Kansas City has long been a regional arts and culture capital, a city filled with the sounds of symphony, the sights of graceful ballet dancers, and the lyrically haunting voices of opera singers. In 2011, the opening of the state-of-the-art Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts will boost the city’s reputation as a regional performing arts leader in a 285,000-square-foot space said to rival the world-renowned Walt Disney Concert Hall in L.A.
A 1,800-seat proscenium theater and 1,600-seat concert hall are separated by a surrounding acoustic joint that allows for simultaneous performances with no sound interruption. The Lyric Opera and Kansas City Symphony will relocate to the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts upon its 2011 completion. The Kansas City Ballet will also perform at the Kauffman Center, and, in 2011, they will move to their new permanent home, the Bolender Center for Dance and Creativity.
Plays, dance, and performance art also thrive on Kansas City’s smaller stages. From the University of Missouri–Kansas City’s Repertory Theatre to Union Station’s H&R Block City Stage and the Quality Hill Playhouse, Kansas City offers any number of opportunities to catch a live performance or musical review while you’re in town.
You’ll even find impromptu street performances during events like First Fridays, or one-person plays acted out on stages that double as empty storefronts. And for a city-wide celebration of performing arts and master playwright William Shakespeare, don’t miss the annual Heart of America Shakespeare Festival in July.
© Katy Ryan from Moon Kansas City, 1st Edition