April is for arts in KC: from Kevin Hart to KC Ballet’s ‘Diamonds’ to ‘Vietgone’
Lovers of theater and the arts will have a lot of shows to choose from in April. Here are 10 highlights.
7:30 p.m. April 5-6, 2 and 6 p.m. April 7 at Folly
Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey will present “The Next Generation of Dance” featuring the dancers of Ailey II, whose repertory includes Alvin Ailey’s classics and new works by emerging choreographers. Under the artistic direction of Troy Powell, the company performs across the country and internationally but calls Kansas City its second home. 816-474-4444. Tickets are $25-$78 through kcfaa.org/ailey-ii or follytheater.org.
Kansas City Ballet Anniversary Dance Festival
April 6-8 and 13-15 at Muriel Kauffman Theatre
The Kansas City Ballet’s Anniversary Dance Festival will consist of six performances over two weekends, with the first weekend featuring George Balanchine’s “Diamonds” and a Kansas City premiere by Matthew Neenan. “Diamonds” is the third and final ballet of Balanchine’s “Jewels.” The highlight of the second weekend will be James Kudelka’s “The Man In Black,” with music by Johnny Cash. “Diamonds,” 7:30 p.m. April 6-7, 2 p.m. April 8; “The Man in Black,” 7:30 p.m. April 13-14, 2 p.m. April 15. Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. 816-931-8993. Tickets are $40.50-$130.50 through kcballet.org.
Kansas City FilmFest
Opens at 7 p.m. April 11 at Cinemark Plaza
From feature documentaries and narratives to short documentaries and narratives, more than 100 local, regional, national and international films will be on display and competing for cash prizes during the 22nd annual Kansas City Filmfest. Film fans can enjoy the screenings and can meet and learn from the filmmakers. Runs through April 15. Individual tickets ($10) and festival passes ($45-$80) are available at kcfilmfest.org.
Kansas City Symphony, “Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Bernstein”
8 p.m. April 13-14, 2 p.m. April 15 at Helzberg Hall
The symphony will continue the centennial celebration of Leonard Bernstein with his Chichester Psalms, including music initially intended for the Broadway stage. Also on the program will be Tchaikovsky’s Concert Fantasy and Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy for solo piano, chorus and orchestra. Joining the symphony will be the Kansas City Symphony Chorus, pianist Eldar Nebolsin and vocalist Joe Rogers. Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. 816-471-0400. Tickets are $35-$100 through kcsymphony.org.
Opens 7:30 p.m. April 18 at Unicorn Theatre
Playwright Qui Nguyen has described his “Vietgone” as a sex comedy about his parents. The fictional characters based on his parents meet in an Arkansas refugee center after fleeing Vietnam in 1975, then embark on a romance that includes a motorcycle road-trip adventure, as well as a ninja fight, a hippie stoner sex scene and hip-hop music. Runs through May 13. 816-531-7529. Tickets are $32-$42 through unicorntheatre.org.
“Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella”
7:30 p.m. April 21 at Yardley Hall
The creators of “The Sound of Music” and “South Pacific” created their only work for television in 1957 for CBS, a production that starred Julie Andrews. This adaptation made its Broadway debut in 2013 and brings a contemporary take on the classic tale. The Broadway touring company will perform songs including “In My Own Little Corner,” “Impossible/It’s Possible” and “Ten Minutes Ago.” Johnson County Community College. 913-469-4445. Tickets are $38-$55 through jccc.edu/theseries.
Opens 6:30 p.m. April 26 at New Theatre Restaurant
Featuring original music by Tony and Oscar winner Alan Menken, “Sister Act” is based on the 1992 movie starring Whoopi Goldberg as a lounge singer who witnesses a murder and enters protective custody in a convent. Needless to say, the lounge singer has a big impact on the nuns. The play was nominated for five Tony Awards in 2011, including Best Musical. Runs through July 8. 913-649-7469. Tickets are $34-$60 through newtheatre.com.
7 p.m. April 27 at Sprint Center
After the worldwide success of the movie “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” Kevin Hart has signed to star in “Jumanji 2,” “Ride Along 3” and two other movies, and he already has filmed “Night School,” which he also wrote. But he still makes time to tour the nation and the world with his standup comedy act. He will perform in the Sprint Center for the first time since August 2015, when he also put on and ran in his Run With Hart 5K. 816-949-7100. Tickets are $32.50-$128 through sprintcenter.com.
Lyric Opera, “The Barber of Seville”
Opens 7:30 p.m. April 28 at Muriel Kauffman Theatre
More than 200 years after its 1816 premiere in Rome, Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville” remains perhaps the world’s most popular comic opera. The Lyric Opera’s production will tweak the original story, drawing inspiration from the magical realism of filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar. It will be sung in Italian with English subtitles. Also, 7:30 p.m. May 2 and 4, 2 p.m. May 6. Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. 816-471-7344. Tickets are $35.50-$190.50 through kcopera.org.
Maks, Val & Peta Live on Tour: “Confidential”
7:30 p.m. April 29 at Arvest Bank Theatre at The Midland
Fans of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” know them by their first names, but for the uninitiated our local stage will be graced by brothers Maksim and Valentin Chmerkovskiy and fellow professional dancer Peta Murgatroyd. Promotional material for the tour says “‘Confidential’ will be their most honest show yet, revealing secrets, hopes and dreams.” 816-283-9921. Tickets are $39.50-$89.50 through midlandkc.com.