Just you wait: Guide to KC’s biggest entertainment of 2019, starting with ‘Hamilton’

We’ve known for nearly two years that “Hamilton” would be coming to Kansas City in 2019, and now opening night is within sight. Five months, 22 days and counting.

The musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda that took Broadway by storm in 2015 will run June 18-July 7 at the Music Hall as part of the Kansas City Broadway Series.

We’ve known for just as long that “Hamilton” probably would be the area’s top entertainment event of the year.

Although many other big 2019 events — concerts, plays, sporting events and the like — have yet to be announced, the list of those already scheduled is impressive. Consider the listing below a preseason Top 10 ranking of Kansas City’s arts and entertainment events for 2019.

But back to “Hamilton.”

Thousands of local fans already have their tickets, having purchased 2018-19 season subscriptions to the series. Leslie Broecker, president of the Midwest region of Broadway Across America, said subscriptions sold out at more than 12,500.

The good news is that individual tickets will be available for “Hamilton.” They will go on sale in the spring.

“No date has been set,” Broecker said, “but we’ll announce it beforehand.”

How may tickets will hit the market?

Well, Broadway Across America has extended its usual run of eight shows to 24 for “Hamilton.” Moreover, season subscriptions are limited to accommodate the 1,800-seat capacity of Muriel Kauffman Theatre, where two of the shows in the season will be held. So hundreds of additional tickets should be available for every date in the 2,400-seat Music Hall.

“There will be plenty of tickets,” Broecker said.

The show will be performed by one of two companies touring the nation while “Hamilton” continues to play on Broadway.

“I wish Lin-Manuel could be on the road with the show,” Broecker said. “But frankly I’m glad he’s out creating another masterpiece and starring in ‘Mary Poppins Returns.’

“The touring company is just as wonderful as the cast on Broadway.”

Here, then, are Kansas City’s Top 10 arts and entertainment events for 2019 — curated with variety in mind — plus a few more big ones for your planning pleasure:

1. “Hamilton”

June 18-July 7 at Music Hall

The play that catapulted playwright/composer/lyricist/actor Lin-Manuel Miranda to superstardom premiered on Broadway in August 2015 at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, won 11 Tony Awards and is still going strong. With a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, R&B and Broadway, “Hamilton” updates the story of founding father Alexander Hamilton, the nation’s first Treasury secretary. It will come to the Music Hall for 24 performances as part of the Kansas City Broadway Series. 800-745-3000. Tickets will be available through broadwayinkc.com.

2. Elton John

8 p.m. Feb. 13 at Sprint Center

Elton John
Elton John brings his farewell tour to the Sprint Center in February. Andy Kropa Invision/AP

Sir Elton will stop at the Sprint Center as part of his three-year Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour, which the 71-year-old British pop star says is his final tour. He frankly doesn’t have much left to accomplish. John was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility in 1994 after going into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1992. Winner of an Academy Award, a Tony Award and five Grammy Awards, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1998. This will be John’s 12th concert in Kansas City, dating to 1972 at Municipal Auditorium, and his fourth appearance at the Sprint Center. 816-949-7100. Tickets are sold out.

3. U.S. Gymnastics Championships

Aug. 8-11 at Sprint Center

Simone Biles
Gold medalist Simone Biles is a highlight of the U.S. Gymnastics Championships. Vadim Ghirda AP

Taking place almost exactly one year before the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, the U.S. Gymnastics Championships will be a showcase and a proving ground for our nation’s top gymnasts. “The 2019 U.S. Championships is really the first step on the road to Tokyo and the 2020 Olympic Games for men’s and women’s gymnastics,” said David C. Rudd, vice chairman of the USA Gymnastics board of directors. One of the event’s big draws likely will be Simone Biles, who won her fifth all-around national title at the 2018 U.S. Championships. The 2016 Olympic all-around champion has said she will retire after the 2020 Olympics. 816-949-7100. Tickets are $160-$550 through sprintcenter.com.

4. Itzhak Perlman

7 p.m. May 11 at Helzberg Hall

Itzhak Perlman will perform at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Evan Vucci AP

When Itzhak Perlman appeared on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” last month, he was celebrating the 60th anniversary of his first public performance — in the same theater on “The Ed Sullivan Show” as a 13-year-old. He has gone on to become perhaps the preeminent violin virtuoso of the 20th century, as evidenced by his 15 Grammy Awards and the Grammys’ Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008. This Harriman-Jewell Series event will allow his engaging personality to shine through as, accompanied by pianist Rohan de Silva, he will talk to the audience throughout the evening. Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. 816-415-5025. Tickets are $36.50-$91.50 through hjseries.org.

5. Carrie Underwood

7 p.m. Sept. 19 at Sprint Center

Carrie Underwood
Carrie Underwood will bring her Cry Pretty Tour 360 to the Sprint Center. Mark Humphrey AP

After taking time off to have her second son, expected to join the world in January, Carrie Underwood will kick off her Cry Pretty Tour 360 in May. That will be more than seven months after the release of “Cry Pretty,” her sixth studio album since she became a national sensation by winning the fourth season of “American Idol” in 2005. She has won seven Grammy Awards, sold more than 64 million records worldwide and recorded 26 No. 1 singles, 13 of which she co-wrote. Maddie and Tae and Runaway June will complete the all-female bill. 816-949-7100. Tickets are $46-$86 through sprintcenter.com.

6. NCAA Midwest Regional

March 29 and 31 at Sprint Center

It’s a good bet Lagerald Vick (left), Devon Dotson and their KU Jayhawks teammates will be part of the NCAA Midwest Regional. Rick Scuteri AP

We won’t know which four men’s basketball teams will come to Kansas City until the week before the big event, but there is a distinct possibility that Kansas will be among them — especially if the Jayhawks can remain in the top four of the national rankings through the end of the season. It would be a virtual home-court advantage for the Jayhawks in their effort to return to the Final Four, which will take place in Minneapolis’ U.S. Bank Stadium. 816-949-7100. Tickets will be available through sprintcenter.com.

7. “30 Americans”

June 1-Aug. 25 at Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

Kehinde Wiley’s “Sleep” dwarfs visitors to “30 Americans” at Tacoma Art Museum. The touring exhibit comes to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art starting in June. Rosemary Ponnekanti Tacoma News Tribune

Showcasing works by many of the most important African-American artists of the last four decades, “30 Americans” has traveled the country for a decade, but the exhibition is tailored for each venue. The more than 80 paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, photographs and videos focus on issues of racial, sexual and historical identity in contemporary culture. The works come from the collection of the Miami-based Rubell family, which has collected art since the 1960s, with an emphasis on African-American artists. 816-751-1278. Tickets ($9-$16) will be available through nelson-atkins.org.

8. Kane Brown

7 p.m. Jan. 17 at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena

Kane Brown
Country singer Kane Brown comes to town in January. Drew Gurian Invision/AP

At 25, Kane Brown is one of the hottest acts in music — and not only country music. In just two years since releasing his self-titled first album, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard country chart, People and Rolling Stone have done stories on him. “Experiment,” his second full-length album, recently went to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 all-genre chart. Brown told Rolling Stone: “A lot of people that only like country music, they’re not fans of mine. My fans love everything.” 816-442-6100. silversteineyecentersarena.com. Tickets are $169 and up through resale markets.

9. “Live From Here”

4:45 p.m. Jan. 12 at Muriel Kauffman Theatre

Chris Thile
Chris Thile hosts “Live From Here,” formerly known as “A Prairie Home Companion.” Rich Copley rcopley@herald-leader.com

If you’ve ever wanted to be part of a live radio show, this will be your chance. “Live From Here,” starring mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile, will broadcast its weekly show from Helzberg Hall. Blending musical performances, comedy and audience interaction, the show formerly known as “A Prairie Home Companion” is heard by 2.6 million each week on nearly 600 public radio stations. Ry Cooder with The Hamiltones are scheduled to appear. Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. 816-994-7222. Tickets are $55.50-$95.50 through kauffmancenter.org.

10. “Waiting for the UFOs” by Polly Apfelbaum

Jan. 24-April 28 at Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

A previous Polly Apfelbaum installation at the the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art involved thousands of pieces. Another show is coming to the museum to help kick off its 25th anniversary year. FRED BLOCHER The Kansas City Star

New York contemporary artist Polly Apfelbaum has had more than 60 solo exhibitions during a four-decade career, including this past fall in Vienna and Birmingham, England. She is known for her colorful textiles, ceramics, works on paper and especially fabric installations, which she refers to as “fallen paintings.” “Waiting for the UFOs (a space set between a landscape and a bunch of flowers)” originated at the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham and has been specially designed for Kemper Museum, which will be kicking off its 25th anniversary year. 816-753-5784. kemperart.org. Free.

Five other events worth noting:

Kelly Clarkson

7 p.m. Feb. 7 at Sprint Center

The winner of the inaugural season of “American Idol” in 2002 will bring her Meaning of Life Tour with Kelsea Ballerini and Brynn Cartelli to Kansas City. 816-949-7100. Tickets are $29-$120 through sprintcenter.com.

Justin Timberlake

7:30 p.m. March 21 at Sprint Center

Justin Timberlake was supposed to perform at the Sprint Center on Dec. 10, but he postponed that concert and all the other December dates on his Man of the Woods Tour, citing bruised vocal cords. 816-949-7100. Tickets are $49.50-$228 through sprintcenter.com.

“Pride and Prejudice”

March 22-April 14 at Spencer Theatre

Kansas City Repertory Theatre will present the regional premiere of Kate Hamill’s 2017 adaptation of Jane Austen’s 1813 novel. 816-235-6222. Tickets are $31-$77 through kcrep.org.

Aziz Ansari

4 p.m. April 28 at Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland

The comedian is touring after #MeToo allegations put his Netflix series “Master of None” on pause. 816-283-9921. Tickets are $35-$65 through arvestbanktheatre.com.

Team USA Men’s Soccer Gold Cup

June 26 at Children’s Mercy Park

Two games, one featuring the U.S. Men’s National Team, will be played as part of the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup. Tickets will be available through ussoccer.com.

Plus 10 more concerts:

Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives, Jan. 26, Folly. follytheater.org

Kandace Springs, Feb. 15, Folly Theater. follytheater.org

Eric Church, March 1-2, Sprint Center. sprintcenter.com

Michael Bublé, March 20, Sprint Center. sprintcenter.com

Neko Case, May 10, Uptown. uptowntheater.com

Slayer with Lamb of God, Amon Amarth and Cannibal Corpse, May 17, Providence Amphitheater. providenceamp.com

Snarky Puppy, June 11, Muriel Kauffman Theatre. kauffmancenter.org

Shawn Mendes, July 19, Sprint Center. sprintcenter.com

Mark Knopfler, Aug. 28, Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland. arvestbanktheatre.com

Thomas Rhett with Dustin Lynch, Russell Dickerson and Rhett Akins, Sept. 12, Sprint Center. sprintcenter.com

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