through improvkc.com.
“All is Calm — the Christmas Truce of 1914”
Opens 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7, at B&B Live
The true World War I story told in the movie “Joyeux Noël” is the subject of a new musical by Music Theatre Kansas City. Featuring an eight-man a cappella choir, the show recreates — in the words and songs of the men who lived it — one night of camaraderie, music and peace on Christmas Eve after a German soldier stepped into No Man’s Land singing “Stille Nach.” Runs through Dec. 16. 913-341-8156. Tickets are $15-$25 through mtkc.org.
The Fairy Princess
Friday, Dec. 7, through Dec. 16 at Kansas City Museum at the Historic Garment District
The holiday season isn’t just about visits with Santa Claus. The Fairy Princess, a tradition at the Kansas City Museum, will relocate to the museum’s downtown satellite location while Corinthian Hall is under renovation. The white-gowned Fairy Princess debuted in 1935 at Kline’s Department Store, where she waved her wand and a surprise gift appeared for each child. 3-7 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays. 816-513-0720. Tickets are $10 through kansascitymuseum.org.
Kansas City Symphony, “Handel’s Messiah”
7 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Dec. 7-8, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9, at Helzberg Hall
The symphony’s annual presentation of “Handel’s Messiah” will feature nearly 200 musicians and voices, including the Kansas City Symphony Chorus, performing the choral masterpiece highlighted by “Passion of the Christ” and the “Hallelujah Chorus.” Aram Demirjian, former associate conductor of the Kansas City Symphony and current music director of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, will return as guest conductor. Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. 816-471-0400. Tickets are $25-$75 through kcsymphony.org.
“A Winter’s Tale in Words and Song”
8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7, at Polsky Theatre, and 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, at Kansas City Public Library-Central Library
What do you get when you combine the works of Bach, Mozart and Vivaldi with scenes from Shakespeare? The Bach Aria Soloists and actors from the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival will answer that query with “A Winter’s Tale in Words and Song.” Scenes from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “The Winter’s Tale” and other works will be presented script in hand, and the Bach Aria Soloists will perform Mozart’s Laudate Dominum, Vivaldi’s Winter Concerto, Bach’s Viola da Gamba Sonata No. 1 and the Wexford and Coventry carols. Johnson County Community College. 913-469-4445. Tickets are $21-$25 through jccc.edu/theseries. Also, 816-701-3400. kclibrary.org. Free; RSVPs requested.
Kansas men’s basketball vs. New Mexico State
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, at Sprint Center
With early-season victories over Michigan State, Marquette, Tennessee and Stanford already under their belts and with a rematch against defending national champion Villanova — which beat KU in last year’s national semifinals — looming Dec. 15, fans might be looking for a bit of breather in the Jayhawks’ annual visit to the Sprint Center. But New Mexico State is no lightweight. The Aggies won 28 games last season and have played in the NCAA Tournament six of the past seven years. 816-949-7100. Tickets are $38-$128 through sprintcenter.com.
8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, at Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland
If you are familiar with Lewis Black’s comedy, you probably won’t be surprised that his official biography reads, “Colicky as a baby, he was destined to be angry and easily irritated.” Black is the king of anger and irritation, which he has displayed regularly during two decades as a contributor on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show.” His standup act also tends to be grumpy, especially when the subject is politics, though he doesn’t dwell on our president. At a recent appearance in Wilmington, Del., he said of President Donald Trump, “In every interview people say, ‘He must be great for comedy.’ My response has been the same: He’s great for comedy in the way a stroke is good for a nap.” 816-283-9921. Tickets are $39.50-$59.50 through arvestbanktheatre.com.
Chiefs vs. Baltimore
Noon Sunday, Dec. 9, at Arrowhead
The Chiefs are all but assured of a playoff spot, but they still have a lot of work to do if they are going to earn a first-round bye and perhaps home-field advantage in the AFC. This game will begin their final four-game push, with three of the matchups at Arrowhead. The Baltimore Ravens have won three straight games and their defense has been stout all season, giving up a league-low 214 points — 113 fewer than the Chiefs. 816-920-9300. Tickets are $60-$290 through chiefs.com.
Clifton Truman Daniel and Luci Baines Johnson
6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12, at Unity Temple on the Plaza
The friendship between President Harry Truman and President Lyndon Johnson will take center stage when Clifton Truman Daniel, the oldest grandson of President Truman, and Luci Baines Johnson, the younger daughter of President Johnson, discuss their lives in presidential families. Daniel is a former newspaper writer, editor and public relations professional. Luci Baines Johnson is a businesswoman and philanthropist. 816-268-8200. trumanlibrary.org. Free; RSVPs requested.
Also this week
Classical music and dance
Kansas City Chorale, “Wintersong,” Dec. 6, Rozzelle Court. kcchorale.org
“The Nutcracker, A Kansas Ballet,” Dec. 7-16, Lawrence Arts Center. lawrenceartscenter.org
TubaChristmas, Dec. 7, Municipal Auditorium. kcsymphony.org
Canadian Brass Christmas, Dec. 9, Lied Center. lied.ku.edu
6 X 10 Ten Minute Play Festival, Barn Players, Dec. 7-9, Arts Asylum. thebarnplayers.org
“The Happy Elf,” Theatre in the Park, Dec. 7-23, Johnson County Arts and Heritage Center. theatreinthepark.org
“Santa Land Christmas,” Dec. 8 and 15, Puppetry Arts Institute. hazelle.org
“The Girlie Show Holiday Extravaganza,” Dec. 12, Californos. eventbrite.com/event/52436626361
Dwayne Clark and Andy Hartley, Dec. 7-8, Clint’s Comedy Stop. clintscomedystop.com
Music (rock, pop, jazz)
Easton Corbin, Dec. 6, Granada. thegranada.com
Martina McBride, Dec. 6, Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland. arvestbanktheatre.com
San Holo with Chet Porter, Dec. 6, The Truman. thetrumankc.com
Tech N9ne with Krizz Kaliko and Mackenzie Nicole, Dec. 7, Granada. thegranada.com
Hepcat, Dec. 8, Uptown. uptowntheater.com
Kansas City Jazz Orchestra featuring Molly Hammer, Dec. 8, Liberty Hall. libertyhall.net
Steve Earle & The Dukes, Dec. 8, Knuckleheads. knuckleheadskc.com
Tom Morello, Dec. 8, The Truman. thetrumankc.com
Under the Streetlamp, Dec. 8, Yardley Hall. jccc.edu/theseries
Sick of it All and The Street Dogs, Dec. 9, Madrid. madridtheatre.com
Silverstein with Hawthorne Heights, As Cities Burn and Capstan, Dec. 9, Granada. thegranada.com
Thom Yorke, Dec. 9, Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland. arvestbanktheatre.com
Born Ruffians, Dec. 10, RecordBar. therecordbar.com
Dave East with Shooter and D Jones, Dec. 10, Riot Room. theriotroom.com
Jim Brickman, Dec. 10, Folly. follytheater.org
Justin Timberlake, Dec. 10, Sprint Center. sprintcenter.com
Steel Panther with Wilson, Dec. 11, Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland. arvestbanktheatre.com
George Winston, Dec. 12, Kauffman Center. kauffmancenter.org
Hot Tuna, Dec. 12, Liberty Hall. libertyhall.net
First Fridays in the Crossroads, Dec. 7, Crossroads Arts District. kccrossroads.org
Young Matrons Holly & Mistletoe Tour, Dec. 6, Independence. independenceyoungmatrons.org
Candlelight Tour, Dec. 7-8, John Wornall House. wornallmajors.org
Downtown Dazzle Urban Homes Tour, Dec. 8, Kansas City. downtowndazzle.com/kansas-city-urban-homes-tour
A Christmas Celebration, Dec. 8, Missouri Town 1855. makeyourdayhere.com
Historic Westheight Neighborhood Association Holiday Tour, Dec. 9, Kansas City, Kan. historicwestheight.org
Kansas City Mavericks (hockey) vs. Allen, Dec. 7-8. Silverstein Eye Centers Arena. kcmavericks.com
“Simply Stunning Chocolate Desserts.” 11 a.m. Dec. 9. $80. Culinary Center of Kansas City, 7920 Santa Fe, Overland Park. kcculinary.com, 913-341-4455
“Wild Game Cooking.” 6 p.m. Dec. 7. $90. L’Ecole Culinaire, 310 Ward Parkway. lecole.edu, 816-627-0100
Operation: Uncorked. Evening of food, knowledge and revelry toasting centennial year of armistice. 6:30 p.m. Dec. 6. $35-$50. National World War I Museum, Liberty Memorial, 100 W. 26th. theworldwar.org, 816-888-8100
“Christmas Cake Decorating.” 10 a.m. Dec. 8. $65 for pair. A Thyme For Everything, 229B SE Main, Lee’s Summit. athymeforeverything.com, 816-554-3755