Champions Of Magic Coming to the Kauffman Center this April

Five world-class illusionists bring magic show to Muriel Kauffman Theatre on Friday, April 3

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The illusionists who make up Champions of Magic will share their mind-bending theatrical production with a Kauffman Center audience during their second North American tour, which launched this fall. Magicians Alex McAleer, Kayla Drescher, Fernando Velasco, and the group Young & Strange will amaze the audience with incredible mind reading, stunning close-up magic, and daring large-scale illusions. Following sold-out shows around the world, rave reviews from audiences of all ages, and a run in London’s West End, this incredible performance will leave the entire family astounded.

The group has more than 30 million online views, in addition to a live, worldwide audience reaching the hundreds of thousands. Aside from touring, they have made on-screen appearances on The CW’s Penn & Teller: Fool Us, NBC’s Caught on Camera with Nick Cannon, The Today Show, and Access Hollywood Live. Each team member specializes in a different type of magic: illusionists Young & Strange, close-up magician Kayla Drescher, escapologist Fernando Velasco, and mind reader Alex McAleer.

Champions Of Magic shares incredible interactive magic, an impossible escape from Houdini’s water torture cell, a mind blowing prediction that must be seen to be believed, levitation high above the stage, and a finale beyond explanation. From unbelievable mind reading and stunning close-up tricks, to massive stage-filling illusions, these magicians were born to amaze.

“Spectacular family show… take a seat and prepare to be astounded, astonished and amazed.” – iHeart Radio

“You have to check them out! That was tremendous!” – Access Hollywood Live


Cameron Carpenter Performing Live Organ Accompaniment for Buster Keaton’s The General March 4

World-class organist to perform in Helzberg Hall this March

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With his unique performance style, Cameron Carpenter is smashing the stereotypes of organists and organ music worldwide. His repertoire is considered the most diverse of any organist, ranging from film scores to complete works of J.S. Bach, to hundreds of original arrangements.

Carpenter will bring his remarkable range of musical mastery to the Kauffman Center on March 4, performing on the Julia Irene Kauffman Casavant Organ, Opus 3875. This custom-built instrument was commissioned to showcase incredible sound, elegant beauty, and perfect harmony, complementing the acoustic and visual design of Helzberg Hall.

Carpenter’s distinctive talent will emanate in this live accompaniment of Buster Keaton’s famous silent comedy The General. The historical film was inspired by the 1862 Great Locomotive Chase of the American Civil War. Carpenter will lend his unmatched skill to one of the greatest silent films of all time for an unforgettable musical and cinematic experience.

A former child prodigy, Carpenter trained at the American Boychoir School, the North Carolina School of the Arts. His youthful talent propelled him to earn both a bachelor’s and master’s degree from The Juilliard School in New York City. Carpenter is now the first solo organist ever nominated for a GRAMMY Award for his debut album Revolutionary. He has appeared with many of the great orchestras around the world and holds the 2012 Leonard Bernstein Award. In 2014, Carpenter launched his International Touring Organ—a monumental cross-genre digital organ built by Marshall & Ogletree to his own design. Carpenter also released his latest album, Rachmaninoff & Poulenc, in April 2019 on Sony Classical. The album features a live recording with the Berlin Konzerthaus Orchestra.

Along with his musical endeavors, Carpenter also lends his creative eye to the design of his own onstage wardrobe. Applying thousands of sequins to his presentation attire, Carpenter’s performances are a treat for the eyes and ears. Additionally, his diverse talents have allowed him to speak and debate at think tanks and conferences including TED, IdeaCity, The Entertainment Gathering, and many more.

Tickets for the event range from $29 to $59, plus applicable fees.


Two Exciting Performances Added to the 2019-2020 Kauffman Center Presents Series

Daniel Tiger and Friends to take the Kauffman Center stage in March

Daniel Tiger is back! He and all his friends from the Emmy Award-winning PBS KIDS television series are taking the stage again for Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Live: Neighborhood Day. This live theatrical production follows the highly successful Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Live: King for a Day tour that visited 50 communities in 2019. Neighborhood Day brings interactive fun, music, dancing, and laughter to the Muriel Kauffman Theatre stage on Tuesday, March 24, 2020.

Building on the pioneering PBS series, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood follows the adventures of four-year-old Daniel Tiger. The top-rated television series airs daily on PBS KIDS. Throughout each episode, Daniel interacts with his viewers, making each child feel like one of his neighbors. Episodes aim to reinforce childhood learning through imagination, creativity, and song. Each story incorporates input from a wide range of specialists in early childhood learning, extensive childhood research, and the 40-year career of the beloved Fred Rogers.

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Tickets for the Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood event range from $25 to $75, plus applicable fees. VIP tickets are available and include a post-show photo with Daniel Tiger.

David Foster and special guest Katharine McPhee coming to Kauffman Center May 2020

GRAMMY Award-winning musician, songwriter, record producer, and composer, David Foster is taking his four decades of hits to the stage with An Intimate Evening with David Foster: Hitman Tour Featuring Special Guest Katharine McPhee.

Canadian-born Foster leads the music industry, taking the reins on albums that have collectively sold in the hundreds of millions. He has written hit songs and earned both gold and platinum albums for an array of top artists including Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, and Madonna. Foster has also escorted singers who have straddled both pop and classical styles like Andrea Bocelli and Josh Groban into the mainstream. Foster is also a celebrity judge on Asia’s biggest talent competition show, Asia’s Got Talent and World Got Talent, which airs in China to 150 million viewers a night. For his legendary work, Foster has won 16 GRAMMY Awards, including three for Producer of the Year, an Emmy Award, a Golden Globe, and was a three-time nominee for Best Original Song.

As an artist always looking for another challenge, Foster is taking on Broadway, starting with a new musical about the classic, animated character Betty Boop, directed by Tony Award-winner Jerry Mitchell. Foster is also writing the music for a musical based on the Amy Bloom novel and New York Times bestseller Lucky Us.

Joining Foster will be his wife, singer, actress and American Idol star, Katharine McPhee fresh off her Broadway and West End run of the hit musical Waitress. She is known for her powerhouse presence, show-stopping performances, and unforgettable voice. Her first smash hit “Over It,” brought her 2007 self-titled debut album to life, bowing at number two on the Billboard Top 200 and receiving an RIAA gold certification. McPhee has become a star on the big and small screens, appearing on multiple TV shows and movies, all while releasing hit music. In 2017, McPhee reimagined, recharged, and reinvigorated a host of timeless jazz standards on her fifth full-length album, I Fall In Love Too Easily, produced by Don Was. Katharine will join David for a number of his well-known songs including The Prayer.

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Tickets for An Intimate Evening with David Foster: Hitman Tour Featuring Special Guest Katharine McPhee range from $39 to $109, plus applicable fees.


Kauffman Center opens new accessible amenities in partnership with Variety KC

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at the Kauffman Center / Photo by David Riffel

On October 1st the Kauffman Center, in a 10-year partnership with local organization Variety KC, announced new amenities that celebrated inclusive arts experiences. The new features will support the Center’s ongoing effort to ensure attending a performance is a positive experience for all. Variety KC parents and children attended a ribbon cutting ceremony and were invited to be the first to experience these new accessible additions.

Variety KC understands the challenges that families face when navigating a world that is not designed for children with disabilities. The organization has been working for years to provide adaptive equipment and opportunities for children with developmental disabilities. The Variety KC supported amenities are a meaningful step to ensure all audiences can experience the performing arts at the Kauffman Center.

Variety KC parent Nancy Truitt, who was in attendance with son Maddox (age 16) shared, “As the parent of a child with special needs, it is really exciting that the Kauffman Center is so willing to create access for all and has such an interest in becoming a leader in the inclusion revolution that is happening here in Kansas City.”

The Variety KC kids and parents were the first to explore the Kauffman Center’s new accessible amenities made especially with them in mind. The official opening day for the resources was marked with a ribbon cutting ceremony followed by families attending Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild Live! matinee.

Family in the newly opened Serenity Room / Photo by David Riffel

The two new Variety-supported Serenity Rooms were especially notable. The rooms offer a quiet, welcoming space that patrons can visit when they need a little privacy or to take a break from the performance or crowds. Each Serenity Room is equipped with comfy furniture, outlets, dimmable lights, and sensory items like a fiberoptic color changing lamp and playable art sculpture. All of these items can help someone relax and refocus in potentially stressful or overwhelming moments. Since each Serenity Room is outfitted with a monitor, patrons don’t need to worry about missing a moment of the performance they came to see. Patrons can use either of the two Serenity Rooms during a visit to the Center by asking a staff member or volunteer.

“The Kauffman Center is an exceptional experience and the accommodations you guys have put in are just wonderful!” Variety KC parent Carol Caron said. “The sensory room was so well thought out and is going to be just the thing needed for families to go and enjoy shows who would not be able to otherwise.”

Sensory Kit / Photo by David Riffel

New Sensory Kits made available by Variety KC were also on hand and used by many families throughout the morning. Each kit includes noise-muffling headphones, a weighted lap pad, and a handheld sensory item. These items are designed to provide comfort and sensory stimulation for someone who is affected by the sights and sounds of a performance. During all performances, Sensory Kits will be available for complimentary use by any patron at Coat Check, located on the Plaza Lobby Level.

Universal changing table / Photo by David Riffel

Family restrooms at the Kauffman Center have always featured changing tables for the very young, but the newly added universal changing tables, located in the Mezzanine Level family restroom and First Aid Office, can accommodate infants to adults. Variety KC parent Katie Ernzen, who was in attendance with her son George (age 6), was thrilled by this addition.

Being able to take George to see Jack Hanna at the Kauffman Center was a dream come true,” Ernzen said. “The new accessible restrooms, equipped with adult changing tables, gave me peace of mind knowing that I wouldn’t have to worry about where to change George’s diaper. In fact, we used the new changing tables twice while at the Kauffman Center and they were perfect!”

Shortly before the ribbon cutting ceremony was set to begin, special guest Jack Hanna made an appearance to greet attendees and take a photo with each Variety KC family. Families delighted in the exclusive, intimate time with America’s favorite zookeeper.

Variety KC family with Jack Hanna / Photo by David Riffel

Janet Mark, vice president of development at the Kauffman Center, welcomed those in attendance for the ribbon cutting ceremony and reinforced the Center’s commitment to provide inclusive arts experiences to all patrons. Other speakers at the ceremony included Kansas City’s First District Councilwoman Heather Hall, vice president of Variety KC board Marc Harrell, and Variety KC kid Olivia Bloomfield. Amid many poignant comments from the speakers, the most endearing address came from 7-year-old Olivia.

“I’m here today to thank Variety KC and the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Thank you guys for letting everyone be able to come here, be safe, have fun, and not have to worry about anything. Thank you for making the arts available to everyone!” Olivia said.

Variety KC kid Olivia Bloomfield at the ribbon cutting / Photo by David Riffel

Following the ceremony, Variety KC families made their way into Muriel Kauffman Theatre to enjoy the Jack Hanna Into the Wild Live! matinee performance. As Jack Hanna took the stage, the Variety KC children and parents clapped enthusiastically alongside approximately 1,500 other students from area Kansas City schools. The hour-long performance featured animal facts and tales from Hanna, along with appearances from many animals including a penguin, sloth, and kangaroo. The audience delighted in the chance to experience this fun, yet informative performance.

Jack Hanna on Muriel Kauffman Theatre stage / Photo by David Riffel

The Kauffman Center is committed to providing an enjoyable, safe, and welcoming environment for all patrons to experience live performing arts. Unveiling the new accessible resources was another major step forward for the Center as they work to provide access to the performing arts for all.

For a full album of photos from the October 1 ribbon cutting event, visit our Flickr.

To learn more about the Kauffman Center’s accessible amenities, visit the accessibility page on our website.


The Indigo Girls Coming to Kauffman Center this November

Celebrated acoustic duo Indigo Girls will perform at the Kauffman Center on Thursday, November 19

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After 20 years of releasing hit records, Amy Ray and Emily Saliers have done everything but slow down. The Indigo Girls have forged their own way in the music business, selling more than 14 million records and drawing crowds of fans spanning generations while touring across the U.S. and internationally.

Amy and Emily met in Atlanta, Georgia as fifth and sixth graders. They started singing together in high school and coined the name Indigo Girls as students at Emory University. The duo released Strange Fire in 1987, a self-produced full-length album. They signed with Epic Records in 1988 and released their acclaimed album Indigo Girls, which garnered them overnight fame. The album earned a double platinum status, won a GRAMMY for “Best Contemporary Folk Recording,” received a GRAMMY nomination for “Best New Artist” and remained on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart for 35 weeks.

With 14 studio albums, six GRAMMY nominations and tours with stars like Neil Young and Emmylou Harris, the Indigo Girls remain ranked among the top all-time great duos. Decades into their career, they continue to gain lasting respect and devotion from old and new fans alike.

The Indigo Girls aren’t just passionate about music. They are dedicated to supporting social causes including Black Lives Matter, LGBTQIA rights, the environment and voting rights, just to name a few. The duo helped establish Honor the Earth, an organization dedicated to creating support and education for native environmental issues. They were also a part of the True Colors Tour 2007 which benefited the Human Rights Campaign and other organizations that support the LGBTQIA community.

Tickets for the event range from $39 to $69, plus applicable fees. Tickets can be purchased at the Kauffman Center Box Office, by calling (816) 994-7222, or online at kauffmancenter.org.