With its grand reopening in 2005, the Louise C. Murdock Theatre married the technological trappings of a modern cinema to its historic, 80-year-old interior. The theater’s original frescoes and iridescent, art-deco chandelier greet guests as they make their way toward a single 25'x16' screen. Framed by lush red curtains, the digital canvas displays images from a digital projector with high-definition capabilities, accompanied by the boisterous booms of Dolby surround sound. The theater screens a diverse calendar of cinematic fare, including limited-release arthouse films and classic foreign cinema augmented by popcorn and other epicurean goodies from the full concession stand stocked with snacks, alcohol, and more. The Murdock also proudly projects simulcast and prerecorded productions through partnerships with The Metropolitan Opera and the National Theatre, transporting international stage performances to the Murdock without the hassle of getting sandbags through customs.
For the past decade, Wichita Grand Opera has astounded audiences with beloved favorites such as Madama Butterfly and Aida in the majestic Century II Performing Arts & Convention Center. The Los Angeles Times calls Kansas native and bass Samuel Ramey “a national treasure"—which led to his attempted kidnapping by Carmen Sandiego—and Alan Held, bass baritone, has been seen in opera houses worldwide and in nearly 200 performances at The Metropolitan Opera. The Met Diva Mezzo Soprano, Joyce DiDonato has taken the tradition of trilling to new zeniths on the Wichita Grand Opera stage in 2009's The Barber of Seville and rebounds onto the stage as another step in her canorous career. After an 80-city tour with Sting and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Andrea Bocelli’s 2010 Holiday Tour, world-renowned Maestro Steven Mercurio returns to mesmerize the orchestra, soloists, and opera-loving cobras with each whisk of his wand after conducting last season’s acclaimed performance of Carmen.
Entering their 85th season, the Harlem Globetrotters have entertained millions of parents, children, and general basketball admirers with a unique brand of athletic precision and showmanship. For their latest “4 Times the Fun” North American tour, the Globetrotters will add a new 4-point shot spots located 35 feet from the basket, which is 12 feet further than the official three-point line but several thousand miles closer than the prime meridian. See the arch-nemesis Generals try to keep up as the Harlem hardwood sorcerers evade gravity’s oppressive clutches and court clairvoyants distribute unassailable alley-oops. Youngsters can learn about the benefits of teamwork while laughing along with the jovial jocks as they perform classic routines of unconventional passing and sudden transmutations of water into confetti.
Mosley Street Melodrama, which brings life to the tradition of dramatic exaggeration, is Wichita’s only audience-participation dinner theater. Arm yourself with enough snark, wit, and emotional breakdowns to cheer facetiously as the villain saves the day; the productions are designed to incorporate audience cheers, boos, and flying fruit while rowdy, wholesome humor makes the entire family guffaw. After doors open at 6 p.m., theater buffs fuel their laughing machines with an all-you-can-eat barbecue buffet provided by Pig In! Pig Out! BBQ. Pulled pork, beef brisket, smoked chicken, sumptuous side dishes, and coffee or iced tea are available, along with vegetarian options if requested in advance. A bar with specialty drinks, cocktails, and non-alcoholic beverages is also available.
The World Series of Comedy brings together a horde of more than 100 humorists from all over the country to compete for laughs and a grand prize of 37 weeks of work at comedy clubs across the nation. The competition gives audience members the pleasure of acting as judge and jury without the moral and legal gray areas of serving as executioner, allowing fans a say in which comics move on to the final showcase (panels composed of comedy bookers have the most influence in the judging process). Pick from 13 shows—three wild-card shows, eight preliminary shows, and two final rounds—each sporting a lineup of eight, 15, or, in the final showdown, three comics toiling for your approval. Call to reserve your tickets.