Dinner & a Show
Enjoy dinner and a live show at one of Kansas City’s premier theaters.
The Coterie is Kansas City’s professional children’s theater, located on the first floor of Crown Center. From April 4 to May 21, watch Elephant and Piggie’s “We Are in a Play.” When “bestus” friends Elephant and Piggie get together, anything is possible! They might get invited to a fancy costume party, learn a crazy new dance or decide to spend the day playing ping-pong in silly hats. From June 13 to Aug. 6, Garfield takes the stage. In this brand new musical adaptation of everyone’s favorite sarcastic tubby tabby, Garfield awakens to find his birthday–the most important day of the year–has fallen on a Monday. The horror! To make matters worse, all his friends–Jon, Odie and Arlene—and even his nemesis, Nermal, have completely forgotten it’s his big day. Crown Center is home to many fantastic restaurants, but all-time faves for the kids will always be Fritz’s Railroad Restaurant, where trains deliver food to your table, d’Bronx, the New York-style delicatessen and pizzeria, and Three Little Pigs Barbeque. This year, Crown Center welcomed the additions of Unforked, a fast casual restaurant serving burgers, tacos and quesadillas made with locally grown ingredients, and Spin! Pizza, a favorite pizza chain.
The Kansas City Repertory Theatre performs on two stages, one on the UMKC campus near the Country Club Plaza, and the other in the Kansas City Power & Light District. Both shopping districts are home to dozens of excellent restaurants appealing to any palate. The KC Rep proudly presents the world premiere of What Would Crazy Horse Do? April 28-May 28, a new play by preeminent Native American writer Larissa FastHorse. Twin siblings, the last members of their tribe, have just lost their grandfather when the KKK comes knocking with hopes of forming an alliance to ensure the continuation of their race. Man in Love, April 29-May 28, is a mystery telling of a string of murders, but no one suspects the killer is the quiet, charming librarian, Paul Pare, Jr. Reactions vary across the city, and as we watch the word spread from person to person, we wonder whether the killer’s violence will extend to those closest to him.
Enjoy the Kansas City Ballet’s performances at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Director’s Choice, May 12-21, is a showcase of Kansas City premieres for both new and venerable choreographic masters. Jerome Robbins’ exuberant, jazz-infused Interplay, Val Caniparoli’s suspenseful The Lottery, based on Shirley Jackson’s short story about a small town’s shocking annual ritual, and George Balanchine’s epitome of classical ballet, Theme and Variations, all combine to make for a memorable evening in the theater. The center now offers a dining option in the Founders’ Lounge, featuring a three-course menu with robust selections boasting a variety of fresh, local flavors. Reservations are encouraged for this popular option. Show fans also enjoy nearby restaurants. Los Tules, one of the most authentic and delicious Mexican restaurants in town, is across the street. And for upscale dining, you can enjoy brunch or dinner next door at the elegant Webster House.
Starlight Theatre is Kansas City’s premier outdoor theater. You can dine at the theater before the show or purchase concessions. Summer 2017 brings Disney’s The Little Mermaid (June 3-11), Mamma Mia! (June 23-25), Jersey Boys (June 27-July 2), An American in Paris (July 11-16), Something Rotten! (July 25-30), The Bodyguard The Musical (Aug. 8-13), Kinky Boots (Aug. 18-20), Motown: The Musical (Aug. 22-27) and Grease (Sept. 8-14).
Little ones will delight in Theatre for Young America’s live plays at Union Station. The upcoming season includes The Velveteen Rabbit, through May 14. This play is a faithful adaptation of the beloved book by Margery Williams. The Realistic Joneses, May 24-June 14, is winner of two Drama Desk Special Awards and is arguably the best work yet from one of America’s wisest, most clever new playwrights of the past decade. The Hare and the Tortoise, June 20-July 8, based on Aesop’s famous fable, is a high-stepping ragtime musical comedy that brings together a sensitive skunk, a spaced-out butterfly, a musical raccoon, an oratorical tortoise and a smarty pants hare for a forest Fourth of July, complete with fireworks, patriotic songs, a magic love potion and a frantic farcical race. Stop in at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory for a treat before or after the show, or cross the tunnel to the Freighthouse district for lunch at Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue!