Kansas City Young Audiences does invaluable work bringing the arts to young people through its Community School of the Arts, school and community programs and its Arts Partners programs for area schools. With a new home at 3732 Main St. and a staff of caring and motivated arts lovers, the organization is poised to continue its good work but is always in need of help from the community.
The Kansas City Symphony is showing its support by presenting a benefit concert for Kansas City Young Audiences Saturday at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Tony Award-winning singer and actor Brian Stokes Mitchell is headlining the concert of favorite Broadway songs and classics of the American Songbook.
To Broadway cognoscenti, Mitchell is kind of a big deal. Since making his first appearance on Broadway in 1988, Mitchell has been in a variety of plays and musicals, starring in many of them. He won the Tony for best actor for his performance in the revival of Cole Porter’s “Kiss Me Kate.”
Mitchell also has provided voice-overs for a multitude of cartoons. And he is familiar from many appearances on television shows such as “Frasier” and “Glee.”
Mitchell has a rich baritone, loves the standards of American popular music and knows how to entertain. His appearance with the Kansas City Symphony is an almost assured winner. He’ll be singing songs from “Camelot,” “Les Misérables” and “Man of La Mancha” and other musicals.
8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7. Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. $39-$119. 816-471-0400 or kcsymphony.org.
To learn more about Kansas City Young Audiences, visit kcya.org.
Kansas City Chamber Orchestra
Bruce Sorrell and the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra will open its season with a program for Mozart lovers.
Sorrell will conduct the Symphony No. 29 and Divertimento No. 11 in D, two of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s more celebratory works. Sandwiched between them is “A Siege of Herons” by Forrest Pierce, a work the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra commissioned two years ago. Margaret Marco is the oboe d’amore soloist.
7:30 p.m. Oct. 5. Medallion Theater, Plexpod Westport Commons, 300 E. 39th St. 816-960-1324 or kcchamberorchestra.org.
Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company
Back after its celebratory 25th anniversary season, the Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company will begin its new season with a program highlighting the company’s dancers. “One, Two, Three, Four Dance … Again!” will be presented Oct. 13 and 14 at White Recital Hall.
Throughout its history, Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance been known for its superb dancers trained by artistic director and co-founder Mary Pat Henry. A former professor of dance at the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Conservatory of Music and Dance, Henry has always emphasized high-level technical skills, as well as aesthetic sensitivity. “One, Two, Three, Four Dance … Again!” will give the company a chance to display both.
The program will feature three new works from some of the most creative and forward-thinking choreographers in the country. “An Artist” for five dancers by Jennifer Archibald, director for Arch Dance Company in New York City, should be a great curtain-raiser, with its airborne lifts and creative partnering. The other two company premieres are “She and I,” a duet for two women by Gavin Stewart, and “Tarantism” by Gary Abbott.
DeeAnna Hiett, the co-artistic director of Wylliams/Henry, is contributing “Eden,” which Hiett describes as “a sensual duet of attraction and love.” Concluding the program is Henry’s “Sweet Otis Suite.” Set to music by Otis Redding, it’s one of the most beloved works in the Wylliams/Henry repertoire.
7:30 p.m. Oct. 13 and 14. White Recital Hall, 4949 Cherry St. $15-$24. 816-235-6222 or wylliams-henry.org.
You can reach Patrick Neas at email@example.com and follow his Facebook page, KC Arts Beat, at facebook.com/kcartsbeat.