Spring Opera Tops the Eight Must-See Events

Theatre, art and more!

We are Kansas City’s university, and our hometown’s energy influences everything that happens here. We welcome our community to campus for an array of events, and we’re also happy to recommend opportunities on behalf of our alumni and friends. These activities are part of what give UMKC a vibrant campus life, and make UMKC an arts and culture powerhouse.


1. Spring Opera

UMKC Opera, by the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance, presents an intimate and captivating evening of French opera with a double-bill featuring Francis Poulenc’s brooding La voix humaine (The Human Voice) and Maurice Ravel’s lyric fantasy L’enfant et les sortilèges (The Child and the Spells). Each opera portrays a very singular voice facing trying times; one of a lover’s regret and the other a child’s rage. Fenlon Lamb directs and Robert Bode conducts this production of deep emotion and flights of fancy in a continuing exploration of the paper medium with set designer Jeff Ridenour, costume designer Maureen Thomas and projections designer Kris Kirkwood. (Photo by Cory Weaver)


UMKC Opera performances are at 7:30 p.m. March 22 – 24, and 2:30 p.m. on March 25, at White Recital Hall, James C. Olson Performing Arts Center, 4949 Cherry St., Kansas City, Mo. Tickets are $12 for the general public; and free for UMKC faculty, staff and all students with UMKC or student ID. Tickets can be purchased online.


2. UMKC Gallery of Art: ‘We All Come From Something’

In “We All Come From Something,” the artist reconstructs historical narratives and family stories to show that American culture is complicated and filled with expressions of commonality and contradiction. Judith G. Levy’s work is animated by images, text and ideological references to explore how perceptions, definitions and concepts are shaped.


The free exhibit runs through April 6 at the UMKC Gallery of Art, Room 203 of the Fine Arts Building, 5015 Holmes St. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. through 5 p.m.


3. ‘Tuck Everlasting’

Over a century ago, the Tucks – Ma, Pa and their sons Miles and Jesse – drank from a forest spring. Ever since, no one in the family has aged a bit. Now they have to live separately only to reunite once every 10 years because of rising suspicions when they never age. Now, young Winnie Foster is out exploring the woods, and she has accidentally discovered the Tuck family secret… which brings her to the question: Is living outside the rules of time a blessing or a curse?

Good to know:

Two UMKC graduate theatre students founded The Coterie.


The play runs now through April 5. Tickets can be purchased from The Coterie Box Office by calling 816-474-6552 or from the website. The Coterie is located at Crown Center, 2450 Grand Ave., Suite 144, Kansas City, Mo.


4. KC Rep: ‘Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street’

This musical thriller tells the story of an obsessively vengeful barber and his twisted partnership with the outrageous Mrs. Lovett who together, devise a devilish plot to add a special ingredient to a recipe that has all of London dying for their pies. Sondheim’s gloriously gruesome and fiercely funny musical combines melodrama and murder and features one of the most chilling, thrilling scores ever written for the stage.


Performances run March 23 through April 15 at Spencer Theatre, James C. Olson Performing Arts Center, 4949 Cherry St., Kansas City, Mo. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Box Office at 816-235- 2700 or online.


5. KC Rep: ‘Sex with Strangers’

Desire, intellect and secret agendas collide in this smart, tantalizing take on modern love and the double-edged quest for artistic validation in the digital age. Olivia, an obscure novelist on the cusp of 40, is trapped in a secluded B & B with Ethan, a wildly successful blogger 10 years her junior. Opposites attract, passions ignite and personalities clash as a winter storm rages outside.


Performances run now through March 25 at the Copaken Stage, 1 H&R Block Way, Kansas City, Mo. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Box Office at 816-235- 2700 or online.


6. A Look Inside Our Antique Bookplate Collection

As one of the more seemingly ephemeral works of graphic arts, bookplates nevertheless can wield a powerful visual presence in a small amount of space. Bookplates are printed labels that indicate ownership of a book, and are usually affixed to the inside cover of a volume. While the bookplates in this exhibit offer a cross-section of the collection, there are nearly 600 unique bookplates available for viewing in the LaBudde Special Collections.


This free exhibit is on display now and will run through the spring semester. It is on the Fourth Floor, Dean’s Gallery, Miller Nichols Library, 800 E. 51st St.


7.  ‘Informed Consent’

A brilliant and ambitious genetic anthropologist, Jillian is driven to find a cure for early-onset Alzheimer’s disease to save herself and possibly her young daughter from the disease. When the opportunity arises to research the genes of an isolated Native American tribe who could hold the key, Jillian pushes ethical boundaries in the name of scientific progress. Inspired by the real-life conflict between the Havasupai Tribe and an Arizona university, Informed Consent takes a fresh look at the age-old debate of science versus culture & faith, and whether our DNA should write our life stories.

Good to know:

Three UMKC Theatre graduates started Unicorn Theatre.


This show runs through April 1 at the Unicorn Theatre,  3828 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. Tickets can be purchased online.


8. Cindy Williams starring in ‘Barefoot in the Park’

Newlywed Corie wants everything about the new apartment to be perfect for her new husband Paul. But it has no furniture or heat, the skylight lets in the snow, the paint job’s all wrong and the bedroom is too small for a bed. Just when things couldn’t get any worse, Corie’s mom and potential boyfriend show up. One of Neil Simon’s best comedies, “Barefoot” received an Oscar nomination and four Tony nominations including Best Play.

Good to know:

Co-owners Dennis Hennessy and Richard Carrothers are both UMKC graduates; the UMKC College of Arts and Sciences presented both honorary doctorates in 2012.


The production runs now through April 22 at New Theatre Restaurant, 9229 Foster
Overland Park, Kan. Tickets can be purchased online.


Check the following for other upcoming events:

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