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One of the more impressive buildings dedicated to the performing arts, the Kauffman Center is the highlight of the city's cultural scene. Located downtown, this multifaceted event center is dedicated to enhancing stage arts in the city by hosting nationally and internationally renowned artists, as well as providing a platform for local artists to share their expression with a bigger audience. Spread over approximately 285,000 square feet, the center is comprised of venues like the Muriel Kauffman Theatre and Helzberg Hall.
A much-welcomed addition to the cultural weave of this city, the Muriel Kauffman Theater is located inside the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Promising to be a venue that presents an impressive variety of artists and events, this theater is definitely a venue to visit for those who really wish to know intimately the liveliness of Kansas City. Named after a local leader, this theater is a proscenium venue, with a capacity of 1,800 seats. Appointed with the latest in technology, this theater can make an audience experience quite memorable.
Folly Theater was constructed at the turn of the 20th Century and was originally intended to be a variety show and parody house. Over the next century it developed into a vibrant and popular entertainment venue for jazz. In fact, the theater is a vital asset to the jazz community and legends such as Dave Brubeck, George Shearing and Ravi Coltrane have all played here. David Sanchez, Jane Monheit, and Rene Marie are locals that continue to maintain the city's tradition of live jazz performances also. It also presents the Folly Children's Series which brings national-level children's theater troupes to Missouri.
The Gem was constructed in 1912 using a Baroque-style motif in its architecture and was originally planned as a movie house in the historic 18th & Vine District. Today, it is a live music, dance and theater stage that hosts various acts, from musicals to live jazz, the Gem is always abuzz with activity. The theater is run under the benevolent auspices of the American Jazz Museum (located a few doors down on 18th) and is most notably known for its "Jammin' at the Gem" series which features some of the best musicians in the world.
This cutting-edge, professional theater company produces offbeat, off-Broadway-style productions in an intimate setting. The performance space, a renovated midtown garage, features a thrust stage and seating for 150. The company produces eight shows each year. Past productions include "The Laramie Project", "BecauseHeCan", "The Santaland Diaries" and the 2001 Pulitzer Prize winning play, "Proof".
This theater, known as one of the finest outdoor theaters in the country, hosts an entire season of shows. Celebrating its 52nd anniversary season, this magnificent theater boasts a newly constructed 10-story, fully enclosed community stage, as well as "Garden of the Stars" and "Starlight Square." Most of the shows begin after 8:30p. The box office is located at 6601 Swope Parkway.