Mecum Kansas City Auction
Not all holiday reveries include “visions of sugar-plums.” Some people fantasize about horsepower, carburetors and transmissions. For dedicated gear-heads and anyone who appreciates fine craftsmanship, the vehicles at Mecum Auctions represent items on extremely pricey wish lists. Dozens of rare, vintage and collectible automobiles will be sold this week at the Kansas City Convention Center. A 1968 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 and a 1966 Mercury Cyclone 390 GT Convertible are among the notable vehicles slated to be sold. People unable to admire the vehicles in person can monitor the proceedings on the NBCSN television network.
Thursday, Dec. 4, Friday, Dec. 5, and Saturday, Dec. 6. Doors open at 8 a.m. Kansas City Convention Center. 262-275-5050. mecum.com. $20 per day. Children 12 and younger are free.
“The Nativity,” Paul Mesner Puppets
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“Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise.” The famous passage from Matthew citing the intrinsic wisdom of children might also apply to the unexpectedly profound seasonal production of Paul Mesner Puppets. Far from simplistic, childish and cloying, the ensemble’s “The Nativity” is known to stir the hearts and imaginations of jaded adults even as it delights children. Lavishly designed puppets and excellent direction make the reverent but highly entertaining show an annual holiday ritual for theater-goers of all ages.
10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5, 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6, 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7. Grace & Holy Trinity Cathedral. 816-756-3500. paulmesnerpuppets.org. $16 for adults and $11 for children.
Eddie Ifft resembles the younger brother of Dane Cook. Both men are cynical and frequently profane observational comics. Ifft muses about passing gas and alcohol abuse, and riffs on contemporary concerns such as health care insurance and society’s dependency on technology. The California-based comedian also frequently targets “middle America,” a line of inquiry that may not go over particularly well in the area’s suburbs. Safer topics may include references to Ifft’s television appearances, his successes as a podcaster and his improbable popularity in Australia.
8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 3, 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 4, 7:45 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5, and 7:45 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6. Stanford’s Comedy Club. 913-400-7500. stanfordscomedyclub.com. $10-$35. Dinner packages are also available.
Art Institute’s end-of-semester student exhibition and sale
One of the most exciting annual treasure hunts in Kansas City isn’t accompanied by a confusing map or ambiguous clues. Instead, the map available at the Kansas City Art Institute’s end-of-semester exhibition and sale will direct visitors to the studios of artists enrolled at the institution. In addition to providing artists with money for the holidays, the event will allow savvy visitors with sharp eyes to acquire works that may prove to be lucrative investments. Others will merely find illustrations, paintings, photographs and sculptures that they can appreciate for years.
5 p.m.-7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6, and noon-5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7. Kansas City Art Institute. 816-802-3423. kcai.edu. Free.
Heartland Men’s Chorus, Holiday Concert
An ideal blend of seriously rigorous singing and mirthful exuberance has made the stylistic balance struck by the Heartland Men’s Chorus one of the most beloved artistic institutions in Kansas City. Holiday concerts are the ensemble’s most popular annual events. The new version of the show features “arrangements of holiday favorites by five local composers,” including a fresh adaption of Handel’s “Messiah.” The chorus is known to unveil special surprises at the holiday shows, so audiences can expect to receive a large dollop of playful comedy to accompany the seasonal cheer.
8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5, 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6, and 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7. Folly Theater. 816-931-3338. hmckc.org. $15-$40.
Chris Botti’s rendition of the national anthem at a “Monday Night Football” game in November became a sensation when the trumpeter’s sensitive playing brought Reggie Wayne of the Indianapolis Colts to tears. Botti’s disarming ability to tug at the heartstrings of a professional athlete didn’t come as a surprise to his fans. Since the release of his first solo album in 1995, the pop instrumentalist has been building a loyal audience of people who admire his emotive playing. The Grammy winner’s deft touch has led to collaborations with the likes of Barbra Streisand, Rod Stewart and Andrea Bocelli.
7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5. Yardley Hall at Johnson County Community College. 913-469-4445. jccc.edu/theseries. $50-$120.
NCAA Division III Men’s and Women’s Soccer Championships
The people who regularly bemoan the transformation of big-time college athletics into semiprofessional endeavors often forget to appreciate the unsullied efforts of thousands of athletes representing smaller institutions. True student-athletes will participate in the NCAA Division III Men’s and Women’s Soccer Championships at Swope Soccer Village this weekend. State University of New York at Oneonta, Wheaton College, Tufts University and Ohio Wesleyan University are in the men’s Final Four, while the women’s division includes Lynchburg College, Illinois Wesleyan University, Johns Hopkins University and Williams College.
Friday, Dec. 5, and Saturday, Dec. 6. Swope Soccer Village. 816-398-4193. ncaa.com. All session passes are $15 for adults and $10 for students. Single-day passes are $10 for adults and $7 for students. Discounts for youth teams are available.
Julian Sands in “A Celebration of Harold Pinter”
A rare opportunity to witness a celebrated actor interpret the works of one of the great playwrights of the 20th century in an intimate setting, “A Celebration of Harold Pinter” is one of the area’s most significant theatrical events of 2014. British actor Julian Sands has appeared in such films as “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” and television programs such as “Dexter.” Pinter is best known for the 1957 play “The Birthday Party.” Directed by John Malkovich, Sands’ one-man show has earned plaudits around the globe since its 2011 premiere in Edinburgh, Scotland.
8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5. Polsky Theatre at Johnson County Community College. 913-469-4445. jccc.edu/theseries. $35.
Missouri Comets vs. Chicago
Just because Sporting KC’s 2014 season ended unceremoniously a year after the franchise won the Major League Soccer championship doesn’t mean that locally based fans of the sport must resign themselves to waiting until next year for a resumption of winning soccer. The Missouri Comets, the area’s indoor soccer team, won the Major Indoor Soccer League championship last year. The league’s fast-paced style is an exciting alternative to the MLS. The cumulative score of the Comets’ game against the Chicago Mustangs on Friday is likely to exceed 10.
7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5. Independence Events Center. 855.452.4625. cometsindoorsoccer.com. $15-$45.
Kansas City Symphony, Handel’s “Messiah”
For many listeners, “Messiah” offers a reliable approximation of the celestial sound of the heavens. In spite of its Christian theme, George Frideric Handel’s 1741 composition is beloved by people representing many faith communities. The grandiosity of “Messiah” will be enhanced by the longstanding partnership between the Independence Messiah Choir and the Kansas City Symphony. Aram Demirjian will conduct the symphony, while Charles Bruffy will direct the choir. Soloists include soprano Yulia van Doren, tenor David Portillo and bass Liam Moran.
8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5, 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7. Helzberg Hall. 816-471-0400. kcsymphony.org. $24-$52.
“Backwards and in High Heels”
Ginger Rogers, the actress and dancer who mirrored every step made by partners including Fred Astaire while moving backwards and in high heels, was born in Independence in 1911. It’s probably no coincidence, consequently, that Rogers recounts winning a beauty contest in which the prize was a “trip to Kansas City” in the 1935 film “Roberta.” Similar scenes will be re-enacted by Amber DiGiovanni as Rogers and Ed Downes as Astaire in a dinner theater presentation at Tiffany Ballroom. The production promises to be a “fun and high- energy stroll down memory lane.”
7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5, 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6, 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 19, 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 20. The Tiffany Ballroom, 903 Harrison St. 816-294-8069. www.brownpapertickets.com/event/930701. $45.
Fairy Princess at the Kansas City Museum
Children will divulge their holiday wishes to a genuine fairy princess at the Kansas City Museum this month. The magical experience also includes a photo, entertainment from a storyteller, a craft session and a “sweet treat.” The annual tradition commences at 5 p.m. Thursday (Dec. 4) with a performance by the Lyric Opera, a costume contest and a lighting ceremony during a free neighborhood open house. A free concert featuring music by guitarist Beau Bledsoe and violinist Elizabeth Suh Lane of Bach Aria Soloists begins at 7 p.m. on Wednesday (Dec. 10.).
10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6, 13 and 20. noon-4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7, 14 and 21. Kansas City Museum. 816-513-0720. kansascitymuseum.org. $10 per person. Registration is required for the Holiday House Concert on Wednesday, Dec. 10.
Missouri Mavericks vs. Tulsa
Richard Matvichuk, the new head coach of the Missouri Mavericks, knows a thing or two about successful hockey. The native Canadian won the Stanley Cup as a member of the Dallas Stars in 1999. He’ll oversee the Mavericks’ attempt to claim a second consecutive regular season championship. The club is off to a rocky start, but Matvichuk has several months to steer the Mavericks toward another winning season. A “teddy bear toss” is among Saturday’s promotions in a match against the Tulsa Oilers, the Maverick’s rivals in the Central Division of the Western Conference of the newly expanded ECHL.
7:05 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6. Independence Events Center. 800-745-3000. missourimavericks.com. $16-$38.
Kansas City Ballet, “The Nutcracker”
The insistent melodies of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” are as representative of the holiday season as any Christmas carol. The majestic intonation of “March,” the dreamlike “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” and the frenzied “Russian Dance” are three of the most evocative themes of the classic work. Tchaikovsky’s brilliant compositions and the lively choreography make attending a production of “The Nutcracker” more than a childhood rite of passage. For many members of the audiences at Muriel Kauffman Theatre in December, appreciating “The Nutcracker” is a thoroughly rewarding annual tradition.
Saturday, Dec. 6-Wednesday, Dec. 24. Muriel Kauffman Theatre. 816-931-2232. kcballet.org. $49-$119.
Westport Santa Dash
Partly because the race begins and ends in front of Kelly’s Westport Tavern, the most pressing question that some potential participants have about the Westport Santa Dash isn’t whether they should participate. Instead, runners with a strong affection for the historic barroom must determine where they’ll find a Santa suit. They needn’t worry. Each participant receives a costume. The race benefits Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Kansas City and Operation Breakthrough. Participants are encouraged to donate clothing and toys on the day of the race.
10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 6. Westport and Pennsylvania. santadashrun.com. $25 in advance.