Outdoor options in Wichita

Wichita’s new Riverfront Stadium will finally host pro baseball when the Wichita Wind Surge, the city’s new Double-A team, hosts its first of 60 home games on May 11. The 10-team league is part of Major League Baseball’s reorganization of Minor League Baseball.  

  The season will open with limited seating. For updates, schedule, tickets and frequent promotions, check windsurge.com.

Music Theatre Wichita will stage several productions this year at the Capitol Federal Amphitheater in Andover. This is the 50th season for MTWichita’s Broadway-scale musicals, which combine theater professionals from across the country with local talent and a live orchestra.

  “Smokey Joe’s Café in Concert” will kick off the 2021 season April 28-May 2. 

“No More Talk of Darkness: Phantom’s Jeremy Stolle” on May 13-16 features an actor who played Phantom on Broadway. “Red, White and Broadway: A Star-Studded Tribute to America” will be staged July 2-3 at the amphitheater. For season or single tickets, go to Mtwichita.org

Big Bugs – an installation of 12 animatronic insects — will be placed throughout Botanica’s 20 acres from May 1 to July 31. Replica movements and life-size detail bring the creatures to life as visitors learn about each species. For bug-themed events and hours, visit botanica.org

Wichita’s traditional 10-day Riverfest has been split into two parts: June 4-6, which will feature participatory events, and Sept. 30-Oct. 2, which will include a food court, concerts, parade and fireworks. See Wichitariverfest.com for updates.

Big Bugs – an installation of 12 animatronic insects — will be placed throughout Botanica’s 20 acres from May 1 to July 31.

Ulrich reopens with new exhibitions

Gordon Parks, “Boy with Junebug,” 1963, Ulrich collection.
Gordon Parks, “Boy with Junebug,” 1963, Ulrich collection.

Wichita State’s Ulrich Museum of Art has reopened to the public with four exhibitions on display through May 8.

“Gordon Parks: I, too, am America” and Renée Stout: Ghosts” are part of a citywide collaboration featuring the work of African American artists. 

The 40 photographs in the Parks exhibition come from the Ulrich’s holdings of 170 images created by the internationally known Kansas native. This exhibition highlights pieces from seven of the stories Parks produced while at LIFE magazine.

A contemporary artist, Stout is known for her reflections on African American heritage and the visual culture of the African diaspora. This exhibition is from 2012 works which are part of the Ulrich collection.

The 23rd Faculty Biennial, “It’s All Part of the Process,” showcases WSU faculty work in a wide range of media as well as the personal processes used in creating them. 

“Solving for X=Identity: Sharing Matrilineal Memories” examines home through the eyes of mothers and grandmothers by dance and sociology faculty at WSU. 

The Ulrich’s new regular hours (masks and social distancing required) are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Admission is free.  

“Awaiting” glass tile mosaic by WSU faculty member Tina Murano with assistant Rose Boundy.
“Awaiting” glass tile mosaic by WSU faculty member Tina Murano with assistant Rose Boundy.

Tickets on sale for Illuminations 2020

Botanica’s popular Illuminations – named a top 10 holiday event by USA Today – will again light up the gardens this holiday season but with a few modifications due to Covid-19 precautions. In addition to the regular stroll among 2 million lights, Botanica has added a drive-through option. Tickets have gone on sale for both the walk-through and drive-through versions.

Tickets must be purchased in advance at botanica.org and the number of guests will be limited. The walk-through event will open Nov. 14 and run through Jan. 9. Tickets are $13 for adults with discounts for members and children. The cost for the drive-through (Nov. 14-Jan. 30) will be $20 per car and $25 on weekends. No tickets will be sold at the door.

Music Theatre shifts shows to 2021

For the safety of cast and audiences, Music Theatre Wichita has moved all five summer 2020 productions to next year. “Grease,” “The Wizard of Oz,” “Something Rotten!,” “Twelfth Night” and “Kinky Boots” will be performed June-August 2021, which is the 50th anniversary of the Wichita tradition. 

In the meantime, MTWichita staff is creating new online programming and special live events. Membership in MTWichita’s new Spotlight Society affords patrons the chance to experience many behind-the-scenes adventures and to participate in Wayne’s Movie Club, which features weekly musical films with commentary by Wayne Bryan, producing artistic director 

For more information, visit mtwichita.org.