“THE NUTCRACKER,” presented by the Independence Ballet Conservatory, 10 a.m., noon or 7 p.m. Wednesday and Dec. 5, Liberty Performing Arts Center, 1600 S. Withers Road. Day performances are $5, $10 for evening performances. For tickets, call 816-373-3456 or 816-792-6130.

MARK CORDES, a 1973 graduate of Truman High School, will perform at a 7:30 p.m. dinner show and a 9:45 p.m. regular show tonight; 7:30 and 9:45 p.m. dinner shows Saturday; and a 7 p.m. dinner show Sunday, The Improv in Zona Rosa, 7430 N.W. 87th St., Kansas City. Cost, $16. For tickets, call 816-587-4500.

“A CHRISTMAS Carol,” presented by the Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Saturday through Dec. 27, Spencer Theater in UMKC Performing Arts Center, Kansas City. For tickets, call 816-235-2700.

“LITTLE SNOW GIRL,” presented by Theatre for Young America, Dec. 2-3, H&R Block City Stage at Union Station, Kansas City. Cost, $8, $6 for Union Station and TYA members. For tickets, call 816-460-2020.

“THE NUTCRACKER,” presented by the Kansas City Ballet, Dec. 6 through 28, The Music Hall, 301 W. 13th St., Kansas City. For tickets, call 816-931-2232.

“SISTER MARY IGNATIUS EXPLAINS IT ALL FOR YOU” through Dec. 28, Unicorn Theatre, 3827 Main St., Kansas City. Sister Mary Ignatius is giving her yearly lecture on how the world works, where heaven and hell are and what exactly went on in Sodom. Tickets start at $25 for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday performances; and start at $30 on Friday and Saturday performances. For tickets, call 816-531-7529, Ext. 10.

“A TUNA CHRISTMAS,” through Dec. 28, American Heartland Theatre, Crown Center, Kansas City. A comedy about a small town in Texas, who is a little disaster prone when it comes to planning Christmas events. To purchase tickets, call the box office at 816-842-9999.

“THE WOMEN OF BREWSTER PLACE,” Dec. 5 through Jan. 11, Unicorn Theatre, 3827 Main St., Kansas City. This musical chronicles the dreams and realities of 10 diverse African-American women. For tickets, call 816-531-7529, Ext. 10.

Special events

GREEN DOG ART GALLERY will be open to the general public from 7 to 9 tonight, 10922 E. Winner Road, Independence. Call Russ Lawrence at 816-252-3372.

“CHRISTMAS AROUND THE WORLD” puppet show, 11 a.m. or 2 p.m. Saturday, Puppetry Arts Institute, 11025 Winner Road, Independence. Comet and Cupid have been forbidden by Santa to fly until they remember the true meaning of Christmas. The $5 cost includes seeing the museum and a free finger puppet for each child. For reservations, 816-833-9777.

LUMINARY WALK, 5 to 9 tonight, Kansas City Sculpture Park. Celebrate Kansas City lights amidst illuminated sculptures. Docents will be stationed at featured sculptures from 5 to 7 p.m. Maps available at the Nelson-Atkins Visitor Services Desk. Call 816-751-1278.

THE STORY OF THE ORPHAN TRAIN, 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Nelson-Atkins Museum Auditorium, Kansas City. Pippa White brings the 75-year history of the “orphan trains” to life in a family-friendly program. 816-751-1278.

FORD LEARNING CENTER open house, noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas City. Enjoy activities related to themes in “Art in the Age of Steam.” Event includes live music, refreshments, hands-on-art making and demonstrations. Call 816-751-1278.

“HOLLY JOLLY HOMICIDE,” by Michael Dragen, Thusdays, Fridays and Saturdays through Jan. 3, at several locations. This interactive mystery game comes complete with dinner. Cost, $49 on Thursdays, $59 Fridays and Saturdays. For reservations, call 816-813-9654.

MARILLAC’S ENCHANTED FOREST, through Dec. 6, Sprint Festival Plaza at Union Station, Kansas City. Decorated trees and wreaths will be on display as a silent auction to benefit children in the Kansas City community with emotional, behavioral and other special needs. Free. Call 816-460-2020 for hours.

THE SANTA CLAUSE will be shown, starring Tim Allen, Eric Lloyd, Wendy Crewson and Judge Reinhold, Fridays-Sundays through Dec. 7, Regnier Extreme Screen, Union Station, Kansas City. Cost, $6.50 For times, call 816-460-2020.

THREE LOCAL ROMANCE WRITERS sign their books, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 6, Parkside Books, 208B N. Missouri 7, Blue  Springs. C.J. Winters, Lynn Michaels and Betty Winslow will also chat with customers. Call 816-224-9082.

HOLIDAY SPIRIT TRAIN, Tuesdays-Saturdays through early January, Sprint Festival Plaza, Union Station, Kansas City. Treat the kids to a ride on the miniature E-10 model streamliner that originally ran in Kansas City’s Jones Store from the 1940s to the mid-1970s. Riders must be under 48 inches tall. Cost, $3. For times, call 816-460-2020.

FLY ME TO THE MOON (3-D), 12:30 and 3 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday, through May 21, 2009, Regnier Extreme Screen Theater, Union Station, Kansas City. Admission, $6.50. Call 816-460-2020.


LUNAR BOWL AND THE BLUE MOON welcomes Southbound on Friday and Doghouse Daddies on Saturday. The shows are 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. each night at Lunar Bowl, 2001 N.W. Missouri 7, Blue Springs. You must be 21 and older to attend these free concerts. Call 816-220-7722.

PICK & HAMMER will perform from 5 to 8 tonight, with Crystal River playing from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, at Hazel’s Country Café, 219 West U.S. 24, Independence. Denny and Randie Bowen will perform from noon to 2 p.m. Sunday. Call 816-461-5882 or visit

WILLIE KIRST will play from 6 to 9 tonight, with Pick & Hammer playing from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, at the Rheinland Restaurant, 208 N. Main St., Independence. Call 816-461-5383.

KANSAS CITY SYMPHONY concert, 8 p.m. tonight and Saturday, Lyric Theatre, 11th and Central, Kansas City. Tickets range from $10 to $55. For tickets, call 816-471-0400 or online at

HEAR THAT LONESOME WHISTLE: What train songs tell us, 8 tonight, Nelson-Atkins Auditorium, Kansas City. Michael Lasser, host of the radio show Fascinatin’ Rhythm, will combine humor and anecdote with recorded songs that reflect the railroad’s golden age. Call 816-751-1278.

IDA MCBETH will perform at 8:30 tonight, Blue Room in the American Jazz Museum, Kansas City. Cost, $10. For tickets, call 816-474-6262.

TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA, 3 p.m. Saturday, Sprint Center, 140 Grand Blvd., Kansas City. Tickets range from $37.50 to $47.50. For tickets, call 816-931-3330.

AL GREEN, 8 p.m. Saturday, The Midland Theatre, 1228 Main St., Kansas City. For tickets, visit the Midland box office or call 816-913-3330 or online at

KANSAS CITY SYMPHONY concert, 2 p.m. Sunday, Yardley Hall, College Boulevard and Quivira, Overland Park. Tickets range from $10 to $55. For tickets, call 816-471-0400 or visit

MANNHEIM STEAMROLLER, 8 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, The Midland Theatre, 1228 Main St., Kansas City. For tickets, visit the Midland box office or call 816-913-3330 or online at

KANSAS CITY SYMPHONY concert, 7 p.m. Tuesday, West Wyandotte County Library, 1737 N. 82nd St., Kansas City, Kan. Free.

TRACE ADKINS, 8 p.m. Thursday, The Midland Theatre, 1228 Main St., Kansas City. For tickets, visit the Midland box office or call 816-913-3330 or online at

KANSAS CITY SYMPHONY concert, 7 p.m. Thursday, KU Edwards Campus, 12600 Quivira, Overland Park. Free.

KANSAS CITY SYMPHONY Holiday Pops concert, 8 p.m. Dec. 5, College Church of the Nazarene, 2020 E. Sheridan St., Olathe. Cost, $25. For tickets, call 816-471-0400 or online at

HOLIDAY HARMONY SPECTACULAR, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6, Unity Village, 1901 N.W. Blue Parkway, Lee’s Summit. Enjoy the Heart of America Barbershop Chorus and the Kansas City Chorus of Sweet Adelines. Tickets range from $12 to $22. For tickets, call 816-437-7365.

WHAT MAKES IT GREAT, presented by Friends of Chamber Music, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 6, Nelson-Atkins Auditorium, Kansas City. This event features Composer Rob Kapilow and the Biava and Penderecki Quartets. Cost, $10. For tickets, call 816-561-9999 or online at

HOLIDAY MUSIC CONCERTS, sponsored by Friends of Powell Gardens, 3 p.m., Dec. 6, 13 and 14, Marjorie Powell Allen Chapel, Powell Gardens, Kingsville. Tickets are $14, $10 for members, and includes Garden admission. For reservations, call 816-697-2600, Ext. 207.

LIBERTY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA holiday concert, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6, Liberty Performing Arts Theatre, 1600 S. Withers Road. Cost, $18, $14 for seniors, $5 for students. For tickets, call 816-439-4362 or 816-415-7832.

ADVENT CONCERT, 7 p.m. Dec. 7, Community of Christ Temple, 201 S. River Blvd., Independence. Enjoy sacred music and beloved Christmas carols in a special musical concert presented by the Graceland University Concert Choir, Chamber Singers, University Chorus and Orchestra. No admission fee. 521-3030.

“SOUNDS OF THE SEASON,” presented by the Kansas City Boys and Kansas City Girls choirs, 5 p.m. Dec. 7, Community School of the Arts Auditorium, 5601 Wyandotte St., Kansas City. Tickets are a $15 donation. For tickets, call 816-474-SING.

RICK WEST VARIETY SHOW, 8 p.m. Saturdays, 13801 E. 42nd Terrace, Independence. This Branson-style, family show includes country music and comedy. For preferred seating, call 816-478-9100.


“MEMORIES OF WORLD WAR II exhibit,” through Jan. 11, Truman Library, 500 West U.S. 24, Independence. Exhibit features more than 100 photos from all theaters of the war. Free with regular museum admission. Call 816-268-8200.

HOLIDAY VILLAGE MODEL TRAIN display, 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays; noon to 5:30 p.m. Sundays through Jan. 4, Grand Hall at Union Station, Kansas City. Free. Call 816-460-2020.

“RESTING PLACES – LIVING THINGS,” designs by Michael Cross will be on display through Feb. 8, 2009, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City. The wooden floor will feature hills and valleys, a chair will respond to a visitor’s approach, tree branches will support books and walls become resting places.

“THE TSAR AND THE PRESIDENT, Alexander II and Abraham Lincoln” exhibit, through April 19, KCP&L City Gallery at Union Station, Kansas City. Explore the personal and diplomatic friendship forged by two revolutionary leaders. Tickets are $9.50 Call 816-460-2020.

“DUMMIES DO TALK” and 1937 marionettes and Belgium puppets exhibit, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, through July 2009, Puppetry Arts Institute museum, 11025 E. Winner Road, Independence. Admission is $3, $1.50 for children under 16. Call 816-833-9777.

Items for the Entertainment Planner may be e-mailed to or mailed to: The Examiner, P.O. Box 459, Independence, Mo. 64051.