Entertainment

This weekend in Kansas City: Hannibal Buress, the Kansas City Symphony’s Christmas Festival and John McCutcheon at the World War I Museum

Hannibal Buress will perform Thursday, Dec. 18, at the Folly.
Hannibal Buress will perform Thursday, Dec. 18, at the Folly. Star-Telegram

April Macie

Listeners of “The Howard Stern Show” selected April Macie as America’s “funniest and hottest” comedian in 2008. The dubious distinction was based on more than Macie’s striking appearance. The redhead’s routines often include monologues about male genitalia. Yet Macie isn’t limited to graphic discussions of sexuality. As she competed in the 2006 season of “Last Comic Standing,” Macie told funny jokes about the aging process and her struggles with weight. She also shares odd stories about the quirks of her parents. Her father, Macie insists, ingests penicillin designed for fish when he’s ill because it’s less expensive.

8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 17, and Thursday, Dec. 18; 7:45 and 9:45 p.m. Friday, Dec. 19, and Saturday, Dec. 20. Stanford’s Comedy Club, 7328 W. 119th St., Overland Park. 913-400-7500. stanfordscomedyclub.com. $10-$35.

Hannibal Buress

Hannibal Buress may need to retire his running gag about being an unknown comedian. His profile received an inadvertent boost this year when a video of his seemingly offhanded remarks regarding the distressing allegations against Bill Cosby went viral. Even prior to this development, Buress performed in large venues and appeared regularly on talk shows. The humorist also worked as a writer for television programs including “Saturday Night Live” and “30 Rock” and collaborated with Chance the Rapper on an amusing $5,000 music video for the song “NaNa.”

8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 18. Folly Theater, 300 W. 12th St. 816-474-4444. follytheater.org. $29.

Kansas State basketball vs. Texas A&M

In what promises to be a competitive game, the Kansas State Wildcats square off against the Texas A&M Aggies at the Sprint Center on Saturday. Both teams possess tantalizing promise that has yet to be fully realized in the nonconference portion of their seasons. The winning team will claim a signature victory that could become an important factor in determining March’s tournament seeds. Many Wildcat fans in the Kansas City area are likely to consider the Sprint Center appearance of deft guard Marcus Foster, industrious forward Nino Williams and sturdy big man Thomas Gipson as an early holiday gift.

6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 20. Sprint Center. 816-949-7000. sprintcenter.com. $10-$200.

NCAA Division II football championship game

Obsessive college football fans in the Kansas City area have a meaningful decision to make on Saturday afternoon. They can catch secondary Division I contests, including the Gildan New Mexico Bowl, the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl and the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, on television, or they can opt to attend the NCAA Division II championship game in Kansas City, Kan. After being held in Alabama for more than 25 years, the championship game between Minnesota State-Mankato and Colorado State-Pueblo will take place in the home of professional soccer franchise Sporting KC.

3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 20. Sporting Park. 1-888-452-4625. ncaa.com. $20-$70.

UMKC men’s basketball vs. Incarnate Word on Dec. 20 and vs. Tennessee Tech on Dec. 22

No matter what transpires over the remainder of the UMKC men’s basketball season, the current team will long be remembered for its shocking victory on Nov. 14. The Kangaroos defeated the Missouri Tigers by eight points in Columbia. The win was the program’s first against a major conference team since 2003. Led by 15 made free throws by Martez Harrison and five baskets from Shayok Shayok, UMKC spoiled the first regular-season game for new Missouri coach Kim Anderson. The ’Roos hope to return to winning form against Incarnate Word on Saturday, but their opponent also has a big-time upset on its resume after the team defeated the Nebraska Cornhuskers this month. UMKC will return to the court Monday against Tennessee Tech.

6:05 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 20, vs. Incarnate Word, and 7:05 p.m. Monday, Dec. 22, vs. Tennessee Tech. Municipal Auditorium. 816-235-2849. umkckangaroos.com. $10-$25.

Kansas City Symphony, Christmas Festival

Associate conductor Aram Dermijian and the Kansas City Symphony intend to throw everything but the proverbial kitchen sink into the 2014 version of the annual Christmas Festival. Billed as “Kansas City’s most extravagant musical holiday celebration,” the concerts will feature contributions from more than 200 musicians. Vocalist Whitney Claire Kaufman will lead the audience in a rendition of “Let It Go” from the hit film “Frozen.” The Kansas City Symphony Chorus, the Rezound! handbell ensemble, the Allegro Choirs of Kansas City and a jolly man in a red suit are also part of the large-scale celebration.

7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 18; 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 19; 1 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 20; and 2:30 and 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 21. Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. 816-471-0400. kcsymphony.org. $15-$70.

John McCutcheon: Christmas in the Trenches Centenary Concert

The opening lines of John McCutcheon’s “Christmas in the Trenches” are familiar to dedicated fans of folk music: “My name is Francis Tolliver/I come from Liverpool/Two years ago the war was waiting for me after school.” The composition by the accomplished singer/songwriter recounts a truce between British and German soldiers in December 1914. McCutcheon will reprise his heartwarming ode in a concert at the National World War I Museum on Friday. The 100th anniversary of the unlikely peaceful moments of goodwill during the brutal conflict will be celebrated with additional songs and stories at the event.

7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 19. J.C. Nichols Auditorium at the National World War I Museum, 100 W. 26th St. 816-888-8100. theworldwar.org. $22 in advance, $25 at the door.

Karrin Allyson Quintet

“Yuletide Hideaway,” Karrin Allyson’s first collection of holiday songs, deserves to become a perennial favorite of listeners partial to jazz-based seasonal music. Allyson’s artful renditions of “Let It Snow” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” on the exquisite 2013 release capture the essence of the familiar classics. The more obscure selections are no less artful. After she became one of Kansas City’s most popular jazz artists in the 1990s, Allyson’s engaging vocals, elegant piano work and adventurous repertoire propelled her to global stardom. Her homecoming concerts are always a treat.

8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 19. Folly Theater, 300 W. 12th St. 816-474-4444. follytheater.org. $18-50.

The King’s Singers Holiday Concert

Known for an eclectic repertoire that puts the Beatles’ “Blackbird,” Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart’s “My Funny Valentine” and the works of Johann Sebastian Bach on equal footing, the a cappella King’s Singers has been showcasing strong voices with showy aplomb since 1968. The British sextet is also renowned for its tasteful renditions of seasonal songs. The King’s Singers have released several albums and videos of concerts dedicated to music associated with the holidays. The most recent of these themed albums, 2013’s “Let It Snow,” ranges from a playful interpretation of “Jingle Bells” to the Winter concerto of Antonio Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons.”

8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 20. Folly Theater, 300 W. 12th St.. 816-415-5025. hjseries.org. $30-$80.

Skate With Santa

Ice skating can be difficult, especially for novices. Sustaining bruises from falls, enduring aching ankles, shivering from the cold and succumbing to jealousy while watching more proficient skaters can make even the most well-mannered children irritable. Young skaters will know better than to pout and cry at Line Creek Community Center on Saturday. A skating Santa will be monitoring the behavior of everyone present. Misdeeds and kind gestures will almost certainly be recorded on Santa’s list.

2-4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 20. Line Creek Community Center, 5940 N.W. Waukomis Drive. 816-513-7500. kcparks.org. “Free admission and skate rental with every can of food donated,” or $6 admission and $2 skate rental.

“Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins”

Paul Mesner is an interfaith puppeteer. In addition to staging “The Nativity” at Grace & Holy Trinity Cathedral this month, he’s responsible for a production of “Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins” at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City. The children’s book recounts the legend of a clever man who comes to the aid of a village beleaguered by goblins intent on spoiling the celebration of Hanukkah. The 45-minute show demonstrates how Hershel outwits the mean-spirited goblins, a fanciful tale that promises to be splendidly rendered by Mesner’s imaginative company.

6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 20, and 2 and 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 21. Lewis and Shirley White Theatre, 5801 W. 115th St., Overland Park. 913-327-8054. jcckc.org. $15 for adults and $9 for students. A ticket is required for every audience member over the age of 2.

The Kinsey Sicks: “Oy Vey in a Manger”

One of the season’s least conventional holiday shows, the Kinsey Sicks’ “Oy Vey in a Manger” will provide a hysterically glib alternative to typical December fare. “Dragapella Chorus,” an absurd parody of George Frideric Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus, serves as the musical comedy troupe’s statement of purpose. The “four drag fellas” sing that “we’re chicks with shticks,” akin to “Sonny and Cher Without Sonny.” The San Francisco quartet is also likely to perform “God Bless Ye Femmy Lesbians,” an amusing recasting of “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen.”

7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 21. Folly Theater, 300 W. 12th St. 816-474-4444. follytheater.org. $25-$35.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Unsuspecting first-time observers of either of the two Trans-Siberian Orchestra concerts at the Sprint Center on Tuesday may be hard-pressed to define what they’re witnessing. Is it the spectacle of live theater, a rock concert, a dazzling light show or a holiday celebration? The answer, of course, is that the production combines elements of all those categories. The first half of the performance by the enormously popular touring show will be dedicated to re-creating Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s 1998 album “The Christmas Attic.” Renditions of crowd-pleasing favorites like “Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24” will follow an intermission.

4 and 8:15 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 23. Sprint Center. 816-949-7000. sprintcenter.com. $38-$72.50.

Bill Brownlee, Special to The Star

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